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QueenOnline on Tour: Notes From The Road Part 8

A comment was made on Facebook about the previous blog that I just uploaded (Part 7), and it was a fair one, that more details on the backstage arrangements, the stage and pre-show rituals would be of interest rather than my personal insights. Maybe I have fallen foul to my own press? 

Just to be clear though, as I am sure most of you understand, there are certain things that I can't talk about or take photos of back here, yes, I have unprecedented access, but I also respect people's privacy, security, space and that they have jobs to do. However, with that on board I can offer up this hasty follow up...and it's proved quote a interesting one too, it's all about timing.

I am currently eating a banana so I thought this insight apt; Catering for the crew is generally self-service breakfast, lunch and dinner, sometimes breakfast can be at the hotel, but for most it is at the venue and served from about 6 - 9pm depending on the get in time for the show. The breakfast menu does not change dramatically from venue to venue; cereals, lots of fruit, a pastry selection, muffins, eggs of some description and bacon, always bacon. Lunch sees the catering room retain the cakes and fruits, plus cold meat cuts, cheese, salad bread and sides, plus a couple of hot plates, today in Winnipeg, for example, it was chilli, pulled pork, rice and fillings for nachos. Cookies and candy normally pop up as treats around this time too. Dinner can be anything really, but soup often appears as a starter, plus plenty of carbohydrates are on offer in pasta and potatoes. During the whole day you can pop in and take fruit, drinks and biscuits.

As I am writing this sound check has commenced. Adam has run over some lines from Bohemian Rhapsody with accompaniment from Spike, Brian revving up the Red Special has just followed this up and he is currently cranking out the intro to Fat Bottomed Girls. I'm popping out there to see what is going on...

Back again. The whole second stage is set up ready for a run through, Pete is tuning guitars side of stage and Neil's bass tech Steve is attending the stand up bass. In the arena the final chairs are being arranged and aisles are being swept and some attention is being given to the Q tail walkway by Stage Manager Jim and a carpenter, lights are continually flashing on and off in no particular sequence. They must have been testing the dry ice too, that or they have lifted the smoking ban.

I saw Roger in his dressing room on my way back to the Production Office and I went in to say hello having not managed to see him properly so far, we had a quick chat and both agreed on how warm the Chicago crowd was. "I hope they are all like that!" he commented.

As he does everyday, the nicest man on tour, Neil, has popped in before his soundcheck to say hi. Neil is a huge Queen fan and also used to play in a Pink Floyd tribute band. After the Chicago show we sat around briefly discussing our favourite deep cuts from the Queen catalogue. He went with 'Spread Your Wings' and I opted for 'You and I'. Both Deaky tracks funnily enough.

OK, this time I REALLY need to go, we are just under four hours from showtime and I have a guest list meeting to attend with the Tour Manager.

See you down the front Winnipeg!

Nick

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