Next stop on our first visit to South America was Brazil. I think our arrival at the airport was 9 o clock in the evening and when we got out of the plane, you could'nt even believe how hot and humid it was. The first impression of Rio De Janeiro is on the way, while you're driving towards the famous, beautiful and almost legendary centre of Rio, you pass some not so glamourus favelas along the way. I guess they have stuff they consider more important than time over there. It was probably around 11 o clock in the evening and it looked like all the kids in the neighbourhood played soccer on those sand fields and they looked perfectly happy with that. In Sweden, the kids at their age would have been asleep hours ago. Even though the first gig we did was in Macae, a cozy little city along the Atlantic ocean, we spent 24 hours in Rio together with the promotor Leonardo and his gang. As a result of the freetime, the very cool surroundings and the mix of people we had in the orchestra back then, we headed out for some wild partying! For you out there who has read Michael Stolt's confessions "The dirt- The Progg dirt", I can state right here , right now, that the evening I will tell you about does NOT top the now legendary "Help" incident that Mike wrote about a couple of weeks ago. How could it? The combination: drugs, the police, prostitutes and TFK is kinda hard to beat. I don't know if I should be happy or sad, probably happy, I did'nt join the lads that night. I can almost read the headlines of the swedish news papers: "Swedish rockband arrested in Rio because of drugs". Today I'm gonna do everything in the right order, so I'll get back to my night out with the guys later.
When we got to Macae, I started thinking. How the hell did we end up here? Does anyone know who we are? Later in the evening (a friday night I think), the place was packed with a dressed up audience, who really appreciated our music and musicianship. Among the 400 people in the audience, I guess approximately 30-50 persons were fans, the rest were just curious. It's probably not everyday a swedish band plays in their town. After the show it felt like we really won over some new fans and we managed to make a nice evening for everyone. After 8 hours in a steaming hot Toyota Hiace bus, we were back in Rio and immediately started the compulsory soundcheck, which ended up a catastrophy. I like to hope that we in the end, managed to get a sound that at least reminded a little bit of TFK. In my mind, the show in the evening did'nt felt any better, so let's get on with the partying.
Boys night in Rio!? After a monster sleep at the hotel, we had a combined breakfast/lunch/dinner at a restaurant in Copacabana. After that, me Michael and Robert left Roine and Jaime with the Brazilian team to explore Rio De Janeiro on our own. In Rio they have some "like" just a whole in the wall, kind of pubs. It actually feels like you're standing in the middle of the street with your Capirinha and there's people and cars everywhere. We did a couple of those to enjoy the street life of Rio, before we ended the evening at a night club, which I think was in Ipanema. It was'nt like the typical tourist place, I guess it was almost only locals, or people from the neighbourhood who was there. As soon as we entered the place, the girls looked at us and smiled. Unfortunately the lads in the club did'nt look at us with a smile. They probably thought , what are these gringos doing here? After a couple of refreshing Gin and Tonics, I said to Mike, I have to go and take a leak, will you guard me outside the restroom? Said and done. I went in, it was me and maybe 5 more guys in there. After maybe a minute, one of the toilets was vacant. I remember when I shut the door, I thought Jesus what a thin door and on the inside it was a big mirror (don't ask me why?) Anyway after the job was done, I gently pushed the door, but the mirror cracked with an awful sound. One second after that, running into the gentlemens room, I could see Michael, looking just like Mike Tyson who's ready for the final knockout hit. God! What a great bodyguard he would be!