It is August and my wife Les and I are enjoying being home again, for a short while. The US Tour was arduous (not that I can complain too much, that would be churlish) but very satisfying in a number of ways, not the least of which was the backstage atmosphere between the bands.
A week or so into the tour, in Atlanta, Ronnie Dio looked around one night and noticed the ubiquitous crew 'uniform' of black T-shirts set off by black jeans, and decided that some colour was needed. The result was 'Hawaiian Night' - an informal celebration backstage during and after the show, at which many of the bands and crew wore the appropriate shirts or, if they hadn't had time to shop, whatever they could find (we managed to find Hawaiian shirts at a truck stop, in between the tacky hood ornaments and country and western cassettes). Ian Gillan wore pineapples and a ballet dancer's tutu (unless you see the picture you can't possibly imagine it!).
This in turn led The Scorpions to have a 'German Night' in Milwaukee, where else? An Oktoberfest-style beer tent was set up complete with beer, sausages, and brass band music. Our hosts looked resplendent in their lederhosen and feathered hats. Don Airey made a wonderful impression on our hosts (and everyone else) but taste dictates that I can't tell you how. In Concord, California, our contribution to what had now become a tradition was 'Mexican Night' at our backstage version of Rosa's Cantina - margaritas, spicy food, big hats, ponchos, and most importantly a Mariachi band, giving the proceedings the requisite atmosphere for a grand party, in some ways celebrating the end of a unique tour.
I am setting up my own web site and maybe I will put these and other photographs up for view. These nights, together with the surprise party that Wendy threw for Ronnie's birthday, gave the entire tour a very welcome respite from the routine that can sometimes befall tours. Three bands, pumping out their best on stage and reaffirming old friendships backstage. Forty one dates, all accomplished. One of the best tours of the summer. And our old friend Joe Satriani came and jammed with us in Reno, what a bonus! My personal favourite memory is of the line of enormous red trucks parked outside, engines throbbing, awaiting their loads, the drivers contemplating what drivers can only know before trundling out in the night for the next gig. Industrial strength rock! A magic sight.
By now you may be aware that Snapshot is due to be released September 2, 2002 on Eagle Rock Records (there will probably be different labels in different countries). You may even have a copy, since it appeared on eBay within days of promotional copies being circulated through the offices. I'd like to see it myself! (Incidentally, the first name that I had for the band was The BaseCamp Insiders, which was shortened to The Insiders before I changed it to The Guilty Party, and this is why the early copies have the name The Insiders on the the back. It is called Snapshot because it was done very quickly, despite the several years I have been working in it. Most of the musicians on it had no idea what kind of music they were being asked to play and all rose to the occasion magnificently, most of the performances were done in one take, some lovely moments in the studio for which Iım truly grateful. I am a lucky man.
I'm also very grateful to those who in some way or another have given me the encouragement to make the album, you all know who you are. My father took the cover photograph in Wales when I was four years old. In those days some pyjamas were available with a flap at the back, facilitating ease of bathroom duties. I, so I'm told, had a fascination for tractors and when one came down the road one day, I apparently leapt up and ran to see it pass. My father, realising that it may one day be an album cover, took a snapshot of the moment.
You may also aware of the general facts surrounding the recording but here they are again, straight from the cover notes:
Anyway, I have to go and pack my bags again soon.
I look forward to the coming tours, especially to playing with my old friend Jon again.
Thank you for all your interest and support. It was wonderful to see so many of you that I have come to know over the years.
Keep cool and good luck,
Roger Glover, August 2002