Sweden epilogue…on to Spain!

The day after Twisted played Sweden was pure afterglow. I walked about the streets in Kristianstad, sampled the tasty treats of street vendors and just enjoyed the rare sunny day. To my delight, I spied a big, white box truck bearing the Motorhead logo, parked alongside a matching VW bug. Figuring it was band gear, I snapped a few photos of the logo-emblazened bug and spent the rest of day perusing the shops and sampling baked goods.

Back at our hotel, I had a few moments to chat with Hal Patino of King Diamond–what a great guy! He had his son with him (also a very nice chap!) and he handed me his new prToject, fresh off the press. The name of the band is: Maryann Cotton, the CD is entitled: “Free Falling Angels.” Our hotel had been playing Iron Maiden over their sound system for three continuous days. (With one exception–they played Dee’s Broadway album–not only does it totally rock, but it goes great with bread and cheese–I enjoyed brunch that much more because Dee was playing!)

I asked the staff of the hotel if they were getting royalties from Iron Maiden–not that I minded hearing Flight of Icarus in the elevator, but by the third day….even a total Iron Maiden fan like myself needed a breather. So they popped in Maryann Cotton and we had an impromptu listening party! way cool.

The day got even better from there–I met Mikkey Dee (formerly of King Diamond, now of Motorhead, out on the street–he was showing some fans what was stored in the back of that box truck: two BEAUTIFUL custom Victory motorcycles, each with a portrait of Lemmy on the tank. Fantastic! I first met Mikkey Dee about 20 years ago when King Diamond played “The Living Room” with Armored Saint–he is such a nice guy–I still have the drumstick he handed me from all those years back. What a thrill!

I had a chance to go back to the festival–and I’m so glad I did! I was able to hear Lynryd Skynyrd play a terrific set–and believe it or not, hearing “Freebird” live was on my bucket list! Cross off number #99. So many artists were crowded around backstage to hear them play–it was almost overwhelming to be surrounded by all of the talent concentrated in such a small area.

While I wasn’t able to make it to the second stage in time, I could hear King Diamond’s set. The fans I spoke to told me that his stage was visually amazing (dammit! sorry I missed it!) but I can tell you that it sounded awesome–King played a lot of his old stuff (including Mercyful Fate) and I was so thrilled that he sounded as phenomenal as the show I saw in 1988.

The night ended with Motley Crue closing out the festival bill–it was my first time, believe it or not, seeing them live–and I’m glad that I was able to see them play with their original lineup. (sometimes a rarity these days) I had to catch a ride back to the hotel before it got too late–so I wasn’t able to stay til the end–but I can tell they opened with “Wild Side” and I heard “Shout at the Devil” and “Live wire” before I almost collapsed into the car to go back to the hotel.

The ride the next morning to the airport was a picturesque drive through the countryside–it could have easily been mistaken for the American midwest, except for the windmill farms dotting the landscape. What a beautiful country full of friendly people and great rock and roll.

And now…on to Spain, my babies!


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