June 10

As written yesterday in the early afternoon:

I’m at the reception of the Waldorf Astoria in Berlin, waiting to meet Ross for lunch. He flew in yesterday to shoot Soundgarden and Black Sabbath at Wuhlheide, something I didn’t know about until a few hours before the show. Once he got to the venue, he rang me and asked me to meet him in front of the stage. What for? Oh, nothing. Just to assist him in the photo pit, no big deal.

He handed me an Access All Areas Black Sabbath Pass, I jumped into the pit and spent the whole Soundgarden show drooling at Ben Shepperd and just enjoying the view from such privileged spot. Last time I was in the photo pit was back in 2012, at Slash’s show in Stoke on Trent, which was being filmed for a DVD/Blu-Ray release (if you look closely, you can see me a few times during the concert – that is, assuming you know what my face looks like). Fast forward a couple of years, and there I was again, next to The Master, watching him do his magic behind the lens at a sold-out show where two of my favourite bands were bound to make sweet love to the ears of 20,000 crazy metalheads in a beautiful venue surrounded by trees on a warm, sunny Summer day. It was surreal.

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My friend Ricky happened to be in Berlin too so I brought him along for the ride, too.

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The view from the photo pit

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Soundgarden played a short set, mostly focused on Superunknown. They sounded great and put up a good show but as any hardcore fan would tell you, one hour just isn’t long enough for these guys; there were no songs from Down On The Upside and only one from Badmotorfinger, which left me desperately wanting for more, especially when I was only a meter away from the stage. However, I think most people were there to see Black Sabbath so I reckon 90% of the audience was perfectly fine with the way things were; only me, my friend Ricky and a french guy whom I had met last year in Copenhagen at a Soundgarden show and that coincidentially was at last night’s show too (behind me, oddly enough) would have loved to see a bit more…

* * * *

At this point, Ross called me up so I put my iPad down and we went for a wander around the Berlin Aquarium and Zoo, then stopped for a 6-piece bucket at KFC and returned to the Waldorf. It was kind of funny to walk into that luxurious 5-star hotel holding a bucket of fried chicken.

Steven Tyler outside the Waldorf Astoria

Steven Tyler outside the Waldorf Astoria

Ross went up to his room, got his cameras ready and left to the O2 where Aerosmith was playing that night while I took a train and a bus to get to the airport, not before running into Steven Tyler outside the hotel, signing autographs and posing for pictures. Ross actually invited me to stay for the night and offered some passes for the Aerosmith show but I had to decline, considering I had a few matters to take care of at work today. It was nice to see the old man again, it had been a year since we last hung out together.

When I got to the airport, Kat was waiting at Arrivals holding this sign:

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Wish I could tell you what all those inside jokes the lovely blonde managed to pack in such small sheet of paper mean but I think I better keep that to myself ;-)

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