Dallas – July 15

Early start at 7am but no problem for the Peters family who have not had time to consider such things as jet lag. The boys are fantastic and used to a life with a mum and dad who always have ‘stuff’ going on. Today’s ‘stuff’ involves a television appearance on the early morning KDTV channel’s Texas Daily show.
James Chippendale and I are the special guests along with the one time ‘fastest man in the world’ Michael Johnson. I can’t resist getting my photo taken with the great athlete and my kids are quite taken with him too “Is he faster than Usain Bolt?” says Evan.
Michael Johnson Mike Peters Dylan Peters Evan Peters
I have to sing a version of ‘Strength’ which I sing in Ab minor as it’s a little early for full on rock and roll singing and although I’m awake my singing voice is still half asleep.
Mike Peters Texas Daily
We are interviewed by four US women and it’s a lot like being on ‘Loose Women’ in the UK.
The Texas Daily
photo copy 11
After the show, it’s back to the hotel for a meeting with a literary agent named David Hale Smith from Inkwell Literary Agency who has approached me (through James), to talk about doing a book based on my experiences. It’s a really good meeting, and I feel comfortable in David’s presence. David has actually climbed Mt. Snowdon so that’s pretty cool in my book (excuse the pun). We talk through some ideas and ways forward and before you can say ‘new chapter’, it’s time to head back to Austin for the ‘sold out’ solo show at the Listening Roon at Winflo on 6th street in Austin.
The traffic is terrible again and we only just make it before the doors open to set up. My dressing room is an old Airstream caravan which is very cool indeed.
Mike Peters Airstream
It’s another night to benefit Love Hope Strength and there are some great people in attendance. The evening begins with a talk about the charities origins from James and I followed by a solo acoustic set that tells the story of my battle with cancer from 1995 onwards. It turns out to be a very emotional night.
Mike Peters James Chippendale
Jules and the kids are sat beside the stage but the boys are fast asleep before I had sung the first song. I’ve never played a show like it before and it is quite draining to go back through the details of the scary situations Jules and I found ourselves in that are the foundations of Love Hope Strength. To close the show I invited James back onto the stage again thanked him for his kindness to my family in our hours of need. We said our goodbyes for now and boarded the tour bus bound for Nashville, TN.

Mike Peters – The Song That Changed My Life Documentary

Big Country Tour Dates 

Be a Donor-Get On The List! Campaign 

Love Hope Strength 

The Alarm Official Web site 

Love Hope Strength Video Trailer See the video here

Mike Peters appears at House of Commons for Marrow Drive to Celebrate Parliament Increasing Eligibility Requirements of Donors in the UK from 17-30 to 17-55 years of age BBC News

Follow us on Twitter: @LHSF

Dallas – July 14

We spend most of today relaxing and catching up on all the news from home. A lunch with Richard Rees and a photocall at the ‘I love you so much’ spray can writing that has become something of a must do photo sensation in Austin. The spray can slogan was sprayed by the owner of Jo’s coffee shop‘s girlfriend and has caught on through Facebook and social media. A modern day phenomena.

Mike Peters @ Jo's, Austin

We have a tough drive to Dallas through the heavy traffic and just make it on time to the venue in the Deep Ellum district. ‘Trees’ is a fairly legendary venue that has seen performances from Nirvana and Pearl Jam to name but a couple, but I’m not sure if it has seen anything quite like the site of Big Country being piped onto the stage by the ten pice Fort Worth Scottish Drum and Pipe Band all dressed in full national Scottish dress with bag pipes and kilts.

Big Country Fort Worth pipe Band

It’s a very moving start to the show and at the end of the night we bring the pipe band back up on to the stage to close out with ‘In A Big Country’.

See Big Country at Dallas Trees here.

Mike Peters – The Song That Changed My Life Documentary

Big Country Tour Dates 

Be a Donor-Get On The List! Campaign 

Love Hope Strength 

The Alarm Official Web site 

Love Hope Strength Video Trailer See the video here

Mike Peters appears at House of Commons for Marrow Drive to Celebrate Parliament Increasing Eligibility Requirements of Donors in the UK from 17-30 to 17-55 years of age BBC News

Follow us on Twitter: @LHSF

Austin – July 13

Today is the day when Jules and the kids arrive in to the USA.
The wait is almost over. James and I grab some breakfast in South Congress and are joined by Richard Rees. Richard is the man Jules turned to when I couldn’t get insurance to travel to SXSW in 2006 when the ‘Under Attack’ album was being released. Richard introduced Jules to James Chippendale via email and so our relationship began. It’s great to see Richard again, we have many memories of past SXSW (“South by” as they say around here), adventures and it was Richard who got The Alarm involved in iTunes back when it was a fledgling service and we sat in on a SXSW lecture hosted by Apple’s Alex Luke (who turned out to be a big Alarm fan).
James Chippendale Richard Rees Mike Peters
Love Hope Strength
After brunch we head back to James place and continue our talks about all things LHS. I get a text message from Jules and the kids that they have landed in NYC and are ready to make the connection to Austin. So close. James and I have lots to discuss and the day speeds by. We are getting ready to head for the Belmont show when a text comes through that Jules and the kids have had to deplane because of a mechanical failure and that they will not arrive until 10 o’clock which is the time I’m due on stage with Big Country. So close not close enough.
James and I head for the venue and it’s seriously hot even this late in the evening and the Belmont just happens to be an open air stage. I resolve myself to the fact that I will have to wait until after the show to see Jules and the boys and James heads off to the airport to pick them up and seeing as it’s late take them straight to his house.
The intro tape sounds across the PA and I’m on stage and singing to a fantastic audience who get right behind the band. It’s a great setting for a gig with the night full of stars and the hi rise financial centre buildings dominating the skyline. I end up in the crowd during ‘In A Big Country’ and as I’m making my way back to the stage I spot Jules waving from the balcony. My heart skips a beat and there are my boys too. It’s so emotional and strange to finally see my family whilst I’m on stage and unable to run to them.
The song is soon over and I’m up on the balcony and we are a family reunited. The boys are excited to be in the USA and Evan wants to go and see the stage and help the crew take down the equipment. Dylan comes with me to the donor booth and helps out and joins me in most of the photos with the fans.
Donor Drive Austin
At the end of the show we all pile into the Chippendale mobile and head to his place for sleep safe in the knowledge that we are all together again.

Mike Peters – The Song That Changed My Life Documentary

Big Country Tour Dates 

Be a Donor-Get On The List! Campaign 

Love Hope Strength 

The Alarm Official Web site 

Love Hope Strength Video Trailer See the video here

Mike Peters appears at House of Commons for Marrow Drive to Celebrate Parliament Increasing Eligibility Requirements of Donors in the UK from 17-30 to 17-55 years of age BBC News

Follow us on Twitter: @LHSF

Houston – July 12th

Welcome aboard the naturist bus tour of America.

Mike Peters Texas

We have no air conditioning and it’s so hot we are all stripped down to the bare essentials to try and keep cool. There’s no time to even stop for food… we might just make the show in time but only just… as long as we keep rolling. We make Forth Worth / Dallas at 5:10 and still have four hours to go!!!! The phrase “Houston We Have A Problem” springs to mind!!!!

Bruce Watson and Will Peters

We eventually get to Houston with about 30 minutes to spare. It’s called a ‘throw and go’ in the trade. We don’t have time to set up Mark’s kit so he uses the opening act’s drums. It turns out to be a great show. There is a spring in our step caused by the day’s frustrations and we all raise our game for the crowd of BC devotees who have waited so patiently to see the band.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2MtQExwZ3i4

Alvaro from San Antonio (who is a serious LHS volunteer and responsible for finding 20 of our 600 matches), is on hand to sign people to the register and he takes me to Austin after the show.

photo copy 4

We chat non stop for the entire 3 hour journey and even manage to fit in a stop at Buckee’s legendary Austin truckstop. I get to James Chippendale’s house and am so glad to see a bed!!!

Mike Peters – The Song That Changed My Life Documentary

Big Country Tour Dates 

Be a Donor-Get On The List! Campaign 

Love Hope Strength 

The Alarm Official Web site 

Love Hope Strength Video Trailer See the video here

Mike Peters appears at House of Commons for Marrow Drive to Celebrate Parliament Increasing Eligibility Requirements of Donors in the UK from 17-30 to 17-55 years of age BBC News

Follow us on Twitter: @LHSF

Aspen – July 11

It’s another beautiful day although my phone is off the hook with Love Hope Strength related phone calls. The bus has had to go to be fixed and so we have the morning to ourselves and Julie Lampton kindly takes me on the Gondola to the top of Aspen Mountain for lunch. It’s spectacular.

Mike Peters Aspen, Colorado

The bus comes back and is ready for the next leg of our Journey to Texas… This is what I have been waiting for since we got here because Texas today means Jules, Dylan and Evan arrive on Saturday 13th into Austin….. only two sleeps to go!!

On the road we experience the first rain since New York at the beginning of the tour. It’s a proper thunderstorm and while we stop for dinner at a truck stop south of Denver a huge explosion of lightning takes out all the lights and power. It also takes out the windscreen wipers on our bus so we can’t go anywhere and also blows out the air conditioning unit….. It’s always fun fun fun on the road with a rock and roll band!!

Mike Peters – The Song That Changed My Life Documentary

Big Country Tour Dates 

Be a Donor-Get On The List! Campaign 

Love Hope Strength 

The Alarm Official Web site 

Love Hope Strength Video Trailer See the video here

Mike Peters appears at House of Commons for Marrow Drive to Celebrate Parliament Increasing Eligibility Requirements of Donors in the UK from 17-30 to 17-55 years of age BBC News

Follow us on Twitter: @LHSF

Aspen – July 10

It’s a surreal morning… at 4.00 AM we are sat waiting for the Amtrak train to pull into Provo.

Mike Peters Amtrak California Zephyr

There is no station just a covered shelter. All of a sudden a huge train pulls into view with the unmistakeable sound of the California Zephyr’s low bell softly ringing to herald it’s arrival. We climb out of the car and Russ and I bid each other well (Russ ls heading for Italy on another film production he has in the works), and I board the train bound for Glenwood Springs, Colorado.

Mike Peters Russ Kendall

I have booked myself a sleeper room on this huge juggernaut of a train and am shown to my bed. I manage to get some sleep until the early morning light and heat wakes me up for breakfast at 6:30. As much as I like talking to strangers who mistake me for Rod Stewart =;-), I head back to bed for some more sleep.

Mike Peters California Zephyr

There are some beautiful views from the panoramic windows and I know for a lot of people (like my father-in-law Peter), this would be a dream come true just as I realise and appreciate how lucky I am to be able to enjoy these experiences.

Mike Peters California Zephyr

California Zephyr

At precisely 12:10 I arrive on time at Glenwood Springs to be picked up by Julie Lampton (Jules 2), who Jules (Jules 1), and I met together on Love Hope Strength’s Kilimanjaro Rocks adventure back in 2009 (I first met Julie (Jules 2), on Everest Rocks in 2007). Julie whisks me off into the Rockies in her open top car and we pull into places like ‘Woody Creek’ famed as the watering hole of choice for one Hunter S. Thompson.

photo

Aspen is our destination and what a beautiful place it is. We meet up with Rob Rushing, Bekki and Randy who are helping run the donor drive tonight and together we all pile into the Love Hope Strength camouflage mini (that was donated by Schomp of Denver), and drive up to Maroon Bells to visit one of the most photographed and visited viewing points in America. The water is so still and reflects the beauty back from above.

Mike Peters Maroon Bells, Colorado

Upon arrival at the famous ‘Belly Up’, I notice that our tour bus is in a state of total disarray as we have faulty brakes and flat tyres…. The Journey is taking it’s toll on our means of transport that’s for sure. I get another surprise when my phone goes off with a text message from Taylor Hawkins of the Foo Fighters. He wants to come to the show…. !!

Mark Brzezicki gets the same text and is very excited. We both met Taylor at Oxegen Festival in Ireland a couple of summers ago in 2011. He is a self confessed Big Country and Alarm fan. The gig is another stormer and afterwards at the donor booth I am accosted by Taylor singing “Sixty Eight Guns Will Never Die”……what a night!!!!!!

Mike Peters Rob Rushing Taylor Hawkins

Mike Peters Big Country Belly Up Aspen

Big Country Tour Dates 

 

Be a Donor-Get On The List! Campaign 

 

Love Hope Strength 

 

The Alarm Official Web site 

 

Love Hope Strength Video Trailer See the video here

 

Mike Peters appears at House of Commons for Marrow Drive to Celebrate Parliament Increasing Eligibility Requirements of Donors in the UK from 17-30 to 17-55 years of age BBC News

 

 

 

 

 

Follow us on Twitter: @LHSF

 

Provo – July 09

Day two in the Kendall residence and we are up early and driving into town. Russ asks me questions about my life with The Alarm and we get to talking about ‘VH1 Band’s Reunited’. It was quite a programme to be involved in and Russ is interested to hear how we were ‘set up’ by VH1 in advance.

I spend some time in one of the edit suites with the team and we take pictures and work out some plans and deadlines to aim for.

Mike Peters - Kaleidoscope

Mike Peters - Kaleidoscope Picture

Russ and I go for dinner together and on the way home Russ takes me on the scenic route via Bridal Vale which features a spectacular Waterfall complete with jumping fish where the river hits valley floor. It’s straight to bed when we finally reach the house my wake up call is set for 3:00 AM.

Mike Peters - Bridal Vale, UT

Big Country Tour Dates 

Be a Donor-Get On The List! Campaign 

Love Hope Strength 

The Alarm Official Web site 

Love Hope Strength Video Trailer See the video here

Mike Peters appears at House of Commons for Marrow Drive to Celebrate Parliament Increasing Eligibility Requirements of Donors in the UK from 17-30 to 17-55 years of age BBC News

Follow us on Twitter: @LHSF