TEN YEARS AFTER at Burg Herzberg Festival 2005


"There's a lot of freaks"

Our Experience at the German Version of the mini Woodstock Celebration:

On July 16th, 2005 Brigitte and I attended an outdoor festival at Burg Herzberg, Germany. On the bill were of course our band TEN YEARS AFTER  along with MANFRED MANN'S EARTH BAND and many more...

Getting there was all straight autobahn driving, with only a few changes in route numbers to reach our destination. It was a six hour drive round trip, so it made for an extremely long day.

  The first situation we encountered was that as we got within five miles of the event and the traffic became backed up and the road turned into a parking lot in a hurry. At first we thought is was a traffic jam caused by a mass of music fans trying to get in. As we soon learned it must have been a medical emergency of some sort, as a helicopter flew in just moments before we came along. All we heard was a helicopter flew in to the concert site, my first impression was they may be flying the artists in…memories of Woodstock 1969. This initial impression was closer to the truth than we ever could have expected, because in fact it was a German Woodstock but planned much better, with toilets and fresh water being made available to the mass of people in attendance. 

  We parked in a grassy field, similar to the Arrow Festival, only this time we were in the middle of a hippie camp site with tents an trailers all lining the perimeter of this cow pasture.  

As we were walking down to the main stage area, we were taken back to the Woodstock Music and Arts Fair of decades ago, but we are witness to the happy fact that the Woodstock Spirit is definitely in full force here. Alive and well it is, as everyone was peaceful and many were selling their wares from the top of the hill right down to the stage.  

Record dealers were readily apparent and available and pressuring no one to buy anything.

Clothes from India, China and elsewhere in the East were on display. One sign said “Fingers Stretched” for $5.00  another said “Horoscopes Read” $10.00 another announced “Discover New Planets” and “Yoga” and “Meditation” and food stands of all sorts were lined all along the perimeter, a virtual smorgasbord of delicious international cuisine.  

  There were old busses, campers, tents, and “Tobacco Road” looking shacks in this homemade / handmade shanty town. Every building inspector, health official and mental health professional in the world who was witness to this organized insanity, would be filling out the proper paper work to have it condemned and burnt down immediately if not sooner.

But…in this situation it’s a place thousands of rock and roll fans call home away from home.  

  We’re working our way to the stage, and my feeling is we are in some kind of movie, these people can not be for real, it must be an elaborate costume party, it’s German Halloween, although it’s only America that embraces every known religion and still gathers around the idea of a witches’ cauldron every October 31st in order to celebrate this archaic anti religious ritual. In this case I can apply it to the changing cosmic solstice, bringing forth jubilation, joy and celebration of the human spirit.

  Babies are crying, there’s dogs, cats, snakes, lizards of all kinds, reptiles abound. Second by second we are bombarded by different sights and smells. People so diverse that it gives new meaning to the title “Planet Hollywood”. The closer we get to the stage the more we realize that we are now becoming a part of the landscape too. It’s funny in a way, and a profound   revelation to be sure, that once out of our so called “Normal” and un-natural safe  environment of our everyday life, we sometimes forget that what we are just now walking into is in fact “The Human Community At Large” and this friends is the reality and not the commercialised illusion that people were sold at other than the original Woodstock Festival.  

This is the real deal, the vibe lives on in this day and age. The world suddenly turned sideways and every “Freak” in Europe has slid down this hill and is now a part of the collective whole. 

Although Brigitte and I are comfortable wandering through this mass of humanity we feel like “Strangers” and this is in the historical sense as the “Stranger was sensed as the greatest menace in ancient communities. We are not one of the cave dwellers in this foreign   landscape so we become the observers / witnesses to the cultural event…or continuation of the “Hippie Movement”.

  The sole purpose of this event / happening is to cure boredom, wash our eyes and see things as they really are. The desire is to become childlike once again and to reconnect with the river of life “Take Me To The River” as a song once said, to cleanse our souls and become in balance once again.

On it’s lowest level, its wildest aim is for purgation of perception and this happening attempts to engage all the senses at once, in order to achieve a total response in the face of the narrower inlets of sensation that have become plugged up and rendered ineffective. 

  I see no need to qualify or elaborate on the above as it is self explanatory. To put it in simple terms, the Arrow Festival was nowhere as much fun as this event, for us and the participants involved. 


Backstage Area

We finally got to the artists entrance, and we proceeded in. Tom Lyons came around the corner at full speed as usual and told us where his dad and the rest of the band were located.  

The press is there, and men from German T.V. station WDR /Rockpalast who filmed some of the show are now backstage. There is an increased amount of activity going on and so it is best to just stay seated and out of the way for the time being.

Meeting with German TV Crew from "WDR - Rockpalast"

"TEN YEARS AFTER at Burg Herzberg Festival"
will be broadcast on September 12, 2005 - WDR III  Rockpalast

Official Homepage


TEN YEARS AFTER beim Burg Herzberg Festival, 16.07.2005


Das Burg Herzberg Festival im WDR-Fernsehen:

Sonntag 11.09. auf
Montag, 12.09.2005
1.00 - 3.00 Uhr

im WDR 3
01.00 Uhr
Doku mit den Highlights des Festivals
(Burg Herzberg vom 14.-17.07.05)

As we walked by one of the doorways a beautiful woman with dark hair was watching us pass by, as it turned out this gorgeous woman was Sally Lyons, Leo’s wife and mother of Tom and Harry Lyons. She told us later on “I thought to myself I wonder if these two people could be Brigitte and Dave…but I did not want to say anything and make a fool of myself if I were wrong”.

Funny how we imagine people to look when we send emails back and forth. First of all we did not know that Sally would be there, and secondly I thought she would be about 5 foot five, blonde hair, wearing a flannel or black and white chequered shirt and blue jeans, or with a flower sundress and looking like a farmers wife or a school teacher. What a shock to find this woman who looks for all intents and purposes exactly like Jacqueline Bisset in the movie “The Deep”. What a stunning beauty and just damn nice woman she is. Her quick wit, intelligence and good looks made for an interesting conversation. She and Leo make a dynamite team, and as I have told her (now) and Leo in the past, their son Tom is a gentleman in every sense of the word and simply a brilliant man in his own rite. Although I have never met Harry in person, we have exchanged a few emails, and Harry is very successful in the music business as well. (Hi Harry).    

Barney - TYA's  Equipment Technician


Wolfgang -  Sound Technician for TYA

  In a short amount of time Ric, Chick and Joe enter the room. It is like one happy family, the band is happy and we fit right in with the excitement of the moment. Brigitte and I know that this will be the last time we will be together with the band for a while, so it is a special day for us.   

Ric taps me on the shoulder and asked me to come outside with him. Never knowing what Ric has on his mind, or what he’s going to say I know something’s up. He tells me about their plans to do a little tour of the USA, four dates were on the horizon and as soon as they’re confirmed he will let us know and then we can go forward and post them on our site. Ric explains a little of the details and what is in store in the future for the band. I listen intently and watch his face as he explains, then all of the sudden I notice something in his voice and that was confirmed by his facial expression, that there is a wonderful little kid in Ric, that I always knew was there but didn’t reveal itself very often. In fact, this is the first time I saw him actually glow like a school kid just being released for summer vacation or more accurately stated, he was now free to move forward to the next important step for TEN YEARS AFTER.  


Ric and Tom fooling around after the gig

  One thing about all the members of Ten Years After, they all can be very guarded in their emotions and responses, but given time and earning their trust you begin to learn why this is so. It also explains why they protect themselves, their artistic output and their future plans. We respect their reasons, and more importantly understand their significance. Band business is band business, we know where the line is, as we support every effort they make to reach their  personal and band goals. One thing is for sure, I would never underestimate them in any way or on any level. Never bet against them or count them out, and most of all do not think that you know more about what is best for them, they have a system that works.   

  I was so happy for Ric, and for the band, a wave of great joy came over me at that moment. I also thought of our friends and Ten Years After fans in America who are patiently waiting for their return. Sure it has been a great time for Brigitte and I since 2002 to be able to be with our favourite band on so many different occasions, but this is just one step in their overall progression. We are a stepping stone and we welcomed the opportunity to be of service to them, as it was good for everyone. 

  Leo is in his glory, no amount of money can buy that smile on his face. Leo is a kid at heart just like Ric, and when Leo gives out a laugh from his gut the whole room warms up about ten degrees. Leo has that Paul Newman smile, like the collage shown at the end of the movie “Cool Hand Luke” – it’s infectious.

  Chick, is a little tired and wants to sit down, he’s in a good mood and enjoying the day. Chick is another quick wit, and accurate as hell when he speaks on a topic. I would like to spend just one day in a locked room with him and make him spill all the information he carries around inside, he is a wealth of knowledge and experience.

  Joe, is ready to rock, full of energy but relaxed. He likes the familiar faces around and the fans who come to visit that he now recognizes and interacts with on a more personal level. One thing that makes Joe a valuable asset, is that he is flexible, agreeable and a gentleman. I have yet to meet anyone who does not like Joe Gooch. Musicians respect him and accept him as an equal, fans appreciate him / some worship his contributions and the women think he is sexy, cute and hot.  

Joe Gooch, Reinhard Pieper and moewe


Ten Years After On Stage

Show time and the band is ready for the music hungry “Freaks” and they are ready for Ten Years After.

After a short introduction, Ric counts off and Joe launches the band right into the crowd’s face, headlong into stardom once again on this tour. I’m on the right side of the stage, and Brigitte with her access all areas guest pass is positioned right between the stage and the audience. As the band gets about two minutes into their set list, the throngs of music fans rush towards the stage to see what this Joe Gooch is all about. For me it was an easy stroll from the left side of the audience to the right hand side, but now there was no room to move anywhere, the area was packed full, standing in awe of Joe’s excellent playing.  

After an hour I made the attempt to get back to the artists entrance on the other side of the field. As I wandered through the audience and listened to the band, a brand new feeling of joy came over me. I have now become well aware that many of these people have visited our website, Torsten Strube’s and the Official TYA website as well.

We are simply proud and to see the band on stage, the audience having the best time ever, it is all very rewarding.

Thousands of people are here, and the other bands that played before TYA took the stage only had some obligatory polite applause but no real support to speak of. Now the place is a frenzy of activity and excitement. Song after song the crowd grows larger, stronger and more enthusiastic. The people here are standing facing the stage, the people traffic has stopped and the audience is focused on the band and Joe himself.

  The entire set lasted almost two hours, the crowd stayed in front of the stage the entire time and when the band did leave the stage, the people dissipated slowly and quietly but all the while talking to each other about what they have just witnessed….magic, and a new guitar legend. 


Back Stage Again

The band looks refreshed and excited. Sally has been out shopping on the hillside while listening to her husband play. Brigitte has found our friend Reinhard Pieper and they are comparing the photos that they took. 

 The band changes clothes and then heads out front to sign cd’s, shirts and posters. Giving autographs is a given, and as always the band members oblige. They all have a broad smile on their face.  

My impression is that for some reason this gig is special, I do not know the exact reason for this feeling, but it was very important that Ten Years After pull this event off without any glitches or flaws. Yes, I know they are all important, but somehow this one is different.

Our time with the band comes to an end, within forty five minutes, as they have to make the space available for another band who is coming in. A little commotion a little confusion as everyone gathers up their things and decides who is going where and in what direction.

We are left to say good-bye to Sally, Leo and Tom….it’s over.

Fans posing with TYA

Chick - always the ladies' man ...   Hi Jessy!


Young Fan discovering TYA NOW - and then

We wander around the site, Brigitte takes photos, I check out the music vendors for an hour or so and then start our trek back up the hill.

There is now many a dim glow in every direction, as campfires are burning, lamps are on, and there is a dull buzz of activity going on in every campsite.

The most noticeable difference is that the smell of perfume and flowers that greeted us coming in, has now been replaced by the stench of human bodily waste of every kind, animal excrement under our feet and the stink of unwashed sweaty bodies passing us in every direction and stinking up the great outdoors!!! Let us not forget “JOHNNY” the supposedly  sanitary toilet houses, that I would not enter on a bet, let alone sit or stand in for any reason what so ever….they reek upon walking past each of them.

At the top of the hill it gets better, and we are just about five hundred yards from our car.

We are glad we came and also glad to be heading back home.

This festival was a great time, a nice place to visit but…I would not want to live here.  


One Last Note:

The last band to play on Saturday was Manfred Mann, I would like to give them a scathing review, but with the spirit of Woodstock still with me, I will limit my dislike.

As I was looking for good music to purchase at the record vendors, the background music coming from the stage was Manfred Mann playing Bruce Springsteen’s “Blinded By The Light”.