i am sitting in a hotel room in Kansas City… the concert in St.Louis was cancelled and we are on our way to Boulder, Colorado… while riding the tourbus from Atlanta to Kansas City i achieved a new high-score on the Gameboy version of TETRIS: 610,063 points!!!! could this be a world record? has anybody ever had a higher score??? inquiring minds want to know… a little after midnight we will set out for Boulder which we hope to reach by tomorrow afternoon, then Thursday evening off, Friday off and the last show of this tour on Saturday evening…

Date: Mon, 20 Jan 1997 15:24:53 -0600
Mime-Version: 1.0
To: lunanegra@nets.com
From: Nintendo Nintendo
Subject: TETRIS/GameBoy -Reply

Hi there.

It’s the highest one that I’ve ever heard of, but since we don’t keep track of high scores, I can’t tell you if it’s the highest ever.

Nintendo of America Inc.
Jerry Casper

Atlanta, GA – how to get a room

a day off… i wake up on the bus in front of the hotel in Atlanta… i find Bondo in the hotel lobby, his hair ascew (aka “bushead”), wearing black shorts and one of his three Oakland Raiders “Hostetler” shirts… he sits in the lobby, waiting for our rooms to be ready, drinking coffee and reading McNews (USA Today)… i ask him how he always gets our rooms so early – often between 8 and 9 am!!! “A good Production Manager has lotsa tricks”, he says, sipping coffee, “I saw this guy on a tour once who was waiting for his room at a very nice hotel in New York. The receptionist had told him his room wasn’t ready yet and he waited a while and then, when the rooms were still not ready, he walked up to the reception, took his shoe of and put it on the desk. The receptionist looked up and the guy asked wether the room was ready. The answer was no, and he then took off the other shoe and placed it next to the first one. Next the socks came off one by one and the guy declared that the rest would come off as well, if he didn’t get his room key right away.” wow, that’s determination…what happened, Bondo? “Take a wild guess” Bondo says and unfolds the sports section of McNews…

it’s our first cold fall day here in Atlanta… i practise guitar and work on a couple of new pieces for tomorrow night, since we have done the “Opium” show in Atlanta already in April…

Jacksonville, FL

the Florida Theater is our first headlining show since Greece… luckily we get a long soundcheck and can rehearse all the pieces we haven’t played in all the weeks with Santana… tonight i get to use the Midi guitar again…

Jon and i go for lunch to the nearby Riverside Mall and end up searching for a relatively quiet corner where we don’t have to hear the loud music that fills the mall, courtesy of a country music radio station and a P.A. system set up on a stage… why do they force this loud music on everybody… why is our world getting so unbelievably noisy… speaking of noisy, last night we measured the ambient noise on the bus – just the sound of the engine and air conditioning, no music and no talking… Patch guessed that the bus noise was around 45 decibel loud, and i guessed it was around 65 decibel… i pulled out my trusty Radio Shack meter and the noise was in fact around 74 decibel on the “C” scale, 69 decibel on the “A” scale… pretty loud!

we have laws against smoking in many workplaces, restaurants and public places… hm, what about noise abuse?… i mean of course laws aren’t the answer because they would probably police anybody having a little fun singing along to a tune in a car with an open window… i’m just talking about an awareness of the dangerous aspects of noise… and that starts with people designing and manufacturing machines, lawn mowers, trash blowers, cars, trucks and of course buses, and ends with us choosing not to have load music in so many public places… peace

Santana Tour Report #32

Sunrise, Florida: our last day on the Santana tour… we have printed up special black crew t-shirts and swag (free t-shirts) all of Santana’s crew – as is customary… my crew is a little disappointed that they don’t receive any Santana swag in return, this being the FIRST time in over 5 years that the swagging wasn’t reciprocated… during our last set i am having problems with the monitors and i can’t tell wether i am simply going deaf from playing with Santana or wether there is a technical problem… but, we finish the show to a standing ovation… then the last sitting-in with Santana… we’ll miss those guys… the whole band are great musicians… from the great Chester on keyboards to Raul on congas, Karl on timbales, and of course Carlos, all of them very nice people… and we’ll miss all the people that dance at Carlos’ shows, but that’s why it will be fun to tour with LUNA NEGRA XL, the rhumba-phonic, flamenc-o-matic dance band, next year…

Santana Tour Report #31

Sunrise, Florida: Carlos signs the artwork of the Santana band’s triple live-LP Lotus, which i received from my parents for Christmas 1973 or ’74, and which was a major inspiration for me, because up to then i had only studied classical guitar…