Backstage with Baldy

Rome – July 2nd

Although we spent the first half of the day in airports and on a plane getting there, we technically had a day off in Rome.

I hadn’t been in my room more than 10 minutes after we arrived when the phone rang and Mike told me to meet him and a few crew guys in the lobby, because we were going to Vatican City.

The thing about running around in a foreign city is that of course you want to do it with your friends, but the more people you have in your group, the more problems you have sticking together.

This proved to be the case, as our numbers swelled and the group gathered in the lobby grew to contain all four band members and six of our crew.

That’s a bad start, and we all knew it.

The trouble began before we even left, as no one could seem to decide on whether to take a bus or the train.

Eventually we settled on the train, and that’s when the sightseeing trek became a comedy of errors.

We got to the train station, bought our tickets, and after studying the map, boarded the train.

We got to our first stop and one of our crew guys who had been unwillingly tabbed as the tour guide realized that we were going the wrong way.

We were already split in two separate groups, so he yelled down to the group in the other car to jump off, which they did. Then our group attempted to jump as well, but the door in our car was broken, so we rushed down to the other car just as the doors closed.

Our group of ten had become seven.

We then crossed over to the other side, boarded the next train going in the opposite direction, made it to the next stop, and promptly realized that we were right the first time.

So the seven of us jumped off, made our way back across, and got back on the next train travelling in our original direction.

A few stops later we were at the station where we needed to transfer, so we got off and went to another train, which we boarded and rode for one stop, until we realized we were going in the wrong direction (for real this time).

This realization came late though, so by the time we discovered we needed to jump, there was only time for two of our team to make it before the doors closed, and just like that, our seven had become five.

The remaining five jumped and switched at the next stop, made our way once again to the other side, and a few stops later we were finally where we wanted to be. Almost.

We came out of the train station a couple of blocks away from Vatican City, saw it, and headed toward it.

Except it wasn’t Vatican City, and we were going in the complete opposite direction.

But we spun a 180 and made our way there eventually, and our group of five – William, his tech (who will remain nameless due to the fact that he was the one misreading the map), Mike, Sean, and myself, had an amazing time touring Vatican City.

After an hour or so of gawking and picture taking and the launching of an unsuccessful mission to find the statue of the Patron Saint Of Incorrect Trains, we went to eat.

That’s when our group of five became two, as Sean & I peeled off on our own.

At one point I remarked that this excursion had turned out to be a bit like the movie Alien, where person by person the crew gets whittled down to one, which prompted Sean to say that he figured he’d be in panties and a tank top hurtling back to the hotel on a train as soon as dinner was over.

And that’s how we spent half a day off in Rome.



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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