Riding on a rented red London Double Decker bus, drinking champagne was how I found out, as you do.

"Oh Nick, South America is on. Same deal as before OK?" said Jim Beach

"Sure thing, thanks Jim, I will get in touch with Juliette (Q+AL Tour Director)..."

"Very good." He smiled, turned back to Geoff Kempin of Eagle Rock, and continued to discuss the next couple of Queen DVD/Blu-ray releases.

I was already in a really good mood, but this news just heighten my glee - you know that little nervous / excited skip you get in your tummy? 'Pop', there it was.

Team MPT (Mercury Phoenix Trust) were overseeing a petanque fundraising day in London and Queen MD Spike Edney was with us on the bus, as we made our way through Oxford Street to the post-boule party. I grabbed another bottle of champagne and popped up stairs...

"You're coming? That's great...you better crack that open then!"

So here I am a few days before I leave, half packed and about to pop into town to grab a few last bits for my travels, reflecting on my last tour with the band and looking forward to this one. Once again, I had to put in a pitch for a place on the plane and again it was pretty simple - "South America - This is Queen Country". There was a bit more to it, but not much, however what I did have in my favour was that the feedback I had got from the North American Tour was that I had actually turned out to be pretty useful about the place, which was nice. I was also asked to do the European Tour earlier in 2015, but 6 weeks away from my girls was just too much for me...plus the wife said 'No'.

This entry is just an introduction really, much like the one I did before, and a chance to say hello again and set the scene. There has been plenty of other things to prepare for and get to grips with before the tour; I have been busy on all manner of Queen and MPT business, including a weekend working in Montreux celebrating Freddie's birthday, getting injections, loading up the new Iron Maiden and Motorhead albums, checking the weather in SA, I even got a pedicure! But mainly taking (some) tongue in cheek flak from the wife, as I am

a) missing my eldest daughter's first day at school and

b) missing my other half's 40th birthday.

I'm a selfish prick, I know.

Going back to the NA Tour once more; I have to say it was one of the best things I have ever be part of, I have worked on several one-off live events (The BRITs, 46664 shows), but never a tour and I am glad many of you enjoyed my 'Notes From The Road' - it kind of helped me enjoy it more, relaying what was unfolding in front of me each day. The plan is to do the exact same thing, tell you how I see it. However, if you have any ideas on what you might like me to cover please e-mail me at nickw@outsideline.co.uk - of course, be sensible, I do not have unprecedented access to Brian, Roger or Adam and I am not going to sneak around exposing intimate details or compromise security!

Having received my flight details a few weeks ago, I was then presented with the final main tour itinerary and I am happy to see that over 2/3rds of the crew and touring team is the same as the last time I went out - kind of says something about those at the top really; the good stuff filters down. And yes, of course, Malandrone's name stuck out like an 'entertaining warning sign' - if that makes any sense, if you know Pete, you'll know. I am really looking forward to seeing the guys again, especially my 'Big Sister On The Road' Production Coordinator Jil, that (now) man of 'Darkness', Rufus and our bubbly Bass Department Neil. I might even have some time for Brian, Roger and Adam...

OK, so here we go, let's see what South America has install for us. I am particularly looking forward to Queen's return to Rock In Rio - I can recall the first time I heard of it, Guns N' Roses were finally returning to action with their Use Your Illusion albums in 1991 and with typical audacity picked RIR to take their bow – it has held quite the mystic with me since then. I have also heard how utterly frenzied (in a good way) and keen the Argentineans are, and Chile, well I look forward to meeting you, but thanks for Alexis Sanchez, he has lit up the Premiere League!

Just so you know, I have struck a deal with a Brazilian friend of mine who is going to translate these entries into Portuguese, plus QOL's Wilki in Argentina will deal with the Spanish...although he doesn't know that yet. My attempts would be futile, although a quick Google translate might make these updates more entertaining/even more confusing for you!

Right, back to the packing, the taxi picks me up at 3.30am on Friday (uh)...I'm not complaining really. I can't imagine I will have much more to say until I actually get to Sao Paulo on Saturday to be honest, although last time I did manage to blog on my in-flight movies…belated apologies on that one!

So you can consider yourselves dismissed until then and let me know of anything you might want me to report on.

The 'Don't Stop Them Now' Tour is (nearly) go...



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