Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Holy Tour - Day 1 (part 1) - From Take Off to Landing - The Hangin' With Hendo Blogumentary

"Hangin with Hendo, The #HolyTour Blogumentary", is my attempt to document as much of our trip through Israel and the West Bank as humanly possible. I did blog a bit while we were there, but it was incredibly difficult to keep up with posting entries while tweeting, facebooking, playing shows and learning to speak Hebrew and Arabic fluently. So follow along while I recount our trip. I'll incorporate some of our Facebook and Tweet action wherever it makes sense, and plan to include a video with each post incorporating photos & videos from mine and Julie's iPhones, Sib's mini-cam, my camcorder and any other media I can yank from various sources to paint as complete a picture as possible. I will leave no stone unturned, except the one under the Dome of the Rock. And we did have a few #Holytour moments I reserve the right to keep on the #Holytour. --#Hendo

We arrive at JFK International airport and the tweeting begins:

It's Sunday, Feb 19 at 4:15 p.m. I need a shower before I board a 10 hour flight to Israel. I just got my hair done yesterday and am concerned about the manic panic red highlights washing out, but these are rock n' roll risks we take in the line of duty. The van will be here in 45 minutes to take me to the airport. I'm downloading travel guides to my iPad as I blog because, I'm not going to lie, I have no idea what I'm getting myself into. It's my worst fear to be the ignorant ugly American when we touch down tomorrow evening in Tel Aviv.

So, quickly, I will share our story.

Back in May 2011, our former tour manager got an email from someone she graduated high school with. The email went something like this: “We would be interested in inviting Antigone Rising as guests of the U.S. Consulate General in Jerusalem to perform for Israeli and Palestinian audiences in the West Bank, Tel Aviv, Ramallah and Jerusalem.”

We are a band of extremes. We're either playing 280 shows a year or on complete hiatus because we're giving birth to babies. Sometimes we have a record deal, sometimes we don't. We either get paid a lot of money to play shows, or we play them for free and don't tell anyone we did that. You've either heard of us or you haven't. Hopefully, you have. Heard of us, that is.

So, the one time we get an offer to play shows outside the United States, we're invited to do so by the U.S. State Department, as Arts Envoys as part of a peace program in which we perform for both Palestinian and Israeli audiences in the Middle East. Extreme, right?

We are thrilled and honored to have been asked by our government to represent the United States as Arts Envoys & Cultural Ambassadors throughout Israel and the West Bank. We look forward to learning about new cultures, sharing new ideas with the people, and at least for a little while, creating an understanding that so long as we're all singing the same song it doesn't matter if you're gay or straight, Palestinian, Israeli, or American.

So follow us on our journey, playing shows and hosting seminars for college students of both Israeli and Palestinian backgrounds. We'll be holding drum workshops for the developmentally disabled, performing shows for the LGBT community in Tel Aviv, making radio and television appearances along the way, and hopefully winning over the hearts and minds of the people of Israel and the West Bank.

(parts of this blog post originally appeared on

We arrive at JFK International airport and the tweeting begins:

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