Band Member Journal :
Having finished the album, the next thing on my agenda was to attend various listening parties around the world to preview the retail version of Marbles to fans and press alike. While Mark, H, and Ian were in Germany, Poland, and Scandinavia, Steve Rothery and I drew the not-so-short straw of New York and Los Angeles!
Sunday 14th March - I Picked up Steve in the morning, and we set off for Heathrow. When checked in we paid a supplement to sit in an exit row which would give us a bit more leg room... On a 6-hour flight you may as well be comfortable! We did indeed have plenty of leg room, as well as plenty of lively school kids from Ireland all around us which made it seem like a somewhat busy few hours in the air (I eventually found out that they were all taking part in the St Patrick's Day Parade in NY). Steve and I decide we should try and stay up until at least 10pm local time to get over the jet lag, so after a shower we meet in the lobby and find somewhere to eat.
Monday 15th March - I wake up stupidly early as I knew I would, and try to go back to sleep. I manage to doze for an hour or so, but it is still early when I finally admit to myself that sleep is not going to happen until later in the day - probably around 3, just when I need to be really wide awake. I overheard a conversation about snow and blizzards happening today, but as it is a bright blue sky and sunny I find this unlikely! After visiting a few computer shops with Steve, he had got me thinking... With the great Pounds-to-Dollars rate at the moment it all seemed like a very good idea to replace my cumbersome home-PC-tower with a brand new laptop!
Tuesday 16th March - Up early again: 4am. This time I decide to read for an hour and manage to force myself back to sleep. I then get a knock from Steve at 9am and look out of the window - there is a blizzard in full blizzardness (or whatever the term is!) and I wonder if anyone is going to make the playback this evening!
Tommy Vance - who set up the whole playback - has been delayed by said blizzards, defective engines and many more things besides. Once the party starts, everyone asks the same two questions: Are we going to tour America, and is Tom here yet. The answers are yes we are and no sadly he isn't. I sign a few things and talk to lots of people - it always amazes me how far people travel for these things.
At Seven O'clock we begin the play back. As we go from song to song the applause after each track gets louder and louder - this is going down very well! By the time we get to Neverland, Steve's solo get amazing applause and cat whistles. Just after the final note a very cruel thing happens indeed: Tommy Vance walks through the door looking like someone who needs a drink.
To be continued.....