PHOTOS (Courtesy of Misawa)
Wednesday, June 1
Today I leave for Misawa, Japan with the rock band Sublime with Rome. The band Sublime, started in the 90’s, but have a new lead singer and are now SWR. I fly to LAX and will meet up with them for the 11+ hour flight to Tokyo Haneda, where we will have a several hour layover, have to pick up our luggage and gear, then recheck everything for the final flight to Misawa. I am currently on my 5 hour layover in LAX waiting for the band to arrive. Once we leave, we don’t arrive until Friday, so it will take me 3 days to get there with the time changes and layovers. Then we have a full day once we land. Hope I get some rest on the flight. Zzzzz
Thursday, June 2 and Friday, June 3
It’s 1:20 AM and we r boarding our flight to Haneda. I crashed for a couple hours after we took. Not too bad considering I have been up since 6:30 AM Nashville time. Woke up, checked emails, watched a movie, checked more emails, napped, watched another movie, had breakfast and it’s time to land. We landed about 5 AM, so a little early. Went through passport control, got our bags, rechecked everything and took the shuttle to the next terminal. Went through security and now we are waiting on our flight to Misawa. We’ve got a full day today with lunch, work site visit, an interview for the band and sightseeing before dinner. Tomorrow is sightseeing, sound check, meet & greet and dinner off base, with the show on Sunday, just before we fly back to LA. Got a busy schedule for 2 1/2 days in Japan.
Quick flight to Misawa. It’s a very small airport, makes me think of the Faroe Islands, just one baggage claim. Got all of our luggage and gear, Sara and her team were waiting for us when we exited. Sara had are rooms keys ready for us, along with a base map and info. We all got checked in, freshened up and left for lunch. After lunch we took a tour of one hangers. T
Chad, the Yellow Jacket pilot, showed us his plane and the whole process and areas of what they do before they have a take-off. They guys signed a few autographs and took photos. We took a tour of a 737 that tracks intelligence and submarines.
Back to the hotel to rest a bit before going out for dinner. After dinner we went to a few local bars. Back to the room, called home and called it a night.
Saturday, June 4
Woke up several times during the night, finally got up at 8:30. Checked emails, then Eric called saying the bass player, Eric, wanted to get a haircut. Called Sara and she came and drove him over.
Several of us went out to a local restaurant off base for lunch, where you order from the menu or you pull items off the “conveyor belt” system. I’m not big on sushi, but I did ok. After lunch we went to little mall and let a couple guys play in the Japanese arcade. They seemed to enjoy that. Then it was sound check time, which went pretty smoothly I do believe, other than a little rain, but that didn’t slow anyone down. The band came over and did 3-4 songs, went and did a meet and greet with 50 winners, off to dinner at another Japanese place off base. Again, I tried a few new things, stepping outside my comfort zone, but it all went well. After dinner, a few of the band and crew played a couple games of bowling. Now it’s almost midnight, and I have called home and ready for bed. Big day tomorrow……
Sunday, June 5
Hard to sleep in when it’s so light outside at 4:30 AM. I finally got up about 6:30, checked emails got ready, then got a phone call that one of the crew thought they had gotten food poisoning from the Japanese restaurant we went to last night. I called Sara and she brought over some essential oils that are supposed to help with nausea and pain. It seemed to help them, but usually food poisoning just has to run its course. Got the crew over to the show, came back to get the rest of the band, as Eric had walked over earlier. He is really enjoying the shopping here in Japan.
Band went on at 11:30 AM, and man what a show!!! It was crazy how many people were there, young, old, Americans, Japanese – lots of young people and they were having a blast! They put on a great show! Sara said this was one of the biggest crowds they’ve had. Security had to escort the guys back to the van because there were so many Japanese wanting autographs and pictures. It took us three trips to get everyone back, but we finally got them all.
Left for lunch and went to great little noodle shop. Most of the band decided to stay and rest before flying back home. We leave in a couple hours headed back to LA. It’s been a short trip, but a lot of fun. I can’t say enough about how great Sara and her team is, they have taken great care of us – above and beyond!
We left for the airport, took all of about 20 minutes to check in, only because they had several pieces of gear that had to be scanned. An hour flight to Haneda, where we had to pick it our luggage and gear, take it on the shuttle bus to the international terminal and recheck everything. It was actually easier than I expected it to be. Then we had about 2 1/2 hours for dinner and shopping. I slept a good bit of the flight since it was after midnight when we took off. Woke up for breakfast and watched a movie before we landed. We left Misawa on Sunday evening, and left Haneda on Monday morning because it was just after midnight, then landed in LA on Sunday evening again. So time wise, we arrived in LA before we left Misawa…..
Got all of the luggage and gear, said our good-byes, got my shuttle to the hotel and got to spend the evening with a dear friend from childhood. Its always great to see Kerry when I come to LA. Our plans to visit on my last trip were canceled when I got the news about my dad and brother, so we had lots of catching up to do!
It’s been a really great trip, but I’m ready to be back home with my boys!