July 2008: Kiev, London, NYC and Quebec from Brian
now wasn't I just asking today on Brian's thread at Paul's webby why we haven't heard from Brian? just got this email~
Just got back from our show in Quebec, a free show for nearly 300,000 people celebrating 400 years of independence. It was quite a sight.. The streets around the Hotel and the streets of the city were filled to the top with people anticipating Paul's arrival there. The local constabulary had to disperse the fans from every possible entrance in advance of our police escort speeding us into the garage of the castle-like Fontenac Hotel.. But hang on...
Our big show in Kiev!
Let's back up because I haven't had time to write all of you since our other BIG show in Kiev in the Ukraine, I've just been sooo busy. So, last we met we just finished the show in Liverpool, right? So, we went back to the south of England to rehearse for Kiev.. 4 beautiful days at Paul's country spot there.
Pulled over by the Ukrainian cops
...We flew into Kiev the day before the show. At dinner on the terrace I met some locals who invited me out for a drive around their city.. and as an ambassador of my own fair city, how could I refuse? It was great until Katya took an illegal left right in front of the cops!! Yeah, so they pulled the 4 of us over and took Katya into the back of the police car to question her.. and closed the door! That would be a lawsuit here!! Anyway, she told them she was showing Paul McCartney's guitarist around.. they insisted she was drunk and demanded 100 Euros!! Wow... so THAT'S how it's done there? Ah, but what a gorgeous city .. and what nice people
Show day - it was POURING.. I mean BUCKETS..
The next day was show day.. woke up to a nice but cloudy day.. Well, pretty soon it started raining... then lightening, thunder and then it was POURING.. I mean BUCKETS.. for an outdoor show with 350,000 expected to show up! The rain stopped for our soundcheck after we postponed it. We all hoped we would have a clear night..
It poured even more. Sheets of rain, more than we had ever seen. Our trailer was almost floating away as Paul calmly continued to learn Ukrainian in the dining/hang out area.. We were all awaiting news of cancellation.. it never came. We walked with umbrellas to a drenched stage and started the show. The people couldn't believe it.. HE'S here!No one left... soon, after about 6 songs the rain slowed.. then it stopped.
The crowd was ecstatic, hearing these songs live for the first time... Wow.. I'll never forget their spirit, standing in the rain, lightning and thunder over us all, not giving an inch of their standing space.. Beautiful!!
Recording in London with a French rock icon
After Kiev I returned to London to begin recording a new CD for Johnny Hallyday, French Rock icon.. A first, I thought the schedule of 12 days, 10 hours a day, no days off was going to be a drag.. By the second day we were all having the time of our life.. great players, great songs and producer, great food and tons of laughs.
And finally... on to beautiful Quebec
So, shoot forward to Quebec... after rehearsing in London we flew to NYC... [105 degrees!!] As the motorcade slithered into the parking garage and we took the backdoors and service elevators to our rooms we looked out over the beautiful Quebec City.. Show day, NO RAIN!! ahhhhhh, nice!
In the Field of Abraham where the French fought for and gained their independence, one certain Englishman returned to sing for them.. As far as you could see there were people.. faces behind the stage for a mile, watching us on another big screen.. and in the nearby city squares and parks as well.. Paul McCartney sang 37 songs, not even counting some segues and impromptu jams... 3 hours. We had a terrific time, thanks to Canada. I LOVE it up there.
No more hyphen for brianray.com!!
Here's some news for y'all. My website, soon to be re-imagined, is now under a new domain name.. brianray.com. That's right... no hyphen!! Yeah, I had to work a deal with a certain fellow who was sitting on it but it's mine now.. I'll return to recording my next record soon with my new home studio almost ready to plug in.
Ok, so that's a LOT.. Sorry to go on and on. Next time I won't wait so long to update my friends.
Wishing you the best summer EVER!!
Nice one Brian so you almost got busted in Kiev, huh? what a freakin life you lead Mister!!