It has been quite some time since my last update. Life has been so busy the past few months. It seems the holidays never even came. We had a long extensive tour of the states in the fall followed by a crazy snow filled trip to Mammoth, California in the middle of a blizzard. Then after two weeks of home life back out on the road. My poor wife is a blessed soul with amazing patience. I feel like I have only seen her in passing over the last few months. She deserves a medal of honor. My sweet esposa deserves some "normalcy."
After Christmas, The Jacksonville crew loaded up and went out to Orange County for a New Year's show with Tom Curren, Timmy Curran and Sugar Ray. The show was fun. Tom Curren has a strong voice and a very unique style. Timmy brought a full band and has taken an Arcade Fire approach for his new material. Sugar Ray is still Sugar Ray. Timeless...
I was able to spend some time with friends and relax in Anaheim for a few days. Unfortunately it was dreary weather and the surf was flat. Pete and I went over to Brea to record a few tracks with Donavon's bassist Matt Grundy for his second release. Matt's music is amazing! He has a beautiful voice and great songs. Please check out his music. While recording, we had an interesting experience with singer Donnie Vie from the metal band Enuff z Nuff. Quite a character he was. I think there is a lingering documentary in the air.
On January 3rd, we started our Japanese tour. After 14 plus hours of travel, we made it to Tokyo and settled in at the Shibuya Excel for a few days. If you have never been to Japan put it on your bucket list. There are no words to explain what a unique place it is. The food is quite different from your local Japanese Steakhouse. The Ramen is too die for. There a noodle stops everywhere! Oh and about the sashimi, where do I begin? You must have an adventurous appetite to take on the sushi challenge. Among my list of raw randomness is horse, beef liver, chicken liver, beef steak, urchin, tuna, salmon, eels, crustaceans galore and so much other sea life that I could not even name or recognize. I will say the sashimi is so fresh that it actually was alive at the time of our arrival to the restaurants. Hence all the fish that were once swimming in the aquarium/holding tank were missing as we departed. I guess they were still swimming in our bellies. If you are not up for the sushi challenge, there are plenty of McDonald's and Starbuck around. But I hope you like you Big Mac with a fried egg on top.
On the musical side of things, our shows were wonderful. Japanese fans are very respectful and have a great love for the music. Our Japanese fans really yearn for the American sound and beach lifestyle that accompanies Donavon's music. The crew at Smash Productions treat us like kings and hold our hands every step of the way. Everything is perfect from transportation to production. Our backline instruments are always perfect. The stage is set when we arrive. Not to mention they have us sorted with a great spread of snacks and amenities. I definitely feel like a rock star with all the posh treatment.
We had five shows in total in Japan. We travel to and fro by Bullet trains. It's quite an experience to see the beautiful countryside at 200 plus mile per hour. Smooth as glass! It feels like you are hovering above the ground and traveling on air. The train stations are quite hectic and confusing. If you can't speak of read the language you best get a guide or you may end up in China.
With the help of a few friends and the Japanese Billabong crew we were able to get in the frigid surf. I surfed North and South Chiba on two occasions. The beaches are beautiful and the water in emerald green but very cold during winter. Japanese surfers really live the lifestyle and got to extreme lengths to get out into the water. It's a very expensive hobby in Japan. Boards are upwards of $1500.oo Wetsuits are a must and will set you back about $600.00. Not to mention the expense of the toll roads from the cities to reach the beach. I was told our round trip from Tokyo to Chiba after fuel and tolls was close to $200.00. That's determination!
After 10 days of Japan, we headed back to good old Florida for 12 days of relaxation before our next tour to Brazil. It was nice to be home with my beautiful wife and visit with family and friends. I had a chance to torture a few of my very patient students. Oh yeah and catch up on much needed housework. The one thing I forget when I am out touring the world is life at home still exists. Bills, Broken Heaters, Yard work and the list goes on and on. Unfortunately I can't escape those things.
Well my fingers are bleeding from my babbling blogging. I have very poor typing skills. I call it the "hunt and peck" method. I guess I should have paid attention during those typing classes. Take care and Happy 2011!