Sonic Temple

Week Six USA June/July 2001

Miami, Orlando and Atlanta

The drive to Miami seems to take forever but actually takes about fifteen hours overnight, including stopping to have the bus completely serviced at eight in the morning. By the time we hit South Beach, its about four oclock in the afternoon and everyone is going stir crazy! Living on a submarine can take its toll on a guy, and after a drive like that, lets just say that MUCH coffee has been consumed, all conversation is exhausted, and we are all ready to hit the beach. Billy and myself take a walk along the beach, drinking in the sunshine and the fact that we have the evening off. Ive gotta point out at this time, that Mr Duffy works out every day, goes running once in a while, doesn’t smoke anymore, and is generally a fit person. I, on the other hand…….am not!!! My daily workout includes my Camel Filters, Starbucks and taxi rides to the end of the block!!! So going for a “short walk” with Billy down the beach leaves me feeling like Ive just run a marathon!! He goes off around town while I go back to the hotel and get an evening nap. Later, we meet with Matt, Bone and Tony and after eating a great meal, we hit a club.

The next day is a showday at Pompano Beach, so we have most of the day chilling out on the beach before we leave for the gig. Miami is a great place to hang – a beautiful beach with the female form in abundance, in various stages of undress, strewn all over the place. The venue is about thirty miles north of South Beach at an amphitheatre and the weather was looking a little dodgy. The rain held off until about halfway through the set, and then it came down hard, soaking the already hot and sweaty audience. But I have to say that this show sticks in the mind for one particular fact – from the moment we hit the stage, the first three rows, which happened to be predominently female, became topless! Its not a new phenomenon at a Cult show……in fact it’s a regular occurance at some point during the show, that someone’s gonna “get em out for the boys”. But at Pompano, it was a beautiful thing!! Everyone decided to display their wares at the same time – very difficult to concentrate on playing when that happens!! But we did, and the show was great…..thanx for the inspiration, ladies. It was a hot one, too, and very humid. After the show, I decide to visit the chiropractor that’s at the venue……OH MY GOD!!! She also did acupuncture, and I ended up having fifteen needles in my face and head……in my nose, my cheeks, my forehead and my skull, as well as some in my chest and my shins. Pictures were taken, but not on a digital camera, so you’ll have to wait to see them, but lets just say…..”Pinhead from Hellraiser”. My thanks to Dr Sharon for adjusting my back, giving me a great deep massage, and sticking loads of needles in my head!!!

Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy, The Cult, Tigger………er…….Sorry???

Today, we play the House Of Blues in Disney World, Orlando and as you can imagine, requests for Mickey Mouse hats and asking what Minnie’s up to after work are all part of the day. The day starts with a big Instore signing at the Virgin Megastore opposite the venue…..loads of people to see us, say hi and get some stuff signed. After that, its dinner, and the food at H.O.B. is always very good. New York Strip and Calamari is the main choice and it doesn’t disappoint. Ian’s two sons, that are on the road with us for a bit, disappear into Disney Quest and have a great time. Must be very cool to be that young and to be out on the road – Its all about skateboards and, …. well, skateboards!! We get ready for the show, and hit the stage around ten. Its not a bad show, hot and sweaty as always, and Matt is feeling sick, but does a great job anyway. We play really well tonight, and I think that everybody comes offstage happy. After the show, we hang out and I go back over to the Megastore for a bit of Retail Therapy. Always space for a few more DVD’s in the collection! Florida has been a blast and thank you to everyone involved for making it fun. We move onwards for a couple of days in Atlanta – a show and a live radio session… nine oclock in the morning!!

We stay at the Swissotel in Atlanta and its really nice and comfortable, so my first move is getting some much needed sleep. And once Im rested, Tony and myself hit the enormo-mall that’s right opposite the hotel. I’m really pleased to find a pair of Nike’s that I don’t have ( I collect a certain type of Nike ) and my retail fix for the day is bought. Starbucks have a store, right in the centre of the mall, so the day gets better by the second! And when we turn up at the venue later that night, we realise that we have totally sold the show out, and the side doors of the place have been opened to give the crowd some air and somewhere for the overspill to go. This is going to be a very good show.

We have some journalists on the bus, doing an “on the road” feature, so we have various photos, interviews etc to do and the pre-gig boredom doesn’t happen tonight because we are kept pretty busy. And then its showtime. When the drop comes down at the start of Rise, the place looks incredible….absolutely packed from front to back, and the cheers are deafening… amazing feeling. We play through our set, and the crowd get louder. But some local ordinance stops us from playing our full, three song encore, and we come back onstage for just one song, Love Removal. Our apologies go out to everyone at that show – we simply weren’t allowed to play the other songs that night.

Anyone thinking that the rock and roll lifestyle is a glamorous one needed to be in the lobby of our hotel at 8.00am the next morning!! Four hours sleep and we are awake again, to go and do an acoustic session on the radio. Not a pretty sight!! But nothing a gallon or two of french roasted coffee doesn’t fix, and by the time we do the session, Ian and Billy are making me laugh so hard I can hardly play the songs! They just seemed to be completely on form. Some of the questions we got asked were a bit……bizarre, to say the least! Someone asked me what the ideal temperature was for playing a live show!……er, ……68 degrees?, I offered!!!  Rise and Sanctuary acoustic versions were ok, the questions were weird, and within two hours, we were all crashed out again, back at the hotel. I went to see Fast And The Furious at the movies, and walked out halfway through ( what a complete waste of time and money that movie is ) and got my hair cut in a parking lot, sitting on a cardboard box, by a friend of Tony’s that happened to be a hairdresser – she did a really good job actually. And that was this week. We are off to New Orleans for a day off at our friends hotel, before Baton Rouge, and the whole Texas thing, so for now, that’s all.

Before I close, I want to say a heartfelt thank you to the people who have given me the incentive to keep writing this diary. It does take time, and I’m definitely not a writer!! But it helps me keep track of where we are, what we do, and hopefully it gives you lot a connection with us. So when people say that they read it, and they enjoy it, that makes me feel good and gives me a kick up the arse to keep writing the next weeks instalment. A special thanks to the girl who gave me a beautiful Zippo lighter after the Atlanta show. That was such a sweet thing – not to mention the fact that all the crew are very appreciative that I won’t be stealing their lighters any more!! Till next time……


Billy Morrison