Backstage with Baldy

Mexico City – October 5th

You have to take the good with the bad.

I can’t keep proclaiming over and over again how much I like things happening for the first time out here without acknowledging that not every first is positive.

So with that being said, I got oil spotted at the Mexico City International Airport.

What is oil spotting?

It’s tour lingo for being left behind. Usually it happens at truck stops in the middle of the night when someone gets off of the bus to go in, and the driver and anyone else awake thinks everyone is in their bunks and takes off.

Or in my case, it happens at the airport when you’re the last member of your travelling party to exit baggage claim and you get stopped and “randomly” chosen for extra security screening.

Let’s see, I work for a rock band, that band happens to be Alice In Chains, and we’re arriving from Peru.

Sure. Random.

So after sending all of my stuff through the x-ray machine, pulling it all off to the side to be gone through by hand, and having the drug sniffing dog come around for the third time and practically hump my leg in anticipation of finding something, I was found to be clean and sent on my way.

Only to be abandoned by the band and crew.

In their defense, I was a victim of the old “I thought he was with you” excuse, which was actually valid since there were two vans, and the occupants of each van thought I was with the other group.

And if you’re going to get oil spotted, it’s way better to have it happen at an airport in mid-afternoon than at a truck stop at four A.M.

But it still took over an hour of standing in the currency exchange line and the taxi queue before I finally got in a cab and was on my way.

So I was pissed. And everyone knew it.

It turns out that people are nice to you when they know you’re irate over being oil spotted. It’s similar to having a birthday. It happens to everyone, but most of the people you work with don’t know about it, so when they find out they treat you extra nice for a day.

Everyone I saw at the hotel either hugged me or expressed their sympathy.

I even got a free dinner out of it (Thanks Chuck).

So that’s how Mexico City started for me.

It ended with the final sold out show of this South American run, and as expected, it was another massive triumph.

Something awesome is happening on this half of the equator.

The fans have been as impassioned and fanatical as anywhere we’ve ever been.

To pop the cork and end this South American drought by finally booking a proper tour down here has been an epiphany.

It’s too bad it took so long, but it was well worth the wait, and I’m really looking forward to coming back.

And so this run comes to an end.

For you statistic freaks out there, it’s been:

9 weeks away from home

32 shows played

7 countries visited

25,000 miles on buses & planes

260,000 fans

2 airport clowns


1 tired bald dude


See you in Las Vegas…


Backstage With Baldy

Bethlehem – August 16th

The last day of any tour is always a little extra hectic. You’re clearing everything off of the bus, dealing with travel plans to get everyone home, making sure gear is going to the right place, and on top of...

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