"I AM NOT FEDERAL AGENT JACK BAUER, BUT THIS IS STILL THE LONGEST DAY OF MY LIFE"
Forgive the tonally sporadic nature of the next piece as it is being written at a point when my head is screaming out that its five in the morning and that I’ve been up for verging on 22 hours straight, after only 4 hours sleep, but the clock - oh cruel mocking clock – on my iPhone coolly points out that its only 20.30 local time. The upshot, of course, is that my title is justified. I’m not Jack Bauer (In fact I’m not even Kiefer Sutherland. I’m not even that guy he played in “Flatliners”...) but by the time it reaches midnight tonight I’ll have been in the same day for 29 hours which as far as I know is the longest day of my life (note to self: Idea just conceived on how to make a never ending season of “24” by setting it on a Geo-asynchronous satellite.. On closer inspection it probably doesn’t work but hey).
Anyway I got up at 4, Taxied to Manchester at 5, planed (not even a word...should have just put “took a plane”) it down to Heathrow at 8.30, from where, at about 12.00 (after about 2 hours of doing sweet FA(A...aeroplane pun there...you like?) for about two hours), there was the mother bitch of an 11 hour flight to LA making a trip of about 20 hours. Strait forward stuff really. I got through customs trouble free as I’d been briefed on what not to say. I find it decidedly ironic that on the advert for California on Brit TV (in which coming to California is eluded to sarcastically as being like a job (for instance a man snowboarding says “we have lots of board meetings” stuff like that)) is beautifully capped by Guv’ner Arnie with the line “When can you start?”, yet if you go through customs and you even mention work, or anything that could be construed as work you’re fucked! Royally!
Any way things were already getting good when I got to the baggage carousel at LAX to get my bag and found myself stood next to none other than Billy Boyd (probably best known to all as miniature, hairy footed “Fool of a Took!” Pippin from the Fantasy, Adventure, Hobb-erotic epic “The Lord of the Rings”, though I’m assured he’s been in other stuff too). I would have gotten a picture for you guys but he was with his family. I’m all for badgering a celebrity when they’ve asked for it (like all the ones that will hopefully be at NAMM will have simply by attending at all) but he was with his family just on holiday so I thought I’d best leave it.
Then was the drive from LAX to the Desert Palms Hotel on the corner of Ketella and Harbour (Ooooh don’t I sound all American!?) in Anaheim. Now, I’m not a prejudice person, and I was ready have all my preconceptions of this lovely place smashed to pieces, but when your transport is driven an underpaid Mexican fellow and the first Hummer driver you see is wearing a truckers hat, Ray-Bans and actually has no top on, it’s pretty hard. I don’t mean this offensively; it’s natural that there be some adherence to stereotypes, because enough people have to be like that for it to be a stereotype at all. And California of all places is probably one to be cliché heavy. Anyway, I digress.
Reached my hotel did all the important-but-not-so-interesting stuff (unpacking, washing, obtaining the internet to make this blog even possible at all etc.), then went out for my first meal on American soil at a rib house, which I believe is part of a chain, called “Toni Roma’s”. Here I gained two things. Firstly, a new level of understanding as to the obesity problem out here (again, not meant offensively, undeniably there is an issue with it, same as Britain, and much of Europe. Every where’s fat!) as my portions were fucking huge! I had about 3 pints of Pepsi, the second two being brought to me free of charge and without my asking, one side of a pig and an entire cow’s arse. And side dishes. The second thing I gained is a new level of respect for size, like, 1/0 models out here. It must take effort to constantly refuse food that is vended out so willynillily (is that a word?), an effort worth noting. Oh and heart burn. Three things I gained.
And so now I am about to take myself to bed, full stomached, heavy eyed and empty headed (neither time nor sleep shall change that last one I’m afraid). I hope you enjoyed what will hopefully be the lowest quality blog of the bunch (as I said it’s written off the back of some brain cripplingly bad jet-lag) and I hope you feel compelled enough to read on. For those who thought “what the fuck is this bollocks and why have I just wasted 15 minutes of my life reading it” I have this: Wise words.
I should add a note to the end that the actual music related part of this set of blogs will commence in the blog after next as it is not until the day after tomorrow (UNIVERSAL STUDIOS!!) when I will be helping set up the convention booth, that anything to even do with the convention begins. Feel free to skip the next one and strait to a good bit instead of struggling through 800 words of excited tourist shite! Cheers!