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Thursday, January 7, 2016

PACK YOUR BAGS AND GRAB YOUR PASSPORTS, STUDENTS!! WE ARE GOING ON THE MONSTERS OF ROCK ON THE RUINS OF THE EVIL EMPIRE TOUR!!!

After the Moscow Peace Festival, Russia was tasting its first bite of freedom. Our booking agent was contacted by a promoter in Moscow, who wanted to bring Sepultura there for a tour. I could not contain my excitement! I was heading to my roots!! We would be the first international act to tour the newly freed countries, which had broken off from the former USSR. History was about to be made!

Sepultura

Sepultura
We were in store for an adventure, for sure! We would receive all expenses paid and zillions of Rubles, which had no value at the time. We did it for the fans. For 10 glorious days we would explore and for 4 shows, the Russian fans would feel like fans all over the world. The pit, seeing the band live, hearing the songs that lured out from ancient boom boxes, to be able to buy official merchandise...all the things we all take for granted in the free world. These were miracles to the Russian audience!

We travelled by train, which was an adventure of its own! Little tiny fold down bunks and a itty bitty table. The gear nested in every nook and cranny that didn't have limbs in it. Freezing cold tundra flew past outside the frozen windows! The train stopped at all the little villages; a people mover. Birch trees endlessly stood, tall white, chopsticks. The little wooden homes had gardens full of cabbage and beet plants, with animal shelters connected to the home...sharing the warmth of the fire with all living things.

We travelled to St. Petersburg, Riga, Latvia, Vilnius, Lithuania, and ended in Moscow. The war had just gotten over in Lithuania and people were standing in bread lines and digging in garbage bins of hotels to retrieve coffee grounds, and any scraps available and inviting. There was no heat in the city because the power station had been destroyed. We had armed guards outside our doors to stop any thieves or dark intentioned characters. The crew went to the bread line and one of them bought 10 Hershey bars for $10 and gave them to the crew and band, who were nearby. The women's faces consisted of astonishment and shock, seeing someone spend so much moola on chocolate bars! They had barely scraped up the 30 cents needed for a loaf of bread. Throughout the tour, we were all generous with the Rubles and gave them all away, to elderly people, mother's, gypsies and to churches.

We had a bit of trouble in Riga, which is a beautiful city on the Baltic Sea. One of the crew picked up a girl in the restaurant at night. He felt sorry for her and spent the night making her laugh. When he woke up in the morning, he wasn't laughing at all! His wallet and all his money from the entire tour had disappeared! He called the police, who informed him the girl was most likely part of an organized crime ring. All the while, the Little Miss stood and smiled...Palm's up!! The kicker was when the officer said that the guys may want to move to another room because there was a good chance they would have snipers attacking them, because they had reported the incident. We were happy to head out of Dodge!

Moscow is always inviting and interesting! Giant buildings all Ghostbuster-ed out! Lenin's Tomb, the Kremlin, St. Basil's Cathedral...everywhere you look there is a monumental view of the coolest architecture you can envision! The shopping is glorious and plentiful! We have been there scores of times now and see something new every time we return!

Max and Me in front of Lenin's tomb..

...overlooking St. Basil's Cathedral
My family lives in Omsk, Siberia. My beloved little Aunt Natasha was sentenced to 10 years in the gulag for making a casual statement.."Russia should replace Stalin, like Germany did to Hitler and the country may improve." The KGB got wind of it from a narcing 'friend' and zap...off to prison she went. The ride paid for by Mr. Stalin himself. She said she built the road across Siberia, while living on bread and water. Her Mother and sisters, and brothers searched for her for years , until the Red Cross finally located her. When she as released from prison, she was given a small apartment and was never allowed to move away again. So......we went to her! Yes, we packed up the kids and a friend, Mark Corona, and headed to the wilds of Siberia!! It was an experience that we all treasure. We had many conversations and great Russian cuisine around that little table in her living room!
Aunt Natasha's apt.


We will be heading to St. Petersburg and Moscow in March and we are all excited as can be! One of my Grandmother's Uncles was recently blessed with the title of a Saint and I will hopefully walk through the Holy Door of the Cathedral and wipe tears from my eyes. He was murdered with a group of priests, all in the same location, and President Putin has built a Cathedral on the exact spot. It will be a trip I will never forget! This is what roots are....






Class dismissed....