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KROKUS HAS SPINAL TAP MOMENT:

October 21, 2006

IT’S ONLY ROCK’n’ROLL, BUT I LIKE IT!!!(or “a day in the life of a rock band on tour” )

It’s Friday, October 20th at 9:48PM in Denver/Colorado and my cell phone (Natel) rings in the other room. Glued to the TV for a “must see” show, I ignore it. 10 minutes later it rings again. I ignore it again. My wife Donna is more curious than I and checks who’s number is coming up. She shouts from the other room “it’s a 455 number”. I shout back “it’s an out of state number I do not recognize, most probably a solicitor” and further ignore it.

All day KROKUS was on my mind. Wondered how they were doing on tour. So, as I was laying on the couch, reflecting on life during a commercial break, I started thinking “…hmm, 41 is the country code for Switzerland, 49 is the country code for Germany, could this 45 be a country code of a Scandinavian country in Europe?” KROKUS plays Scandinavia, could it be that the boys in the band are calling me? But then it’s slightly past 6:00 AM in Europe, no way they would be calling at this hour, since they most likely went to bed sometime around 2:00 AM and everyone would be sleeping in the bunk of their tour bus, curtains shut. Oh well, nice thought. Wish them well.

5 minutes later the phone rings again. Same number. This time curiosity gets the best of me and I pick up the phone. On the other end, a voice (that I recognize) says: “Peter, it’s Marc”. To my response: “Wow, great to hear from you” he adds: “Well it’s sort of an emergency. I’m calling from the gas station at the Tuelso Nord exit in Denmark because our tour bus left without me towards the German border. The people here were nice enough to let me borrow the phone, since mine is in the tour bus. Along with everything else including my passport. Even if one of the band members wake up, they will think I’m sleeping in my bunk with curtains closed and won’t wake me up most probably until 1:00 PM. All I have with me is my wallet and that had one of your “Globe Club” business cards in it with your phone number”.

Am I dreaming this or is it for real? Must be real, because they played Friday night in Copenhagen/Denmark and they are slated to play Flensburg/Germany the next day (today). Can’t resist asking how this all happened. Marc explains. The tour bus driver Andrea stops at the Tuelso Nord exit gas station to use the bathroom and to get a cup of coffee. Marc was awake and used the opportunity to step off the bus himself stretching a little, then heading for the bathroom himself, without telling the driver, assuming she would drink the coffee inside the truck stop/gas station (instead the driver took it on board, driving towards the German border). On his way out, Marc was recognized by a couple of KROKUS fans, involving him into a conversation and asking for autographs. Accommodating as he is and focused on his fans, he did not realize at this time that the tour bus had taken off without him.

I assure Marc that the “Globe Club” is the right place and the only phone number he really needs in his wallet, since we work “globally” [Denmark to Denver to Denmark/Germany] and will get a hold of someone or flag the tour bus down, one way or the other. Knowing that I have 3 hours until the bus should hit the border, I get to work. The easiest would have been to get a hold of one of the other band members in the bus. I call them all and leave messages on their voice mails. Don’t have the number for the bus driver (the only one awake!). Next step: International Directory Assistance. After 2 hang-ups and an answering machine message in Danish I look for alternatives. Next step: authorities! I call the German Police Department emergency line in Flensburg (since I have no clue what border in Denmark they could be using), asking them to assist me with a telephone number for the Border Control in Denmark. I figured they could alert their officers to stop a blue Fairline tour bus!

Travelling with the singer’s passport but without him. I call all band members in the bus again, hoping one might hear a ring. In the meantime Marc calls back 2 times, inquiring about my progress while local gas station employees hold him hostage and enjoy having a Rock’n’Roll personality stranded at their usually boring work place (the good part about Marc’s Rock status was that they also let him use the phone to call the USA multiple times – we hope the employer is as understanding when he sees his next phone bill). Marc suggests calling the tour bus office somewhere in Germany for them to get a hold of their driver. Through the Internet I find their web site and since they won’t open until 9:00 AM in the morning, I send an e-mail, hoping someone will show up for work early (does anybody still do that???).

Finally, hours later, our drummer Stefan gets up in the tour bus to use the bathroom and sees a message on his charging cell phone. The bus stops to regroup and recoup from the shock. A solution is found. They let me know that the tour manager will get a rental car and drive back about 350 kilometers to the Tuelso Nord gas station to pick up Marc “the voice” Storace.

As I call back Marc to let him know the good news, I can’t help to think back to 1980 when I immigrated from Switzerland to the USA. Their then Swiss Manager Harry Sprenger visited me in Denver/Colorado and I still can vividly see him in my mind standing in my living room in Denver/Colorado, receiving a collect phone call from a Thommy Kiefer [Thommy Kiefer was a founding member of KROKUS, somewhat of a cult figure for the fans and his 30th anniversary of his passing approaches this Christmas], who was stranded at a gas station somewhere in the good ‘ole USA while the tour bus was gone, headed towards Tennessee for a gig that night. Deja-Vu? WOW!

Whereas in the 80’s for Thommy it definitely was “sex, drugs & rock’n’roll”, for Marc in 2006 it was “coffee, fans & rock’n’roll”. For me, it’s only rock’n’roll, but I like it!!!

Rock On,Peter

Courtesy of www.krokusonline.com

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