TEN YEARS AFTER FANS AND FRIENDS GET TOGETHER
Thursday, 30 September - Saturday, 1 October 2011
Arrived Thursday afternoon
for a Friday Ten Years After concert. Spent the
day checking out the venue and the town of Apeldoorn, The Best Western Hotel
is a beautiful place, clean and great people working here. This concert
review will be as much about the people in this pretty little town as much as
it is about the music the band will be making later this evening. I’m
infatuated with this town and the friendly people here. Everyone has a smile
on their face and a fine how do you do towards their fellow neighbours. The
soundtrack for this town has to be Queens “Bicycle” cause there’s hundreds –
thousands of them all over the place, scooters, mopeds, and people on foot
all interacting perfectly. Sitting at an outside pub watching it all unfold,
is like watching a non stop action thriller taking place, but this is live
action. All the moving parts weaving in and out around each other – hard to
explain – you really have to witness it first hand to understand it. These
people are so free and open and always light of heart, and at ease – laid
back, my kind of place.
In the centre of town where I’m at
is the venue where we’ll be on tomorrow, typical looking place from the
outside, and a promotional poster of Ten Years After in the front window.
Across the street is a vast variety of places to eat and from so many
different countries – Cuba – Turkey – Spanish – Dutch – Mexican – German –
Belgian – name it, it’s here. I was talking to a young man who was working at
the Turkish place, I said, is the food good here? Yep –good, I replied.
I’ll eat here, thank you very much! This young man
and I got along right from the start and talked a lot together. Brigitte and
Anita went out exploring as usual, and thank goodness they do, they find the
best places. A drunk black man came over to me and introduced himself as
Sahib and asked if he could join me at my sidewalk table – sure why not I
said, please do. I bought him a beer in a paper cup and we talked for a long
time. He may have been as drunk as a skunk but he was far from stupid – and
he had a fist full of fifty dollar bills in his wallet to back it up. I had a
five in my pocket and I’m buying him a drink – go figure – makes me laugh! I
couldn’t tell where the truth began and his bull-shit ended, but it made no
difference, he was a nice guy and kept me amused…and he knew everyone on the
street – and they knew him. He’s 52 to my 55 years old and he knows the band
Ten Years After, he’ll be at the concert tonight he told me in his
excitement. He wanted to buy me dinner and a drink –thank you – no thanks,
but thank you for the offer just the same.
The girls returned and wanted some
coffee, so we moved on down the street a ways. Then off they went again, I
sat and observed the people coming and going….and that where this story
The day ended back at the hotel, in
the bar and then sitting in the lounge hoping to catch Lionel’s arrival from
the airport, we all waited until 11:00 and then gave up until the
morning---and morning it is, I got up at 4:30 showered and here I am in the
dinning room at 6:00.
DAY 2. Lionel is very sick and
can’t make it we’ve just learned during breakfast, such a shame for all of
us. In the morning Brigitte and Anita go exploring the town once again, I
return to our room for a few hours of T.V. and sleep. At 1:30 the phone
rings, it’s the front desk, we have a visitor, I’ll be right down. It’s
Markus our photographer friend, here to see Ten Years After and Brigitte in
particular, but now he and I will have a chance to know each other better. We
only met briefly at the Mr. BIG concert in Bochum last August. Care for a
drink I ask him, sure he says, lets go to the hotel bar, it’s right there.
His part of the conversation started as we shook hands in the lobby, the
topic Ginger Baker, whom he got the chance to meet a few weeks ago, and how
shocked Markus was at Ginger’s rudeness, bad manners and downright shitty
attitude. Ginger kept saying “I’m not him – I’m not him” – you’ve got the
wrong person, leave me the fuck alone, get away from me. It’s so sad when
your hero’s turn out to be assholes. Sitting in the bar, I soon learned that
Markus and I went for the Pepsi and not the alcohol, which I found very
funny. The drinks were on me, he could have had anything at all and it was a
Pepsi. For the next few hours we discussed music, personal likes and dislikes
and a host of whatever topics came around. It was fun, fast and informative
on both sides, but I really needed to listen more than talk, which I made it
a point to do.
Within less than a half an hour of
our heavy duty conversation, Markus and I became friends, as simple as that.
Two straight shooters, no bull-shitty wasted dialog involved, no lame agenda
and always music at the root of it all. By the end of that first introductory
hour, we were laughing our asses off and exchanging mutual pats on the
shoulder and knees like old trusted friends are prone to do without thinking.
He and I were just two open books sharing experiences, one after another –
with great joy and affection.
Markus is a professional
photographer, and he drops names of rock celebrities, quicker than I can
order another drink for both of us. He’s like a fully automatic machine gun
spitting out names, places and information, rarely do I have to ask for
further information, he lays it all out very explicitly in precise detail. We
discussed the following: The Allman Brothers Band, Cream, Ginger Baker, Peter
Frampton, Humble Pie, Ten Years After, Alvin Lee, Joe Gooch.
Photography – digital vs. film –
storage of his photo collection – shutter speed – screens for viewing – dvd’s
and blue-ray – music videos, food cooking – travel – countries – and his two
cameras. Spinal-Tap – movies – documentaries and Johnny Winter in
concert…….we were all alone in the bar – close to self-serving ourselves
drinks, and having a fantastic time learning from each other. Never talking
over each other or interrupting, it just flowed right along, like a well
oiled freight train. I’m also positive that Markus would say the same.
Peter, Theo, Henk and his 22 year
old son Barry (who looks about 13 and would eat you out of house and home in
a day). Peter mentions, that we haven’t been together as a group in exactly
one year to the day, the last time was in Luxembourg. This is now our fourth
annual “Ten Years After Family and Friends Get Together”. Now, six of us are
sitting at the bar, when Brigitte and Anita arrive and join in the
proceedings – Gaby is here which makes nine, Sybille arrived at five….making
ten of us. Janni, Sander and Cor were there, too. Beer, Wine and Pepsi flows,
cameras all come out of nowhere and the fun continues until it’s time, that
we all head towards downtown Apeldoorn to find the perfect restaurant.
Later on, Peter filled us in on the
rest of the story. Peter said, “Lionel is sick, has a cold, a very bad one,
and he also has a fever / high temperature with it”. We all miss Lionel and
Claudia – love from all of us to you!
Noise, confusion and making plans
for dinner and the Ten Years After concert. The best planners are Peter and
Theo. I stay out of the way and let them roll with it.
Everyone has different things to do
in preparation. It all comes across as chaos, but only if you try to control
the situation, like a wild river you let it roll. Take a seat and order
another Pepsi and wait patiently is all.
We eventually have three cars,
three drivers and passengers for each. Into town we go, right to the parking
garage and we’ll walk from there. A parade – with no spectators is happening.
A band, a military troop, horses,
costumes – police walking along with them.
Brigitte and Anita found an
excellent restaurant off a side street, with a lot of variety, as we reach
the street I turn left, Anita and Brigitte follow me, while the others are
heading for the venue, to have a little look see. Then we are heading in the
opposite direction of the chosen restaurant and heading towards another one
close by. An Irish Pub – every outside table was occupied, but inside room
galore for everyone. Slap some tables together, everybody helping out, and
all of us hungry. Great food, drinks, and company! It seems that the food
selection of our group went in two distinct directions – 1. Hamburgers and
French Fries 2. Fish and Chips. With French Bread and Garlic Dip,
times, three orders. A very light dinner actually. Markus and Henk’s son Barry are the
new strangers to our group, but you’d never know it. No one is ever a stranger to us,
for more than a few minutes. By the end of the evening, there’s camaraderie,
hugs all around and a bond has been formed.
Concert Door / Tickets/ Guest List
Again a certain amount of commotion
and chaos at the ticket counter, who’s on the guest list, who gets a back
stage pass or permission to take photos, buy your tickets here. We’re not the
first ones in, nor the last to enter the stage area. The atmosphere is
disconnected and strange, only twenty people so far, ten of them from our
group, the others work there. Five minutes before the band came on stage, the
room filled up…350 to 400 I’m told. The “No
smoking” policy is great, the security crew is very passive and in and
excellent good nature and a girl D.J. is spinning the cd’s instead of an
opening band. I had a few words with her outside in the café´ area. At first
I sat on a little shelf seat by the wall, Brigitte bought us a couple bottles
of cold water and then I decided to check out what the D.J. girl was doing.
We never introduced ourselves, just talked music and if she did this
professionally or as a hobby. She had two Pioneer Professional D.J. Disk
Players at her command, a set of headphones and this kept her busy enough.
She was friendly, loved talking music and never heard of Ten Years After
before this night. I did like her choices in music, Won’t Get Fooled Again,
Suffragette City, Rolling Stones, then a change up with an acoustic guitarist
(unknown to me) nice slide guitar, Tie Your Mother Down…that was enough to
kill some time waiting for the band to come on.
Please Welcome - Ten Years After:
The audience is more than ready for
them. Leo Lyons is the driving force in the band, always right on top of the
music as usual. Consistently excellent on bass and always smiling. Joe Gooch
does another good Ten Years After performance, and to his credit was done
under battle conditions. Ric Lee did not play the Hobbit solo on this
occasion, and it did not go unnoticed, as people were inquiring about it.
Chick Churchill was friendly, as always but is obviously suffering some
serious physical ailments which he has to contend with. Starting with his
walking on stage, slowly, very timid, acting very fragile, as he has been
doing in the last few weeks. We wish him all the best for some relief. Once
the band got up to speed it was smooth sailing all the way. “King Of The
Blues” went well. As did the old audience favourite “Hear Me Calling”, no
problem there. “Bad Blood” is my personal favourite but from this point on I
protected my ears with cotton. Joe’s playing becomes louder, more technical
and intense. It’s not for the faint of heart. The audience applauded
everything after every number, that’s all that counts in the end. “Big Black
45” went over big-time and “I Can’t Keep From Crying” slowed the audiences
response time, just a little, until the big guns were loaded and fired with
Ten Years After’s Woodstock anthem “I’m Going Home” to see my baby. It
went through its obligatory paces with some individual spurts of enthusiasm
going on between audience and band “Reasons Why” and “Choo-Choo-Mama” were
the standard encores. The lights came up, and the audience headed over to the
merchandise area to meet the band in person and acquire autographs.
According to my information, the merchandise stand sold more than a
respectable amount in just a few short hours. CD’s – Caps (Hats) – and Shirts
were selling like hot cakes – not only after the show, but all through the
show, products were moving. Thanks to our friends Cor and Sander for always
showing great respect to the fans old and new.
Back At The Hotel:
Pepsi please, Beer for our male
friends and wine for the ladies.
After awhile some of the band
passed through the lobby, heading towards their rooms….and not to party,
trust me – but to flop down on their beds exhausted.
The last to come back to the roost
were Leo and Ric, Leo stopped by to chat for a half hour, to which we were
all grateful. Leo said no drinks for him and we respected his wishes. The bar
closes at 12:00 AM. Ric stopped by, just in time to join us for a quick visit
before retiring for the night. Markus soon said his good-bye’s and headed to
his friends house, who lives not very far away to sleep. Thank you for
everything my new friend, it was great to see you again and have the chance
to get to know you better. The hotel manager, a very nice 22 year old
gentleman and who took excellent care of us during our stay, couldn’t wait
to go home himself, it had nothing to do with us, he just had a bad night, he
had enough for one day. We say cheers to you Mr. Bar-Keep. The day that we
have been waiting for, for so long, has finally come and gone. It was really
a treat after such a lousy summer.. The rest of this year will fly by on
double time, on that you can depend.
We’re all dragging bottom, and
ready to go home. But hate saying good-bye to everyone.
Breakfast – Brigitte and I arrived
first, Leo came over to join us. Peter and Theo sat at another table behind
us. Good morning Miss Anita, hi Dave, hi Brigitte.
This was a great hotel to stay at,
good clean rooms, good food and no one chasing you around saying please don’t
do that, and keep the noise down, and blah blah blah. Best Western in Apeldoorn – thanks! Joe had coffee and joined us, we
had a nice heavy chat. I mentioned to Joe, that I’d love the hear him do an
instrumental album with Leo. Then I mentioned to Leo and Joe, that I’d like
to start a rumour about Ten Years After (jokingly of course). As many of the
places that Ten Years After have played at, have since burned down. For
example: Klooks Kleek Railway House, The Monteux Gambling House and Hastings
Pier to mention just a few. Leo got a chuckle out of this and Joe’s ad-libs
made me laugh as well. This led into a conversation, on the topic of: “The
Paranormal As It Applies To The World Of Rock ‘n´ Roll”. This kept me busy
listening all through my bacon and eggs / orange juice, with great interest
and fun. After this conversation reached its conclusion, Leo showed me a
photo of Dave Quickmire who was the drummer for “The Jaybirds”. He still
looks the same, just a tad bit older is all. The same as Leo, who has shown
has very little change over the years, and still looks ready to rock and
Until Next Time Friends:
We all clean out our rooms, and
check out, one by one. Sybille is the first to leave. As the rest of us
adjourn to the hotels lounge to wait. By 11:00 the entire group of us leave
together. Hugs, kisses and handshakes abound….friendship, respect and love.
The longer it gets between our times together, the harder it is to say
goodbye! We wait so long to plan these events and then the time flies by
when we do get together. Just like summer recess from our schooldays. Thank
You Everyone – Love You All !
"Het was weer een geweldige dag. Jammer dat het zo snel over was"
We agree, Peter!