Glenn’s GKB EuroTour Blog

Czech Please… Und Austria & Germany Too! -Glenn’s Blogs from July 2009 GKB EuroTour- (Looooonnnnggg here… you’ve been warned 🙂 Also… I’m certain to have gotten some of the spelling of cities and even some of the dates or sequences wrong… …

Czech Please… Und Austria & Germany Too!-Glenn’s Blogs from July 2009 GKB EuroTour-(Looooonnnnggg here… you’ve been warned 🙂 Also… I’m certain to have gotten some of the spelling of cities and even some of the dates or sequences wrong… and will not mention every show or place or person, too many to do all that… thanks for your understanding! And THANK YOU to each and all who booked, worked, hosted, transported and otherwise made life both livable and fruitful all over Europe in July, particularly Carsten and sweet wife Judith, what an amazing job you do and did! Thanks to all at JPUSA and the Grrr Records staff who prayed and helped make this tour possible- and special kudos to Grrr staffer/GKB drummer Ed Bialach and his lovely wife Hilde who also worked the details to make things smooth, sane and good!)First, the overview blog I’d posted earlier, then the day-to-day stuff:GKB finished a show at Colours Festival starting off the tour, a really sweet crowd, great response and very cool chats afterwards, ditto a solo show I did later that night in a very cool old local church. The sound and lighting were superb in both venues as well. Many thanks for prayers… and for prayers as I try to type stuff on keyboards other than my own English one… you will notice zero punctuation on occasional posts cuz it is just too much to figure out how to find them and key them all in.Then again, the new Ipod is quite a marvel so when we get wifi in various cities, we’re good to go!From Czech we went to Linz, Austria, then have done a number of shows all over Germany and are currently in Hamburg (as I write). We have met so many old friends, people coming out who had seen Rez Band many years ago, or GKB here and there, or myself solo or on blues tours, etc.. Just great crowds, response and chats.Many have prayed with us for many issues, and of course God only knows how many will truly follow Jesus after. This is the issue, always was and always will be. I am not as concerned about people praying as following Jesus in their daily lives for the rest of their time on earth. Frankly, it’s easy to get most people to pray. Living out loving, daily relationships to Jesus and others in His love and according to HIS Word is THE DEAL.So, weather has been good- rain now and than but I love rain so that’s cool too…Been great emailing and Skypephoning Wendi, I sure miss her… but after a few days home we have 2 weeks vacation together. She is being a wonderful grandmother and resting up after a very excellent Cornerstone Festival.GKB has had a great deal of fun too, all are healthy, Carsten- the excellent friend and tourman has taken wonderful care of us each and every day. Frequent coffee-stops too, HA!I will try to add photos of the tour, and the best place I think, would be in my facebook page, so that’s what I’ll do.So much to say, but little time, thanks for stopping by, and especially for prayers. You can see the shows and info. in the Shows section here at, and as you’ll see, many more to do in Germany, then finishing up in Czech at the end of the month.-the above was the overview, here’s some day-to-day stuff, including some streams of thought, sorry, I’m a preacher and so sometimes get preachy as this is part of how I think on the fly at times:GKB 2009 EUROPEAN TOUR BLOGLets just say I was stuck with an ancient Windows laptop and a new Ipod Touch for the tour. I think I talk about the Ipod here later on…Due to on and off wireless connections duing the tour and in that I had no real keyboard on the very dependable Ipod, the old laptop’s network card was such I could not get this blog posted along and along, which was the sole reason I brought the lappy with me. Fact is, I love keyboards… the Touch is cool and I can be quick, but I’m like 54 words-per-minute on a keyboard.Anyhow, I’m home now, and about to go on vacation, so thought I’d better post this now. It’s very random with little stories and just my thoughts (sorry) here and there from the tour. Very long… may be fully boring to you. So you’ve been warned.The pics from myself and Ed and Hilde Bialach’s family are on Facebook for you to see if you’d like.Thanks to ALL who prayed… what an amazing tour!JULY 2009 GKB EuroTour Dates-note, I’m doing this from memory and an old email after which some changes were made, so am certain I haven’t got these dates or spelling all correct… but it’s fairly close to what happened!Flew from Chicago July 9, arrived 1011-13 Ostrava, Czech Republic14 Linz, Austria15 Eselsburg, Deutschland16 Weingarten/Baden, Deutschland17 Solingen, Deutschland18 & 19 Wetzlar, Deutschland20-22 Dunnenhof near Cuxhaven, Deutschland23 Lutenshied, Deutschland24 Bückeburg, Deutschland27 Heilbronn, Deutschland28 Neuffen, Deutschland29 Sulzbach/Murr, Deutschland31 July-2 August Tepla, CzechThe above dates included 14 individual shows (incl. 3 church/worship/speaking dates)DAYS ZERO & ONERoy, Ed and family got home from Cornerstone Festival (which was awesome as always) a few days before I did. I took an Amtrak train back to Chicago, kissing Wendi and my grandkids and family goodbye, slept, showered, finished packing and off Roy and I went to the airport.KLM to Amsterdam, then Czech Airlines to Prague and a last turboprop flight from Prague to Ostrava where their annual Colours Festival is held.Very nice hotel but as Tom Bodette says, all hotel rooms look the same in the dark!Roy was so fried he only took his shoes off, laid on top of the comforter in his bed and was asleep in about 10 minutes. Funny, just before he slept, he looked at me and laughing said he was lying there in a half-sleep thinking about all the things he had to do today… if he were at home! Funny how our minds work when we get so overtired.He had slept a bit on the flights, I dozed a bit, but about 30 mins. after he was asleep so was I. I woke perhaps half an hour before he did and plugged in my laptop. The cost of internet in the hotel was such I decided to hold out for a day and find the local internet cafe. GKB loves those, both the web access and lots of good coffee which isn’t hard to find in Europe.On the 3rd flight here I sat next to the bass player from Johnny Clegg’s band, a nice South African bro.. We chatted the whole hour and I hope I was a good witness to him, sharing bits of my testimony. After checking in our room Roy and I both slept about 5 hours.The hotel we’re staying in is in the city center. Haven’t seen the venue we’re playing yet, we’ll travel there tomorrow, I’ll do a press conference, we’ll sound check and do a late show, 10 or 10:30 at night I believe. Nice, because by then we may be awake. Jet lag is quite a trip for musicians and it’s just the way it is, you wake up at 4 a.m. and can hardly sleep anymore… then try to get up for breakfast when it’s 1 p.m.!I think I’ll shower and try to sleep now as we just had a late dinner (10 p.m. local time) and after this bit of writing I’m going to read my Bible and hopefully sleep a long time.DAY TWOHa, slept really well until about 4:10 a.m. upon which it was time to go over all the new song lyrics in my mind. Had nice, deep dreams of family and extended family at JPUSA. Read 3rd John and Acts 2, thinking over the issues. Good stuff! Realized the light’s beginning to come through a little after 6 a.m. and re-did the curtains to keep it out much as possible so Roy can continue sleeping and hopefully I’ll get back to sleep after a game of Solitaire on the laptop. Sleeping when one should sleep is a premium, especially when we first arrive in Europe. But now to play and then hopefully sleep more before breakfast and a shower.Well, it’s 7:15- but that’s cool because now I’m getting sleepy again so can rest. Besides, I won the card game, just finished sermon/teaching notes from Mt. chapter 8 and am hearing church bells ring here in Ostrava. Now for some shut-eye!The pda alarm went off at 9 as expected, I went down and ate breakfast (really good) at the hotel with Ed and family, Roy and a lot of other musicians all playing the festival as well. We got our fest passes, wrist bands and such, and (yahoo!) it turns out we’re not needed until 8 p.m. tonight to head over to the stage, about a 5 minute walk from our hotel. This means I can read, pray, rehearse a bit and sleep off and on as I wish today. Very good.Of course it’s best to force yourself to stay up all day and just get your body clock into the time zone you’re in, but I find doing concerts takes a bit much of me emotionally and all, so it’s my practice to move slowly into staying up all day. Tomorrow will be another show in this town, I think in a church, as well as the press interviews, etc., so I think I’ll just wing it today as tomorrow a more normal schedule will take place.Ed and family are out for a walk, scoping out a possible internet cafe. When touring and when we’ve not got wireless available, it’s good to find a place to sit, do our webwork (email, blogs, catching up on news at home and overall in the States) and drink good coffee for a couple hours.I sure love having my Bible on my laptop and pda. So nice to read and write whenever one has a moment. And now to write a little more and nap.DAY THREENice rest, slept well as did Roy. Sounds like we’re crashed out alot ‘eh, but being our first day over here it’s often like that. Good thing too as we have to walk a good way to the venue, cool festival grounds where we just visited a bit, had dinner and walked back to change and get our gear. I brought a couple guitars over and trust they’ll provide a third as we requested. Roy brought his bass. The tour supplies amps and ect.. Nice crowd, about 27,000 they think, and a number of artists are on the bill including David Bryne, John Anderson and others. We play across from main stage which is outdoors, in a large and very nicely lit tent with a great stage and sound system. Heard an Israeli band, nice. So we play late tonight, then I do a solo acoustic (largely worship) set at a church across the city center, so an hour at the fest and another hour and a bit more very late, then sleep.Breakfast at 9, more rest tomorrow.Tomorrow I’ll also do a couple short press bits at 1 p.m. and then internet cafe most of the day as I have much to post, emails, pics from the fest and etc.. That will be good. Ed says the coffee isn’t bad either so that’s cool. I think I’ll get coffee before our show tonight as well.Well, it’s nearly 3 a.m., I’m feeling good, all the rest of GKB and Ed’s family are sleeping. I’ll wite a bit here, then hit the hay, get a late breakfast, nap, then do the interviews and internet cafe tomorrow!The set in the big top at Colours festival went very well. Not without a few dings here and there but that’s normal for me. But the crowd was packed and outside the tent and was very, very receptive. I said little but was extremely direct about Jesus in what I did say. Talked with a lot of people afterwards from Czech as well as Poland and they were very warm, bought a lot of cds and many followed across town for my solo set. Old, very cool church, sweet people and a good many people came over to see what was up.I did a worship set for about half the time, then did acoustic blues and finished with Doxology. Again, excellent chats, kind folks, signed cds and was encouraged by so many people’s comments afterwards.The shower was excellent also, and now to write an email to my wonderful wife and sleeepppp!DAY FOURWell, I forgot to turn my alarm ON so slept a little past breakfast but they were still serving and the good Carsten, longtime friend and this tour’s German promoter arrived. He’d had very little sleep, so we ate breakfast, he drank coffee with me… and then he slept. I went off and did the interview with Ed and Roy, then internet cafe for awhile, then walked through the fest grounds taking pics of various stages, the river which ran in the middle of it, some of the castle near the main and side stage where we played, and then did a bit more email before coming home to track a demo idea for the next cd project.It was so good to read Wendi’s emails, which I replied to happily. Also caught up a little on U.S. and world news, and the U.S. national and Chicago Fire soccer teams which I love and support. Both doing quite well at present.Had a bit of supper with some new Czech friends, now to shower and sleep early. Tomorrow we move to Austria and have only the travel to do as our next show is the next night there. Beginning in Austria we have a number of shows night after night so I will begin talking very little in the days to save voice for the shows and occasional press stuff. Very tough for a talker like I am, but so needed to really sing my best in each place.DAY THIRTEENBusy… indeed! As you can see I’ve missed a looooot of days here, just moving through cities and concerts one after the other. Great days travelling, Carsten as the rest of us loves good coffee and McDonald’s has McCafe’s in them so we have daily stops for fairly good coffee each day, plus more at the shows of course. Yep, love the stuff.I spend time reading emails, trying to keep up but when touring season hits it’s just impossible. I opened my Facebook after about 5 days and had appx. 60 new friend requests… I pray for many people, of course our family and pastors and JPUSA at home, but also a number of other people write and I try to pray for various requests. There are so many needs.I downloaded a free Bible and a couple good translations into the Ipod immediately so have really enjoyed a lot of Bible study each day. Some trips are only an hour and a half or so, most are longer, so time to think, pray, read the Word and focus, then play a game or two is the daily thing. We get into our hotel or guest house, sometimes rest a bit, others, move right to the venue for soundcheck, dinner and the show, then chat with people afterwards.So here we have a couple days of rest at our friend’s wonderful camp/hotel/North Sea wonder place, called Dunnenhof. It is a place of small sand dunes, a long walk out to the sea and mudflats where both high and low tide bring different views. God’s nature here, and the sweet wind from the sea is keeping things cool, though today the sun is out and all is beautiful and bright.Flowers are blooming, here and there a bird darts. The Bialach family, Carsten and Judith (tour Meister and wife, great friends) are all off somewhere. I slept in (yahoo!) and ha, may still brush my teeth… but so far breakfast, coffee, Bible study, more coffee, sitting in the sun outside our “a-frame” cabin, very nice.Played solitaire on my Ipod, looked at and sorted pictures I’ve taken over the past couple years on tour here in Germany and in other places in Europe and the U.S., pics of Cornerstone Festival and Cstone Farm, of my sweet Wendi and our grandsons. A nice and restful day. We have zero to do but rest.I may do a little shopping and internet later today if we get into town, about 15 mins. away, but I also want to demo some songs and will do that in an hour or so. Who knows, maybe after a nap. Just a nice lazy day after a number of shows and travel.All are well, and in that today is the exact mid-point of our journey (day 13 of 26) we are blessed and once again I am reminded that so many of our family, extended family and friends at JPUSA in Chicago as well as around the world are praying for us… no doubt this is partly why God is blessing us so much.I am grateful.Rest is a good thing and needed. As one ages it is even more important to take time out now and then to help mind, body and spirit to recover from the “daily grind”. Then again, we do love our coffee :)Tomorrow we do a concert for the staff and some friends, visitors and townspeople here, then on to the next show elsewhere in Germany.DAY FOURTEENWow, the show went so well, really fun audience, old friends and some new ones… a cool couple of youth groups as well, who’d never heard blues/rock before… they were so fun to watch, and as we went through the spontaneous interplay of Runaway Train they were quite animated. Well, I guess you can do alot with 3 chords if you think about it and try, ha!DAY NINETEENA lot of shows… 3 sets one night in Lubek at a river festival by the sea, nice crowds, very open, good grace to do such a night after so many years. And I think we had perhaps 3 or 4 songs left or we’d have had to repeat songs by the end of the night! The local promoter asked about us doing a large Berlin show the following weekend, Simple Minds and others are playing as well, but we are booked at a biker’s festival in Czech. Perhaps next year, who knows?Tonight we play in Heilbron, very pretty area with lots of hills and valleys. Last night Wendi and I had a great chat, also quick hellos with my daughters, all at home in Chicago. I sure miss ’em! Then I had a very long walk around the countryside, through some woods and around a little lake, more like a large pond (which in German is “see”, English= “sea”). Walked up on two huge rabbits. Took a lot of pics which are up on my Facebook page. I will add more later, perhaps tomorrow.So tonight and tomorrow in another city, we do an unplugged set, mostly blues. Tonight is part of a local summer festival in the town/area. The family who are hosting us are wonderful, very sweet Christians. They have a very old German sheepdog named Noah, whose breed pre-dates the German Shepherds you see today. He is like a bit smaller Irish wolfhound, very fun, loves to play and he makes a lot of cool vocal tones.The rest of the band and crew are off for iced coffee- I think I must write a bit, study the Word a bit and change strings on both guitars today. Gotta shave a little… I let myself get scruffy but every couple days have to fix that :)As we only have an hour-and-a-half drive tomorrow I’ll likely take another long walk either tonight or tomorrow morning. Such a beautiful area. Flowers are blooming, fields of grass, grain, vineyards and so on, here.Easy on the ears doing acoustic sets, but I’ll be ready to cook some electric tunes in a couple more days. The biker rally in Czech looks to be cool, I “checked” (get it?) their website… good stuff. I’m preparing my comments at a seminar on ministry via music to bikers, working some on that today.The Hamburg show went well, had it’s difficulties with the sound, but all went well in the end. At each of these concerts we meet people who saw REZ years ago, or gave their hearts to Jesus at one of our shows, or are now in ministry, have become pastors and so on… amazing the power and work of the Spirit via music and speaking.Our friend Denny in Hamburg, did a wonderful job of interpreting the message. We’ve had rather good translators all the way through. Very important, though most speak English, the concepts are what’s difficult without the local language and even dialect, which in Germany and other places can really vary from one area to the next, even though they are only 40 miles apart.So… I’ll write more as I’m able, and publish all this when I have internet connections and time.Wow… the last shows were just amazing. Secular club near here in Germany, just amazing turnout, really responsive crowd. Another great night of meeting and talking with so many after the show.Then to Tepla and the EMC biker’s fest, which was such a cool and fruitful opportunity. I was able to talk about ministry to bikers and others via music, do a question and answer time and GKB both did a full set as well as led worship and I spoke. The response was just great, and one sweet and cool thing was a little girl who loved to stay at the side of the backstage area. She was blond and sweet, perhaps 6 years old, and just loved GKB, and Ed noticing she was sort of standing there smiling, flipped a drum stick to her inbetween songs. He later noticed her beating on things a bit, so flipped another stick to her and she looked in full bliss the rest of the set, drumming on stuff all over the side of the stage during each song we played! REALLY sweet.A bro. came up to me in tears, couldn’t speak much English, but basically grateful for our example in his life, music he would relate to and a backround much like mine… and now following Jesus. He played harmonica in the worship team there, just a good man, sweet wife and kids.We met so many bikers who are being challenged to get off the bikes for God and let people know Who Jesus is where they live as well as in Czech and Europe. Many, many countries were represented and it was so good to chat with so many who really want to grow and be a witness rather than simply ride a Harley and have a Christian bike patch and colours on their vest!Ha, then, though our hotel and service there was truly wonderful- there was this rooster in a yard right across the street. My alarm would be set for 8:30 but the rooster would go off at 4, 5 or whenever he felt like crowing. I Twittered this and folks there and in Facebook made so many chicken jokes it was quite funny for several days around there!So after all this we were driven to Prague, overnight in the hotel and off we went to Norway and Chicago.Ed and family went on to Norway to do their vacation, Roy and I flew home to Chicago(yahoo!) and both of us went to vacation with our families.Now it’s update web sites and demo for another project… little by little, so much to do, more shows in the pipeline and many people to respond to, much as possible anyhow. Everytime we tour a load of emails come in.So hopefully I haven’t totally bored you to death reading this stuff, and will now spellchkkiccieiikk it all and publish it.Thank you all who have prayed for GKB and myself, for our families and ministry at JPUSA, Project 12 and so on. I can’t tell you how many have come to follow Jesus (God only knows that for certain) but I can tell you there are -many-, and that’s in part due to your prayers for us.LOVE and Hugs,-GlennChicago, Aug. 28, ’09

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