TEN YEARS AFTER in Wolfsburg
24 November 2005 


Winter arrived on the 23rd of November, wind, snow and travelling is a little slower than usual. Traffic came to a stand still for a half hour as the autobahn became a huge parking lot.
We’re on our way to Wolfsburg to see Ten Years After once again, and from our house to the venue it’s a three hour drive, or six / seven hour round trip, depending on conditions.
Wolfsburg is in a northerly direction and well past Hannover. The total trip is about 380KM.

At around 6:00 we finally arrive at the venue, we’re first ones there as is our usual procedure. The venue is a nice looking building, clean and big. The second thing we notice, it that there isn’t one bit of information to inform the music fans that Ten Years After is playing here this evening. No posters or advertising. Also on the same bill, are Iron Butterfly, a Germany band called “Jane” and “UFO”.

We then notice that a third music fan has arrived, and is standing at the front door. We walk over and ask him for some information. After only a few minutes we introduce ourselves and suggest we get out of the cold wind and if he can direct us to some coffee we’ll be happy to treat him to a cup. No problem, as the little building is only a hundred feet away.
Our new acquaintance’s name is Dieter, he has purchased two tickets well in advance but he’s coming alone as his companion is home sick in bed.

This coffee shop is a story in itself. The room is about 15 x 12, there are roughly fifteen people in here, the smoke so thick you can only see people’s feet (almost). They all seem to know one another and it’s a friendly but strange little joint. For instance, we’re sitting at a little table in the corner and whenever someone passes by, they step over to our table and without saying a single word they knock on our table top and then say hello. That’s the custom here. Also, this place is: A grocery store, a bar (they come to your table with a bottle and the fixins in hand) a beverage warehouse centre, they serve hot dogs or sausage (they have both) and a little bit of everything else. Twenty dead fish on strings are hanging from the ceiling, that someone has caught 50 years ago, and enough dust and dirt to fill any dirt floor garage back in the States. For the next hour as we wait, it’s home. Alfred Hitchcock and Rod Sterling would love this place – a German Bates Hotel / Twilight Zone combined.

Back at the venue’s front door, stands a lady five foot nothing around 67 years of age and ready to Rock and Roll her ass off, and during the concert that’s exactly what she does, she knows how to rock – in front of the stage, the entire time. Young people, old people, bikers, freaks and jocks all arrive.
The doors open, we approach the ticket takers and are directed to the window where the guest list is located and we’re in. Backstage area is off limits until later on. We enter the hall and find our seats. Sound-check time, then the security forces enter with orders to remove everyone from the room, everyone retreats to the hallway – we stay seated.

The next problem is a little bigger. While “Nazareth”,  “Ten Years After” and Iron Butterfly are all there, “UFO” is not! And they’re not coming at all. It seems that their drummer Jason Bonham has quit the band, no time to find a suitable replacement so “UFO” are a no show, and the fans aren’t going to like it. And why, other than the obvious reason – because the fans don’t have a clue that they’re not coming, and the promoter never announced this change, before they (the fans) entered. Now that is unfortunate and downright wrong.

The German Band “Jane” who are filling in for the missing UFO comes on first, the last song they play is their big hit, “Hang Man” which sounds exactly like the old Steppenwolf song called “It’s Never Too Late” for those of you who may remember.

Enter Iron Butterfly:
Now we’re getting somewhere. The audience comes to life, people head towards the stage and now we’re finally rocking along. They go through their entire set, without a hitch, and it’s exceptionally lively, tight and Ron Bushy (the drummer) is fantastic. Although Lee Dorman is half standing / half sitting on a stool, Charlie sounds great and the equipment is in top form on this evening. But the real crowd pleaser is Larry Rust, who not only handles the keyboard duties, but is also the main motivator for the band and the audience. He grabs hold of his portable keyboard and travels the entire stage, giving individual support to the other members.
Larry is the king-pin / main link between the band and the audience. Without that high energy connection being made, the rapport between the stage performers and the witnesses who stand before them would appear null and void. Larry adds the magic to every gig they play, and all the members support and wade in that wake, to form the whole experience.

Ten Years After:
Is in a great position in following the “Butterfly” and the audience likes it too. In fact the members of Butterfly and Ten Years After all get along perfectly, on stage and off.
They run through their normal set list, with no problems at all, and the audience is in front of the stage the whole time. Focused, and energetically enthralled.
The acoustics in this concert hall are perfect, for the big place it is, no echo at all, just nice sound, very enjoyable.

We don’t get to talk with the band until they come out to the merchandise table, after that Ric and Leo invite us back stage for the rest of the evening. Brigitte and I and Dieter all head to the dressing room, we talk for about a half hour and then the band’s off to the hotel. We’re invited, but it’s a long drive back home, in fact it’s 5:15 in the morning when we finally arrive.

Last up on the bill is “Nazareth” again not on my play list, never owned any of their albums, and have no interest in catching their performance. Some fans are left standing in front of the stage, but only about one hundred are left. We listen to them from backstage.
Backstage is where the real fun is.


Leo Lyons, Joe Gooch, Ric Lee  and Dieter Görtz from Wolfsburg

TEN YEARS AFTER signing autographs after the concert



Dieter,    Charlie Marinkovich (Iron Butterfly)  Florian (?)
Larry Rust (Iron Butterfly) with fans Dieter, Larry and Wolfie

Respect For Larry Rust:

Larry is a friend of the music fan, devoted to the audience and a hard working band member on stage.
For us, he was one hundred percent supportive and helpful. It was always good to see his smiling face as we then knew we’d be protected and safe with him.
As stated in our concert review, Larry loves to mingle with the audience after Iron Butterfly’s set. Many is the time in the last six months that Larry comes out front, stands in front of the stage and watches Ten Years After in action. Charlie also, and Ron and I watch from either backstage or sitting in photographers row.

On Stage:
Larry is the focus man, as he is in the key position to start and keep the Butterfly energy and legend in motion while also being a wonderful entertainer at all times. He has the powerful voice and passion that his predecessor Doug Ingle possessed, and the keyboard dexterity to go along with the persona.
Wandering the stage like a gigantic alley cat, looking like a purple people eater in hippie form and supporting a robe garment that makes him look like a living Moses playing in a rock `n´ roll band, that’s Larry Rust.
His voice echoes throughout the venue, with a lions roar and stage presence that forces you to watch the entire band for the whole hour and a half.

Larry Rust moves on - without Iron Butterfly:
Sad goodbye, but like that alley cat, this man has more than nine lives and a dozen projects in the works at all times. He’ll land on his feet, with no doubt in our minds. He’ll peruse all of them with honesty, passion and great integrity, in the same way he helped Iron Butterfly to evolve forward and perform successfully.
We first met Larry in Paderborn, Germany and from then on it was all fun, friendship and a fantastic time. God’s speed Larry, you deserve all the best of everything, we’ll meet again I’m sure.

Love from your friends,
Brigitte and Dave

Please visit Larry's Website: www.owenave.com