21 March 2011
Santiago. Load-in day.

There's only a three-hour time difference between Chile and the UK so I was surprised how laggy I was last night. It's a hell of a journey mind (and I spent the previous night on an aeroplane) so I suppose I shouldn't be too surprised to find myself less than entirely chipper. Any residual doubt at the need for me to have gone on such a Basil Fawlty assault against the hotel management last night was swept away at breakfast, where I met at least two of my colleagues who were still unshaved and unshowered. I did wonder, in the quiet of the night, if I'd overreacted last night, but clearly not.

Team content gathered after breakfast to go over what is new for the show for this leg and beyond. I have high hopes for some exciting new elements and we've still got several months to go, so we may as well make the most of it.

Joe and I went into the venue at 2pm. It was the most gorgeous day and the Claw stood proudly above the edge of the stadium. We had lunch and chatted to many of our team-mates in catering. Everyone seemed to be in extremely good humour, probably aided by the fact of our full catering team being back with us. (We were on short-staff in Australia and even shorter staff in Africa, and it showed). Apparently Barak Obama is staying in the crew hotel. I couldn't help but wonder how his water supply was and if maybe they had any spare rooms there.

Upstairs at the mixer tower on the field, I located my workbox (a veteran road case that has been on tour since 1987 with U2, R.E.M., David Bowie and even Lady Gaga. Honestly, it could have its own documentary series). It's reasonable to say that I'm not an overly possessive chap but I do have certain privacy issues with my workbox being used as general storage. Actually, it's not even privacy, it's just that when the box gets rammed full, things get damaged. For years I've been having words with my colleagues at front of house about this, but (given that I leave first and arrive last) I have long suspected that my poor box has often been used as a 'mule' for god knows what. I've occasionally busted them, having found anything from clothing to hard-drives tucked away in there. Today I opened up the box and found four (count 'em, four) fans jammed in there, used for keeping the gear cool when the sun blazes on the mix position. I realised that, as my voice was clearly going unheard and my dignity being compromised (and, in truth because these were low-rent items) it was time to make an example. I called the crew-member responsible on the radio and let him know that I was about to start tossing the offending items from the top floor of the mix position. The first to go was a plastic fan that completely disintegrated on impact with the steel-deck pitch-covering below. Kaboom! It just exploded in wonderfully satisfying manner. A wail came over the radio, pleading for clemency (deaf ears, mate) but the guilty party just made it in time to catch the second plastic fan as it hurtled groundwards. 'OK,' I announced over the radio, 'here come the metal ones.' These were heavier than they looked but I did managed a successful launch, the first being caught by said crew-member, probably bruising several ribs, and the second clipping the barricade and ricocheting off across the steel-deck like an ice hockey puck.

There was an odd sort of silence following my casual tirade and it was only at this point that I realised the whole of the Chilean media was gathered right outside the mix position. There were a couple of dozen camera crews and countless stills photographers who were in the process of shooting newsreel footage, photographing the stage and interviewing our production manager and Live Nation representative. Their interviews having come to an abrupt halt, all were now standing open mouthed in astonishment at seeing airborne equipment being jettisoned from the top deck of the mix, being caught (or not) by a frantic roadie below. Much of this they were getting on camera, I might add, so tomorrow's press could be worth a look. As for me, I was practically wetting myself upstairs. Hopefully, that's a lesson learned. I'm guessing they won't stash any video monitors in my workbox now, at any rate.

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01 April, 2011
payback wills
Absolutely love your diary entry, and very funny and amusing, what you did with those fans a payback to one of those roadie guys they had misused your own personal possession and at the same time to be drawing attention from the media and other personnel who were close by
31 March, 2011
You go get 'em boy! That was hilarious, thanks :-)
29 March, 2011
i was also picturing 4 people (fans) trying to hide in the box - gaining entry to the show - like they came from another country even.
25 March, 2011
LOL big time!
The full moon must have put a spell on the normally very mellow Willie...Shake it up, baby! Chile won't be forgetting you! Hole milk and fan bombs, too funny.
24 March, 2011
Go Willie :)
You show them how its done lol. Tell them to get there own box Willie. After a long flight and no running watter i would be kinda grumpy too. Hope the concert goes well and i will be online to listen to the boys :)
24 March, 2011
will be shared
I have shared this with our theater tech dept. Lesson to learn. Thanks for sharing. Most excellent!
24 March, 2011
lady gaga
I think the time you spent with lady Gaga has rubbed off, couple of weeks in the sun shine will help calm you down, keep the reports coming
24 March, 2011
I die laughing with you!!
You're very funny!! At first I thought you found four "fans" (people) in the box and you were going to throw them through the window!! :D
24 March, 2011
Tantrums & Tiaras
The problem with watching TV and reading Willies Diary's at the same time, is some time things just don't compute, for a brief moment I was thinking My God some people go to extreme lengths to see the band "four fans in a box".
24 March, 2011
at 'hole' milk hahahahaaa
24 March, 2011
Missing Letter!!
Somebody forgot the W on the picture above....
23 March, 2011
Freaking out on the hotel staff and now the fans in the work box ... You're going to get a reputation! Very funny!
23 March, 2011
Let cooler heads prevail!
Darn, could have used those fans!!
23 March, 2011
Don't fancy the 'hole milk' much!! Loving your updates Willie, keep em coming!
23 March, 2011
wish I was there!
This might be one piece of media footage worth looking up! I would love to see Willie pitch a temper tantrum!
23 March, 2011
lol, rock and roll willie!!!
"Today I opened up the box and found four (count 'em, four) fans jammed in there" lmao... security is top notch then :P
brendan roberts
23 March, 2011
quality stuff
would have loved to see that willie, fair play to you. dont let them get away with it... Your entrys always make me smile.
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Latest Willie's Diary

21 Nov, 2006
Within the bands entourage (certainly by comparison to the crews clockwork scheduling) travel departure times are often a little loose. This morning was especially so, due to three contradictory memos which had been emailed out last night and this morning.
20 Oct, 2006
There was a 6.30pm conference call arranged between Bono (Dublin), The Edge (Los Angeles), Steve Matthews (London) and myself (also London) to blow the cobwebs off our brains and discuss the reincarnation of the Vertigo Tour.
15 Mar, 2006
I was planning on resurrecting the tour diary today, being the day we were scheduled to fly to Auckland for the load-in tomorrow. However, its now old news that the remainder of the tour dates have been postponed, so Im not going anywhere further than the corner cafe. Its been a very weird week indeed - much akin to driving into a wall.
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