Nov 21, 2013 – New York City – VENUE – THE CUTTING ROOM
Loved this full band show tonight … first time playing this venue .. we were all so into it. Thanks to the great staff -Steve, Susan, Mark, Miko & all .. great folks.
This was certainly one of my favorites .. the audience was a huge part of the show.. lots of interaction and spontaneous reaction to the stories .. as well as the songs .. and huge appreciation for band members for the solos and the grooves throughout.
This was the first time we presented the “Yonkers Story” which we’re preparing for a theater run next year .. so the great reaction tonight was a good start.
Lots of highlights for me .. loved it right from the start with The Real Thing with the awesome solos by John & Goran .. with the audience erupting in applause for the solos.. and the drums and bass so solid & rockin’ … that felt great .. the connection with Block Out The Sirens Of This Lonely World was so strong and passionate.. like in Holland.. Bastard Brothers, Hey Jonny, Charcoal Sky & WITHOUT HORSES (I loved this tonight!!) all felt so good and connected .. again in the warmest way .. and the hits.. .. Just A Little Bit Later On Down The Line and I Can’t Let Go. Angel Of The Morning and Wild Thing .. all felt special tonight .. the band was so, so good .. it was good to play with Tony Mercadante and Tony Leone tonight with them paving the way with an awesome bottom end and the great solos by John & Goran.BIG RIVER felt totally awesome .. what a great groove .. the folks were so into this one.
Loved DANCE WITH A HOLE IN YOUR SHOE tonight .. with this great audience singing along .. and FUCK ALL THE PERFECT PEOPLE, our closer, was so magical.. again, with the audience singing along.
Again .. it’s tough to pick out highlights .. because the back and forth with this great audience was so strong on every song and story.
HUGE THANKS TO EVERYONE WHO WAS PART OF THIS.. you were AWESOME to play for!!
there were so many new faces tonight .. misplaced some notes with a few names .. remember some:
Hi to .. old friend Carmella & Larry .. great to see you guys .. thanks for the support and the very kind words.. Hi Matts & Katrina.. always appreciate your support!! .. hi Doug .. good to see you!& Jay.. & Sally .. thanks for those nice thoughts.. and Dina.. great to see you again!!.. what a nice thing for me..
Great to see all my TEAM NORWAY friends.. Pete & Jon.. & all the friends.. & KURT .. great to finally meet you.. thanks for turning Pete & the gang onto my music .. thanks so much for flying in.. much love to Summer.. Hi Tracy!! a nice memory of Dublin.. sorry we didn’t have a few more minutes to talk .. hope all is well.. Hi Mercedez.. good to see you always.. Sisko .. you’re great .. thanks for the support!! See you in a couple of weeks at Parnell’s. Hi Denise & friend .. nice talking with you .. appreciate the nice words HI STANLEY .. huge thanks for coming!!! – Hi Barret .. great to see you guys!! Huge thanks for coming!!
Big hi to my SONY friends – Brian, James, Bridget & Will and BRIAN C. .. so great that you all came!! .. ok.. let’s catch up soon over breakfast.
Hi to Kris .. and Leslie from 405 .. glad you came .. thanks for the kind words.. and Jo Jo at the end .. what an uplift .. huge thanks to all .. wish i had all the names!! – Hi to my gambling partner & friend, Ernie.. a part of the show now!!.. talk to you tomorrow.
And Al & Debbie .. so great to see you always!! .. Thanks for the kind words from you & Steve.. your new friend at your table. Big hello Steve .. see you next time.
Special thanks to my friend, brilliant violinist Eva & her husband Kris .. and your other kind friends .. hope to see you soon!
Thanks to my cohort Chuck for putting this together and selling CDs. And great to see Mary and my Joanie!! .. and HUGE THANKS to my great film maker friend Bill Hurley for traveling 3+ hours to capture all this. Also big thanks to Bill’s assistant, Bobby .. see you both soon!!
Again.. big thanks to Steve & Susan.. and Mark & Steve & MIKO .. thanks for the kind words
HUGE THANKS LINCOLN – let’s do it again soon!!
NOV 17, 2013 – Zuid-Beijerland – VENUE – Herberg Tiengemeten (“ten Acres”)
SUNDAY AFTERNOON SHOW – 3:00 PM
THE FERRY RIDE
We leave our hotel in Doetinchem at 9:30, arriving at the ferry area at 12:30. The ferry is skippered by a nice guy named Huyd.. doesn’t speak a word of English, but communicates well with us with his smile and gestures .. his wife, Ava, welcomes us to the ferry .. and says she’ll see us after the show.. we leave at 1:00 .. arrive on the island at 1:10.
The fans will take other non-vehicle boats to the island at around 2:15 in plenty of time for our show.
ON THE ISLAND
When we reach the island we’re met by our host and proprietor of the venue, Hans. We follow him about a mile to our destination.
What an amazing venue .. a warm old cottage .. newly designed interior (since a fire totaled the place two years ago). This and the church in Berger are among the most special places John & I have ever played.
At the venue, we’re greeted by Hans’ kind and lovely wife, Maia.. our kind hostess for the evening.
Local volunteers, Henk, Rene & Herman handle the sound and the lighting .. great guys and great at what they do .. they have a little company H&R Audio .. that’s their “hobby” corporation.. they have other jobs .. but this is their labor of love. We have good sound in a matter of minutes.
The place is packed – 140 plus people .. it’s been sold out for a week or so.
The great thing about playing for these wonderful Dutch people is that it’s like playing for friends.. family .. they know me a bit .. and the stuff they want to hear is the stuff that matters most to me .. .. yes, they like the hits .. but the connection is much deeper than that.
Tonight we’re very connected with the Yonkers stories and songs about family .. Bastard Brothers, The Real Thing, Hey Jonny and Charcoal Sky and my connection to my Scandinavian friends with BLOCK OUT THE SIRENS OF THIS LONELY WORLD totally connects with these folks .. after a couple of hits, we close with ANGEL OF THE MORNING .. John is so awesome and much appreciated by these kind folks .. lots of hero worship flowing his way .. what a great, warm audience to play for .. loved this set.
This went by so fast .. total connections with DANCE WITH A HOLE IN YOUR SHOE .. this was so special again.. and THAT’S HOW I LOVE YOU TONIGHT .. such a warm reaction .. the same with the often requested SEVEN DAYS IN MAY .. .then it was the story and song of my 1975 chart topper, SAME OLD STORY .. then a totally rockin version of Johnny Cash’s BIG RIVER .. The audience erupted with this one .. soon after it was an awesome WILD THING .. John was awesome and the audience did a great “therapy” chorus.
We ended this great tour with Fuck All The Perfect People .. with everybody singing like we were in church and John playing the most soulful stuff. We encored with I Wasn’t Born In Tennessee .. It was already late for folks to catch their boat home .. but after we left, they kept clapping for 5 minutes .. we came downstairs .. host Hans said the boat would wait!! We double encored with a totally reverent HOLY SHIT .. with everyone singing .. again, a great Sunday church service feeling!!
What a way to spend an afternoon!!
Hi Francis & Pia.. great to see you again.. missed seeing the kids .. please send them big love!!..
Hi Judith & Henkes.. thanks for the kind words.. Hi Lynn..
Hi Melotti .. very nice to see you .. hi to mom! .. Hi Cees.. & Nico.. & hi Jeroen.. hope Joke enjoys the CD.. send my love.. & big hello & love to Lilian.. originally from Bolivia.. Hi Ellen & Yvonne & Ricardo .. great to see you both up front at the show.. thanks for the kind words.
Hi Joop .. with the Gorgoni, Martin & Taylor vinyl .. great to see you .. great memories of Rotterdam 1975. Hi Anne Marie .. hope Daan enjoys the listen .. best of luck with his music.. Hi Kees & Akke .. all good wishes. Hi Hilda .. and Jacob .. Erik & Hymke and Joost. . and Erik again .. thanks so much for telling me where I placed my harmonica (in my back pocket!!) .. thanks all for the warm feelings and kind words.
Great to see and meet our kind and lovely servers.. Iris, Anna & Amanda .. big thanks!! – Huge thanks Hans & Maia for your warm hospitality.. this was so special.. loved the great dinner & herbal whiskey! .. great to share it at the table with our new friends, Henk & Hermon & Rene.
This was some ending to a magical Dutch tour that will live long in my memory.
NOV 16, 2013 – DOETINCHEM – THEATER – SCHOUBURG – AMPHION
I’ve been looking forward to this show for a while as I knew that a special friend Roos, her Mom Antoinette and Dad Jan would attend – aside from other good friends and fans from the region.
Because we have to leave early for an afternoon show on an island not far from Rotterdam these tour notes will be brief.
ABOUT THE VENUE AND THE SOUND CHECK
This theater complex has been voted “Best theater in the Netherlands”. It’s a large complex. The staff is super cordial, as they have been in every theater we’ve played. After the show, Antoinette mentioned that the people who attend come from all around the general region.. it was not a mainly local audience that attended tonight… nice to know. We had a great audience again tonight. In numbers – 140 tickets sold plus some walk-ins.
This is the last venue for our sound man, Christ (“Kreest”) .. it’s so great to see him again… and what a great job he’s done. When John & I arrive for sound check each night, the microphones & amplifiers are set in the perfect place and the sound has been pre-tested. We just plug in, play a little bit and say, “thank you.. that sounds great”. That’s the way it’s been the entire tour .. what a blessing!!
Thanks Ramon for handling the lighting.. and thanks to Nico for handling all our back stage needs.. along with Luke & Jak .. again, a great staff here!
THE SHOW – SET I
Highlights for me included all the Yonkers songs about family .. Bastard Brothers, Hey Jonny & Charcoal Sky.. plus my tribute to my Scandinavian friends.. Block Out The Sirens Of This Lonely World.. plus a heartfelt ANGEL OF THE MORNING .. I just loved this tonight.
John was awesome again tonight… all night!!
This was one of my favorite second sets of the tour.. we started with DANCE WITH A HOLE IN YOUR SHOE .. just magical to me .. with the audience singing the “War .. War” choruses with us.. then I got so lost in THAT’S HOW I LOVE YOU TONIGHT .. so did many in the audience .. the reaction to this honest ballad was something you might expect with WILD THING .. it felt so good.
Then it was an often requested, Seven Days In May .. a total audience favorite always .. then the story and song about my success here in Holland in 1975 .. with my #1 hit back then, Same Old Story .. then Johnny Cash’s Big River felt so good tonight (JOHN WAS GREAT!) and totally connected.
Then I played the song (one of my favorite songs!!) for my friend Roos (on my SONGS FROM A DUTCH TOUR book/ CD), ROSE OF ARNEM TOWN .. the audience just loved this … me too!!! .. I’ve been waiting for so long to play this for my friend.. so good to see you from the stage. Roos!.. much love to you and the family..
Then we played a powerful and fun WILD THING .. earlier then usual in the set.. and then it was open for requests..
The first request was THROUGH THEIR MOTHERS EYES .. wow .. I loved this .. can’t believe I remembered it! .. then, also by request. it was SON OF A ROTTEN GAMBLER .. THIS TOTALLY CONNECTED .. then came a powerful, requested as well, FUCK ALL THE PERFECT PEOPLE.. everybody sang along with this…. we encored with I WASN’T BORN IN TENNESSEE.
Then double encored with HOLY SHIT.. with EVERYBODY singing along .. what a special night .. thanks to all the kind, great folks who were part of it!!
Again.. this was a long show.. and it took us a while to get to the lobby. Many had to leave do the late hour and transportation issues .. but said hello to some special folks.
Great to see lifetime fan, Theo & wife Wil, who traveled an hour and a half to see the show. This is the first time they have been able to attend a show!! .. so good to see you!!.. & thanks so much for all the kind words… let’s do it again.. soon!
Great to see fans from way back. Dirk & wife Sieke .. Dirk reminded me of the TAKE ROOT FESTIVAL in 1999.. where I played for 50 people in a hallway adjacent to the stage.. he said it was one of his favorite shows .. playing “The Living Room Tapes” .. Grandma’s White LeBaron” and the rest.. thanks for the memories and the kind words about this show.. see you soon again
So good to see Rob, Fien.. and Holger & Andrea.. thanks for all the kind words.. Holger was at my show at the Akkurat with Carrie Rodriguez last year .. what a great memory that is!! .. hope to see you all soon!!
Last.. but far from least… so, so great to see my friend, Roos.. mom Antoinette, dad Jan, neighbor Henriette and boyfriend, Rodrigo from Chile .. teaching Spanish in Amsterdam. Roos was recently accepted to complete her PHD in the studies of anthropology .. specializing in the study New Orleans-based VOODOO .. how it fits in sociologically in the world view .. some want to commercialize it .. the traditionalists want to stop those efforts.. something like that.
Anyway .. it was so good spend time talking with Roos and all …. such warm feelings and good.. often fun .. conversation .. it was hard to say goodnight.. very hard.. hope to see you all again .. soon .. I’m not sure where .. but Antoinette, my best guess is that it will be somewhere “between two places”.
What a special night!
NOV 15, 2013 – BORGER (near Groningen) – VENUE – VANSLAG
We got a late check out from the kind folks at Hotel Sutor and left Breda at about 1:30. Our travels today are took us from the far south of Holland (near the Belgium border) to the northern small town of Borger, about 20 miles from the city town of Groningen. This was and will be our longest drive of the tour … about three hours in duration.
The sun was shining most of the way. With Milan at the helm, I caught up on some tour notes, enjoyed the scenery and had nice talks with the boys.
The final minutes of our journey found us driving on some small winding roads past some pretty farmland and quaint houses. This is the area where Milan was born and raised until his high shool years. We arrived at the humble town of Borger at about 4:30 and went straight to the venue.
Vanslag (“messed up”) is a converted old church. Part of the church is from the 1400s. An extension was built in the early 1800s. For several years it sat idle. Then a photographer/music lover, Henk, made a deal with the local government to turn it into something worthwhile for the community in the form of an amazing music venue – art house/meeting space.
Henk – a great guy and lover of the arts – has invested a lot time and money turning the church into this original gem of a small theater – one of my favorite venues I’ve played.. ever! Since it has been under Henk’s wing for only the last half year or so, quality artists are just beginning to find their way here. I’m so glad that the powers that be fit this in our schedule .. sort of at the last minute.
Since Milan is from the Groningen area, he’ll sleep at home tonight. As he sets things up at the venue, John & I check into our B&B space. As John & I like our hotel privacy .. and it’s not comfortable for us to share bathroom space.. I shift to the little hotel next door, The Hamshire House. But this lovely B&B (“B&B Borger”) is a warm, charming place, run by a kind.. very nice young lady, Gerta. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!
DINNER AT THE VENUE
We’re back at the venue at 6:00 where we meet our promoters and music lovers Jaap and his lovely wife Berlina… what nice and friendly folks. Henk’s kind wife, Jansje, cooks us a great lasagna dinner. After a delicious and sinful creamy desert and coffee, John & I are ready to sound check.
A brilliant guitarist, Bert, handled the sound tonight. John & I were happy with the sound in short order. THANKS BERT!!
note: I later met volunteer sound and film tech, Ramon .. a great guy who did some multi-tracking and filming of our show.. Big thanks Ramon.
The little theater space holds about 70. It seems full tonight.
I can’t remember ever feeling more comfortable on stage then I’ve been on this tour. And, in that regard, it doesn’t get better than tonight. WHAT GREAT, KIND FOLKS TO PLAY FOR. And it was good to feel John Platania being shown so much reverence tonight .. both for his past work and tonight’s magic .. he was so warm and soulful throughout!!
With a large photo of John & I playing music projected on a large screen behind (a great Henk collage), the first set began.
Starting with THE REAL THING, I told, in story and song, what it was like for me growing up in the Voight household and how my love of country music, combined with my love of the blues, guided my footsteps toward getting into the business of making music.
Bastard Brothers. the song convicting my brothers Barry & John of the dastardly act of relieving me of me coveted violin at 6 years old, had the folks smiling and laughing. Then Hey Jonny got us back to actual beginnings of rock & roll and IT DID ROCK.. John was awesome!! My Yonkers anthem, Charcoal Sky, finding us at a train station with my mom, dad & brothers, was a total connection with these folks .. as was a tribute to my Norwegian and Swedish friends with the song BLOCK OUT THE SIRENS OF THIS LONELY WORLD with its visit to a Swedish prison.
We ended the set with the song that garnered my first $30 advance against royalties, JUST A LITTLE BIT LATER ON DOWN THE LINE .. then it was my Hollies hit I Can’t Let Go.. which caught such a fiery groove.. then a very warm and chilling version of ANGEL OF THE MORNING .. I felt totally connected with this song tonight.. and the audience seemed to feel that as well..
what a great, welcoming set!!
This was so loose and fun .. I totally got lost in the power of DANCE WITH A HOLE IN YOUR SHOE ..with the audience joining in on the “WAR, WAR“ choruses… this felt so good.. then it was a chilling, THAT’S HOW I LOVE YOU TONIGHT .. after, SEVEN DAYS IN MAY again had it’s reverence .. lots of fans for that song on this tour… BIG RIVER as usual had total connection.. my young friends and Hey Vinnie fans were front row center again .. and because of their request several shows ago, I’ve been playing it to all audience .. and everyone (including those tonight) seem to love the story of my antique collecting late friend .. I love paying tribute to him.
Then we rocked my Dutch 1975 chart topper, SAME OLD STORY.. after, I substituted a request for Grandma’s White LeBaron, for Getting Older Looking Back ..such a nice memory! We closed the show with a soulful & powerful, WILD THING, a beautiful & haunting, FUCK ALL THE PERFECT PEOPLE .. with EVERYBODY singing reverently along .. we rocked with an encore of I WASN’T BORN IN TENNESSEE.. & after another long standing ovation.. we fished with a most reverent, HOLY SHIT.
WHAT A NIGHT!!
said Hi to so many, including:
Big hello to my “Hey Vinnie“ fans .. Nynke & Vincent .. so great to see you guys!! .. twice in one tour .. how nice for me!! …. and Nynke’s mom Trudy .. so glad you came .. HUGE hello & thanks to Matthew & Jennifer .. so great to meet you before and after the show .. thanks so much for the kind words!!
Hi Frans .. from Radio Emmen (interview from 3 years ago) .. great to see you again!! .. Thanks for wearing the WILD THING T-SHIRT .. Hi Fred & Jur & Fenny .. thanks for your kindness..hope the photos are OK .. Hi Onno ..first met in 1999 at DeLutte .. awsome to see you again.. & hi Sophia .. great to meet you.
Hi Klaas .. & Hans & Maria .. so good to see you .. Hans .. happy Birthday to brother Dolf.. hope he enjoys the CD… Hi to Jan & Ted & Wietse & Peter . . so good to see you!!
Big hello to Arnold (film maker/story teller/world traveler) .. and wife Louwke 3 years ago I sang Happy Birthday to Louwke .. on their 40th anniversary .. great to see you again.. big thanks for the DVD .. I’ll watch it on the plane back to the US .. thanks for the Seven Days In May support with your friends & singers.. HI LENDE .. great meeting you and friend, Nijland… looking forward to hearing your new album .. BERT’S PLAYING IS AWESOME!! .. loved listening to him after sound check!
FINALLY .. HI and THANKS TO HENK, JANSJE, JAAP & BERLINA .. this was so special for John & me .. hope to see you soon again… Bert .. great sound .. huge thanks.. Ramon.. thanks for recording and filming .. look forward to hearing and seeing some of that.
PS .. Hi Wendy .. nice seeing you .. thanks!
NOV 14, 2013 – BREDA – CHASSE THEATER (KLEINE ZAAL)
DRIVING TO BREDA
We leave Zwolle at about noon and head south along the main highways A-28 to A-27. In a bit more than two hours we arrive in the beautiful old town of Breda, not far from the Belgium border. Hotel Sutor is another Milan “find”. It’s located in a cool city center area, with small winding streets, lots of restaurants and bars – mostly beautiful old structures – and an old town church.
The owner of our hotel also owns a nearby bar and restaurant. One of his staff, a great guy named Roger, who works in the bar, gives us the keys to our rooms which are located in a small little apartment-like building with a steep walk up. The rooms are great!
At Roger’s invitation, Milan, John & I meet at the bar restaurant for our early dinner at 4:30. After a bit of soup, I decide to wait until after our show to have the main course. Roger places it in a “doggy bag” – with a plate, knife and fork – for me. All the staff at this group of places, John, Wendy & the rest, have one thing in common.. there’s no formalities – they’re genuinely kind and efficient and go out of their way to get things done .. like my “doggy bag”.
SOUND CHECK AT THE THEATER
We get to the venue at 6:30. The people from the theater that greet us are cut from the same cloth as the folks back at the hotel.. kind & very welcoming. The sound is again handled by our friend Christ (KREEST) with an assist from venue engineer, Johann.. Martin will handle the lights. Great to meet these good & efficient folks. Again, we have great sound in minutes.
I was told we have a very good turnout tonight.. holds about 200 .. almost a full house.
THE SHOW – FIRST SET
It was great to see so many smiling faces .. some familiar. I felt a connection right away and started talking about the Mean Bastard Festival that John & I played about 10 days ago. I started playing the theme song, I Know Dark and some folks started singing the chorus with us. Then it was back to the Yonkers story .. The Real Thing (this was so rockin tonight) , Bastard Brothers (folks loved this little story/song about my brothers stopping my screeching fiddle playing at 6 years old). Then it was Hey Jonny (wow.. did John rock this!) and Charcoal sky .. loved this tonight.
After that group, we shifted to Dutchman Blues and my song for my Scandinavian friends, BLOCK OUT THE SIRENS OF THIS LONELY WORLD .. a total connect with it’s story about my prisoner friend, Tilford. We ended the set with Just A Little Bit Later On Down The Line, I Can’t Let Go and a touching Angel Of The Morning.
This was a unique and special first set .. Again, John was awesome throughout!
SET II – This set is one I’ll remember for a while!!
DANCE WITH A HOLE IN YOUR SHOE was so powerful tonight .. I could see everyone moving with it .. shoulders .. toe tapping .. head bobbing .. lots singing along .. huge applause at the end .. then it was more magic from there .. THAT’S HOW I LOVE YOU TONIGHT was so real and chilling.. the audience seemed to love this .. then Seven Days In May .. totally connected .. with folks gently singing along to the chorus.
Then it was BIG RIVER .. huge response as always .. then HEY VINNIE .. I could feel folks so deep into this.. everybody loves my late friend Vinnie .. After a rockin sing-a-long with my 1975 #1 hit in this country, Same Old Story, I opened it up to requests.
First request was ME AS I AM, my first country chart single from 1974 in the US .. I can’t believe someone asked for it and I can’t believe I remembered it .. and John quickly did as well.. I got chills singing it & another request, Son Of A Rotten Gambler.. &in between, we had some good fun with the requested, SWEAR TO GOD, YOUR HONOR .. what a special segment!
We ended with WILD THING.. with the audience totally letting go and singing along .. great stuff!! With a standing ovation and lots of hero worship for John’s brilliance, we said goodnight with a rockin’ I WASN’T BORN IN TENNESSEE.
What a special night!!
AT THE CD TABLE
Milan said there were several requests for any album containing DANCE WITH A HOLE IN YOUR SHOE .. which is in the book/CD, SONGS FROM A DUTCH TOUR .. which was sold out days ago.. and also found on NEW SONGS OF FREEDOM, which we do not have with us for this tour.. so sorry the song wasn’t available. If any folks would like to order either the book/ CD or the album, you can go to our web site at TRAINWRECKRECORDS.com .. my friend Chuck will handle the orders from there.
Again, do to the extra length of the show and breaking down the stage, John & I are out to the CD signing area a bit late, but several folks are waiting for us. great to see Andre & friend George from Gouda.. great talking to you guys .. thanks for the kind words!
Great to see Els & Peter from Belgium .. thanks for the kind words!! .. and huge thanks Eve for turning your friends on to my music .. what a blessing for me.. and great to meet you Lina .. hope to see you all soon.
Hi to old friends, Rob & Chantal.. great to see you again! Thanks for the “Me As I Am” request .. it’s been such a long time since I’ve sung that. Hi Cris & Hansje .. so good talking to you at the end.. thanks for the nice words.. so glad you were here! .. hope to see you again.
Thanks Christ, Johann & Martin & all the kind staff at this theater.. we loved playing here! Wonderful to see my great old, great friend Martin & his friend Rene .. OK Martin.. here we go again!! see you soon.. send that CD list, Chuck will get them to you ASAP.
PS .. one of the great memories I have of this show was this: After a huge ovation for Son Of A Rotten Gambler, a man walked to the side door and started talking to me from about 20 yards away.. I said, “I’m sorry, I don’t understand what you’re saying”.. then he communicated in a way i could understand .. he told me he had to leave.. i think to get transportation home… he just wanted to say goodbye and tell me how much he enjoyed the show.
How nice is that.
NOV 13, 2013 – Zwolle – VENUE – ODEON DE SPIEGEL
With great friend and tour manager Milan Breukers at the helm we headed for Zwolle, arriving at about 2:30 .. checked into our Hotel Campanile .. a humble hotel chain… nothing upscale or fancy.. but clean and comfortable.
A local radio DJ / TV presenter, Rob Doktors met me at the hotel at 3:00 for a scheduled interview with his producer Michael and a young lady who does the filming, Nesrin – all kind folks.
Rob has been a fan since the 70s. He has ALL my albums .. which were spread on the table for the duration of the interview .. good questions tracing my history with thoughts about songwriting etc. Thanks Rob, Michael, Nesrin.. enjoyed this!
After the interview, Milan took John & I for an early meal at a great Whole Foods-like restaurant, La Place, in a department store (there are several of these restaurants spread throughout Holland). It’s help-yourself style.. but awesome, fresh, healthy food .. loved this.
The reason we ate an early (4:30) dinner is that sound-check was again scheduled at dinner time just before our show. At La Place we got a healthy sandwich snack “to go” .. so we could enjoy it back at the hotel after the show.
Good to see sound man Christ (“KREEST”) again who follows us to several show doing the sound. Also special to see old friend/tech from this theater, Wander, who did great sound for me seven years ago when I was here with Carrie. They sort of team up to handle the sound tonight.
As usual.. it’s a quick check and we’re ready to go. We’re working with real pros.. thanks boys!! And thanks to kind lighting guy, Gertjan??? .something like that .. good to meet you and good job!
THE SHOW – FIRST SET
John, as always, was a huge part of the story tonight, weaving in and out of the songs in such a gentle and soulful manner – the audience showed their appreciation throughout.
I felt comfortable with this warm, kind audience immediately. With John at my side, it was the Yonkers Story, in story and song, that guided the first set – The Real Thing, Hey Jonny, Bastard Brothers, Charcoal Sky – the audience seemed to connect to all these songs. With these, we mixed in my prayer for my Scandinavian friends, Block Out The Sirens Of This Lonely World and my tribute to my Dutch friends, Dutchman Blues .. again .. the audience seemed to live in these songs.
We ended the first set with my Bobby Bare hit, Just A Little Bit Later On Down The Line (which was especially warm and appreciated tonight) and the Taylor/ Gorgoni Hollies hit, I Can’t Let Go which rocked.. and a soulful Angel Of The Morning. This was one of my favorites first sets of the tour.
Dance With A Hole In Your Shoe started a magical second set. Then it was a most beautiful version of That’s How I Love You Tonight .. again.. John sprinkled his magic all over this and I was lost in the song .. erupting cheers followed .. then came a gentle, soulful version of the often requested, Seven Days In May, which some call, “Joanie, She’s An Angel”.. then it was a chilling Theme For An American Hero.. then BIG RIVER .. folks always love this .. Hey Vinnie followed .. this was special.. folks seem to love this tribute to my friend.
Then came the story of my connection to Holland in 1975 .. leading to my #1 single in this country, SAME OLD STORY .. many in the audience singing along. Then, when I opened it up for requests, they came pouring in!! .. EARLY SUNDAY MORNING, the C&C chart topper, YOUR NAME IS ON MY LIPS AGAIN (which replaced a first request of Memphis Texas from a huge C&C fan, Karen).. the requests continued.. ONE NIGHT OUT WITH THE BOYS .. haven’t done that in 30 plus years!! But we did it and it felt good … then GETTING OLDER LOOKING BACK .. hadn’t done that in a while .. couldn’t believe John & I played it like it was yesterday.
All these requests were met with such appreciation by this great audience .. it was a blessing for John & I to be part of this feeling ..
We ended a requested JOHN TUCKER IS ON THE WAGON AGAIN ( I love the way John plays on this .. only John can do that!) .. and double encored with I WASN’T BORN IN TENNESSEE and a soulful HOLY SHIT!
This was some special night .. we were a half hour over our time limit at the theater.. but none of the staff complained .. they seemed to be totally happy that we kept going.
MISSED SAYING HI TO:
One of the problems with playing so long, is that you have to spend time gathering your equipment on stage immediately after the show so that the staff can do their work and go home.. that makes you late in getting to the lounge where the fans wait to say hello and sign CDs etc..that coupled with the fact that several fans had to rush to catch transportation due to the late hour, resulted in us missing saying goodbye to several..
.. including the young lady and her dad who were on my right about 5 rows back .. such warm kind & familiar folks.. I would have loved to have said hello & goodbye .. I’m so glad you were here tonight.. my thoughts are with you both.. And the great fan that I know from the past who was so into the show and requested Dalton Days for next time we’re in town.. and the young boys on my left who were with their dad .. so many folks who were familiar to me and who were part of the good spirit today .. i missed not saying goodbye .. hope to see you next time
Hi Raymond & Goos & Hetty & Kor .. so nice talking with you.. thanks for the kind words!! Hi Ellen & Aad .. great to see you .. and great to see your lovely daughter, Lenny .. Lenny, thanks SO much for making the trip from The Hague.. just to see the show!! .. I appreciated your kind words so much.. look forward to seeing you all next time!! .. Karen .. thanks for the kind words .. I’ll tell Carrie what you said .. she’ll love that.
Hi to great fan, Jaap & Linda .. great winding down with you.. and your crazy US motorcycle story and your whiskey .. thanks for that.
Hi Rob .. so good to see you .. thanks for the great interview & the kind words .. good luck with your own music!! .. tell Nessrin I’m happy she came tonight .. sorry i missed saying goodbye .. and best and thanks to Michael.
Marcel .. thanks for making the trip .. and thanks for booking this great tour.. much appreciated
What a night.
Nov 10, 2013 – Rotterdam – The Walhalla Theater – Sunday afternoon show
Ever since this tour was booked I’ve been looking forward to playing here. This was one one of the towns I played back in 1975 when Same Old Story went to the top of the Dutch charts. I played this venue’s small 90 seat room two years ago with John & Kendel. This time they’ve moved us to their large room .. just under 200 capacity. It’s sold out tonight.
A nice guy, Fred, meets us at the door. He’s the general coordinator and head sound engineer. Our kind host from last year, Rachel, had a mishap and is just home from the hospital recovering from a broken arm. Good to see her husband, Harry, who filled me in on what happened. God bless you Rachel .. I hope you have a speedy recovery.. miss you.
Fred’s assistant, Roel, handles the sound check and, in short order, we’re ready to play.
THE SHOW – SET I
The shows thus far in Holland have all been awesome. None were more moving than this. It was sort of like a show and a beautiful, humble church service at the same time.The connection with this kind audience was immediate and so warm. We kept to the Yonkers theme in the first half (Bastard Brothers, Hey Jonny, Charcoal Sky), interrupting it briefly for a touching, Block Out The Sirens Of This Lonely World and Dutchman’s Blues, which I was told brought tears to some.
We closed the set with my Bobby Bare hit, Just A Little Bit Later On Down The Line and a, lovely for me, version of Angel Of The Morning. John was amazing .. simple, beautiful and, as always, so.. so soulful.
This was one of my favorite sets ever. We started with a vibey Dance With A Hole In Your Sho which was met with strong applause. John & I were really into this .. then That’s How I Love You Tonight .. which, with a blast of sudden hard rain in the background for several seconds at just the right time, seemed to have a magical connect. Then 7 Days In May brought it’s own magic .. Big River brought cheers .. Same Old Story did the same.
Then I asked for requests and a new magic happened. Don’t Speak In English, The Ghost Of Phil Sinclair, Must Be The Whiskey, Son Of A Rotten Gambler, Black & Blue America brought a connection so special .. though the songs are all different, because they were requests, they all linked and they all had an intimate soulful space. And because I sometimes have to search my brain to remember the requested song, as I do, the audiences are hoping I “find them”.. and tonight I pretty much found everything .. so we were all relieved and happy about that .. nice stuff .. and John’s playing was gentle and soulful on every song ..
We ended with Wild Thing .. encored with I Wasn’t Born In Tennessee and encored again with John Tucker’s On The Wagon Again.
For me, this show truly felt like going to the best possible church service. I won’t soon forget this afternoon.
Hans.. great to see you.. thanks for the kind words and the support.. hi Tessa .. thanks for the warm thoughts .. they’ll stay with me. Hi Luc & Annet.. so good to see you.. Hi Anneke .. good to meet you as well..
Hi Arjan & William & Jose & Marcel .. great to see you.. thanks for your kindness.. Hi Sybrand & Jannete .. great to meet you both .. Joost & Verner.. ALWAYS great seeing you guys!!
Big thanks to Gerry from Gallway.. who flew in for the show .. & brother Deklen .. great to see you guys!! Hope to see you soon.. hi Toos .. good to meet you .. best regards to Gerard (“Ger”).
Big hi and thanks to Coby & husband Peter.. thanks for looking after us Coby.. Hi Loet & Jessica.. good to see you..Jessica.. thanks for your hospitality.. the lunch etc.. so nice .. Roel & Bas..thanks for the kind words!! and Fred .. thanks for making us feel so comfortable .. look forward to seeing you all soon
Big hello to Lois & Maryke .. kind folks who have a terrific record store in Zeeland (www.mazmuz.nl) .. we will do our best to make a visit there next time around!!
Rachel .. hope you recover soon.. Harry .. good to meet you. Sorry I missed Rob & Astrid .. love to Bebel! See you next time.
HUGE THANKS TO OUR COMPANION ON THIS TRIP, MILAN who takes care of all our logistics.. drives us, sells our CDs, carries our luggage.. whatever is needed. He’s a great friend.. it’s awesome to share this journey with him!
PS.. a bit of bad news from New York. There was a fire in the kitchen of my local watering hole, Parnell’s Bar. Thankfully, no one was injured. According to my friend & bartender, Ambrose, the bar will be back in a few days .. it’ll take month or so to get the kitchen up and running. Regards to all my friends there… see you soon!
NOV 9, 2013 – HEERLEN – Parkstad Limber Theaters
The venue is in the southern part – west of Brussels, south of Eindhoven and east of Cologne.
I was here with Carrie some 6 years ago.. I remember loving the show and thinking the folks were kind and inspiring back then .. hoping we’ll leave with that same feeling.
We’ve been looking forward to this show for other reasons as well. There’s a great, kind lighting guy, Ben, who is a friend – Ben was here six years ago. Although he has retired, he offers his services from time to time. So happy he’s here tonight .. along with a revered sound guy, Peter Paul.
– we’ve been asked to come early to sound check to meet a local new pop/ soul band, Burning Down The House. Dante, Jop & Sammy are a bunch of good guys who have known each other since they were little kids.
They have some definite charm and talent … they’ll perform three songs tonight. John & I listened to the three songs, then worked with them on another .. a little blues edged rocker. John & I had some ideas .. the boys welcomed that and learned fast. Before long we had ALMOST an entire new song that might be a good one. We left it with them to finish at another time.
OUR SOUND CHECK
This was easy .. Ben on lights and Peter Paul on sound have us solid in a few minutes. Time to go back to the hotel and have a bit of food before hitting the stage.
I introduce Burning Down the House to my fans. The boys are humble but sort of fearless!! They blast through 2 of their planned songs. then they do the new one we were writing with them! They must have practiced it and added a bit to it when we went to dinner. These guys have balls .. the new song and the rest all sounded very good!
The audience loved them – they have a good future!
This area is know for humble, quiet, but knowledgeable listeners. I felt close to them almost immediately!
We play mostly the Yonkers Story songs with their stories, adding Block Out The Sirens and Dutchman Blues in the mix. John & I we seem to be connecting with each other in a special way tonight .. we end the set with a rockin’ I Can’t let Go and a warm Angel of the Morning.. which I could see connecting deeply with many.
This is where the real magic came! We started with Dance With A Hole In Your Show with the audience joining in on the chorus in a reverent manner – this gave chills. Then came the vibey, That’s How I Love you tonight which the audience totally loved. .. as they did Seven Days In May and Big River. Then Same Old Story brought the house down.. but there were more sparks to fly.. the requested, Unglorious Hallelujah, Don’t Speak In English and The Ship all connected with edge of the chair reverence.. then came Wild Thing.. and the first standing O .. then came a requested John Tucker which brought down the house again! We finally closed with an off the charts, requested, Holy Shit and finished the night with I WASN’T BORN IN TENNESSEE with everyone standing and clapping in time.
What a soulful night!!
SAID HI TO:
Hi Ziggy .. thanks for the kind words.. remember.. the heart’s nothing to fool around with .. take some walks while you can…Hi Mart .. thanks for you kind words and big support.. see you soon..
Hi Nico.. thanks for your collection .. hope to see you soon!! .. Hi Robert & Rob .. good seeing you.. Martin Paul .. great to see you again.. wish you’d have requested We Come Up Shining .. we both love that!.. Hi Marja .. good to see you! .. Hi Lohn & Peter & Wilma .. thanks for those kind words.. much appreciated! .. Hi Erwin .. nice talking with you… and Hi Juta good to see you!! thanks for coming!! .. hi Peter .. great to see you as well!
Upstairs .. good to meat Dave & Chantal .. so good talking to you both .. hope our paths cross soon! Great to meet you Noah .. big thanks for your hospitality.. much appreciated.. thanks to the kind staff that served the drinks .. hi to Dante’s dad, Marcel .. great talking with you
Great to see you Ben.. till next time .. thanks Peter Paul .. hope to see you soon as well
This was a magic night!! Thanks to all!
Nov 8, 2013 – Hengelo – VENUE -De Goodse Shouwberg
We arrive at our hotel at 1:00. I have a scheduled meeting with a local band, Texas Radio, at 2:30 at the venue which is 50 yards from the hotel. The band won a regional band contest a year plus ago. Since they have been gaining quite a bit of notoriety. And last week they played a show at a venue with Bob Dylan. The idea is I would meet them and make suggestions in sort of a musical workshop environment.
My suggestion was that we sound check at the same time so i could see them perform.. the way they do it at shows. They are crazy spirited bunch of guys .. but good guys. Joris on keys and trumpet, Teun on bass, Imanishi on drums, Niek on guitar. Arthur is the front-man on vocals and harp.
Niek somehow forgot to bring his guitar so we waited a couple of hours for him to retrieve it from. When John & I finally heard them, we thought they were terrific, with an honest retro (60s/70s feel) – unique in that way. We decided to let them open our show with three songs and join us with Wild Thing at the end. The Wild Thing rehearsal was big fun .. it was going to work in spades.
The boys gave me a EP with 6 songs – I’ll listen and see if that inspires me to write a song for them .. or start one and work back and forth with them on it. I’ll look forward to that.
Milan, John & I returned to our hotel, had a good dinner, showered & changed & headed back to the venue at 7:30.
THE SHOW – 8:00
I introduced the boys – telling the audience how terrific I thought they were…explaining the format of the show.
The boys played their 3 songs to a very appreciative audience. Then John & I took the stage. The audience seemed a bit shier than yesterday, but very appreciative, The Real Thing felt great .. John & I had a good blend on stage .. we were inspiring each other. Block Out The Sirens connected on a deep level, as did Dutchman Blues. We ended the first set with I Can’t Let Go and a chilling Angel Of The Morning. The audience gave a huge ovation as we left the stage.
We loosened up a lot here. After a moving DANCE WITH A HOLE IN YOUR SHOE which had the audience singing along with the “War.. War” choruses.. and a chilling THAT’S HOW I LOVE YOU TONIGHT, followed by a warm SEVEN DAYS IN MAY. I opened it up for requests and got several surprises .. but the good thing was that all requests were favorites of mine .. just hadn’t done them in a while.
The first request was WHAT A SMILE YOU HAD from my album Black & Blue America .. I loved playing this .. it gives me such a chill every time I do. Another request was by a young couple in their 20s. The song the wanted to hear was Hey Vinnie .. that jolted me .. I found out later that the couple were very into my music in general and had purchased the Block Out The Sirens album.. this particular song made Nienke cry .. I loved playing it for her .. Next was a request for LAST VIDEO .. which really seemed to charge up the folks. The audience seemed to particularly like all these requests. Next came the story and song of SAME OLD STORY, which totally connected .. then we invited the band and we totally rocked out WILD THING .. the band was great .. the audience loved it .. they were on their feet cheering.
John & I encored with JOHN TUCKER’S ON THE WAGON AGAIN.. but the audience stayed standing and cheering when we left .. so we came back and played I WASN’T BORN IN TENNESSEE and said good night .. lots still cheering .. but enough was enough .. time for a drink!
thanks to all who attended.. this was special.
Great to see old friend Bert with new girlfriend Ellie .. nice to meet you Ellie.. great to see dear old friends Martin .. and NEW WIFE Gerdien!! .. never saw you looking better and happier .. great news!!!! And always so good to see my old great, great great friend Leanne .. with friend Kodie (not sure how to spell it).
Hi to Annie & Rob DeLavaletta.. thanks for the kind words.. Hi Havco .. thanks for your kindness .. glad you were here.. Hi Nienke & Vincent .. Nienke .. those were such sweet words you said about HEY VINNIE .. so glad you asked for it .. you both have a nice warmth together .. hope to see you soon.. Hi Lucien & Connie .. good to talk to you.. Hi Jan .. Teun’s dad (Teun is the bass player for TEXAS RADIO) .. so nice talking to yoo.. Hi Gerard .. great to see you!! Thanks for the support always .. & thanks for the request of what A Smile You Had .. I LOVED playing that .. it gave me such a chill tonight.. the song is so, so honest.. Hi to another Gerard .. another fan for years & years.. so great to see you .. hope Minie likes her CD.. & hope to see you again … Hi to Jan.. the band MGR .. good to meet you.. let’s talk again.
Special hello to my wheelchair friends, Marie & Paul.. great to talk to you after the show. Thanks for the kind words and your smiles. You lifted my spirits!!
Loved meeting all these folks!! .. thanks for setting this up Raoul.. see you soon.
NOV 7, 2013 – The Hague – VENUE – The Dakota
it then go downstairs to the hotels spacious restaurant on the lobby level. Since our sound check is at our normal dinner time, we decide to have an early dinner tonight (4:15PM). We’re quite sure the food will be great because at lunch time the place was packed with seemingly very happy Chinese families. We’re right – the fish, beef. vegetable and won ton soup are awesome!! More praise to Milan!!
We’re at the venue at 6:30 to sound check with great and interesting sound man Xavier.. we’re sounding good in minutes and, after getting a warm welcome from Yolanda, our kind host for tonight, we head for the spacious & warm green room to relax till show time.
What a night!! One of my favorite shows in memory. John & I felt so comfortable on stage with this warm audience. Again it was like we were playing friends.. family .. very inspiring!!
We played the the Yonkers story songs .. from The Real Thing to Bastard Brothers, Hey Jonny and Charcoal Sky.. adding a very touching Block Out The Sirens Of This Lonely World… which seemed to totally connect & a warm The Dutchman Blues mixed in.. later we got to my first song published, Just A Little bit later On Down The line .. then ended with a rockin’ I Can’t Let Go and a chilling Angel of The Morning. John was magic .. we left the stage in total communion with these kind folks.
This set felt so awesome!! Highlights for me were a totally spiritual, Dance With A Hole In Your Shoe, John Tucker’s On The Wagon Again and two awesome requests of song we haven’t done in a while.. but are among my all time favorites, THEME FOR AN AMERICAN HERO and BLACK & BLUE AMERICA. We closed with a totally rockin WILD THING and encored with a requested FUCK ALL THE PERFECT PEOPLE, a song i wrote for prisoners, with these kind folks prayerfully and defiantly singing along.
The interaction between audience and performer never gets better than it was tonight!! This was a remarkable night.. one to remember!!
Great to see old fan Ton with Marianne.. Ton’s a fan from way back – and he’s always been a big John Tucker fan and loves FUCK ALL THE PERFECT PEOPLE.. come to think of it.. everybody loved Fuck All tonight .. many (mostly women!) bought several copies for family members! One school teacher told me he played it for his inner city high school kids .. or told them about it.. I think they bonded with that.
Hi to Derek & Annelies & Kees.. such kind words .. nice taking to you.. hi Mary & Erik.. so good to meet you.. hi Jan (plays pedal steel with a local band) & sensitive & kind Margaretha.. so nice sharing your thoughts.. that meant allot to me. Hi Lischa & Anouk .. and Nico .. who first saw me at The Blue Highway Fest.. when Carrie was singing for the first time .. what a nice memory!! .. Hi Oki.. so nice talking to you & meeting you both!.. Hi Rene & Gerard .. thanks for the nice words.. .. and Els, who said the kindest things & Arnold.. a fan from the early days .. has 4 of my vinyl in his collection.. Hi Frank and hi Loes.. real name is Maria.. which she uses in the US because “Loes” is harder for us to grasp.. nice talking to you Loes.. thanks so much for your kindness.
I’m thinking of some nice young lady that was taking pictures from 10 feet away & smiling..saw you in the center back in the audience .. wish I remembered your name.. hi Titus.. great to see you.. Big hello to Dirk who requested Theme From An American Hero .. great request!! .. I’ll play it lots in the future because you reminded me of it tonight…. hope you can make it to another show…. And GREAT to meet you Carole .. thanks so much for the lovely note .. and the story about your dad & my music..we’ll get you Last Chance and a copy of This Side Of The Big River somehow.. Hi to your nice friend Martina.
John was awesome again tonight and there’s lots of hero worship for John in the signing area .. I love that. He’s so humble but so deserving of that stuff. One fan remarked that he read an advertisement for our show in the north in a few days. It said:
“Chip Taylor will be appearing with John Platania. That means John will NOT be in Belfast with Van Morrison!”
Big thanks to the kind staff here .. Yolanda .. you were great.. much appreciated.. & Mark .. thanks for showing us around in the afternoon.. look for the Patrick Wang film, IN THE FAMILY.. I think it might fit your program rather well. HI Xavier.. great sound!! .. good luck with your music.. love to see one of your fruit concerts!!