Neal Morse, Summer 2009; Day 1 – Fly To The Netherlands

My tour started as most tours start… at the airport. However, most tours don’t start at the wrong terminal of the airport… woops! I’m so used to flying from the same terminal of London Gatwick that I didn’t notice that they’ve change terminal for some of their flights. Not to worry… a short ride on a monorail and all was well. I got to the check-in desk and the lady gave me the news that my bag was 24KG – I would have to pay excess baggage. I said that I would transfer some things from my case to my hand luggage (a guitar gig bag, which can carry 2 guitars)… I asked her how much I was allowed and she replied 20KG, so I asked her if 21 would be OK! With a smile she accepted my offer and so I set about taking out a couple of heavy effects pedals from my case. I weighed the case again and the screen said 21.8KG – I asked her if that would be OK and, with another smile, she agreed :o)

When I arrived in Amsterdam I transferred everything to my suitcase from my now unfeasibly heavy guitar case (there were already several heavy pedals in there before I transferred the additional 2 at the check-in desk). Then I caught the train to Ede – Collin and Jessica’s town, where rehearsals for the coming Neal Morse shows where due to start the following day.

When I got off the train, I saw Collin walking towards me down the platform – it was great to see him after a year and, after exchanging greetings, we left the station to head back to his house. I’d had various e-mail and SMS exchanges with Collin throughout the day and in his last e-mail before I left my house, he’d mentioned about coming to pick me up on a bike, with another bike for me to ride to his house on. I replied to the e-mail commenting that I thought this joke was funny and, just in case he was serious, I told him just how heavy my luggage was going to be. Whilst we were walking down the platform, I asked Collin if we were walking back. He reply, “No, I’ve got bikes”. Again, I pointed out just how heavy the suitcase (that he was now pulling along the platform) was, and he told me that he would simply ride with it on his handle bars! Sure enough, Collin manage to balance on his pushbike handle bars what Easyjet wouldn’t allow onto a Boeing passenger jet… we rode to Collin and Jessica’s house just had Collin had planned!

That Collin cooked us a great meal of pasta and fish, followed by a trip to the supermarket for beer and ice-cream. Jessica returned home from teaching and we spent the evening catching up… It’s good to be back in Holland.

Collin models his new signature drum sticks

For exclusive content please join Paul in his Patreon Community