RUSSIA – GLOBAL WARMING TOUR Jan 27TH-Feb 9TH 2007
St. Petersburg (Decadance)
St. Petersburg (Maina)
Barcelona, 6:23 AM
“prop plane”. It was a text message from Brady, our bass player. I had had to put him on a earlier flight from Barcelona to Zurich where he would meet us for the second leg to Moscow. Rough weather had been predicted and Brady was prone to panic-stricken episodes. I got a second SMS at about 8:30 at the Barcelona Airport that read, “still waiting for my balls to come down out of my stomach.” Thus began our winter, Russian tour. I knew that Napoleon and Hitler had fallen prey to the notorious, Russian winter but I figured that with global temperatures on the rise, Brazzaville might fare somewhat better.
We were met at Domodedovo Airport by Vanya, our beloved tour manager from our summer 2006 tour. He is a 25 year old student of history from St. Petersburg. He has been to virtually every city in Russia and knows more about them than any other person I’ve ever met. When we were planning the tour he told me that the roads around Saratov are practically impassable so our only options for getting to Kazan or Nizhniy Novgorod were train or plane. Anyway, he was there waiting for us when we got off the plane. With him was Alexander, the promoter from Saratov. We exchanged hugs and quickly left to find the plane to Saratov. Along the way we had to pass through an X-Ray. It was much faster than the traditional security methods. We were able to look at our x-rays on the screen after we passed though. We all marveled at the things in our pockets, the fact that you could see our penises etc. Paco was the last to pass through. He must have moved in a odd way right as the x-ray was taken, because he ended up looking like an alien with long flippers instead of arms and hands. We were all laughing
and even the stern, Russian woman at the screen cracked a smile. Then she said to Paco (in Russian) “Go away from here you strange man.”
We have been on many internal, Russian flights so none of us were surprised by the state of the plane we boarded to take us to Saratov. The seats were all about 8 inches off the floor. The interior of the plane appeared to have been painted with house paint. The toilet seat was square and made of wood. The plane itself shuddered and spat like my 73 Chevy Nova that I used to drive back in L. A.
When we arrived in Saratov, we were loaded into a van and driven past the city and into what looked like a stange, deserted village, complete with dirt roads and mean looking dogs. It was quite late at night by this time. We pulled up outside what looked like a warehouse. There were no lights on inside. “Where the hell are we, Vanya?” I said. “I have no idea.” “Is this Saratov?” “No”. “Tell them we’re not going to stay here.”
Vanya passed on the message and after much driving and waiting they took us to a nice hotel in town, right next to the Volga. The following day we walked around the city. It was quite beautiful with lots of wooden houses and friendly people. The club, bizarrely named, The Nega Project, turned out to be very nice with a great sound system. The show was wonderful. We got a big crowd of really enthusiastic fans. After the show, Alexander asked us to come to another club to eat with the sponsor, who was the owner of a bank.