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Oh man... Where should I start ? First, let me give you the facts : on October 13th, Clem and I flew from Paris, France to Los Angeles, Cali-fuckin'-fornia. Sure, we could have spent a nice vacation, laying on the beach, drinking outrageous cocktails and trying not to have hot sex with more than 5 bikini-clad silicon-enhanced goddesses a day. But France being the Kingdom of Booze and Hot Girls, been there, done that, have the t-shirt. Instead, we cruised around L.A. for a few days, and no, NOBODY SHOT AT US : quite disapppointing, really... The Terminator 2-3D ride at Universal Studios almost killed us, however. On a more personal level, I also got my picture taken with Hercules, although I still think that my man Conan would eat that fag for breakfast. But where was Xena when I needed her ??? Well, we briefly spotted her, but Clem - clever kid that he is - could tell she was not the genuine article : very low customer satisfaction in that crucial boob department, you know ? Okay... Do I sound like a retard yet ? Have I offended you ? Yes ? Alrighty then ! This means I'm in the spirit. Let's roll !

Z's cooking !
October 15th, late afternoon. L.A. is a fucking oven, but Mr. Freon keeps the car cool. Driving North from the Motel 6 - you know I have this thing with 6's, yes ? - we pick up Chris The Swiss on our way to Roy's. We were going to go out for dinner, but the man has decided to cook for us. Whether this is good or bad news is still unknown. Maybe this is some kind of sick revenge for the Driver picture I put on the website...

The Z house sits about 20 miles north of downtown Hollywood. We are greeted by Roy & Gregg already hard at work on the BBQ. Elvis soon joins us and beers start flying (now THAT is a surprise). Sitting by the pool, we catch up on the latest news from both sides on the Atlantic. Halford, Bruce, Maiden, Helloween and the likes are of course discussed : some are cheered, some are booed, YOU find out...  Of course, Roy mentions some totally secret G14-classified projects that I'm not supposed to say a word on. But what the hell... Listen up, people : this is official, Roy is going to start a band featuring the Taco Bell dog on vocals, O.J. Simpson on drums and George W. Bush on electric chair guitar, Roy himself playing the ocarina. And yes I'm going to upload their demos on Napster real soon now...

Food is ready : beef fajitas, rice and chili. Healthy food indeed ! A well-hidden red pepper almost chokes Clem to death (see, I TOLD you !), but apart from that, we happily get stuffed ! So now you know : Roy knows how to cook.

In between the growing amount of  beer-induced nonsense, we do actually manage to talk about the first half of the Santana tour (Houston, Albuquerque & Phoenix). Things have been going really well, apart from the cold weather that has followed the Tribe along the way. We get to hear the inevitable tour stories : the gold medal goes to Elvis for getting slapped by a drunk lady in Houston (this is an OBSCURE story, believe me) and especially for getting lost in Abilene. Read on...

Elvis has left the tour bus...
Little can be said about Abilene, Texas that John Wayne hasn't told us already : cattle markets, guns, booze. But as it happens, there's also has a Denny's. All of you yanks will know of course what Denny's is, but for the record, let me just say that Denny's is a nationwide chain of restaurants which are opened 24/24h and where you can get decent food at a decent price. The perfect place for a bunch of hungry fellas to grab something to eat at 2 A.M, see, and so the tour bus stops at Denny's in Abilene. Rule #1 : NEVER leave the bus. Rule #2 : if you break Rule #1, let someone know. And disciplined boy that he is, Elvis tells someone (who we will from now on refer to as the Young Ayatollah) that he's going out. Problem is, Y.A. is kind of tired and immediately falls asleep. So what happens when the driver comes back and asks if anyone is missing ? Bye bye Elvis...Lost in the middle of Texas surrounded by trigger-happy Bush supporters, looking at the grim prospect of having to spend a month washing dishes to buy a Greyhound ticket to L.A., who do you go to ? 

Conga player down, backup requested, I repeat...
Well, basically, Elvis calls the cops and explains to a State Trooper that his band has left him behind. Try to imagine that ! And since they breed them strong and smart down in Abilene, the State Trooper issues an APB (All Position Bulletin) on the tour bus. Very shortly, the bus is spotted by another unit and pulled over. Imagine the panic inside. Not that they'd have anything to hide from the Abilene Police Department, but you know... The cop asks the driver, probably with that Texas drawl of theirs : "Say, are you guys missing someone named Elvis ?". HILARIOUS ! So eventually, Elvis gets back onboard. In the process, he earned a few new nicknames... To celebrate this glorious story, I've written a song in your honor, Elvis. I'm sure Roy and the guys will add extra verses :-)You can all sing it to the tune of Muddy Waters' "Manish Boy" :

Denny's Boy
(J. Simon)

On the night I got lost
Alone in Abilene
The owner said I'd be
his slave for quite a while
But I'm from L.A.,
live right off 101
You'd better believe it, baby
I don't wanna stay too long

I'm a man !
Not a Denny's Boy
A full-grown man
I'm a man !
I'm not even stoned
I'm a man !
I'm a rookie rookie man

 The rest of the evening at Roy's is just a blur, really. I do remember that the rum from Nicaragua was pretty good, though...

End of Prologue. Much much worse is on the way !