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05 June 2003
Taken From: Burrn Magazine (Jul 97) #6

HELLO FROM ATHENS GREECE! There are two more shows in our European festival tour so I figure now is a good time to give all my friends and fans in Japan an update. Today we did an in-store appearance (sain-kai) in downtown Athens and it was absolute chaos. As we drove to the record store where it was to be held, the streets and sidewalks were completely full of fans as far as you could see. Our tour manager walked into the store first and then came back to the band?s van and told us that maybe we should cancel the in-store because there were way too many people and security was insufficient and someone (especially the members of the band!) could get hurt.

Our tour manager had never seen anything like this before. He had been working with Soundgarden for the last few years and their fans were half-asleep compared to the wild Megadeth fans. He repeated many times, ?Its a disaster in there. We have to cancel.? but our other manager (band manager) said that we should just get in there and do it because if we didn?t, there would certainly be a riot and the store would probably be destroyed. Our new album, ?Cryptic Writings? has been number one in Greece for three weeks now so we just figured that these kids deserve to have us do the in-store and we should, like Nike says, just do it.

So the next problem was actually getting into the store. The street was completely jammed between the band?s van and the store and that would be the only way to get in. We got the security guys (only three or four when we needed at least twelve) and the idea was to have them rush us through the crowd and into the store. That worked for about five seconds until it came to a complete stop with all these wild, sweaty, excited people pushing and shoving us HARD from all directions. WE COULD NOT MOVE! It was like being in the most crowded subway train in the world but instead of businessmen and women, all the people were wild Megadeth fans pushing and grabbing at us. It was frightening. I thought that I could feel my bones breaking because I was being squeezed so tight from all directions. I was trying to maneuver my arms into a position where they wouldn?t break but I COULD NOT MOVE. Mainly I was just praying that I would survive this situation and not find myself dead in Greece. The security guys were useless in this huge mass of people. The four band members finally got into the store behind the signing table one by one, about five minutes apart although it seemed like hours. Once we all made it to the table, we looked at each other and said that we were lucky to be alive!

Even though we got into the store, the chaos continued. This ?signing table? that was set up there was small and flimsy and offered us no protection from the hundreds, maybe thousands of kids shoving posters and albums in front of us to sign and backing us up against the wall of the store. Kids were crying, screaming, singing Megadeth songs trying to touch us and even kiss us! CD?s were falling onto the floor off of the racks behind us, advertising displays were getting crushed and there was a true sense of panic all around. Now I know what it feels like to be Michael Jackson!

The ladies from our record company in Greece suddenly became really tough and were pushing these guys one by one through the crowd to the table so we could sign something for them. Most of the fans had many items to have signed, but the ladies were screaming at them in Greek that they could only have one thing signed. After they had their things signed, they were pushed out the door by these record company ladies. That was a pretty funny sight.

When we decided to leave, we had to climb to the roof of the building and escape to the van without the fans seeing us. We climbed from the roof down to the street and ran into the van as fast as we could. By the time everybody saw us, we were already in the van and driving down the road. All in all, it was pretty thrilling. If it were the United States or Japan, the security would be better and the whole experience would have been easier and more enjoyable for everyone. I don?t like the idea of a fan waiting many hours at an in-store and when his moment to meet the band finally comes, he or she gets pushed past us so fast that we barely have time to make eye contact with him or her. However, this was Greece and maybe they have a different way of doing things! I have a feeling that tonight?s concert is going to be a wild one!

So the rest of the tour up until now has been great. It?s good to tour again after almost two years off the road and see that we have lots of fans all around the world. The biggest show we did on this tour was a festival in Denmark with INXS in front of 60,000 people. I was never a big INXS fan, but it was good to watch them and see a very professional band in action. Those kinds of shows are a good opportunity to get new fans because that was certainly the first time many INXS fans have seen Megadeth live.

We also did a show in Portugal where Scorpions were the opening act for Megadeth. It was really amazing for me because I remember being a little kid playing along with the ?Tokyo Tapes? album (you all remember ?Kojo No Tsuki?!) and now the Scorpions are playing before my band at a huge concert on the beautiful Portugal coast. How lucky I am--I?ve come a long way! After the show, I met Rudolf Schenker at our hotel and we talked for a while. He seems like a cool guy, but he?s very big--much taller than I expected.

On the days off from the festivals, we played small, almost ?secret? shows by ourselves at places like the London Astoria and the Paris Montmartre. These were fun because the places are so small that the fans have to be really clever to get the tickets before the show sells out, therefore the fans that do make it to the show are usually the ultra-loyal ones that stood outside in lines waiting for the tickets to go on sale. They seem to enjoy it even more because the venues are much smaller than where they are used to seeing us and they can get closer to the band than ever before.

This European tour has been awesome, but I?m ready to get out of here and tour the United States and Japan for a while. I really don?t like the food in Europe very much but I have to eat it so I can have energy for the concerts every night and the travel every day. I don?t want to complain about Europe in this article, because I already did a few issues ago! So let?s just close by saying that I?m getting ready for a big show in Athens tonight but just between you and me, it?s just a rehearsal for our Japanese tour!

Taken From: Burrn Magazine (Jul 97) #6