2001 – AEROSMITH TOUR WEEK ELEVEN
Beyond Good And Evil World Tour 2001
FALL/WINTER LEG – WITH AEROSMITH. Week Eleven – Detroit, Chicago, End Of Tour!!!
Rock and Roll has changed over the years. The days of throwing TV sets out of hotel windows stopped when they started screwing them inside huge walnut cabinets that are bolted to the wall. Throwing the coffee maker out of the window doesn’t seem quite as satisfying. The days of getting completely wasted and throwing up in some gutter in a strange part of town, ended for a lot of us, when we realised that one day, we wouldn’t stagger back in the morning. And a lot of the naked girls that used to hang around rock bands grew up, got married, had kids…….and still try to get naked!!! Either way, it’s not the debauched lifestyle that Mr Page and Mr Plant pioneered back in the day. That’s not to say that The Cult don’t hold a flag for those days – we do, but I’ve gotta say that three days in a nice hotel suite in Chicago tend to mellow a guy out. The weekend NFL games provide the excitement for me, the stores on Michigan Ave offer a diversion for all of us, and its with great relief that we meet in the lobby of the hotel to check out and go and play in Detroit.
Five hours later, and we arrive in Detroit, and yours truly hasn’t read the wonderfully informed day sheet that our tour manager gives us every day. These sheets tell us where we are, what time things are gonna happen, and other little details, like the fact that we’ve lost an hour on the journey. Which means that I’m sitting in the back lounge at 9.15pm, chilling out and thinking that I’ve got an hour to do my hair, warm up and get ready. And then Tony gets on the bus, shouting ‘ Morrison…..come on……yer on ‘ What….onstage? It’s only nine fifteen……..Oh shit, forgot the time change…..it’s ten fifteen!!! I throw a tee shirt on, grab my hat, and Tony takes me in to the venue. I feel totally not ready, but in about two minutes flat, I’m walking onto the stage, the intro tape rolling. Oh well, here goes…..
The venue is sold out, and from the first chord, I realise that the sound on stage is going to be absolute shit!! When the song kicks in, my brains are nearly blown out of my eardrums, and plastered all over the back wall of the stage. It is LOUD up here!! I spend the first two songs frantically gesturing to our monitor guy and working out what’s too loud and what’s not. He either gets it right, or my hearing is shot out pretty early, because it starts to sound reasonable, and I can look out and take the audience in for the first time. They are going crazy!! I can see a few scuffles further back, and a couple of bodies being hoisted in the air for a bit of crowd surfing, and I smile. I love the audience when they get this animated. I look over at Billy during Edie, and he’s smiling back at me. We all seem to have a good show tonight. I can’t really hear Matt, so I’m not sure how well I lock in with him, but by the time Wild Flower kicks off, with Ian’s intro of…..”Old School!!” the crowd are going nuts. Sanctuary feels good, and we leave the stage for a quick breather to massive cheers. War and Sun King both seem huge to me – really kicking – and L.R.M. ends it all with a bang. Thank you, Detroit, for making our decision to do these last two shows completely worthwhile.
Chicago – the last night of the tour, and it’s kind of strange, emptying the busses that we have lived in for the last three months. All the weeks of retail therapy start to seem a little crazy, as we all try packing the myriad of shit that we have all bought, into the suitcases we brought with us. I have to get another case, just for my shopping, and I’m sure the others have to do the same! Hours of packing later, and having had every item of clothing I have with me, spread all over my room, I seem to have got it sorted out. I stand on my cases to get em shut, and leave the room to go and play our last show of the year and the tour.
What can I say – anyone who was at the show will agree with me – even though we are all so fucking tired, we give it everything we have left, and everyone in Chicago saw a great Cult show. Ian all in leather, and being the brilliant frontman that he is, Billy D playing another great show, and pulling all the shapes out, Matt just pounding away and keeping it all together. It’s a pleasure to finish the tour this way. Everyone is jumping, crowd surfing and singing along, and I smile all the way through. It doesn’t matter what it sounded like, what the monitors or lights were like. What matters is the kind words that all you guys had to say to us all afterwards. We hold a party in the foundation rooms afterwards and we get given a whole bunch of presents. Godiva chocolates, handmade tee-shirts, special coffee cups…….thank you so much everyone for making it a fantastic end of tour show. We also want to thank all our crew for sticking with it and getting us onstage every single night and sounding so good. Eventually, it all gets the better of me, and I have one too many people hanging around my neck, drunk, screaming in my ear that ‘you guys fucking rocked!!!’. I say my goodbyes, and jump in the car back to the hotel.
Well – it’s been fun. 2001 has seen, …….. well, it’s seen me join The Cult, for one thing!! And as a band, we’ve driven over 250,000 miles around the US. We’ve flown to Japan and the UK, and played about 120 shows in eight months. We didn’t get to Europe or Australia – maybe next year. I’m eternally thankful to everyone that welcomed me into the Cult family, who encouraged my tour diaries and my site efforts, who bothered to say hello at the shows, and to the rest of the band for letting me do my thing and making me feel at home. It’s been a good year!