YEARS AFTER - LIVE AT "KAUE" IN
SATURDAY JANUARY 20, 2007
This started off as an extraordinary event as our
good friend Reinhard offered to drive us door to
door to this concert, in exchange buying all of us
We left the house at 6:00 and made it to the venue
at 8:15, our friend Anita from Berlin was waiting for
us at the door, and we were immediately escorted
upstairs to the backstage area. Brigitte and
Reinhard took to the concert floor to check out the
action in the venue's main area. I stayed with the
band as we watched some interesting music dvd's
together and discussed different artists.
As Ric entered I made my exit to let the band get
Outside the room I met Chicks daughter Amelia and
her husband Gianni, the last time we were together
was in Osnabruck, Germany a few years ago, so the
whole event started off with close friends and a
family gathering feeling. Positive vibrations for
The set list was pretty much the same as the
night before and the audience energy was just as
high, strong and damn powerful. There was an opening
band who were good and loud, and Ten Years After hit
the stage right on time. In the past the members
would follow each other out in single file order,
but now there is a pre-recorded music introduction
and the members walk on stage from different
directions and assume their respective playing
positions. It's all very professional looking and
the audience really shows respect for the band in no
uncertain terms. Not just applause because it's the
legendary Ten Years After but it's now reached an
even higher level in the form of respect and
admiration for the entire quartet.
Everyone is on their feet and giving up a massive
dose of volume and generous bravo with all the
clapping, whistles and cheering that you'd expect,
but it's the duration and heightened excitement
level that became so obvious.
As I look around everyone is getting into the music
and every eye was focused upon the stage, watching
these four sages hard at work and weaving their hour
and a half of brilliant magic.
It's no longer "Joe who?"
It's "lets go see Ten Years After and say hello
to Joe, Leo, Chick and Ric after the show". The
audience has understandably come to know TYA - NOW,
and the consensus is overwhelming, that roughly two
thirds of the audience have seen TYA live on stage
in the last three years and the rest in attendance
are there from the word of mouth of others or the
incentive from the new TYA recordings that they've
had access to. The band is now familiar to them once
again, they're accepted and welcomed by these fans!
How do we know that's the reality of the situation?
The body language of the fans says quite a lot,
their focused attention to the stage is another,
their long applause and loud excitement rings true -
and most of all, we listen to the fans, before,
during and after the show. In German and in English,
this is what the fans are communicating to us:
"I wanted to learn to play guitar, take lessons
and become an accomplished player, but after seeing
Joe play tonight I think I'll hang up my guitar and
put my playing ambitions on hold for a few more
years". From Ralf Langenscheid he states the
following: "I took my son with me and
now he is a huge fan of Joe and now tries to imitate
the high energy and technique that Joe displays",
at home he now "tortures" his guitar
The "NOW" in Ten Years After means
progressive straight ahead rock and roll, fresh and
modern. It represents a band satisfying themselves
and their fans in unison.
The overall consensus from the members of the
audience, during these two back to back concerts
that we've attended voice the same opinion and
comments repeatedly - Leo Lyons is the star of the
show where frantic high energy bass playing is
concerned. At sixty something he's a balls to the
wall rocker, and make no mistake about it - it ain't
no showbiz fluff folks, the man pours his heart and
soul out in every performance.
The night before, while I was busy writing down
each and every song of their set, Leo stepped up to
the microphone an announced in front of the entire
audience "Hey Dave it's spelled "H-O-B-B-I-T"
and later on during the introduction to "I'd
Love To Change The World" he said "what
year was that Dave" 1971 Mr. Lyons - such good
fun. Then Leo put is foot on the monitor right in
front of me and I pretended to polish it for him -
pass the water bottles, hand out the towels and
shine the boots, all in an evenings work!
I'd also like to add my personal feelings as I
was watching Leo on stage.
I remember a few years ago now sitting backstage
with Leo and the band in Twist, Germany and I
respectfully asked / confronted him with the
following question - that went something like this:
Leo, you've been a huge star with a legendary track
record (Woodstock - Isle Of Wight - Texas
International Pop Festival ) and now here you are in
Twist, Joe's second gig and you're starting all over
again….I have no doubt that you have what it takes
to make it as that's been proven-and this is where I
to choke up in the asking - but I just needed to
know and hear it from him) … Leo, are you really
committed to do this all over again? To start from
scratch, from point zero? To fight your way back, to
recover and repair the tarnished reputation that Ten
Years After had become over the years due to the
passage of time and involuntary neglect?
His answer was kind and direct, yes he answered
whatever it takes we'll get through it and we'll see
what happens from there, this is just a stepping
stone and we'll do the best we can.
So, as I'm sitting on the sidelines and I feel
immense pride just watching him. From the Blues
Garage backing up Carvin Jones to Twist (twice)
endless touring again and now here in Gelsenkirchen
- the man is in his glory. Having known the
adversity he has seen and had to overcome along with
the constant behind the scenes mayhem, the man has
shown endless class and valour under battle
"A plank of wood with strings" is how he
describes his bass guitar, it's a special tool that
has served him very well over all these years, but
now it's also used as a weapon to slay the
nay-sayers, the non-believers and the pun dents who
tried to stand in his way.
So why so emotional on my part? The man is happy and
doing things his way now.
Because to me Leo Lyons is like the Gandhi of rock
and roll - a weeping willow tree blowing in the
wind, taking adversity and disappointment, turning
it around and making something positive out of it.
Inaction is sometimes the right action to take. Wait
and see sometimes is better than reacting, and
taking baby steps gets you further in the long run.
Leo has been an excellent mentor and I am very
Ric did an excellent job on his Hobbit solo as
usual and the audience loved it all.
Joe was in good form on every number, he covers all
the bases with top notch style and quality. He never
looks bored, tired, uninspired or lackadaisical.
This my friends is Ten Years After as it should be,
alive and well in spirit, healthy in heart and soul
and eager to play in front of an appreciative
Chick - the most underrated keyboard
player, overlooked talent and always the quietest
member of the band - then or now. While spending
time with his daughter Amelia, she told me how her
father never cesses to amaze and inspire her, as she
herself plays piano. Watching him perform on stage
is always an event to treasure and behold. As she
and her husband Gianni took positions in front of
the stage, with Brigitte and Anita, I was sitting
stage left with two men sitting in wheelchairs and
watching Chick from the side-lines.
God Bless You Mr. Churchill.
After The Concert:
The band members were swamped with autograph request,
on posters, albums, ladies legs, people's backs and
cd covers. Our little tribe re-grouped and compared
notes and had a quick drink. Got a chance to talk to
Leo who was waiting by the back door for a ride back
to the hotel, we discussed Woodstock, he said it was
just another gig and they had no idea that it would
be as big as it was…don't drink the water, no food
to be had and after the rain the entire stage was
puddles of water and electric sparks were ramped and
steam was rising from the bodies in the audience.
I ask him what he thought of playing before half a
million people, his reply was he just played like
any other gig……but after the gig the band and
everyone else were trapped there…..and once back
to his hotel room - there was no room to go to,
seems someone gave his room away.
Back to this concert:
Ric was taking care of business as usual.
Joe was still meeting and greeting the fans and
Chick was visiting with Amelia and her husband.
Chick the proud grandparent of four grand-children,
just to give you a reality check and put it into
perspective for you.
Leo's son Tom and sound engineer, driver and
confidant extraordinaire Wolfie were running around
like cats on a hot tin roof to get everything done
and in order.
There may be more equipment to handle these days,
but all hands were on deck. They all packed moved
and loaded everything up post-haste. How quick you
may ask - forty five minutes, from the end of the
concert to the truck driving off into the heart of
Both audiences in Melle and Gelsenkirchen were loud
and over exuberant. The familiarity factor, with the
material and the band is now on a phenomenal level.
Joe's leadership of the band is now second nature.
Keep Rocking On Ten Years After!!!