Monday, May 31, 2010

25 Years Ago Right Now

Thanks to Tour Manager Doug's extremely organized database, Umlaut was reminded that 25 years ago RIGHT NOW Slayer had just started their debut European Tour. Yes, Tour Manager Doug was on that original Slayer crew... and much blood was spilled... among other things.

"Doug's Big Adventure" is the stuff of legend... but a story best left for another time (or just keep reading this post...).

Poster for Groningen, Holland - June 1, 1985
(From the Tour Manager Doug Archives)

Meanwhile, here in the 21st Century: Tour Manager Doug is currently back in Europe again and about to start yet another European Tour with his current band. In another mind-boggling example of how The Rock Godz work in mysterious ways, check out this story from a couple of days ago... HOLY SHIT this is a GOOD ONE!

Submitted by Tour Manager Doug:

After the band rehearsed in Amsterdam a few nights ago, I stayed at the venue for a couple extra hours trying to get caught up on some paperwork and ahead of the game with some other stuff. When I was ready to head back to the hotel, one of the runners was assigned the task of getting me there.

We were making small talk on the drive and he mentioned that he was driving me because he lives farther away than the other runners, so he was heading home after he dropped me off. The night before, I had gone to dinner with some friends, and because of its 25th anniversary, talk had turned to the first Slayer tour, which of course reminded me of stories of Poperinge, Eindhoven, Copenhagen, London, Amsterdam and the legendary (for me) Ritterkirk, so when the driver mentioned that he said he lived in the south, near Rotterdam, I asked if he had heard of a place called Ritterkirk, which he said was close to his home.

I didn't say anything else, and we drove silently for a couple more miles. Then, out of the blue, he said:

Driver - Do you like Heavy Metal?

Me - Um, yeah, I do. (for the record, I was wearing nothing, and had said nothing, that would identify me as either a past, present, or future Metalhead)

Driver - Ritterkirk (he paused after he said the name of the town, obviously thinking about days gone by)... Do you know that Slayer played there many years ago?

Me - (playing dumb) Really? Cool.

Driver - Oh yes, it was in a small club, maybe 500 people.

Me - Wow.

Driver - They were very very good... (proudly) I was at that show.

Me - Wow, really? That's pretty cool. (still playing dumb)

Driver - That is a very famous show.

Me - Really? Why?

Driver - Yes, it was from that show one of Slayer's roadies got drunk and tried to hitchhike back to Los Angeles.

Me - (laughing out loud) Really?! No way!

Driver - Yes he did, it actually happened.

Me - Well, actually... That guy was hitchhiking to Amsterdam, not to Los Angeles, the story has been told wrong from the very beginning.

Driver - (confused look on his face)

Me - When he was asked what he would have done if he hadn't hooked up with the band at the next show...

Driver - (listening wide-eyed, trying to look at me in the passenger seat, and keep his eyes on the road at the same time)...

Me - ...I said that I would have flown home to L.A. because since I had all of the band's money with me I could have easily bought a ticket. That was combined with the fact that I had been attempting to hitchhike to Amsterdam when the police told me it was illegal. So I had taken a train instead, then Metal Mike printed it in Aardschok, and it became the truth. But, I was never standing on the highway with a sign that said "Los Angeles".. I was going to Amsterdam.

Driver - You are not...?

Me - Yep, that guy was me and, I wasn't drunk, I was stoned out of my mind on hash.

Driver - Oh my god.

Me - It was all Dave's fault. And K.J.'s for going home with Metal Mike and taking the keys to our van with him.
(Umlaut Note: Dave = Dave Lombardo... K.J. = K.J. Doughton..)

Driver - Oh my god! You are famous! Oh my god! I can't believe you are in my van!

Me - We all refer to that story as "Doug's Big Adventure", and now you are a part of it.

Driver - Oh my god.

Then we got to the hotel. And I went to my room to get some more work done.

... and 25 years of Old Metal came full circle just... like... that! Fucking amazing, right?