Stockholm is one of those cities where you really want to have a day off.
It’s a beautiful city with a ton to do and see, with really nice people throughout.
And we did have a day off there.
We flew there from London, and by the time we arrived, cleared customs, and made our way to the hotel, it was after 6:00 P.M.
And then as we were pulling the luggage off of the bus to load into the hotel, Mike uttered the three words that clench up the butt cheeks of any forgetful band assistant;
“Where’s my bag?”
Turns out that Mike had checked two bags, one big one and one small one.
Seeing as how he’s a big shot rock star and pays people to look after his stuff for him, he didn’t realize that his small bag hadn’t been picked up off of the baggage carousel, and neither did myself or our tour manager.
So that’s when the final hours of my day off in Stockholm were spent returning to the airport for Mike’s forgotten luggage.
Meanwhile, Mike & Jerry joined a few crew guys for a brief taste of Stockholm’s night life.
I can’t go into full detail because I wasn’t there, but after hearing the stories, it sounded like a lot of fun.
To sum it up, just imagine singing Them Bones in a heavy metal karaoke bar and then learning shortly after your performance that the guy who wrote it was sitting in the bar as you were belting it out.
That happened to one lucky and freaked out Swede.
Then in another bar, the capper of the night took place. It’s a mildly disturbing story that I’ll just sum up in a few words to protect the readers who happen to be innocent and delicate:
Let your imagination run wild…
Okay, on to the show.
When I received our tour itinerary back in May and saw a stop at Gröna Lund in Stockholm Sweden, I’d never heard of it and I had no idea what it was.
Later, when I found out it was an amusement park, I was skeptical and thought it was a cheesy place to play.
Then we showed up and looked through all of the photos on the wall of prior concerts here, and suddenly things weren’t as corny when we saw that virtually every major act in music has been through here since the 60’s.
The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, Elton John, The Who, Little Richard, The Wu Tang Clan.
It was crazy.
How had we never heard of this place?
And the stage is literally right in the middle of the action.
Rides and food booths and everything amusement-y were all right there.
As the day progressed, the clouds rolled in and eventually it began to rain, which kind of sucked for the fans gathering in the park, but by the time the show started it had tapered off.
It turned out to be a great night, with roller coasters and other rides continuing on as the band provided the soundtrack.
Being as how we were right next to the water, there was also a constant stream of seagulls flying overhead, which distracted Jerry to the point of him asking us to bring him a loaf of bread at the end of the encore so he could try and feed them.
It didn’t work, so Jerry gave up and tossed the bread into the crowd.
And now some Swedish fan has one of the stranger mementos from Jerry since the old days when he used to sign cans of tuna fish and throw them to the fans.
Stockholm was like a movie with a little something for everyone, from adventure (lost luggage retrieval!) to horror (tattooed genitalia!) to thrills (roller coasters!) to nature (birds!), all with a killer soundtrack provided by Alice In Chains.
Not a bad couple of days.