Daniel Stanton of Anger Management/Coallier Entertainment has submitted the following tour diary documenting Sebastian Bach's (ex-SKID ROW) most recent "Bach To Europe" European trek:
"With many tours under my belt, nothing will come close to the psychotic world of working with the hyper madman named Sebastian Bach. No matter how you slice it, this 'Basmanian Devil' is set and ready to destroy all countries — he is the GODzilla that's been missing in Europe.
"With his new lineup consisting of Ralph Santolla, Steve Digiorgio, Mark Prator and Johnny Cromatic, Sebastian's lineup has come full circle from boys to men and the results is not only in their live performance, but their new material as well! A new record is scheduled to begin recording in March with a release to coincide with Sebastian's summer festival performances!
"The gang all gathered together in NJ on November 25th, Thanksgiving day, to rehearse for the Bach To Europe Tour. Rehearsals continued on November 26th and 27th in the Bachcave Studio.
"Then on Sunday, November 28th, the band hit Joe Franco's (TWISTED SISTER, GOOD RATS, VAN HELSING'S CURSE fame and more) BeatStreet Recording studio in NYC and laid down tracks for the song 'I Aint The One' for the upcoming LYNYRD SKYNYRD tribute release 'Heavy Helping' on Sanctuary Records. The record, which also features KID ROCK, SALIVA, ZAKK WYLDE, METALLICA, DEE SNIDER and more, was the first time Sebastian's new lineup recorded together!
"On Monday, November 29th, some last-minute tweaking on the set was rehearsed at the Bachcave and then gear was packed and loaded for the following days flight to Europe.
"When we booked this tour it was originally supposed to start weeks before it did, but due to scheduling, the goal was easy — destroy all countries, or as many as we can before Christmas! And that Sebastian Bach did.
"On Tuesday, November 30th, we all met at the strike of midnight at JFK airport in New York to fly out to Europe. What surprised me was everyone was on time to the airport! A first in my days of touring.
"December 1st - Fly, fly, and when that's done...keep flying! Then connect, fly some more and hope all gear makes it to the finish line with you! When we land… hop on a tour bus and drive! Hit the hotel, eat and crash!
"December 2nd - The first show we did was in Edinburgh, Scotland. With the strike of the first chord to 'Slave To The Grind', Sebastian Bach was back. The tour was up and running and like an unstoppable freight train, this train wasn't stopping until it crashed into Christmas!
"December 3rd - Today was a full day for Sebastian. With Sebastian not wanting to have too many days off on the road, we slated for Sebastian to enter a recording studio in the U.K. Sebastian was scheduled to record three songs for the upcoming tributes to RUSH, where Sebastian sang 'Finding My Way', MSG tribute of Michael Schenker's favorite songs, where Sebastian did JIMI HENDRIX's track 'I Don't Live Today'. And last but not least, Sebastian ate some glass and paid tribute to VENOM. Choosing the song 'Die Hard'. The real surprise of the day was spending it with guitarist Mantas himself. Both guys seem to have so much in common. Sebastian even stayed around later after the studio session to do some interviews with Mantas for an upcoming DVD release.
"The next morning we played in Sheffield, U.K. The crowd was packed from wall to wall, and it was obvious that a bigger venue and return were in store for 2005! The crowd sang all the songs and some even joined Sebastian on stage to sing along to 'Youth Gone Wild'!
"The next country to destroy was Hungary. We arrived a day early to take in some sites and hit an amazing restaurant that sat on the river dividing Buda from Pest — Great food, great wine, beautiful people and we are in Budapest Hungary!!! The next night was show night in Budapest at a venue called Wigwam. At 9:00pm the promoter asked if we could delay the show by at least one hour. When we asked why, he took us to a room with a window that over looked an endless line of fans still in line to get in the venue. Yes, Sebastian Bach agreed to hold the show so all the fans could get into the show. When the night was over, we were asked to return to Hungary in 2005! Trust me, we will be Bach!
"Now, we are off to Istanbul, Turkey. Sebastian has never played Turkey and to be honest, I don't think there was one of us in the band or crew that had been there either. With some skepticism at first, we knew we had to still go to do what we all do best — kick ass!
"Everything ran smooth, from flight arrivals to meeting with the local promoters, Turkey had welcomed Sebastian Bach with open arms. With fans and press at the airports to fans sleeping in the hotel lobby and outside the venues for endless hours, the fans have made Sebastian aware of his right to be there. I remember so many fans thanking Sebastian for coming to their country when most artists choose to skip it on their tour schedules. The show in Istanbul was at the three-tier huge Yeni Melek Show Theater. With the venue filled to the max on every level, Turkey is a must from here on out!
"The next day we set off for our second show in Turkey in the town of Ankara, which is also the capital of Turkey. The promoter of the Turkey shows had never been to this venue and was obviously misled due to the fact of the venue really wanting Sebastian Bach to play their establishment. When I arrived at the venue with the crew I felt like I was going to have a heart attack! This place was the size of a postage stamp and surrounded by stairs and windows — this was a recipe for disaster. In 15 years of touring I have never canceled a show and I wasn't about to. With so many fans coming, we knew something had to be done. Fortunately for EVERYONE, the venue was surrounded by several venues. With some wheeling and dealing and on a wing and a prayer, we switched venues within a few hundred yards and the show went on! Sebastian was totally pro and said whatever it takes to play the show — just make it happen! I don't and I won't cancel!
"On December 9th we woke up to horrifying news from friends calling us for the United States. I was in the hotel lobby checking the band and crew out of their rooms, Sebastian was still upstairs and running late when our soundman Skitch received a call from friends informing us that Dimebag was shot and killed the night before. I knew from the look on his face and the tears building in his eyes it was not a joke or a rumor. Some asshole really killed Dimebag! I knew Sebastian was good friends with Dimebag and I knew he had to be told. The news was coming in from everywhere.
"I took the elevator back up to Sebastian's room. It took all of my strength to knock on his door and it was still the faintest knock. I didn't know how I was going to let him know that his friend was killed. Sebastian opened the door and immediately I said we have to talk, he just looked at me knowing something was wrong but not sure what. I put my arms out holding both of his shoulders and told him somebody killed Dimebag last night. His first reaction was, 'Bullshit, why do assholes start rumors like this, it's not true, it can't be.' But it was true and our cell phone messages were building fast. With that, Sebastian reached into his brief case and seen that his cell phone messages were building as well. It was right about then he knew it was true. There is no need to go into Sebastian reaction. He lost a dear friend, he was devastated beyond belief and still is, our drive to the airport was spent crying, on the phone to the U.S. and in total disbelief. Ironically, we had just purchased a PANTERA CD days before to hear on the tour bus. Sebastian played it over and over and even had the airport in Turkey play in through their speakers over the terminals — I was shocked that they did it! The entire airport in Turkey was hearing PANTERA! From there we made our way to the gate area and kept logging on to Blabbermouth.net from out laptops at the airports and hotels for all the updated news. Thank you, guys!
"When we arrived in Spain on December 9th, we stayed in our hotel rooms reminiscing with one another about Dimebag. The stories were priceless. It's still so unbelievable!
"Sebastian said he wanted to do a song for Dimebag, and from that night on, and for the rest of the tour, Sebastian Bach, Ralph Santolla, Steve Digiorgio, Mark Prator and Johnny Cromatic, played the song 'Walk' every night and then went into 'I Remember You'...
"Rest in peace, Dimebag — you are truly missed!
"The next country to level was Spain. With Madrid first on the list, Sebastian was greeted once again by fans in hotel lobbies, fans sleeping outside the venue and a crowd that refused to let him forget how much he has been missed. The day was spend doing magazine interviews, press junkets and interviews on Rock Servatorio 105.7 FM radio. The biggest station in Madrid. The show in Madrid was virtually sold out. There wasn't a spot left in the house to get a good view of the band. The set was filled with all the classics and the first time Sebastian and the band played 'Walk' for Dimebag. A fan gave Sebastian a poster of Dimebag on stage and the emotions from Sebastian and the audience was deafening.
"The next night we played Bergara and it was great to see fans traveling from show to show to see Sebastian again. Once again, the night was packed. The promoter and I had a lunch meeting to discuss Sebastian's return to Spain in November 2005. Also in discussion is a festival in Granada Spain for February to coincide with dates in the Canary Islands. Stay tuned to www.coallierentertainment.com and www.sebastianbach.com for more info.
"Barcelona - What a beautiful city...Day 3 in Spain and Sebastian just can't seem to get enough of it or the fans enough of Sebastian. It was great to see familiar faces attending the 3rd show — the real die hard's hitting all 3 nights with us! Barcelona was loud, exciting and a great way to end the Spain run.
"On December 13th we had a day off, and what was to be a fly day to the U.K. was changed by Sebastian and called an 'Executive Decision' — Sebastian's words were this — I'M NOT LEAVING! We are staying in Spain and having our day off here in wonderful Barcelona! And so we did. Hitting the streets like full-blown tourists, we hit the parks, the churches, the castles and didn't stop until we were exhausted and famished! Time to eat! Where? Well, we were told by our promoter Robert Mills that the best place in town has been called and we are to show up at the following location by 9:00 p.m. I must admit, it took so long to find this place due to traffic in the city I almost gave up — but Sebastian insisted on finding it saying it will be worth the wait.
"Well, he was right! When in Barcelona, Spain, make sure you eat at Los Caracoles — Sebastian, our soundman Skitch, tour driver and myself ate at this restaurant that has hosted such guests as Robert Plant, Keith Richards, Robert De Niro and so many more — yes, Sebastian is now a part of their Wall Of Fame!
"Thank you Madrid, Bergara, and Barcelona for the amazing welcome and turnout!
"Special thank you to manager Johnny Fredriksson for lending his newly discovered band RAM from Sweden to support all the shows in Spain! Thanks guys — true professionalism all around! See you in Sweden/Scandinavia!
"December 14th-17th - Now it's four shows in the U.K. and one in Italy — Sebastian needs to do five nights in a row and we have seven-hour drives in between gigs and or flights. This was going to be hardcore all the way!
"Bach to the U.K. to finish kicking ass, all four shows in the U.K. were great and packed a great punch — especially in London! What can I say, put Sebastian Bach, Mark Prator and Steve DiGiorgio out on the town and — watch out! With no damage REPORTED to the damage CREATED...some things are better left unsaid! The U.K. was great and there were still so many cities we have to hit in 2005.
December 18th - Off to Italy. I swear we are going to eat when we are in Italy! Yeah right! Did you ever try to eat in Italy on a rock n roll tour schedule???? One word for you all — Siesta!!! By the time you wake up — things close. Then by the time you want to eat at what's used to being a dinner hour for us — 5-7:00pm — everything is closed! But guess what, it opens by the time you hit the stage! Guess what, the restaurants close by the time you are off the stage — LOL — too funny. Finally we found — pizza ?!?!?!?!?!?!
"The show in Italy was changed from the venue Rainbow to C-Side - it seems there was a fire code issue with the Rainbow and the next biggest venue was C-Side! So, the show was moved! However, the show was amazing, sold out and was the perfect way to end the tour. Italy is another place that escaped many cities we missed this time around. But with 2005 right around the corner....All you bootleggers out there selling T-shirts, the next time you wanna boot some shirts — save a few for the band! Even they sold out!!!
"December 19th - The good news is we are flying home for the holidays to be with friends, family and loved ones. The bad news is we are flying away from some of the best fans we have encountered in many years.
"In closing, I started this diary off saying that I had many years of touring under my belt. I have worked with so many artists and on all different levels. I will continue to work with many artists in the near future but will tell you this: Sebastian Bach is the true meaning of professionalism...He didn't complain once on tour. He wasn't late to gigs or demanded stupid things on the road or in the rider. He was unstoppable and had a voice that wouldn't or refused to quit. No matter how little sleep he got, he did every interview, signed for all of his fans after the shows and kicked ass EVERY NIGHT.
"Sebastian Bach, Ralph Santolla, Steve DiGiorgio, Mark Prator and Johnny Cromatic!
"Thank you for delivering the goods!"