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Asheville, NC - 2008-07-??
Jeff Schroeder
(lookup on

Asheville, NC – Thanks for tuning in. The last couple of months has been a real exciting time for both the band and me personally. Recently, someone in the Pumpkin family decided that it would be a great idea if a band member contributed a blog to the website in an effort to give all the internet people out there a closer look into the day-to-day experiences of band struggling to combat the unknown forces of "the road." For some reason, it was quickly decided that the person would be me (I guess that's what going to graduate school gets you?). So throughout the duration of the tour I'll be sharing stories, events, photos and all other types of nonsense that you might find interesting. Since we have a lot of ground to cover, I'll get right into it.

I think I can speak for all involved when I say that our recently completed trip to Europe was successful on multiple levels. We had a lot of fun together and did our best to bring the rock each and every night. While all of the shows were great and unique in their own way, there were some definite highlights. One stand out moment was the addition of Uli Jon Roth to the line-up for three shows in Germany. If you don't already know, Uli Jon Roth replaced Michael Schenker in the Scorpions and played with the band from 1974 to 1978, helping the band move out of their Kraut-rock roots and become the shuffle producing machine that they are known for today. His playing on these early Scorpions recordings is simply phenomenal and his influence within the rock guitar community goes largely unnoticed. But once you listen, you'll realize that his playing is beyond world class and on par with more recognized guitar players such as Ritchie Blackmore. I'd like to hear what Yngwie Malmsteen would have sounded like if there was no Uli Jon Roth. Besides being a great musician, Uli shared his beautiful soul with us, and for that we're all quite thankful. For a few shows after he left, Billy and I would just look at Uli's spot on the stage and acknowledge his spirit.

After a month of rocking in Europe, on Wednesday morning we got on a plane and flew from London straight to Atlanta to film a video for "Tarantula." I don't want to give too much away, but I will say that making the video was a blast, and all of the extras involved really made it a special moment that I think you're going to enjoy.

After making the video, we jumped in a van and began making trek to Asheville, NC. For about a minute, we all of got nostalgic about the days of touring in a van, and to make the moment even more authentic, we stopped for dinner at Cracker Barrel just outside of Atlanta. The food was amazing, and we all tested our intelligence playing the wooden-triangle-with-holes-and-golf tees-game. If you don't know what I'm talking about, I'm sorry; and it's much too complicated to explain. But let me say this, we found out that our rhythm section, Jimmy and Ginger, are the most intelligent members of the band. We arrived in Asheville late Thursday night/early Friday morning. To protect the feelings of our driver, I'll just say that we made safe. I won't mention anything about the dirt roads that take you from Atlanta to Asheville.

On Friday morning, a bunch of us took to the streets of downtown Asheville to have a look around. According to BC, it only took about 30 seconds for someone to ask him if we wanted some "PB"-pure bud. Awesome. But it only gets better, a few moments after that, while walking down the street, someone else asked Billy if he would take a photo with his monkey sock (or something like that).

But in all honesty, the people that we've met in Asheville have been wonderful, and we're just as excited to be here as they are to have us.

Talk to you after the show.

Listening: Mahavishnu Orchestra – Between Nothingness and Eternity

Reading: Friedrich Nietzsche – The Birth of Tragedy

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