|Pete's World Tour Diary 2012
PETE LOCKETT SOLO WORLD TOUR 2012
30 / 31 July - Late
July saw me zapping off to Heathrow terminal 5 to begin a colossal solo
adventure taking me all over the world ‘banging ma bongos’ Numerous
x-rays and pat downs later I was aboard, supping small bottles of wine
and watching inane films before dozing off to awake in mainland China at
9am. Soon I was being whisked off through Beijing in torrential rain by
Jason and Emily of KHS. The first day was my only day off in China and I
wasn’t about to let it stop me from driving out of the city for a few
hours to visit the great wall. Luckily, as we headed into the
countryside the weather eased and presented us with a stunning scene.
The whole area became dotted with small fluffy clouds floating across
the wall and mountain tops. It was an incredible start to what was sure
to be a stunning seven week trip. The excursion was brief though and
soon we were heading back into town and back to the monsoon style
weather. An evening meal of chicken feet and local delicacies finished
off the day and I was soon back at the hotel hitting on my sleeping
pills. It is vitally important to not succumb to jet lag on these trips,
especially once the work starts up.
01 Aug – The first gig
day. I tried to get a trip in during the morning to the Forbidden City,
but the rain was too hard even to get out of the car. Gushing torrents
flowed across the pavements like tiny rivers so we headed off to the
venue instead to set up. The gig was in the late afternoon in a local
club, but neither the time nor rain prevented a great turn out. They
loved the new Remo stuff such as the Mondo Cajon, Textured Cajon Targets
and Kanjira. They are not overly exposed to that style of percussion
there and the questions really reflected their inquisitiveness. Luckily
as we wound up, the rain demised and so we got to go to the Forbidden
City after all, albeit to see the outside. Soon I was back at the hotel
frantically downloading the latest beta version of my new iPad app,
DrumJam. I had been developing this in conjunction with Sonosaurus and
was hoping to release before the tour, but it proved impossible. One of
the intense themes of the tour was to become a desperate quest to seek
out a WiFi signal strong enough to download the 200mb beast to beta
02 Aug – Today we
headed off on the very impressive high speed train to Tianjin, not far
from Beijing. Having stopped off enroute at the factory where some of
the Remo range is made, we proceeded into the city and set up for a mini
show for the factory workers. It was an amazing opportunity for me to
get to play for the people that actually build the drums I play. It was
a special afternoon.
03 Aug – A travel day.
Off to Guangzhou by plane and zapped over to the hotel to frantically
download the next app version. Each time this happened I would spend
three hours checking it through, compiling notes and ideas. I would then
have an online discussion with my partner in crime, Jesse in Washington,
about what and wasn’t possible. It led to some very sleepless nights for
both of us!
04 Aug – Gig day in
Guangzhou. Another late afternoon show. Really good turn out from the
whole community: parents, children, pensioners, rockers and teenagers. A
really mixed crowd. Hot work in the intense humidity, but another great
show. The sound guys are really on the case and wired up a fantastic
sound. The early start gave us time in the evening to go and sample the
local cuisine, including deep fried worms and bumble bees. Strange as
that may sound, they were delicious!
05 Aug – Midday flight
to Japan. I was very hands-on with the details of the tour beforehand,
making sure that flights were always at a civilized time. There is
nothing worse than hitting the airport at 6am. When there are weeks more
to go on the tour, it’s crucial to avoid potentially tired moments. I
get met at the airport by Masa of Yamaha and taken off to the hotel.
Here I get my own WiFi router and a room on the 36th floor overlooking
Tokyo. Perfect in every sense. I can download my app super fast whilst
watching the bullet train speed through the landscape below me. Quite
06 Aug – Day off. Can
you believe it, torrential rain again. Sod’s law. It doesn’t stop me in
any way whatsoever though. Masa and I head through the rain and visit
some local sights. Just like China, Japan is such an amazing country
with so many incredible things to see, even in the rain. It also has
fantastic massage shops on almost every street corner. I pop in and have
a foot massage. I damaged my feet playing drum set with no shoes on, a
while ago, and the walking has made them a little sore.
07 Aug – First gig day
in Japan. We travel on the bullet train to Nagoya, slicing through the
countryside at ridiculous speed for two hours to reach our destination.
The show is scheduled for the evening in a small auditorium. We spend
the afternoon being frustrated by the menus of a digital desk and the
reflections of the wooden panelled walls. Give me analogue and curtains
any day!! Buttons to twiddle and faders to push. You can’t beat it. The
show goes down well, albeit for a smaller select group of invited
professionals. The draft Japanese beer that follows is by far the best
of the tour. Amazing.
08 Aug – Reverse of
yesterday. Bullet train back to Tokyo for show there in the evening.
More great beer after numerous rhythmic mutterings on the mic. The
Japanese audience is so focussed. I have never come across such
concentration from an audience before anywhere in the world.
09 Aug – Late check
out from the hotel and head to the airport for my flight to South Korea.
End up getting a bus to the airport and once more use my magic lounge
pass for my ‘gin and tonic’ flight preparations. It’s such a relief
after the intense security scanning. Short flight to Korea and get
whisked off to the hotel. Knackered but still need to download the app
again to see all the new developments. Another late night. It is worth
it though! My partner in Washington is a total genius with this stuff.
10 Aug – Gig day in
Seoul. They have really got their act together here. Everything is
absolutely spot on. It makes for a very easy sound check and gives a
good window of opportunity to zip out for a bit of sightseeing with one
of the Cosmos music staff. The palaces are truly amazing and it really
gives me a great vibe to go and do the gig. Translation on stage always
slows things down but the core remains intact.
11 Aug – Staff
training session. This is a great opportunity to take some sales staff
through the basics of some percussion techniques. They are a very
inquisitive bunch and it is a really positive session. We all go off for
Korean barbeque afterwards and then a trip to the observation tower
where you can see North Korea. It is cloudy and really all we see is a
North Korean cloud which floated over towards us without any security
12th Aug – Fly to
Taiwan to be met by the KHS team, Otto, Chanel and Eugene. They take me
for an absolutely stunning Taiwanese meal and some amazing flavours I’d
never tasted before. We find time to visit an incredible local temple
and go to the local market where giant snakes and everything imaginable
are on offer. I decide not to take one with me for the rest of the trip.
13th Aug – Gig day. I
had been told this was a low key affair, but it was anything but. A
great crowd of percussion enthusiasts turn up and we blast them with
beats and rhythms. Had to take the situation in hand myself during sound
check though and got the mixing desk put onstage beside me so I could do
the sound myself. All the crew from Remo Asia turn up for this one and
we all hit the local restaurant for some local cuisine afterwards. I
have an amazing soup which has super furry red pepper spicy seeds which
completely zap your tongue with tingles. Incredible!
14th Aug – Fly over to
Hong Kong to be met by Marvin, from Tom Lee company. This was a quick
fire visit as well, with just one day for a staff training and clinic
performance. The hotel was right on the harbour with a great view of the
‘waterfront postcard’. Air conditioning and pillow issues led to an
impromptu upgrade to a suite in the hotel with a free bar and free food
all day. Quite a result.
15th Aug – After a
reclusive breakfast in the ‘executive lounge’ I get picked up and taken
off for a bit of promo before the gig. We start at the Hong Kong TV and
radio headquarters for a live radio broadcast and then head over to the
local paper for an interview which will appear after the event. Then it
is off to the venue, a small purpose-built auditorium where Tom Lee hold
most of their events. One staff training, one gig and eight hours later
I get taken back to the hotel via a restaurant and an offering of spicy
pigs’ ears and double pigs’ stomach soup. Torrential rain once again
greets us, as I hear news that a typhoon is heading our way and is
scheduled to arrive just as I should be departing for Auckland.
16th Aug – Day off. Hotel, sleep, emails,
download app and write the user manual. Too hot and humid to go out.
17th Aug – Late check out and head to the
airport for my twelve hour flight to New Zealand. More mini bottles of
wine, more inane films and more claustrophobic mini meal containers.
Then the sleeping pills and BOOM, I am in Auckland at 9am on the 18th! I
am looking forward to the rest of the trip: three events in New Zealand,
six in Australia, then Hawaii, LA and back to London.
18th / 19th Aug – Get
picked up at the airport by Torey from Rockshops. It is my third tour of
NZ and I know all the guys very well. We head off to Toreys beach house
north of Auckland and spend a couple of days with him and his wife. It
is a really nice break! The evening involves lots of home cooked food,
wine and NZ vs AUS in the rugby. After one of the most boring sporting
events in the history of the world, NZ come out on top and everyone
20th Aug – The first NZ gig is in a really
cool auditorium in Auckland museum. I am pleased to hear that all the NZ
events have sold out and soon witness a large crowd population the
theatre. Again, it is a real mix, from parents with children to muso
teenagers. It is my third solo tour of New Zealand and a lot of familiar
faces also turn out.
21st Aug – Mid morning
flight to New Plymouth with Hamish from Rock Shops. Another evening
event and we hotel in the area. I download the app during the
soundcheck. It takes absolutely ages and I keep getting chucked offline.
However, it completes just a few minutes before I go onstage. Another
sleepless night to follow after the gig.
22nd Aug – Torey joins
us again and we drive off to Palmerston North. It is a three-hour drive
through stunning scenery and past the astounding mountain called Mount
Taranaki. It is a perfectly clear day and the snow-capped peak is
unbelievable. We fly back to Auckland after the gig on the last evening
flight and I go totally ‘rock and roll’, doing my washing and drying
when I get back. Fantastically boring thing to do at any time! The
reception staff think it’s really comical that I’ve never used a dryer
before and don’t know how to turn it on.
23rd Aug – Up early to
hit my emails and admin for the app. We are near submitting to Apple at
this point which is really exciting. Mid morning, Torey picks me up and
drops me to the airport. I get pleasantly inspired with Gin and Tonic in
the lounge and soon embark on the short four hour trip to Melbourne.
Thank god, the seat next to me is empty the whole way. However, it
doesn’t stop the ‘red wine in the lap’ disaster that tainted the last
two hours of the flight. Pino meets me at the airport and I go to the
hotel to crash. Amazingly I receive news that the app has finally been
submitted to Apple. It’s a real high and gets me totally in the mood for
the Australian Ultimate Drummers’ Weekend. It is the 20th anniversary
and is going to be a big one! It’s such a coincidence, because on that
very same day two years before, I turned up for AUDW and Rick Latham
showed me his new iPhone app. At that very moment I realised I had to
develop one myself. Here I was, exactly two years later and it gets
submitted to Apple. Incredible.
24th Aug – Up early
again for a lecture at Melbourne University. It is good to be able to
switch between more academic lecture duties and more direct performance
roles. It is exciting to get all these different things happening. I’m
then taken off to the weekend venue to set up the gear for the festival
performance and workshop. The team are super organized and everyone has
their own rolling riser. I am sandwiched between Dave Weckl and Thomas
Lang, all building our percussive worlds. The soundchecks are
specifically organized with mine scheduled for the following morning.
However, it is good to get the rig built. After the construction we all
go off to the local Thai restaurant with Frank and Damien Corniola.
25th Aug – I am getting used to the early
mornings. This one is 6.30 for an 8.00 am pick up, 8.30 soundcheck and
then judging on the panel for the Australian Drummer of the Year
category. This morning is for beginners and intermediate players, and
the level is very high indeed. This competition puts all others across
the world to shame. This is followed at 10.30 by my workshop / lecture.
Both days are a sell-out and the hall is packed. I head back to the
hotel in the afternoon. It is a short walk but I soon realize how dodgy
I must look after being stopped by the police in the street. Very
strange situation which takes me back to much less memorable times as a
teenager in Portsmouth. The evening is the big celebration for twenty
years of AUDW. It is a grand affair and the wine flows without
cessation. Frank has done so much good for drums and percussion in
Australia. He deserves every accolade that has been put his way. If
there were more ‘Franks’ worldwide, then drumming would have a much
higher profile than it currently has.
26th Aug – An early
start again for the competition. It’s the advanced section today and the
three competitors are of an extremely high level, It is very hard to
make a decision. After this, there are workshops by John Riley and
Thomas Lang. My performance is in the afternoon and the audience are
absolutely great. It goes down a storm. An evening meal at Frank’s
brother’s restaurant follows. Food, wine and merriment leads to an
intense discussion with Dave Weckl, Thomas Lang, John Riley and myself,
debating if one needs to know where the ‘ONE’ is to feel engaged with a
piece of music. Opinion is split and the conversation quickly goes up
through the gears.
27th Aug – Day off, at
last! I go off on a day trip to the mountains and coast with local
drummer, Daniel Luttick. I hit by a minor flu situation in the evening
and hit the sack at 9pm.
28th Aug – Wearily
make my way to the airport far too early for comfort and zap off on the
flight to Sydney. Get met at the airport by Shane and Damien of
Musiclink. They are bearing up under the strain of their company going
into receivership just a few days prior. They have gone to great pains
to make sure my clinics in Sydney and Brisbane go ahead. After a bit of
rest at the hotel the whole cycle starts again, set up, sound check etc
etc. All goes well and there is a good turn out for the clinic. By the
end of the night I am really feeling the flu and hit a sleeping pill to
get a good night’s rest.
29th Aug – Day off. I
intended to spend the day going round Sydney but end up spending most of
it in bed. At least I had the energy to pop down to the harbour for
breakfast. The harbour is such a great area to visit.
30th Aug – Early
flight to Brisbane, check into the hotel and whiz off to the venue to
prepare for the clinic. I am well and truly in the swing of things by
now and can get through the flu situation on auto pilot. Hit a nice
restaurant with Musiclinks Darran and retire by midnight. The hotel is
great with panoramic views of Brisbane city. It is important because I
have four nights there.
31st Aug / 1st Sept -
$30 for hotel breakfast and they want to charge extra for a latte. As a
matter of principle I cancel the order and pop out to a local café where
I get a better breakfast for a third of the price. Ridiculous! It’s the
principle more than the cost concern. At least I have a couple of days
off at last. I go totally rock and roll again and do a bit of hand
washing. It’s also an opportunity for a few private students to swing by
the hotel for a lesson.
2nd Sept – Gig day. I
have a slot on the final day of the Drum Scene live tour featuring Dave
Weckl, Thomas Lang and Dom Famularo. We head down to the venue around
midday, all moaning about the astounding 55 cents per min internet
charge in the hotel. The set up is a little more difficult today with no
rolling risers. However, a suitable solution is found utilizing the
strange multilayered flexible staging. Peter, the stage manager also
does the AUDW event and is a real positive problem solver. Everything
runs smooth when he’s in control.
The hall is very
difficult to soundcheck. However, Dave Weckl is very good at analyzing
the front of house system and the appropriate frequencies to make the
event most powerful for everyone. The evening is sold-out and we kill
it, concluding with an improvised finale involving all four of us on
Dave’s kit, going bananas! The whole crowd stay for autographs
afterwards and we finally stagger into the only late night restaurant in
Brisbane, a pancake house. They do a great steak though. My flight is
not till midday so a late night is no issue for me. The others are out
of the hotel at 6am though - a grinder!
3rd Sept – Travel day
to Hawaii. I will arrive there before I actually leave because of the
date line. Very strange. My app, DrumJam, is still awaiting release from
Apple but I see that Dream Theatre’s Jordan Rudess has posted another
video online of him playing it. It is much appreciated and is really
good publicity. I leave the hotel at 10.30 with Darran from Music Link
and head to the airport for the connecting flight to Sydney and then the
direct flight to Honolulu. The main body of work is out of the way for
me now and I can relax a bit, even though I have fourteen hours in the
air to come. Strangely at Sydney airport, I see the private Manchester
City FC plane taking off. It’s the second time on the trip having seen
it take off from Beijing airport when I arrived in China at the
beginning of the trip. Very strange! Maybe they are going to sign me?
4th to 8th Sept -
Chill out! Pearl Harbour, Waikkiki, Big Island, Hilo, volcanos,
helicopter flight. Just a bit of low key educational workshop work
whilst on the islands. A nice excuse to stop over. My app also becomes
available in the Apple App store whilst in Honolulu. I am very excited
to hear it has shot up into the top five in the USA and to #2 in Japan
for iPad music apps in less than 24 hours. Meanwhile I climb a volcano -
and also accidentally remove the side from a hire car. Thank goodness
9th Sept. Midday flight to LA. Picked up by
Remo’s Chalo Eduardo and whizzed out to Valencia near the Remo factory.
It is a hotel that I have stayed in dozens of times before and the
familiarity of knowing the staff by name brings a minor comfort to a
long tour of unfamiliar faces.
10th Sept. I get taken
over to the Remo factory and offices near the hotel. I organise and set
up my drums for the video shoot in Burbank on the 11th. I meet up with
Mr Remo and spend some time looking at many exciting new products for
release in 2013. Then head back to the hotel early evening and watch
Andy Murray in the US open final. Nice to see him win that one.
11th Sept. Leave mid
morning and head down to the studios in Burbank. Photo shoot and videos
for Remo. They have gone the whole hog with top-end gear and Hollywood
camera men. The studio is the famous ‘Centre staging’ where Michael
Jackson did some rehearsals for the tour that sadly never happened. It
is also home for the LA offices of Vic Firth and Zildjian. I pop over
and hang with Ben from Vic F in their very hi tec office. We spend a
good chunk of time discussing my new multi-purpose signature stick. The
proto types have just been sent from Boston to my home and neither of us
have seen them yet. It’s all very exciting!
12th Sept. Off to
Centre Staging again for more videos. I am really looking forward to
being home and it’s a relief to think it’s only one day away. I spend
more time with Ben at Vic Firth and we find time to do a video looking
at my new app. It’s great how the companies get involved with every
aspect of activities. In the evening I go out for a meal with the Randy
Gloss and the guys from Hands On’Semble. They have been putting the
finishing touches to an album, on which I have contributed two
collaborative tracks. It’s great to hear all the news. They will be
launching it at Pasic 2012 in the USA later in the year. They do such a
great job with education over at the CAL Arts university, one of the
most eclectic world music institutes in the world. Some ‘Long Island
iced teas’ late, I get dropped off back at the hotel, ready for my final
night on dodgy pillows.
13th Sept. Off to
sunny England. I have flown goodness knows how many different airlines
on this trip but I’m glad to be getting back on a BA flight. People
always moan about their local airlines but BA really has a great
service. Definitely my fave airline by a country mile. Chalo from Remo
drops me up to LAX and I am soon in the lounge partaking of the
complimentary beverages. (After the ultra security X-ray where a banana
simply won’t cut the mustard.)
14th Sept. Heathrow,
Taxi, HOME SWEET HOME and back to my lovely wife, Pam. I have missed her
so much. It really has been a life-changing trip though. So many
memories and new experiences. I am soooo lucky to be a musician. I
couldn’t wish for any more! Next up, India again. Lovely!
percussion APP for iDevices developed with Sonosaurus LLC.
"You were born an
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