TEN YEARS AFTER at rock'n'popmuseum
Concert Review






September 16, 2004 was our first visit to the Rock and Pop Museum in Gronau, Germany.

Our desire is to get Ten Years After inducted into this top rate Rock Hall Of Fame.

While our visit is successful the results are slow to bear any substantial fruit. Numerous emails and friendly responses have only prolonged what Brigitte and I hoped to accomplish here.

It’s now four years later, Friday June 27, 2008 and after persistent  pleading and conversation.
Ten Years After are finally going to make their concert debut here, and it’s a dream come true for us.

Start to Gronau:

11:15 AM and we’re off to the Rock and Pop Museum. This after three days of preparation and an overload of stress. Cameras, fuel, money, food, wine  and assorted bottles for the band, plus a box of Herb’s books, that all need to be sorted and packed.  The weather is shitty to say the least, high winds and rain this morning, things look pretty grim, it reminds me of my trip to the Woodstock landmark many years ago. We hit the highway in the direction of Osnabruck heading for the Netherlands border. For a Friday morning we’re saved the headache of the “Warsaw Highway” as we’re going in the opposite direction, thank God for that. It’s an hour and a half drive and longer than I remember it to be, and all the damn construction doesn’t help matters. But we arrive at 12:45 and none the worse for ware.   


We pick up Anita at her hotel and then head into town.
The place looks the same as I remember and Brigitte is excited to show Anita around the place. The bookstore has changed a little bit, as there’s now a little café added. Also there’s a glass (cheerio)  cabinet that offers miniature guitars, drums, horns for sale. We did manage to pick up a little present for Ric, “Instant Party” a book about Ric’s old  running  buddy Keith Moon…..later Ric thanked us profusely for the book because as he told us “I saw this in hard cover when it first came out, and I always wanted to buy a copy, but never did for one reason or another”. A while back, maybe five years ago now, I gave Ric my copy of another book written about Keith called “Full Moon”…..Brigitte and I  get great pleasure out of pleasing these guys. Just giving something back to the men who have given us so damn much in the last forty one years, and still counting.

RPM – Rock and Pop Museum Staff:

They still remember us after our visit so many years ago. Sabine, Frank and Mike are all still there and are visibly enthusiastic about the museum, it’s purpose and its progress. Sabine was  crazy busy, but she still took time out to talk with us, answer our questions and be of  any assistance we needed. She looks the same, but it seems that her job title has changed and she also seems to have more responsibility and authority then I remember.

Frank, like me, has put on a few extra pounds, his hair is longer, with a pony-tail and he now looks more like a band roadie than mister GQ (Gentleman’s Quarterly) or Ivy League. He looks happy and sixteen hour days of hard work doesn’t seem to bother him in the least. Throughout the day I see him lifting, carrying and lugging everything, from point A to point B and without a mumbling word of discontent. 

I saw him later in the backstage area, we shook hands like old friends do and had a quick five minute chat. I thanked him for helping us upon our first meeting and being so supportive and understanding of our efforts.  He told me that the RPM had a meeting to decide on which bands should be booked to play this Summer, and he was there when they decided on Ten Years After! Way to go Frank! I don’t know just how much influence he had in the decision making process, and he offered no inkling that he had anything to do with it, (to be honest)  but knowing Frank as I do, he was all for it as he remembered us and what we were fighting for. So, the event was set and everyone was ready.

Mike, has a few extra tattoos then I remember, and a piercing or three on his person that are visible, but let me tell you this, Mike is a storehouse of information and personal experience. He’s the one to go to if you want the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help you rock and roll. Talk about multi-tasking, this man can do ten things at once, while temporarily forgetting his name or what day of the week it is. He just has a never ending desire to make more room, to store / file away more information in that brilliant head of his. Mike, I’ve found, practices excellence, and common sense values. I asked him to sit down with me for a minute in order to make up for some lost time, he politely declined my offer, as he was working and not free for visiting, sitting or relaxing at this moment. You just got to respect a man like that, so much integrity, brains and common sense. Respect to you Mike, it’s always a pleasure to see you and spend  time together. Mike of course remembers us from four years ago, and he says to us, “you can do whatever you want to do here”…… thanks Mike, you make us feel special and right at home my friend! 

What you just read above, took place in roughly the first two hours of our visit.

I’d also like to mention the help of Petra, who never saw us before but treats everyone with the same amount of respect and patience. Allow me to tell you what makes Petra and the others here so special.
It’s very simple, they allow you the freedom to be yourself, as everyone who enters brings with them their own knowledge, experience and desires. That being said, only the individual  knows what he or she wants and needs from this experience. The staff offers no interference between the individual and the presentation of the exhibits. In fact, I get the distinct feeling, that the staff make their presence, virtually invisible until called upon for assistance. 

For example, I was able to take a Jethro Tull book that cost fifty euros off the shelf and sit down at a table in the café and not be bothered by anyone, who were going to questioning my motives or giving me a lecture about the value of the book. I’m not going to steal it, or spill anything on it, or fold, bend or manipulate the pages in any way. When I was finished with it, I returned it to its rightful spot and said thank you to Petra.

A pro-active museum with invisible attendants, makes for a comfortable and educational environment.





It’s located right behind the main building. There’s a little lawn area and there’s also a half dozen food and drink concession stands, in trucks / camper style vehicles bordering the side and back perimeters.

The stage is excellent, bright and big enough to accommodate the largest of bands and personnel with ease and comfort. The whole set up is perfect. The sun is out, and the last dark clouds are passing overhead and disappearing very rapidly. The temperature is cool and fresh, just right for a June evening in 2008.

5:00 - Opening band is called “The Gronau Band” a local favourite they tell me, but only one ex-hippie looking girl is standing right in front of the stage, fifteen people are sitting on the lawn, ten people including us, are standing on the foot bridge looking down.  

Photos by Martin Zweck

6:30 - The second band is called “Epitaph”. I’ve heard the name, but don’t know the band or even the members by name. The funny thing is that I was talking with the bass player outside the door to the back-stage area, I told him he looks like Pat Travers – he laughed and said, “most people think I look like Mick Jagger” I replied, Travers is more of a compliment, trust me! We talked for five minutes and then I went inside, and placed myself at the first table just inside the door. I was waiting for the members of Ten Years After to arrive…..but they planted themselves in their dressing room, located in the next building, and I wasn’t about to bother them at this point, as they’ll come over for dinner when they’re ready.

7:30 LEO

Leo did show up, but looking very pre-occupied and just a little concerned. I expected this as I learned a half hour before this that he was having problems with his bass guitar, and everyone was scrambling to correct the situation. I did manage to ask him about the Quadraphonic Album “A Space In Time”, as I wanted to know if he had a hand in its production and mastering process. His reply was a yes, sort of, and no he didn’t want to accept any credit for it, as he wasn’t at all impressed with the final outcome. We both agreed that - that short lived phase in recording was a waste of time. Leo, in his cool style explained the process of the “Quad Era” and the division of expanding the stereo groove in order to make it work…..in conclusion, it seemed like a lot of work for nothing special to come out of it. I started to feel very guilty for even bringing the subject up, I just felt the need to ask Leo about the recording studios he set up and see if he had anything to offer on the subject. He did say that he had a “Quad Desk” in his studio, and I did learn that the bands new cd and dvd will be released this September! Tentatively of course. I say between September 19th and December 25th just in time for Christmas! Leo finished dinner and returned to the dressing room to get ready for the show.

6:30 Sander

Leo’s Bass Guitar Technician, trusted confidante and a good friend to all, came in for dinner and we talked for a half hour, about everything under the sun.. I asked him where his mother and sister were, they’ll be here within the hour he said, full of pride and joy.

He was in Luxembourg with us, and we talked about Herb and that no one knew just how sick he really was. Herb gave no signs of it during dinner that evening, Herb ate and drank as normal and complained about nothing during the days we were together. Everyone  is still in shock six months after his untimely death. We all got to meet Herb in person there, for the first time for us, and no one ever got to see him again, it’s so tragic. Herb had a positive influence on everyone he met, you just liked him automatically,  you couldn’t help not to feel good around him.


7:30 - Mother and Sister Arrive

I’m now starting to feel like the host of ceremonies as people come and go.

I invite Sander’s mother and sister to join me at my table. Funny how we’re all part of the Ten Years After Family now, and everyone gets along, interacts well together and we all look forward to seeing each other from concert to concert. Now, Sander’s mother is a die hard Ten Years After fan from a- way back, and she’s a lady who likes her music and loves her children unconditionally, and they return that love in spades. Mom is the keeper of the facts and figures, where they’ve been, how long they stayed, which band was good and which ones were total shit. She’ll tell you straight out and you either deal with her honest approach or you don’t, she could care less – either she likes you or she’ll tell you to piss-off……I not only like that about her, but respect her all the more for it. Sander’s sister Carina, (just like her mother) is a wild card to say the least, this woman at 26 years old also takes no shit from nobody and would rather tell you to fuck off than waste her time listening to your lame pick up lines – she wouldn’t even play along with you just to get a drink. She may not be able to out drink you, but when she’s had enough of your presence, she’ll symbolically stick a fork in you and tell you in no uncertain terms say – you’re done pal, move along! I can see her saying “Talk to the hand” you’re wasting my time shit-head! So, I’m one of the lucky ones, as she and I deal on another level, music, her brother and the band. She’s quick and slick and smart as a whip. A new razors edge ain’t got nothin´ on her when compared to her wit - rapid fire thoughts, comments and reactions…..in short – she made me feel old, all of my 53 years shone through – like an old pair of bare-thread denim jeans – blue jean blues! 

Sander, his mother and sister Carina are all just a real pleasure to spend time with.

Tom Lyons - The Voice of  Reason

We watched him running about during the sound check, and the pre show set up, and finally got to shake his hand and say hello to him as he was flying through the back stage area. He stopped for a minute to say hello, it’s always good to see him.

From the first time we were introduced to him back in Twist, Germany and being the bands second concert with Joe, Tom has really matured, or should I say grown into the role that he holds today. His job title is “Backline Technician  Manager / Supervisor” – and later on I had the chance to discuss with him the subject of  “Perspective”.  We were backstage in the bands dressing room  right after their performance, after giving due time for everyone to relax, Tom and I had a chat. I told him the show was great, told him about our friends at the venue, and I asked him if he liked our friend Frank, who works at the museum.

Tom of course came across Frank, as Frank and Tom were bouncing all over the place for the entire evening. Frank was directly supporting Tom and the band as Tom was doing his part to keep everything in order.

I said to Tom, another perfect show, whereby Tom took the opportunity to explain the difference in perspective during a Ten Years After concert….and of course he’s one hundred percent right. Our perspective is, have a good time, interact with friends and other fans, show support for the band, and know that the band will perform flawlessly as usual, making us proud and able to see the happy faces all around us. Brigitte and Anita do their photography thing, and I try to keep a running tally on people places and events all going on around me, in order to write accurate concert reviews later on.   

Tom’s Perspective on the other hand - his main job is to troubleshoot any problems that may arise and try to catch them before they happen. Secondly, he has to make sure the bands supplies, on stage and off are met…..Thirdly, he has to remain flexible and calm throughout, if he blows his cool, the house of pressure will come tumbling down all around him. Funny thing isn’t it? I wanted to give you his perspective and got caught in a trap of  voicing my opinion of what his job consist of.

 In His Words

“I only hear half the show if that, as I’m to busy to pay attention to the music, I also hear the band so often that I don’t need to listen to them performing, that’s the least of my problems, if a problem occurs  that I’m unaware of,  they’ll let me know and I jump right on it.” He continues, “I know where the technical problems are likely to pop up, and that’s what I pay attention to during the show, everything changes minute by minute and I have to be ready.”

Tom The Trouble Shooter!

We know how hard he works, harder than anyone else we’ve seen at a concert, but what I should have asked him is why? For example, at the Eric Burdon concert, the crew set everything up hours before he even thinks of walking on stage, and later the crew breaks everything down and they move on to the next venue. But, my point is, during the show they stand on the side lines and watch the concert. During a Leslie West concert, the guitar technician only had to re-tape a few wires on the stage floor so that the fat man himself doesn’t trip and fall over them. Changing a broken guitar string is very rare, so otherwise, he watches the show with the audience. But Tom is always on duty, ready at a moments notice to react…and pounce.

The conversation moves on, as I asked him how his mother is doing? We haven’t seen her in awhile, in fact since the Arrow Festival. Tom said that she was thinking of coming to this gig but it didn’t work out that way. Tom then continued on about his brother Harry, and that Tom and Harry rarely get to see each other these days. I asked if they were close as brothers, and Tom said they’re very close and he wished that they could get together more often, as they really enjoy their time together. I told Tom, that we haven’t had the chance to meet Harry yet, but are looking forward to it.

My conversation with Tom was great fun as usual, but I can see that when you’re a perfectionist in search of excellence as he is, the pressure of trying to stay on top of everything can overwhelm you, and sometimes the stress will show through. But let me make it clear, Tom is none the worse for wear, he’s a professional and has the perfect temperament for the position he holds. He was only explaining his side of the coin and calling my attention to the fact, that for us it’s fun, games and good music, while from his point of view it’s damn hard work, that at times I’m sure seems endless and unforgiving….even on the best of days and circumstances  - as this one was.

Thanks Tom, you’re a good friend, appreciated by the audience who watches you at work and one of the best assets the band could possibly  have!   


Thanks for the Photos, Martin

Joe Gooch

Before I worked my way over to Tom, I was waiting for my chance to talk with Joe. I needed to talk with him about a very delicate matter, that even I didn’t want to bring up but would’ve kicked myself in the ass if I didn’t clear it up here and now. Trust me, it was a very uncomfortable situation, but I whispered into his ear and expressed my feeling in the matter and awaited his response. Joe had every right to just say, it’s over and forgotten, or I prefer not to discuss it at all, or mind your own business Dave and leave it at that.

Gentleman Joe

I knew what kind of person Joe was when I first met him about six years ago now. I found him to be young, talented, experienced for his age and just a quiet and unassuming decent man. I feel the same and even more so these days. He replied to my question in his open and honest way, which filled me with great relief. He explained his point of view, and as he did I realized that he was a much better person than I. Like Tom I’ve never heard Joe raise his voice or seen any anger in him. I’ve seen him anxious before a show and hyperactive afterwards but nothing besides that. Joe is just a normal person with extraordinary musical talents that abound. Seems like he and Leo and Tom all came out of the same mold  gentleman all. So, I say thank you Joe. You have always had our respect and support. This will continue for many years to come.  


Mr. Ric Lee

Trying to talk to Ric is an adventure in tackling skills from my days on the gridiron playing half-back / full-back. Ric is the main cog in the Ten Years After wheel – it just struck me funny, as Ric is the wheeler-dealer – booker - broker and spokesman for the band. If there’s thirty people in a room, twenty nine are calling his name and trying to get his attention.

This was a rare moment in a few ways. First of all, Ric and the band were all well rested and this was their first concert in over a week. Ric was in an excellent mood, partly because of the box Brigitte brought with us for the band. Thirdly, Ric and I had a few loose ends to tie up while we have the chance.  

I wanted to know if he had a recording of  Ten Years After at the BBC ?  To which he answered “yes, Herb gave him a copy”. I told Ric that I have the same one from Herb, so that answered that question. I was going to ask Ric if he could find the original BBC radio shows for us, but it didn’t seem like the right time or place to bring it up. But I would love to have the complete broadcast to listen to, as the performance on the cd’s are all spliced together and chopped up over all these years. I explained to Ric, my copy is most likely a seventeenth generation  version and the sound quality is so bloody shitty as to be almost unbearable. 

Next I asked him about his Ten Years After archive, and we compared notes and listened to each others stories. Then, as I was looking through Herb’s TYA Bible, I was able to ask Ric who was in some of those photos – which led us to a discussion about Jeff Beck who was on the same bill with TYA during Jeff’s new album at the time called “Truth”. I won’t relay these stories here as Ric might want to add them to his forthcoming book.

For me it’s always wonderful to hear personal stories about our hero’s friends.

It should also be known, that I’ve never heard any of the band members talk negatively about any other musician. If they don’t care for someone or dislike some other band, they keep it to themselves.

Ric and I talked about the bands new dvd, and what he has left to do on the pre-production, and this is what he told me. “As good as Herb’s book is, it’s still missing some key events in the bands history that I’d like to add. I’d like to fill in the blanks so to speak and get the time line correct so that everyone can see the whole picture”.

What’s missing in the time line I inquired? 

Ric says, “There needs to be some mention of “The Mansfield’s” the band I was in, and also more coverage of Chicks band called “Son Of Adam”.

We talked about the loss of Herb and just how much he meant and still means to all of us. Ric was saying how much help Herb had been to him and the band, and I seconded that comment, as he was our biggest supporter, helper and “Ten Years After Historian” and undisputed  Expert – not only with Ten Years After but Eric Clapton too. I said to Ric, you just can’t believe how heart-broken Brigitte and I are, his reply was “tell me about it” he said, it’s such a tragedy, I can’t believe he’s gone. Ric asked me if I’d known in advance just how sick Herb was, I said, no Ric, I didn’t, and Herb didn’t even know himself until it was too late. If Herb had the slightest inkling, he would’ve confided in Brigitte and I.


A Few Weeks To Live
 I told Herb in an email that upon learning that his cancer was terminal, that I’d leave it to his discretion to inform the people close to him. I kept this promise until Herb could no longer communicate with anyone by computer. At this time I sent an email to Leo and Ric explaining the dire situation and  Ric contacted me right away and I confirmed the sad news.

You readers should also know, that Leo and Ric both called Herb on the phone and personally wished him well. This gave Herb great comfort, just knowing that his music hero’s were also really good friends. This  is also confirmed by  Herb’s sister Claudia and brother Tom. 
As far as I know, Leo and Ric were the last people, to speak with Herb on the phone, outside of  family members.

Talking with Ric and listening to his stories is a real pleasure, and when he’s happy, rested and enjoying a little wine after the show, it’s a wonderful thing, I could listen to him for hours on end. Thank you Ric.  

Herb’s Book / Living Spirit

As most of you know from our message board, Brigitte and I bought an entire box of Herb’s book from his sister Claudia and then had them shipped to us here in Germany.

They arrived a week before the Gronau concert.  We loaded them into the trunk / boot of my car / auto and brought them with us. My idea was to make some unsuspecting people very happy, and also give the members of Ten Years After additional copies if they requested them.  Something came over me while handing them out, and it stayed with me even now as I write this. I feel an inner glow, a peaceful feeling, an overall kind of bliss.
 I feel Herb’s friendly presence and warm reassuring smile.   

 A Gift From Herb Staehr - The Author of the one and only "Ten Years After Bible"


A young man in a tri-cycle type wheelchair

A man in a wheelchair on the other side of the stage

A man who was visibly lame / handicapped who sat next to me during the entire concert

Sander’s Sister Carina

Sander’s Mother (who has been a TYA fan right from their beginning)

Martin Zweck (Martin was at Twist, Germany with us during TYA’s second gig with Joe in 2002)

Two books went to Ten Years After support team Cor and his mother. 

One book went to a man that Martin and I were talking with after the show. He always wanted to visit this museum but its closed when he gets out of work. He was there by a force of fate and I feel that we were meant to meet him there, you can tell by the vibe. He was a special fan and deserved a special present.

In Conclusion: It started out as a damp and dreary morning, dark and raining. By mid afternoon the clouds started to break up and the blue sky shone through. By concert time it was close to perfect - by the end of the show it was a beautiful Summer's night. We spent a few hours backstage and upon leaving - it was raining again! The music God's were once again smiling down on Ten Years After!