I rarely write about things that happen out here that I haven’t directly witnessed or participated in, but I thought this story was too good not to tell, so here goes.
Jerry and a few of the crew were out running around Vienna, and decided at one point to stop into a gelato shop.
After being served, Jerry paid in cash.
And the guy behind the counter slid the receipt over to Jerry and simply said, “Sign”.
Jerry was confused for a second, and reminded the guy that he had paid in cash.
“Sign”, the guy said again.
“I didn’t use a credit card”, Jerry repeated to the guy.
Apparently the employee was a little nervous, and obviously didn’t speak great English, but he wouldn’t say anything other than “Sign”, so Jerry asked him once again why he needed to sign a receipt when he paid in cash.
“You’re Jerry Cantrell”, he finally said.
The guy was a big fan, and was too visibly nervous to just ask for an autograph, but he eventually got around to asking, and Jerry signed the sales slip.
So the employee got his autograph, Jerry got his gelato, and you got a story.
The rest of our time in Vienna was spent like it always is; running around checking out as much of an amazing city as we could in a short period of time.
Then it was on to show day.
Vienna’s Arena Open Air is an outdoor venue that as one reviewer on Tripadvisor describes, is “a nice place to make new friends”.
TripAdvisor didn’t say anything about a dressing room that was filled with graffiti, a good deal of it focused on Nicholas Cage and male genitalia. These are some of the fun discoveries you just make for yourself over the course of a day.
The venue has a good sized concrete stage, with a bar on each side and stairs that lead up to the dressing room area.
The stairs are enclosed in glass so that people out in the crowd can see whoever happens to be in the stairwell.
This provided the backdrop for some of my best work yet with our mascot Larry!, who I outfitted in a shower cap and towel, and placed in the landing at the top of the stairs, facing out into the venue grounds.
Several times before and after the show I caught people looking up and trying to figure out who the half naked guy was that was standing there with his arms raised for the entire day.
Once the show started he was joined in the arm raising by a couple thousand Austrians for a while too, because the fans were great from start to finish.
It was another awesome show, with another packed house of excellent fans.
Hopefully the gelato guy was out there somewhere too…