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In the Summer of 2005, just after his successful show in Hollywood, CA at the Knitting Factory on April 26th, THOR
announced his first extensive live tour in nearly 20 years.
Jon asked if I could come along on tour to help with various things like merchandise, props, press, archiving & documenting, etc. I'd toured with THOR way back in 1998, and was thrilled at the possibilities of touring with THOR again. Unfortunately, the other band in my life, DEVO, was touring at almost exactly the same time as THOR, and I'd already committed myself to going along with them. THOR's tour started in late July, and DEVO's began in early August. Both tours ended by early October. You can imagine how frustrated I was - my two favorite bands, both of which I work for on a number of different levels, both decided to announce that they were touring for the first time in decades. Sure, I should be glad that my childhood wishes had been answered...but at the same damn time?!
Luckily, I was able to attend the first 10 days of THOR's 2005 tour before I headed off with DEVO starting in early August. Most of this tour report will concentrate on those first 10 days, but I will also post reports on the shows I couldn't attend, written by fans and members of THOR's band.
When Jon told me that Mike Favata, THOR's drummer during the 80's heydays, was going to join THOR on the entire tour, I was completely psyched. Then I was told that original guitarists Steve Price and Keith Zazzi would also be performing at select shows, and I couldn't be a happier THOR fan. The original 1980's line-up would perform again!
Chaser Merchandising had just inked a deal with THOR to manufacture & distribute 2 new T-shirt designs featuring artwork from his Keep The Dogs Away and Unchained LPs, so this meant that we'd have quality merchandise to sell on the tour. Smog Veil Records, the label who released the Thor Against The World CD and the An-THOR-Logy DVD, also made some great T-shirts and panties for the tour. THOR fans would definitely have a chance to take some cool souvenirs home from the shows.
I arrived in Orlando, Florida on July 19th, just a few days before THOR's first show in Margate, FL on July 22. We had a few days to tie up loose ends, organize all the equipment, merchandise, etc. Jon wanted to search a few local flea markets for new stage props. We spent an entire day searching 4 or 5 huge flea markets and found some great new props: a full-head helmet, huge sword, and amazing battle axe - all of which were made of real steel. Score for THOR!
We had one night to relax before traveling, so I sat down with Thor, Mike Favata, and John Ramirez (aka Magnus) to watch the An-THOR-logy DVD for the first time. It was quite a treat to hear stories from Mike & Thor on the making of the videos, live tour stories, etc.
The first show in Florida was a special showcase at Sam Ash Music Superstore, set up by original THOR guitarist, Steve Price, who also manages the store. It was a great way to try out some of the songs that had barely been rehearsed, and a chance to try out my camera equipment.
We then headed back to Orlando for a show at the Elk's Lodge.
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