In October, I was fortunate enough to be an invited guest of Ronnie Wood on The Rolling Stones 2017 NoFilter Tour of Europe. My friend and colleague, Stroker Johnston, and I joined the band for the last 3 weeks of the tour with shows in Holland and France.
It was an amazing experience to see Europe through the eyes of the "world's Greatest Rock n Roll Band". I had never been to Holland or France and they were both very different in terms of culture and atmosphere.
We started in Amsterdam, Holland and spent a week at the band's lovely Waldorf Astoria Hotel. It was surrounded by beautiful canals and buildings that were hundreds on years old. Apart from an amazing show by the band in Arnhem (an hour and a half away), one of the highlights for me was a private boat tour of the city via canals.
The first show of our visit was in Arnhem, Holland. This is about an hour and a half drive my the band hotel in Amsterdam. There were very few guest here, apart from a few kids of the band, so no band guest bus was available for this show. Ronnie got us our own car so we could travel in comfort and be part of the motorcade back.
Next stop was a 10 day stay at the famous George V Four Seasons Hotel in Paris. Had a fantastic room with special free band upgrade (always love FREE upgrades:) The band had 3 shows in Paris at the brand new U Arena.
Lots of family and friends flew in for the tour finale in Paris. We were treated to the largest Guest Bus I've seen the band use. And while the drive to the U Arena in Paris was only about 20 minutes, we saw a lot of the city, including the Arc de Triomphe.
It was great seeing all the Stone's family in one place. And it's a big family. It was such an honor to be there as a guest among all the band's children and other close friends.
I loved seeing the city, shopping on the Avenue des Champs-Elysees and visiting the Eiffel Tower.
The shows were all amazing and so much fun. Each night was special. On the last night, we took Keith a little present. A photo someone sent me of Keith and Willie Nelson ... that Keith didn't have. He wanted it for his archives, so we had it printed and framed.
Hanging with "The World's Greatest Rock n Roll Band" is always fun, but so is hanging with their family of managers, assistants, security guards, kids, grand kids, friends and fans. They really are like one giant family, with so many of their kids growing up with each other on the road. And so many of their staff having worked with them for decades.