You may recall from my last entry a brief description of the Worst Hotel in the World™. I have some shocking news.
It’s a chain. And guess where we stayed when we stopped in Bilbao last night.
Yep. You betcha. It’s called the Hotel Formula One. I have no idea why, but I can speculate…
Formula One cars are stripped down to the bare essentials, mostly plastic, cramped, uncomfortable and only dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing, however, not somewhere you’d want to spend more time than it takes to drive the Indy 500. Certainly not somewhere you’d want to lie down and sleep.
Ditto the hotel.
Same lavatory setup- separate closets down the hall from the room, but this one had an extra-special treat: No paper in any of the dumpers on the second floor. I’d rather not go into detail about how I discovered this. Really. I never want to think about it again.
Each room comes with one towel the perfect size for drying dishes, the same highway-ramp bed setup, and just enough room to open a suitcase and turn around.
Parker has taken ill and has a cough like someone banging two large PVC pipes together. Daniel is getting the same cold. The last two days have been spent entirely in the van and driving, except for the brief break to run around Paris and get filmed. This tour has been perfect so far- it’s been all fun, the right amount of time on and time off, but since we left the UK we have been driven like mules- we are all getting sick and very tired. I have been battling irritability and fatigue and trying to be a gentleman, but tonight when we got lost in Madrid I snapped at everyone. BUT we were SO LOST. God, it was agonizing. We drove around in circles for an hour and half in a town where the street signs are legible from four feet away, and the accent is almost impossible for me to understand. I finally worked out that we were supposed to turn left, not right where the directions told me to turn right… I mean, I understand- I get left and right mixed up in Spanish all the time, which is what I think happened to the guy who gave me the directions.
It poured rain on us all day after last night’s less-than-restful sleep in Hotel Formula Pain and we drove for seven hours in it. At one point coming down the moutnain from Burbos, Keith thought we were going to die. There were huge trucks everywhere, the rain was dumping on us and the wind was rocking the van from side to side. After that, we were stuck on the perimeter road around Madrid for an hour and a half, then we got into town and started driving around in circles, everyone sick, everyone tired, me being pissy because I was trying to read the map and the directions and oh, shit…. this was not the best day.
Then, we got to the club and Parker’s guitar amp caught on fire. No, really. Big could of smoke, fire, burning… We managed to put it out and fix the problem. Then the other amp burned a fuse and we had to search out a replacement fuse…. it’s been a shit day.
And, oh, yeah, five people showed up for the show.
Every tour has bad moments. We just happened to have all of ours in one day.
I am sitting in the dressing room, and this really nice guy named Alberto is here and he is telling Daniel how great our show was. It was good to finally play. That’s the ironclad law of touring, by the way- the quality of the band’s show is inversely proportionate to the number people in the club. (This ratio is compounded exponentially the further the band is from home.)
Now I just want to go the hotel here in Madrid (please god, let it be nice….) and get some sleep.