The Eagle Has Landed! Tuesday afternoon September 5, 2017, at around 6pm, The Rolling Stones flew from London UK into Hamburg Germany with their special tour plane, ready to start their No Filter Tour. On my own account, I had planned for being in Hamburg from Wednesday and on, in case there were a couple of soundcheck and dress rehearsals there. So when I got the news about the Stones had landed late Tuesday, I did know I would not loose anything important arriving next day.
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London UK is the city I have been to most times away from home. My first trip to see the Stones live in London was in 1982, two shows at Wembley Stadium that summer. Since then I returned to see every single performance by The Rolling Stones in London, as well as in UK; also many solo appearences by the band members, including Ian Stewart, Bill Wyman, Mick Taylor, Charlie Watts and Ronnie Wood. I could write a book about my London Stones travels, including sleeping in the streets for club shows, may be later. This is just a quick tribute from my travels this year.
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The Rolling Stones do always prepare for a new tour by rehearsing songs, stage arrangements and so on. They might pop up for a guest spot on a song or two outside the Stones, outside touring, but it would be very rare for The Rolling Stones to play a one-off show outside tours, without rehearsing first. Personally I do believe the rehearsals are private, not for the public. Still, there is a lot of interest in these rehearsals. I will try to comment on the rehersals without becoming a “reporter”. It is a fine line between reporting and stalking so please be patient with me on the subject. Many parts of the rehearsals are private, still I will try to explain a bit, so that fans may get some satisfaction… Picture on the top of these pages: Fans from Argentina flying in with hopes to see their favorite band at the rehearsals in London. With success…
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Norway is clearly defined by four seasons climate wise. Some say the summer is the best part of the year, others live for the winters. Spring and autumn bridge these extreme times of the year. Personally I love all the four seasons. Still, it is in the summer you are able to explore most of our remarkable and beautiful country. The past two summers of 2016 and 2017 there were no tours with The Rolling Stones, unlike 2013, 2014, 2015, when I was away from home touring, so I did realy enjoy summertime in Norway this year as well as last year.
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The Rolling Stones were booked for two shows in Las Vegas on Wednesday October 19 and Saturday October 22, 2016. This was a short “mini-tour” of four public shows, plus a couple of corporate/private shows, not available to the public. The Las Vegas crowd is very different from any other crowd in a city in USA, or any other country, as most of the fans travel into Las Vegas, not just from nearby, but from all over USA. For these two Stones shows, there would be fans coming in from all over the world.
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Coming from Palm Springs California into Las Vegas Nevada was a bad experience for me. I had enjoyed every minute in Palm Springs of friendly service, fresh air, mountains close up, and numerous outdooon dining places including Mexican food which I love. Also, most of all the peace and quiet. You could walk or run for an hour or two in Palm Springs, not much traffic, not many traffic lights. I arrived into Las Vegas and had no hotel. The plan was to get a car and drive to Grand Canyon for a couple of days, but I changed last minute. Don’t like driving a car, don’t like to spend extra money on sights when I already spend a lot of money on Stones touring. So I booked two nights at the Tropicana…
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Desert Trip #1 was great, but I was stuck in the middle of nowhere, at my hotel in Indio. My good friend Jim had taken me from Los Angeles to Indio, but with the first of two concert week-ends being over, I was loking for a nicer place to stay for the coming week. It seemed like Palm Springs was the place to be, and I planned for the Days Inn hotel, they had cheap rooms with balconies, and the mountains were right next to the city center.
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There had been talks about The Rolling Stones playing the Coachella festival for some time. What we did get was not the actual Coachella festival in the spring, but a new event called “Desert Trip” during October 2016, at the same site as the Coachella festival, with six mega-acts on the same bill: The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Paul McCartney, Neil Young, The Who and Roger Waters.
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The summer of 2016 was my first summer back home in Norway since 2012. The Rolling Stones were on tour in North America and UK in 2013, Europe 2014 and North America 2015. Add travels to Asia, two times to Australia and New Zealand, and the great Latin America tour, including Cuba, it has been four great years with around one hundred Stones shows, rehearsals, meeting friends on all continents, but still one important part missing in my life. Summer in Norway!
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The band a-ha is the best selling band from Norway. They sold out Maracana in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil with 200,000 fans once, they have a large following from worldwide fans, and they are right on my doorstep at home in Norway. They did their farewell tour late 2010, and I saw the three final shows in Oslo Spektrum then. It was real farewell shows, many tears from the superfans, great shows. Now they have returned for another 2015/2016 tour, and I was able to catch up with their three shows in Oslo during the four days from Saturday April 30 to Tuesday May 3, 2016.
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