Wed, Dec 26, 07

This has been a busy year, to say the least. It’s also been a fantastic year. The Rapture Tour threaded its way around this blue planet and everywhere we visited we received the moving welcomes that we are almost in danger of taking for granted. But be assured that they are never taken for granted; every night for us is a special night. I would like to thank everybody that has supported and encouraged us along the way. I must also thank my fellow musicians, all of whom are heroes of mine. I am decidedly in good company.

There are too many individuals to thank by name but a special mention must first of all go to our management team, Bruce, Spider, Barbara and Sarah. Next, I have to mention our loyal crew, our family on the road. I am proud that every show has been a smooth and professional affair and they have made the rigorous business that we are engaged in as easy as possible for us privileged musicians, who show up expecting everything to be ready – another case of things being almost taken for granted, but it’s not. I thank them all for their hard work and deprivations.

Of all the tours we completed this year, the reception we received in France was exceptional. In Paris, Gérard, our promoter, presented each of us with a ‘Gold Ticket” – a great looking plaque commemorating our box office achievement – we sold more tickets than any other band this year. I sincerely thank him and his staff. I’ve never seen anything like it before but it seems symptomatic of the way the business, at least our business, has changed. Live music rules!

I had fun in between tours as well. My daughter Gillian released her first album, Red Handed, in which I was happy to play a small part. She received so many compliments; I can’t count how many people told me how proud I should be of her. I know, I am extremely proud of her. Now she is starting work on her next album as well as writing and performing with the band Beat:Root.

I had the pleasure of working with my sound engineer, Peter Denenberg of Acme Studios, both on my own next album and the mix of Dream
Theater’s great tribute to Made In Japan.

In the UK, a neighbour of my sister Christine, a ten year-old girl called Katie Turner, had a school project to complete and requested an
interview from me. The subject was about changes in music in the UK since 1948. That would be a daunting project for anyone, including me, but she researched it well, gaining an understanding of music far beyond her years and produced an amazing result, receiving top marks. I congratulate her on a fine achievement.

Traveling takes up 90% of our lives and for several of the European tours our transport, a Metro SA 227 Series twelve-seater airplane with two pilots, was a real comfort. Our traveling days were therefore simplified and we could avoid the indignities of queuing for security checks, emptying carry-on baggage, taking shoes off, finding gates, waiting for the incoming plane to show up, listening to the lies that airlines offer for delays, the interminable wait for suitcases, etc., etc. It made a lot of sense to travel this way because we were playing cities that getting to any other way would have been be a major headache. I would like to thank all the pilots for their dedication.

All in all, I have nothing to complain about, other than the fact that I was rather ill with shingles on the most recent tour (I’m much better now) so I would like to end this year with a heartfelt appreciation of all that I have and all that has been given to me. Good fortune has again been my friend.

Thank you Andi Thul for looking after my website.

I wish you all a great season and all the best of luck for a healthy and peaceful New Year.

Good luck,
UK, December 2007