Hotel Splendiferous, Venice.
We arrived here around 00.40 by water taxi. Our hotel is some 50 yards from St. Mark's Place. Stunnning. Currently, lighting and drizzle.
21.09 I hit the street around 11.00 this morning for a walk around the area.
Overheard in St. Mark's Piazza, a young American to his pals: "This isn't such a big deal". Right. And I've been to DisneyWorld too.
Then to join Graeme Monitors, Bill Munyon, Pat & MJK Tour Manager on a boat ride around Venice, beginning at 13.15 and returning us to the hotel at 15.15. We landed on the cemetery island and visited the graves of Stravinsky & Diaghalev.
At this hotel I was able to get online via Ethernet connection in the business centre/desk. This takes me backtracking --
Thursday 26th. June: Despondent and despairing at getting online from any hotel along the way, I took my computer into the venue's production office, backstage at the Venice gig - and got AOL access via the server in South Central, LA. Not the local access number. Not England. South Central LA downloaded most of my mail.
On a backstage wall near the production office David, our Production Manager, had put up a map of Europe with the Crimson tour marked on it, city to city, and for Budapest wrote "finish". A finish is my least favourite way of ending: completion & conclusion much better. The Beastly Mastelotto took a sharpie and made a small adjustment -- "Unfinished".
The venue was a permanent tent that looked something like Denver International Airport but without the shopping. The electricity supply was naff and this delayed soundcheck by nearly two hours. The audience were small in number, at 40% capacity the smallest of this tour, but one of the most courteous & supportive. "Small but mighty" to quote The Belewbeloid Tendency.
The performance space was designed to make any possible connection between the audience & performers quite impossible - between the front of stage and front row was a large open space that an orchestra might comfortably occupy. And probably does from time to time. But tonight it was empty, and provided a vast moat of distance. We went on and played, because there wasn't much else we could do. And the show worked. The audience crossed the gap. I didn't see one flash.
Then aprËs-show dinner & the water taxi to Venice.
22.35 E-frenzy at the hotel's Ethernet counter. (The pianist in the bar nearby has just launched into Misty. It would sound even better if the hotel turned off the muzak in the bar area while the pianist is playing. Ah! those years when Errol Garner's Misty was a mainstay of my hotel repertoire). There is a pile of arising e-mail yet to be dealt with, but most of the pressing items are pumped and squernoed. This in from a pal in Vienna --
Sorry to hear about the concert cancelled in Vienna, I had hoped to see KC live at MUSIC PLANET, but perhaps I may make it to Budapest instead.
I forward following message, posted by MUSIC PLANET management on their website, regarding the cancellation of the KC concert. The (quick) translation is mine. I thought it might be of interest to you/management.
About 4 weeks ago Wiesen/Ewald Tatar offered us the act King Crimson for the 18th of June. In spite of concert cancellation due to health issues 2 years ago, competition from the Rolling Stones concert and the short notice offer, we decided to accept this not-quite-so-cheap offer as it was our opinion that the numerous fans of this supergroup have the right to the Vienna performance. With great media-coverage and excellent work from our promo team, pre-sales rose continuously, yet yesterday we received the message that King Crimson does not wish to play in Vienna because their sound system supposedly does not fit on the PLANET MUSIC stage, which is of course made-up nonsense. Our offer to them, to use our excellent MEYER SOUND house P.A. was rejected. We are dealing with a purely arbitrary action from the band and/or their management, who have shown us how unimportant Vienna / Austria is to the international rock/pop community. Shit on that. We apologize to the fans, we will refund the tickets at the corresponding salespoints, and will never again burn our fingers on such highly unserious Management, Agents and Artists.
Muff Sopper PLANET MUSIC
(ORIGINAL GERMAN TEXT PLANET MUSIC)
Vor ca. 4 Wochen wurde uns von Wiesen/Ewald Tatar der Act KING CRIMSON f¸r 18. Juni angeboten. Aufgrund der Konzertabsage der Band aus gesundheitlichen Gr¸nden vor zwei Jahren haben wir uns trotz der Veranstaltungskonkurrenz (Rolling Stones ...) und der Kurzfristigkeit entschieden, das nicht gerade billige Angebot anzunehmen, weil wir der Meinung waren, dass die zahlreichen Fans dieser Supertruppe das Recht auf den Wien-Auftritt h?tten. Mit toller Medienunterst¸tzung und der hervorragenden Arbeit unserer Plakatierer stieg der Vorverkauf st?ndig an, doch gestern erreichte uns die Mitteilung, dass KING CRIMSON nicht in Wien auftreten wollen, weil ihre Ton-Anlage angeblich nicht auf die PLANET MUSIC-B¸hne passt - was nat¸rlich ausgemachter Schwachsinn ist. Das Angebot, unsere hauseigene, hervorragende Meyer-Sound-P.A. zu verwenden, wurde abgelehnt. Es handelt sich also um einen reinen Willk¸rakt der Band bzw. deren Management, der uns vor Augen f¸hrt, wie wenig wichtig Wien bzw. ÷sterreich von der internationalen Rock- und Popszene genommen wird. Darauf geschissen. Wir entschuldigen uns bei den Fans, l?sen die Tickets an den jeweiligen Verkaufsstellen zur¸ck und werden uns nie mehr wieder an solchen h?chst unseri?sen Managements, Agenturen und K¸nstlern die Finger verbrennen. Muff Sopper PLANET MUSIC
This comes under the heading of --
If the record company makes a mistake, the artist pays for it. If the management makes a mistake, the artist pays for it. If the agent makes a mistake, the artist pays for it. If the artist makes a mistake, the artist pays for it.
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