May 5-19, 2010 – The Netherlands Tour
May 19, 2010 – arriving in EINDHOVEN
VENUE – THE FRITS PHILIPS THEATER
Since this is the last show on the tour, we have asked the tech folks at the theater if we could have a late sound check. They cordially agreed. We arrive at 5:15, load in & head for our tour ending dinner with old friends Leanne & Martin & Bert Pjipers & wife Reitje & our new tech friend, B.J.
We choose a great restaurant called THE GOUCHO (part of a chain, found in several cities in Holland we loved the one in Leiden). After some good food & celebration, we’re back for sound check at 7:15.
VINCENT (sound) & HENK (lights) are so easy to work with. We’re ready in minutes. BIG THANKS – it would be great to work with you again!
This theater is amazing – certainly one of the best sounding rooms on the tour. Because the sound was so rich on stage, John was in an amazing comfort zone. And as soon as we took the stage & played THE REAL THING I knew this was going to be a great JP night. John’s rhythm playing & solos on that song & HEY JONNY were off the charts. He was magic all night & the audience let him know it at every turn.
We played another long show tonight & John & I went lots of new places & took lots of chances. The YONKERS NY songs & stories connected as usual, but the thing I’ll remember was the latter part of the show.
SOME OF THE HIGHLIGHTS
First, my old friend Rose & her family & friend were in the audience. In their honor, I played “ROSE OF ARNEM TOWN” which I wrote for Rose a couple of years ago. That song & the story about our meeting is in my book/CD, SONGS FROM A DUTCH TOUR. I loved playing this tonight.
After a fun & rockin’ WILD THING, I asked that the lights be turned partly on so I could see the folks. Henk obliged quickly & I felt even more connected to this warm group. When I asked for requests, some real magic happened.
After a requested YONKERS NEW YORK – the title song of the current album – someone asked for a TAYLOR/RODRIGUEZ song, LETS LEAVE THIS TOWN. I told the person that I didn’t do C&C duets, but I would play a new song Carrie & I just recorded & I played “THE NEW BYE & BYE”, which will be released in September as part of a “best of – with new songs”. The song starts out with Carrie singing:
“What the hell are you doing?? YOU untrustworthy bastard!!
The audience seemed to absolutely love this one!
Immediately following we played a requested JOHN TUCKER IS ON THE WAGON AGAIN which is always a nice memory for me. Then it was my new song – written two days ago – DUTCHMAN BLUES, which reflects on my warm feelings with all things Dutch. We left with I WASN’T BORN IN TENNESSEE & a warm/reverent HOLY SHIT.
What a nice ending to a wonderful tour.
SAID HI TO MANY INCLUDING:
First.. BIG HELLO TO ROOSE (“Rose” – to me), her “too perfect & kind” (only kidding) boyfriend, Steve, mom & dad, Jan & Antoinette, aunt Els & husband Bert & one of Rose’s former teachers, TOON. So great to talk to you all.. that will be a great memory from this tour
Glad you’re home Rose. Best of luck with your thesis.. though I’m sure you won’t need that – so good to see you again!!! Steve – really good to see you – best with the good/kind work you do.
HI Christine .. nice to see you as well! Hi Ton.. all the best.
Hi to great friends, Jan & Dini.. thanks for all the support always. Hi Lilian & Rien.. so good to talk to you.. Hi Chantal.. hope you like the CD .. thanks Rob.. see you soon.. Hi Arianne & Victoire (almost forgot the “i” .. nice to see you.. Hi Lie.. & Hans.. & Josette
OF COURSE GREAT TO SEE MY GREAT FRIENDS, LEANNE & MARTIN & GERDIEN (will I ever get that right??!!) .. & so good to see you RALPH (Leanne’s brother) & friend CARMIN.. so great talking to you, CARMIN’ .. thanks so much for those kind words – that meant a lot to me. See you next time with your “request”.
THIS WAS ANOTHER SPECIAL TOUR – ONE I WON’T FORGET. Warm thanks to all who were a part of it.
May 17, 2010 – ARRIVING IN ASSEN (for show in Spijkerboorg)
With great memories of Rotterdam – specifically our show at The Walhalla Theater – we headed northeast & arrived at our Best Western Hotel (HOTEL DE JONGE) some two hours later at about 2:30. This will be our home for our show tonight in Spijkerboorg.
I worked on a new song I started last night – not sure I’ll have the courage to do it tonight – called DUTCHMAN BLUES. After a very good radio interview with a nice guy named Frans, we headed for the venue in a neighboring town.
May 18, 2010 – HEADING TO SPIJKERSBOORG
Our friend/ tour manager/driver, Milan lives in Gronnigen, a large city just north of Assen. He’s lived there for years & still he has never heard Spiijkerboorg – only a half hour away. So, we know this venue is going to be in quite a small town.
We travel the pretty country roads about 25 minutes north west of Assen, passing the little towns of Gasteren, Anloo & Annen –with their beautifully manicured old 1800’s homes – often with thatched roofs – often resting beside little farms or flower gardens – and arrive at a little theater in Spijkerboorg at about 6:00.
ARRIVING AT THE SPIJKERBOORG THEATER
As we pull in to the theater, we are greeted by Jaap, the promoter – Frans, the DJ that did such a warm/nice interview – Berlina, the kind manager of the place – & Cees, who will do our sound today. Simply put, all these people seemed like good folks & made us feel totally welcome.
It doesn’t take long to get good, simple sound & Cees, leaving John & me to rehearse a bit – preparing for our “duo” show. As Israel checks for his show, we meet the owner of the place – another warmhearted guy named Willem. BIG THANKS FOR HAVING US WILLEM!!
THE OPENING SHOW
Israel opens with a nice solid show – including in his set one of my songs, HOLDING ME TOGETHER, for the first time. Thanks Israel – nicely done. He makes great connection with this audience & I invite him to sing another, before John & I take the stage. Off-mike, he performs a song about being drunk & hurt – I mean REALLY drunk & REALLY hurt. I like this one. Israel leaves to a very warm response.
OUR SHOW (A BIRTHDAY GIRL!!)
This was a special one right from the beginning. A GREAT LADY NAMED LOUWKE – a big fan of mine for years – was celebrating her 60th birthday with family & friends. After a big sing-a-long HAPPY BIRTHDAY we began our show in dedication to her.
The Yonkers stories & songs connected immediately. The truth is, I LOVE telling the Yonkers stories – but never more than tonight. I totally “lived” the stories with the audience as I told them – so the connection was as honest & warm as it’s ever been.
There was lots of good-natured humor mixed in with serious stuff – & lots of country songs mixed in with some of my rock & roll hits that I don’t often play – like I CAN’T LET GO & ANYWAY THAT YOU WANT ME.
But it was the simple warm things that connected us in the most special way – like SAW MILL RIVER ROAD, CHARCOAL SKY, a requested BLACK & BLUE AMERICA, a bit of LUCINDA WILLIAMS, “LAKE CHARLES”, for some visitors from Louisiana – JOHN TUCKER’S ON THE WAGON AGAIN, a requested SEVEN DAYS IN MAY ..
& the new song, DUTCHMAN BLUES (a tribute to my Dutch friends new & old). That was chilling!
By the way, John was so soulful tonight. I was calling for songs we hadn’t done in a long time – yet he followed my every move with such grace. And the audience constantly showed their appreciation for the “magic man”! GREAT JOHN!!
We ended our two hour show with I WASN’T BORN IN TENNESSEE – and when we got our second standing ovation, we played HOLY SHIT, all singing the chorus together to end the night.
HERE’S A FILM CLIP OF THE AUDIENCE (taken by me) JUST BEFORE “HOLY SHIT”
SAID HI TO MANY SPECIAL FOLKS
First – HI LOUWKE – so glad you & your family & friends celebrated your birthday with us tonight. I loved talking to you & your husband Arnold – who, knowing you were a Chip Taylor fan, bought you GASOLINE back in the day – when he was courting you – to get on your good side! Soon after, he bought LAST CHANCE & the rest – It was so special to sign those precious “gifts” for you & Arnold tonight. It meant so much to me!
Hi to sister, TIENKE (HAPPY BIRTHDAY AS WELL!!!) .. hi to the rest of the family, including HARJAN, son of Louwke? (or Tienke??) & girlfriend Cindy – all such nice warm folks.
A VERY SPECIAL HELLO TO ROELIE & FINKE .. my thoughts are with you both .. tell Jannes ( a fan for a while) I will look forward to seeing him when I come back next year –– JANNES.. I had three stents put in my arteries last February.. I hope you soon feel as good as I feel now ..
Roelie – Ad’s spirit will be in my thoughts/ I am SO glad I got the chance to meet you tonight. We are totally in this together.
Hi EEF – a fan from GMT & beyond!! – so good to see you .. thanks for those kind words about Black & Blue America (Nobel Prize etc.._) & RIA, It was so good to meet you – hope to see you next time as well.
HI MARTHA (DJ at the station) .. Thanks for the SEVEN DAYS IN MAY request.. HI JO .. so glad you both were here!
Hi to Sjoerd (“Stewart” in the US).. good taking to you .. you as well, Fenny – Hi Albert – hope you enjoy the CD .. Willem.. nice talking to you .. hope to see you next time.. HI HARRY & JANNIE, ERIK & KIENA.. so good meeting you all .. hi WOUTER.. good to see you!!! .. Hi Henk.. nice to see you as well!!
Hi Egbert .. nice talking to you.. best with your own music!!
WE LOVED OUR VISIT HERE .. BIG THANKS TO WILLEM, BERINA, FRANS, JAAP. BIRGIT & CEES .. let’s do it again!!
May 12, 2010 – FRIESLAND, HEADING FOR LEEUWARDEN
The northwest part of Holland is known as the Friesland region. I’m not an expert on the history of this but a local young lady named Erika told me that it all goes back to Medieval times. For a time, Friesland was part of Germany. Then came wars & treaties & now Friesland folks are spread all over the place. But their “home” is here in the north and the cities we’re about to visit, Leeuwarden & Drackten, are part of that region or province.
Frieslanders are proud folks – they have their own language, which they speak mostly among themselves. Many have been my friends & fans for a while & I am looking forward to seeing them!
HERE’S THE PLAN
We have a show far north in Drachten tonight then, after a day off; our next show is in neighboring Leeuwarden. Since the towns are only ½ hour apart, we have decoded to spend all three nights in Leeuwarden.
Milan has chosen as our “home” for those days a place on the outskirts of town called the WESTCORD, part of the WTC chain.. He’s on the spot with this selection as we’ve just had three days at the great GOLDEN TULIP HOTEL in Leiden. He knows we want a very comfortable, but affordable place. He says this one is all of that – let’s see.
It’s a two plus hour trip from Leiden to Leeuwarden. With Milan at the wheel & some good conversation, the time passes quickly. We arrive at the WESTCORD at 2:00 PM. MILAN DID GOOD – THIS IS AN AMAZING PLACE!!
THE WTC (THE WORLD TRADE CENTER??!!) is a big black-box looking building. Inside that “box” it’s fresh & spacious & brand new. The rooms are space-age-like – lots of shiny glass & steel & leather – something you might expect in a Wynn hotel in Las Vegas. There is also a health club, good bar/restaurant & A CASINO ATTACHED!
For three days – we will GLADLY take “glitzy”. This is a very cool place!! Normally, the hotel costs over $250 (US) per night. Milan managed to get it for half price! GOOD WORK MILAN!!
We just found out that, for the first time, there is a change of schedule for sound check at this venue. We don’t need to check until 6:30. This gives us a few hours to rest or whatever. I check out the casino. It’s glitzy & OK – the folks are nice there. One problem – black jack is dealt from an auto-shuffling shoe, so my edge* would be lost. So there’s no sense in playing here tonight.
* As some of you know, I was a professional “card-counter” playing blackjack years ago – banned from many casinos in the US. A card counter loses his advantage when the cards are constantly shuffled, which is the case with the shoe mentioned above.
May 12, 2010 – DRACHTEN / VENUE – LAWEI
This is a small, lovely theater, holding about 200. All the theaters we played so far, kind of go straight back – more length-wise – in a sea of new red (seats). This theater is spread out more to the left & right & only about ten rows deep. The seats are, for the first time, a different color here – a fresh gray. As usual in these places, there’s a good bar area to meet & greet folks after.
SOUND CHECK ETC
When we arrive at 6:30, we are met by our now friend Ghislaine (tech for our entire tour). “Chris”, as she suggests we call her, has already coordinated with the tech folks here – Willem (sound) & Jacko (lights) – great guys! We sound check in minutes & have a few minutes to hook up to the Internet & relax before show time.
Immediately after sound check I meet the managing director of the theater Alfred – a great guy. We have a few laughs
By the way – this is one thing different about this tour than those of the past. At every venue, all of us are hoping to hook up to the Internet as soon as sound check is over. Most all places now have a way to do that.
We found out in advance that this theater has a washer & dryer – perfect for me as I’m almost out of fresh clothes. Milan handles that chore for me – what a guy!!
This is one that I won’t forget. Immediately after Israel’s 30 minute set – after a quick (one minute) change over by our tech Chris & a helper – we were on stage at about 8:35.
As soon as we hit the stage there was an instant connection with these nice folks. After a warm welcome & the friendly intros of Kendel & John, we ripped into THE REAL THING. Then it was the good-natured fun of BASTARD BROTHERS & a rockin’ HEY JONNY that sealed the YONKERS NY connection.
We ended this set with a soulful Angel Of The Morning & Kendel’s rousing TEN LOST MEN. We left to one of the biggest ovations on the tour. We felt like we were playing for a bunch of old friends tonight.
As we’ve done for the past several shows, we paid tribute to friend Fred Boenig’s son Austin with FORMER AMERICAN SOLDIER. The warmth of that moment filled the room & would stay with us for the rest of the night.
The set – although over 90 minutes in length –seemed to fly by. There were so many highlights. As we neared the mid point real magic started to happen.
SAW MILL RIVER ROAD felt so good & special. BIG RIVER brought it’s usual over–the-top reaction & totally rocked, with awesome solos by John & Kendel. Then there was total connection to Kendel’s BIG TRUCKS. We had SO much fun with that!! Immediately following that fun came the therapy of a loose & rockin’ WILD THING with a great audience sing-a-long chorus. I loved all of this!
THEN CAME THE FLOWERS – A GIFT TO EACH OF US FROM THIS TOWN & THIS THEATER – WHAT A NICE THING – BIG THANKS TO ALL FOR THAT!!
After that presentation, I began the story of my first Holland visit back in 1975, which led to my hit here, SAME OLD STORY – which we played with many singing along. Then came a fan-requested / reverent version of JOHN TUCKER’S ON THE WAGON (the flip side of the single back in’75). AGAIN, I could see many in the audience singing along reverently with this – I loved that!
Finally, again – at the insistence of fans – we ended the show with everyone singing along to Kendel’s BIG TRUCKS!! – one more time again!!!! What a fun way to end this wonderful, memorable night!!
BIG THANKS TO ALL!!
SAID HI TO MANY AFTER THE SHOW, INCLUDING:
Hi Hanneke .. from Continental .. in charge of the logistics of our tour – BIG THANKS HANNEKE .. GREAT TO SEE YOU AGAIN!!!!! Hope dad, Hans, enjoys the CD .. & HI TITIA (mom).. so good to meet you!!
Hi Annie .. nice meeting you.. HI TO OLD FRIEND WIETSE .. great to see you again!! Hi KLAAS .. was it you who bought the vinyl?? .. anyway .. great talking to you.. Hi Mei & Jelco .. & HI CAREL.. who saw me at the Paradiso back in the day.. I’m looking forward to that tape!! Great talking to you!!
Hi Rinus.. & Wobbo.. a fan/friend for a while .. so good to see you again!! .. Hi Geert .. & Willy & LUUTZEN.. so good talking to you.. Big hi to ROB & ROMMY .. so great to see you here.. Hi JAN-DURK .. hope brother Geart enjoys the CD .. hi TJEERD & GEKE .. & JAN.. Hi WOBBO & TINI
What a great wind down to a great night – hope to be back soon!!
May 14, 2010 – LEEUWAREDEN – VENUE – THE HARMONIE
This is at least the third time I’ve played this theater complex over the last several years. We’re upstairs tonight in a pretty little theater. Again, it’s a state-of-the-art pace. Similar to most of the others, it’s new, with a sea of red (seats) rising above us from a “stage” which is actually ground level with the front row.
Note: I forgot to mention this before. The artist actually looks up – not down – to see his audience. It feels good to me.
We’re on a new schedule again here. We arrive at 6:45 – greeted by a nice guy – stage hand, Harold, who helps us load & guides us upstairs to the stage area.. .. . Again, the stage is totally ready for us – mikes & amps in their perfect places. Soundman, Renza, has good sound for us in minutes & lighting lady, AnnaLuka gets her lights the way she wants quickly, so we have time to hook up to the Internet, call home & take a deep breath before show time at 8:30.
As soon as I hit the stage I asked our lighting friend, Anna-Luka to raise the light level in the theater enough for me to see the faces. Immediately I knew I was playing for friends & that was what this show is about – playing for a bunch of Friesland friends
The stories were the highlight tonight. I could see the folks traveling with me as I recalled my early days in Yonkers with my family – my BASTARD BROTHERS, Jon & Barry & mom & dad, Elmer & Barbara. They seemed to totally get into the spirit of a Monday at the Nepperhan train station talking to the conductor, Harry, in CHARCOAL SKY. And they journeyed with me to the CHAT & CHEW, with SAW MILL RIVER ROAD, like they were in that place with me on that Friday night. I got the feeling the Voights would have felt right at home growing up here in Leeuwarden.
Kendel & John were awesome tonight again & the audience let them know it. Kendel’s TEN LOST MEN & BIG TRUCKS brought huge reaction. The ending was quite touching tonight. I felt the audience right with me as I recalled my first journey to Holland in 1975.
After a rousing version of my hit, SAME OLD STORY, we began a NEW segment of the show called, THE MILAN MOMENT, whereby our tour guide & good fiend, Milan, requests a song that we HAVE NOT prepared. Tonight he chose DOREEEN, DOREEN a song from my songs FOR A DUTCH TOUR book/ album, inspired by a lovely Maastricht girl.
After a guitar change – to Israel’s waiting Gibson – due to a broken string – we played a requested JOHN TUCKER’S ON THE WAGON AGAIN, & then ended – or so we thought – with I WASN’T BORN IN TENNESSEE. When the crowd gave us a standing ovation, I was quite touched & played one more in the spirit of this special bond. There were some misty eyes in the house – including mine – as we played our final song, GETTING OLDER LOOKING BACK.
What a special night.
SAID HI TO SEVERAL INCLUDING:
Big hello to Fedde, who requested two of my favorites, Michael’s Song & WHAT WOULD TOWNE’S SAY ABOUT THAT – played JOHN TUCKER in that same spirit to end the show.. great to see you Fedde, I’ll have my song book ready for all requests next time I see you.
Hi brother Gerrit.. so good to see you both in the audience tonight. Thanks for bringing your brother – see you both next time.
Hi Piet (a fan for a while) & wife Jelly .. who thanked me for SAME OLD STORY ..much appreciated.. hi Linze & Margaret .. BIG thanks for my “all things Fryslan” lessons (ie: “FRIES are FRIESLANDERS .. according to REAL “FRIES” folks!!! .. get it?? – GOT IT!!). GREAT TALKING TO YOU!!! ..
And thanks for the memories of radio station .. OMROP FRYSLAN.. that was a special show & memory!! I wrote SHOTGUN MAN for Carrie there. Margaret .. thanks for telling us about that great review of our show from a few days back! So glad you saw it. Look forward to seeing you both next time!!
And hi to Eddie & Thea .. so nice talking to you …
BIG HELLO & THANKS TO THEATER MANAGER, PIETE (formally from the Zaandam theater) .. for taking the time to say hi before & after the show. Hope to see you again, Piete.
SPECIAL THANKS TO OUR NEW FRIEND & tech supervisor for our tour,, GHISLAINE – this is her last show with us – her husband, B.J., will take over that job for the next few days & then we will celebrate together on the last day of the tour in Eindhoven on May, 19. SEE YOU THEN “CHRIS” – big thanks for our little gift!! – MUCH LOVE!!
Thanks to all for another “magic” night.
May 14, 2010 – OSS, HOLLAND – AFTERNOON SHOW
ROOTS 66 FESTIVAL
LOVED THIS!! –Our friend Bert Pjipers & friends sponsor this.cool little afternoon venue. It’s great to see Bert, wife Rieje & son & daughter Ton & Jannie soon after arriving at 1:00 PM..
We’re the first act of seven. After a quick sound check with Jan Willem (JW) – we’re on stage at 2:00.
THE SHOW – This was special. We felt an immediate connection with these folks. We opened with THE REAL THING again – this was so special today .. with cool little 50’s riffs coming from John’s guitar in between lines from the verse – then we went back & forth with blasts of YONKERS NY & songs from Kendel’s album.
HEY JONNY, WITHOUT HORSES (so special today), TEN LOST MEN, OH BABY LIE DOWN, SAW MILL RIVER ROAD with a reprise of BIG RIVER were all highlights.. then we blasted I LIKE TRUCKS, ANGEL OF THE MORNING, WILD THING & SAME OLD STORY.
A big highlight for me was the little chorus of CIRCLE OF TEARS dedicated to Diana in memory of her recently departed dad, Sief, who loved that song.
This was such a warm way to spend an afternoon on the way to a show tonight in Apeldoorn.
SAID HI TO MANY, INCLUDING:
Hi Diana.. I’ll try to remember the entire version of CIRCLE OF TEARS for next time – much love to you! Hi to old friends Paul & Yvonne from Harlem.. good to see you again & again..
Good to see singer/songwriter Naomi & husband, Greg .. best of luck today – & hi to Paul from Heaven magazine .. thanks for the nice article – & Paul, tell your daughter, Robin, I’ll look forward to having dinner with both of you next time you’re in new York. All the best!
Hi Hans .. thanks for your support over the years.. great to see you!! Hi Gerard & Marcel & Rogier & Peter.. & Lidija .. so good talking to you all. GREAT to see you again, Jos.. your great future starts now!! Best of luck!!
Big thanks to Ghislaine’s husband, BJ, for stopping by & checking out our show & set up. BJ will be our tech supervisor for the remaining four shows.
THANKS BERT!!! SEE YOU IN A FEW DAYS!!
May 15, 2010 – APELDOORN – VENUE – THE ORPHEUS THEATER
ARRIVING IN APELDOORN
Since we’re coming straight from an afternoon show to this one, B.J. made arrangements for us to show up right before show time & plug in & play.
We check into our hotel at our VERY good Best Western hotel in Apeldoorn at 5:30, have a few minutes to relax & arrive at the venue at 7:00 – on stage at 8:00.
Again, we split the first set with our friend Israel, who does another fine job opening.
The thing I’ll remember most about this show & that made it SO, SO special, is the great friends who were here. I’ll mention all of them later.
Anyway.. this was another total, living-room-like connection. Highlights were far too many to mention. I loved all the Yonkers NY songs again tonight. BASTARD BROTHERS, HEY JONNY, SAW MILL RIVER ROAD & CHARCOAL SKY were so special. Kendel was awesome .. John brilliant as usual. Every night he brings new, inspired magic – he did amazing stuff on Kendel’s OH BABY LIE DOWN tonight – he always amazes me – he alone is totally worth the price of admission
Aside from OH BABY…, Kendel’s TEN LOST MEN & BIG TRUCKS killed tonight. But probably my biggest memory will be – first, Milan’s, (MILAN’S MOMENT) choice of HOLY SHIT… which became a total prayer. and by far my favorite moment of the night, GETTING OLDER LOOKING BACK.. dedicated to my great friend, Matin, who very recently lost his brother, Jack .. right on the heels of losing his mom.
Much love to you Martin.
BIG HI TO MY FRIENDS & OTHERS AFTER THE SHOW
So great to see old great friends, Leanne & Martin (& Geraldine) .. who have been so much a part of my love affair with Holland since 1975. Thanks you guys – great hugging & talking to you – see you in a couple of days!
Big hello to old great friend, Isis & mom Gerda, who have been there from pretty much the beginning as well. Isis, it’s so good to see you looking so good. Congrats with your new job. Like mom, I’m so proud of you!! See you soon, then again & again.
Hi Birgit & Rudiger so wonderful to see you.. what a great spirit you bring – see you in Eindhoven!! – Hi Ziggy .. always great to see you. Big thanks for the MICKEY BAKER CD .. we can’t wait to hear it!!
HI DINI & JAN .. wonderful to see you front & center again. You are special friends .. what a nice thing for me .. see you in Eindoven.. Hi EP & NICO .. so good talking to you..
HI GEESJE & HANS .. so good talking to you both .. thanks for the WILDWOOD FLOWERS memory (the show you & friends (WF) booked at Café De Paris .. hope we can do it again.. tell Cor I sent my big regards .. HANS .. so glad you are feeling good again.. my best wishes to you always.. you are special, kind folks..
Hi Ryan & Hans .. great to see you at the end.. Thanks for leading the “GROOVY” in WILD THING … WELL DONE!!
THANKS TO ALL FOR A SPECIAL NIGHT .. I’m writing this from my hotel room in Apeldoorn. In a few minutes we are heading for our afternoon show in ROTTERDAM.
Talk to you soon!
May 16, 2010 – HEADING FOR ROTTERDAM (for an afternoon show)
The last time I played in Rotterdam was on Nov 16, 1975, at a theater called THE LANCAARN (the “Tourch”) Shortly after that performance Warner Brothers released my single, SAME OLD STORY & within weeks of that performance the single went to the top of the Dutch charts.
I remember feeling a total connection with that audience. It’s been a lot of years. I’m wondering if the connection will be anything similar to that today.
VENUE – THE WALHALLA THEATER
We arrive at 1:30 & are greeted by the smiling faces of tech trainees Maurice & lovely Julika & another extraordinarily kind staff person, Marcella. Soon we meet a terrific lady, Rachel, who manages the theater.
The venue is as pretty a little place as you’ll ever see. It’s more like a little old Parisian café with the stage area right in front of us at floor level as we walk in – with about 100 antique theater seats rising to the right.
Our sound tech BJ is there waiting & within’ minutes, with joint efforts from Maurice & BJ, we’re very happy with the sound.
I have to find the right words to tell you about what happened here in the next couple of hours. For me it was the most precious/special connection show in memory. Simply put, I can’t think of a show I’ve ever enjoyed more than this one.
Kendel, John & I were totally comfortable & loose from the start – in large part because this wonderful audience was so welcoming. We started with THE REAL THING & followed it with an awesome, viby version of Kendel’s OH BABY LIE DOWN. I can’t remember that ever sounding better. And with that, Kendel’s connection with this warm audience was totally sealed.
Then came the stories & songs of YONKERS NY. & this audience was totally “there” on that journey back in time. BASTARD BROTHERS, HEY JONNY, WITHOUT HORSES, SAW MILL RIVER ROAD were followed by BIG RIVER & mixed with TEN LOST MEN & BIG TRUCKS & all totally connected.
CHARCOAL SKY sounded so magical this afternoon, as did ANGEL OF THE MORNING (Kendel’s harmonies sounded so beautiful to me today). And WILD THING totally rocked – John was awesome & the audience let him know it – & the therapy sing-a-long was off the charts & so much fun!!
But the part of the show I’ll remember most was the end – from the story of my first visit here in 1975 to the performance of SAME OLD STORY to the requested STORYBOOK CHILDREN, SON OF A ROTTEN GAMBLER & BLACK & BLUE AMERICA – all of which, though not prepared, sounded so fresh & chilling. It amazed me that – not only did I remember these songs – but that Kendel & John played & sang with me like we had prepared them. I think the comfort zone we had with this audience had a lot to do with that.
And that was the real story here this afternoon – the total connection all of us on stage felt with this warm, wonderful group. This was special. And it does not get better.
SAID HI TO SEVERAL AFTER THE SHOW, INCLUDING:
Hi ANNET .. so great to meet you finally .. thanks so much for your support over the years & BIG THANKS FOR BRINGING YOUR FRIENDS, ROBERT, OLGA & WIM.. so good to meet you all – hope to see you soon again!!
Hi TERRY & LINDA… BIG THANKS FOR TAKING THE TIME & MAKING THE JOURNEY FROM THE UK.. MUCH APPRECIATED!!
Hi Djan & Francoise .. so good to see you,, Hi Bert & Nicole & Betty & Henk.. it was so good to talk to you .. thanks for the kind words. HI KEES & ANKE!! .. & MARTIN & CORRIE.. so good to see you!
Hi Janneke & Jeroen.. & Lea & Elly & Bob – so glad you were here.. thanks for the kind words as well.. HI TINI & JAN.. good to see you.. & BIG HELLO TO JOOP & the CHANGE OF KEY gang.. DANIELLE & multitalented, MARYKE.. all the best with your own music .. thanks for the kind words..
AGAIN .. BIG THANKS ROCHELLE.. thanks SO MUCH for your warm welcome & total hospitality! .. Hi MARCELLA.. so good talking to you after the show!! .. hope the picture turned out OK .. , Hi JULIKA.. so good to see you as I got out of the van.. & when we left.. you’re special!! Best of luck with whatever you choose.. & MAURICE.. great to see you when we arrived.. & when we left .. all the best with your tech studies!!
THANKS TO ALL MY ROTTERDAM FRIENDS – WHAT A WAY TO SPEND A SUNDAY AFTERNOON!! HOPE TO SEE YOU SOON!
May 5, 2010 – ARRIVING IN HOLLAND
After a comfortable couple of hours in the SAS executive lounge at ARN airport in Stockholm – compliments of Kendel’s frequent flyer privileges – it was a short plane flight to Amsterdam’s Skipold Airport. There, we picked up a 9 passenger mini-van & with Kendel at the helm – arrived at our modest hotel in Zaandam – the Bastion.
John Platania had arrived earlier in the day & was eating dinner, drinking his second gin & tonic & smiling as we arrived. After a good meal & OK red wine & some good talk, we hit the sack at about midnight.
May 6, 2010 – ZAANDAM
Our opening act – a singer/ songwriter from New York, Israel ?? arrived at Skiplod at 9:00. Cordially, Kendel got up early to meet him. After a leisurely morning & early afternoon, we all headed for our first Dutch tour venue.
VENUE – ZAANTHEATER
When we arrived at the side loading area, we were met by old friend TON DERKS (GREAT TO SEE YOU TON!!!) & our new sound & stage advance person, Ghislaine – who would take charge from now on in (husband Bart-Jan will join us later). Also there to greet us were kind theater stage hands, Walter (lights) & Chris (sound) & Meich. We unloaded & were sound checking soon after.
Then it was back to the hotel to freshen up, back to the theater for a good dinner. We were on stage at 9:30 – after a very good opening set by new friend.
After THE REAL THING, we paid tribute to a good friend, who just lost his son in Afghanistan. I spoke to my friend (Fred) just before we went on stage – he asked if we’d sing DANCE WITH A HOLE IN YOUR SHOE for son Austin, which we did & the audience seemed to get lost in that moment with us.
Then it was YONKERS songs with Kendel here and there. This is the first time back for John Platania. Despite jet lag, he was his special self.
My favorite part of the show – aside from the intimate YONKERS story-songs & Kendel’s great ones – was the requested JOHN TUCKER’S ON THE WAGON from my THIS SIDE OF THE BIG RIVER album (a success here in 1975) & a reprise of my 1975 hit, SAME OLD STORY, which followed a rockin’ WILD THING & a chilling ANGEL OF THE MORNING (Kendel sounded so soulful tonight on that one).
We ended with a rockin’ I WASN’T BORN IN TENNESSEE & left the stage to warm & loud applause. This was a great beginning for our tour. IT’S GREAT TO BE BACK!
Big thanks to all for this kind “welcome back!!”
SAID HI TO SEVERAL, including:
HI STEVEN (tech director of the theater) .. big thanks for all your help.. & so great to see your new bride (& mom of your kids), Marloes. Maloes, Steven said you bought your first Chip Taylor CD when you were 16 – big thanks for that!! God bless you, Steven & the boys. Hope to see you soon. Next time let’s celebrate!! Again, BIG CONGRATULATIONS!!
Hi to kind & lovely manager of the theater, Cecile .. BIG THANKS CECILE. Thanks for you “welcome” – hope to see you again. Hi to Peter, thanks for getting the CD from Train Wreck early on. Hope to see you soon. Hi to RANKO – so great to see you in the audience with dad, KLAAS & mom, CISCA. Take care of the vinyl collection!!!
Hi Nico & Hanneke.. & Jaap .. & Joni .. Nico ..& Rob .. & KASIA .. my Polish friend..from Kryzstov Zanussi territory.. great talking to you.. Hi Chrystal .. at the bar.. hope you enjoy the CD!!
This was a special night .. thanks to all!
May 7. 2010 – HEADING FOR BERGAN OP ZOOM.
Kendel at the wheel – about a 2 hour drive down toward Belgium and west – close to the North Sea. We arrived at this beautiful, quaint town & our Tulip Inn at about 2:00. After a bit of time to ourselves we’re off to sound check.
THE VENUE – DE MAAGD THEATER
What a beautiful place!!! This was once a church & much of that feeling remains. The tech crew, Jan & Gert are waiting – Stefan (lights) arrives a bit later. The sound is awesome – we’re checked in no time & head for a nice dinner at a local Italian restaurant.
Simply put, this is one that was magic from the beginning. It gave me such a warm feeling to see this audience from the stage – so many smiling, familiar faces. It was like playing for family in my living room.
John & Kendel played so inspired tonight & Kendel songs, TEN LOST MEN, OH BABY LIE DOWN, SEVEN SHADOWS & BIG TRUCKS were cool, sexy & totally connected. Highlights were far too many.
Again, I loved the ENTIRE show tonight – everything felt so honest & inspired. The YONKERS stuff – with all the stories – BARRY GO ON, HEY JONNY, WITHOUT HORSES (that was so special), CHARCOAL SKY (oh yes… that too!!) & SAW MILL RIVER ROAD .. with the BIG RIVER & ENDLESS SLEEP tributes – totally connected.
Another special memory from this night was the requests, BLACK & BLUE AMERICA & STORYBOOK CHILDREN. I hadn’t done either of those in a while. With the right audience, uncharted waters can be the most magical course. And that’s the way it was tonight!
When we left the stage our kind tour tech friend, Ghislaine, said – “are you OK, Chip, you played for over two hours. Do you need a rest before meeting folks & signing CDs?”
I laughed – I had no idea we played for that long – it was such a smooth journey!
This was one for the books!!! Loved this.
Because of the lengthy show, many had to hurry for transportation at shows end. A big hello to all of you – thanks so much for sharing this night with me!!
But I did say hi to several, including:
Old friend Martin.. great to see you my friend. My thought will be with you through these tough times. We’ll toast Jack in song when I see you next in a few days.
Hi Francis & Pia – you are both such great characters in the CT story – it seems right you end up together at these shows. Wonderful to see you – love to the kids.
Hi Giel & Tito .. & Piel, Peter * Hilde (Matilda) .. so nice talking to you.. big hi to John & Renee .. from Belgium.. wonderful talking to you.. yes.. I’ll remember GRANDMA’S WHITE LEBARON for next time!!
BIG HI & THANKS TO THE STAFF, JO JO, DOREEN & DONNA .. great to see you .. we appreciated your kind spirit. Hope to see you soon again.
May 8, 2010 – RADIO WEST in DEN HAAG
ON THE BEAT – A ONE HOUR RETROSPECTIVE OF MY HITS COMBINED WITH YONKERS NY SONGS with a very nice guy (& informed host) Hans
It was so nice to be greeted by Marian at the reception area, who invited us to relax in the waiting room & have coffee. THANKS MARIAN, so nice to meet you!
I LOVED THIS!! New friend Hans guided this interview-mixed with recordings – asking very good questions about the old days & current ones with a special reverence to both. We talked about the history of WILD THING, ANGEL OF THE MORNING, I CAN’T LET GO – & one I hadn’t heard for a while, WORRY by JOHNNY TILLOTSON. Hans combined that with talk about THE REAL THING (C&C LIVE) – which he called “the best song he ever heard” – & two songs from YONKERS NY – CHARCOAL SKY & HEY JONNY.
This was as comfortable & informative a discussing about my hits (& recent works) as any I remember. BIG THANKS HANS!! Hope to see you at one of our shows!!
May 8 – ALPHEN AAN DE RIJN
HOTEL het OOSTEN (A JAPANESE HOTEL/RESTAURANT)
Honestly, we were not happy with these accommodations. It’s a fairly large restaurant/hotel complex – run by Japanese folks. Maybe it was because it was the weekend, the hotel part seemed empty except for us (I heard later that during the week the place is quite crowded) A seemingly not-so-cordial “chef” checked us in. I’m quite sure it was a language barrier, but with other things not to our liking, we’d choose not to stay here again.
I hate to complain as some of the folks here were quite nice. But the first impression was not great, so we’ll stay somewhere else next time we visit this town.
VENUE – CASTELLUM THEATER
This is a town filled with good memories. I played a Sunday afternoon show here at a local hotel (Hotel Toure – I think?) during every tour from 1997 through 2001 – booked by old friend Cor Sonne. It was always like a vacation stop for me – arrive Saturday afternoon- good dinner – good whiskey – good friends. – sleep late – wake up – roll out of bed – play music for nice, kindhearted folks .. then dinner & whiskey again.. then a good sleep, before moving on. What a life – how I Loved that.
Then my friend, Dale Watson came to town for one of those Sunday shows – & in late night “bar closed – fit”, he trashed the place. And there went my vacation Sundays in ALPHEN AAN DE RIJN.
But we’re back in town – & those memories are with me. Tonight we’re playing a little theater in another side of town. I’m really looking forward to this.
We’re staying pretty far outside of town, so tonight we decide to sound check, have dinner close by & stay at the theater. – rather than travel so far to go back to our uninviting hotel.
We arrive at the theater through the town maze, at about 4:30 & sound man Bert, lighting tech, Kees, & helper Vilco greet us – all good guys. The soundboard is a digital one, & the last user had made the sound of each channel far too bright for our liking. But before too long, Bert got it sounding simple & solid. With that safely out of the way, we headed for a nice dinner at a good Italian restaurant just around the corner, where server Sonna was so helpful. SORRY YOU HAD TO WORK SONNA – we’d have loved to see you at the show!! – Next time!!
After dinner, we rested in the spacious green room area at the theater where we met the theater mgr, Lot (“Charlotte”). SO NICE TO SEE YOU, LOT – thanks to you & all the staff – we love this place!
I rest on a sofa & actually sleep for about ten minutes – a first for me!! I wake a bit refreshed & ready. Kendel & John are in a great mood as well. I’m sure this mood will carry forward to the show.
Were on stage at about 9:30.
As I hoped it would be, this was another very special one for the books! Again, it was like being in someone’s living room. All the stories from YONKERS connected big time. I’m always a bit nervous that there might be too much of that – but they have been such a comfortable fit for these past shows.
Note: After the show several folks would say how much they loved hearing the stories & how different & special that was.
Again, one song into the set,, I paid tribute to my DJ/record promoter friend, friend Fred Boenig, who lost his son, Austin in Afghanistan a few days ago. We played “FORMER AMERICAN SOLDIER in his memory. The audience was totally with you & Austin in spirit again tonight, Fred. I will take you both with me throughout this tour. GOD BLESS YOU, MY FRIEND– see you soon!
Kendel said later that BASTARD BROTHERS was a total highlight for her (as a listener). In retrospect, I guess it did have a very special thing tonight. Somehow I think it brought folks closer to the loving relationship I had with my warm & amazing mom, Barbara.
Kendel, John & I had a special togetherness on stage tonight – we just had a lot of fun playing for these warm, kind folks. And individually, both Kendel & John shone big time! All K’s songs were special – TEN LOST MEN brought huge applause & was certainly a huge highlight!
SAW MILL RIVER ROAD was so touching for me tonight. I could see several singing reverently along with the chorus by the time it came around again. And a reverent recall of Johnny Cash’s BIG RIVER brought huge response – as did ANGEL OF THE MORNING & a totally reverent/fun version of WILD THING
My ’75 hit SAME OLD STORY ended the main part of our show. Although we encored with requests, I CAN’T LET GO & ANYWAY THAT YOU WANT ME (my TROGGS FAN CLUB FRIENDS calling out for that one) – which I loved, by the way – the truth is I felt this audience “got” my true country heart, & the words from SAW MILL RIVER ROAD seemed to get to ring truer than ever tonight.
“It was country & it was country & it was country again
& sister Susan just loves what the neighbors can’t stand”
There were lots of “sister Susans” in the audience tonight – & you all were awesome!!! Big thanks to all who shared this night with us!
Because there is an opening act (new friend Israel is doing a fine job) & our show goes on for about two hours (though it certainly doesn’t feel like it), many in the audience have to head home rather quickly at shows end.
For our next show in Leiden, I have decided to split the first half of the show with Israel (play for about 20 minutes immediately after his 30 minute set), so we’re further along our Yonkers journey before the break – & before the second half starts. Hopefully, this will leave more time to spend with fans at shows end – I’d like that.
It was so great to see old friends Gerard & Co(o)ck before the show. Thanks so much for making the trip from Haarlem & beyond! – sorry you had to leave before I came to the bar area after the show. I was hoping to see you. SEE YOU SOON AGAIN!!
HI ROB & PEGGY .. great talking with you guys!!! Rob.. loved the Ray Davies stories!! Hope to see you both very soon! Hi Piet, great to see you again & again.. thanks SO much for your support!! Hi to Rob & Ton.. & Corrie & Mieke.. Hi Alex.. tell Paul Hooper I sent my regards..
HI WIJNAND & ELLEN.. so good to see you front & center. Thanks for your support through the years (solo, with Carrie & now).. much appreciated!!! Hi Ineke.. good to see you!!!
Hi William (Willem) & Caroline… so glad you checked youtube & showed up!! It was great seeing you in the audience & talking to you after the show. Love to the girls., hope to see them one of these days. Hope they like Kendel’s great CD. It’s so hard to believe you guys have an 18 year old!! Hope to see you next time!
PETE & PETER (TROGGS FAN CLUB FRIENDS) .. always special to see you guys .. Big, Big love to Jacqueline .. & big hello to REG & Barbara & the boys .hope to see them soon!!
THANKS TO ALL – see you soon
TOUR NOTES HOLLAND May 11, 2010
May 11 – MILAN IS BACK!!!!!!!!
Our tour mgr/driver for the rest of the tour has arrived!!! Milan & I became friends about three years ago when he first road-managed one of our tours. And since then, every time I return to Holland I ask that he join us. He was in Germany with another band until now.
Kendel picked Milan up about 20 minutes away in DEN HAAG. As I return from a walk through the canals, he’s waiting in the lobby. WHAT A GREAT REUNION!!!!!
May 11, 2010 – LEIDEN – – VENUE – STADSGEHOORZAAL
It’s only a five minute drive from our hotel to the venue, located along one of the canals in an area close to where I’ve been walking every day. We arrive & load in at 3:30. By the way – this is a constant ritual as we’re on a union schedule with the tech (sound & lighting) folks at every show (load in at 3:30 – check at 3:45 – finished by 4:30).
We are greeted by a great lady, Natalie, who guides us to the back side of the venue where we meet sound tech Jimmy & sound man Tim, two GREAT young guys!!
The sound is AWESOME as soon as we plug in. We’re ready to go to dinner at 4:15.
It’s only a two minute walk to our favorite restaurant in Leiden – THE GOUCHO. After a quick meal we had back to the hotel for a bit & to relax.
Just before we get on stage, Bart – the kind, warm managing director of this & another theater in town – stops by to welcome us. BIG THANKS BART!! GREAT TO SEE YOU!!
We’re on stage at 8:15.
Usually Israel plays a short first set and, after a 20 minute break, we’re on stage for two hours – where many in the audience have to quickly catch transportation home.
Tonight we decide to tack on 20 minutes of our show on to the first half so we can “say hello” to the audience before the first break. Actually, this was suggested by our friend & colleague (distributor) here, Bert Pjipers ,when we first arrived in Holland – but an unusually stubborn me didn’t listen to him. Right Bert?!
The changeover from Israel’s show to ours takes a bit more than I expected – 3 or 4 minutes – but once we’re on stage we quickly realize that this new format works BIG TIME!!!
The communication with the audience is there from the start. We get a great welcome as soon as we hit the stage from this seemingly shy & reserved (but soulful) audience. After I introduce Kendel & John we breeze through THE REAL THING, OH BABY LIE DOWN, BASTARD BROTHERS, HEY JONNY & ANGEL OF THE MORNING .. & the connection with these nice folks is sealed.
Tonight, for the first time, Milan is selling CDs at intermission & Kendel goes back to say hello to the folks & sign CDS.
We start off with FORMER AMERICAN SOLDIER – as a tribute to Austin Boenig (our friend’s son) who lost his life last week in Afghanistan.
From there the show seems to fly by with the great spirit of the YONKERS NY stuff – in story & song ( AGAIN, FOLKS HERE LOVE THE YONKERS STORIES!) – mixed in with the cool Kendel songs. I LIKE TRUCKS, which has been missing in other shows due to time constraints – totally connects tonight.!
Highlights for me were again far too many to mention – but let’s go with SAW MILL RIVER ROAD, which I could see was totally connecting with these kind folks tonight as many were singing the chorus by songs end, SAME OLD STORY (my #1 hit in Holland in 1975) – with the story of my first visit here in the 1975 & a requested JOHN TUCKER’S ON THE WAGON AGAIN (the flip side of the hit).
We ended with a rousing I WASN’T BORN IN TENNESSEE & returned to the lobby to say hello to folks soon after.
SAID HI TO SEVERAL, INCLUDING:
Hi Sjoerd .. great to see you! Thanks for the JOHN TUCKER’S ON THE WAGON request – I loved that tonight!! Hi Monique – it was so great to see you again!! Thanks for the ’75 memories. But you look too young to remember those days!
Hi Maggy & Huus (kind of like Hubert) ,, so good talking to you. Hi Wouter & Helga.. good meeting you both .. thanks for the kind words!! .. Hi Niclaas & Frea .. & AAD .. so good to talk to you .. HI GERARD & KEES .. so good to meet you guys .. thanks for making the trip from Amsterdam.. & Gerard, thanks for the nice words about THE GHOST OF PHIL SINCLAIR (my duet with Lucinda Williams).. he was a special guy!!
Hi Rudolf.. good talking to you!! A BIG HELLO TO FUTURE GREAT GUITARIST, Joe (great to see you Joe!! – thanks for coming!!) .. & dad Greg (originally from the south of Wales) & mom, Nelleka – great to see & talk to you all!! So glad Israel met & invited you. Hope to see you soon again.
This was a special night .. what a nice group of folks to play for.
Apr 23-May 4, 2010 Sweden Tour
Apr 23, 2010 – STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN
Kendel Carson & I were supposed to arrive a few days ago but were delayed by the volcano ash. I arrive shortly after 11:00 (Kendel will join me in two days). Due to a quick turn around in Munich my luggage does not join me, but the folks at lost-luggage assure me it will be sent to the hotel.
I’m met by now good old friend, Bjorn Petterson (my great friend, Hakan Olsson’s partner at a company called Rootsy that distributes our CDs & promotes & books us in this part of the world.
We wait for Orjan Maki, a guitarist from the great Swedish band, Willy Clay, to join us. He arrives at 1:30 & we make the one plus hour trip to Norrtalja, where will stay this night.
Note: Orjan wears a kind of be-bop 50’s hat that sits & his hair flows down to his shoulders – an easily recognizable look. When he arrives he is greeted by a group of adoring high school kids – kind & serious in their demeanor. Willy Clay has gained that sort of reverence in this country in this past year. It’s a nice thing to see as they’re worthy “heroes.
Orjan & I will play three shows tomorrow at Norrtalja prison, then one evening show at a cool venue in a castle-like manor close to Stockholm. Great friend, Hakan Olsson & wife Monica will make the long journey from Malmo to meet us there. I’m looking forward to that.
ATELLET HOTEL, NORRTALJA
I am so happy that Bjorn booked us here. This is the Rolls Royce of hotels in the area. We’ll move to the castle for one night tomorrow, but otherwise we’ll be here as a home base for several days
This is the place I came every night to wind down when I visited last year. My friends Lynn & Amanda are there to greet us, along with Anna (the kind girl who checked us in) & Camilla (who hooked me up to the Internet), & two lovely young ladies, both named Andrea.
After taking care of some Internet business, Orjan & I rehearse before heading downstairs for a great meal. After dinner I relax at the bar with my friends Lynn & Amanda, new friend, Andrea, & some nice folks who are part of tomorrow’s wedding party (including groom Andreas & father in law, Leif).
FYI – Since my heart operation last year I DO stick to one single-malt scotch whiskey plus a non-alcoholic beer to finish up the night.
Great folks & a good Laphroig scotch – what a nice way to wind down my first day in Norrtalja.
Apr 24, 2010 NORRTALJE MAXIMUM SECURITY PRISON
This day was as important to me as any day – ever – in my singer/songwriter career.
Escorted by prison guard (& our tour-master), Bjorn Petterson, Orjan & I arrived at 12:30 – We went through a security check like you would at an airport, & then were guided to a large living room-like area which would be our performance space for the next several hours.
Note: soon we’ll meet another Bjorn Petterson – bass player for the Willy Clay band – don’t get confused!
The prison is divided into four cell blocks called “pavilions”. Last year we played for inmates from Pavilion A & D in two different shows. This year we will play for Pavilion A, B & C. – three shows – each one lasting about 40 minutes, leaving me 15 minutes to linger & talk with the prisoners.
Last year, we recorded each show &, through our Swedish rep, Rootsy Music, gave a CD gift of those performances as a Christmas present. Throughout the day, the prisoners thanked us for that gift.
SHOW #1 – PAVILION A
Many of these folks are in for life .. or a long, long time. I remember many of the faces from last year. I enjoyed every minute of this show & felt a deep connection to these men. We played THE REAL THING, DANCE WITH A HOLE IN YOUR SHOE (A HIGHLIGHT AT EACH OF THESE SHOWS) These & several songs from YONKERS NY (BASTARD BROTHERS & HEY JONNY & SAW MILL RIVER ROAD were certainly highlights – as well as some hits.
In each show we ended with a song I had written for the boys last year – contained on the “live” CD – called NORRTALJA PRISON. Here are the lyrics.
You will play my guitar – walk my motorcycle shoes
You will ride my highways – and I will sing your blues
And I’ll go right on singing – ’till there’s nothin’ left to lose
And we walk through the gates of Norrtalja Prison
Jesus was a lifer – if the truth be known
So don’t go pounding on your chest or throwin’ that first stone
’cause we’re all in this together – ’till he says it’s done
And we walk through the gates of Norrtalja Prison
Stephon’s eleven years – are for hashish not cocaine
And Patrick, Matts & Dennis – their story’s about the same
And Michael’s doin’ six years for stabbin’ his father – for layin’ his sister down
And I have seen those eyes before – and I will see those eyes again
You ain’t so tough as nails – my good hearted friend
And when I return tomorrow we will walk through the gates of Norrtalja Prison
Smart folks – Marcus sold apartments – economic crime .. sell stuff you own
Marcus sold apartments – that he truly did not own
Hey Robbin did you steal computers – so you could shoot stuff up your arm
And Sasha did you try to kill someone – who meant your family harm
Someday we’ll all walk through the gates of Norrtalja Prison
note to Robbin.. not sure you shot stuff up your arm .. poetic license
AFTER THE SHOW I SAID HI TO A MANY, INCLUDING MANY WHO BY NOW SEEM LIKE OLD FRIENDS:
Hi to: Mattias.. good to see you again.. it was good for me to see how quickly I recognized you & many.. hope your garden blooms in the coming months.
Hi Robbin.. good to see your smile again.. Hi Meran, Aziz, Martin, Geage, Renaldo, Anders .. another strong memory from last year.. & Miller & Joe, Stephon (one of the “stars” of my song), Ismael & Reddy.
ALSO.. GREAT TO SEE THE KIND & MUCH LOVED “WARDEN” OF THIS PLACE, ANDERS.. who stopped by to see the performance on his DAY OFF. Anders has been a fan since THIS SIDE OF THE BIG RIVER – released in 1974,
In between shows Anders requested “SAME OLD STORY”, from that album. It was good to play that song after all these years. Great to see you my friend!!
SHOW #2 – PAVILION B
This was a new group of guys to play for. But the connection was solid & I’ll look forward to seeing many of these boys again next year.
Note: I started standing up & moving & singing close to the guys here – busking style. That just felt like the right thing to do, I continued to do that for the next group as well.
Again.. highlights were similar to the first show.. definitely connected with DANCE WITH A HOLE IN YOUR SHOE, HOLY SHIT & NORRTALYA PRISON.. but perhaps the highlight for me was when I sang CHARCOAL SKY & said “God bless America & that charcoal sky” – one of the prisoners, ERGON said rather defiantly.. “MY COUNTRY TOO!!”. So the next time I sang that chorus I changed the lyrics to “your country (ALBANIA) too!!)
BIG HELLO TO:
Great to see you ERGON.. thanks for the lyric change! Hi to Afrim, Galchan, Mattias, Selman, another Methias (note the different spelling).. & Tommy & all the rest.. I’ll see some of you next year! All the best.
SHOW # 3 – PAVILION C
This was a challenging group. But I loved every minute. Again, I performed standing up & moving around within the group.
One of the things I remember is as follows: As I told my story .. “for many years I was a professional gambler”, it sounded to one prisoner .. was it Majdi?? .. that I said, “professional GANG MEMBER” .I replied, ” no that was YOU.. I was the GAMBLER”!” – These boys had a very good sense of humor.
Another memory – when I sang HOLY SHIT & said “THE DEVILS IN THE CORNER OF THAT SMOKY SUBWAY ROOM”, everybody laughed & pointed to the prisoner IN THE CORNER of the room.. just good hearted fun.. a wonderful spirit was in this room today.
Again.. DANCE WITH A HOLE TOTALLY CONNECTED. When I say connected, I mean all the prisoners got a serious message from the song – and the pulsing, simple rhythm of it helped bring the message further home. This was serious stuff. And after the fun of many other songs, the feeling & mood of NORRTAJA PRISON was totally reverent & serious. For me, this is as important as my music can be. Thanks for that boys.
Hi to ZAHER, MAJDI, BENON.. (I liked watching your foot tap.. it let me know I was in the right direction).. Hi to ascot-wearing “movie star”-like, Johnson. It was good to see you my friend.
Hi to Nolag, Zaher, Burba, Zegko, Rade (ACO), Munim, (FROM IRAQ).. thanks for your advice & tolerance .. I’ll tell George (Bush) when I see him!)… Hi TO MY POLISH FRIENDS MICHAL, MARIUSZ, & KRYTIAN.. made me think of my friend, film director & humanist, KRYSZTOV ZANUSSI (from Poland).. a good thing!
Hi Stanley & Valeri, Seho & Abdalla Shakib.. & NO NAME!! – from Azerbaijan – I’ll tell Angelina you sent your love!
SEE YOU SOON, BOYS – I LOVED PLAYING FOR ALL OF YOU TODAY!!!
Apr 24, 2010 – VENUE – THE SKEBO PUB.. IN SKEBO –
THIS IS THE VENUE THAT ALL SINGER/SONGWRITERS DREAM OF PLAYING.
We’ve heard about this amazing venue for years. Back in the early Chip Taylor, Carrie Rodriguez days, two volunteer representatives of this place – ROLF & LEIF – came to a theater show we were doing in Stockholm, They invited us to perform here back then.., I FINALLY MADE IT!!!!
The community runs & owns this amazing place. It’s a nonprofit organization run by amazing volunteers.
THE COMMUNITY THAT HOUSES THIS MUSIC VENUE SPRUNG UP 100 years ago – around a ore mining plant. That factory has long since disappeared.. But the amazing art community flourishes.
The SKEBO MANOR HOUSE, built in 1770, like a large estate house. This houses a world-class restaurant which features organically homegrown produce & game gathered from their own hunting grounds. It sits at the back part of a circular stone driveway, which has two carriage house sleeping quarters on either side.
BY THE WAY – My old friend Bjorn Petterson, bassist in the now-famous in these parts – Willy Clay band – flew in for this show .. GREAT TO SEE YOU MY FRIEND!
ALSO.. MY GREAT FRIEND HAKAN OLLSON & WIFE MONICA made the long trip from Malmo to visit & support us. It’s always special when we get together – this is no exception!
REHEARSAL OR AMAZING DINNER
Bjorn had just arrived – we had a choice – rehearse or eat an amazing meal. We chose the latter.
DINNER AT THE “CASTLE”
At 6:30, we ate an AMAZING delicious 5 course meal – each course described in detail by a wonderful hostess. Then Bjorn, Orjan & I. rehearsed for a few minutes. We were on stage at 9:00 PM.
SHOW TIME 9:00 PM
The venue was sold out. What a wonderful welcoming audience! After an intro from our wonderful host, Rolf, we began.
This was a show I won’t forget. With only a 5 minute rehearsal before show time – only to brush up on the opening two songs – this entire show took on a unique character – one of a, “we’ll figure this out as we go” attitude… & we won’t worry about it.”
And that’s what brought the magic. It’s what happens when musicians first learn a song. The magic often happens with innocence of the unknown revealing itself. Bjorn & Orjan & I were totally in that zone tonight!
From DANCE WITH A HOLE IN YOUR SHOE through the journey of YONKERS NY – & into requests for long forgotten (or so I thought) songs such as SAME OLD STORY & WE COME UP SHINING – to the final curtain call of my tribute to the prisoners, NORRTALJA PRISON – this was as soulful a show as I’ve ever been involved with.
And this great audience was part of the magic from the beginning. They understood the situation with the lack of rehearsal time. And I could feel that they felt the heroics of Orjan & Bjorn as they forged into unknown territory. It’s so special when an audience gets that!
WHAT A NIGHT! It doesn’t get better!!
First, hi & thanks to volunteers Rolf, Leif (at the bar) & John. And yes, we’ll come back – the sooner the better.
Hi Anna.. thanks so much for the kind words. See you at the ACCURATE on September 19th. Hi to mom Marie & friend ULLA..from Greenwich Connecticut (in the 80’s) .. hi to Anders.. so nice to talk to you.. Hi Leif & Maria.. good to see you again!!
Special hi to Anders .. my friend in charge at Norrtalja prison.. & lovely wife, Britt-Marie.. So great to see you both tonight!! Big thanks for the longtime support. Hi to Bengt .. who brews the amazing local beer in the downstairs area.. And big hello to our new friend & music critic, Magnus, who requested WE COME UP SHINING.- that was special tonight.
NOTE: Magnus would write a glowing & magical article in the following days newspaper – BIG THANKS MAGNUS!!
BIG THANKS TO ORJAN & BJORN – WITH NO REHEARSAL ON SEVERAL NEW ONES.. THEY TOTALLY CAME TO THE TABLE!!
Got a chance to relax with Hakan, Monica, friend Per & others before calling it a night. Can’t wait to come back here!
Apr 25, 2010 – OBE PRISON
This is NOT a maximum-security prison. It’s more like a camp with fences around it. The prisoners here are either in for lesser crimes (a lot of drug trafficking & drug using) or have been shifted here at the tail end of time served for more serious crimes.
We played here last year. There’s not one prisoner from that group still here. They’ve all been let out.
Just before we played I said hi to a couple of prisoners, Peter & Jocke, with less than two months left to serve.
Again, we played busking style – with no mikes.. though Bjorn did amp his bass for a bit of presence.
This was nice group to play for – highlights were about the same as at Norrtalja.. let’s go with DANCE WITH A HOLE IN YOUR SHIE, BIG RIVER, HOLY SHIT, ANGEL OF THE MORNING & WILD THING..
I’ve misplaced my notes here.. But I remember a few names:
Robin.. all the best in rehab.. & hope you make that hockey team. AND JONAS .. special thoughts of you, wife Jennie & son (almost 2 / Linus). I wish you the best, Jonas, with being a chef or whatever – SEE YOU ON SEPT 19th AT THE ACCURATE IN STOCKHOLM.- DON’T FORGET!! And Jocke & Peter.. nice talking to you guys. Hope to see you on the outside!
Apr 25 – KENDEL ARRIVES!!
After the Obe show, Bjorn, Orjon & I drove to Stockholm airport & picked up a tired Kendel Carson. Kendel & I were driven straight to the ATELLET HOTEL, NORRTALJA – again – what a wonderful place to come to when you’ve had a tough travel day. Kendel was so appreciative of that. We arrived at 7:30 big thanks to Lisa for fixing us up a late dinner at around 9:00.
It was good to relax a few hours later with Lisa & Amanda (hotel staff) & Ryan (from Australia) before calling it a night.
Apr 26, 2010 – OSTERAKER MAXIMUM-SECURITY PRISON
It was less than an hours drive from Norrtalja to this prison. We arrived at about 9:00 AM. Eva & Katrin were our kind & warm hosts – AND STRONG! Each helped us load our sound system. BIG THANKS.. SO GLAD YOU WERE THERE TO GUIDE US THROUGH THIS SPECIAL DAY!
Johnny Cash recorded a live album here some years back, playing from this same stage. I feel so honored to share that memory & that stage with the folks here.
The thing that separates this prison from others is that the inmates do ongoing therapy – 12 Step OR a thing called Cognitive Therapy. Each inmate chooses which he’d rather do. The latter is, from what I gather, sort of identifying your weaknesses & meeting them head on & fixing them for the future – NOT – AS 12 STEP DOES – “confessing” your past sins.
Eva & Katrin suggest that a combination might work better, but they say all these inmates tend not to come back again as the ones housed in “no therapy” institutions.
I LOVED THESE SHOWS TODAY!! I allowed a good 15 minutes to talk to the prisoners & totally enjoyed that. And Bjorn & Orjan were just great… & the inmates showed a lot of appreciation for their efforts
We played THE REAL THING, DANCE WITH A HOLE IN YOUR SHOE, HEY JONNY, BIG RIVER, CHARCOAL SKY, BIG RIVER, ANGEL OF THE MORNING, WILD THING & NORRTALJA PRISON.. which the prisoners to a man revere.
The audience response to DANCE continued to be amazing.. definitely a favorite.. & at every show the prisoners sang along with WILD THING There was amazing camaraderie between us & prisoners today – and the song, NORRTALJA PRISON, sealed that deal at every show.
AID HI TO MANY INCLUDING:
AT A CELL BLOCK CALLED “THE PAVILION”
Hi to: Peter, hash dealer, Jonas.. hi to son Carl (Calle), Jonas .. it doesn’t seem fair to me.. best of luck.. Hi Gary .. 3 to go .. see you soon.. Hi Amir (the welder) . I’ll see you on the outside!! .. Hi Hisham.. keep up the good work .. hi SAMIR.. my Polish/Iraq friend .. great talking to you… Hi Magnus.. for the sake of NADIN.. you’ll make it I’m sure.. Hi Kim (armed Robbery).. sounds like you’re on the right path .. one more year – no turning back now!!
And all the others .. this was a great thing for me – loved talking to you all – best of luck!!
CELL BLOCKS H-1 & H-2
Hi to: Alphonse .. 6 to go .. you’ll make it my friend.. hi John.. 4 years .. see you soon!!.. Hi Henok Major .. 3 to go.. lookin’ good!! .. Hi Robertino.. hi Stephon .. 2 to go!! – good work.. Kristeffer .. 5 total? .. all the best.. hi Reine Bergsfron?.. only 3 to go .. keep it up!! .. hi Michael.. 9 to go .. you’ll do it .. see you next year!!.. Hi Vasco..
& Jojje.. great talking to you – I know it’s unfair.. great talking to you.. come to one of my shows when you get out & tap me on the shoulder.. I’ll look forward to that!!.. Hi Kristian.. 2 will fly by!! .. see you soon.. hi Jorgenlysr .. drugs I think .. not fair.. hi Viberg .. 3 to go.. keep it up.. Hi Peter, Lee, Karlsson, Niklas, Henhe, Andreas, Axelsson, Kamal .. all in 3 to 5 rage .. all the best .. I’ll look forward to seeing all you guys again!!
Cell Block H-3 & H-4
Hi boys.. Keneth – 2 to go – & Mats – 3 plus.. Geogen – 7 – & movie star Balla (from Gambia) – drug dealer .. great talking to you .. no reason for you to be here!! .. back to your economic studies!! .. Eva told me!! .. Hi Jamal.. bad deals here .. all the best.. thanks for the kind words re: the NORRTALJA PRISON SONG (“Stephon’s 11 years are for hashish NOT cocaine”).. I’ll be thinking about you.. Joachim.. nice talking to you
Hi to Alexander (helped girlfriend escape from prison.. got put away himself & they found girlfriend, Olivia .. now she’s back in as well.. OK, Alexander.. we’ll say hi to Olivia next week & send your love .. hi Ronnie.. another bad deal.. best of luck..
HAPPY BIRTHDAY FAFI!!!.. great sharing the day with you.. Hi Mattias.. thanks so much for the kind words .. hope you get a break..
Hi to another Stephon (Gullberg) .. hard to believe you’re a bank robber .. you look more like a professor.. I’ll try to get you that CD..
Bjorn said .. one of the guys said.. “this was so nice.. he took us to another time & another place for a while” .. thanks for that.
I’ll take you with me boys.. all the best!!
Special hi to guard Justine & ex-husband AKE. Hope to see you at a show soon, Ake .. thanks for the support over the years.
BEGINNING WITH THIS SHOW, THIS WAS AS MOVING A PERFORMANCE DAY AS I’VE EVER HAD.
Apr 27, 2010 – NORRTALJA
VENUE – THE TEATERN – GUEST APPEARANCE with Eilen Jewel & band (Jason/ drums – Jerry / guitar – Johnny / upright bass)
Our promoter, Bjorn, booked Eilen & her great band tonight & since we were in staying in town asked if we would stop by & do a guest appearance. We readily accepted.
We last played on the same stage with Eilen & the boys two years ago at the Americana Festival in Nashville. THEY ARE AWESOME!!!
It was just Orjan, Kendel & me tonight as Bjorn had to head back to Kiruna for a Willy Clay TV filming.
This was a wonderful group of folks to play for and friend John from local great band, SIXPACK HOLLIDAY, got us some good sound to work with.
It was good to hear Kendel performing again. She was awesome tonight. Highlights of our mini-set were many .. but lets go with Kendel’s OH BABY LIE DOWN.. which set a good tone for the rest of the show. CHARCOAL SKY was chilling tonight.. BIG RIVER & WILD THING totally rocked.. & again .. the chilling show stopper was the song for the prisoners, “NORRTALJA PRISON” .. this was magic.. I heard later people were openly crying.. I was on the verge myself.
THE EILEN JEWEL SHOW
Eilen was a bit ill .. maybe severe jet-lag, but YOU NEVER WOULD HAVE KNOWN IT. SHE AND THE BOYS WERE AWESOME TONIGHT.. so glad we all could be together again.
Big thanks to my Atellet Hotel staff friends who stopped by – AMANDA, LISA (& BJORN) & CAROLINA.. I love you guys.. thanks so much for the support .. (& THE BEAUTIFUL FLOWERS!!! .. that was so touching!!)..
Hi to Leif .. good to see you again!! .. big hello to Marie!! .. hi SVEN.. thanks for coming by.. what a nice surprise!..
Hi to Peter & lovely Nathalie at the end.. hope you enjoy the CDs.. I’ll look forward to seeing you next time .. & HEARING ABOUT YOUR WEDDING!! .. right Nathalie!!! .. stay in touch through TRAINWRECKRECORDS.COM
Said hi to several others but misplaced notes with names.. big thanks to Christina, Hakan & the great staff!! .. hope to see you next year!!
APRIL 28 – CHECKING OUT OF ATELLET HOTEL, NORRTALJA
Big thanks to all here .. Sanna, Amanda, Lisa, Andrea & Andrea, Karin & all the rest .. this was like a vacation for me thanks to all of you!! …hope to see you next year
Apr 28, 2010 – ARRIVING IN KIRUNA
Kiruna is Willy Clay territory. All the boys in the band are from here so I’ve heard about this mining town for years now. Most folks that live here have something to do with mining ore from the adjacent mountain. The tunnel for the excavation has traveled clear under the town & the word is that for safety reasons, the town will soon have to be moved. For a few months in the winter there is NO sunlight. In my brain I’ve imagined this as a tough town – a dark & dingy one – one you didn’t want to set foot in.
As our plane lowered for landing & I looked down at the terrain I realized my mind had played tricks on me. This, in fact, was beautiful territory. It reminded me of northern New York state – not even so far up – maybe the Catskill region. When I exited the plane I took a deep breath of the cool mountain air. Although it was close to freezing (yes it is cold up here), the sun felt warm & I felt warm enough in my blue jean shirt.
Big thanks to Yvonne (Orjon’s wonderful girl friend) for picking us up – driving us to our extremely comfortable & MODERN Scandic hotel to check in – & then having us to her home for a GREAT meal!!! What a blessing!!
SOUNDCHECK AT THE VENUE
Within walking distance of the place, this cool little modern pub-restaurant has warm, welcoming vibe. This is the first music venue for this place. Bjorn Petterson – bass player from Willy Clay – has booked this show for owner Arthur, who is hoping to do a series of these type shows in the future.
Bjorn would play bass for us tonight – as well as be our sound engineer & host. When Kendel, Orjan & I arrived Bjorn had the equipment ready for sound check. But more important .. lovely SARAH was there with the great little boy, OLOF.. the cutest guy in the universe!!! GREAT TO SEE YOU SARAH!!
We practiced a few Kendel songs & then headed back to the hotel for to relax before show time.
JUST BEFORE WE WENT BACK TO THE HOTEL, MULTI- TALENTED LEAD SINGER FROM THE WILLY CLAY BAND, TONY, STOPPED BY TO SAY HELLO
GREAT TO SEE YOU TONY!!! Congratulations on all your success .. you all deserve it!! THE WORLD NEEDS WILLY CLAY!!
The show is sold out. Ten tables holding about six people each line up in two rows to the back, where it’s standing room only at the bar.
This was magic from the start. Although the audience gave shy response to the performance at first, we could tell from the look on the faces that we were connecting big time. By the start of the second set, the responses were looser & far more vocal. There was an amazing camaraderie with the audience & the performers tonight. We were in it together – AND MAGIC HAPPENED IN KIRUNA TONIGHT!!
There were far too many highlights to mention. Kendel was awesome & much appreciated. Her TEN LOST MEN, SEVEN SHADOWS ON YOUR GOLDEN ROSES & OH BABY LIE DOWN all killed. BASTARD BROTHERS, SAW MILL RIVER ROAD with the BIG RIVER tribute, DANCE WITH JESUS & HEY JONNY all had a special connection.
But the ones that left me with chills were DANCE WITH A HOLE IN YOUR SHOE, I NEED SOME HELP WITH THAT, NORRTALJA PRISON & a requested THE SHIP – these were so special tonight – in big part due to the soulful performances by Otjon, Bjorn & Kendel –
I LOVED THIS NIGHT – Big thanks to all who were part of it.
AFTER THE SHOW
Special thanks to owners Arthur & Louise (at the bar) – loved being here – thanks for the kind words, Louise.. that meant a lot to me. Arthur, well done my friend – all the best with future shows!
Hi Arne.. thanks for the invite to the ICE HOTEL & the kind words – see you & Cecilia in the AM .. THANKS FOR THE NICE WORDS CECILIA.. & for recovering from your operation quick enough to attend tonight! See you in the morning.
REINE .. SO GREAT TO SEE YOU & LOVELY SANDRA.. loved talking to you.. that was special for me. Hi Anton. (brother of great Willy Clay lead singer/ songwriter Tony.. so good talking to you & friends .. hi Mattias (hope friend Janne enjoys the CD) & Erik .. Harry .. hi Tobias.. & Tommy & Ann Christina .. so good talking to you!!
Hi Kent .. (dogsledder & big WILLY CLAY supporter) .. great talking to you… Hi Jonas (cousin of Willy Clay drummer Freddy – Freddy .. thanks SO much for being here tonight
Hi Joakim .. glad you were out of the ground tonight. Stay safe my friend – I loved talking to you. AND BIG, BIG HI TO BJORN’S MOM MARI & FOREVER FRIEND / OLD BOYFRIEND, Janne .. hope brother Roland enjoys the CD as well .. good talking to you…
Hi Sarah.. THANKS SOOO MUCH FOR BEING THERE.. Bjorn gave me your message .. thanks for that!! AND BIG HI & LOVE TO YVONNE.. great meeting Tim .. hi to him.. & hi to Robbin.. hope to see him next time!! By the way.. you’re man was AWESOME .. & so soulful tonight!!!!!!
Apr 29, 2010 – THE ICEHOTEL – Jukkasarvi, Sweden (near Kiruna)
We met Arne at the show at our show at Arthur & Louise’ TRADGARN last night. Arne is an artist / entrepreneur – one of the founders of this now world famous place – which happens to be only 15 minutes drive from our Scandic hotel
Arne & his lovely artist wife, Cecilia offered to pick up Kendel & me at the hotel this morning & give us a quick tour of this trendy hotel made of ice (The ICEHOTEL) before taking us to the airport.
First stop – their lovely little cabin on the Torne River opposite the hotel grounds. What an amazing little getaway place – precious & perfect ,, with a working old 78 player sitting next to us & old time music as our background. After good, informative conversation – i.e.: The Sami Indians (Laps) from 100 plus years ago.. the English smarts that helped get the ore from the Kiuna mountains.. the neutral position Sweden took in WW II .. the Germans securing access to the Norwegian port & getting their hands on the ore from Kiruna .. etc.. etc… & very good coffee, we wound around to the other side of the river to visit THE ICEHOTEL.
AMAZING – a 40 room hotel / with bar & church & lobby .. all made from the river’s ice .. all designed by the greatest designers on the planet – all for rich/elite guests to spend ONE NIGHT IN A FREEZING ROOM!! Who would have guessed this would fly!! – But fly it does!!! BIG TIME … The art IS truly amazing .. as is the JAMES BOND-LIKE ice cutting room where blocks of the river are cut by monster machines to form the fabric of each room.. We overlooked this from our walk way above.. like Bond’s GOLDFINGER .. strange / crazy stuff ..
Oh yes.. the guests can retreat to warm cabins for a longer stay .. which most opt to do.
Huge thanks to our new friends, ARNE & CECELIA for this amazing adventure!
Words to a recent song came to mind:
“Nothing – nothing – it comes & goes
And you’re left with nothing – nothing I suppose”
>Apr 29, 2010 – ARRIVING IN MALMO
Old friend & mgr/distrib for us in these parts, Hakan Olsson, picked Kendel & me up at Copenhagen airport & drove us to our Malmo hotel – this time the cool, elite/ with old fashioned flair – SAVOY HOTEL – with great, great restaurant & world-class single-malt bar attached.
Kendel is still jet-lagged & opted to call it a night. Hakan & I wound down at the bar with his wonderful wife (& my great friend as well) Monica. After two hours worth of good food, whiskey & conversation, I called it a night as well.
Apr 30, 2010– VENUE – MALMO KONSERTHUS – GUEST PERFORMANCE with JILL JOHNSON
Jill is an amazing vocalist – in the tradition of Anne Murray & Dusty Springfield & Evie Sands – a one-of-a-kind. She is at the forefront of the soulful Swedish country music scene, and a few years ago went to the top of the charts here with an amazing version of ANGEL OF THE MORNING. Last year she joined me performing that at my show in Goetenberg .. now she’s invited me to join her here.
It was great to see Jill again – along with now friend Lotta (Jill’s amazing background singer). When we arrived at 4:30, we were greeted by Johan – Jill’s tour mgr (& great guy) & within minutes we were sound checking. Jill invited Kendel to join in playing fiddle on Angel Of The Morning. The idea was – that after performing that with Jill & her awesome band – led by guitarist, Goaran – Kendel & I would perform a song by ourselves. We chose Charcoal Sky.
As we rehearsed Charcoal Sky I invited the band to join in if they saw fit. During the first rehearsal of the song they joined in & were amazing!! By the time we finished the second run through we were totally locked – what a blessing!!
Jill put on a charming warm, magical show – lots of good hearted fun ( it was in Swedish & I’m not sure what she was saying that brought the laughter) – & lots of great performances by Jill & her amazing band.
THE DUET & CHARCOAL SKY
Jill graciously introduced me & after a few kind words back & forth, we performed a chilling duet of ANGEL OF THE MORNING, which the audience seemed to love. Kendel joined in on fiddle with the other strings beautifully.
Then it was a journey back to a Monday with my mom & dad & my brothers on Charcoal Sky .. & Kendel & the band killed – & I got lots of chills again.
AFTER THE SHOW:
Said hi to many, including:
Hi Anke & Klaus & Bjorn (bought CD for Mimi .. hope she enjoys it!!). & Kimmo, Kterina & DAVID (who would surprise me & Hakan & family with some good English stout back at the hotel bar later – BIG THANKS MY FRIEND!!!)
Hi Johan & Marie .. & big hi to Sven.. a fan from way back who has all my old vinyl albums & latest CDs (including all C&C duets. Hi Mats & Tamara.. & Glenn & Frederik – & Johan, Paul
BIG HI TO MY NEW FRIEND GABBIE & HER FRIEND, Karina (“Korina, Korina.. where you been so long”).. loved having fun with you guys!!! .Hi Pemilla & Jonny – a huge Johnny Cash fan – thanks for the kind comparison .., he’s my hero as well .. Big hi to Elinor & John (BOCIJ) .. good talking to you all … & hi Denice .. hope to see you all next time!
AFTER THE SHOW – THE SAVOY BAR
Wonderful to wind down with Hakan Olsson & wife Monica & MY GREAT FRIEND – THEIR DAUGHTER ELIN.. she is absolutely a one-of-a-kind!!!! (Elin is now back in Malmo, working at the concert hall where we just played) We all shared a lot of good laughs & warm talk together. It is SO special to be together!
SURPRISING BACKGROUND MUSIC!!!
For an hour or so, it was Chip Taylor & Carrie Rodriguez night at the Savoy .. as our duets constantly were streaming out of the sound system. I had no idea why. I found out later that the unassuming bartender that had been waiting on us these past nights, Daniel, was a fan of my music, including all the C&C duets – a fan of the WILLY CLAY BAND loved their honest – guy next door approach & heartfelt music – & a fan of Hakan Olsson’s amazing ROOTS.NU web site. GO THERE – YOU’LL FIND OUT WHY!!!!
Thanks for the beers, David!! And Big thanks Daniel – you made my night!!!
May 1, 2010 – HEADING FOR GOTEBERG (another “guest” with Jill Johnson)
Friend Hakan Ollson picks us up at 11:00 – With good conversation, the time flies by – arrive at the hotel by 2:00 – sound check at 4:30 & after a quick meal at a local pub, we’re ready for our “guest” show at 7:00.
BEFORE THE SHOW
Again Jill is so cordial before the show with us (& during the show with the audience the band).. Great to meet Jill’s kind-eyed husband, Hakan (what a nice guy) who spent much of the night holding & dance-walking their new sweet/ delicious three month old (as of yesterday) baby girl, Bonnie.
Jill warmly introduces Kendel & me – then Jill & I talk a bit before beginning our duet of ANGEL OF THE MORNING. I begin the verse & it is total chill time when Jill enters with:
‘I see no need to take me home
I’m old enough to face the dawn”
The chills continue as our voices hit the chorus. Again, in the tradition of Dust, Evie Sands, Anne Murray & the like – .. Jill Johnson is one of THE great SOUL/ pop voices of our time. And with this awesome band plus Kendel & the string section – this version of “Angel..” is amazing!
After ANGEL, Kendel & I begin CHARCOAL SKY – my journey back to a Yonkers New York train station – on a Monday – with my brothers & mom & dad. By the second verse the band joined in & tonight – Lotta (one of the greatest soul-background singers I ever heard – joined in singing the chorus & band leader / ace-guitarist Goran split the solo with Kendel & was amazing!! What a train ride it was! And this audience seemed to love the journey!!
Big thanks to Jill, Lotta & the boys!!
AFTER THE SHOW
Said hi to several, including:
Frederik, Mona, SIV (hope the close up picture turned out OK! .. hi to Emil & Loec from France.. & Josefin & Susan.. & Mikael.. & Roland.. & Belinda
JILL JOHNSON/ CHIP TAYLOR duet!!!!! – COMING SOON!!!!
Jill & I have decided to record a new song of mine, FOREVER’S GOING UNDERGROUND. If all goes well, we will release it on Chip Taylor “BEST OF” scheduled for released by Hakanm Ollson’s ROOTSY label in Sweden in September. It will also be available on a Jill Johnson compilation.
THANKS JILL.. SO GREAT TO SEE YOU AGAIN!!!! YOU ARE AMAZING!!
May 1 – AFTER THE SHOW
BOX WHISKEY FRIENDS
After the show it was great to see my friend Peter from BOX WHISKEY – located in the Box region, about two hours north of Stockholm – nestled on a river only a few miles inland from Sweden’s east coast.
We talked for a while in the dressing room – then headed for our cool little boutique hotel to continue our discussions. The hope is that BOX WHISKEY & Chip Taylor can partner up for some special events.
Peter is here with cohort & BOX board member, Anders. Under the tutelage of John McDougall (head distiller of Laphroig & Springbank), Anders has been mastering the craft of distilling. That expertise, coupled with the selection of Barley (smoke dried, clean air dried – or otherwise moisture reduced) will go a long way in determining the characteristic of BOX whiskey – stay tuned!! But, whatever the characteristic – one thing for sure – this will be amazing stuff!
For the time being BOX imports choice selections – mostly suggests from John MacDugal) – THESE ARE AWESOME SELECTIONS !!! Their homegrown BOX stuff will be flowing in a few years!!
BOX TASTINGS / plus CHIP TAYLOR “LIVE”
Again, the purpose of our meeting tonight was to organize Chip Taylor / BOX WHISKEY events.. hosted by legendary head-distiller, John McDougall.
By evening’s end, Hakan Olsson, Anders, Peter & I have agreed we will team up for several shows/ tasting beginning the end of September. These get-togethers will be held in exclusive manor-house hotel like places.
BOX WHISKEY plus CHIP TAYLOR, JOHN MCDOUGALL & friends! JOIN US IF YOU CAN – THIS WILL BE SPECIAL!
Check the website for further info!
May 1 – NIGHT – A BAD COLD IS COMING
I’ve been fighting off a cold – swollen glands / fever etc., for a few days now. Contac, vitamin C & a sleeping pill help me get through the night. I’m not too bad in the AM – but it’s lurking.
May 2, 2010 – HEADING FOR OREBRO
After breakfast, Hakan escorts Kendel & me to the train station. It’s a very pleasant two-hour ride to Orebro, where Orjan – fresh from his heroic performance with the WILLY CLAY band at a festival in Bergen, Norway – is waiting.
We check into our new “home for three days” – The Clarion – a very comfortable place to call home! BIG THANKS TO CARIN for taking the tome to get me a fan & hook up my Internet.
BEFORE SOUND CHECK
Just before leaving for the venue for sound check, in our lobby, Kendel & I meet Orjan’s sister, Kerstin, brother-in-law Mats & our kind host / producer of this show , Anders. I’ve seen Anders several times over the last few years. He had booked an earlier show (last Wednesday) but due to the volcanic ash problem, it was canceled. He put this show together at the last minute.
THE VENUE – SOUND CHECK
We walked down friendly town streets & arrived at our venue – the SKANDIC GRAND HOTEL at about 5:30. After a brief sound check with Anders modest but solid system, we had a good dinner there & were ready for the show.
THIS WAS A MAGIC NIGHT!!!! I’m never quite sure if folks will “get” the stories or if we should just play the songs. It was clear early on that this audience loved the whole picture – stories included. So this became “the best of Chip Taylor, Kendel Carson & Orjan Maki” – as intimate as you can get.
We played for about 50 minutes .. took a 15 minute break & then played for the better part of two hours.. & the time just flew by.
Aside from several great highlights from Kendel’s two albums (OH BABY LIE DOWN, RIBBONS & BOW, SEVEN SHADOWS & I LIKE TRUCKS, , this was a YONKERS NEW YORK night – all the stories & songs from that album – BASTARD BROTHERS, HEY JONNY, WITHOUT HORSES & CHARCOAL SKY totally connected with story & song.
And another special thing about this night’s performance was that new stories arose from old ones. I thought & shared things I had never talked about before (including the BOX WHISKEY / HEART OPERATION story. And all of us were totally lost in this sort of off-the-cuff thing together & THAT WAS MAGIC FOR ME – REAL MAGIC.
After a rockin’ WILD THING, we ended with a wonderful/ reverent sing-a-long version of HOLY SHIT .. & closed with my tribute to the prisoners, NORRTAJA PRISON. Thanks to all who were here for bringing out the honest-best in all of us!
SAID HI TO SEVERAL AFTER THE SHOW
Note” lost my notes .. so a few from memory:
Hi Peder & Elita?? .. so good to see you both.. Hi Sten & Hoken.. & music-lover Leif & lovely daughter, Evelyn.. hope to see you next time – don’t forget .. best with your studies.. Hi MARIA (“Mary, Mary”) Great to see you at the side of the bar.. best with your music.. hi Frederik & Anna??? – what was the second part of that.. it was so great to see you later.. thanks so much for the kind words!!.. Hi Kerstin (another one) .. Hi Goran!! .. nice talking to you
Hi Lena .. good to see you .. Hi Stigbjorn – nice talking to you.. Hi Hakan.. great to talk to you as well .. Hi Krisin & Erik & Lennart.. thanks for the kind words
Kersten & Mat .. so glad you made the trip .. it was so special spending time with you!!
ANDRES – THANKS SO MUCH FOR YOUR EFFORTS – LOVED PLAYING HERE = BIG THANKS LILLIS – MUCH LOVE
And to all the others .. this was special.. I’ll look forward to next time
God Bless/ chip
May 2, 2010 – HINSBERG PRISON (WOMEN’S PRISON)
– in Frovi, Sweden (close to Orebro)
There are about 350 women prisoners in Sweden – as compared to 6,000 plus men prisoners. The prison we are going to houses most of Sweden’s women prisoners – about 200. It’s a maximum security facility. The crimes they are sentenced for varies – lots of drug stuff – stealing – battery, murder, etc.
A great guy named Hakan is in charge of social activities for the prisons in this area. He meets Orjan & me at 3:00 PM at our Orebro hotel. Hakan has a strong tie to the prisoners and is a wonderful force in bringing a better look at their plight. He is their voice so to speak.
As a side, the singer/ songwriter in Hakan, is recording songs written by the prisoners & will perform them at various functions.
We travel about one hour to the prison. AGAIN, THIS IS MAXIMUM SECURITY – BUT YOU COULD FOOL ME. This “camp” sits on a hill in a pretty countryside area. On top of the hill is a beautiful manor house the holds staff & some prisoners. Spread out below are three or four dormitory-like buildings, immaculate in their appearance.
After going through a solid security check I am greeted by the head master of the prison, Britt Marie, a kindly looking middle aged woman who thanks me profusely for taking the time to come here.
We find our way to the back to a small theater-like room. This is the best performing area by far that we’ve encountered on this prison tour. The room is in a clean, new building & is equipped with a good sound system & rolling new theater chairs. It’s set up for about 20 people.
Orjan & I are performing as a duo today as we did earlier in the tour. It’s a minimalist sound set up (we’re using ours, not theirs) but that’s fine for today as this is more a “living room” atmosphere.
This was a great bunch of ladies to play for. They seemed shy at first – so was I. But together we slowly connected to the songs & the stories. They seemed to love “Bastard Brothers” & rocked & smiled to “Hey Jonny”. There was lots of singing on ANGEL OF THE MORNING & WILD THING made them smile/ We closed with NORRTALJA PRISON .. & I witnessed lots of tears & felt close in spirit to these ladies.
Talked to several including:
Hi Susie – see you at the ACCURATE in September!! Look forward to that …. Hi Nina.. good luck in rehab .. . best of luck with your boys.. Hi Annette .. good luck when you get out on Oct 27.. it’s around the corner.. Hi Ing Marie – nice talking to you.. Hi Ruth .. & hi to the kind woman on the right side (almost in the center) .. grey sweater.. was hoping to say hi to you .. I liked seeing you smile from the stage.
There were a few more ladies here for this show – a few cliques of two or three friends who seemed to have a nice bond.. a fun group for the most part – but there’s always a serious/sad side as well. But LOTS of hope here.
We made a connection quick here. I honestly thought I’d have trouble with Aisha (a pretty young black 19 year old) & her friends.. But they were soon swaying back & forth to the music. Most were smiling at BASTARD BROTHERS & rockin to the rhythm of BIG RIVER. Most all sang on ANGEL OF THE MORNING & LAUGHED & SANG ON WILD THING. Again, I closed with the solemn NORRTALJA PRISON.& once again I was touched by the feeling in the room.
I LOVED THIS!!
Hi Florence .. like Marcus .. sold “phony” apartments .. serving 6 months & smiling .. 800,000 crowns waiting. Ouch!! EASY MONEY IS NEVER GOOD MONEY .. .. take care Florence .. stay straight.. hi to Ceila.. visited dad 5 days.. got 5 years!! .. (DRUGS).. Ciela says ..”good thing I didn’t visit him 10 days!!”.. these guys have a good sense of humor
Hi Nantale .. got 5 years (drugs) .. only a bit to go.. sorry about your baby .. God Bless Nantale.. Hi Sazan.. hope you can work out being with your child.. stay safe.. HI ROSITA!! – I think .. the pretty Jamaican girl – GREAT TALKING TO YOU .. YOU WERE GREAT TO PLAY FOR!
Hi Theresa .. less than 2 .. good luck!! Stay safe.. Hi MAUVA.. only 2 months to go.. good luck .. stay clear of Rosita!! .. Hi Patricia.. 7 big ones .. only one plus to go .. you know what you have to do .. do it!! .. you know the consequences.. like a guard told me ..It’s better with open windows!! ..
Special hello to the older woman in the back right who seemed troubled .. but sang to ANGEL OF THE MORNING.. then relaxed & smiled to the MARCUS story (sold apartments he didn’t own).. God Bless .. wish I could have said hello
GREAT TO SEE ALL OF YOU!! YOU’RE A SPECIAL BUNCH .. GOD BLESS
Thanks big time to the kind staff – it was wonderful to see you guys/ladies there in camaraderie with the prisoners .. enjoying the show.
TRIBUTE TO ORJAN – just wanted to call special attention to Orjan’s playing today. He is a very soulful player & simplicity is his virtue. With one note he can touch the sadness in you to make you cry. He was magic today. The prisoners loved listening to him (me too!) & they let him know it.
BIG THANKS MY FRIEND!!
May 4, 2010 – A HOLDING PRISON IN OREBRO – (HACTET OREBRO)
Prisoners here are either sentenced & waiting to be shipped out to a certain prison or waiting to be sentenced by the court OR waiting while their sentence is appealed.
The building is sort of a modern looking large office-like structure in a corner of town. But once inside there is no mistaking this for anything else – it IS a prison.
We arrived at 1:00 and with less security fanfare & were escorted past a hallway with cells on either side. No mistaking these for hotel rooms, the doors are solid & heavy & lock & open only from the outside. I was allowed to inspect one – not bad – toilet & TV in each .. but, of course – no open windows.
We played three shows in a living room area for 5 or 6 prisoners at a time. THE REAL THING seemed to always get things started in a good connecting way. DANCE WITH A HOLE IN YOUR SHOE also connected in a special way & somehow all the prisoners smiled big time with Bastard Brothers. ANGEL OF THE MORNING is quite well known in Sweden .. all were way into that .. as well as WILD THING .. & NORRTALJA PRISON connected as it always does
But the big thing was the one on one & I left plenty of time for that. Orjan was there to translate for me .. With many, I needed that.
REBER .. who gave me some lyrics for a new song .. “easy to hate .. hard to love” .. I love that!! Thanks my friend.. three years total.. drug related stuff.. but not much time to go.. best of luck!! .. Hi NENET .. from SERBIA.. I liked this guy.. he was caught stealing .. says they got the wrong guy .. he was an innocent driver?? will be deported when released in a few months.. says he doesn’t deserve to be guarded or watched .. he laughs a sarcastic laugh when he points at the guards. They laugh back..
Hi Daniel .. 6 months .. drug related .. GERRY .. oh my goodness!! This is a nice guy to talk to.. been in jail 22 times .. since he was 17 .. now 50.. convicted this time of stealing (cars.. joy rides.. not selling) & ASSAULT while drunk .. he says his friend did it but the bad guy his friend hit, in a drunken stupor, pointed the finger at him. Gerry probably do two years .. being sentenced in a few days.. but he now has something to live for .. a girl with a drug problem.. THE PLAN is to get out & into rehab with her.. oh Jesus.. good luck Gerry.. I pray you do that!
Christian is a GRAFFITI guy.. got drunk .. did it overtly & got caught ..serving 4 months ..says the art doesn’t work unless it’s illegal!!! When he gets out he’ll do it again.. continuing with government sponsored art schools for another six years.. then he’ll sell paintings .. he does that too!! .. but graffiti seems to be his passion
Hi to Mohammed .. from Iraq .. smuggled cigarettes .. again.. he says he was just a driver.. picked them up in Stockholm.. got stopped caught.. he took the blame.. he’s a good guy.. this seems wrong .. Hi Gunner .. another assault while drunk .. assaulted a friend who turned him in .. says he needs help
Note: LOTS OF DRINKING INDUCED CRIMES HERE – ALCOHOL SEEMS LIKE A BIG PROBLEM .. vodka, beer .. cheap whiskey.. anything
Hi to Patrik .. nice talking to you .. sorry you had to go.. I think it was AMPHETAMINES .. dealing & using .. & an unrelated.. assault .. ?? .. not sure about that.. you said AMPHETAMINES calmed you down.. ( I thought it did the opposite) .. I wondered how you’re able to survive your “habit” here .. you say .. in prison you get some sort of less potent substitute.. if you get a doctor to say you have an ADD problem.. which I guess he says you do… best of luck
Hi to Frederik.. out in 3 weeks .. good luck .. your boy needs you.. Hi Timmy .. assault / robbery / drinking.. grand larceny because an apartment was within the car garage structure .. hi Marcus.. 6 to 8 months for assault & drinking .. got off easy as it was second & third offenses .. best of luck
Note: lots of second timers & cries for help after release. There’s something good about all these folks.. it’s a hard spiral to stop .. but some have done it (like Johnny Cash ) & some will do it here.