Vertigo Leg 1: 2005, US


Milan Recce

Went to bed at 3am and got up at quarter to five which was brutal but, hey, rock and roll. After a croissant and a coffee in the lobby of the hotel, five of us set off for a whirlwind European tour of our own. Myself, Ned the Producer, Hamish the director, Allen the TV lighting consultant and Jake the production manager flew to Milan. The Big Video Shoot is two weeks from now at San Siro stadium, so we thought it best to go and have a look. We flew into Milans Malpensa Airport (which surely must be Latin for bad thinking?) where we were met by some of the Italian promoters team who took us to the stadium.

San Siro is a great venue and will work really well for the shoot. We are playing across the pitch in order to face into the three sides of the stadium that have three levels of seats rather than two. However, the field is practically square so this isnt as much of a drag as it might otherwise be. The upside though is the height of the grandstands. The pitch is quite small but the building is extremely tall, so it will be like playing a show inside a cauldron of Italian enthusiasm.

Many meetings followed and on seeing the building I had a few changes of mind from my original plan, which made the trip worthwhile. It was a hot day, getting hotter as we stood out in the field, and gradually we began to wilt. There was a lot to get done, but by noon wed pretty much got through everything and being in such a wrecked state, we started to get antsy for coffee, food or at least some water. Four of us were well ready to leave and go in search of pasta, but Jake thought hed just go and check on the dressing room situation, so we left him to it, promising to save him some spaghetti. (It turned out to be a good thing that Jake stayed, incidentally, because the dressing rooms had apparently been demolished as part of a new renovation, but now theyre promising to rebuild some over the next fortnight).

We had a 2.30pm flight to Paris, so it seemed our only option was to go straight back to Malpensa and hope to find some semi-decent nose-bag there. Hopes werent high, but lo and behold we found 'Il Ristorante' which was the whole white table cloth experience. God bless the Italians, theyve got their priorities sorted. Even the airport grub is spectacular - not such Mal Pensa after all.

Once on the flight we all just passed out, aided by the fine bottle of Chianti at Il Ristorante. I stirred at one point, looked at my colleagues and saw us for what we were, a snoring bunch of middle aged men slumped in chairs, yet somehow the powerhouse of rock and roll aesthetics. Strange world. Allens been traveling for several days now and only managing naps in between. He described himself as being 'time zone indeterminate' which sums it up pretty accurately.

I was absolute dog food by the time I got to the Hotel Fabulous in Paris, but after a shower I managed to summon the energy to head out to join a party of friends whod Eurostarred over for the weekend. The venue was Chez Denise in Les Halles, a down market authentic bistro that serves top nosh and unlabelled litre bottles of wine.

Breakfast in Berlin, lunch in Milan, dinner in Paris. You couldnt make this stuff up

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