Photos Anyone?

Millions of fans have emailed asking, "But Todd, when will see the paparazzi photos US Magazine refused to publish?"

Wait no MORE!

Click on this link to view photos from the tour in their Rock-n-Roll glory

The tour never really ends... it just takes a breath now and then.

Sing Along Now... "Deep in the Heart of Texas"

After the Dallas show we take the much needed opportunity to check into a local Econo Lodge near the venue. Without the previous van's GPS we find ourselves navigating via a combination of Google Maps on Ned's smart phone, a poorly detailed map of the city on the back of the State of Texas Map we have on hand and, when all else fails, calling the motel for directions. The approximately three miles to the motel took the better part of an hour to reach. Oh well...

Wednesday afternoon we make the four hour drive to the Paramount Theater in Austin. Load in, set up, and we're set for another night, but this time in a city known for its music scene and enthusiastic audiences. We're not disappointed... we play and are rewarded by many with a standing ovation. The really cool thing for me was my cousin, Michelle, and her husband, Bill, were on hand to take in our show. I hadn't seen them in about 20 years, so it was nice to make the connection in these circumstances... they had never seen me drum. Michelle said my Dad mentioned to her that, "he'll just have to get it (drumming) out of his system." I told Michelle he'd better not hold his breath.

The Paramount Theater - Austin, Texas

Cousin Michelle, Moi and Bill - Post Show in Austin

The final night of this odyssey was in Houston, just 3.5 hours down the road. Normally, this would have meant we could sleep in Austin and make the drive the next day. However, Ned's co-manager Sandra once worked for NASA. As such, she was able to secure a private tour of the Johnson Space Center for us and members of Joe's band. Thus, we made the drive to Houston in the wee hours of the night, arriving at the Hilton just across the avenue from the Space Center's entrance. Like all too many nights, my head hits the pillow at 4:30 a.m.

The wake up call comes at 10:00... time to shower, dress and get downstairs to take in the buffet breakfast before heading off to the tour. Jeff Campitelli, Joe's drummer, and Allen Whitman, Joe's bass player, taxi in from their city center hotel and join us at NASA. Our guide for the two-hour tour is Astronaut Steve Robinson. We learned that this type of personal tour is unusual.. Sandra knows Steve and was able to pull the strings. Steve's been aboard Space Shuttle flights four times. He's gracious, knowledgeable and just an all around nice guy as he takes us into the Apollo, International Space Station and Space Shuttle command centers as well as a tour through the mock-up facility where astronauts do some of their preliminary work before moving on to the simulators and underwater training facilities. Probably the most surprising revelation of the day is just how small the crew quarters are on the shuttle... kind of like seven people confined to a 200 square foot area. There is NO privacy in the shuttle. In fact, when using the toilet, cloth pull screens serve as door and ceiling. Hmmm... I wonder how often beans are on the menu.

The Space Shuttle Toilet - Small and NOT So Private

The Johnson Space Center Tour Gang

Space Center tour complete, we're off to Houston's House of Blues for the 28th and final performance of the Joe Satriani Wormholes and Wizards North American Tour; we're exhausted. We set-up and sound check one more time. We take in the catered dinner one more time, along with a bit of nodding off, clowning around, finding coffee and warming up... one more time.

And then we hit the stage, one more time. Moving through the set I'm a bit bumpy here and there, but nothing people will notice and it all goes well. As we begin our closing tune - Sons and Daughters - I notice Ernesto, Joe's light technician standing off stage-left with a pole of some type. He looks like he needs to use it to push something out of the way. Off stage-right I notice Mick, Joe's manager, watching us. Suddenly Ernesto comes out on stage. The "pole" is a push broom and he's "sweeping" the stage. From stage right, Deiter, Joe's merchandise sales manager, steps on stage in his boxer shorts pushing a vacuum cleaner. Behind him comes Joe, not so cleverly disguised with his signature cloth cap pulled down, handling the vacuum cleaner's cord. We're surprised and laughing as we try to play while watching their stage shuffle. Many in the crowd recognize Joe and cheer and take pictures. Off stage, Allen and Jeff are taking pictures as well. I guess when the headlining band pulls a fast one on you during the final performance, you've done alright.

Pre-Final Show - Malcolm, Ned and Moi

Post Final Show - Ned and Joe Showing Something on Ned's Phone

Post Final Show - Two Bands Combine to Fight the Evils of the Universe


After the show we say our goodbyes to Joe's crew and band. It's bittersweet because we've really gotten along well over the past two months. So thanks to Joe, Jeff, Allen, Mike, Galen, Mick, Arthur, Deiter, Jim, Lindsey, Ernesto, Mike, Glade, Russ and Whitney for their camaraderie and professionalism. I'm especially going to miss watching them perform each night from the stage wings... and miss watching Jeff attempt his stick toss at the end of each night.

As for Ned, Malcolm and I? While lack of sleep, eating challenges, and numbing drives were certainly a characteristic of the tour, so too was the quality of our 30 minutes each night on stage and getting along well together off stage. Special thanks to Dave for managing our equipment on and off stage in such a fine manner and for serving as impromptu road manager. And thanks to Burt for moving us about while we watched DVDs in his van. And A HUGE thanks to Natalie for her enthusiastic support in my doing this.

There's already talk of new projects in one form or another... and their time will come. For now, it's time to decompress, sleep, and enjoy being back home.

Thanks for coming along on this adventure...

From the Lands of Gambling and Movie Stars... to the "OH!, Let's Add a Twist at the End"

We arrive at Reno's Grand Sierra Casino at 4:30 a.m. in a silly mood after the drive over Donner Pass. As we check in, we note a few gambling diehards diligently working the slot machines. We're more than pleased to learn that we each have our own room for the next two nights courtesy of the management. My view from the 11th floor boasts mountains to the right, the airport to the left and, just below, a large square cement water holding pond. Never passing up an opportunity, the casino has constructed small islands in the pond onto which golfers can hit balls.

Golf Anyone?

I'm up early at 11:30 to tend to some works items back home and, after a late lunch (a fine battered deep-fat fried Monti Cristo sandwich), we're off to the casino's Grand Theater to set up for the night's show.

The theater is enormous. The backstage area is possibly twice as big as the entire Crosby Theater in Spokane. In fact, there's a large scale replica of a passenger jet used for a show production of some sort. We wander in and out of the theater waiting for our set up and sound check.

Airport Hanger? Nope... It's the Enormous Backstage at the Casino's "Grand Theater"

At 5:00 I'm on stage talking with Jeff Campitelli and he asks if I'd like to sit at his drum kit. Jeff's kit is really nice, but that's not the main attraction. Instead, it's his monitor system I want to experience. Jeff has a monitor mixer just behind his left side which he uses to mix his own stage sound which he hears through headphones throughout their show. Headphones on, I start playing the kit a bit. As I do, the rest of Joe's band take the stage for their sound check and begin playing along. The next minute I realize Joe's on stage as well. Trying not to drop a stick or the beat, I think to myself, "DUDE! You're jamming with Joe, Allen, Galen and Mike!" The sound through Jeff's headphones is nothing but fantastic. I can hear everything perfectly and can control the volume to suit my fancy. Wow... After maybe three more minutes I relinquish the throne to Jeff. They've got work to do... and I'm pretty sure, despite my efforts, Jeff will remain Joe's drummer.

The stage is very wide and playing on it is kind of like watching a movie on the wide screen option. We play well and enjoy the rest of the evening backstage goofing around on the baby grand piano in our dressing room.

Malcolm Entertaining Us in Our Dressing Room Post Show

None of us go to bed when we should and the morning comes around far too soon... we've got an eight hour drive to Las Vegas ahead of us. Along US Highway 95 we're treated to desert landscapes (they're pretty) and odd run-down towns (they're ugly). Tonopah stands out as one in which I wouldn't want to live. Still, we remorse we didn't get to spend the night in the town's standout accommodation - The Clown Motel. More miles down the road we pass by the Nevada Test Site... just over the mountain ridge to our left hundreds of atomic bombs were detonated years back... we feel all warm and glowy inside.

As we drive the Las Vegas Strip to Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino (and the night's venue - the House of Blues) I think how strange it is that so much money has been spent to create extravagant facades yet inside each one the theme is the same... acres of slot machines, bars, gaming tables, buffets and sleeping rooms.

This will be my second time on Mandalay's House of Blues stage (the first with DRAW opening for Built To Spill). It's a compact room and is packed for tonight's show. Again, it goes well for us and is special because Dave (our equipment technician and all-around road warrior) has his father, brother and sister in the house for the show. Nice folks!

Malcolm Backstage at Mandalay Bay's House of Blues

Packed-up and we're on the road at 1:30 a.m. for the 4.5 hour drive into Los Angeles. I say "into" because after reaching the greater city's limits, the drive to where ever you're headed goes on and on and on... Our drive ended at a nice Econo Lodge in Anaheim and my head hits the pillow at 6:00 a.m.

Ouch! It's 9:30 a.m. and I'm dragging myself out of bed... we've got to get up, check out and meet up with Guy Finley, Ned's manager, to attend the NAMM show.

Guy and Ned Meet Up in the Econo Lodge Parking Lot - A Warm Sunny California Day

NAMM (National Association of Music Merchandisers) holds two shows annually, the largest of which is always in L.A. The best way to sum up NAMM is "acres upon acres of toys for musicians." Ned's meets with a number of contacts to talk about future plans while I look at approximately 1.5 million drum sets. OK, that's an exaggeration, but one kit had 34 drums for players who possibly need to compensate for other short comings.

We make the 40 minute drive from Anaheim to downtown L.A. for the show at the Orpheum Theater - another classic/historical performance space - and arrive on time - and  just it time - to set up and do a 1-minute sound check before the stage goes dark for union-rules dinner time.

I know I keep saying "the show goes well.." but I do so because they do. Early on in December we hit our stride and play at a consistent, upward, level. Tonight's performance is especially gratifying because we're playing to a near capacity audience in L.A. - certainly a show business center - and they like us. We sell a bunch of CDs and add many new Facebook fans... I'm exhausted from the lack of sleep but satisfied with the day.

Unfortunately, sleep won't come for a while as we have to start the VERY long drive to Dallas. We say goodbye to L.A. and head east on US Highway 40. At 4:30 a.m. we check into a motel in Pinnacles, CA. Monday morning arrives (at noon) and we take time to do laundry and eat before continuing the drive across the desert.

And we drive and drive... as I write, we're somewhere in Arizona watching Lawrence of Arabia. We thought the choice seemed fitting enough.

Three shows to go... and we're still having fun.


A couple hours after writing the post above, we make a dinner stop in Gallup, NM. Actually, we ROLL into Gallup because the van's brakes have stopped working. We come to rest in a strip mall parking lot and huddle in a nearby Denny's to figure out what to do... it's 10:00 p.m.

After many phone calls we've found a flatbed tow-truck willing to take us to Albuquerque, 150 miles to the east. We have to negotiate a bit with Steve, the driver, because his truck has seat belts for four passengers; there are five of us. That detail settled, we cram into the truck's cab at midnight and arrive ABQ at 2:30, drop the van off at a Ford dealership and, nicely enough, Steve drops us off at an Econo Lodge a mile away.

The Van and the Tow Truck - From Gallup to Albuquerque

Malcolm, Dave, Steve the Tow Truck Driver and Ned - Somewhere Enroute to Albuquerque

During the drive, Ned, with manager Guy's help via cell phone, secure a 15 passenger van from National Car Rental. But, in order to make the schedule work, we have to pick the new van up at the airport at 6:00 a.m. So, we get two hours of "sleep" before we have to be up and take a taxi to the airport.

By 7:00 a.m. we're transferring gear from van to van at the dealership and we're on the road, minus Burt, by 7:30 a.m. I take the first driving shift - from ABQ to Amarillo, TX - of 4.5 hours. By the time I hand the wheel to Dave I'm a bit punchy, but we're on track to make the show in Dallas... our ETA is 6:30 and show time is 8:00.


We make it, arriving at 7:00... set up by 7:30 and on at 8:00... and an enthusiastic crowd to greet us... and we catch our second wind. Tomorrow's Austin, TX. Tonight I get to sleep.

Ned and Malcolm Getting Set to Take the Stage in Dallas

Hagar the Not-So-Horrible

Snoqualmie was soooo long ago... 5 days and 3 shows in fact... so let's get caught up, shall we?

OK... after the Snoqualmie show we drove back over the pass to Ellensburg for the night. That left an easy drive into the Inland Empire the following day.

The Spokane show at the Bing Crosby Theater - a relatively small venue - went well. Size was especially the case with the back stage space. So limited was it that all empty cases were staged under plastic on the sidewalk.

Ode to Bing Crosby at the Bing Crosby Theater in Spokane

Packing Cases Under Plastic Outside the Bing Crosby Theater

The highlight for me was having friends on hand to watch the show. Specifically, Mike, Pam and Tate Johnson as well as Ryan, Michelle and Josh Johnson. In addition, old friends from Moscow, Erick and Kim Keating. It's funny, but few of these friends have ever seen me drum. After saying goodbye, we headed back across the state and towards Portland. Our evening's drive came to an end after hitting glassy-iced roads near the Columbia River.

Up at 11:00 a.m. and on the road at noon, the roads are clear as we travel to Portland. So far on this leg of the tour I'm on home territory, having traveled these roads many times before. Still, I'm amazed at how the landscape is changing around the Columbia Gorge as more and more wind turbines dot the top of the ridges.

By 4:00 we're in Portland and I'm dropped at Hal and Mindi Logan's home where Natalie is also staying for the next two evenings. A night off from the tour to visit with my better half and my best friends. Gin and tonics are on hand, as well as chili AND the BCS final game. Somehow, we actually manage to retire for the evening by mid-night.

Tuesday afternoon and Hal drops me off at the venue. Portland's Roseland Theatre isn't a fancy room, but by the time the show starts it's full of guitar heads and they are ready to go. We hit the stage and it's smooth sailing from there. The really fun thing is having Natalie, Hal and Mindi watch part of Joe's set from stage side as well as taking in a bit of the after show get together to meet Joe, Jeff and others. It's so hard to "tell" people what the experience like and far easier to have them experience it first hand. Of course, everyone REALLY misses out on the full experience because they don't get to sit in the van to drive hundreds of miles, watch movies and drink variable-quality coffee.

Hal and Mindi Logan Chatting with Jeff Campitelli After the Portland Show

Natalie Chatting with Jeff's Daughter and Wife, Gabby and Christie, After the Portland Show

A day off between Portland and Oakland means I get to stay another night with Natalie at Hal and Mindi's place... although this time we don't call it a night until 3:00 a.m.

Up by 10:30 and Hal drops me off at the downtown Econo Lodge at 11:30 where I rejoin the others for the first portion of the 11+ hour drive to Oakland. By 11:30 p.m. we decide to stop at Red Bluff, CA. for the night. Our sleeping facility of choice for the evening is the Classic Motor Inn. It might have had class at some point in history, but today we're pretty sure it's one of the local meth dealing locations. We locked our doors and were happy to wake in the morning alive and without incident. Besides the parking lot activities, the Classic Motor Inn rates a 3 on the Dive Scale because there is no phone, TV remote, alarm clock or trash can in the room... never mind the pealing paint in the bathroom.

A Picture is Sometimes NOT Worth a Thousand Words... The Classic Motor Inn

A quick drive down I-5 and we're in Oakland. Tonight's show takes place at the Fox Theater... a really ornate old theater that's been fixed-up and maintained. The backstage green rooms and catering are first class all the way - with a friendly professional crew complimenting it.

No sound check tonight, so we hit the stage at 8:00 hoping for the best. As usual, it goes well and the crowd warms up nicely. Tonight, friends Brian and Carole Hunt are on hand to see us play. Brian was the creator of the Band DRAW in which I played a few years back and brought me my first real touring experience when we were the support band for Built To Spill during a 5,000 mile / 3-week tour in 2003.

So the buzz tonight is that Joe's got a friend who's going to make an appearance. You see, Joe started a side-project band a couple of years ago by the name of Chickenfoot. Members are: Joe, Sammy Hagar, Michael Anthony and Chad Smith. In other words, Chickenfoot is a powerhouse band. As it happens, Sammy lives in the bay area and came out tonight to join Joe on stage during the encore songs. As you might guess, the crowd goes wild and personally, I'm impressed with Hagar's vocals... I guess he made his fortune for a reason. Backstage he's a really nice guy and makes an effort to introduce himself to anyone. Two things I find surprising: (1) he's no taller than I. (2) He's 63 years old. Height doesn't lie, but I never would have guessed he's 63... maybe 45? 50?

Sammy Hagar and Joe on Stage at the Fox Theater in Oakland

As I write we're moving out of town on our way to Reno, NV. ETA? 4:00 a.m., but the weather's good, we've got DVDs AND rooms at the casino that are at least three steps up from the Classic Motor Inn... AND SLOT MACHINES! Six more shows to go... this second leg is passing by WAY too fast....

Back in the Saddle Again

Two weeks off for the Holidays seemed like a distant past after the first 1.5 hours back in the Van. Burt, Dave, Malcolm and I depart from Boise mid-afternoon on Friday and six hours later check in a the Quality Inn in Ellensburg, WA., our stop for the night on the way to Snoqualmie, WA. where we'll meet up with Ned for Saturday night's show.

Saturday afternoon we're floating over Snoqualmie Pass and arrive at the venue - The Snoqualmie Casino - with time to spare. So much time in fact that we enjoy watching the Seattle upset New Orleans in the first Wildcard Playoff game and then watch much of the Jets - Baltimore game before it's time for our sound check and show.

Joe's band played four shows in Western Canada earlier in the week and, as we learned, had weather to deal with between shows. One night's drive was interrupted by closed roads and tour buses sliding around. For one show, they arrived at the venue at 5:30 p.m. and still played on time... it's no small feat to get a show set-up in 2.5 hours.

We were welcomed back warmly by Joe, his band and crew; they really make us feel like we're a part of the whole deal and not just "the support band." And, joining us as our special backstage guest, was Sandra Prow. Sandra was in Seattle for part of the Holidays and it was nice to see her and thank her in person for her support of the tour.

Sandra Prow - Ned Evett and Triple Double's Co-manager - Visits Backstage in Snowqualmie

The Snowqualmie show goes well and, after the CD signing session, we take part in the American tradition of fine casino buffet dining. On tap in the buffet was the lobster tail...  ummmm. With the first show of the second leg under our belts, we head back over the pass to our motel in Ellensburg.

Ned and a Fan at the CD Signing Session After our Snowqualmie Show