Friday, December 7, 2018


We flew into Lima, Peru, arriving in the late afternoon. Leaving the airport, we saw the familiar giant 6 pack of Coke, and Mother Mary and Baby Jesus welcoming us. Peru is deeply convicted to religion, and they do not take it lightly. Familiar sites flashing past us, and some not so familiar side roads through ghettos made the ride interesting! Traffic was crazy and it took us over 2 hours to reach the hotel!

Our friend told us that Lima is nicknamed Lima Grey, and it certainly was grey! It seemed as if the mist from the Pacific never cleared away and blue sky was only in fairy tales.

The show was packed and the line outside the venue was sturdy! It was a mix of fans and families. I couldn't quite figure it out, but everyone was mingling!

We left for San Jose, Costa Rica the next day. We knew what to expect there! Total mayhem!! Also some of the best Heuvos Rancheros ever! Central America has got cuisine down! The fans are like hot peppers...spicy and all Mountain Dewey! They know how to ROMP!!

Costa Ricans love color and hedgehogs apparently, and they sure let everyone know!

We could see a giant volcano overlooking the city, as we were leaving the hotel for the airport. As long as it wasn't erupting, it looked serene and silent. The great Costa Rican climax was in the airport when Max met a soccer coach! Suddenly he jumped over the fence and became a fan, asking for a picture! No time for any life stories though, and we went on our way....Bogota, Colombia was calling!!

Class dismissed....

Friday, November 30, 2018


Leaving Argentina by tour bus, we entered Uruguay smoothly and headed to Montevideo. Argentina had been wild and scenic, robust and flavorful to our eyes!! The crowds were so polite and gentle until they get on the other side of the barricade and then the wildness breaks out!

Uruguay was a merger of the black dirt, and the lush green fields of Argentina. Small villages with pieces of local art scattered. Little neighborhoods with a mixture of wealth, shown by the homes. I loved the graffiti and murals proudly brushed on the village walls!

Montevideo is on the Atlantic Ocean. The city is built kissing the coast. As we meandered on the spaghetti highway leading into the city, I was surprised to see 2 ancient rusty boats in the water off the shore. They did look cool though, but I wasn't sure the environment approved.

Across the street from our hotel was an ocean walkway. Fishermen patiently waiting for their dinner to bite, waves sloshing and an old cannon, which no doubt had seen many years of change! Statues, and local restaurants treated us! The show was packed and the fans very much satisfied on their way home after the last bow!

We kissed our bus goodbye and boarded a plane to Chile. We knew we were in for a sonic boom crowd! Those mighty, passionate Chileans would be waiting with their boots on! Arriving safely, we cruised through the string of usual traffic to the heart of the city. The view from the hotel was breathtaking! The mighty Andes standing guard around Santiago. I hoped we could visit without the customary earthquake, and I got my wish!

The crowd destroyed the f#@%ing place, like expected! Even the barricade broke, since Iggor and Max were their wild selfs, serving up the masses with hurricane force, as they knew they would! We all quickly slid out to the safety of fresh air! Next stop, Lima, Peru! Buckle your seatbelts!!

Class dismissed.....

Friday, November 16, 2018


As many of my Students know, I have a special fondness for Argentina. The countryside, the food, the tango, the protests, the people .....I always look forward to going there. What makes the people different? They never judged me during the time of The Dark Well I was thrown into some years back! Never. If they ask for a pick and you say you don't have one, they say, ok, sorry to ask. They don't run over me and knock me over to get to Max. Those actions mean a lot to me.

We flew into Buenos Aires and there was another bus waiting for us. Beneath the Remains/Arise was about to be one of the first international Metal bands to play 5 cities in Argentina, and we actually had a bus with bunks!

I will show you the Argentina that is not made of bustling cites or nights of laughter and tango, but the countryside! We quickly made our way outside Buenos Aires and avoided the endless traffic jams. Before long, we were in a vast open green paradise! I was amazed first of all by the rich black earth supporting green rolling pastures, which were sprinkled with sitting water. If we had that dirt in Arizona, it would be a dream come true! The land was lush with vegetation, trees and marshes. There were peaceful pastures as far as one can see. No wonder they have that delicious beef!!! Every so many miles, you could see herds of cattle munching on the lime green grass. And the birds!!! I have never seen so many birds in the wild in my life and I have seen most everywhere! Hawks, many varieties of ducks, cranes and storks were everywhere! Keep that duck hunting family away from Argentina because they will stay! This country must be a migration destination! I even saw swans cuddling!

Tiny villages were actually rare. The two lane highway had more bumps than traffic. Most of the days we were the lone invader, bouncing along near forgotten meadows, with an occasional dirt road slicing through, washboard of course. When we did go through a small town, I noticed they all had statues and artwork in little circles of the highway. In these small habitats, people are like one big family. In one village I saw men working to clear the land for what looked like it would be a small road.

The homes in these small villages were rectangular. Simple but tidy. I am sure there must be a reason that regards the climate that justifies this. And yes, some people were quite poor. Outside the villages I saw the simplest of human life. Homes patchworked together, no windows and quite far from any human luxuries outside of nature. That is how families begin. This are the foundation of our family trees, until one child has the desire to go outside the perimeter. It starts with one. The parents are gathering food from the wild or from nurturing the few chickens, goats, or a cow they own. The mothers are making clothes from sheep wool or washing hand me downs. It made me think of my mother living in shacks and begging from farmers for bread and a bit of milk or cheese. We all start in these basic dwellings. These roots shall always remain!!

Two entities I love about my life, fans, and touring are the fan art and the discovery of local foods! Argentina is no different! The empanadas, the carne, the red wines and the fresh fruits and vegetables are bountiful! The meat is all grass fed and fresh food is organic. It also isn't grown in smog infested air and poisoned, dirty water! And what about that dulche de leche! In Buenos Aires enjoyed dinner with Aggy's, Dad, Claudio, and the savory beef and king salmon!

Some of my favorite art pieces, besides Russian style art, is made by the fans. Our home is full of fan art! Max and I bring it all home and display it with love. It is heartfelt and made with such honor! Sometimes it's a bit strange but art is always varied!

Of course the shows were all packed. The fans sang their guts out and the Ole, Ole, Ole, Ole, Ca-va-le-er-ra was through the roof! You can browse Youtube and Facebook and view it, but you cant see through our eyes behind the scenes. Here, in class, my Students choose to walk with me! Onward to Uruguay!

Class dismissed......

Friday, November 9, 2018


Rio was next on the tour. The beautiful views of Rio make it one of the glamorous cities on the planet. The beaches, the cafes, the black and white cobblestone sidewalks that are so famous..The dark side is there too. Houses on top of houses, cities on top of cities...home to millions. Let's also look at the Brazilian graffiti, which adorns all the country. A few years ago, it was an unspoken contest to graffiti on the most dangerous, untouchable spots...high rises, towers, any where it was humanly impossible to reach...but they did. It's a unique style, as you can see here.

Next stop was Vila Velha, a beautiful city on the beach. Our hotel was welcoming and to be honest, we fell in love with the location. Fruits on the trees surrounding it, giant insects, birds darting around and a beach that met all your dreams and more!

Sao Paulo was next. Of course all the shows were packed and the people were all a unit of frenzy! The sing-alongs were thunderous and stage diving and circle pits were nonstop! But let's look at the scenery! Let's continue with the beauty of Brazil... Did you know pineapples grow from the ground?

Sao Paulo was next. Of course all the shows were ultra packed and the fans were one solid unit of frenzy! The sing-alongs were thunderous and the stage diving and circle pits were nonstop! But let's look at the scenery!! Let's continue marveling at the natural beauty of Brazil! Did you know pineapples grow up from the ground?

We sadly left our bus and headed to Porto Alegre via airplane. It's a beautiful city on the oceanside, with an air of calm to it. Little cafes and the smell of the smoky churrascaria envelops it! I was amazed by the purple flowered trees which made tunnels throughout the city streets!

Next lesson will be Argentina, one of my favorite destinations!!

Class dismissed....