Greetings All –
Just finished up this quick European run, so I figured I would share a few more final images, thoughts, reflections, etc.
We had a great time over there. The audiences were warm and receptive, and the band played well. As mentioned, I was over there with Graham Bonnet and Alcatrazz. It was a blast.
Playing aside, it’s the other 22 1/2 hours of the day that are always interesting when on tour, especially in Europe where things are very different.
Still, I always try to maintain some semblance of a normal routine with regard to the diet and exercise aspects of my lifestyle. It’s easy to make a bunch of concessions when on the road, stop training and eat shitty food. But I’ve always found that the road is when it’s most important to try and keep these things rolling so you can better endure all the variables and x-factors: less sleep, heavy travel, climate and time zone changes, being in close quarters with sick, coughing motherfuckers, etc.
As mentioned in my last Europe post, The Ultimate Meal smoothie mix is my absolute savior in foreign travel. I did two, 2-scoop smoothies per day over there, and this represented the bulk of my nutrition. In fact, all of my micronutrients – vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, etc. – were covered quite well just with these smoothies. They also provided me with much of my daily protein requirement (about 64 grams), as well as some super healthy carbs and fats. So all I really needed to concern myself with everything else I ate was simply bulk calories… food items that were more about the macronutrients; carbs and some fat to burn for extra fuel, and about 30+ grams of protein. I achieved this through snacks and typically only one meal per day.
I would snack throughout the day on various vegan sports bars and nuts. I’m not a huge proponent of going ape-shit with the Clif bars and such. But, these can be desperate hours over there, people! So in the context of these two superfoods smoothies per day (and a meal that would likely include some kind of veggies), it was okay. Plus, I had lots of pistachios, almonds and trail mix along the way, and these are all highly nutrient-dense foods.
The one meal was whatever vegan option I could find, usually starches like potatoes, pasta, bread, rice, any kind of beans, and whatever veggies (either cooked or raw) I could get my hands on.
Of course, it was always nice when the venue went out of their way to accommodate me and the singer, Graham (whose been vegetarian for nearly 40 years!). In Holland, they had a chef make us special lasagnas – one vegan, and one vegetarian – with a nice side of cooked veggies. Always appreciated!
Other things about the European cities we went to that are distinctive from life here in the states: one of those toilet bowl scrub brush things sits next to virtually every toilet you see, everywhere you go: truck stops, shitty bars, hotels, motels, doesn’t matter.
These people are serious about keeping their toilets clean. And you never see this nonsense of guys pissing all over the toilet seats and/or not flushing… even in environments where you would expect to see it. A totally different story in the states…
Another thing: In hotels, washcloths are at a premium. Don’t think I saw one anywhere, and we stayed in a couple really nice hotels. Bottled conditioner and even shampoo were fairly scarce, as well.
But then… there’s always a lot of interesting everyday shit to see in Europe. I really enjoyed keeping up with my running while I was there, because I had a chance to see lotsa cool architecture everywhere. You figure, we simply have not been around for nearly as long as they have, which is why you’ll see a lot of killer looking old buildings and such. And, of course, there’s all kinds of nice scenery in general…
Speaking of interesting scenery, you should check out the TV ads that run on many of the stations around Europe in the evening….
Honorable mention, however, must go to the “fans” over there. Very cool, respectful and warm. And it’s always nice when someone shows up with a CD or two, or a book or DVD, or something that you’ve created, and asks you to sign it. It’s the part of the creation equation that we don’t always get to connect the dots on.
Well… let me tell you; At our gig in Germany, this guy named Matt showed up with about 30 – that’s right, thirty! – different CDs that I’ve played on over the years, plus a number of other things like photos, and a couple books I’ve been featured in. He was super cool, and I didn’t mind signing all of that shit for him.
As much as I love the whole process of creating these things, it’s always nice to see, first-hand, that these creations find their way out into the world and are actually meaningful to folks…
All for now –