Fleetwood Mac

November 26th, 2003 – Birmingham, UK, NEC

If I have to blow my nose one more time, I’m going to jump off a bridge. I hate to be melodramatic, but I’m deathly ill, and it’s only getting worse. The only time I complain about being out on the road is when I’m sick, because all I want to do is call in sick to work, crawl in to my bed at home and cuddle with my cats while I feel sorry for myself. That is not an option. I can’t call in sick, I’m thousands of miles from home and from my bed, and my cats don’t even remember me at this point. I know, it’s just a cold, but I’m a big baby about being sick.

Tour is like day care, if one kid shows up with a cold, it’s only a matter of days before everyone has it.

So unfortunately, I can’t tell you that much about Birmingham, since I spent one and half out of two days sleeping and coughing and watching television. We arrived mid-day on the 23rd after a 3 or so hour drive from Newcastle. I fell asleep as soon as got to the room and saw a fluffy white down comforter with 4 huge pillows. If there’s anything I’m good at, it’s staying in bed for downright unhealthy amounts of time. The bed doesn’t even need to be comfy, but I’ll take all the help I can get.

The first night we were there a bus was scheduled to pick us all up and take us to a pub that was about 45 minutes away. Our production manager lives near Birmingham and his friend who owns this pub was nice enough to open up just for us and have us all for dinner and drinks. I over slept and nearly missed the bus. Big surprise. In case I haven’t mentioned it before, I have a little reputation for missing the bus. It doesn’t happen often anymore, but there were a few weeks where I missed nearly every other one. Oops.

Dinner was great; the pub was adorable, very cozy and cute. I was still pretty out of it from being ill and sleeping so long, but everyone ate and drank too much and had a good time.

The next day was the day I spent in bed. We’ll skip that day.

Which brings us to the shows. I’m sure most of you know about the meaning behind the penguin, it was sort of a mascot for Fleetwood Mac way back when. We don’t see many penguins at the shows in the states, but here in the UK, penguins are taking over. At the first show in Birmingham, someone put this dancing penguin on top of Stevie’s monitor. It had a sensor on it so it never fell off, it just stayed, going from side to side, dancing and spinning. Stevie was having the hardest time keeping a straight face. The first time she came off the stage that night she proclaimed that she loved the dancing penguin and wanted it. I don’t think she realized that she’s at a Fleetwood Mac show, and that the people with the penguin would probably be more then happy to give it to her. At the end of the show, they offered the penguin up, and Mick took it…Stevie ran over and grabbed it out of Mick’s hands. Backstage later that night I had to help her figure out how to turn the dancing penguin off, because after 20 minutes…you just want the penguin to stop dancing.

Continuing the penguin theme, the second show in Birmingham was John’s birthday. After World Turning, Mick introduces everyone on stage, and when he introduced John and announced that it was his birthday, it was like a penguin downpour. There must have been 30 stuffed penguins thrown on stage. It was hysterical. We bagged them up after the show and we are now traveling with a penguin arsenal. You need a penguin? We’ve got a penguin for every occasion! Penguins dressed like Santa, penguins with scarves, penguins dressed as reindeer, penguins with little Fleetwood Mac shirts on, dancing penguins, singing penguins, penguins with sunglasses on….you name it, we have it.

I also have to mention that a fan, or a group of fans, made Stevie a cake. They managed to give it to the right people and it actually made it back to Stevie’s dressing room. It was incredible. Stevie made sure we took plenty of pictures of it. It had little mini album covers on it, painted perfectly. It must have taken them forever to make, so incase any of the bakers of that cake are reading, we were all very impressed, Stevie included.

We drive 2 hours to London tonight, where we have two days off and then two shows. Hopefully the cold that is kicking my butt right now will be better soon, I don’t want to miss any of London.

On a completely unrelated note…if you’ve never been to the UK, you should come for the candy alone. There’s this candy bar called a Crunchie. I’m considering leaving the United States simply because candy like this doesn’t exist there. I would happily live in an igloo in the Antarctic as long as I had Crunchies. There must be some conspiracy as to why we these aren’t sold in the US. My new mission in life is to find out why. I’ll let you know what I find out. Until next time…

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