TOUR DIARIES from 2000 "Alive!" European Tour:
This is a Five Part series of tour diaries taken directly from my emails to family and friends. There is a lot of material here, but it reads like a story. In fact, I thought of trying to publish it as a story. I enjoy writing and try and make it read the way I would want to read something.

You might want to print and read it in sections.

Lezlee's Tour Diary Entry Number 1

Wow. In a nutshell, I'm having a blast. I remember why I love playing in Europe.

Kuwait Airways was 4 hours delayed, so we left Newark
at 2am. To pass the time, I found seats in the
airport bathroom and began playing and singing. Most
people were going to India via Kuwait, so I had many
people come up to me in traditional dress and listen
to me play. Two things that bring people together -
music, and the bathroom!

Got a good seat on the plane, ate spiced lamb with
rice dish...not bad for the airplane! They let me
bring my guitar on and put it in the closet after I
complained about baggage people not respecting
musicians' instruments. I sat next to a nice guy from
Kuwait, and practiced German from my German phrase
book.

The plane landed well and going through customs was a
breeze. Lord Bishop was right there with his
beautiful bald head and beaming smile to greet me.

We took the train, or the bahnoff. He explained all
this drama going on between Rich, the "drummer" hired
for my tour and himself. Rich is drumming in his
band, and he had problems with the fact that he plays
too fancy instead of keeping the beat. Great! I'm
playing with an amateur, I thought. Just what I need.
He was originally going to be the driver and drummer,
but Bishop hired a guy from Prague who has a van who
would drive and give us the van for a good deal. Rich
was complaining about the money which I didn't want to
hear...I decided to get off at Dortmund, meet Rich
myself and assess the situation.

So, I'm on the train and this older gentleman sits in
the car with me. We actually start having a
conversation in German! I've got my head buried in
the phrase book, but it was cool. The train ride went
along the Rhine river and castles perched on the
mountain sides...a beautiful site.

I get off at Dortmund and Rich isn't there. It's dark
at this point and I just had to trust that he'd be
there. After not too long, this tall, thin guy with
long black curly hair comes walking toward me. Rich!
He has this strange sort of frentic energy about him.

We get in his friend's car. Okay, I thought...I'm
just going to disregard the piles of cigarettes in the
ashtray, the trash all over the floor and the seat.
"It's Rock & Roll, eh" Rich laughs. Oh, boy!

He just moved into this new flat. We walk up like 100
flights of stairs. Inside I can hardly breathe from
all the smoke. This guy with dreads and his
girlfriend with died red hair and black teeth are
sitting on the couch.

"Hallo,"
"Hallo. Ich hausse Lezlee."

I don't need to go into the details about the fact
that the bathroom had no toilet paper, towels on the
floor, dirt everywhere. I just decided to find
another place, like a restaurant to release my bowels.
Sorry, but this is life!

I slept 12 hours or so. Rich was nice to give me his
bed. I tried not to imagine where the comforter had
been last. I was just happy I brought my travel
pillow.

Next day we rehearsed at the club called Cosmotopia,
where'll I'll play in Dortmund. Oh, boy. Rich was
banging on the drums like a typical rock drummer with
the same basic rock beat. Did I mention the night
before when I was playing and he was tapping on
something, he was off beat! I freaked. Not a good
sign. Okay, I thought. I'm going to make the best of
this. We stopped. Rich admires me a lot. He always
tells me and he is a nice guy, though he's a bit
crazy.

"Rich, it sounds like we're in a rock band without a
bass player. I want you to forget completely that you
are a drummer and think like you are a percussionist.
Do you have any brushes? No. Okay, well we'll get
some tomorrow!"

It got better. That night I slept horribly on the
couch. Rich's girlfriend, or ex-girlfriend was a
dream and let him borrow her conga. We had dinner
with her and she was the first normal person I met. I
loved her energy. Calm. We climbed another 200
stairs to her flat. Panting and out of breath, I
walked into a candle lit CLEAN room with her playing
classical guitar. My kind of style. Geez, am I
getting old?

Next day, I walk downstairs and there's Lord Bishop
inside a white van with posters of me stuck all over
the windows! I screamed with laughter. He was
wearing his bright blue cowboy hat, multi colored
velvet pants, Afrikan necklace, talking on the cell
phone booking a world tour for himself. Amazing. I
was so glad to see him. I love this guy like a
brother! We hugged and I met Martin, the driver who
speaks only a little bit of English.

So off we were to Munster. I love this town!
Everyone rides bikes and you have to be more careful
of the bikes than the cars running over you. Pieter
booked me last year. He said people were calling all
day who saw me last year. The German clubs know about
promotion. My picture was in two music magazines and
a listing in another so PEOPLE KNOW. In America you
get your name with 100 others. In America it's your
responsibility to do everything to bring people to
shows and after spending all your money on promotion,
you get stiffed at the door so you make no money.
There's a guarantee in Germany.

Also, complimentary of the club, we all ate a great
Italian meal at the restaunt across the street. Yum!
We rehearsed, and Rich was actually playing a lot
better. He was nervous and intimidated by Lord Bishop
and myself, I could tell. He really wanted to do a
good job, and I wanted him to.

I went on about 10:30. The place was packed. It was
a small cub but when it's full it feels big. In
Dortmund I bought a red tamborine. I taped it to the
floor and tapped on it with my foot. Also, I brought
an effects box to change the guitar sounds to a phaser
and other sounds. It was cool. People were moving,
dancing, and singing along! In the middle, I ripped
the tamborine from the floor and gave it to this girl.
She came up on stage and played tamborine. The crowd
went nuts! We played for 2 hours straight...two
encores. I was pretty tired. Also, my playing was
sloppy. I haven't played that much since last year.
I was forgetting chords all over the place. My voice
sounded great, and people still loved it. We sold 14
CDs and passed the mailing list around.

I got a little too excited. I'm embarrassed to say
that I drank a beer and two glasses of champagne. We
took a cab back to a nice hotel, complimentarý of the
club. I laid down and the room was spinning. I went
to bed at 3am. By 4pm I was throwing up in the waste
basket. Oh, God, Mom...I'm sorry. I know I'm not
supposed to drink. I don't know what came over me. I
paid for it alright. No fainting. Just vomiting for
about 3 hours straight. Great, I thought. This is
only the first night! I have to slow down.

The ride in the van the next day was challenging. I
drank water constantly to get rid of the headache. I
just needed to make it through the night.

We arrived in Hamburg. The club was in the red light
district. Prostitution is legal. The girls line up
on the street for obvious reasons.

We had a wonderful dinner, once again complimentary of
the club. I mention this because this would NEVER
happen in the States! Steak, potatoes, broccoli. I
asked a question about the menu and the whole staff
came out to have a summit meeting on the subject. It
was hysterical. I was missing Rob, so I propped his
picture up between the salt and pepper like he was
sitting next to me. I fed him steak and potatoes. He
loves this kind of food.

We played in a bar called The Academy. There was
something that looked like a small stage with a
backdrop painting of different famous musicians
playing. Once again, the tamborine was a hit. People
were dancing, singing along. I began at 10:30, took a
break and ended at 1:15am. They really listen and get
into it. In America I feel like people have so much
going on that they can't focus. Not here.

I extended a lot of songs, ad libbed. There were
these two guys in front harmonizing on "ooh". I
motioned for them to come up to the microphone and we
all were singing together. It was fun. I love to
involve the audience.

Rich was great. Really. He's getting better each
night. And he loves the whole "rock & roll"
experience...whatever that means.

Lord Bishop played my guitar afterwards with Rich. It
was nice. Sold 8 CDs. For Hamburg, that's good.

The hotel was beautiful! I slept like a baby and got
a wake up call for breakfast. Unbelievable! Food
like you've never seen. Every kind of cheese, meat,
fish, cereal, eggs you could imagine. Where do I
begin? I ate tons, then went back to sleep.

Well, I've got to go back on the Lezlee Peterzell tour
bus. We're on our way to Lubeck.

I feel strong today. Pacing is key. I'm doing what I
love and what I feel I was meant to do and people
enjoy and appreciate it in every way.
---------------------------------------------

Tour Diary Adventures Part !!

Hello everyone. So much happens every day that if I
don’t write, it will disappear into the mind and
memory of this beautiful madness. If you see the
movie, “Almost Famous”, you’ll have a better
understanding of what I’m living through…

Right now I write you from Vaals, Netherlands where we
are the guests of one of the most interesting people
I’ve met thus far, Mario Peters. If we’re not staying
in a hotel, people open their homes to us, give us a
comfortable place to sleep, make us breakfast, and
spend time with quality exchange. This is what I love
most about being in Europe. Sometimes you wake up with
a cat on top of you. This morning, I woke up with the
pet dog, Romeo, smelling my bad morning breath. The
people, especially in these smaller towns, are not so
bombarded with media and over-exposure, and live life
with a different perspective. When you meet someone,
like Mario, who has travelled alone on a motor bike,
you get to learn even more.

Mario lives in a beautiful flat in this quaint
village. He has spent a lot of time in Africa on a
motor bike. Behind me on the wall is a map of the
lower part of Africa with a dark green line of the
route he has travelled. We just had coffee and
conversation.

“What most people see on the TV about Africa is all
bullshit,” he tells me. “Much of the continent looks
like Europe. There are only small parts that look
like the wild areas you see from the media. When you
travel on a motor bike, they respect you because you
are not perfectly clean getting out of an
air-conditioned car, smelling of money. You realize
just how much people have in Europe. I would come to
a small village wearing my leather motor bike pants
and shoes and little children would scream and run
away. They thought I was from another planet because
they had never seen clothes like this. I can’t explain
it, though. When I’m in Africa, I feel like I am
home.”

We had a long discussion about his impressions of
America. Not so good, really. The game shows, the
talk shows make Americans look ridiculous. Sex and
violence blasted all over just for better ratings.
People working their lives away and having other folks
raise their kids…for what? He said it seemed like
Americans have to compromise so much and have so many
inner problems. To him, they don’t seem free…just
getting more and more and never knowing when enough is
enough. The political system is a crazy circus show,
and people getting cosmetic surgery to look perfect.
For what? And Christmas…the biggest bullshit of it
all. Kids can’t enjoy one present, because they are
bombarded with 10 presents at once and can’t
appreciate or focus on anything for longer than a few
minutes. Parents feel pressure to buy and buy
expensive gifts and kids just get spoiled. Okay, this
is starting to sound negative. Let’s get back to the
tour…

So, getting back to where I left off before.

We left Hamburg and headed for Lübeck. This is one of
my favorite towns so far. Cobble stoned streets that
are narrow, a river with old ships docked along side.
I took a walk with Franzie, a student from Hamburg who
does some work with Bishop and came with us to a few
shows. We crossed the small bridge and looked back on
the town. The main church was lit and glowed above
the old city. If you took away the cars and the shops,
it would look like something from hundreds of years
ago. I sat on a chair outside of the club, Flou, and
changed my strings. People threw some coins in my
guitar case, but I said – “No, no, come tonight!”

I did a sound check and there was all sorts of
problems with buzzing coming from the speakers. Rich
decided he was the master sound person and deducted
that it was a grounding problem. He grabbed my Guild
guitar and started taking it apart.

“What are you doing?!” I asked him.
“The wiring needs to be soddered,” he said.
“It didn’t buzz yesterday. Are you sure you know what
you’re doing, Rich?”
“You don’t trust anyone!” he yells.
“Fine, I don’t trust anyone. I’m paranoid. Whatever.
Just don’t fuck with my instrument!”

Eventually, we picked a spot with the least amount of
buzzing and I set up there. Pana, the owner, has long
brown hair and a kind smile. He just kept smiling,
shaking his head, and walking around. He hung posters
of me all over the club and all over the town.
Strange to drive around and see yourself plastered in
the center of town. In New York, you try and put up
one poster, and in an hour it has been ripped down.
Unless you have the power of money mafia behind you,
you lose. Not here.

The posters and advertisement worked. More than 100
people came. Bishop says I’ve mellowed a lot since
last year. When problems like the sound buzzing
happen, I don’t get too bothered by it. This one guy
took video of me and gave me the original tapes.
Looking forward to seeing it. I was in very good
form. I felt like energy just freely flowed through
me, like I was a channel. We did two very long sets,
and I changed clothes in between. The mood and
attention was different when I wore a long, flattering
dress. I looked and felt more like a woman. I sold
about 11 CDs. It’s good to have two different CDs
because people want both. Unfortunately, I ran out of
Just Beings. Rob said he’ll bring some more. I don’t
really have many more, but he’ll bring what he can.

We stayed in a hostel type place – three beds to a
room. We couldn’t find Martin, the driver. He fell
asleep in the van. We were supposed to wake him up,
but we didn’t know where he parked. Turns out, he
wanted to hear the sound of the river so he slept
there in the van and enjoyed the “woosh” sounds.
Later, in his heavy Czech accent he said, “I like to
sleep in van. It is the lifestyle I like. I can fall
asleep to reggae music wherever I want.” Okay.
Whatever floats! Rich partied with friends and
crashed somewhere – who knows, who cares! We had a
discussion about sleep in the van.

Bishop said, “I can sleep anywhere as long as it is
warm, dry, and doesn’t smell. I can sleep with cows
if I have to.”

The owner of the hostel where we slept, Pia, is a
dream interpreter. The next morning, at breakfast, I
told her about a vivid dream I had. I’ve been
dreaming a lot since I’ve been here.

THE DREAM:

I was around a lot of Hollywood actors/actresses, like
the cast of “Friends”. They were very thin, flashy
and deeply insecure and spiritually empty. I was
friends with this one cool actress who happened to
have a lead part in a TV show, but it got postponed or
cancelled and she had to tell the cast and said “Don’t
worry. We had a good run while it lasted. The show
could go back on.” I was so happy that I wasn’t in
that world having my whole life hung by a thread, like
a puppet – smiling, looking pretty but not in control.

Then, suddenly, I’m in some workshop and I’m climbing
this narrow passageway going upside down, with long
hot dog like things along side on the edges of the
narrow plank.

We have to partner up. I have a male partner and
maybe even Bishop is another one, I can’t remember.
Anyway, I have to get on my back, legs bent up. I
have no underwear on, but there is a thin piece of
material covering my privates, but I’m not
embarrassed. This stranger is trying to cover my
privates up with the material, but the exercise that I
have to move in this yoga, inch worm type way. He has
to press on my pubic bone, but it was absolutely not
sexual at all for any of us. It was all taken very
seriously. It was an exercise. END OF DREAM

Pia, the owner, thought my dream was fascinating. She
said that I still have a fascination and desire to be
famous, but to remain real and true. The narrow
passageway symbolizes a transformation – like in the
birth canal when you go from one world to another.

She said that the asexual part was interesting because
she came to the show the night before and saw me play.
She got a strong feeling of the erotic but not
sexual. She was very moved by my performance, and she
used the word “channel” and “in the flow.” She says
that I reserve that sexual side of myself, which is
good as a performer because it is about the music more
than sexuality, and that for me it is very private and
I don’t want to open that up to the world. In the
long run, I can grow and have a longer career because
it’s not youth and sex for me at all, it’s simplicity
and music.

The posters that Lord Bishop created are an
interesting reflection of this as well. They show a
regular person holding a guitar comfortably behind her
head, looking straight on…no flash, no glitter, no
glam. People here are attracted to that because they
feel like they know and want to get to know the
person, not the image.

DAY 5. We got back on the road and headed for Köln.
My body is feeling pretty tired at this point. So
much adrenaline, so much energy. I slept in the van
most of the way.

That night we played in Durst, a tiny pub I played at
last year. We ate well. My sweetie, Capt. Rob’s
picture, of course, got propped up right beside me at
the table. We had spaghetti bolonese - his favorite.


Durst was one big smoke fest. We played literally in
the windowsill of the pub. Anya played violin on
“Just Be”. Nice. There was a line out the door and
25 people couldn’t get in. I had mailed post cards to
those on my mailing list from last year. One of the
coolest things is to see people moving and mouthing
ALL THE WORDS to your songs. It is an indescribable
feeling. This one woman, Nicole, was right in front,
eyes closed, singing along to “My You”, “Rolling
Wave”, “I Lose Control”. Last year, I sold my
Renaissance CD, which I made in my bedroom with
drummer just for the tour. Jamie recorded it. I had
just written a lot of these songs, and wanted the
songs to get out there. It obviously penetrated the
ears and minds of people an ocean away and they came
because these had become THEIR songs. Now people read
about the Renaissance CD and want to know how to get a
copy. I don’t even have any more. But a few people
are quite adamant about wanting ALL of my recorded
material. Strange.

This wasn’t one of my favorite shows…Too small, too
smoky, too loud, too crowded. The people who came to
hear the music, like Nicole, were annoyed with the
drunk loud folks who were there to get wild. Hey,
every show can’t be fantastic. I think we sold about
5 or 6 CDs.

Slept well at Stiff and Rebecca’s flat. I stayed with
them last year. They have a comfortable loft area.

DAY 6. I woke up to Stiff cooking eggs. Beautiful!
At this point, I’m feeling like a bit of a zombie. On
the way to the Netherlands, I leaned over and said,
“You know, you can’t study Rock & Roll. You have to
live it!” Bishop loved that saying and howled with
laughter. Two shows that day were scheduled.

Venlo. A small, cute town right on the border. It
was madness trying to find the club – streets cut off,
circling everywhere. Rich was starting to annoy me.
He literally looks like a throw back from the 70’s
with his long “rock star” hair, jeans, boots. He
often walks and acts like he’s in a “Guns & Roses”
music video. Most everything he touches ends up
breaking.

It was Sunday afternoon and everything was closed. It
was warm. People were mostly in the center of town
sitting at outdoor café, drinking, eating…

We set up and Rich is smoking in my face. I’m worried
about my voice because of the smoke. I tell him not
to smoke around me, especially before a show. I walk
out and he yells for me to set up the effects box.

“I’m not you’re roadie! I’m the drummer!” he screams.
That did it. I swung around quickly.
“Almost NOT my drummer!” I hissed.

I walked out of the club, calmed down, and began
vocalizing along with my tape recorder of me with my
voice teacher, Therman Bailey, who I missed
desperately at that moment. I walked around, not
realizing I had just stepped in vomit. Luckily I had
my hiking shoes on instead of my performing boots.

I came back in the club. Rich was behind the drum
set. I was very confident, leaned over to him and
inches from his face I said, “Listen, let’s get
something straight. You work for me!”
“No, I work for Lord Bishop, my contract is with him,”
he balks.
“Rich, whose music is this? Whose name and face are
all over the place – not you, it’s me! One word from
me and you’re out, do you understand? Do you
understand that you work for me?”

He looked at me dumfounded. He hadn’t seen this side
of me, and neither had I. He knew he had crossed the
line.
“Yes, I understand,” he said.
“Good. This is MY tour, and MY music. I don’t mean to
be a bitch, but we have to get this clear. You will
NOT smoke around me, because if my voice isn’t in good
shape, I will not be able to continue. You WILL show
up on time, play how I want you to play – IN TIME –
and do what needs to be done without an attitude.”

At that I turned back around and played the first
chord of the first song. We never locked as well as
we did that gig.

Lord Bishop looked at me during the break and said,
“You guys should fight more often. Now it’s starting
to groove!”

It was a day show, and not really that crowded.

These two little girls sat right in front and danced
to my music. I sang them a lovabye and they just
beamed. Afterwards they came up to me, kissed me and
said, “You are a beautiful singer! Will you sign my
card?” It was so cute.

I looked at this one guy. I knew him.. How did I know
him. He was singing along to my songs! At the break
I went up to him. He had the sweetest face.

“I know you!” I said. “How do I know you?”
“I’m Martin. I came to your show last year in Berlin
and now I live in Venlo. I bought both of your CDs
last year.”

HA! Amazing. I felt badly because since the last
recording, I’ve changed the words to a lot of the
songs. He would start to sing the verses and then
look confused.

“I’m so sorry I changed the words!” I told him.

That night, in Vaals, Martin travelled and came to
that show as well. I could barely stand playing two
in one day. I was amazed that he wanted to see two.
He liked the Vaals show better. Small pub, but better
vibe for music.

The show was pretty good. People in the back were
loud. Before my quiet song I said, “Achtung, Bitte!”
which is a common phrase that means “Attention,
please!” This got people’s attention. After the show,
this one girl, Peggy, was so disappointed that I
didn’t have anymore Just Being CDs. She is going to
make a special trip to see me play in Köln again
because by then Rob will have brought more over. I
gave her a special recording of the song I made with
the producer I’m working with in New York but asked
her not to copy it. She was beaming.

Will, the owner, took us to an amazing Greek
restaurant. Rob, we had, beef stew, lamb chops,
salad…We ate well! Of course the owner thought I was
a little nuts when Rob came out of my purse to join us
for the meal, and even more crazy when I began to feed
him. It’ll be better when he actually joins me.

This guy got up on stage and kissed me before leaving
the pub. Did I mention that Dingus, the name of the
pub, has a small stage and behind it are posters of a
lot of the groups that Bishop has had come
through…Rachel Sage, Basia, Mark Nilsen and promotion
for Bill’s Band who is coming in January. It seems
like Dingus is a special haven for Lord Bishop
artists.

Bishop is a really good sales person. He’s honest,
too, which is a rare trait. As an African American,
he’s sensitive to anyone hinting otherwise. This is
something many black people are stereotyped as being,
and he finds it offensive. He’s much like the pied
piper, getting people to follow him, do things for
him…Many of the club owners lose money at shows like
mine after they pay the fee, take us to dinner, put us
up. They do it because they love the music and Bishop
sells them the story.

We’ve already decided that my next tour will be called
“The Two Generations Tour”. Mom will come with me and
play drums. The Europeans will freak out! Mom, is
this okay with you? We need to practice.

Bishop wants more than anything just to tour and focus
on his band, The Rockedilic Kings. He’s a great
performer and really knows how to give a show. He’s
also good at booking and promotion, and feels pulled
in many directions. He takes on a lot all at once and
I worry about his mental and physical health. His
cell phone is constantly ringing. He answers it,
“Rock & Roll” then gets sick of the whole thing and
turns it off at a certain point.

This morning Mario, Will and I took a walk around the
village of Vaals. I have two days off and I am so
happy about this. We saw, once again, posters of me
hanging in the town. Will said he had someone put
them up for him. He also showed me where my bio was
translated into Dutch for a newspaper, as well as my
picture in a few other music papers.

Vaals is on the border of Germany and Belgium is just
next to the town as well.

I’m taking a rest now. Have I exhausted everyone who
has gotten this far to read these tour adventures?

Thanks to everyone who sends me greetings. I enjoy
reading them though I may not have time to respond
individually.

Love you all!

-------------------------------------------------

Tour Diary Adventures Part 3 - A Long One...

More Madness and Getting Grittier.

Remember the hiking shoes that I stepped in vomit with
in Venlo? Well, Bishop was nice enough to clean them
off even after I told him not to. Problem? It is
five days later and I just realized they are missing.
Bishop left them in the bathroom of the club. I don’t
know what is worse, the fact that my shoes are gone or
that I only just now noticed.

There are free borders all over Europe now so going
into the Netherlands is much like going into another
state, with the “Welcome to the Netherlands” sign and
all. No passport, no police, no waiting, searching
etc. It is good in many ways except there is less
control and Will told me that people steal cars and
drive them to Poland.

“If you come to Europe, plan a trip to Poland to get
your car back,” he said.

Two days off were nice. My fingertips are blistered
from so much playing. They needed a rest and time to
harden into stronger callouses. I still felt like I
hadn’t had much sleep.

Everyone dispersed the first day off and I decided to
stay in Vaals and extra day. Mario was kind enough to
open his home again. Thank you, Mario. Bishop forgot
and I forgot to ask him to leave me some money. After
buying batteries for my effects box and camera, I had
enough for the train to Köln. If you are 25yrs or
younger you get a discount on train ticket. Guess
what? I passed.

I had left a message for Stiff and Rebecca on the
previous day saying I was in Vaals and that I’d come
to Köln tomorrow and to please call so we could work
out a time to meet since I didn’t have a key to their
flat. No word from them. Turns out they were out of
town and never got the message.

On the train to Köln I thought, “What if they’re not
there when I get there?” I didn’t have a backup plan.
Worry set it.

It was getting dark. The train pulled into Köln. All
my clothes fit in this great green backpack Mom got
for me. I hauled it on my back along with my shoulder
purse and went to the main area. Damn. How do you
use the phones? I searched for coins. Digging
through my purse I found my address book, asked for
phone help and called Stiff.

Ring…Ring…answering machine! Damn! He has a cell
phone. I put more coins in. He answers!

“Stiff, it’s Lezlee.”
“Lezlee. Hallo. Where are you?”
“In Köln. When will you be home?”
“I’m in Bonn“ – click! The phone cuts off. Shit!! I
need more coins. I put more in and repeat process.
“Stiff, it’s Lezlee again.”
“I am at my brother’s.”
“Are you coming back?”
“Uh…I” click! The fucking phone cut off again.
Panic!
Okay, I have enough information to know that he’s not
in Köln. I later find out that it is very expensive
to call cell phones from pay phones. I need a minimum
of 20 DM to make another call.
Okay, calm down. Of course I have very few numbers in
my address book. Anja! I have her number! It is so
confusing to know what numbers you need or don’t need
if you’re in the city. I walk up to a policeman.
Suddenly I can’t remember a word of fucking German and
don’t have the patience to get out my German phrase
book. Please speak English!

“Sprechen sie English?” I manage to ask.
“Ya. A little.”
“I want to make a local call to Köln. Do I need to
dial 0221 before, or no?” I can’t afford to screw
this up.
“No, just dial the number after.”
“Thank you.” Sanity.

I go to the phone. Where the hell is the coin entry?
Great, it only takes cards. There is a young girl
talking on the phone next to me. She must be like
11yrs old. If she can figure out the phone why can’t
I? Oh, the phone next door has a coin space! Must be
two kinds of phones. I have exactly 20DM. I dial
Anja.

Ring…Ring…

“Hallo,” the sweetest voice in the whole world
answers.
“Anja! It’s Lezlee. Thank God you’re home!”
“Ya. Where are you?”
“I’m in Köln at the main station. Can I come to you?”
I’m rushing for fear the phone will cut off.
“Yes, of course.”
“Well, Stiff isn’t home yet and I thought I was
staying with him. Do I take the train to Hansaring?”
I remembered this stop.
“Yes.”
“Okay, I’ll be right there. Thank you!” I hung up
the phone. Then suddenly I remembered that I didn’t
have her address written down. Shit! I think I
remember where she lives. For some reason, I think
there is a Hansaring 7.
“Excuse me. Where’s the train to Hansaring?” I ask the
policemen.
“There,” they point. I walk up the stairs. Wait a
minute. I remember last year specifically walking
down stairs to take the train. I ask another guy.
“Do you speak English?”
“Ya. A little.” They all say that.
“Is this the local train? I want to go to Hansaring.”
“No. This is the train. You must mean the subway.”
Right! The subway. I asked for the train. Then the
train pulls in.
“Take this one,” he tells me. “The first stop is
Hansaring.”
I board the train. He is standing out on the
platform. I turn around. Before the doors close he
says, “Then get off and –“ Doors close! What? Get
off where? Shit!!

I’m so tired. I feel like going to the closest hotel,
and just putting down my credit card, but I don’t want
to spend the money. Typical of me. Relax. I’m
almost to Anja’s. Then everything will be okay. I
still think there are 7 Hansarings.

I get off and walk down the stairs. I see and
underpass. This sort of looks familiar. I walk
underneath the underpass and get confused. I see
Hansaring U. Not 7! I am convinced I am totally
lost. Panic! I go into a bike shop. Sweating, I
unstrap the backpack and put it down.
“Do you speak my favorite language…English?”
“Yes,” these two young guys smile. Wow. They didn’t
say “a little.”
“I’m from New York City. I’m a musician. I have a
phone number of the person I’m supposed to meet but no
address. I feel like an idiot. Can I just-“

At that point the dark haired young man brings the
phone up from underneath the desk. Beautiful!! One
that I don’t have to dig through my purse for coins
and then hope I have enough and that it won’t cut me
off!

“What’s the number?” I open my address book and point.
He dials it for me. God, he was an angel.
“Her name is Anja,” I tell him.

In German he tells Anja that there is a frazzled
American girl trying to get to her from their bike
shop. A moment later he puts the phone down. “Wait
here. She’s coming to get you.”

God Bless America!! I live in the busiest city in the
world and I can’t get around Köln. Moments later Anja
comes in with a big smile on her face.

“Anja!” I scream and give her the biggest hug. “My
hero” She laughed at al the madness. Turns out I was
on the street but walked the wrong way under the
underpass. There was no Hansaring 7. I imagined
that. Only Hansaring U.

I insist on taking her out to a nice dinner. We relax
and have a nice time together.

Anja studies Architecture. I met her last year during
my first Germany tour. She and Lord Bishop had begun
seeing each other. Anja is one of those truly
independent people who exudes confidence. She is
driven, helpful, and happy. She gives you the feeling
that everything will be alright. Anja has done a lot
to help Bishop. She’s got a good sense for business
and practicality. She brings Bishop down to earth and
grounds him. She’s also a great photographer and has
taken countless pictures of Bishop and his various
musical projects. Recently, she has decided that she
doesn’t feel ‘like lovers do’ with Bishop, which
breaks his heart, but they are great friends and in
many ways, nothing has changed between them.

Anja had Axel’s number. I called him. He said it was
fine for me to sleep there. No room at Anja’s. Anja
walked me to Axel’s place. In New York when Axel’s
band “Yosip” was on tour I helped them get their can,
put the guys up in my apartment etc. Plus Rob took
them out on his boat. Not that it is tit for tat, but
I didn’t feel bad imposing on Axel. He lies with his
girlfriend who is a gynocologist. Good to know.

We reach Axel’s place, a straight shot from Anja’s.
Of course, he lives on the top floor…stairs of course.
We walk in. Heaven! Nice, clean, spacious
apartment. Axel pulled down a trap door with stairs
leading up to the attic. A private room with big
mattress and fluffy comforter. Most beds here are not
made up the way we do. We, in the States, have a
bottom, top sheet, pillow case, and some kind of
bedspread. Over here, they don’t use an extra top
sheet. Instead, it is part of the thick fluffy
comforter. Makes more sense really. Just take the
cover off and wash it. Pillows are bigger, softer,
and more comfy. I’m always searching for soft pillows
at home. Here is better quality of material on the
outside and in! I prefer European bedding.

Axel gave me a key so when I woke up I had the place
to myself. Thank you, Axel. I took a long shower and
felt human again. I walked back to Anja’s to meet the
gang, though I knew I had time to kill beforehand. I
missed them.

The coolest music store called Music City Köln is
around the corner from Anja’s. Last year I bought my
other guitar there…the one I didn’t bring. They
remembered me. I lost the piece that holds the
battery in the guitar for the pick up. The guitar
salesman remembered that he sold me that guitar and
took out the same piece from another Ibanez model and
gave it to me. Only in Köln!

Suddenly I thought…Hey, I’ll go by a radio station. I
asked the guys where the closest one was. Dropped my
back pack behind the desk and walked towards Media
Parc. I find it. It’s a big open area with big
buildings semi-circling it. I see a sign.
“Eins-Live.” Must be it. I try and open the door to
the building. Locked. Intercoms are to the left.
Now what? I buzz Eins Live.

“Hello. I’m Lezlee Peterzell, singer/songwriter frm
New York I’m touring Europe for the second time, have
a schedule, and CD. I’d like to pop up and say hello
and drop it off.” Pause. Pause….Pause…

“Okay, come up.”
Jesus, major security. At least there’s an
elevator…the first one I’ve ridden in in seven days.

I walk out and see the “guard” at the reception desk.
I go into my whole schpeel again. He seems fairly
disinterested but not dismissive.

“Do you think I can talk to the music director?” I
ask.
“No, he’s busy but you can write a note…” Then he
answers the phone. I begin to write on my card but
keep my eyes peeled for humans walking by. One just
may know the music director, or even be the music
director.
“Hello,” I call out to two people. A woman hears me.
She tells me to speak to this guy – Frank – and pulls
him towards me. Frank listens, looks at my schedule.
“I have one song on this CD that a producer in New
York produced for me. It’s good for radio,” I tell
him.
“Ya, well we have different departments. The music
director will have to listen to it and decide if he
wants to play it and which category it would fit
under. How did you get in? Did you make an
appointment?”
“No, no,” I shake my head. “I’m from New York! I
learned how to be aggressive.”
“Because we get stacks of CDs every day.”
“Exactly, which is why I wanted to come in person
wearing my pink pants and red jacket. This way you’d
remember me,” I flirted hoping it would work. He
laughed. I handed him my schedule. “I have two more
shows in Köln. It would be great if you could
announce them.”
“Well, we have to see.”

I left. Another building next door had a huge sign
that read EMI. Why not? I walked in and spoke to the
keepers of the gate. The guy gave me the house phone.
I got on the phone with an assistant to A&R, the
people who are supposed to be interested and look for
new talent. Yeah, right. Funny how they’ve never
found me.

“Hi, I’m Lezlee. I’m a singer/songwriter from New
York. I thought, hey, since you are a music company
you might want to check it out. I came all the way
from America and have good luck in Germany so maybe
you could help me.”
“Leave a CD so I know who would be good to have
listen,” the woman tells me.
”Okay, hope to see you.”

Idiots. I could be playing until I’m 90yrs and never
get any bites from record executives. It doesn’t seem
to matter what I do or how balsy I am. I’m beginning
to think they are all just followers who do and listen
to everything someone else tells them…like “only sign
16-year-old girls who are hot looking. We’ll put some
cool beats behind some simple music and they can just
talk over it. We’ll sell millions.” This is what is
happening today. God forbid should anyone actually be
able to sing inteligent lyrics and have some real
experience. Forget it. It doesn’t do any good to
whine about being overlooked. I’ve sort of gotten
used to it. I don’t expect anything so I don’t get
disappointed when they don’t come, call back,
acknowledge my existence etc. I’m doing all I can on
my own. In America it was impossible to get a booking
agent without a record company…Catch 22. They only
take “signed” artists. I hate this “unsigned”,
“signed” label. If I ever do become a “signed”
artists I will NEVER rub this label in anyone’s face
because I know how hurtful it is. It’s like now I
don’t have the stamp of approval of being a “signed”
artist so I’m not considered a real artist. Bullshit.
The fact that I hooked up with Bishop is nothing less
that a miracle.

I headed back to Anja’s to meet the gang. There was
Rich, smoking, talking to someone.

“Hey,” I nodded to him, not wanting him to know I was
glad to see him.

Bishop was in the front seat on his cell phone, of
course. He had the mad blue cowboy hat on, as usual,
white shirt with ruffles al in the front (the the
shirt Seinfeld was forced to wear on TV in that one
episode) and the velvet shiny colorful pants. The
cowboy hat shadows his dark complexion so when he
laughs uproariously, his teeth protrude out from
underneath the hat. Great site. Martin was smiling
and helping load the van. Before we left, Bishop had
to get food. Martin and I watch him ordering
something in the window of a site. He’s got the phone
up to his ear making all sorts of hand gestures.
Martin laughs and shakes his head…”Crazy man,” he says
matter-of-factly.

Off we go on our way to Darmstadt for the 8th show
thus far. Bishop had to eat before any talking could
begin. Then I told him about the whole radio and
record company trip.

Bishop was mad at me for not practicing the guitar.
“Listen,” he says like a coach between bites of french
fries. “The only thing holding the music together is
your voice. You’re the only guitar player. It has to
be 100% solid. You keep forgetting the chords and
playing sloppy. With just one guitar it is
noticeable.”
“Sorry,” I said. “I’ll practice in the car.”
“Did you learn any cover songs?”
“Well, Will printed some out from the internet for me.
Cover songs intimidate me. I always forget words and
how it goes. I’ve never been good at learning other
people’s songs. The whole thing scares me.”
“Well, get over it and learn some. You need them for
Jamesons.”

We pulled into this dreary section of Darmstadt along
side this building that looked ancient. It was. The
Krone.

“I can’t pull the van in here,” Martin protests. “Not
legal.”
“Yes,” says Bishop. “We’ve done it before. We have
to do an illegal move, Martin. You can do it.” We U
into the driveway and unload. The place was dark and
musty smelling.
“Hey, Rich, I don’t think you need to unload your drum
kit, man,” says Bishop.

There, onstage, is a 50 year old drum kit nailed to
the ground with dust and syripy grime caked into the
toms. The outside of the kit was gold and glittered.


Rich laughed. “Oh, my God, eh. You think I can play
this?” It was funny actually. He gave it a whirl.

There was hardly anyone there that night. Strangest
place. There was a disco in another section. It was
one big square house at one point. The young people
are really into techno, trans pop music and they move
around to it in a strange mechanical way. All over
the radio is this kind of Euro-pop sound. Some people
came into the room I was playing in and went out
quickly…not their style..I only sold 3 CDs. Bummer.

The sleeping area was creepy. We climbed stairs that
twisted around. The lighting was low with strange
posters and colorful things hanging around.

“Cinema horror,” Martin said to me. Totally.

We all slept in one room with an arched ceiling and
skylight that had two bunk beds and a separate bed.
Martin fell asleep first. I took a bottom bunk. Rich
and Bishop were still downstairs flirting with girls
when I fell asleep. We lit a candle in the room for
them. It’s hard to fall asleep after a show. It seems
to take me forever. Then I sleep 11 hours.

Many hours later I was awoken to what sounded like a
beached whale or a pig making a long, slow “oink”
sound. Snoring! Jesus.

“Bishop, can you turn over,” I called out to him.
Totally awake, in a deep voice he says, “It’s not me,
Lez, it’s Rich. Is he above you?” I could see where
he was.
“No, he’s above you.” We both laugh.
“Tour diary,” Bishop says which is now our inside joke
and the phrase we say whenever something maddening
happens…which is often.
“Rich, man, turn over.” Bishop kicked his foot up
above his head.
“What?” Rich mumbled. He thought it was a mosquito.

I go back to sleep. When we woke up, Bishop left with
a note saying he took a train to Köln and some gas
money. He had business to take care of.

“Let’s get out of here,” I said to the guys. And we
were off…the three of us – Martin, Rich (the only one
of us who speaks German) and me…crazy combination, but
we are a group. Simple as that.

Martin needed gas. We pulled into a station. There
were scruffy looking guys drinking coffee. Truck
drivers. They all look similar. In walks a man in
U.S. Army fatigue.

“Hey, it’s the U.S. Army!” I shouted.
“Yes,” he said. I introduced myself.
“You guys should try and come to a show. I would love
to play for the army.”
“Well, give me some cards,” he said. Turns out he was
a LtCol. Rich could tell by the stripes or something.

We drove some more. Then I had to pee. We pulled
into a stop. There were woods. The trees were orange
and yellow.

“You guys want to take a walk?” I asked.

There was a road that went back along the lined trees.
We three took a walk together. The air smelled
great. Our mood lifted.

“Vich,” Martin called out to Rich in his accent. “Ven
vee are in Czech Republic, do you vant me to get you
somze mageek mushrooms? They grow in zee mountains.”
“Cool, eh,” says Rich.

Suddenly, Martin veers off to the right off the road
into the field.
“Martin, what are you doing?” I ask.
“I am looking for magic mushrooms. Zey grown
underneath tall blades of grass.”
“Oh, God – Rich shouldn’t play high,” I worried.
“Why not? I’m high every day,” says Rich.
“Oh, that explains it,” I say to myself. Pot I’m
okay with. Psychedlic mushrooms? I don’t know.

We walk on. We come to an open pasture with cows.
I’m taking in the fresh air and view. Martin and Rich
are still looking for magic mushrooms. Obviously, you
have to know which ones aren’t lethal.

We head back. Rich rolls a joint. Now this I
wouldn’t mind smoking. I take a few puffs – just to
enhance the feeling of nature. Pretty good.

“What do you like about being on tour, Rich?” I asked.
“The freedom,” he says. “Like today – we stop and
then now we’re walking in the woods. Nothing is
planned. All we know is we have to be here by this
time to play. What happens in between is like a
movie. It just unfolds. Where we’re going is how we
get there. The world is your home. Travelling is
timeless.”

He was right. I felt that way too. It’s sometimes
cool not to know what’s going to happen. In Between.
I felt a new song brewing. At home everything is
schedled and ordered. But it can interrupt the flow
because you can’t alow things to develop naturally if
you try and control everything. Some order is good
and necessary. Too much is confining.

Martin is adorable. Everything out of his mouth is
cute, the way he says it. He’s 25 yrs old. He loves
to collect LPs. If you can’t find Martin, chances are
he’s in a record store buying “open eye” music, or
asleep in the van. He loves hip hop, reggae, trans
pop etc. and tells me that the sound is much better on
vinyl than CD. On CD everything is at same wavelength
but vinyl has highs and lows like a real wave. He
likes the pulse of the beats. His life is simple 10
years ago, when the iron wall came down, Martin
hitchhiked all over Europe just to see it. He went to
Paris, Spain, England, crossed France back through the
Netherlands to Prague. He only had 100marks which is
$50 dollars and that lasted him two months. 40 marks
he used for a ferry to England. He worked a few days
in England and came back.

Martin, like many others, was curious and wanted to
experience and see the world. I think that is great.
There are some people who never leave the town they
live in because of fear. Here this young guy from
Prage with hardly any money takes advantage of his new
found freedom.

“I slept everyvhere,” he tells us in the van. “In zee
beach. In zee park. Sometimes vith peoples vee met
along zee vay. Twelve peoples. Six groups of two
because no one vould pick up all 12 of us. So, ve’d
say, ‘next stop vee meet in Paris at eifel tower.’
Every day at 2:00 o’clock ve’d meet at next place and
make a celebration.

Vee only had food, sleepbag, one extra pair of
clothes. 1990 vas a very good season. In my country
vee had a revolution. So peoples, vhen zey hear vee
are from Prague vould velcome us. Zey say me ‘Oh, I
help you. You are from Czech.”

Martin wears either his purple jeans with striped long
sleeve shirt or dark green cords. He has light brown
hair, round glasses, and a medium size beard and
mustache. He is an excellent driver and has the best
sense of direction. I trust his sense. If we seem
lost he says, “No, it’s dis vay,” and he is always
right.

“Ven vee vere in Paris, vee had a dangerous situation.
Vee vere all sleeping in China Park. I vake up and
zere is this man walking around speaking funny noises.
I cannot understand him. He has a ka-nife and keeps
opening and closing it. In Prague my father say me,
‘I heard on ze news there vas a killer of
hitchhikers.’ My parents say me, ‘You are crazy.
It’s madness! Vhere you sleep?’ Zer hair grows big
out to here,” he gestures.

“Ven I get back to Prague my girlfriend started taking
drugs she got from Amsterdam. Speeds. Shit. Now it’s
very popular drugs in Czech. Speeds you cook,
chemical but also a medicine for sore throat. It came
in like techno music. I don’t like it. It is no good
for my brain. For me, very different people take
deeze drugs. I like to smoke weed but that’s all.
It’s natural not like those fucking chemical drugs.”
Rich, I learned, has had his share of baggage to deal
with. In 1987, when Rich was 18yrs old, his mother
died of cancer. His father had already moved out of
the house and began living with his girlfriend who was
married to another man. Six days after his Mom died,
the husband of the girlfriend, in a jealous rage, shot
Rich’s father, the girlfriend to death and then killed
himself. He waited specifically until the mother died
before the murder.

Rich’s Dad, many years prior, fell in love with a
German woman when he was in the Army stationed in
Germany. They had a daughter. He got his discharge
papers and went to Texas and his father’s evil
stepmother did not send him his mail which was sent to
Indianna with letters from the German woman. They
lost contact. The letters were never found. The
woman moved to Canada. Karen, the daughter, was
looking for her father her whole life. She finally
found him six months after he was murdered. She found
out that she had a younger brother, Rich, and sister.

Karen, who just moved to Köln with her daughter and
soon to be ex-husband, came to the show at Durst. She
and Rich have the exact same shape eyes. Amazing.

We pull into Köln and head for the Irish pub,
Jamesons. After many zig zags, we find it. The place
is decorated with my posters. I’m getting sick of
this picture. It seems like a nice place inside.
Big, candles. We set up. Martin jolts to the nearest
record store.

Thank God I have Axel’s keys. He lives around the
corner from Jamesons. I need to relax. I go there
and shower, check email, put curlers in my hair
---what a treat! I need to feel like a woman after
sleeping in that creepy place the night before. I
pull out my black dress rolled tightly in the back of
my back pack.

I walked back into the club looking and feeling “fresh
and clean.”
“Wow! You look great,” says Anja sitting across from
Bishop. Amazing what a dress and makeup can do.

I order a shephards pie. Delicious food.

The first set was pretty rocking. Playing in an Irish
bar is tough since drinking to get drunk is the main
activity. There were guy in suits. One of them
danced in front and crawled to me on the floor next to
my feet holding a card and wanting an autograph. Of
course he did it for the attention. During the break
I tried to get him to buy a CD when he wanted me to
sign something else. He was too cheap to do this,
complaining about some chocolate that spilled on his
shirt.

“Why is it that the guys in suits will spend money on
beer and women but not art,” Bishop said. It angered
both of us, especially when the guy was hanging all
over me. I wrote “You are cheap” and signed my name
on the back of a sticker and he smiled, not even
looking at what I wrote, and put it in his pocket.
Bastard.

I hope any of you reading this who have tendency not
to support artists might just change your viewpoint.
If you like the music, and you’re listening to it for
free, how hard would it be to fork over some cash for
the person’s music? If it’s not in the stores it
makes it more valuable. Many people, I’ve noticed
with money, expect more stuff for free. Basically it
boils down to one thing. Respect. Respect for the
artist. Don’t be lured by the flash of big promotion.
It’s not always that great. Trust yourself. If you
like something, support it. It’s the only way it can
continue. Enough philosophy.

We played well, but the crowd by the end was loud.
Bishop got up on the songs he liked and played the
bongos with us. Martin and Anja laughed. Stiff,
Rebecca, Karsten (who let me record a bunch of songs
in his studio last year) and Axel came to the show.
Mostly, I felt like I was just background music
pouring out my energy on stage to glasses of beer.
Did Ani DiFranco ever have a bad gig? Did she ever
have this experience? It seems like all you hear
about is how great everything is for these people. To
me, the truth is a mixture of great and terrible.
It’s somewhere in the middle. Oh, and by the way, no
one from either the radio station or record company
ever called or came to the show.

Unfortunately, Irish bars pay well. 600DM or $300. I
only sold 2 CDs. At the end, though, Bishop poured
out himself to the people. He grabbed the mic and
said, “Listen, you guys should pick up one of Lezlee’s
CDs. You can’t buy them in fucking WAM (the music
department store) or anywhere else. She recorded it
here in Germany last year and the least you could do
is spend some of your cold cash because she’s working
her ass off!” Nice, but the guilt didn’t quite work.
Oh, well. “Was I too aggressive?” Bishop asked.

We both sat down. He was going to Belgium the next
day to do play with his Jimi Hendrix cover band. I
made sure I had gas money and money for food for all
of us etc. Martin came back with me to Axel’s. I
knew it was a long ride the next day and I wanted him
to get a good night’s rest. Sleeping in the van was
out of the question.

That night I had another strange dream. I dreamed
that I was walking and this man on a bicycle urinated
all over me. It was like he just put out a hose and
turned it on. Then he went to some kind of Church
group meeting. I was scared of him, but I went to the
meeting, crying and screamed to the Pastor what
happened. The Pastor threw him out of the Church. I
was scared he would come after me, but proud of myself
for turning him in.

Perhaps it was a reflection of the night before when I
was playing and people were not listening – just
drinking their beer. The beer was like urine. They
just pissed all over me. When I wrote “you are cheap”
to the suit man it was like my revenge so to speak.
Who knows.

The next day was the day from hell. Like I
said…madness to grittiness.

We were supposed to be in Grossenhain by like 6:00pm
to give an 8:00pm show. I played there last year.
Grossenhain is on the other side of Germany, way to
the East right near Dresden. Why an important gig
like this was scheduled that day from Köln I have no
idea, but it was.

Axel had a washing machine, but no dryer. Most people
are conventional when it comes to certain things and
electricity is expensive. They air dry clothes.
Martin stretched some bungy chord across the back
seats of the van and I draped my wet clean clothes
across them. Underwear, socks, jeans hanging all over
the place.

“It’s normal,” Rich says. He always says this.
Normal to him is strange to me.

We got on the Audobon a little after 10am. Getting
out of Köln can be tricky. We got on the road and
drove and drove and drove. Martin has tapes of al
sorts of “open-eye” music so we listened to pulsating
beats for hours. Geez.

At some point, I hear bickering in the front seat.
Rich is telling Martin to take a certain road to get
to the Audobon 5. Martin exits. We circle. They
look at map. 45 minutes later, we’re back on the
right road.

Four hours later, Martin is getting tired. He is not
used to driving so much. His eyes need to rest.
Staring at the white lines on the road for that long
is draining. We stop. I see a McDonalds. I’m in the
mood for some greese. Of course, it is packed! Kids
lined up everywhere. I wait in line for fucking
forever. I order some food for all of us…ketchup is
extra. We get back on the road. Problems. There is
MAJOR traffic. Apparently there was a four truck
accident miles ahead. We sat, barely moving, for
almost 3 hours! Nightmare. It’s getting dark.
Martin has a cell phone but it has very little credits
on it. We call Catia who took a train from Dresden to
Grossenhain. Rich beeps messages back and forth.
Martin gets angry with Rich for using his phone.

“Vhat if I crash? I need phone for emergency. This
is shit. Driver should not drive 10 hours to place
vith no time to relax. In Prague, ven vee drive
bands, vee have two drivers and switch off. Hansa say
me I vould get to drive little, travel, eat for free.
Zis is not true. I don’t get any money for dis. It is
too much!”

Stress. Bad moods. Disappointment. I thought Martin
was going to quit.

Rich types message to Catia.

“We are in traffic jam. Can you stall the people?
What is the latest we can play?”

There is no way we will be there by 8:00pm. Maybe
9:00 or 10:00. All of the other shows started at
10:30. This one was scheduled for 8pm sharp.

We get a phone card and Rich calls her from a pay
phone. Bad news. He comes back into the van.

“There were people there from last year who were
wearing your T-shirts,” he told me. “They were very
disappointed. The show has been cancelled.”

My heart sunk. The one return place and we couldn’t
get there in time! Catia tried to re-schedule, but it
was booked through December. This was also the
highest paying gig. 1100DM.

Suddenly I was angry that one of the highest paying
gigs was booked with too much risk for us not to get
there. Bishop has made this trip many times and it
only takes him 7 hours. We could not have forseen
this traffic jam which was the main problem, but
still, one has to consider that it could be possible
as well as getting lost, needing to stop etc.
Everyone’s way of driving is a little different. Now I
feel that a booker must leave time for possible travel
problems. Either another gig closer should have been
scheduled, or a whole day to drive East should have
happened. Either way it was unfortunate. Live and
learn. There was nothing we could have done about it.
It’s over. Move on.

We picked up Catia at the Dresden train station. She
is a doll.

“What a bad day,” she tells us. Apparently there were
problems with Germany Jam contract and financing as
well due to miscommunication. I felt badly for
Bishop. All this shit at once. I knew he would work
it out himself once he got back to Dresden. He is
good at working out kinks.

We drove to Catia’s house. Her parents and sister
were away for the weekend. She lives in a house just
outside of Dresden in the hills. We went there. Rich
made us all his famous pasta with a white cream sauce.
We all ate, relaxed and felt better. I went to the
bathroom. My God!! What do I see?? A bathtub! I am
so excited. I’ve been dreaming of taking a bath. I
do so and then come down for dinner.

I’m a little worried about where and when to meet Rob.
He is coming on Monday. We figured out that there is
9 hour train from Frankfurt to Prague and it leaves at
12:00pm. He should take that one if he gets in at
10:30am. But I wanted to get the name and address of
a hotel. So, I’ve been trying to get this
information.

Rich goes bazerk. He thinks I’m crazy for trying to
plan this. It’s better to wait until I get to
Prague. But I try and explain the situation and he
starts to yell in my face. Irritated and annoyed, I
scream back. Poor Catia. This is her first time
experiencing our dynamic. Rich does NOT know when to
quit hocking a person to insantiy.

“Rich, you’re pushing it!” I scream.
“Pushing what?”
“My buttons!”

I get up and walk out of the room. Why can’t he just
shut up when he starts in and sees that the yelling is
beginning the whole yelling process. It’s like it
makes him yell more.

“All we’ve hear about for days is you whining about
needing a hotel in Prague.”
“I’m not even talking to you, Rich! I’m asking Martin
who lives in Prague. Jesus Christ!!”

I apologize to Catia who is probably in a whirwind at
this moment. I tell her we’ve been trapped in a car
together for 10 hours and we’ve become like family
where we just have to “get it out.” She is okay.

Next day we just relax at Catia’s place. Martin
listens to the records he bought – Acid Jazz. I like
it too. I spend the day writing on her computer.

We head to the Blue Note in Dresden. I played there
last year.

Bishop and I had a minor altercation about the
situation the night before. It hurts us both
emotionally when we get upset with eachother, but I
said we have to realize that we do business together
and as a result there will be problems to address. It
is unavoidable. I made the mistake of blaming him
saying it was a booking problem in front of the guys.
That angered him. He was right. I should have taken
it outside, which we ended up doing. He felt that it
was not a booking problem but rather an act of God
with the traffic. Nevertheless we worked it out,
kissed and made up and got ready to rock again.

I played three sets. The people trickled in but by
the end it was packed. During one of the breaks, I
went out front. Bishop was guarding the door. His
coat was the icing on the cake. A leopard print!
With the hat, he looked like a pimp – especially when
I started singing outside to get people in the door.
We were hysterical.

There was a guy from Gana, Africa named Kuwashi, who
was just walking by. He lives in Chemnitz but came to
Dresden just to see what was going on. He had the
sweetest, coolest face. During set #2 he came up and
played the conga along with Rich on drums. It was
awesome! During one of my most upbeat and rocking
songs, “War”, I left the stage and the two of them
created this incredible rhythmic cosmos together –
back and forth and together for about 10 minutes
straight. The people went crazy! I loved leaving and
experiencing this. Bishop also grabbed the small
bongos and joined them. I asked Kuwashi to stay for
the rest of the sets to play. He was so happy and it
was really great.

I wrote a song last year called “One Night in Dresden”
and I had requests to sing that one again and again.

At the end I walked around the room when Bishop began
playing just casually holding a few CDs of mine in my
hand. No pushing, no sales pitch. I dropped the
price to 20DM. People said, “Oh, you only have two
left…I’ll take one.” I sold 13 CDs that night. Not
bad.

Well, today we are off to Prague. I have been looking
forward to going to this city from day 1. It is the
most beautiful and unique city, everyone tells me.
That will be a diary entry unto itself, probably.
We’ll see.

I have a few days off to chill and experience Prague.
Rob will meet me there after travelling for 24
straight hours. I can’t wait to see him.

I brought a few priceless pictures with me of Dad,
Betsy – the kids Michael and Stephen at Scott’s
wedding, Scott, Mom, Amy, the Hoffman family photo at
the wedding and me and Granddad. I wish I had more
because I look at them every day and show people.

All in all the tour is like a heightened sense of
life…like a rolling wave. It can get very intense.
Just when I think I’m going to strangle Rich for being
such an annoying know-it-all, we have a good time
playing and share a laugh. He’s definitely crazy
though. Ups and downs. Just when you think things are
awful, something great will bring you back up again.
Just when you think things are perfect, something
uncomfortable and exhausting happens. It is just the
way it is. No illusions, just reality.

----------------------------------------------------------

Tour Diary Adventures Part 4

Last Sunday we left Germany and headed for the Czech
Republic. Bishop went to Ireland for a week to promote
himself, make contacts etc. so it was the three of us,
Martin, Rich, and I in the van.

Dresden is not that far from the border and soon we
were driving into open green pastures of rolling hills
and then into mountains with Fall foliage sprinkling
down and showering the van with yellow and orange
leaves.

Martin was getting more animated as we approached his
country and he began talking more rapidly.

"You must get out your passports," he told us. There
was a line of cars waiting to pass through. I guess
the "free border" line doesn"t extend into the Czech
Republic. Anyway, as we were approaching the border
it occurred to me that posters of me with my guitar
and a copy of my tour schedule were taped all over the
windows of the van. Could we be more obvious? We
might as well just held a sign that said, "Hey, I'm an
American coming in to play music for cash..." Well,
it didn't seem to matter and we passed through.

Just over the border, still in the mountains, the
atmosphere changed. On the side of the road were
girls dressed in bras and underwear shaking their
hips. Brothels everywhere!

"Vich, you want baby?" asks Martin. "We are in jungle
now."

Half way to Prague we picked up a young guy
hitchhiking with a sign PRAHA held up to him. Martin,
perhaps remembering his hitchhiking days, slowed down
and he hopped in the van.

PRAGUE.

We arrived just as the sun was setting. We parked
near the center and went looking for a hotel for me.
Rob was arriving the next day and I wanted to have a
nice place for us.

We began walking and I felt like I was transported
back in time. Looking up, the architecture is filled
with Baroque, Renaissance and early medieval
buildings. The Old Town Square was breathtaking, with
the beautiful large old clock that strikes every hour,
St. James Church with its two towers rising above,
another incredible church and center statues. It is a
big wide open center with gorgeous buildings
surrounding it. You could imagine and almost feel the
presence of Mozart when he came to Prague, fell in
love with it, and wrote and presented the opera Don
Giovanni to Prague. Stone streets wind around and take
you to the Charles Bridge with incredible statues
lining it. Although it is not that big, it is easy to
get lost at first because the streets bend and wrap.

Martin showed me the best place to exchange money...in
what I thought he said the Turkish district. It was
good having a local person with us. He spoke so
quickly, which I wasn't used to hearing from him,
since his English is medium...although it has improved
dramatically since the journey.

The center is full of tourists, so getting a hotel was
difficult. We found a Bed & Breakfast, the Salvator,
which was near the Powder Gate, the entrance to
Celetna Street - the beginning of the center.

The next day I woke up, had breakfast and first went
out to buy walking shoes! I got a tour book and
followed the walking tour. Alone, I was told I didn't
look like an American at all. Many people thought I
was from Spain or Morocco. I can't tell you how many
stores and shops there are. I didn't expect this, and
it was a strange mixture of modern and antiquity on
top of one another. Walking the bridge during the
day, there are vendors selling artwork, jewelry,
Prague trinkets, musicians playing.

I stopped by the club, Rock Cafe, where I'd be
playing. It was on a main modern street. There was
the strangest statue of this animal with the head of a
beast and the body of a man with a huge schlong
hanging down. Was this a sign? I met the production
staff. Theresa, a young girl, showed me the
downstairs. I'd be playing in the area that is
usually for cinema shows. I liked it. It had seats
and a small stage. She thought it would be better for
my music. I was just worried people wouldn't show.


Just as I was leaving I said, "Well, I'll see you on
Thursday."
"Thursday?" she looked confused. "You mean Friday."
"No, I mean Thursday."

Problem. We realized we both had different dates.
Theresa called up Martin Forte, the booking agent. He
made a mistake. He felt terrible. Don't worry, I
told him. These things happen. We ended up switching
the Prague and Trutnov dates around. No big deal.
I'm just glad I stopped by.

Rob's train was supposed to arrive by 8:15pm. I was
so anxious to see him, I hardly slept the night
before. I sat down and had a gourmet dinner. You
wouldn't believe the prices. I think I paid the
equivalent of about $3.00 for a full meal - roasted
chicken, in a mushroom sauce, glazed string beans,
potatoes, soup. There was one woman working the whole
restaurant. She had a blank expression on her face.
In fact, I noticed this with much of the people behind
the counters.

I got to the train station at 7:30pm and asked the
information desk about Rob's train. I had the number.
It wasn't supposed to arrive until 9:00pm. Arrh!

Train stations everwhere seem to attract a certain
type of person that just hangs out in them. I sat
down and watched the drunks mumbling in Czech to
themselves. Young women walked with mini skirts,
boots, and no stockings. Then an American couple sat
down next to me. We began a conversation which made
the time pass. I was so excited to see Rob. I had a
single red rose in my hand and imagined this whole
reunion. We had spoken on the phone earlier and he
knew the name and address of the hotel, but I said I
would meet him at the train. I scoped the place out
and figured out how to take the subway to the hotel.

Then 9:00pm came and I went to the platform. A train
arrived. People got off...not many people. I waited.
My heart was beating fast. How exciting to meet in a
foreign country after being apart for weeks. I look
around. The last person got off the train. No Rob!
Damn!! What could have happened?

I walked and went all over the station. Then I got
worried. I went back to the American couple.

"Well, we missed our connection," they told me. "It's
very easy to do. Perhaps he will be on the next
train. You should wait here."

"I'm going to call the hotel," I said. "He would have
called if there was a problem."

Oh, Geez! The phone system again! I got a phone card
and luckily had the card of the hotel, somehow figured
out how to use the phone after much cursing, and
called the Salvator. Rob did not leave a message.
Strange.

At this point, I didn't think it made sense for me to
stay in the train station. He knew where the hotel
was and wouldn't want me to feel unsafe. So, I got on
the subway with my flower and went back to the hotel.
Of course my mind was racing...Where was he? How
could I have missed him? What happened? Is he okay?

There is a long escalator up to the top of the subway.
I got out, head low, and walked towards the hotel. I
look up. Oh, my God! It's Rob walking towards me!!
How could this be?

He was walking to a bank to get change. His train got
in early. I was busy talking to the American couple
(typical of me) when he got in and he was looking for
me everywhere. Frustrated, he took a cab to the hotel
and they paid for the cab. He was getting money to
reimburse them. I told him I had money. Well, the
romantic reunion I planned in my head just like the
movies didn't exactly happen the way I pictured it.
We both had headaches from the stress. Oh God, I
thought! Is this a bad sign for the future?

I wanted to show Rob the center at night. He had a
surprise to show me. It is hard for Rob to keep
surprises to himself. Ask anyone who knows him and
he is like a little kid who can't wait to tell the
whole story. We went upstairs and he had a long tube.
He opened it up and there in front of me was a huge
white banner with red lettering that that read "LEZLEE
PETERZELL EUROPEAN TOUR". How thoughtful! I was so
excited!!

We took a walk, even though my feet were about to fall
off from walking six hours the whole day. We sat down
in a cafe to watch the lit up church. We just wanted
some soup, nothing heavy. The waiter told us we had
to order a whole meal. Also, the prices were too
high. We felt a little ripped off. So, we went
somewhere else. I took him to a side street and we
found a great place with a beautiful downstairs. It
was hard to stay awake over dinner.

"Can you believe we're in Prague?" Rob said.

The next day we were total tourists. Rob brought the
video camera and we explored everywhere we could on
foot. We needed money. Every other block is change
places, but I remembered Martin telling us they charge
commission and give you a poor rate. I couldn't
remember where the Turkish shop was. Then this guy
comes up to Rob, and says, "I give you 45 crowns for
$1.00."

"No, No," Rob says and the man slithers away like a
snake into the crowd. A sign! He told me what
happened.
"Those were the Turkish guys!" I said. "They give
good deals!"
"Lez, how do I know that? You don't exchange money
with some guy on the street."
"But they give better rates. Martin took us to their
shops!" I protested. "I'm telling you, babe. We have
to find him."

Oh boy.

We walked across the Charles Bridge and up to the
castle. Beautiful. On our way back we stopped in an
internet cafe. The computer I was working on didn't
work and I got angry with the woman because I was
being charged. She yelled something at me, and I
yelled back telling her she was a b---- and rude. I
don't know what was wrong with me. Maybe PMS.
Anyway, we walked out. Just then we ran into Rich.
He took us to the funky art gallery, Reon, with
paintings by this bazaar painter of fantastical
imaginative figures in a world similar to The Hobbit.
Later Rich lost his passport. He left his backpack on
the subway. He was stressed and it has been madness
getting letters from the Embassy, re-registering
everything etc.

Walking back over the river another man came up to Rob
and asked if he wanted to exchange money for a good
rate. Going against his instincts, he said he would
exchange $20.00. The man said that was too little, so
Rob said $40. He pulled out a bill of 2000. Rich
said it was a good deal. That was about 50 crowns to
the dollar.

Maybe I should give him some Deutch Marks? No, this
is good for now. The man slithered away.

We were all hungry and found a restaurant. Rob said
he would pay. After a nice dinner the bill came and
Rob put the 2000 bill down. The waiter looked at it.


"What's this?" he asked. We all knew what had
happened. We were duped! I felt so embarrassed. The
man gave us Bulgarian money worth $1.00!!!

Later, we went to a bank and there was a sign with
that exact Bulgarian bill and a warning NOT to
exchange money on the street - that this was not Czech
money. We took a picture with me underneath the sign
holding the money. Geez.

I have learned a lot about Prague and the Czech
Republic. We went to meet Martin Forte the next day
and he took us to a restaurant where locals eat.
Their specialities are dumplings and meat dishes.
Vegetarians wouldn't like it that much here. Yes,
Prague is beautiful...at least the center is...but
there is a strange dynamic
that I picked up on with the local people. Rob noticed
it too. It is as if they resent the influx of
tourism. The center is modern below the old buildings
with tons of shopping, restaurants etc. It is cheap
too, but only for us not them. The people here do not
make much money. Martin explained that when the
revolution happened in 1989 they stupidly thought the
West would help them. While the country was much more
impoverished than it is now, at least they did not
have to be reminded day in and day out how much worse
they are then the rest of the world. Capitalism has
not helped them much because the West came in and
bought businesses and hire them for cheap labor.
Martin says they have stolen a lot of the money and
the people feel frustrated and depressed when they see
rich tourists come in and laugh at the low prices of
everything. Perhaps that is why being taken for a
ride like we were the other day gave them some sense
of pay back.

The average income is about $300 per month...so they
cannot leave Prague. Most locals hate the center. I
totally felt this. I also did not like how modern
everything was with neon signs blaring everywhere,
tourist trinkets peddled at every corner. I felt like
I was in Disney World.

The next day, Martin picked us up and we went to
Trutnov which is North and East of Prague in the
Mountains.
I played alone in this A framed restaurant to about 30
people or so.

Beforehand we were in the bar area of the hostel where
we were staying and heard this local guy playing
guitar to some guys. I asked if I could play. I sang
"Rolling" and everyone tapped on spoons and sang
along. At the end they roared. Martin, in Czech,
announced that he had a van and could fit five people
so if anyone wanted to come to the retaurant I was
playing in, we were leaving in five minutes. Four of
the guys got
in the van with us to hear
the show I was giving. They said I had a "voice from
God or the heavens..."

Rob is so amazing. He sets up all my equipment for me
in the beginning and breaks it down at the end. I try
and help but he tells me he wants me to mingle with
the people and not have to worry about any of this.
He wants me to focus on my passion of music and he
says he is here to help. He also takes care of all the
money which I am grateful for. I don't want to deal
with it.

At the end, Martin bargined with me for CDs. ""This
man only has 200 czeck marks. This man only has 300."
I gave them all what they could afford. I just
wanted them to have the music but knew I needed to
charge something.

The next night was the Prague show. When we got there
I learned that I was playing in the big stage
headlining. The only problem was that there were punk
hard rock bands before me. This didn't seem like a
good fit.

So, I'm on stage...a much bigger stage than I needed
to be on, and I'm playing my songs to a bunch of kids
who clearly would have rather been listening to loud
heavy metal music. Some kids were dancing, and I'm
thinking..."When is this going to be over?"

Then, I look down on the set list, and begin playing
the next song, "Risk It All" which I wrote for Rob. I
notice that Rob gave the video camera to Martin who
booked the gig for me. I finish the song and suddenly
Rob, who just told me prior to the show how much he
hates being on stage and cannot imagine talking or
singing in front of people, comes bolting up to me.

"Do you want to risk it all?" he yells from the
audience before coming up to the stage.
"I want to risk it all with you, babe," I said in a
playful tone.

Suddenlz, Rob comes up to me, gets down on one knee
and opens a black box with a
diamond ring glittering in front of me. I gasped for
air! My head
started spinning...but the ring indicated what he was
trying to say. He was shaking and put the ring on my
finger and said, "Will You Marry Me?" There was
silence. I don't know if the audience knew what was
going on nor did I care much. I don't know what the
customs are Prague and of course the language barrier
made it more confusing for people, although I think
they got the gist when I got flustered, started crying
(or trying not to). I dropped down on my knees in
front of Rob, hugged him and then had to continue
the show. Did I even say yes? I can't remember. I
know I've said I like Drama but more than anything, I
wanted to run off the stage and be private but knew I
was there to do a job so I stumbled through the next
song, and made it through the end. I've never played
guitar with a diamond ring on my left finger. I heard
Rich go up to the microphone and say, "Ladies and
Gentlemen, this is the future husband of Lezlee
Peterzell" and everyone cheered.

It's funny. I barely even saw what the ring looked
like, but it fit perfectly and when he put it on my
finger, everything felt right. I tried to take peeks
at it when I was playing. The diamond was glittering
up from my fingers making chord progressions.

Then, after the show, Rob and I went backstage, and he
read a beautiful poem he wrote for me. We both had
tears in our eyes. In the poem he asked me again and I
said YES!!!!

Then I took a good look at the ring. I never thought
of myself wearing a diamond ring and certainly didn't
want anything flashy, just simple. This ring is
perfect! I cannot stop looking at it. It is a white
gold band with two diamond baggettes on either side of
a round tasteful diamond with six prongs propping it
up in between. It is very classy.

"You deserve it, honey" Rob told me. He said he
wanted to propose as I was fulfilling my passion -
singing. Apparently he went through hoops and madness
to get the ring, especially in time before his flight.
Luckily he got a job right before he left that paid
him a good commission, and of course, he risked it all
on the ring. He had it customed made and made sure
that the quality is incredible. It keeps shining.
When I play with it on stage, the light captures it
and nearly blinds the person. I have not taken it
off since he put it on my finger.

Apparently, before he left, Rob called my family and
asked permission from Dad, Mom, and my grandfather.
To Granddad he said, "Don't worry, Mr. Hoffman, I too
would like our kids to be raised Jewish!" What a
sweetie.

So, I am engaged to be
married to Mr. (Captain) Robert Bellanich. I feel so
wonderful. I'm crying now. We certainly have a
different lifestyle from many others we know but
together we just support and love the adventure of
life.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The next day we all hopped back in the van and headed
for Arnstadt, one of the oldest towns in Germany. The
club was cool looking. Stone steps that led down into
a cave. They used to use it to store ice for beer in
the summer. The club put us up in the most beautiful
Bed & Breakfast. We walked in and everything smelled
like fresh wood. We had an incredible dinner and
played to a pretty good crowd. The only problem was
that they spoke almost no English. I did not know
this. Had I known, I might have had Rich translate
some of what I was saying to them. I told the
elaborate engagement story and they all stared at me
with blank faces. One woman understood and told her
friend and they both clapped.

Rich stayed at the club until 5:00am drinking. Next
morning we heard him snoring loudly. Martin locked
himself in a smaller room so he wouldn'' have to hear
it.

Next day we drove to Bonn. Everyone slept in the van
except for me and of course the driver, Martin. We
plotted a shorter way to get there and made it in 3
hours. It is getting cold so walking around is not as
fun as it was a few weeks ago.

The club had the highest stage I think I have ever
played on. It was cool and the people loved it. I
sold maybe 11 CDs. The banner looked great. It was a
great show. Rob now, in the middle of the show, gives
audience members shakers, wood blocks, tamborine and
the place creates a neat percussion sound against the
music. People get into it and I feel like I am a part
of something instead of just "performing in front of
people." Bishop came back from Ireland. It was good
to see him. He made a lot of contacts there and it
will open more doors.

Next day, back to Koln. At this point, I am ready to
relax. I cannot believe I have another show to do.
We stayed at Axel´s place again. Thank you Axel!! I
liked this place, the Sheinbar, the best out of the
Koln shows. A whole group of folks from Vaals drove
an hour to the show. They were grooving and dancing.
Great show. Bishop and Anja were cute together. For
a couple who supposedly is not a couple, they sure do
make a great pair. The band Earth Eatz Dogs came over
from New York to begin their tour and popped in. Cool
guys.

Dortmund was last night. I was dragging. The club
looked like something from the 70´s. Something about
it did not jive with me...I don´t know what. I felt
wierd energy the first time I walked in it. I just
had a feeling it was not going to be a great show.
Very few people showed. Only one guy bought a CD at
the end. We slept upstairs on these mattresses...It
just did not feel clean. They had a bath tub which
was GREAT, but once we woke up, Rob and I were ready
to split.

Now we are in a small town, Mulheim. We were wondering
who is president? Then we found out no one knows yet
either. The place I am playing in tonight is super
classy...a NICE restaurant. We checked into a hotel
and got a great rate. This is the first hotel not
covered by the club, but it looks and feels like 4
stars. God, I needed this! Our room has two levels.
It is spotless and fancy. It fits my ring!

Well, this is all for now. Until next time.
---------------------------------------------------------

Final Tour Diary

Trust, Commitment, Organization. These are the themes
of the final days of the tour.

Gera, Germany - November 2000.

Okay. It´s cold. I didn't sleep very well last
night. It only takes one or two bad sleeping
arrangements, either a cold or dirty place, no shower,
to make you feel like an animal.
Germany is beginning to look dark and dreary. The
graffiti spray painted everywhere does
not beautify the buildings. In Dresden many of the
images are of bald people with dark
circles under their eyes that appear to be screaming.
This is the way I am beginning to
feel. Dresden is depressing. The buildings and the
streets are dark.

I am concerned about the financial situation. It is
beginning to cost more money to keep
this thing going than it is worth. If a show doesn't
pay more than the expenses, then it does
not make sense to do it. It is better to do a shorter
tour with gigs that are higher paying,
than a longer tour with shows in between that don't
pay.

There is tension in the group. We are tired and so
wherever there is confusion there is
madness. Everything is fine when we know exactly
where we will be sleeping, where to
go etc. The problem is that when the club puts you
up, it is great, however we have to
wait until the club opens to get to the person who
will give us the specific information on
where we are staying. We usually pull into town in
the afternoon, so we must wait for
hours in the cold when all we want to do is relax and
check in somewhere. Sometimes the
places are cool, and other times they are not. One bad
night's sleep can put everyone in
foul moods. Well, at least myself, Rob and Martin.
Rich can sleep anywhere, anytime and
snore through it all which drives Martin crazy. This
is the flip side of this music madness,
just in case anyone thought this was always fun and
glamorous.

Later on...

After Mülheim, we had a long drive across Germany
again to the East. Rich stayed in
Dortmund to take care of his lost passport situation.
We arrived in Dresden about 5pm
and went to the cafe Lloyds. There was maybe one
small poster in the club. The women
behind the counter were not very friendly. They did
not seem to care whether I was there
or not.

I have learned many important lessons. As much as this
is about passion, it is also about
profession. First of all, when audience members have
to pay money to see a show, they
pay attention. When it is a free for them, like it
has been in some cases, they talk, ignore
what is going on and it lowers the value of the
performance completely. Similarly, when
clubs have to fork over more money to the artist, they
work harder to promote it because
they have more to lose. People shut up and LISTEN
because they are there to be
entertained which allows me to do my job and feel
appreciated. Literally every good show
I have had here that has been a higher paying one and
has been a better one for everyone.
People are more likely to buy CDs AFTER they have
spent money on a ticket. If the
show is free, they don't want to spend ANY money on
the art. It's crazy but it is the way
it works.

Therefore, it does not make either financial or
artistic sense for me to ever play a show for
free unless it is a benefit of some kind or there is a
higher promotion element to it. It does
not do me any good to get up and play my songs in
front of drunk people who talk
through the entire performance. Fine if I was doing
cover songs where it was understood
that I was background music, but this is not what I
do. I give concerts of my own original
material. I may not be Barbra Streisand, but I do
have dignity and self respect. I will never
lower the value of what I do again. Never. I am a
damn good performer and feed off the
energy of the room. It is not the quantity of people
in the audience that matters, it is the
quality. I would rather play for one or two people
who were respectful and gave a shit
rather than a packed house who didn't.

One or two horrible gigs can make me question whether
I should ever get up and do this
again. Rob and Bishop tell me I am awesome and not to
let anything stop me. I am
spontaneous, make jokes, take photos of the audience
on stage, pass out percussion
instruments to get people involved and sing my heart
out. If people are being rude, like
they were at Zum Gerucht in Dresden, I am not afraid
to tell them flat out that they are
being disrespectful to me and then ask them to leave
the room. Too bad they didn't speak
English. Why should they ruin it for everyone else?
This is what I do and although it is my
passion, it is my work and I should be compensated
accordingly, dammit. Ha! This is the
music business!

Rob thinks totally in terms of business. One of the
reasons he wanted to come on this tour
was to make sure I would not get screwed in any way.
He is tough and would fight tooth
and nail to protect me. He has taught me to never
devalue myself. Perhaps he has higher
expectations than I do. He believes in honor. If
someone cannot be trusted on their word,
or look you in the eye, then their word means nothing
and never do business with them
again. Before he got here, I was a little more
flexible with things. He has added a level of
stress into the picture, but he has also made me aware
of the concept of trust,
commitment and organization. Without them, it leads
to chaos, betrayal and confusion
which becomes maximized in a touring environment.

Back to the tour...Whenever the sleeping arrangements
say "provided by the agency" I got
nervous. What does this mean? It means that either
we stay with friends of Bishop or in a
hostel. The problems came when we were in Dresden.
Since Bishop lives there, he
figured he would work it out at the last minute. Not
a good plan.

After the Lloyds gig, Bishop arranged it so we would
stay with someone he knew and the
flat was next to the venue. He said it had a bathtub,
which he knew I enjoyed. He meant
well, but we walked into the flat and were greeted by
a growling dog and a stressed out
chain smoking girl trying to study. Oh boy. She did
not even say hello and we felt like we
were very unwelcome and that we were imposing. I knew
it was going to be a problem
with Rob. We were staying in a room of some guy we
didn't know who wasn't there. The
bed sheets have dog hair all over it. We see a photo
of the guy. He is into Gothic - body
piercing, tattoos, black witch-like outfits. We feel
so very welcome. God, why didn't I
bring a sleeping bag or clean sheets!

Call us crazy but Rob and I like to know where we are
going to sleep that night, have it be
clean and warm, drop off our bags and check in before
the show, and have it well
organized. When the clubs put us up it runs smoothly.
Otherwise it is sketchy. That
night was sketchy.

Back to Lloyds...Bishop brought a PA system and played
congas with me. It was fun
playing together. Catia brought her friends and
family. In fact, if she didn't it would have
been pretty empty. Once again, free show, little CD
sales, little promotion. I think we all
learned this.

We came back to the flat and the dog started growling.
We decided to sleep on top of the
comforter and found a blanket, but it was cold and
uncomfortable. I did take a bath which
was nice. The next morning before I went to the
bathroom Rob told me not to look the
dog in the face. If I ignored him, maybe he wouldn't
growl. Rob was itching the whole
night from dog hair or fleas or something. This is
starting to suck!

Next morning, we drove to Gera. Rich met us there by
train. We get to the club and it is
locked. We have to kill a few hours so we find an
internet cafe. Rich comes bopping
along. One thing I can say about Rich is that he is
reliable and pretty much always in a
decent mood. Rob and I are bitching and complaining at
this point. We are hungry, tired,
want to shower and relax. It is not pretty.

Rich is the only one who can speak this damn language!
Finally the club opens. We set
up and ask about accommodations. Rob is beginning to
feel like a mule.

"If this place sucks, I'm throwing down my American
Express card for a clean place and
that's the end of it!" Rob says. Oh boy.

The man gives us directions to the Pension. We go in
circles trying to find the place. We
ask two or three people. It has been 30 minutes and
we cannot find the street. Why is it
that when Rich asks for directions, he is adamant
about how we should go, but end up
getting lost. I can laugh about it now, but at the
time it is maddening.

We are supposed to be back to the club at 8:30 and it
is almost 8:00pm. If Rob doesn't
take a shower I am afraid he is going to lose it.
Finally we find the place. Not
bad...actually not bad at all. Fluffy comforters make
it so inviting. Two separate rooms
with two single beds. Rob always rearranges the
furniture so that our two beds are next
to each other. He will not sleep a part from me no
matter what. I think this is sweet.
Poor Martin. He will have to endure another night of
Rich snoring. He whistles loud and
it supposedly stops the snoring, but he hates sharing
a room with Rich.

We clean up and feel human again. We arrive and there
are people there. Our dinner is
on the table and the man behind the bar is signaling
for us to eat quickly and get onstage. I
don't like how bossy he is. I notice a woman from last
year, Connie. She came all the way
from Zwickau to see the show. I remember my
conversation with her in Zwickau last year
because she told me that before the wall came down she
had never seen a concert until she
was 30yrs old. She saw Joan Baez play and tears
streamed down her face. She had never
seen open display of emotion in music like this. It
was so moving to her. She was
shocked that I remembered her. How could I not?

We played and Connie mouthed most of the words. We
played three long sets and the
bossy man kept telling us to keep it going so he could
sell more drinks. There were
articles in the paper and people showed but there was
a stiffness in the air.

Next day we drove to Eisenberg, a small town in the
middle of nowhere. It was Saturday.
Everything was closed. Rob and I walked around and
saw an old train track that was not
used anymore. We got an eerie feeling. We saw an old
watch tower. We began to get
paranoid and imagined this town during the World War
II. We were convinced that we
were near a concentration camp and that the train
tracks were used to haul Jews to the
camps to be incinerated.

Ironically, we walked into a small area where there
was one place open - a sun tanning
center where you could fry your body willingly.

Stranger yet was the name of the place I was playing:
Slaughterhouse.

The gig and owner Wolfram turned out to be great. We
stayed in his flat and it was
beautiful and comfortable with the best and biggest
bathtub of all!

People paid their entrance fee, and wa la...a good
time was had by all. This woman,
Helga, kept hugging me constantly. You do not see a
lot of hugging or open displays of
affection in Germany. This I do not like. I have
heard that in Italy it is much different. I
have always wanted to go to Italy. At first it was
sweet with Helga hugging me, then it got
annoying - especially as she got more drunk. She kept
clinging to me, playing the wood
stick on stage which she ended up breaking the tip of
the stick playing off beat, banging
into me, crashing the cymbals. I gave her a T-shirt
from last year and she hugged me so
hard that I felt like her arms were a boa constrictor.

People danced and danced and sang along to my songs.
We could not stop and kept
playing and playing until my wrist was sore. I sold
quite a lot of CDs, but I really lowered
the price to practically nothing so more people could
take them home with them. Helga’s
boyfriend asked if I would sign my name with a dark
marker on his stomach, so I did.
There was a girl named Constance who traveled to see
that show and came to another...in
all she attended three of my shows.

Next day, we were off again like tigers to the next
stop...Dresden. Once again, free show
- rude people.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
In publishing this diary, I have become aware of my
power as a writer. I began this journal
as a lark, just to record all the crazy adventures for
fun. But I am now aware that
everything I write is from my perspective. I am also
aware of how powerful the written
word can be. There are many perspectives and stories
which have gone untold. If they do
not relate to me personally, I do not see a reason to
divulge such information. If I am
angry my tone may be different, so I try not to write
when I am angry because my
perspective is one sided and I do not want to put
something down that I will regret later.
If I am calm perhaps I can see things from a different
angle. I do not wish to hurt anyone
and yet, I feel a responsibility to tell the truth as
I see it. Writers can have no mercy if they
are to be honest. As an artist, I have learned to
simply be myself - write and sing from my
gut. If it does not fly in the end, at least I know
that I did not try and be someone I was
not.

I feel like I am in a movie dissecting the many
characters around me. I also feel like there
have been signs along the way indicating the future.

“Bishop works for nobody,” Rich told me the first day
I met him. “Everybody works for
Bishop. Why do you think he named himself Lord
Bishop? He thinks he is God. But he
signs notes to me as Satan. Bishop builds things up,
tears them down, and keeps on
going.”

I smiled at the time. I could see that Rich is
dependent on Bishop and wants to go on a
world tour with him as drummer for the Rockadelic
Kings. Bishop is doing all the work
booking and promoting the tour. Rich is a sideman,
eventhough he desperately wants to
be “in the band” and believes that the band will be
stronger if they act like a band; practice
regularly, spend time together etc. Rich spoke of the
mini tour he went on with the Kings
constantly, throughout the tour. I listened and
listened. I also listened to Bishop’s side. I
could see the conflict, but leaned more towards
Bishop’s point of view.

In Koln, the guys from the band Yosip, Axel, Stiff,
and Mishi, were furious with Bishop.
They felt since they were on his record label, Dirty
Earth Records, he should have
promoted and organized their U.S. tour better.
Stiff’s girlfriend shook her head and said,
“It’s always the same with Bishop.” He promised there
would be a woman promoting
their main show at Brownies. They came all the way
over here and played for about five
people (including myself and Rob) at Brownies, a
“showcase” venue in New York City.
The mysterious woman didn’t even show up. There were
no posters, no promotion,
nothing. I felt awful for them. I listened to them.
They were angry because they had not
heard from Bishop at all since they got back. They
felt he was dodging them. Bishop’s
side is different. He said he discouraged them from
going to the U.S. because it would be
a waste of money. He felt an obligation to help them
since meeting Axel was the reason
Bishop came over to Germany in the first place. Now
that he has so many things going
on, he just can’t continue this responsibility.

I felt for both sides. Still, I was defending Bishop.

After Eisenberg, things began to slide downhill. We
went back to Dresden. There we
were to meet Bishop and Rob was anxious to square the
money situation once and for all
since he was holding all of it. Rob felt very
uncomfortable about this. He said there was
no reason for Bishop to hold all the money. He did
not need him as his banker. He wrote
Bishop a strong email before he came to Europe
reminding him of the agreement we had
and demanding total payment in cash for all the
merchandise money and performance fee
money he was holding on my behalf. Bishop was angry
about this email because it implied
that he was dishonest and asked me to bridge the gap
between he and Rob.

“Lez, we are all in this together,” Bishop told me.
“I feel like Rob doesn’t trust me. Why
is he coming anyway?”

“To make sure I am okay,” I told him. This was the
truth. Rob trusts people who are
straight with him and stick to their word. There were
too many indications in Rob’s mind
that there were going to be problems.

I wanted peace between Rob and Bishop because I cared
about both and had separate
relationships with each of them.

“Bishop is honest,” I told Rob. “Just give him the
benefit of the doubt.”

In Koln, when Rob first met Bishop, the three of us
sat down and went over some
numbers. Bishop agreed that Rob would take out the
money owed to me for each show
from now on. We also settled on the merchandise money
owed to me. Since Rob was
going to be on the whole tour, he would collect all
the money from clubs, pay expenses
for gas, food etc. and Bishop would reimburse him, or
he would take it from the future gig
money. Nothing had been paid to the driver so when he
was hungry, Rob would pay out
of his pocket. Rob mentioned this to Bishop, and he
said he should give him an allowance
of 10DM per day. So he did. The drummer had been paid
partly but not fully. There was
just the question of the performance fees to me for
the previous 14 or so shows where he
collected all the money.

In Dresden, Rob tried a few times to sit down with
Bishop, go over the numbers, get the
rest of the money he owed us and be done with it. We
had an agreement and Bishop’s
money problems should not have affected me, however,
Bishop did not see it from this
perspective. He felt that he was doing me a huge
favor and it was not unreasonable for
me to help him out if the expenses were outweighing
the income. But pinning down
Bishop was difficult, because he was always running
here and there doing his own thing.
How was I supposed to keep up with his crazy schedule
that he seemed to make up as he
went along. Off to Prague, off to Ireland, off to
Hamburg. My trust in him was beginning
to fade.

The final straw was in Dresden at the club Zum Gerucht
when Bishop demanded Rob give
him all the performance money he collected from the
last few shows even though Bishop
still owed me money. Rob felt it was fair to offset
it against what he owed me but Bishop
said he had bills to pay. That is when Bishop
suggested to Rob that we put all the money
in one pot, including CD sales and split everything
down the middle. Rob stiffened.

“Wait a minute,” Rob said to Bishop. “These are
Lezlee’s CDs. She put all the money
into producing them.”

After that show Rob turned to me. “I’m telling you,
Lez. Bishop is going to stiff you.”

The stress escalated when Rob tried twice to sit down
with Bishop and he had to fly out
the door. On his way out the second time, he gave us
the contracts with each club so we
could see how little money he actually received verses
the expenses he laid out. The point
of this was so he could work out a different
arrangement with us so that he could earn
back his expenses plus make money. No one likes to be
blown off, especially Rob.

Later, Rob told me it wasn’t my fault if Bishop
undersold me and spent too much money
on expenses. This was his job to manage the money.
An agreement is an agreement. You
don’t go back on an agreement. Even Rich looked at the
contracts and said that cover
bands out of high school get more money than what some
of these clubs were paying me,
an artist doing original material.

In the van, Martin, Rich, Rob and I were looking at
the contracts and figuring out the
expenses and shaking our heads. None of it made
sense.

“You’re not Alanis Morrisette or Jewel or Karen
Carpenter.” Rich said to me. “You’re
LEZLEE PETERZELL!” It was cute.

Rob and I checked ourselves into a four star hotel in
Dresden for two nights. We could
not take the stress anymore. At least we were going
to be comfortable, whatever the cost.
Rob did not want to see Bishop’s face, and frankly I
did not want them in the same room
together. Rob did not trust Bishop anymore and was
sickened by the whole fiasco. So
was I.

So, a week before the tour was going to be over, I
called Bishop and gave him an
ultimatum. Either he pay me in cash the money he owed
me or I was canceling the tour.
No more stalling for time. He thought this was
drastic. Drastic moves are the only way to
pin him down and make him think about what is going
on.

Bishop prefers to do everything financially at the
end. This is better for him so he can
look at the expenses verses the income. It certainly
is not better for the artist who must
lay out money and wonder if the promoter is handling
everything effectively. It is
obviously more fair to pay someone their fee at the
end of each show rather than the end
of the tour. Even the promoter from Prague, Martin
Forte, agreed to this. This way,
there is no confusion, no doubt, no worry. Instead,
everyone in the group was chasing
Bishop like a puppy dog for money for gas, food etc.
and wondering if he would honor
their contract, or try and renegotiate at the end
after not balancing the expenses correctly.
This “renegotiation” at the end is something Bishop is
now known for. Welcome to the
music business. I was warned but would not listen.
Get your money upfront I was told.
Do not deal with bullshit. Do not deal with excuses.

I am reluctant to trash Bishop, a man I have known for
eight years. It is emotionally
difficult for me since we have shared so many
experiences together. He has told me that
he loves me and I am the only person he would do this
kind of arrangement for. However,
it is not like he is a bigtime promoter with the
greatest reputation. I was helping his
reputation as well.

He hires these young female students to help run his
business. They make a lot of the
phone calls and are stressed out to the max and feel
responsible to him because they are
also his friends. One of the girls, who met him in a
copy shop, told me she has not spent
hardly anytime with Bishop because he is all over the
place. She has to call him and call
him. Bishop has a cell phone but turns it off when he
doesn’t want to deal anymore.
Also, when he is on a train, which is often, the
signal is lost. Problem? He has not put
voice mail on his phone! It infuriates people because
they need to reach him or get him an
important message and there is no way to do so unless
they email him and wait until he
gets to a computer to respond. Yet if Bishop needs
something done, he expects the
people to be right there and jump through hoops for
him. Is this professional?

I realize that anger is a powerful emotion and so I am
trying to be objective. I would not
be the first artist to have felt screwed by a
promoter. Then again, Bishop would not be the
first promoter to have laid out more money than he got
back.

Bishop put a lot of work into this tour and basically
made no money from it. It is true that
his main objective is his own artistic career, but he
is still good at booking, and when he is
focused he can really do a good job. How many other
people have booked a tour in
Europe for me, a virtually unknown artist peddling her
own CDs, designed and printed
posters to be hung all over the town I was playing in,
hired a tour van with driver, backup
drummer, negotiated clubs to provide accommodations
for us, dinner, breakfast and get
my pictures to the papers for press? How many others?
Zero. Only one. Bishop usually
charges an upfront fee plus a commission. My case was
different.

Rob negotiated a different arrangement for me. No
upfront fee, all expenses paid,
including airfare and I would receive a fee for each
show, plus I would keep all money
from CD sales. Rob was not going to let me do this
for a second time without walking
away with an income. Period. There was going to be a
showdown between Rob and
Bishop unless I dealt with the matter myself. So I
went to his flat alone.

All I wanted was what was promised to me for each
show. Bishop had paid some of it
because Rob demanded it, but not all of it, and I was
not going to continue until it was
taken care of. Whoever holds the money holds the
power. I wanted my power and self
respect back.

We sat down. It was uncomfortable, but such is life.
I told Bishop that business is
business and friendship is friendship and the two do
not mix well. I told him what he
owed me. We went back and forth. He said my numbers
were wrong, but I reminded him
of gigs that were paid and which ones were not. He
pulled out the contract. It was fairly
clear to me that after the 15th show, we would split
fees 50/50. He read it differently.
Instead, he was going to split the lowest paying shows
50/50 which gave me less than
150DM per show. Whatever. I just wanted this whole
thing to end. I wasn’t going to
fight over a few hundred Deutch Marks at this point.
Just pay me the money in cash and
we would not have to talk about it anymore.

He said that he could not carry the tour anymore. He
would just have to tell the clubs
there was an illness. If I wanted to continue, I would
have to deal with the expenses
myself. Suddenly, I felt like he was turning the power
around again. I said fine, but I
wanted my money in cash and I wanted it now.

We had a friendship talk. I told him that his ego is
his biggest downfall. I told him I felt
like he was my pimp. We actually laughed about this
because in the photos, he looks like a
pimp with his outfits. When he is focused, I told
him, he can do wonders, but he takes too
many things on and then it becomes half-assed. It
would have been better to do a shorter
tour that was better organized with higher paying
shows than a longer one done this way.
He must learn to dot the i’s and cross the t’s. He
agreed. I can’t help it. I have a soft
heart for him.

We both wanted to remain friends and he did not want
this to taint a future of us working
together. He admitted that he screwed up. Was I
being unreasonable and selfish? One
could argue yes, and one could argue no. Then I felt
that Bishop began to pull at my heart
strings too much, making me feel guilty that I did not
help him out more seeing that he
had all sorts of expenses like phone calls, posters
etc. He told me posters - mailing and
designing cost him 1600DM. I checked it out with
Martin Forte. Martin said with design
and printing it came to only 600DM. No way it cost
him 1000DM to mail them out to all
these clubs. But it was not the point. It should not
have been my problem what his
expenses were since he agreed to take them on. I had
expenses too. I printed hundreds of
black and white photos, printed up post cards with the
tour dates, mailed them plus a ton
of CDs to Germany. Also, when we were off, I had to
pay for hotel and food costs. So
what?

“Let’s just go to the bank and be done with it.” I
said. This way I would have time to
exchange it in dollars and get a better rate than
doing it in the U.S. like last year. It would
cost me more more not to continue because my flight
was fixed so I had to stay until the
next Sunday.

“I cannot give you the money now.” Bishop says to me.
“I can only take out a small
amount out of the bank each day. I only have a bank
card. Anja is in charge of the bank
account.”

I went ballistic. This was the most ridiculous crap I
had ever heard.

“This gets better and better.” I told him. “So you
are telling me that you put thousands of
Deutch Marks in the bank but you cannot take them out!
What good is putting money in
a bank if you can’t take it out when you need to?!
You wanted to do everything at the
end with what money?” Rob was right!

I got on the phone with Anja in Koln. I gave her my
bank information so she could wire
transfer the money into my account. We went to the
bank machine and Bishop took out
his “limit” of 500DM and Anja was supposed to wire
transfer the balance of 2,129DM
into my account. I would believe it when I got
confirmation.

My flight left the day after the last show all the way
on the other side of Germany in
Frankfurt. Bishop needed Martin to drive to Koln near
Frankfurt to pick up equipment for
Germany Jam. He said to me that he would pay for the
gas for Martin to drop us off at
the airport. I thought that was reasonable.

The tour would go on. The group was still a group.
Rich and I had become bonded as
musicians. His nuttiness was endearing. I grew quite
fond of Rich and Martin.
After four weeks of being together nonstop, we had
become family.

The remaining shows were mixed. The show at Fabrik
in Potsdam was really cool...It
was a big space sectioned off with a huge area for
dance theater, concerts, and a back area
with nice, comfortable sleeping rooms. They did nice
promotion - color brochures which
attracted a large audience that danced and were very
attentive.

I emailed Anja. I told her I trusted her. I had no
reason not to. Did she wire the money
into my account yet? I just wanted confirmation. I
told her that I cared for Bishop as a
friend but had problems with how he conducted himself.
The only way I would do
business with him in the future was if I held onto all
the money and paid him a commission
myself. He did not know how to manage money.
Furthermore, I told her there was
horrible disorganization which led to problems which
could have easily been avoided with
more specific information like the specific name,
address of the hotel and a copy of the
map of the town or city!

I received a fax from Anja. It was a contract I was
supposed to sign before she wired the
balance into my account. It basically said the tour
was cancelled and I was responsible for
the expenses for the remaining 5 shows and the
remaining balance of 2,129 would be
wired into my account with the signing of this
agreement. More contracts. What is the
point if they are not honored?

Hamburg was interesting. We played at another Irish
Pub, Murphy’s in the red light
district. Rob took a walk to McDonalds to get a
chocolate shake and was attacked by
two prostitutes who grabbed his arms and asked if he
wanted a snack. He pushed them
away.

“Lez, I was attacked!” he told me.

“Really? I want to see.”

So, I walked behind him and watched a repeat
performance.

Martin was checking messages on his cell phone at the
bar.

“It’s Carabis Cup,” Martin explained to me. “Everyone
wants to know where I am.”

“What is Carabis Cup?” I asked.

“Every year on the anniversary of the revolution in
Czech Republic, about 40 of us get
together. We bring our homemade gancha that we grow
and there are 14 judges. They
judge the gancha in terms of smell, sight, and how
strong it is.”

“So, basically it is one big smoke fest.”

Martin laughs. “Yes. It is crazy.”

That night in Hamburg the club put us up in a hostel.
Martin was happy that he had his
own room, but said he was put by the exit and heard
the sounds of high heels clicking all
night long.

Hostels have communal showers. They should spell them
“hostile” because that is how
you feel after staying in one. In the morning, I went
to the bathroom clearly marked
“Damen” for Women. I walked in and there was a naked
man bent over washing his hair
in the sink. Jesus! First thing in the morning and
this is what I am greeted with! I turned
around and walked out. I’ll just hold it.

Final show! Berlin. The Miles Club. I am getting
emotional. Through all the madness,
we made some great music and had some great shows. I
see 3 rows of 3 Lezlee posters
plastered. Cool.

Not many people showed at Miles. I don’t know why.
The owner, Nelly, said there were
parties going on around the club so people were
probably there. She wasn’t worried
about it even though I felt badly. In the backroom
when paying me she told me she did
not like dealing with Bishop. I just collected the
money and thanked her for everything.

We went back to the hostel. We had to get up at 5:30
and be on the road by 6am if we
were going to make this flight. Poor Martin. I knew
it was a lot for him.

At 5:30am, we woke up Rich, fully clothed, snoring in
the other room. What a sight! He
just popped up and walked in sort of a daze towards
the van.

Everything was going smoothly until we were almost
there and Martin turned to Rob.

“Who is going to pay me for today?” Martin was
referring to his fee
“Well, Bishop should since the real point of you
driving is to go to Koln to get the
equipment for Germany Jam.”
“No, no, no. Bishop say to me that Lezlee pay.”
“Let’s call him!” I demanded.

Jesus Christ! We have a few hours to get to the
airport and now we are dealing with this!

Rob is beyond furious at this point. He just wants to
get the hell out of Germany. He
feels like Bishop has jerked him around long enough.

“If Bishop expects you to pay for this ride, then you
will know what kind of person he
really is,” he tells me.

We call Bishop. He has a head cold. I tell him the
situation and he says I should pay since
I signed the agreement. I said the agreement was for
five shows. This has nothing to do
with that. Besides, he verbally told me he would pay
for the gas since it was mainly his
trip. He needed the van to go to Koln for his purposes
and we were catching a ride. I said
we should split the cost. The phone clicked off. I
ran out of money on the card. Damn!
I do not know what has been agreed but certainly this
was fair. Certainly he would agree.
I thought I was being fair considering his problems.

Martin was frustrated and had had enough. He got two
different conflicting messages. He
said in all his life he has never dealt with such
madness. We pay for the gas and tell him to
get the rest from Bishop.

There was yelling and then silence during the rest of
the ride to the airport. Martin turned
up the tape player and we listened to jarring techno
music the rest of the trip. I begin to
write a new song...

We came on our own
with fields of dreams and expectations

Created a world of highs and lows
and magical moments

But now you

kill the mood
kill the light
kill the laughter
now you
kill the spark
kill the joy
forever after
the trust...is broken

Pulling into the entrance to the airport, I turned
down the music and said to everyone.

“Look, despite it all, we had a good tour and we are
still a group. I refuse to let one bad
situation ruin the spirit of what we all did together.
Thank you everyone for everything.”

We arrived at Frankfurt airport at 1:15pm and our
flight was at 2pm. I ran inside and
realized we were at the wrong terminal. Shit! We
drove back to terminal 1.

We unloaded the van. There was a stillness in the
air. Rich got out of the backseat. He
handed me a plastic bag. I opened it up. It was an
original vinyl LP of “Heart” one of my
favorite bands from the 70s. He had picked it up in
Prague. We had all been listening to a
tape of it in the van in the beginning of the tour and
were all singing along to songs “Crazy
on You” and “Magic Man.” I got teary-eyed. We
hugged. I really would miss him!

Martin smiled. I gave him a big hug and said, “You
are the most honest of all of us.” Rob
hugged both of them and said we would call and write.

We ran to the Kuwait Air terminal. I had to go to the
bathroom so badly but we had no
time. It was 1:45pm. We went to the desk and
scrambled for our passport and tickets.

“You are very late,” the woman behind the counter
snarled.

“Yes, we know. We are sorry. We had horrible
traffic.”

She looked in her computer and punched a bunch of
keys.

“You are not confirmed on this flight,” she tells us.

“What?! But we have a computer printout.”

“You must confirm 72 hours in advance.”

“Oh, God. Please. We have been through quite a lot
and this is the only flight to New
York in one week. We did not know we had to
reconfirm. We love Kuwait Air. I am
sure you could help us.” Kill it with kindness my Mom
always told me.

She did help us. “You must hurry,” she said.

“Thank you! Can you just tell them we are on our way
and not to fly off without us!”

So, we go running through the airport. Rob is
carrying my guitar and the carry-ons. I am
squeezing my bladder so I don’t pee in my pants. More
madness!

Finally! We get to the terminal. We have to show our
passports and airline tickets like 20
times. We board the aircraft. It was not very
crowded at all. I head to the bathroom
immediately.

Once seated I exhale. My god, we made it! Is it
over? Can I relax?

Touchdown! Oh,, my God it is good to be home!
------------------------------------------------------------------------
I went to the bank the next day. No wire transfers
into my account. Beautiful. I got two
emails. One from Anja and one from Bishop. Anja said
that it takes a few weeks to do a
wire transfer from Germany to the States. I cannot
understand this, but I must believe her.
What other choice do I have? She also said she hoped
that one day Bishop and I can sit
down over coffee and laugh about all of this...that
all of this was not losing a friendship.

The other email was from Bishop. He was shocked that
I did not pay Martin for his van
and time and that it clearly stated in the agreement
that I was to cover all expenses. He
was instructing Anja to deduct a further 100DM from
the wire transfer. He waited until
the end to see how I would handle this before giving
Anja the go ahead to transfer the
money. If I ever do see the money, I would not be
surprised if there were further
deductions for other “expenses” that he decides are
worthy.

I hope that one day I too can laugh about all this.
It is a shame that it had to end the way
it did. It is the typical music business story I
guess. Do I feel like a victim? No. I learned
a lot from it all. If I lost money but gained wisdom
then I was successful.

The highlights are still the highlights.

- I am engaged to a man that I am crazy in love with
who cares more about me than I ever
thought possible!

- I created new fans and proved that I have ones from
before who traveled distances to see
me play.

- I sold over 150 CDs to people who will listen to my
music, learn the songs, and
hopefully ask for more.

- I created another mailing list with hundreds of
names, addresses, and emails from people
across the ocean who will hopefully follow my career
and attend my next tour in Europe.

- I made music! I performed night after night and got
stronger and stronger. I had people
dancing, singing along, and sending them on a journey
along with me.

- I met a new promoter.

Things that make more sense in Europe:

1. Clubs do their part to help promote shows and do
not leave all the burden on the
artist; hang posters, put your picture and
information in press, provide you with
place to sleep, dinner, and generally pay you a flat
fee regardless of how many
people show. Do not over book with five acts per
night. You are the only act.
You play for 90 minutes.
2. Toilet flushing system.
3. Two comforters on a double bed. One for each
person so no one hogs the sheets!
4. Conservation of electricity: Automatic timers on
all hallway lights. Wind
generators. Motion detectors for escalators
5. Smart Cars that are fuel efficient and can be
parked anywhere since they are only 8
feet long!
6. Breakfast served complimentary with most hotels.
7. Candles lit on dinner tables at most restaurants
which gives a nice touch.
8. Better food at rest stops. Clean bathroom
facilities (but they except a monetary
contribution).
9. Internet cafes when you can find them.

Things That Do Not Make Sense In Europe:

1. Smoking by most people everywhere, in all
restaurants, clubs, offices etc.
2. Elevator size is only up to 3 people, usually 3ft
by 3ft.
3. In Germany, people are reserved and do not embrace
others often.
4. Graffiti on buildings.
5. Having to confirm a flight 72 hours in advance when
you already have a ticket.

I still have love in my heart. I may be disappointed
by certain aspects of the tour, but I still love
everyone that was a part of the madness.

The end.