Around midnight Air Canada delivers all of our luggage to the hotel in Victoria, all 14 pieces. Look on the bright side of life…..also, after having watched some of the BET Jazz Programs on TV in the hotel in DC I think it was a good thing that the taping of the show was cancelled. It seems to me that the production values of BET’s Jazz shows are nowhere near the ones of Sessions at West 54th or the Canadian Bravo! show.

Don Cox, the upright bassplayer of the band that opens for us tonight is lending Jon one of his 2 acoustic upright basses. When we offer him money he turns it down insisting that he simply wants to help a fellow bass player! Well, thank you so much Don because without you I would have had to perform with a bass-less trio!!

Our show in Victoria is sold out and it’s great to finally make music instead of travelling and travelling……..Unfortunately it can only get worse from here because I doubt we’ll be able to find another upright bass to borrow…and we still haven’t received the electric fretless bassguitar…

Flying with Equipment

At first the woman at the Air Canada check-in at the National airport in DC at 8:30am tells us there is no way our luggage will fit on their plane. But it does and we arrive in Toronto on schedule only to find Canada’s slowest but very friendly bureaucrat issuing our work visas which of course results in us missing our connecting flight. But there is another flight to Vancouver an hour later at 2:15 post meridian and – maybe our luck is changing – Air Canada surprises us with Executive Class seats for everybody and we can stretch out and catch some sleep….only to discover in Vancouver that all of our luggage was left behind in Toronto…..

We file a claim for 14 pieces of luggage and climb on the chartered bus that takes us to the ferry from Vancouver to Victoria and to our hotel….That’s truly a beautiful ferry ride, this journey from Vancouver to Victoria!!

At the hotel n Victoria we discover that the electric bass guitar that was sent via FedEx from Santa Fe on Friday has not arrived at the hotel where we were supposed to find it today!!! Probably held up in Customs! Everything is going wrong for us on this tour. Mark says that we haven’t had any bad travel luck in 10 years and maybe it was time to pay some dues…

Interesting fact: Dan starts whistling a happy tune when he feels the need to smoke but can’t. Jon tells me that once on a flight back from Australia Dan woke up 5 hours before arriving in L.A. and whistled the whole remaining 5 hours…. : )

Upright Bass

We all meet @ 6:30am at our office and leave for the airport in ABQ. Today’s flights will take us to Dallas and from there to Washington DC. We arrive in DC around 6pm and find out that we have no transportation because our appearance on BET was cancelled while we were in the air today (it’s a long story which can’t be told at this time). After confirming our hotel reservations KA arranges to get 3 station wagon taxis to take us from the airport to the hotel.

Half hour after arriving at the hotel we get a phone call from Jon, whose 105 year old German upright acoustic bass was severely damaged by Delta Airlines. The top of the neck and scroll was totally snapped off! Judging from the damage on the flight case the whole case was toppelled over and dropped. Now we’ll have to send the bass home for repair and he’ll have to use his electric fretless bassguitar without rehearsal on Sunday in Victoria, Canada……after another big haul from DC to Vancouver tomorrow….p>

Anyway today on the tube there was a rerun of last year’s MTV awards – hadn’t seen it before – and who was the first person KORN thanked after receiving their video award???? Al Masocco!! The former Epic product manager who worked all of my albums since 1991 and all of Korns albums as well and also my favorite record company person in the world.

Free Music

MP3….Napster…Gnutella…music being made available on the net for free… lawsuits from the Major Record Labels and Metallica…people screaming that all music should be free….Hm, one thought comes to mind: I would gladly make all of my music available for free IF I could get food for free and I could get free housing, free gas for my car etc…That reminds me of the movie “The Red Violin” and of the musicians who audition in front of the rich in order to get a position as court composer. Decent living probably, but I would have a hard time writing songs in praise of the boss and his court… : )

Record Stores

Everybody is talking about the demise of the record store. I have different thoughts on real versus virtual shopping. Some people seem to believe we want to live our entire lives in our homes, ordering food on the Internet to be delivered, ordering clothes, books and music CDs to be delivered etc.

I for one don’t like to stay at home all of the time. I like the stimulus of being in a different environment, being amongst people. I believe the nature of the record store will change as it won’t be necessary to have 1000s of CDs in stock anymore. A new record store could be quite small and the emphasis of the store might become it’s environment and the service that a real salesperson might provide.

Imagine this: you walk into a store that has a beautiful lounge interior where you sit down and check a screen beside the chair for the latest music, a list of suggestions which an in-house critic/reviewer has compiled for you. You can call up any of the suggestions and listen on headphones. You can talk to the critic/reviewer and exchange opinions. Maybe you are offered refreshments while you browse. If you want to purchase some of the music it can be put on a CD or other medium within minutes or maybe you will have it delivered to your home later – no need to carry around a plastic bag with 10 CDs. Maybe the record store will combine with a teahouse and will offer some refreshments while you check the new music listings, maybe it will also sell or rent movies, books, even stereos and such…..

Sounds good to me! But will retail be able to change their focus from attracting shoppers with competitive prices, and consequently underpaying sales personnel which results in bad service, to attracting shoppers with great service.