The older I get, the more I seem to respect the ”big birds”. I would’nt say I’m afraid of flying, but somehow, for every year, every flight I seem to say to myself: We made it – once again! I don’t think anyone with a “healthy” mind think it’s fun to fly. As a touring musician, it’s just something you have to do. The first time I was overseas with TFK, on our way from Montreál to Los Angeles, we were stopped by this guy with an attitude like a bomb that’s about to explode. He saw the instruments and rightfully assumed we were going to USA to work, to make money. In a way he was right, we were gonna make some money but just enough to get our expenses paid. This was an investment for the future. Roine tried to convince him, we were on our way to California to make promotion, not to make the big buck. The more we explained about the situation, the more determined he got about us not going to The States. The most funny thing, was that Tomas and Jaime had already boarded, so they made an announcement in the speakers all over the airport, that these two gentlemen had to leave the aircraft. They also had to find our luggage, that already had been loaded on the plane. After a couple of hours with total chaos, five Swedish guys took a cab back to the hotel again. The cab driver was a “super cool” gentleman from India (I guess), that said “RELAX MAN! With the typical Indian accent. The morning after, we got a fax from the promoter down in L.A where he verified, we were there to make promotion (even though we had a gig). By the way, during that gig Chris Squire of Yes fame, stood beside us on the stage the whole set and watched us with an intense look. It was my second show with “The Kings”, and that did’nt excactly ease my nerves. In case you’re curious, you can find a clip on You tube from that show, when we’re playing “Humanizzimo” (I’m the one with short hair, Roine has long hair, it looks weird!) Back at the airport, it was no problem at all at the check in. It was a happy lady who took care of us and she did’nt mind at all that we were musicians. One thing we or Roine learned from this, is to never tour USA without a working visa, which costs us about 3500 euro or close to 6900 dollars.
Delays are not funny. I remember , we’d just boarded the Boeing 747 from London Heathrow to LAX, Los Angeles(again), when the captain said; “Sorry, we’ll be delayed by 20-30 minutes, because they could’nt close one of the doors or hatches properly. 4 hours later we were ready for take off, with a hurting ass even before the plane left the ground. Luckily enough we started to chat with this Swedish stewardess, who’s been working for British Airways for 15 years. She told us, she’d just sold her flat in the middle of London and that she’d just made a fortune. She bought a big house in Värmdö (a luxurious) place outside Stockholm for the money and she still had plenty left, some are lucky! Spending 13 hours on a plane is nothing but torture. I know you can watch movies, read or whatever but in the end your butt and back starts to hurt. A little walk might help for maybe 5 minutes, (could it be I’m getting old?).
I guess the alarm clock rang at 4.30 in the morning, after 1! hour of sleep. We were supposed to fly from LAX (once again, huh…!) to Seattle. When we got to the airport at approximately 5.45, we found out the flight was cancelled. They offered us to take the evening flight instead, or fly via Denver, a plane that had a departure time in about 4 hours. We chose the later alternative. At the Denver airport we had a couple of hours to kill as well, so we decided to have lunch. We ordered and when Roine said he wanted a beer with the food, the lady who served us asked him for an id. That really made our day. I mean Roine just turned 50!!! The other guys ordered sodas to the food, except for the O’Doule (alcohol free beer) brothers Tomas and Jonas. When it was time for me to order, as I wanted a beer, she asked me for an id as well. I could’nt help but ask the lady “How are you suppose to look? for you not to ask for an id? Where do you draw the line? If I would come here in a wheel chair, grey hair, no teeth, hardly any voice. Would you still ask me for an id, if I wanted a beer? The lady looked at me and smiled, she did’nt say a word. However, me and Roine felt like kings for the rest of the day!