Kath;leen LaGue

Over 250,000 downloads!
Join Kat's Mailing List!
CDBabyGet Kat's 1st CD for
just $10
Home Page
Kat's Couch
Tour Dates
Buy It
The Band
Make Contact
Kathleen LaGue Acting

Pictures Available Below

9/04/02    9/19/02
9/29/02    9/30/02
10/01/02   10/03/02
10/04/02    10/05/02
10/06/02    10/0702
10/09/02    10/10/02
10/11/02    10/13/02
10/14/02    10/17/02
10/19/02    10/20/02
10/21/02    10/22/02
10/27/02    10/28/02
10/29/02    10/30/02
10/31/02    11/1/02
11/2/02    11/6/02



Pictures Available
9/24/02 * 9/27/02A * 9/27/02B * 9/29/02 * 10/1/02 * 10/3/02 *
10/9/02 *
10/11/02 * 10/13/02 * 10/14/02* 10/19/02* 10/20/02*
10/27/02* 10/28/02* 10/30/02*


Hey Everybody, it's Kat LaGue here, we're gearing up for the big tour! This new tour diary is gonna be really wild. My tour manager/publicist, James Graham, will be occasionally posting entries along the way too. (He is fresh from New Zealand--just a few months in Los Angeles). We leave Sept 22, 2002. If you are stationed at one of the military bases and want to send a note ahead of time to me, just go to www.kathleenlague.com and click on "kat's couch", which is the message board and you can leave a message there! later, Kat


Hey all, tonight, Sept 19, Thurs. we are trying out the new show on our LA audience! We've been rehearsing all week and ..... packing .... and ...getting psyched to HIT THE ROAD, or, the AIR, is more like it. Our first travel leg goes: LA to San Fran to Osaka, Japan to Okinawa! We leave Sunday morn and don't get to Okinawa till 10pm Monday night. Sound like fun? We leave our houses at 4AM. We found out that Japan is 16 Hrs AHEAD of Los Angeles time.

Click Here For Pictures

YOYO! can't believe I'm not jetlagged. Japan is so far ahead that we skipped MONDAY! Left early Sunday am and arrived late Monday night. WILD! We did a little shopping in a beachtown today, it is quite americanized here. Okinawans don't like to be confused with Japanese--a different dialect and culture (kind of a mix of chinese and japanese) There's no tipping here, it's considered an insult. Very good service everywhere we go,...except these people don't know what a travelers check is. First show is tomorrow night, although I did already sell a CD at the SF airport (some non english speaking japanese business men who saw my guitar and asked if I sang country music!) I told them it was rock, but they bought the CD anyway and of course took the "photo w/singer"! Gotta go out on the town now.

[9/24/2002 6:03 PM James Graham, tour manager)

We made it! I'm writing my first update from Camp Foster on the Japanese Island of Okinawa. We arrived late last night after something like 28 straight hours either in the air or in transit. Not surprisingly we've been taking things kinda cruisy today. After lugging so much gear around on airport trolleys, I don't want to see a guitar case for at least another day if I can help it. Our first show isn't until tomorrow night so we're going to hit the town later and sample the local nightlife. Our digs are awesome. The military base we're on has accommodation blocks that are exactly like a modern hotel complex. As I write this I can see Kathleen working out in the gym watching music videos. I could get used to this lifestyle. The weather is hot and humid and the water is tepid. Let's hope we get a big crowd tomorrow. I'll check back in with you after that.


From James Graham, tour manager.

U.S Marines really know how to party. We opened the tour for a small but enthusiastic group of America's finest at Camp Schwab. These guys are the 'go to' grunts of the corp, the first into battle, and they play just as hard. At one point, Kathleen shared the stage area with what seemed like half a battalion battling for the same mic. Oh, big thanks to Karl, a marine from Las Vegas, for doing so much advance publicity for the band. I think he said he dragged six of his buddies along to the show and is planning on attending at least one of the three remaining Okiwana gigs. Tonight's performance at Thirsty's bar on the Futenna Air Force base was an entirely different vibe. For a start there was an actual stage, rather than carpet space we had the previous night. It's just a shame a few military exercises clashed with the date which kept the crowd numbers down. Still, the sets went off without a hitch and the guys who did attend loved having some familiar sounds from home. In fact, a couple of fans were so taken with our drummer Ray they've whisked him off to party a little more. As for me, I'm getting some shuteye: this rock n roll lifestyle takes its toll you know.

Click Here For Pictures

These guys are WILD. Every audience we've had is 99% men.(Like I expected different--well-- in Greenland there where lots of women "airman" ! But that was the airforce-This is mostly Marines) Every gig I'm looking for the one or two lone girls out there to sing Meredith Brooks "Bitch" to. (The guys don't seem to dig that song so much...so I sing it even louder!) The marines out here in Okinawa are very Passionate and Crazy! That first night with the WARDOGS from 27 on Camp Shwab in remote northern Okinawa---I swear they knew every word to every song! From Alanis Morisette to Fleetwood Mac to Incubus to No Doubt. There were the "Bass Player" groupies who worshiped Shane all night, and the guitar groupies who worshipped Geoff all night, who definitely IMPRESSED them to say the least. (Especially when he came up with Hotel California by request). The entire band literally came close to passing out in the second set. I know I did. After dedicating "Crazy" to Mario, the country music lover, who also lead most of the singing, and who I must say was a great dance partner (dip and all) WHILE I sang "Crazy", the room just went Nuts!. These guys are ALL gusto--I can see why they are on the front lines. SO into the music and us. At one point during Hotel California I'm forward on "stage" letting everyone sing into the mike--I look back--and there's a marine on stage playing my acoustic guitar!! AND he was playing all the RIGHT chords!

So during the break after the second set I'm trying to Breathe--trying not to pass out--and I stumble into the Officers Club. There's a table full of, I assumed, Officers, and they invite me to sit down to a friendly game of dice. I throw in my dollar for one round--(Mind you, I still haven't caught my breath-I'm sweating to death-these guys don't even notice-I'm really trying to make my way to the bathroom for a second of peace) I play a round of dice with them...and beginner's luck...I beat them ALL! It was really funny, then it was like, "I gotta go back to work! See ya!". They where all yelling "Stay Here, gives a chance to win our money back!". I told them I liked to leave a WINNER! It turns out those guys where the highest ranking officers on the base--The Colonel and his posse. They where summoned into the performance room by their battalion during the next set and we dedicated "High and Dry" Radiohead to them.

We checked out some nightlife last night--a strip that could rival Sunset Strip as far as # of bars in one area. Whatever was in those "rainbow" shots---apparently Absinthe is not illegal in Japan--definitely had "an effect". Tonights show will hopefully be a little better than last night. At least maybe we won't have to open for a comedy act!
Gotta go to sound check!
Kat LaGue

From James Graham, tour manager
Click Here For Pictures

Hopefully audience numbers are going to pick up from here on in. We played at Camp Shields tonight, the third venue on tour, and the turnout was a little disappointing. The base is the home of the navy's construction workers on the island. Most, however, were unaware the band was even playing. We were double booked with a couple of comics from the States and were finished by 9pm to make way for the 'main event'. Thanks to Robbie, manager of the local Hideaway club, for finishing the night off with a bang. We'll be back.


Last night's show at Kadena Air Base was packed. The band played great I must say, the shows finding it's groove. This was a tough crowd though. I was told they're a little spoiled here..and not too quick to show their enthusiasm. So out of the 2-300 people there--we thank the 30 people up front that listened and didn't watch wrestling on the tube the whole time! Later we went back to Gate 2 Street club area and Geoff and Shane showed them a thing or two with some rockin Beatles tunes on acoustic at this club we stopped in called "Last Chance" ...or was it "First Chance"? Even our sound man, Brian, got up and did a tune--he's a guitar player and singer too! Well I'm doing a little sightseeing today on our day off, so gotta go!

Click Here For Pictures

How many people can say they swam the East China Sea while watching the most beautiful sunset floating on their back?...count me in! What a great day off yesterday! Started by having fastfood Curry--it's like a diner atmosphere, but you choose what you want on your curry-chick,pork,fish,shrimp-(I had shrimp cutlet), then the level of spice you want from 1-10(I was a wimp and had "regular" which is about a 2), then how much rice- 4 different amounts, then what else you might want added. These people are SO detailed oriented! It's great. I have to thank my tour guide, who also happened to be a Captain in the Airforce, who, navigates some very secret type missions in a very large plane. If I told you WHAT he flies, and WHY--I'd have to kill ya--just kidding, I don't even know exactly what he does. (top secret) But he was a gentleman and a great guide. I finally got to see a little OFF base living. The beach was cool, but very shallow and bay like, no waves, about knee high all the way out as far as I would venture and warm as bath water. As soon as I post some pics when I get back-- you'll see the patches and wings I acquired, and I didn't even have to enlist! I'll find out tomorrow if I'm able to acquire the "flight suit" that I'm dying to make into a fashion statement. Hey, Cassie--"I GOT A FLIGHT SUIT!"you know, how in Greenland--"WE GOT JACKETS!"--maybe. Ya know, it's like a jumper, with the zip up front, kinda like what Tom Criuse wore in that movie. Anyway--show tonight is the last one on Okinawa, another Marine base --yeahhh! at a place called "Globe and Anchor".
see ya,


From James Graham, tour manager

One show to go in Okinawa and the gang is fired up for what will hopefully be the best gig yet of the tour. At least that's what everyone's been telling us. It's been a kind of take what you get situation so far with crowd numbers either a little down or more focused on the wrestling on TV. The rest day yesterday was awesome. Sounds like Kat topped everyone with her day but Brian, the sound guy, and I did get to go to the northern tip of the island thanks to our shuttle driver Drew and the trip was well worth it. I'll never forget the eerie sight and sound of a giant bat coming straight at the windscreen. That mother was huge! Gotta fly myself now. My $1 on the internet terminal has 1m 33s left so ain't much more I can add. We have another day off tomorrow, then on to Seoul for 10 days. I just hope the typhoon warning we've been getting doesn't turn out to be correct.

Click Here For Pictures

So I sat in a cockpit of a Huey Helicopter today!.... all those dials and buttons and gages that you see in the movies.(like Black Hawk Down) They're real and overwhelming to see in person! We also got upclose and personal with the Cobra-(the one where the pilot sits behind the copilot) those things can move around..well...like a snake..in the air. We watched one doing some maneuvering that amazed me. We stood right on the Flight Line(the runway) of the Marine Base watching very large aircraft--some of these helicopters are the size of a jet--land and take off and do their exercises. The, I believe it was a "46", can carry a Hummer inside of it and then some. We have to thank Cpl. Jon Destefeno for getting us into the behind the scenes look at what an Aircraft Mechanic does and works with everyday! When he said we could go to work with him and see them up close I really didn't think he could pull it off. But I was mistaken! We got the full tour and an education to boot, he knows his stuff. He and his squadron will be back at Camp Pendelton near San Diego by January, so we're gonna have to book a show down there for a Marine/Band reunion! The show last night was back to passionate--we had Marines there from past shows--they didn't get enough the first time I guess! A fabulous venue, the Globe and Anchor, with great food--filet mignon!-and great people. There would have been even more people there had it not been the "day before" Payday for everyone so we were told. Those boys spend their money quick!. Angel and Lisa got pulled up on stage to help me sing "I Will Survive" and "Bitch" THANKS GIRLS! Well I'm packin up my bags and very sad that I have to say goodbye to my room with the computer in it. :( so who knows when I'll get to update again! We're off to Korea---later,
ps. those of you biting your nails wondering...I DID get that flight suit! WeeeHeeee! I'm gonna work it into the show.

Click Here For Pictures

Well James pretty much nailed it in the last entry. But with much more tact than I would have! ...let's not even talk about the hotel.....don't they believe in showers or baths(there's no way to take a bath or a real shower, no shower curtain just a spray gun for water)? Actually the sleep has been pretty comfortable considering. Did James fail to mention our crazy van driver? will he ever "pick a lane"?? He will take us the 2-4 hr commute to shows for the next 10 days! weeehee. and man those seats are "super cushioned". NOT. So anyway the demonstrations thing is wild, the soldiers we entertained last night were in "LOCK DOWN" (couldn't leave the base), because of the turmoil. They were very responsive though and the marketing dept. gave the entire band jackets!! Thanks NIKKI! So throughout the show I had the entire audience sign the back of the jacket. I believe the most poignant signing was this, "THANKYOU ----an American soldier.". Wow, that just hit me. stopped me in my tracks. Is it possible that they sang along to the entire second set?? Especially the Air Force guys. So far the favorites have been, "Jack and Diane" , "Toker", "Start me Up", "I Will Survive" and "ALLStar" (smashmouth), and of course, Hotel California. At one point, Brian, the sound man said he couldn't even hear the PA because the soldiers were singing so LOUD!! We love that!! What really has been surprising to me is they love the original songs. I'm constantly getting requested to sing more of them. That's really nice, since Thai's where my heart is.
Catch up later,

From James Graham, tour manager:

Seoul may only be two hours by plane from Okinawa but it feels like we've stepped into an entirely different world. It's only been two days since we landed but I'm missing the slower beach life already. Before I start on life in one of the world's busiest cities, a big thanks to the hospitality of our Okinawa shuttle driver Drew and marine Jon Destefeno. Jon, thanks heaps for the patch. That was cool. Hope everything works out for you and maybe we catch up again sometime. Okay, on to Seoul. Where do I begin? Slight panic set in when our escort was 15 minutes late meeting us at the gate. Then, when we arrived at our downtown digs, half of the band had to shift rooms to the other side of the hotel because of 24 hour construction on a building site next door. Oh, and I have to add here, it's the first time any of us have stayed in a place with escape ropes in every room in case of fire. Kat was also a little unnerved by the cockroach spray next to the TV set. After a quick bite we ventured out for a stroll and walked straight into what appeared to be Seoul's entire army of riot police with shields and batons at the ready. A quick chat with a young Korean officer revealed the reason; a few weeks earlier an American military vehicle accidentally killed two local girls. Apparently, a section of young Korean radicals aren't too thrilled with how the situation has been handled since and the next day at our briefing we were warned to be on guard during our stay and always travel in pairs or as a group.

Welcome to South Korea.

Fortunately our first Korean gig last night went off without any problems. In fact, I'd have to say, in terms of audience reaction, it's our best show yet. We played at an army base two hours north of Seoul and within shelling distance of the North Korean border. I have to apologize here because I've come out to a local internet cafe without my paper work and completely forgotten its name. I'm going to take a stab and say, Camp Casey but I'll correct this later, if it's wrong. The reaction was awesome and thanks to everyone, including first sergeant Tom for the pin. I gotta fly now and do some laundry - like you needed to know that - but I'll check in again soon. There's bound to be something interesting to write about in a place like this.


From James Graham, tour assistant:

After the buzz of playing to a decent turnout the previous evening at Camp Casey, we came crashing back to earth last night at the Underground bar on the Yongsan base. Twenty minutes before curtain, I counted four people in the audience, and I think most of those were staff. If it wasn't for Amin, a resident medic, doing his solo thing on the dance floor, this date wouldn't make our highlight's reel at all. For one of the few times on tour Brian, our sound engineer, was able to plug into a bigger sound system. But a few weeks earlier the local Telecom guys had blown every amp in the room installing a new mobile phone receiver, leaving the club's speakers with a permanent buzz and a sound quality that moved the sixth member of the crowd (we paid two others to come over from the packed bowling alley 20 yards away) to complain. Although it's still too early to tell for sure, there seems to be a pattern emerging in terms of attendance at our shows; the further we get from a major population base, the better response we get from entertainment starved troops. If that theory holds true, we should be in for a good turnout tonight: we have a 1h 45m drive to Camp Howze.


After that show last night,we all had to let loose and went to our first Korean Disco. Really great music, they even played "Brick House" I was so psyched. So we danced for hours. These clubs stay open till...whenever everyone leaves 5-6am. The drinking age is 19. But since all the political unrest, there is a curfew for the military boys. So the Military Police, half American and half Korean come around to the clubs at about 1-2 and send all the GIs home! I guess if you can pose as a civilian you can stay out, but most of their haircuts give them away. Wild! well gotta go do this show!


From James Graham, tour assistant:

Small but appreciative crowds would be the best way to sum up the turnout at our last two Korean gigs at Camps Howze and Stanley, front-line bases an hour or so out of Seoul. Still, I'm constantly amazed we get anyone coming out when you consider these guys have to get up at 5am and go on a 50 mile run the next morning. I must say since we found the party zone in Seoul the band has shrugged off the culture shock we first experienced after arriving from Okinawa. Shane, the bass player, and I wandered out after the Camp Howze show the other night and between us we must have spent US$10 over about five hours. Thanks here to Angus and the English teachers for their generosity at the bar. I didn't spend a dime on drinks the whole night. Today is a rest day. I've left the group in Seoul and am taking time out with my brother Lance and his girlfriend Chole who teach English in Wonju, two hours out of Seoul. We have one more show from our Seoul base before heading south for three dates. Hopefully we can finish the Seoul leg in style. A regional entertainment boss told me we can expect a bumper attendance at Camp Paige and best of all, those of us who aren't afraid of flying, may be arriving in style. Kat made a valuable pilot contact last night who promised the band a 20 minute thrill ride to the show in a Black Hawk helicopter, the kind they used in the recent Hollywood hit Black Hawk Down.


Just got back from the AFN Radio Station (Armed Forces Network) where we did an interview and they played several songs. Thanks Mary and Steve (the DJ) for the airtime! Well, we're still on hold as to whether the Black Hawk(helicopter) ride comes thru-referred to in Jame's email below. Turns out the pilot doesn't make the decisions. A Three Star guy has to sign off on that one!! So we'll see. We really had our hopes up. Today we toured the grounds of the War Memorial a massive building and grounds built to honor those killed in the Korean War. But little did we know--of course on our day off---it was closed, so we were unable to see the DMZ Exhibit. The Demilitarized Zone. Where North and South Korea still face off (since the 1950's-believe it or not) without a peace treaty. It's something to see I"ve been told, but could be dangerous, each side just waiting for the other to make a move. Yesterday I checked out Itaewon, the bargain shopping district, where you can have a custom made suit or coat within a few weeks time. It felt like the garment district in NY to me. We bargained for a leather coat--the sticker price was 540,000 Won, (equal to about $520)--he quickly came down to 330 won and before we walked out he was offering a Sunday special --only for today--of 230(or $200)---gives new meaning to the term "mark up"! The only problem is that everything is cut for the smaller framed person, so I'm having a "fit" problem. I feel like a giant around here. (I'm almost 5'10") SO! Back to the shows--The crowds at the last two shows have really been THERE for us. We get the feeling they feel the same about us. THANKS YOU GUYS, it's the response from you that makes it all worthwhile. I'm continually surprised and pleased when asked to do more original tunes for these guys. So I"ve added "Hear My Confession" to the set list.

Click Here For Pictures

From James Graham, tour assistant:

Okay, so the helicopter ride didn't quite come off, but getting so close has inspired us to try again somewhere down the line. Until then, we're at least now traveling on the road in a little more style. For our three gigs in the southern part of South Korea they've given us a large U.S Army coach. Six of us our now stretched out in seating for 50 with most of the gear in the cargo holds below. After being cramped in the van/cargo truck for so many days it's like getting an upgrade on a plane from economy to business class. For some reason, though, I still can't escape the sounds of Ray's snoring. Last night's gig at Henry's Place on Camp Henry in Taegu was a little on the quiet side in terms of turnout but the 20 or so people in the audience seemed to get a kick out of our visit which is the main thing. We play at nearby Camp Carroll tonight, then on to Pusan, the second largest city in South Korea. We play one show there at the Pusan Pub before returning to Seoul via a gig at Osan Air Base. After just one night in Taegu, and a decent sleep in a nice hotel, no one is really looking forward to getting back to the Rainbow Hotel in Seoul. I kinda like Taegu, the third largest city in South Korea. It's a university town with cleaner streets and lots of cool alley ways packed with interesting shops and cafes. At night the whole place is bathed in neon. It's very Bladerunner. I just hope my dv camera holds together and i can get some footage of that tonight. For the first time on this trip I didn't film at all yesterday because it started to make some very weird noises. Seems to be sounding better today so fingers crossed.


From James Graham, tour assistant:

After seemingly fixing itself, the tour dv camera has gone on the blink again, this time with a flashing red warning sign saying it needs to be serviced. Fat chance of that in a place like South Korea: no one seems to speak a word of english. I took it to a guy yesterday who had absolutely no clue what I was going on about. Taegu really is a deadzone as far as European tourists are concerned: I've seen two white faces our entire stay here. Wandering the streets here you quickly become acutely aware of being stared at, kind of like what a TV celebrity must feel like in any other part of the world. Not that I mind, I just wish I knew what they were saying and giggling about. Only the drunk students wandering the streets late at night seem to have the confidence to practice their limited english on you. Just don't tell them you're from America and you should be okay. When I told them I was a New Zealander they beamed, but when I introduced Ray, our drummer, as an American one Korean made a kicking motion with his leg and the groups' attitude immediately changed. That's kind of hypocritical when you see how much of modern Korean culture is American influenced. And if it hadn't been for America's intervention in the 50s, that same guy would probably now be knee deep in a communist rice field instead of stumbling around in his Tommy Hilfiger duds. Still, trying to make sense of a crazy place like South Korea is pointless. I'm just counting down the days until we move on to mainland Japan. Two more shows to go; one in Pusan tonight and our last in Osan on Saturday, on the way back to Seoul where we fly out from the next day. Hopefully somewhere before that I'll find a camera repair place and a restaurant that doesn't serve dog meat.

Click Here For Pictures

I have a little different attitude towards South Korea than James.... It's ok to be ignored actually. They seem to just leave you alone and when trying to shop and order things at restaurants everyone has been extremely helpful.. I really love the food here and to say it's inexpensive in restaurants is an understatement....last night we all went out after the show to a BBQ (they have the grill in the center of the table and the cut and cook it for you while you watch), where they just keep bringing more and more fresh food, fresh vegs and garlic and tofu. We each paid 5000 Won, which is about $4.80 each. No tax. and No tip. I'ts all included. It's crazy. Riding to the most southern base in Korea today I'm struck by the new and old --right next to each other. People on there hands and knees working in fields--then right next to them a bulldozer moving earth to build a huge bridge. A few nights ago at Camp Page (the closest camp to the DMZ, and North Korea), We had a very responsive crowd and were presented with a really nice plaque from the Area Entertainment Coordinator, John Antes, during the show. I was talking to some front line artillery guys in between sets and they leveled with me and said, all we are here is just a "speed bump", I was like, "huh?". They explained, if invaded from North Korea they are the first thing the enemy comes to. Yet talking later to some of the higher ups, they said they were there to STOP any invasion from getting any closer to Seoul. Since it's been like this for 50 yrs......I guess it's all just practice, and train, practice and train. Well I spent the time before the show last night at the Emergency Room, it did sort of remind me of MASH. I twisted my knee during the show a few nights ago and have just been ignoring it and it's been getting worse and worse, inflammation, can't really walk much......so, Dr. Rafael hooked me up with ice packs, a knee brace, and advice. He had one of the best attitudes of any one in the military I've met yet. Just real light hearted and positive. So I'm trying to stay off of it between shows. Last night leaving Camp Carroll, the DJ at the club we played was playing "Hear My Confession" --- and they were "two stepping" to it! Country dancing has no limits! We are stayin ON base tonight at Pusan, which is a new thing. Little duplexes. Most of these buildings look like bomb shelters to me, with the rounded tin roof. So gotta go sound check.

Click Here For Pictures

Just arrived in Japan, we are at Yokota Air Base outside Tokyo. It's a holiday so we're heading into Tokyo for some sightseeing. The last show at Pusan Air Base was the best yet...a big stage, real sound system, about a 1000/person venue, with a real enthusiastic crowd. It was a "country" bar called Mustangs so we were a little worried that our few Patsy Cline and Johnny Cash songs would not satisfy--but they were singing along to "Allstar" and "Jack and Diane" before we knew it. Thanks to Scott, the manager, for treating us like a real band!
Gotta go!

Click Here For Pictures

Tokyo was so much like NYC, I was amazed. Guided by Spike, our area coordinator, we took a train, then a subway into the heart of Tokyo, it reminded me of the Times Square area bright with neon and charged with electric energy in the air. The intersections were especially comical to me at first....although seemingly more efficient than stateside! ALL the cars stop (not just one direction at a time), and all pedestrians just crisscross to whichever of the four corners they need to go (a sea of people wherever we went). We must have walked over 7 miles yesterday. The park we had a picnic lunch in used to be owned by the Imperial Palace, and used to only be used by royalty, but now opened to the paying public-- It was incredibly manicured, clean, no alcohol allowed, and promptly closed at 4:30 in the afternoon! That's where James' bald head was a hit with this little 3 yr old japanese boy--he just walked up and started rubbing it!! Wish we could go back into Tokyo--we are a good 1 1/2 hrs. by train outside of the city.

From James Graham, tour assistant:

Before I sign off on Korea I want to mention our final gig at the Mustang Club in Osan. What a great way to finish a rollercoaster trip through that part of the world. Firstly, the assistant manager Scott rolls out the red carpet big time. He actually shouts the band drinks and picks up the tab for a fancy dinner. If that wasn't enough the boys then have the pleasure of meeting Mustang's star waitress Chi Hye Yi. I'm not sure if it was the Yankee uniform or not, but we unanimously voted her our favourite Korean , a nose ahead of So Yung, the hotel clerk at Taegu's Dong In (Yes, that really was the name). Chi Hye, if you're reading this, there's always a spare seat on the tour bus.
As Kat said, we're in Japan now and so far this place rocks. Everyone except Ray, who's been here several times before, rolled into downtown Tokyo yesterday and I gotta say from what I saw it really is an incredible city. I can't believe how a town this size stays so clean and there's such a sophisticated air about the layout and people. It really leaves Seoul for dead in everyway. Our Japanese guide here, Spike, took us to some pretty cool spots, including a huge park where you have to pay 200 yen (a little less than US$2) to get in but it's worth it. My shaved head proved a hit with one little Japanese boy who couldn't resist playing with my chrome dome for a while before dashing off across the park, his flustered mother in chase.
Gotta fly again. Gig tonight on the air force base we're staying on for four days, Yokota, and I need to squeeze in a run.


From James Graham, tour assistant:

It's not often you wake up to see seven Japanese subs outside your window, but that's the sight that greeted us this morning at the 83rd ordinance battalion HQ lodgings on Kure Harbor. This U.S base, right next door to a large chunk of the Japanese Navy, is home to only 15 mainly admin staff but they have a pretty sweet set-up which the band got a taste of last night. Aside from the waterfront view, there's a hot-tub, huge gym, table tennis and full size free pool table. What more does a band need? Before tonight's gig we're all heading into nearby Hiroshima for a tour. We're going to check out the museum which houses remnants from the first atomic bombing of a city. Not really sure what to expect there but it's probably the only chance I'll get to see that kind of stuff so it's got to be done. I better sign off now; Baywatch has just come on the telly.

Click Here For Pictures

We went to downtown Hiroshima yesterday and toured the "Peace Park". It's basically a museum and huge park on the site of the epicenter of the atomic bomb dropped on Aug. 6, 1945. It also is a monument dedicated to the abolition of nuclear weapons worldwide. It was very disturbing seeing the damage caused and the absolute "wiping out" of an entire city in a matter of seconds, not to mention the after affects of radiation that has lasted up to this day, if you count the unborn fetuses of woman exposed to the fallout. All of the facts and pictures and video of what really happened was truly a devastating site. This day it was a very popular site for school trips and class pictures for elementary school kids. We were approached numerous times (being the ONLY Americans for miles) by groups of young students who were trying to fulfill some kind of assignment in their notebooks by trying to communicate with US! It was hilarious since they spoke just a tiny bit of English in order to introduce themselves and say thankyou, but had a really hard time articulating the questions they wanted answered, it was like charades trying to figure out what questions they wanted answered. Last night's show was the most interesting so far! It was a 90% Japanese audience. They REALLY know how to party and BE a part of the show. (I'm definitely seeking a Japanese Record or Licensing Deal-please email me with any "hook ups" in regards to that!) I don't think many of the audience spoke English at all but they were singing along anyway and DANCING big time. We also had a guest musician, Chief John Stocks, a military intelligence officer, who also wailed on the harmonica. Thanks John for jammin with us! What are the chances that one in maybe 12 guys on that base is also an amazing musician? By the end of the show the entire room was up dancing to "I Will Survive", young and old alike, I ended up standing on chairs in the audience for the last two verses...I sang the last verse to the youngest audience member, I think she was maybe 9 months old....it was nutty! They also really snatched up the cat-eye T- shirts, it was a nice change from the typical show we've been playing. Thanks to Marc Collin for hooking us up at the army resort at Kure! Those submarines outside our hotel windows were wild!
gotta run to the show tonight--

From James Graham, tour assistant:

Just when I thought I'd used up all my juicy superlatives to describe Japan the punters at the tiny Akizuki U.S army depot on Kure Harbor make me dig deeper for a few more. Who would have guessed that a post manned by 15 or so staff would turn on the highlight of the tour so far. The really cool thing was that the first feet to hit the dance floor belonged to three elderly Japanese women who sparked such a late final set frenzy, Geoff, Shane and Ray were overrun by the rushing crowd. By that stage Kat was already in the thick of it singing from a nearby chair. Jammed to the rafters, this room could maybe hold 70 people, but I bet the Japanese navy boys guarding the submarines next door must have thought there were at least 10 times that last night. As Kat said below, John was awesome on the harmonica and added a freshness to the playlist with his bluesy hooks. John, there's a seat on the tour bus anytime. Also, a big thanks goes out to the hardworking Mark Collin for making our stay so easy and relaxing. How about we come back next year and stay for a week? Geoff, Shane and I rocked on into the nearby township and after hooking up with a couple of local businessmen on the street, finished off a memorable day with an acoustic guitar jam in a local bar. Well, they did; I filmed it and pretended to be important. It was an awesome end to a harrowing start to the day. As Kat says below, John drove us all into downtown Hiroshima that morning for a tour of the Peace Museum. After viewing some pretty graphic reminders of the 1945 bombing, all I could think was wouldn't it be great if today's pro-war lobby could spend a few hours here; maybe then we all wouldn't be so keen to wipe each other out. I'll never forget standing on the bridge used as a target for the attack and looking up to roughly where the bomb was detonated 500m away just 57 years ago and wondering what went through the minds of the women and children in that same spot before they were obliterated. The only thing that made me leave with a sense of hope for the future were the looks on the faces of the young Japanese kids Kat mentions below. Their expressions and attempts at communicating with the tall white strangers were priceless.

We're now in Iwakuni where we've just finished a show to a large room of marines who for the most part seemed content to sit out the entire show at their tables playing drinking games. Then 'I Will Survive' came on and they went berserk. One second the dance floor was totally empty, the next a borderline mosh pit. These guys would have stuck around forever post-show if it hadn't been for someone escaping from the nearby brig (that's the army's version of prison). When word got out of the jailbreak, the whole base shut down. I want to know what this guy did. I thought we were all on the same side here? It's just as well we all have to go back to our rooms. An unexplained schedule change during the last set has moved our pick-up time tomorrow from midday to 8am. That's going to hurt when the alarm goes off, especially when you consider how sweet the rooms are here. I'm not kidding, these are five star digs with free internet in every room, two TVs, separate kitchen, lounge, bathroom and bedroom. It's enough to make me want to go AWOL!

Click Here For Pictures

Well we're off today, so I just did most of my Christmas shopping at the Navy Exchange(Japanese gifts galore)! We are staying waterside at this Navy Port in the Southern most part of Japan. Very nice digs. Did I mention my daylong trip to the ONSEN outside Tokyo? I can't believe I haven't already, cuz it's been one of the highlights of my trip. It's a Japanese Bath House. A huge three story high structure with up to ten indoor baths and several outdoor baths! Everyone walks around naked from one bath to the next, all different jacuzzi style jet pools and mineral baths (same sex sides are separated--although they didn't use to be until the 70's), you get one little towel, about the size of a hand towel to carry with you. Then outside the baths you can get massages, facials, etc. Also, which was really trippy for me--I came out from my massage(which was in a unisex room-japanese massage happens thru three layers of towels, they don't use massage oil or touch your skin) on this whole level upstairs--it has a library, several restaurants, tea room (with hosted karaoke), a game arcade gambling room, couches laid out along the halls with people sleeping on them after their massages, old japanese guys smoking and playing this chess like game, and all this while you walk around in your robe (or more like, hospital gown) that they give you to change into when you arrive. When you first walk in the door, you take off your shoes before entering the lobby--and put them in an individual shoe locker (about the size of a shoebox), then you proceed to the check-in counter for your real locker and towel/robe allotment. The entrance fee is a mere 1700 Yen, ($15). What a deal!

From James Graham, tour assistant:

I was right, that 8am start after a late show was a killer. To make matters worse our bus was sent to the wrong pick-up point leaving everyone standing around for an extra half hour. Still, after a cruisy five hour ride in the coach we've now arrived at our final Japanese venue, the navy base in Sasebo, a busy little port town an hour or two up the road from Nagasaki. No show until Tuesday night so Kat and the boys are either sleeping or sweating out some alcohol with some exercise. Most of us will probably check out the township later on. I haven't heard any grumbles about the rooms yet so that's encouraging. It's pretty hard to complain about the set-up these guys have in most of the venues we've played. It's really like living in a mini-town stateside, only the prices in the mini-mart are a lot cheaper. You can get a six pack of Icehouse at this base for just US$2.45. I'll check in again with you tomorrow some time and let you know if the natives are friendly. Oh, and maybe by then we'll have a better navy joke than 'what's long and hard and full of seamen - a submarine'.


From James Graham, tour assistant:

Two days off without a show in Sasebo seems like a two week break after all the traveling and performing we've been doing over the last few weeks. Back into the swing tonight with the first of two shows at Galaxies, a three story on-base entertainment facility rivaling anything you'll see stateside. Kat plugged the dates on the navy base radio station, Thunder, this morning. Thanks to the show's hosts Devin and Xaivier (sorry if I've got the spelling wrong guys - I'll correct it later) for an excellent interview. You guys deserve a bigger audience. See ya at the show. Kat, Ray, Shane and I ventured out into town last night to check out the Monday night scene. A lot livelier than the previous night but Tokyo still doesn't have much to fear. Still, I think we drummed up a little support for the first gig and christened our new 'local' drinking spot at the same time. That's how dedicated we are on this tour; we're always working even on our day off.

Click Here For Pictures

Thanks you guys--Devin and Zai for a great radio interview!! They did their homework. They are even giving me a copy so I should be able to post it on my mp3.com page as a download! My 8:30am interview came really early today, not before I was awakened with the "Star Spangled Banner" outside my window at 7:30am though! Luckily the radio station was right across the street from our hotel. If you're ever in Sasebo, the coolest, most well decorated little bar is called "The Goose", ShoGo, the owner and bartender has done an amazing job with this little 10 barstool bar. It's just down the street immediately to the left about 300 ft. after crossing the Albuquerque Bridge out of the park. We met some very sweet natives, Yuki and Maya, who spoke and understood English! We were thrilled to be able to communicate with the locals.
More later!

From James Graham, tour assistant:

Most of the Sasebo navy base may have been out at sea somewhere last night but at least those who did front for the first of our two shows at Galaxies filled up the dance floor. Hopefully a few will have some energy left in those legs to back-up tonight for our final Japan date before we leave for Guam. Right now I'm debating whether to dig in for another all-nighter - we have a 5am lobby call for the ride to Fukuoka airport - or catch maybe four hours sleep. Probably go for the latter because after last night's spending spree I have $4 left in my wallet. We have four nights in Guam with two shows at the Andersen Air Base. If anyone from there is reading this I know Kat, me and one or two others from the group would love a short helicopter ride. Maybe you could just write that off as a training exercise, or something. We can be reached at the lodging facility on base from around 4pm tomorrow.

Click Here For Pictures

From James Graham, tour assistant:

Yes, we are still alive. Sorry for the delay but with a busy Guam schedule and the difficulty in getting any internet time this is the first chance I've had to sit behind a keyboard since we arrived four days ago. For those following the storyline, I did manage to stretch my last $4 into a thoroughly large Japanese send-off in Sasebo thanks to generosity of our bass player Shane and the hospitality of Cathy a local bar owner. Of course I paid the price again during lobby call for getting next to no sleep and then when Ray wouldn't answer repeated calls to his room phone or knocks on the door, I had to bust in with the housekeeping key and see him in his birthday suit. Take it from me, that's a sight you don't want to see on just an hour's sleep at 6am. The best part of being in Guam is the weather and the water. The snorkeling and scuba diving (I'll leave that part for Kat to describe) is awesome. Most of us got wet today at the island's navy base where the undersea life is unbelievable. So much to tell you but I think my 15 minutes of internet time at the mess hall is almost up and these military guys are sticklers on stuff like that. Before I sign off, a brickbat to the Guam (U.S) customs people. For the last five and a bit weeks I've put my journalism career on hold and lost five years worth of hearing to help entertain U.S troops and who are the only customs people to give this U.S friendly Kiwi boy a hard time entering their country on this tour? Yep, the U.S territory of Guam. Isn't it ironic, don't you think? Talk to you from the Marshall Islands.

Click Here For Pictures

Wow, a week, and no internet access!! Guam was rough on the internet access but one of the highlights for the tour for me! I got to SCUBA DIVE for the first time, it is the coolest thing, to be actually breathing underwater! I went 30 or 40 ft down for my intro. lesson, so awesomely provided by James Sprouse, my new scuba teacher, his website is: www.guam.net/home/gambit86 and you will see pictures as soon as I get home. If you're ever in Guam, HE is the man to take Scuba diving from. Thanks so much to James for taking time out from his class to fit my intro dive in, I was also able to help his Rescue Class by...get this...."playing dead" for him and the class...on my FIRST ascent up from diving!! He wanted to surprise his class with a possible real life situation, so I had to roll over and act like I passed out, they did the CPR action, pulled me to shore, etc. The did a great job. Underwater--I saw an octopus, and a million different fish, all kinds of things on the reef...wild..... I can't wait to do it again. I highly recommend it if you've never done it before. I just wish we had several more days there in Guam. The shows were....different....than the typical, that's for sure. A Halloween Party for kids--- A cocktail party for Officers--anyway I have to go tour this island of Kwajalein and see what we're in for here!

From James Graham, tour assistant:

After most of the day island-hopping through the Marshalls - it took four flights to get here - we've arrived safely in Kwajalein, the U.S missile base in the Pacific. We've only been here for a few short hours but I'm going to go out on a limb here and say this leg is going to be the tour highlight. I can't really say why just yet, it's just a feeling. Okay, it may have something to do with the 50m salt water pool bordering the ocean, the free food and our very own golf cart to zap around the atoll on. And the rooms are pretty awesome too. I gotta go now cos they're closing up the rec room. Will check in again after our boat tour tomorrow. This is the payoff for Korea.


From James Graham, tour assistant:

If today was any guide, Kwajalein may actually make up for Korea. A big call, I know, but after zapping around the Marshall Islands on a boat tour (thanks Les) snorkeling around a shipwreck and finishing off with a BBQ hosted by resident entertainment guru Steve Snider it's hard to imagine a more blissful day exists. I just wish we could post some pics up right now so you could see what I was talking about; at this time of the night my words ain't going to do this place justice. Another early rise tomorrow because we're off to play a show on a neighboring island so again, I'm afraid, this is just a short diary note (sorry Kandis, I'll write soon). Steve tells us the residents at tomorrow's gig (sorry again, I've come out without the name of the place) really know how to lay out the red carpet, so much so, he's made us promise to pack up the gear before we start drinking all the shots they will undoubtedly want to buy us. I like this place already.

Click Here For Pictures

From James Graham, tour assistant:

Back on Kwajalein now tweeking final stage prep before tonight's big Halloween tour finale. Another awesome day yesterday on a tiny atoll called Roi-Namur, about a 15 minute flight from here. Big thanks to our host Christy. She really knows how to make a road-weary band feel rejuvenated. Also want to thank Chuck Smith for showing the band through the missile tracking systems. Take it from me, there's no chance of a stray bomb sneaking under the guard of these guys any time soon. I felt like writing more but the space bar on this keyboard is totally shot and it's really annoying me. I'm going for a swim....again.


I can't believe it's the last day of the tour, we're waiting for the first of three flights taking us back to LA, we actually arrive(after 18 hrs of traveling) at about the time it actually is to me now....2:30 on Fri afternoon (we pass the international dateline, so LA is a day behind us) Kwajalien is just the most beautiful tropical island, I believe we are really close to Figi, and that is what it most reminds me of, that, and Gilligan's Island. We've been snorkeling almost every day in between gigs. They really are treating us right here. Steve Snider and Ellen Smith..."We Luv You!!!, ThankYOU!", I knew things were going to go well when the first thing Ellen did was hand me the keys to a four seater golf cart and said "Here's your ride for the week". WEEE HEEE (I love golf carts) Most everyone rides a bike around the island, the only big vehicles are Army sponsored trucks and...planes and helicopters. No one is allowed to own a car. It's a town of about 2500 people, mostly contract workers for Rayothen, who is contracted by the US government to run this missile launch and missile tracking site. I haven't seen a military uniform since Guam--the security onto this island is unreal--we were met with bomb and narcotic sniffing dogs. They seemed to really like my small roller case and Brian's backpack....after searching and not finding anything but extra strong ibuprofen we were allowed thru! No one gets off the plane here unless you're invited. There are several WWII Japanese bunkers still standing, standing inside these bunkers was really creepy, I can almost hear the lost souls of all those who lost their lives when the US invaded and took over the island from the Japanese. Supposedly over 3000 soldiers died here. The Marshallese people are the native islanders that the US government is "renting" this group of islands from. From what I can tell, the king seems to get all the rent money, because the islands that the natives inhabit are very poor and overcrowded, and some have no running water, electricity, or modern plumbing. They take a boat in the morning to work the few jobs there are over here on Kwajalein and Roi-Namur. Just a word about Roi-Namur--Hey guys, I DO know how to spell it! These people know how to party! Christy was awesome as our host. A really National Geographic moment happened on our way back from a snorkel boat ride--we were able to stop at one of the native islands, after being invited (only becuz Simon, our driver and captain, knew the family on the island-otherwise your not allowed to go on the islands, they are private property) we came upon a preparation for a funeral celebration, the women were cooking over open fires, boiling crab and cooking the meat of coconuts into a pudding-like state, I can't recall the name of it but it was very sweet! I must write more later, We are expected at the airport in minutes and I'm the golf cart driver!!

From James Graham, tour assistant:

We've finished - damn it, now I have to face up to the real world and things like a job, a place to live and a car. Why can't this thing just keep going for a couple more months? I'm going to try and land a last minute gig at the local rag on Kwajalein or in the bar. There's got to be something going here. I can't face L.A anymore. Help! Oh, you probably want to know about the show last night as well, huh? It was probably the most perfect setting you could ever get for a show, half the island turned up and for the most part the rain stayed away. Unfortunately Kat got her guitar broken during the Halloween costume judging but I guess insurance will cover that. Brian, our sound guy, topped off the tour perfectly by throwing off his headphones and charging up on stage for a boogie and a guitar solo. Too bad you guys couldn't have seen that. Actually, maybe you can. Stay posted on this site for details on how you can get hold of behind the scenes tour footage.


From James Graham, tour assistant:

Unable to cope with the thought of living in L.A again, Shane and I have gone AWOL in Hawaii. Kat, if you're reading this, we're doing fine but it feels weird not having to look over my shoulder to make sure Ray is keeping up. Oh, and having to pay for your food again sucks. Aloha.


Well we made it back!! BARELY! I'm glad James and Shane are alive in Hawaii (talk about a spur-of-the-moment decision)...actually, I wish I could have stayed with them. But alas, KC, my boxer pup, and all the responsibility with the gear, etc, called --and I had to see it through to the end. James-- please keep us updated with the "Extended James and Shane USO Tour" from Hawaii. It was a frantic last few minutes getting on our last flight home....James, if you're reading you would have LOVED getting this on camera.....Ray actually missed the flight, we had a big delay at the counter with our final excess baggage ticket, which was written out to Continental but we were flying on United. Hence the $1500.oo extra charge had to be paid by MY credit card, after much back and forth discussions with the supervisor and being left at the counter for 20 minutes by the first counter person who just didn't feel like handling it...since I was not taking no for an answer.... Anyway, the security line was excruciatingly long and slow and I ran up to the gate AS they were closing the door to the plane, I was able to hold them off until Brian and Geoff rounded the corner after running after what seemed like miles thru the terminal. But, Ray was nowhere to be seen. Like you were saying James, you weren't there to watch him! I'm standing at the door outside the plane saying "...you have to wait two more minutes...he's with our group...he's right behind us...I just left him at security..they were going thru his bags"......they looked at me and said, "You can either stay on the ground and wait for him or you can get on the plane and come with us, we are GOING to have an "on time" departure no matter what he does" I couldn't believe it! (I was not missing that plane home and, frankly, was pretty tired of waiting around and babysitting Ray) so I stepped back to my seat, mumbling how ridiculous it was that we had been at the airport since 2:30am for a 7am flight and STILL practically missed it! They closed the door, started playing the security video, seemed to pull back from the ramp, I sat there stunned thinking how ironic we had made it thru 6 1/2 weeks of traveling without any real travel mishaps and on the last flight home--we lose someone. Then I see the flight attendant looking out the view hole of the door, waving and motioning to someone, and unbelievably --she pushes back the door and in walks Ray, afro flying around, sweating bullets, panting. It turns out since our excess baggage made it on the plane--for security reasons--they have to keep the person with their luggage, so they explained, after apologizing to everyone on the flight for the delay. Anyway all is well after the slow trip home in the van on the 405. I slept for 14 hours but it feels like 4, how long does it take to get over traveling BACK in time? I can't believe I was snorkeling yesterday morning in the beautiful Pacific Ocean in 85 degree water. The last show was really awesome, the open air stage with the ocean as the backdrop was spectacular. If not for the minor detail of my guitar getting completely broken in HALF during the Halloween Costume Contest, it was a perfect end to this tour. Ironically it wasn't an airline mishandling or a guitar smashing fit on stage that did it but it was knocked off it's guitar stand by a huge guy dressed as "gondor", (I have no idea how to spell it)-- huge robes and a big pointy hat--from the Hobbit movies. I was busy signing CDs down at the merch table during the break for most of the contest while all the contestants where parading ON stage in front of where all our gear was set up. I came up for the final contest "Best Overall Costume" and just as they named the Gondor character WINNER!!!! he knocked the guitar over! Geoff went to pick it up and goes, "Kat, you don't wanna look. You don't wanna see this" , He picked up the body of the guitar and the complete headstock and neck lay on the ground, severed completely in half, the only thing connecting the two was the strings, it was a sad sight. Any guitar player knows this is irreparable damage. All I can say is I'm glad it was the last show, AND I'm glad I brought my Takamine guitar on the road and not my vintage '57 Martin. We made it thru the last set despite-- and had everyone dancing to "I Will Survive" for the last song, including Brian, our sound engineer singing the last verse, and James dancing with camera in hand and Steve and Ellen, our local coordinators singing along on stage, it was a proper ending for the tour in the most beautiful of settings!! I just want to THANK YOU to Kara Soules, David Mills, and ARMED FORCES ENTERTAINMENT in Virginia for sending me out on this tour. I believe we made it thru with flying red, white, and blue colors!! It is an experience I will remember forever, not only for discovering new cultures and countries and meeting new people, but for making a difference, if not just for a night, to those brave people overseas away from home defending our country.


From James Graham, tour assistant:

For those three or four devoted followers still tuning in, Shane and I have finally faced up to reality...the tour is over. After our unexpected stopover in Hawaii we're back in L.A and thoroughly broke. If anyone has any work for either of us you can reach us through Kat's site. Thanks for reading. It was fun.


Site Maintained by Altposters/Rock Posters