This week’s diary has taken a little longer than the first two…..simply because after the last day of rehearsals, everyone scattered and took a few days R+R before the madness begins, and I jetted out of LA to my favorite hidaway within driving distance, Palm Desert. I love the heat and sunshine, the palm trees, the steak dinners and the absolute peace and quiet. Coming from England, I fully embrace the SoCal lifestyle…. complete with a good massage, a decent mani/pedi and the occasional facial. Metrosexual? Me? Of course, darling! So I only just picked the computer back up and started typing. Again, a huge thanks to Charles who keeps us supplied with these amazing pictures. Charles is part of the Idol crew and will be with us throughout this journey. Good news for all of us as we will have the tour documented through pictures as well as text.

Rehearsals, as I said, are now officially done. We have a great wealth of material to draw from and have alternates, rarities and a few odds and ends that we will bust out throughout the next few months. It’s been an interesting time for me, as I have a huge respect for Billy’s catalogue that inspires me to want to get it all right, all the time (I forget that as a human being, this is probably not possible!!) and the amount of songs and different arrangements have been interesting and, at times, challenging. But anyone who really calls this work would be missing the point. No amount of playing an instrument can really be called ‘hard work’…..and I am extremely lucky to do this for a living. I encourage anyone to set their sights high and strive for what makes the heart swell – it is all possible.

As far as I can tell, all the gear is working and although you never really know where it’s all at until you’re standing onstage at the first show, I feel comfortable that I have everything I need and that all the guitars are ready to rock. The official Gibson Billy Morrison signature model prototype arrived on the very last day…..it’s basically the same guitar as the black and cream flag one I have, but without the paintjob. It DOES have a matching white headstock though, which is extremely rare for Gibson. I think other than the really limited Buckethead model, its never actually been used before, so I feel lucky that my idea was approved and I’m looking forward to getting an official release date now that all the prototypes are done and dusted. It plays like a dream and the Seymour pickups sound perfect. The gold detailing (including the gold jumbo frets) looks killer as well. More news on the production as and when I get it.

There will be no diary next week, as quite frankly, who wants to read about me lying in the sun in the desert and watching movies! But the following week will be the first actual ‘on the road’ piece, and we’ll see just how well we all cope with the journey from Los Angeles to Moscow. I haven’t thought about it yet but I guess I need to stock up with movies, all kinds of technology to keep me amused on that flight, and I am SO glad I quit smoking! The last long haul to Japan (with The Cult) was murder when I smoked. Now all I gotta do is pack (now that’s a sight to behold – Morrison trying to fit 22 pairs of sneakers into a medium sized suitcase!!) and get through the Camp Freddy show in Indianapolis this weekend. And then its all Idol, all Summer. Can’t fu@*ing wait!!!

Billy Morrison