Chip Taylor's Road Journal

Read Chip's words about life on the road, recording in the studio and much more...
Older Road Journal Entries are in the Archive

February 10, 2012 – TRONDHEIM 2112

MIRACLE AT THE AIRPORT

John Platania, Goran Grini & I were supposed to leave for Oslo from Stockholm at 10:30 AM – and from there to Trondheim on a 2:55 flight. HOWEVER, due to a storm delay we arrived in Oslo at 2:20. We needed to get our luggage, clear customs and check in. We were all convinced that was not remotely possible. But though some sort of miracle, some quick thinking on the part of Goran and a quick decision by a brave checker at the oversized baggage area – who took not only our instruments, but ALL our luggage, saving us a half hour wait for normal check in – and after a mad dash to the gate.. we made it – just as they were closing the gate!

ARRIVING IN TRONDHEIM

Great to see old friend Thor .. a great guy.. and one of the trio of owners of the amazing restaurant/ music venue, CREDO. Note: This five star restaurant is one of the best in the world. To give you an idea of how revered this place is, one of Thor’s partners, chef Heidi, now moonlights as the head chef for the king of Norway! But .. aside from that great stuff – the real draw for me is the connection I have to the people of this town and this venue/restaurant – and that starts with Thor. We’ve been special friends since I first came here, 10 or so years ago.

SOUND CHECK

Thor drives us straight to sound check to meet the great Ida Jenshus’ (who will guest tonight) and her bass player Andreas & drummer Stian, who have volunteered to play with us for our entire show!! Soundman Tommy has us ready in short order. We play a couple of songs together & Stian & Andreas sound great!! I am totally comfortable to just wing it from here.

HOTEL CHECK IN

We are staying at a hotel some 30 yards from the venue. It’s a cool and newly renovated place.. another blessing! We check in and immediately head back to CREDO for our six course meal, with champagne to start & a special wine to accompany each course. Old friend Marcus serves and explains each dish and wine selection. Huge thanks Marcus .. much appreciated!! .. nice young guy, “mini” Marcus, assists .. thanks as well.

HOW IDA & I MET

For those who don’t know, Ida Jenshus is a young, extremely talented new folk star in Norway. She & I met as the result of a few people – but mainly by the efforts of a great guy named Jens Storli, who was a music rep of the wonderful St. Olav’s Festival in Trondheim, with its’ emphasis on kindness and caring for all in the community – particularly those in need. I love the tone of this festival.. . It felt good to be a part of that.

Jens invited me to participate at the festival especially to perform with Ida – and that was a magic union.

Note: Last year, Just before the festival began, the horrible tragedy in Oslo happened. Ida & I met for the first time on that day and performed together for the first time at a church service for the victims of the killings in her home town of Steinkjer . These were the toughest of times for so many. I felt blessed to be there with those kind folks.

Just before our show tonight, Ida told me that Jens and a few others involved with the festival were in the audience. I was so glad to hear that.

THE SHOW

At Thor’s request we play one long set. As soon as we start it felt like I was playing for family here

I remember looking off to the right during our opening song, THE REAL THING and seeing Thor in the corner .. lost in the music. That was a good / inspiring feeling to open the show with.

From there the stories leading to the songs came easy.. and the show immediately took on a totally relaxed vibe .. and immediately Stian & Andreas sounded like they’d been playing with us for a while. They obviously had done a good deal of homework – thanks for being so ready, boys! And John & Goran were amazing as usual. A great “we’re in this together” vibe floated through this room for the entire show!

Highlights were far too many to mention .. but again, the stories were as much a part of the show as the music.. that seems to be how it’s evolved, particularly since my Yonkers New York album.. & tonight several stories & their accompanying songs felt especially good .. Dutchman Blues, ME & ROHILLIO, PASSPORT BLUES, HEY JOHNNY, CHARCOAL SKY, BIG RIVER and TOO DYNAMIC all seemed to connect on a warm/ very human level and the audience let us know it.

Then the show lifted to another level as Ida hit the stage & we sang three duets, COULD I LIVE WITH THIS, DON’T SPEAK IN ENGISH & ANGEL OF THE MORNING .. just so chilling & magic tonight!! .. ..thanks Ida ..what a tour!! I’ll miss you..

We followed with, I KNOW DARK .. my tribute to my Kiruna friends! And Ida was now part of the audience helping with the chorus..thanks for that Ida!.. then came another big favorite of this tour, the title song, FUCK ALL THE PERFECT PEOPLE. .. audiences .. including this one & the prisoners two days ago.. seem to love to sing this chorus .. with that “Fuck ‘em all” spirit! This was great tonight!

Then it was WILD THING .. which totally rocked .. with amazing solos by ALL the boys .. we encored with a chilling, HOLY SHIT .. and we all toasted each other.

Another special /magical night at Credo! .. again.. one I won’t forget.

HUGE THANKS TO ALL!!! .. LOVE BEING HERE!!

SAID HELLO TO SEVERAL, INCLUDING:

HI TO:

Great to see you Jens! I’ll never forget the special heart that brought Ida & I together. What a blessing. Hope to see you very soon. Big hello to May Helen .. hope to see her again! .. ‘till next time!!

Hi Ingrid .. so special to see you again .. you know that! .. thanks for asking for JOAN LIT THE CANDLE.. I love that you asked for that! .. I’ll try to remember it for next time! .. much love to you.

Hi Ole ,, great to see you again.. and good to talk to you .. thanks for the kind words and interesting stuff about the early days .. Hi Ketil .. hope Gitte enjoys the listen.. Hi Margit .. good to meet you .. Hi Ove .. thanks for the kind words.. Hi Stein!!! .. good to see you .. and huge hello to KAISA .. hope you enjoy the CD, Kaisa.. will you have the poster??

Hi Per .. & Eric .. thanks for your support with Ida in Sweden .. she was so great .. & thanks for allowing me to be part of that here! .. Hi Kaane .. so GREAT to meet you .. hope to see you again!! ..best with your work with Ida .. I’m sure it will be magic!

HI TORGEIR .. great to see you again!!! .. best with your record store .. sounds great.. hope to visit there next time.. Hi Lars .. my good hearted friend .. hope your trip is great!! .. Hi Steiner .. good talking to you .. I’ll try to arrive earlier, to do the church thing next time!! .. Hi Karl .. good to talk to you.. you as well, Woody .. see you soon..

Alex .. great to see you again.. best of luck with the boys.. tell them I sent my regards!!..

Again .. Stian & Andreas .. you boys were amazingly good tonight.. can’t thank you enough!

Thor .. another special night for me here at Credo! .. huge thanks1! .. see you in New York my friend .. or here again.. either way, I’ll look forward to that!

February 7, 2012 – Sweden – MARIEFRED PRISON

TWO SHOWS – With John Platania (guitar) & Goran Grini (Keyboards)

Note: a friend, Hakan Lingblom, who works as a sort of advisor for the prison, has spent years trying to encourage authorities to do programs based on the arts .. particularly music. He is finally succeeding. At his request, talented young singer/ songwriters named Maria & Lisen do an amazing job hosting this workshop – and the prisoners love it – appreciate it – and thrive on it. Maria.. a very nice and warm young lady is with us today. Great to be with you Maria! Thanks for your insight on the drive to the prison. THESE SHOWS WERE AMONG MY FAVORITE OF ALL TIME!!

SHOW #1 – for prisoners in a special songwriter workshop

I felt a connection with these guys right away. I loved talking to them, telling stories and singing songs. In the beginning I told them about Goran being a sort of star in Norway .. and John being one of the all-time guitar greats .. but always being humble. That stuck particularly with one of the prisoners. I’ll tell you more about that in a bit. John & Goran were amazing today .. and the prisoners constantly showed their appreciation. The thing I loved most today was the back and forth stuff – the reaction and interaction with the songs.

We played THE REAL THING.. my first song published, JUST A LITTLE BIT LATER ON DOWN THE LINE .. ME & ROHILLIO .. inspired by a parolee from New York .. FUCK ALL THE PERFECT PEOPLE.. an absolute favorite.. ANGEL OF THE MORNING .. WILD THING .. and HOLY SHIT .. certainly another favorite .. with all the guys singing along.

There were two very special highlights. First, one of the prisoners .. a guy named Rione .. played some great guitar licks on WILD THING .. and his soulful lick led to the ending of the song!.. GREAT RIONE!!! And, as I hinted at earlier, maybe my favorite moment on stage ever happened today!! After one of the songs .. a prisoner named TILI .. (part of the songwriters workshop).. said .. “Chip.. I’m writing a song right now .. can I tell you how it goes” .. After inviting him to share it with us, he said,

“I’m looking at John .. and writing this song .. it goes like this: Your hair was once black .. now it’s white … but your heart.. it stays the same!” I almost cried .. those words were so beautiful .. so magical .. so poetic .. and so true!!

Wonderful Tili .. great stuff!! … thanks boys .. I LOVED SHARING THE DAY WITH YOU!!.. God bless.. best of luck!! .. hope to see you soon!! OH yes … the major song highlight here for me was FUCK ALL THE PERFECT PEOPLE .. with all the boys sang loud & strong!! .. This is THEIR song!

Said hi to several at the end, including:

Hi To: Philip .. good luck with your rapping.. great to see your great smile in the beginning .. hi Ahmed.. & Rione!!!.. and Ahmed.. and Amer .. & Emed .. and Tili … all the best!!

SECOND SHOW – for those in the actors & poets workshop.

A great guy named Kaj, a playright, hosts this workshop. And like Maria in the first workshop, the prisoners obviously love and appreciate his efforts. It’s wonderful to see the interaction with the prisoners & Kaj (& Hakan & Maria) before & after the performance – so glad to be a part of that.

Again .. I felt an absolute connection with these great guys. And again, I told some stories about how I was able to get in the music business and played about 8 or nine songs – some different ones this time, including PASSPORT BLUES and NORRTALJA PRISON. The boys seemed to love hearing about the guys in Norrtalja .. They loved the story about Marcus .. selling the apartments.. “he did not own”. And the major song highlight of this show – just like the first – was FUCK ALL THE PERFECT PEOPLE .. That is definitely “our song.”

Hi to: GAIZAG .. got your # .. hope to see you soon!! .. Hi Steven.. and Sajid.. and Daniel.. and LOAI .. great Flamenco guitarist!! .. and PEPE!! (actually “PERPARIM”) .. and HALMAT… all the best boys .. hope to see you again .. soon!!

February 4 – 5, 2012 – Sweden

Feb 4, 2012 – Orebro –VENUE – THE SCANDIC HOTEL

Great to be back in Anders territory!! .. the hero musicologist from town .. has had one of the most important record stores in Sweden for years.. and now puts on a festival that is the SXSW of Europe.

SOUND CHECK

It’s great to be staying in the same hotel that’s hosting your show. We set the instruments up on stage in the large dining area at about 4:30 .. then head back to our rooms to relax a bit. We sound check with an excellent sound man, Christofer, at about 6:30.. have a good meal in an adjacent room .. on stage at 8:20.

Note: great to see old friend Lars & Marita.. and kids, lovely Malin (met her when she was 2 years old ..she’s now 15) , and Daniel & Andreas. Thanks so much for making the 5 plus hour trip!.. Wonderful to see you always.

THE SHOW

It’s good to be back with friends. From the stage I see so many familiar faces. I loved this opening set! THE REAL THING .. sounded great tonight .. with awesome solos by John, Orjan & Goran. From there the first set seemed to fly by .. with the stories and songs of the F**k All album .. I loved DUTCHMAN BLUES tonight ..and then came a chilling, ME & ROHILLIO, then PASSPORT BLUES which continues to be a huge highlight in both story & song .. and PHONED IN DEAD was so much fun with killer solos ..and ANGEL OF THE MORNING was so, so powerful tonight ..

SECOND SET

This set was so warm and personal. I found myself telling stories from the past that had slipped my mind for a while .. like being banned as a card counter in Atlantic city .. and exactly how they informed me .. funny stuff. And this set was loaded with chilling stuff .. such a WEAKER MOMENTS with Goran’s soulful touches on piano .. and a requested SEVEN DAYS IN MAY .. NEW THINGS sounded cool .. loved all the solos in that one .. I KNOW DARK had everyone in the audience joining in .. as they did on a totally rocking WILD THING .. we ended with HOLY SHIT .. dedicated especially to Lars & Marita & the family.

Said hi to several after the show, including: HI TO: my long-time friends LARS, MARITA, MALIN, DANIEL & ANDREAS ..huge thanks for making the long journey .. see you soon! Great to see Kristin & Anders and old friend, Bengt .. hope the skiing was good today! .. hi to new friends Raili (sounds like my granddaughter’s name, “RILEY) & friend, Mathias.. great to see you!! .. thanks for the kind words

Hi Annika .. hope Johnny likes the CD .. hi to the great gals on my right, SOPHIE, ANKI & MARIA .. great to talk with you all .. you were an inspiring group! .. Hi Jack! .. thanks for the SEVEN DAYS request .. so good to see you! .. hi Carl & PETER .. Bjorn from Norrtalja’s friend.. was at Katalina’s two years ago .. a great memory! .. Hi Jenny .. hope Stefan (brother of Willy Clay’s great drummer) enjoys the CD .. so good to see you Jenny .. Hi Daniel .. hope Iren likes the CD.. hi Leif & Sven-Plov .. and BODIL .. and old friend HAKA .. again & again.. see you in SXSW! Thanks to all .. see several of you at Parnels in New York!!! God Bless

FEB 5, 2012 – STOCKHOLM – VENUE – THE AKKURAT

There is no venue I look more forward to playing than this one, THE AKKURAT. Stene, the hands-on owner has been supporting my music since the late 90s when I returned from my gambling hiatus. And since then – we’ve been great friends.

We arrive in the freezing cold weather at about 4:00 PM.

NOTE: The backseat radiator/ heater in the van is broken – so in below zero weather, it’s been tough for those sitting in the rear set of the van. Yesterday I rigged up our “New Ukranian Heating System” .. with a couple of cylinders from a local hardware store in Orbreo and about ten coffee cups (wth bottoms removed), linked together with a bunch of electrical tape. We connected it to the front right vent & extended it to a few inches above the floor in the back. It worked pretty well on our potentially freezing trip from Orebro to Stockholm.

THE VENUE

The Akkurat is the Rolls Royce of whiskey / beer bars in the world. For that reason alone it would be a favorite place.. but coupled with my friendship with Stene & Marja .. it’s my all time favorite.

More info on the place:

The AKKURAT has a good-sized stage that overlooks an open area about 30 feet deep. Off to the right is the large bar that wraps around to the right. And on the far right is a large area for standing and further right is an area for about five tables. On the far left there are a few similar tables. The audience you play for is fairly deep in front but quite spread out to the left and right.

During the show, because the stage is at a decent elevation, the band has no problem seeing and connecting to the audience in all areas.

Ever since my BLACK & BLUE AMERICA album connected in Sweden (2001), my shows here have become sort of an event. So tonight it’s wall to wall fans – totally packed. And the place is electric by the time we hit the stage.

IDA OPENS

Ida does a warm two song opener. They’ll totally connect with her by the time our show is over. We immediately follow.

FIRST SET

This was a love-in from the time we hit the stage. The amazing thing is that the stories leading to the songs are treated so reverently by these fans – despite the bar-feeling of the place – the result being, the fans get the full impact of each one.

So, it was the stories and songs of THE REAL THING, DUTCHMAN BLUES, ME & ROHELLIO.. always a chilling favorite, PASSPORT BLUES.. certainly one of the highlights again.. and a totally rocking PHONED IN DEAD.. another that meets with smiles and great spirit .. plus others..

The band, THE NEW UKRAINIANS, sounded awesome, with brilliant solos from Goran, Orjan & John Platania accenting the songs from start to finish. To end the set, I brought back Ida & another very special guest, Paal Flaata .. legendary and AWESOME folk star from Norway to join me in a chilling ANGEL OF THE MORNING!

This is the first time all three of us shared a stage together .. and it was total magic.

SECOND SET

This set was loose and chilling from start to finish! We opened with NEW THINGS, with cool solos from Goran, John & Rojan. There is always a surprising (to me) connection with this. Then it was HEY JONNY and the true story about the start of Rock & Roll in the US .. with it’s connection to the movie BLACKBOARD JUNGLE & BILL HALEY’S “ROCK AROUND THE CLOCK”.

Then came a soulful OUTSIDE THE HUMAN CONDITION.. which has become a total favorite on the tour.. folks love the story of it .. and the humorous suggested therapy, as well as the song. Then came the story about the reviewer in Upsala leading to TOO DYNAMIC .. a total fan favorite.

THEN SOME HUGE MAGIC BEGAN

I introduced Paal Flaata, who has gotten funding from the Norwegian government to do a Chip Taylor retrospective. What a proud thing for me .. So, for the first time we sang a duet on a couple of the songs that Paal and producer Goran Grini have selected.

First was a chilling version of WEAKER MOMENTS, from the new album, then came a show stopper .. an amazing rendition of a song I wrote for Jackie DeShannon back in the 60s, I CAN MAKE IT WITH YOU .. with the audience doing a full minute breakdown chant of the chorus. Paul & I had never done this song before .. we just took a chance and got lost in the song .. and that’s when real magic can happen .. and it happened big time tonight!

Next Ida & I did chilling duets of COULD I LIVE WITH THIS, DON’T SPEAK IN ENGLISH and RED DOG TRACKS .. with the audience loving it and loving Ida!!

FOLKS HERE WILL NEVER FORGET IDA & PAAL .. already big stars in Norway, this show is a strong indication that they will soon be deserving stars in this country .. They are total magic!!

Then we brought back Paul and together we blasted through this amazing show .. with the audience joining us with powerful choruses of I KNOW DARK, F**K ALL THE PERFECT PEOPLE (what an awesome connection with this tonight!) .. then WILD THING .. oh, was this great .. what solos!! .. ending with a beautiful and chilling version of HOLY SHIT!

Oh my goodness.. what a night!! .. huge thanks to this magic audience.. what a bunch of great friends!! .. see you all soon!

SAID HI TO MANY, INCLUDING: HI TO:

So great to see my old friends, Albin & Lisa!.. what a special thing for me to see you tonight!! .. huge regards to Martin & Sophia (Albin’s sister) .. Martin .. so sorry to hear about the broken leg .. if good wishes can help, you’ll be better in no time! Next time we have to make a sort of reunion get together. I’d love that!

Great to see my old friend, Crister, great friend Hakan Olsson’s brother and friends Yvonne & Marie-Louise .. so happy you could share this night with me!!

PETER .. so happy you could make it!! .. I appreciate all you do for me and the boys .. never a better tour manager.. always great to be with you!! .. love back home to Saga & Pernilla (or is it Pernella??)

Hi to Hasse ..so good to see you again.. and great to see new friends, Rolando, Rouise & Marco .. hope the pictures came out OK .. see you next time! ..

Hi Esa .. it’s wonderful to see you again & again .. huge thanks for the pictures!! .. so glad we used some in R&R JOE .. tell brother Carl .. I hope to see him next time!! .. Hi Jokke .. at the end .. happy to add the “U” & the “C” in your F**K ALL CD .. good to meet you..

Hi Zeta.. Helding .. SO GOOD TO SEE YOU AGAIN!!! .. thanks for the kind words!! .. hi Mathilde & Mats.. and Rita.. thanks for those warm words at the end of the night .. hi Margareta.. nice to meet you!! .. Hi Karl & Pella and wife Marie.. nice talking with you… Hi Izabelle .. geat talking to you .. .. and Kirstin..& CAL & JAMES .. great seeing you guys after the show.. hope to see you next time!!

Anyone see my old friend, Lennart .. is he off doing a movie or a play?? .. tell him I missed him and his friend, Eva.

HUGE THANKS STENE .. & MANJA .. hope to see you in New York .. God Bless!!

February 2 – 3, 2012 – Sweden

GOTEBERG- VENUE – MUSIKENS HUS (“House Of Music”)

This tour is being booked by Hakan Olsson & Bjorn Pettersson’s touring company, ROOTSY LIVE. The volunteer rep in these parts is a great guy and for the last several years, my good fiend, Peter Soderlind.

He is at the venue to meet us as we arrive, with his 5/6? year old step daughter and my great friend as well, Saga. SO GOOD TO SEE YOU SAGA!! .. hope to see you very soon!! I love you! Later we will meet Peter’s lovely wife/ Saga’s mom, Pernella – another good friend.

SOUND CHECK

The venue reminds me of the The Mercury Lounge in New York .. a fairly large Rock & roll-type space, with a bar in the back. A great engineer, Danny, has us sounding good in short order. We check into the Hotell Onyxen – modest but great – and quickly head back to the venue for dinner & the show.

NOTE: It’s freezing cold tonight & this is not a normal venue for us. I’m surprised that so many braved the cold & attended. Huge thanks for the support!

THE SHOW

Ida does her terrific opening set beginning with a great version of Townes’ HIGHWAY KIND.. then several of her own – just her and her guitar. I love listening to her from back stage. The Ukrainians & I are on stage at 9:45.

We open as usual with THE REAL THING – the band sounds so great tonight! .. then it was a STONES-LIKE version of BE KIND .. then the story of my connection with my friends from Holland followed by a tribute to them, Dutchman Blues.. then PASSPORT BLUES, about my adventures with John at the border crossing in the UK .. which has become a fan favorite.

Peter & his friend Patrik requested a song I wrote on my LAST CHANCE album (from 1974) that was recorded by Johnny Cash, CLEAN YOUR OWN TABLES .. which the folks sang along with .. definitely one of the highlights.. another highlight, ME & ROHILIO – which takes me back to the spirit & surroundings of where I live in New York City – followed .. then the tribute to a Monday with mom & dad & my brothers – CHARCOAL SKY – made a total connection with these folks.

After a rocked-out version of Johnny Cash’s BIG RIVER, IDA join me on stage for our three duets.. COULD I LIVE WITH THIS, DON’T SPEAK IN ENGLISH & RED DOG TRACKS.. Ida & I have an easy/ great vibe on stage .. and the audience “gets” that

Then, with Ida still joining in, it was other audience favorites, I KNOW DARK, ANGEL OF THE MORNING, WILD THING .. & a killer version of F**K ALL THE PERFECT PEOPLE.. We closed with HOLY SHIT .. and encored with a reverent, NORRTALJA PRISON.

It was a special night! – Huge thanks to all who attended.

SPECIAL NOTE*** My friend John Platania is so amazing and inspiring every night. His solos on WILD THING & HOLY SHIT have just floored me these last several nights. John never plays the same licks. But the one thing that IS constant is that he always plays heartfelt stuff. He is so one-of-a-kind. It’s an outrage that he hasn’t been consistently listed as one of the great rock & roll guitarists of all time. It’s time that changed.

Got a chance to say hello to several folks – HI TO: Mille .. Goran & Michael.. Hi Curt .. and Thomas .. hi Carina.. great to see you .. how did the picture turn out .. send me a copy! .. hi to Anette .. good to talk to you! .. HI PATRIK & KARIN.. thanks for introducing Peter to my music! .. a blessed thing for me! …

Hi Stefan .. GETTING OLDER LOOKING BACK fan ..here’s the story.. he heard the song on the radio.. called the station to as who sang it .. ten wrote the info on a recipe.. which is now forever known to him and his friends as the “Chip Taylor” meal ..Stefan .. I told the band about it .. we’re all hope to taste it one of these days.. great talking to you & your friends, Lars & Rene.. see you soon!! .. Hi Ole .. thanks for the vinyl CD conversions!! .. hi to friend John in the UK!! ..

Hi to Per-Olof & Agnetta .. thanks Agnetta . so good to see you both again!! I’ll try to remember to do WITHOUT HORSES for you another time … Big ho to staff .. Eric (“CIRE”) .. DANNY … THANKS FOR THE GREAT SOUND! .. and Kalle .. see you guys soon!

Again Peter… thanks for all you do!! .. love to Pernella & my Saga.. see you soon!!

NOTE: ****** Peter was outside before the show talking to some folks ready to enter. He asked one, “Have you been a Chip Taylor fan for a long time?”

He responded, “No, I don’t know Chip Taylor. I’m here because my father is from the Ukraine!”

FEB 3 – FARUM, Sweden – VENUE – BJURSAS

THE BIG NEWS!! Goran Grini.. the amazing and soulful keyboard player – who played on our F**K ALL THE PERFECT PEOPLE album, has just joined us. He will play on all the shows from here on!!

Note: Goran has been on tour with legendary – and amazing – Norwegian folk singer, Paal Flaata, who may join us in Stockholm with Ida Jenshus. Sadly, Ida had to leave for a couple of shows of her own. She was so awesome! .. it will be great to see her again!

THE DRIVE – It’s a 6 hour and 45 minute drive to from Goteberg to Farum. It’s minus 17 degrees outside. We can’t find a way to get heat to the back of the van, so it’s a tough ride for those back there. Hopefully we can figure something out by tomorrow.

We arrive at our comfortable Clarion Hotel, check in quickly, then head for the venue.

THE VENUE

The Bjursas is a pretty modern cabin-like structure on the top of a hill – in a sort of remote area 20 miles out of town. I guess it’s mainly a state-of-the art restaurant.. maybe a meeting place as well. Whatever it is, it’s amazing & the folks who run it are so kind & warm. Our show is held in their large dining room area. The stage is just large enough to fit the entire band.

The show is sponsored by a Lutheran church and booked by its’ minister, a great guy named Jonas. Many of the church parishioners will attend, as well as music lovers & fans from all over the region. Matts & Boo help us load in & Matts handles the sound. He’s very good at it & we are happily checked in minutes. Actually, this is one of the best sounding rooms on the tour! Thanks Matts.. great job!!

DINNER – After sound check, we were treated to one of the best meals in memory. Thanks to the chef and the great folks who served the food!! Without question, in so many ways, this is such a magic venue!

THE SHOW

What a great audience to play for.. so appreciative from start to finish! There were lots of musicians, young and old, in attendance and they were in for a special night as this was the night of THE NEW UKRAINIANS .. all of them! Goran Grini on keyboards, Bjorn Pettersson on bass, Orjan Maki on pedal steel, Magnus Olsson on drums and John Platania on guitar .. on stage together for the first time!! And they were simply amazing!! It’s hard to imagine better band touring than this one!! They are simply awesome!

We mixed in the stories behind the songs with songs from F**K ALL THE PERECT PEOPLE” … a few from YONKERS, NEW YORK .. and some of the hits. This warm, great audience was with us from start to finish. They were just an inspiring group to play for.

Highlights were far too many to mention .. but from first set let’s go with THE REAL THING (with awesome solos by John, Orjan AND Goran), CHARCOAL SKY .. with its story about a Monday with mom & dad and my “bastard brothers” .. and ANGEL OF THE MORNING .. so, so pretty with Goran’s lovely keyboard touches.

The second set had so many amazing moments, including a mesmerizing ME & ROHELIO.. a rockin’ PHONED IN DEAD.. a chilling WEAKER MOMENTS .. during which, I could see it having its’ effect on several couples.. OUTSIDE THE HUMAN CONDITION, which had everyone smiling .. then BIG RIVER & F**K ALL THE PERFECT PEOPLE .. both so viby & edgy .. then, after inspiring sing-a-longs with I KNOW DARK & WILD THING, came the best encore in memory .. when the minister of the church, Jonas, took the stage with me to sing HOLY SHIT. That was one I’ll remember always .. and I’ll bring that story with me as I go!

We were called back to the stage once again and ended this great night with a tribute to my prisoner friends, NORRTALJA PRISON. Thanks to all. You’re a special group to play for. Thanks from the entire band – we’ll look forward to doing this again.

HI TO:

Big hello to Roger .. who saw us last in Upsala at Katalyn – with daughter, Anneli?? .. (is that right) who has since married.. God bless .. thanks for all the kind words.. Hi to Christofer, dad James and wife Mari .. again, thanks for all the kind words .. great to see you!.. hi to Marie-Theresa … and big hi to SIV and brother SVEN-OLAV, who met us on our arrival! .. so good to see you!! And hi Lasse & Cuba & Christer, who also met us before taking the stage. .. good to meet you all.

Hi Gorgen & Jonas .. & Patrik & Marianne.. hi to Lennart.. & another Peter ..& big hello to Katarina.. hope Gustaf enjoys the CD .. hi to Marianne & Hans.. & big hello to Eva & Sven (accordion player), who I met at the end. Thanks for the kind words .. hope the mile plus walk home was OK ..

Hi to my old friend Mikel .. good to see you again .. I appreciate your support! . FYI .. we rehearsed JOHN TUCKER .. we’ll play that for you next time.. hope Norrtalja prison was a good substitute .. Hi Lars .. a huge country fan .. saw your book on the history of the bus ….well done! .. loved looking at it!

This was a night to remember. Hope to see you soon!

NEXT STOP, OREBRO!

February 1, 2012 – Sweden

MALMO – VICTORIA THEATER

We arrived from Falkenberg at the “E” hotel at about 3:30. As the boys brought the equipment to the venue, I stayed for an interview with an old friend from Denmark, Jan .. then headed to the venue for sound check with VG and kind soundman Matts. Met Toms, the venue manger as well .. good guy. The sound check went fast and we headed back to the hotel .. a ten minute walk.. to change and get ready for the show.

NOTE: This a theater venue with a twist. The folks are allowed to “bring” their own dinner & drink to their tables – none is served. So it becomes like a music venue-picnic! – at a very otherwise “proper” theater. An unusual .. but very cool thing. Tonight the downstairs theater “picnic area” was packed, with several folks sitting in the balcony.

Just before heading back to the theater I met Håkan’s wife & daughter, Monica & Elin briefly at the hotel bar. It’s always SO great to see them. They are like family by now. And it was great to be able to tell Elin about the extraordinary response her CD artwork (with it’s hand-done stamp and hand-done sketches) and the poster based on her stamp was getting. After some good conversation and a bowl of soup we headed back to the theater for the show.

THE SHOW

Ida is a star in Norway but not known across the border here in Sweden. So I introduced her for her 5 song set, letting the audience know of her success there, how terrific I think she is and how happy I am she’s here. She did a warm set and the audience liked her immediately .. great job Ida!

SHOW TIME

I loved tonight! The sound was so good on stage and the band, “The New Ukrainians” were on fire – never better. I got a chill from the minute we started “The Real Thing” to the end of a long show that seemed to go by too quickly.

There were so many highlights .. ME & ROHILLIO based on happenings near my hometown bar, was so chilling.. and CHARCOAL SKY felt like I was right there at that train station on a Monday in 1948 with my mom & dad & brothers .. and NORRTALJA PRISON took me right back there in the north of Sweden with my prisoner friends .. and PHONED IN DEAD brought the house down with it’s story based on the pub in Halden, SISTE REIS (The Last Journey) .. and PASSPORT BLUES took the folks with John & me to an aborted border crossing in the UK. Come to think of it, this show has become a journey to many places ..almost theater-like. I love the way it’s playing. And tonight it was a good journey and the audience stayed with us from start to finish..

Then the show took a turn and was lifted in a different direction when Ida joined us on stage for some chilling duets .. COULD I LIVE WITH THIS, DON’T SPEAK IN ENGLISH, RED DOG TRACKS .. then ANGEL OF THE MORNING and WILD THING .. The audience was totally into this new duet partnership and let us know it. It was truly magic. We ended the show with the audience joining in (and Ida leading the way) on “F**K ALL THE PERFECT PEOPLE .. so powerful tonight.. I KNOW DARK .. with it’s tribute to those in the far north who have to put up with the “mean bastard” darkness.. and HOLY SHIT which united us all in our search for a better understanding of ourselves and a better day.

Loved this show .. THE UKRAINIANS were awesome tonight .. John Platania played some other-worldly stuff .. and Orjan brought such chilling pedal steel colors from the very start .. and Malcom & Bjorn were so solid and good and soulful .. this was a special night for so many reasons .. The New Ukrainians were high on that list! Great job boys!!

Hi To:

Big hello to old and great friend, Håkan Olsson & Elin & Monica .. LOVE YOU GUYS!! .. special hi to Monica’s brother, Ola & friend, Joakim .. great to see you both! .. Hi Jan .. from radio in Denmark .. so good to see you and talk to you

Great to see old friends Runer & Irena, Anders & Maria (were there last night as well), Lars & Marita.. with great kids Malin & Daniel & Jan-Ake .. so good to see you all! Big thanks to host Tomas &sound friend Mats ( great job!!) .. Special hi to Ola Hi to Barbara & Leif, old friends Steen & Inge, Lasse, Sven-Ake, Tommy, .. hi to Anna & Lasse .. and Robert & Gert .. Niclolette (great to see you) .. Hi to Rene & Nils.. Hi Bjorn .. good to see you . see you at the station tomorrow.. Hi Kristina.. hope brother in law (I think) , Kristoffer, enjoys the album.. Hi Bengt! And to all the other kind folks that attended.. what a special night! PS .. great to wind down with old friend Håkan Olsson and friends .. lovely opera singer Astrid (a Magnus old friend) and great folk singer Richard & the band for a bite of food and a good whiskey.. tomorrow Goteborg!!

//