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Some Shiprocked Stories...

So, as you know I was on Shiprocked last week. The cruise pulled out of Fort Lauderdale and stopped in Jamaica and Grand Cayman. Queensryche, Ratt, Skid Row, Tesla, Broken Teeth, Lynam, Endeverafter, Stereoside, Stonerider and the Niki Barr Band entertained the 1,500 or so of us crazy enough to embark on a week-long, 24/7 metal extravaganza.

Now, let me say that a more straightforward review will post on Noisecreep this week, along with a photo gallery. I know you'd rather have dirt...and I'm happy to share with you.

First, let me say all the bands sounded pretty amazing. Lynam being the best (I'm biased, they were my favorite band on the boat) and Ratt sounded the worst. Now, I'll explain more in the Noisecreep review but I think that there was a major band scuffle going on or something. The members just didn't interact, so maybe they were fighting or something. Maybe they were just exhausted. I sure as hell was (still am)!

Now, for some dirt. During the aforementioned Ratt show, Tesla lead singer Jeff Keith stood beside me and my husband. Actually, he didn't stand. He really just jumped around, screamed, sang along and kept flashing the devil horns. I couldn't help but laugh - it was pretty hilarious and bizarre all at the same time. Speaking of Tesla, I caught a Frank Hannon pick during their set!

Before dinner the last night of the cruise, Eric and I went to check our cruise card balance (basically, that's a bar tab). So we're on the way to the computer terminal to swipe our card and we pass Warren DeMartini standing by the sushi restaurant, fighting with the hand sanitizer machine. He's nearly kicking this machine, trying to get some of the germ fighting agent when a random woman walks up to him and says "Are you part of that rock cruise?" And Warren just smiled and said "Yes, I am." Then he proceeded to fight the hand sanitizer machine some more. I ducked behind a corner and laughed. The non-Shiprockers on the cruise were pretty great overall. They peppered us with questions and I love how politely Warren handled the situation. Of course, there's always at least one pill in the group and apparently some grouchy old man screamed about the "Crazed hippies on the boat, smoking too much pot." I think the grouchy passenger got something free for his troubles and for the record, I never saw (or smelled) anyone smoking pot. So there. Another non-Shiprocker story. One morning, Eric, Kari and I ate breakfast with a retired couple. They were fascinated by the cruise concept and admitted that they had ducked in (illegally!) to the Tesla show. I was impressed the couple could remember the band's name. The woman said she didn't like it because had no "beginning, middle or end" and the man said it was too loud. We smiled as the couple was quite nice. Then they told us they could tell we had good parents and were raised right. I thought that was nice.

When you disembark a cruise ship, it's mayhem. Probably the worst part of the entire experience, actually. Everyone gets up at the crack of dawn to lineup to get off the boat. So, picture it: 5am Friday, no one has slept, because really, what's the point? So everyone is sitting around, half out of it when Parker Lundgren, the newest member of Queensryche, comes down to the lobby with his wife Miranda who just happens to be Geoff Tate's daughter. The two are squabbling just a little because it's early and they are tired. I witness this terse exchange and see Parker leave with Miranda trailing him. I'm assuming they got off the boat via a more private manner, and I hope so. Makes me realize every marriage is literally the same. 

Speaking of Geoff we have an 80s prom on the cruise. We did this in lieu of a traditional formal night like any other cruise. So I have an awesome outfit, as does Eric (thanks to me) and my girl Kari. In fact, we look so good, people get their picture with us, but I digress. So anyway, we eat and go to the "prom." See, we're excited because we could drink at this prom. We couldn't do that the first time around! So, we get a drink and sing along to some Glam tunes, mainly Tuff's "American Hairband." So, my little group is feeling good when we notice the prom is filling in nicely. All of a sudden, I look up - and Geoff Tate's wife is dancing! Then his kids come onto the floor...then the man himself! I've never seen Geoff Tate dance like this, to things like Whitesnake and AC/DC and yes, Kix...but there he was, dressed all in black! Again, surreal. People surrounded him to take photos, but no one really bothered him or his wife. In the end, Geoff and his wife were named honorary king and queen of the prom.

What else? Well, I ate dinner each night next to Stonerider. They are a cool band and you should check them out. They hail from Atlanta and have a sort of Blackstone Cherry vibe going on.I think they liked the food more than me. Well, I didn't like it all, so I guess that wasn't hard to top. Worst food I've ever had on a cruise, by far. Everything else on Shiprocked was perfect, from the shows to the meet and greets to the special activities...but man oh man, the food! I was starved by the time I got home Friday and I know I'm not alone in saying that.

One of my personal favorite memories had nothing to do with rock stars, but just having dinner with my friends Mr. and Mrs. NirVrana (yeah, the Mr. posts here) and them telling me crazy stories of festivals past. Mr. NirVrana also brought me a lovely "I Love MJ" T-shirt which I wore to Jamaica, causing a bit of a stir. So, this MJ shirt is awesome by the way. Now, if you've ever been to Jamaica, you know that you are hassled the second you arrive. I was both hassled and met with screams of "I love Michael Jackson, too!" and "Gone Too Soon!"I guess that proves MJ is the universal language.

Nothing much exciting happened during the meet and greet sessions. During the special Geoff Tate Insania wine tasting event, I noticed Parker Lundgren's belt and mentioned I wanted it. So, Kari being the extrovert she is, walked on up to him and asked where he got it...which was, naturally, New Orleans! This gave NOLA girl Kari something to talk about for sure. Nothing much else happened during the wine tasting. I can't drink wine except for a tiny taste, so it was pretty boring for me. I do have to say I had no idea just how hardcore Queensryche fans are. Man, those people are nuts! Kari's roommate was a beautiful woman who has traveled the world, following her love of the 'Ryche. We met people on our shuttle who have traveled all over for the band...and there are countless similar stories. At the wine party, I noticed many people showing off their Queensryche tattoos. Qeensryche fans were, by far, the most rabid group on the boat. Truly an eye-opening experience.

I'm sure I'll think of more stuff. When my Noisecreep review and photo gallery pops up, I'll post the link here.

Reader Comments (8)

I like the story about the old couple. I wonder how many people assume all rock fans are a certain way b/c they never met one.
November 23, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterChristian
It doesnt sound like it was all that, I expected to hear alot of good stories. Sounded lame glad I didnt go and waste the $$, I'll save it for ROK10
November 23, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterFitz
The Warren De Martini Hand Sanitizer Malfunction tale is priceless. So surreal and hilarious. It's a scene right out of a comedy movie. Like the thing's gonna save that dirty Ratt on a cruise ship! Classic.
November 23, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMetalboy!
Fitz - totally not lame. 100% times better than Rocklahoma.

- Allyson
November 23, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAllyson
Sounds like a great time they need to get KIX on the cruise next year and i will be joining ya! lol
November 23, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKixRules
This cruise was awesome! Yeah, the food wasn't very good and communicating with the staff was tough, but everyone was cool! Jason McMaster, Robbie Crane, Jacob Lynam and Skid Row were particularly nice. I would like to see Kix on the next cruise myself along with Cinderella. The DJ on Prom Night played the best music I have ever heard at a dance!
November 23, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRicksav
This wasn't lame at all. It TOTALLY ROCKED! THe only negative thing I can say is the food issue (or lack thereof) and no music out by the pool which was a cruise line problem. Plenty of different people on the boat to provide entertainment, all the bands were great, The KC school of Rock was incredible, tons of laughter, tons of music, I'd do it again in a heartbeat! Here's to hoping for KIX on the boat in 2011.

WHO DAT NATION still going strong. 10-0! WOO HOO...
November 23, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterkari
Allyson, glad to hear the I heart MJ shirt was a big hit on Jamaica. Also glad to entertain yourself and Eric with stories of Woodstock 99 [all true and there is so much more to tell].

ShipRocked was the most amazing experience of our lives. Killer concerts by Tesla, Skid Row, Lynam, Niki Barr Band and KC School of Rock kids especially. Great times hanging with bands, crew, staff, roadies, security. Pretty much everyone we met was a really good person, no matter how metal they dressed and looked.

People do treat you differently if you are long-haired freaky people, or even if you are just sporting an earring, bandana and rock t-shirt. As we left, half the ship was old folks who got a bargain to fill the ship, as it was only the second voyage. My uncle told a lady, "Have a good cruise" and she snapped back, "I doubt it!"

When we got to the airport, all of the ShipRocked folks got extra attention from security. I had my bags scanned twice. Heather nirVrana was placed in the glass jail, and then practically strip searched in full view of everyone. Even Kari was pulled aside, searched at length, and had all her bags gone through. Super Dave the roadie had us watch his bags for a few minutes, and 30 seconds after walking away, security came up to us to ask about the bags.

I will admit, even I was a bit concerned about the amount of debauchery and chaos there might be on board. My wife and I don't really party, but we do love live music and meeting cool people. Well I did not witness any fights, arguments, puking or passing out. There were copious amounts of alcohol consumed [and yes, some Jamaican green behind the scenes] but everyone seemed to handle it well and was very social about it. There was one couple who got left in Jamaica for making sweet love on the deck, probably because the TV's in the room had feeds of the deck piped in nonstop, so theoretically we could have all witnessed it, not that we spent more than a couple hours a night in our rooms.

Generally people were just cool and having a great hang, especially Niki Barr Band, Lynam and their crew, Skid Row, Tesla, Jason McMaster and Earl Hickey [not his real name]. Have to add that Jeff Keith and his wife were both Ratt n' Rollin and they are such a cute couple, and the nicest people you could ever meet.

Absolutely cannot wait until next time.
November 23, 2009 | Unregistered CommenternirVrana

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