Not only has Winter arrived, but it’s now in full force. Our friends
Axel and Reinhard are suppose to be attending this concert with us. One
from Berlin, the other from Osnabruck.
Over night fifty power towers have collapsed under the weight of the wet
snow – 50 metal towers, and the wind blowing above 50KM per hour. Again,
the autobahn is a parking lot.
It’s Saturday afternoon and we have to decide, stay home or go? If we
stay home we miss a great event, and also meeting our email friend and
fellow TYA music lover Mr. Lionel Webb who has flown in from England
just for this event.
My little auto doesn’t have snow-tires on it, I didn’t want any. As
it’s a front wheel drive, and all the weight is on the front end,
driving and steering is no problem for me. Just watch your speed, keep
both hands on the wheel, and both eyes open and no problem. A bad
snowstorm here is four to six inches of the fluffy white stuff, back
home in the great northeast of New York State – a blizzard is 30 inches
of snow and white-out conditions, wind gusting to from 40 to 65 MPH. So,
this little storm is nothing.
Another three hour drive, with no problems.
We arrive at Lionel’s
hotel at around 6:00, we have a few drinks (beer for them, soda for me)
and then we take a taxi to the Grugahalle, Concert Hall. We’re all on
the guest list, and we’re in with no problem. After a few words with a
man in a suit, he escorts us to the back stage area, nice layout,
perfect set up, very comfortable. There’s direct access from the
backstage area right to the stage itself, the stage is large and
comfortable. Ron Bushy and myself could have stood over on the right
side of the stage and watched the entire show, without bothering a soul.
As it was we walked on stage and sat right behind Ric Lee during his
“Hobbit” drum solo, now that was a real thrill, to watch Ron, watching
Ric give his drum kit a good enthusiastic workout.
The house is not full, due to the vicious weather outside it’s still
an excellent turn out. It was said that another 1,000 to 2,000 would
normally have been in attendance for a concert like this, as it was
somewhere between 1,600 and 2,500 came out.
On this concert bill is a local band on one stage and Iron Butterfly,
Ten Years After, Nazareth are on the main stage. Only opening,
in-between band sets, and closing was a local band by the name of “Van
The running order goes something like this:
1. Opener Van Andern 30 minutes
2. Iron Butterfly 45 minutes
3. During Change Over – Van Andern 25 minutes
4. Ten Years After 60 minutes (but in fact played for one hour twenty
5. During Change Over Van Andern 30 minutes
6. Nazareth 75 minutes
7. After The Show Van Andern 65 minutes
You get the idea. This filler band also played in
between the sets and there was never any rest for the ears. Constantly
bombarded with music from beginning to end. It really got on your nerves
Iron Butterfly did a good job, although Ron wasn’t at all happy with
his drum solo, which we discussed after the show.
Ten Years After also did a good performance as usual, consistent and
By the time
Nazareth did their set there were only 100 people left.
The loss of UFO on this bill is the real talking point here.
When someone schedules four bands to appear and only three show up, it
throws off the entire chemistry and equilibrium of the event. The timing,
the balance, the synchronicity and the atmosphere.
Fans were pissed off at not being informed that UFO would not appear.
They paid to see four bands and only got three, now that’s a rip off and
I blame the promoter in charge and not UFO. All the way out the door UFO
fans were voicing their disappointment. Every poster announced UFO and
they weren’t there.
This was the last gig for TYA on this leg of the tour, back to
England they went until December 7th. Ron Bushy had a recording date in
Hannover, Germany, so the rest of Iron Butterfly I assume returned to
California for a much needed rest.
Backstage, Brigitte took some band photos, we all had a lot of laughs,
great fun and a great time together.
The real star at this point was our friend Lionel Webb from England, and
who should always be referred to as Mr. Webb with all due respect.
Back in the late 1960’s Lionel and his partner (partners) ran a very
successful venue in Guildford, England called “The Wooden Bridge”, and
he was the promoter who hired Ten Years After to play there. Lionel told
us that during that time period Leo Lyons was handling the bands
bookings. Leo was easy enough to get along with but you knew better than
to cross him was Mr. Webb’s impression, Leo was a firm businessman.
Lionel and Leo are still friends and spent quite a bit of time
reminiscing on a variety of subjects, past, present and future.
He also told us that at his venue, he hired Jethro Tull, John Mayall,
Chicken Shack, Jeff Beck, Savoy Brown, Champion Jack Dupree, The
Artwoods (John Lord on organ) The Steam Packet (Rod Stewart and Long
John Baldrey) Bluesology (Elton John – back then known as Reg Dwight)
Zoot Money, Graham Bond, and many other bands that I’ve never heard of
before. This is just to give you the proper idea that we had a lot to
talk about in a short amount of time. By the end of the evening Lionel
and I were so talked out, that we’d tell each other stories, give each
other information, and couldn’t remember the names of the people and
places in order to finish the point we were trying to make.
It made for a great laugh looking back on it, and it just shows how much
we had in common and communicated perfectly on every level.
Our heartfelt thanks to:
Lionel Webb – Ten Years After – and the members of Iron Butterfly!
OFF STAGE - BACKSTAGE: