May 28 -29, 2015 – Belfast & Wales
May 30, 2015 – BEDFORD
We left Wales at a bit after 11 .. arrived in our hotel, DeVer Venues in Newport Pagnell.. a half hour south of our venue in Bedford at about 3:30. This is a simple new hotel. One good thing .. internet, so we have time to catch up with that.
We arrive at our venue in Bedford at 6:15 .. we are greeted by nice folks .. sound man Andrew & Rachel. At that point I realize I’ve left my capos for my guitar back at the hotel .. we do a quick but GREAT sound check with Andy. Milan heads to get the capos at the hotel .. John & I have the luxury of an astounding Indian meal at an up-scale restaurant, Indiya.
We order Milan some great food “to go” .. In an hour we’re heading back to the venue .. back at 8:00… great to see booker Mike Plummer and co-booker Mark .. good guys. It’s been 10 plus years since we did a show with them! We’re on stage promptly at 8:30.
We probably should have waited a few minutes as several late arrivals filled the place up about 15 minutes later.
John was brilliant again tonight .. and the folks knew him to start with and showed their appreciation for his magic time and time again with bursts of applause..
Again, the Yonkers Story totally connected. As did the visit to some friends in Norway and Sweden with BLOCK OUT THE SIRENS OF THIS LONELY WORLD.. ending with a prisoner’s songwriting work shop. Highlights were many .. let’s go with Bastard Brothers … about my brothers getting mom & dad to take my precious violin away from me .. replacing it with a guitar.. then Charcoal Sky .. our Monday religious holiday with the family in CHARCOAL SKY .. then a requested by Milan version of our LITTLE PRAYERS song for the prisoners, SOLITARY… then selling my first song to a publisher with JUST A LITTLE BIT LATER ON DOWN THE LINE .. which became a hit by Bobby Bare .. then the misnomer of “The Brill Building era”.. with the reverence to the building 1650 Broadway .. which was more the blood, sweat and tears of Rock & Roll .. where I wrote my hits and made my bets on horses with bookie Meyer Lansky. We ended with a chilling version Angel Of The Morning. THIS was a vibey good set.
A very warm and good audience to play for!!
This was loose and great. DANCE WITH A HOLE IN YOUR SHOE, TRYIN TO LET THE ANGELS KNOW .. which connected on a deep level with this audience .. an extra long applause for this .. then TRACK 224 killed .. John was so, so soulful .. the audience loved this .. as they did SLEEP WITH OPEN WINDOWS .. BIG RIVER totally rocked .. somehow I drifted to dad introducing legislation to allow black golfers to join the PGA in 1960 .. which led to a chilling version of USED TO BE A WHITE BOY .. one of the highlights for .. then came a tribute to The Troggs with ANYWAY THAT YOU WANT ME .. this was so soulful .. then Czech Heaven.. and the talk of the troubles in Ireland in the late 90s .. with a tribute to late NO Ireland DJ , the revered Gerry Anderson and an invite to Parnell’s bar in NY .. THEN AN AWESOME ROCKIN’ WILD THING and finally FUCK ALL THE PERFECT PEOPLE .. with awesome audience sing-a-longs on each .. encored with I WASN’T BORN IN TENESSEE ..
WHAT A NIGHT!!
Great to see old. friend Jackie (Jacqueline Ryan) .. the great and king Troggs fan club president for many years.. and friends Barbara.. & Leham.. it’s always special to see you guys!
Hi to Dave & Dave & Dave again with Fi .. nice talking to all of you.. thanks for the kind words! .. Hi Jenny & Shirley .. so great to see you sitting on my left as I looked to the audience .. and so good to see you after the show.. thanks for the kind words!
HI TO TRIS & KELLY* .. it was so special meeting you .. thanks for the kind words ..hope you enjoy the Yonkers CD .. It would be great to see you again! .. Hi Chris & lovely Julia.. and Jackie & Matk.. Hi Roger .. nice talking to you .. hope Emma enjoys the CD.
Hi to DJ from HFM RADIO .. (The Quiet Revolution) .. thanks for your support with The Little Prayers Trilogy! .. Hi Annie .. good to meet you as well .. thanks for the kind words! .. Hi Phil .. great to see you
Hi Lorraine .. friend of Mrk & Mike .. look forward to seeing you in Oxford!
May 28 .. A LONG LONG DAY!
This is the toughest travel day on the tour. We left Nottingham in the North of England at 7:00 AM. Drove three hours east through the north of Wales to catch a ferry at Holyhead. From there it was a two hour Irish Sea journey to Dublin. From there it was another two plus hours to Belfast.
We arrived at our very comfortable Holiday Inn Express at 3:30 .. rested a bit and arrived at our venue just before 6:00 PM
THE VENUE – THE ERRIGLE INN
This is a vibey old style large Irish pub with a fairly large music room in the back with it’s own bar adjacent to it. I played here 10 years ago. The music room has a strange lay-out with a capacity of 120. It is sold out tonight! Small tables and chairs are placed throughout. From the stage about 60% of the audience is off to the left, only 10% is in front of you .. the other 30% is off to the right..
We would soon find out that, despite the unusual layout, this place just works!! Everyone can hear and see and despite the whiskey and beer at every table, this audience is totally with you, totally reverent and TOTALLY silent when called for. Simply, this is an awesome place to play!
We meet our kind promoter Jim Heaney.. who I met years ago and sound man Gregan, another great guy and a total pro who has us sound checked in minutes.
After a great home cooked meal (John & I had salmon and vegetables .. Milan had chicken Caesar salad – we were tuned and ready to go .. after a simple and very good intro by new friend John, we hit the stage at 8:45.
THE SHOW – SET #1
It’s hard to explain this show.. simply one of my favorites of all time. I think that’s because of the spirit that got me to Belfast in the first place. I owe much of my fan base in Northern Ireland to three special guys. Phil Alexander, a record store owner, who was on a mission to have his friends hear my music back in the 70s. He actually made cassettes of my records and gave them to his friends. I saw him just before he passed away in 1997 and played a tour in his honor back then. NEXT, GERRY ANDERSON, the revered DJ from Derry who passed away last year.. became my good friend and was a total champion of my music. He stood tall for the common man and was loved by all. BASICALLY .. THIS SHOW IS DEDICATED TO HIS MEMORY. NEXT, another totally revered Belfast DJ (BBC) and my friend, Ralph McClean who supports my music and has supported me for years. Evidently he has been playing my new CD, THE LITTLE PRAYERS TRILOGY quite a bit these days as this audience was cheering and singing along to each one mentioned and played tonight. THANKS RALPH .. wish we had time to get together.
So , with the spirit of those great guys all around we began our show. We told the Yonkers Story in stories and songs.. with a slight departure toward the beginning to talk about my connection to my Norwegian and Swedish friends…. with the touching, BLOCK OUT THE SIRENS OF THIS LONELY WORLD, dedicated to the memory of the kids that were killed in the Utoya tragedy four years ago, which set the stage for certain seriousness that would be part of much of the show. But the fun and humor of my Bastard Brothers was certainly there.. totally connected, as did our journey to the start of Rock & Roll with Hey Jonny .. and the train station stop with my family as part our Czech Holy Daty services with CHARCOAL SKY.
The story of getting my first song published at a 1650 Broadway publisher’s office, with an accompanying check for $30, totally connected .. as did our first Little Prayers song, SOLITARY .. folks were totally into the songs in solidarity with the prisoners! We closed with stories of gambling .. horses and blackjack. And all things that went on behind the 1650 Broadway sign (which was my writing space). ending this set with one of my big hits written there, ANGEL OF THE MORNING. This was special – I had total chills.
JOHN PLATANIA .. was so magical throughout this .. just amazing! And the audience let him know it at every turn.
This set was special .. lots of talk about Gerry Anderson and Phil Sinclair .. lots of Little Prayers Trilogy – TRYIN TO LET THE ANGELS KNOW, TRACK 224 (John was so awesome on this), HE’S A GOOD GUY, SLEEP WITH OPEN WINDOWS, .. all SO revered by this great audience..as was Johnny Cash’s BIG RIVER .. then somewhere near the end came the all-time magic – the story of my first coming to Belfast to play The Rotterdam Club.. where Catholic and Proestant divides were mended in the spirit of Phil Anderson. And Gerry doing the same with his coining the phrase “Stroke City” to mediate the dispute of the town’s name.
And so it was STROKE CITY GIRLS with the entire audience singing along.. then Czech Heaven with it’s tribute to all good towns and kind people .. ending with an invitation to my local pub in New York – Parnell’s bar where I promise to buy whoever appears a drink of his/her choice. Then a blast of the true spirit of Rock & Roll.. with a tribute to the great and humble REG PRESLEY featuring A POWERFUL AUDIENCE SING IN HONOR OF THE PASSION HE STOOD FOR.. THEN FINALLY, IN SOLIDARITY WITH THE PRISONERS AND OTHER LESS FORTUNATES it was FUCK ALL THE PERFECT PEOPLE with a resounding and beautiful chorus .. with the entire audience… this was so chilling.
Again.. JOHN PLATANIA’S MAGIC was all over these songs tonight.
What a way to end one of the most inspiring shows ever.
great friends Sciobhan (Joan) .. my longtime great friends from Dublin.. so GREAT to see you guys at sound check and later
DAVY BROWN /.. my great friend .. so great to see you!! ..what great news about giving up the sauce!!!!! .. best with that… love to sis Carol!! . thanks for bringing the CDs .. what great memories we have of Phil Sinclair & Gerry Anderson.. two one-of-a-kinds! .. you gave me their gift!! .. what a blessing!
Hi Noel .. Jim’s friend .. from the opera in Dublin to here .. a blessing for me! .. thanks Noel.. Hi Hi John .. thanks for the kind intro.. I liked that! .. simple & solid!
Hi Pat .. don’t divorce your lovely bride!! you’ve been blessed! HI ANNE .. great to see you .. thanks for the kind words! .. Hi Arie ( from Holland!) .. great to see you! Hi Pamela.. so nice to see you!.. Hi Frances .. so good to see you again!! Thanks for mentioning Michael’s Song .. that really touched me! .. hi to nice friend .. name escapes me .. but so nice to talk with you.. Hi Maurice & friend Michael.. good to see you guys!
Hi Hugh & Josephine.. and Fran (a Donnely! Ontario Crimes).. what a story .. Joe & Phil and golf and all the rest! All the best to you .. Love Lu too!.. ni John .. nice to see you .. and Hi Irish John .. great to see you again! Hi Steven & brother John .. from back in Auntie Annie days! Great to see you.
Great to see you again Brendan!.. thanks for the support always!! .. you’re a good guy.. like the song says .. and regards to friend Martin .. so good to see you! .. Hi to another Brendan.. maybe next year for a band tour .. not sure
Hi to all .. what a magic night!
With great friend, great tour manager, and awesome driver, Milan at the helm, we left Belfast at 11:15 and arrived at the ferry in Dublin ferry just before 2:00 PM. Two hours across the Irish sea .. arrived in Hollhead (Wales) .. @ 4:30 .. checked into our Victoria Hotel at the base of the Menai Bridge in the north of Wales and arrived at the venue for sound check at 6:00PM.
THE VENUE – The Caban in BRYNEFALL
First.. there is something magical about Wales. Its beautiful winding country roads, lush green pastures and simple old, well kept buildings and farm houses make our drive to the venue a peaceful feeling. The town we’re playing in is just a small simple village, but, surprisingly to me (because it is humble in size & structures) is a treasured vacation spot.
LOVE THIS VENUE!
The Caban, a simple elegant, precious little restauarnt (holding 80 plus tonight) doubles the local meeting place. Income from the restaurant supports small art-related businesses that are housed there and since the local chapel for some reason ceased to exist a few years ago, the Caban is a meeting place for weekly prayer services.
We meet our old friend and kind host, Owen .. it’s wonderful to see him again.. sadness struck 3 years ago when his wonderful wife Beryl passed away rather suddenly. Ten years ago Carrie Rodriquez develpped a special bond with Owen & Beryl. Carrie has toured often since but this is my first time back. We have a warm several minutes of good welcoming hugs .. with a few words in between.
Owen’s lovely daughter Gwyn, whom I met those same ten years past and fiance Chris, just back from Ibiza, stop in to welcome us.. so good to see them.
Old friend, Nick, is handling the sound.. John & I are happy with it in minutes. We have a “green” room upstairs to put our belongings. They serve us a delicious chicken dinner there and John & I are ready to hit the stage by 8:30.
THE SHOW – FIRST SET
The show is sold out .. the audience – similar to last night – was situated mostly on the far left and far right. It was a great audience .. welcoming and with us from the start!
I introduce John .. who has lots of fans tonight.. then dedicate the show to the memory of the much loved Beryl – soft cheers and applause followed. She was special to so many.
We played the Yonkers Story .. in story and song.. with a short break to tribute my Norwegian and Swedish friends… with special thoughts of the tragedy in Utoya, Norway where the children were killed – this seemed to connect with all in the best possible way.
From there, highlights for me were getting to know my brothers in Bastard Brothers, The start of Rock & Roll with Hey Jonny (with John’s awesome solos!!), a visit to the train station with my Mom & Dad and Bastard Brothers.. we dedicated SOLITARY to our great tour guide, Milan.. one of his favorites.. it was special tonight with John’s solos so magical.. we ended with a visit to my 1650 Broadway writing space .. with calls to my bookie.. ending with a chilling version of Angel Of The Morning.
John’s solos were cheered throughout this set and when we finished Angel, this great group of folks cheered as they might at shows end.
We dedicated our first song, Dance With A Hole In Your Shoe, to the spirit of a longtime fan, Brian Strickland, who passed away a few months ago, at the request of his brother Stan.
This song seems to connect on many levels .. loved doing it, then more from The Little Prayers Trilogy..Tryin’ To Let The Angels Know, Track 224 .. with crazy awesome John solos, 9 Soldiers In Baltimore .. which has quickly become a fan favorite.. BIG RIVER rocked so good tonight .. again John was on fire!.. He’s A Good Guy cast a warm silent spell.
Anyway That you Want Me had the audience and many of the waitresses singing .. If I had to pick highlights.. Czech Heaven would be one.. which tonight included thoughts of my first show in Belfast, the divide in that venue between Catholics and Protestants.. unsung mediators like Phil Sinclair & Gerry Anderson.. ending up with a stop at Parnell’s bar and an invite to all to join me there.
A totally passionate WILD THING followed dedicate to the true rock & roll exemplified by Reg Presley and Jimi… The audience sang a chorus like they really got that.. THIS WAS SPECIAL TONIGHT .. more anarchistic than ever!
We ended with a soulful version of Fuck All The Perfect People.. with the audience for some reason making it their own and singing the chorus loud and with feeling from the beginning. What a statement!
What a night!! .. said hi to many after the show, including: HI to:
Big hello to Owen’s lovely daughter, Gwen (Gwyn??).. now teaching school – 5 year olds. Bet they love her!! And fiance Chris.. a great guy who works at the local power plant. A great couple! … Hi to lovely Sian .. who was 13 when she assisted Beryl in selling tickets to Carrie Rodriguez & my show at the Victoria hotel 10 years ago. Great to see you again Sian! Best with your final college year .. then your masters! Good thoughts!!
Great to see all the John Platania/Van Morrison fans in the room!!.. At sound check we met charming Lily (7) with a Van Morrison T-shirt on.. doesn’t get cuter than Lily.. as well as world class drummer, Tom (13), who now plays drums with the prestigious Wales Brass Band.. dad Chris was there as well (thanks for your kindness throughout the night Chris) As well as mom.. to say hi and goodbye and take Lily home (sorry I didn’t get your name).. hope to see you both again!
Later I would meet Chris’s mom and dad Margaret & Ian .. also HUGE Van/John fans!
As well as Chris’ lovely daughter Jenny (16) .. what a warm wonderful vibe.. loved sharing some time with you Jenny ..best with your guitar playing.. if you figure that loop station out.. teach me!! .. nice thought!
Earlier, when someone mentioned Tom’s prowess on drums.. which an outsider (like me) might consider understandable family bragging, Jenny walked to his side, put her arm around his shoulder, looked at me and said simple, “It’s true Chip. There is no better drummer in the UK”
It was simply said .. not in a bragging way .. resulting in me having no doubt Tom was quite special at what he did! Nice Jenny.. shows a lot about you!
Hi John .. good to see you again & again.. Thanks for the kind words! Hope Freda enjoys the CD.. Hi Colin & Anne .. good to see you!! .. Hi Dai.. good to see you again! Thanks for the kind words . . Hi Gareth .. good to see you.. and Alan.. loved signing your Billy & Judy single REACHING FOR THE MOON from 1968 .. one of my all time favorite songs/ productions!
Hi Christian.. smart sometimes seaman.. nice talking to you.. thanks for the kind words.. Hi Charles.. great to talk to you.. I’ll check out Capt. Johnson’s voice.. thanks for the invite!! .. Hi Sally … THANKS SO MUCH FOR YOUR LITHOGRAPH .. it’s special.. Owen says he thinks it was the first one you did.. after hibernating a bit when your friend BERYL PASSED… a precious gift – thanks!… Hi Jasper .. didn’t get to know about why the crutches .. hope things are OK.
Stan .. did you have to leave quickly after the show? .. best to you.. warm wishes to your daughter.. with thoughts of Brian.
Owen .. huge thanks.. it’s simply great to be with you again! .. Nick .. great job!! .. so good to see you!!
This was a special night .. thanks to Bet all the lovely staff .. it was great seeing you all!
MAY 27, 2015 – NOTTINGHAM – Venue – THE MAZE
the promoters here are old friends James Windsor & friend Glenn (bet to Peter!)
just before load-in we do a great on-air interview – with bits of songs – with legendary DJ Allan Clifford. LOVED THIS. Thanks Allan!
At the venue we we’re met by venue MGR Gaz and sound-man Kav and assistant promoter Glenn. all great guys.
At sound check we found that John had left an important wire to his pedal board at the last venue and no stores were open to find a replacement. Somehow Milan, Kav & Glenn put there heads together and come up with a make-shift something that works. The sound check is quick .. we’re finished in time for a quick hot meal at a great local pub, then checked into out VG Best Western.
It’s been 8 years since we’ve been here. We found out very quickly we were playing for hard core fans. These folks love the stories about the family, getting into the business and the gambling episodes. That seems to strike home in every show. Song highlights were Hey Jonny, Charcoal Sky, Solitary – an off-the-cuff TRY (JUST A LITTLE BIT HARDER) and a magical Angel Of The Morning. John displayed his brilliance throughout .. the fans showed their appreciation at every turn!
This set was loose and very good. Dance With A Hole In Your Show was magic, as was Tryin To Let The Angels Know and Track 224 (John really shone on this one! Nothin Comin Out Of Me That I Like hit home again. Big River rocked so hard.
The song for the prisoners, Sleep With Open Windows hit home. ANYWAY THAT YOU WANT ME totally rocked and Czech Heaven brought us in solidarity with some important issues. This might have been the show,s highlight! WILD THING killed and FUCK ALL THE PERFECT PEOPLE had us all sing/praying together at the end. This was to be the final song but the fans need another so for all the Last Chance fans in the house we ended with a hand clappin’ I WASN’T BORN IN TENNESSEE.
This show will be a great memory for me! John was heroic the entire show! Thanks to all!
Alan & Dave in the front row .. long time fans.. great talking to you guys..sorry about the fire Dave.. sounds like you’ve replenished most .. big thanks for the kind words! Hi Tom .. good to see you.. HI JACEK .. GREAT TO MEET YOU.. hope your patient friends, Edit & Margaret enjoy the CDs… Hi Arthur .. GREAT to see you again!! .. hi to Anne & Dave.. send my best regards..
Hi Nip .. great to see you again! .. Hi Andy .. nice talking with you.. Big Hi To Old Friends Chris & Alan .. who were there from the beginning.. GREAT to see you again! .. Alan..Chris is such a handsome boy! .. Hope I’ll see him and momma next time! Big hello to old friends Graham & Judy & shelley & Lisa! and memories of the flower pot! .. don’t forget that!
Great to see you at the end James .. thanks for the great accomadations.. and the kindness . . loved sharing a few minutes with you!
Again, thanks Gaz & Kav & Glenn.. you guys made this so easy . . hope to see you soon!!
May 25-26, 2015 – UK Tour – Newcastle & London
MAY 25 – NEWCASTLE – VENUE – THE CLUNEY
LOVE THIS PLACE .. A GREAT SOUNDING ROOM .. REMINDS ME A BIT OF NY’s MERCURY LOUNGE .. A NO-NONSENSE ROOM .. .. awesome acoustics and a good sound system and an awesome engineer!
When I originally saw the tour lineup, Newcastle was not included. I was told only one day was available and that this is the last day of the bank holiday and with a back-to-work day tomorrow – hardly anybody would show up. As this is too important a town for me and as booker/friend Graham Anderson was willing to give it a try, we said let’s do it.
So the show had not been advertised ‘till recently and what looked like could be a disaster worked out .. Graham did some magic we had a great walk on.. and all of a sudden the seats were full!. And these were great folks to play for! So glad we took the chance!
We arrived a few hours early for sound check with great engineer Nick, had dinner up-stares and hit the stage at 8:25.
The family apartment back in the early 1940s, with the Motorola radio in the hallway, has become the imaginary set for the YONKERS story which takes up much of the first set. Without it I would have probably never developed my strong love of country music and the blues .. which certainly guided my desire to somehow perform and write songs.
The description of that started the show and soon we were into the Yonkers story .. in story and song.. with The Real Thing, Bastard Brothers, Hey Jonny, Charcoal Sky.. with the touching song for my Sweden/Norway friends, BLOCK OUT THE SIRENS OF THIS LONELY WORLD. We ended up at disrespected 1650 Broadway publishing house where I first got paid $30 advance for one of my songs – JUST A LITTLE BIT LATER ON DOWN THE LINE – which became a hit by Bobby Bare…. we ended the set with a beautiful version Angel Of The Morning.
John was awesome .. the connection with this group was amazing! Loved this set!
Couldn’t wait for this to start… After Dance With A Hole In Your Shoe it was mostly THE LITTLE PRAYERS TRILOGY with Tryin To Let The Angels Know, Track 224, Sleep With Open Windows, NOTHIN COMIN OUT OF ME THAT I LIKE, then Big River & He’s A Good Guy .. LOVED THIS!!.. then a tribute to the Troggs with ANYWAY THAT YOU WANT ME..
Then Czech Heaven took us to Parnell’s bar and all around the world .. wrapped up with a spirited WILD THING .. reminiscent to the great send-off they gave Reg at his cremation! Loved that guy.
What a night this was ..John was so special and there was total communion with these great folks. We ended with a reverent sing-a-long of FUCK ALL THE PERFECT PEOPLE… this was special!
One problem was that we played an extremely long set which left many in the audience waving and heading for transportation to get them home and ready for the work week. GREAT TO SEE YOU ALL .. THANKS SO MUCH FOR COMING!
SAID HI TO SEVERAL
Hi to old friends Stuart & Violette .. see you at Parnells soon I hope. Thanks to old friends Joan & Christine who have seen my shows over the years!.. great to see you again!! So great to see Lara & Ian!!! 10 plus years ago we sneaked lovely Lara into our show at 9 years old .. Lara is now a grammar school in London! She & Dad Ian have been fans and friends for years for all these! So great to see you!
Good to see old fan/friend Vic & Harold .. Big thanks Nick .. Graham GREAT TO SEE YOU AGAIN! Hope we do it again soon!
MAY 26 DRIVING FROM NEWCASTLE TO LONDON
It’s a five hour plus drive.. a decent day .. some sun.. temperature in the 60s ..we’re passing a few towns where will playing a few days, including Nottingham and Bedford.. and one that somehow didn’t fit into the schedule, Leicester .. I always love playing there at the Musician .. one of my favorite venues .. hello to all my friends there .. hope to see you soon.
MAY 26th – VENUE THE SLAUGHTERED LAMB
Loved this place! Like a late night smallish NY jazz club with candle lit tables. There was no stage .. we played in a comfortable right side of the stage – sort of “one” with the audience .. with great simple sound .. thanks to thanks to Joe .. it was definitely like playing in you living room .. in the best way possible.. the result was that you got to hear John & I in the most intimate way possible.. an absolute magic vibe here!! so glad to be part of it.
The booking for this club came late in the game .. only a few weeks ago.. but word got out somehow and by show time all the tables and chairs were taken .. with standing room on the side.
Natasha (assistant to the promoter Dave) gave us a warm welcome when we arrived .. you’re great Natasha!!.. big thanks to Tom .. MGR of the club for his assistance at every turn.. and again, sound man Joe was so easy to work with.. great job Joe! And Tom’s assistant Jack .. again, just a great vibe from all!
Again.. it was like a living room show.. with this warm audience .. mostly all hard core fans..there was no “us” & ‘them” .. we were in it together from the start!
We began with the Yonkers story .. in story and song again .. about my brothers & Mom & Dad.. And how I found my way into the music business..
The songs and stories felt so lived in and rich – but the real magic tonight was the interaction with John Platania. John was amazing. Because of the room set up and the closeness feeling, with John’s electric playing against my acoustic , sometimes was sort of silent magic .. . silences and crescendos .. and sometimes just cool rock & roll . .. John plays from total inspiration .. he never plays the same thing twice. I got chills listening to so many of the magical licks John played tonight – on The Real Thing .. Hey Jonny .. Charcoal Sky .. the Bobby Bare hit, Just A Little Bit Later On Down The Line .. and later, Solitary and Angel. Solitary, a song for the prisoners, was so moving tonight. After, the audience loved the gambling stories .. finally, we ended the first set with Angel Of The Morning with special thoughts of old friend Tony’s friend Jasmine, this was never more inspired!
This has been my favorite part of the shows .. as it highlights the Little Prayers Trilogy songs.. songs that still live so close to my heart..and as much as I liked the Yonkers story and songs of the first set tonight.. this set, again, totally got to me .. there was so much silence and feeling with Trying to Let The Angels Know. & Track 224.. & He’s A good Guy & Czech Heaven .. .. Big River was so soulful .. as was our special tribute to The Troggs with ANYWAY THAT YOU WANT ME and a totally rockin’ WILD THING.. I MEAN TOTALLY ROCKING! .. but the reverence of FUCK ALL THE PERFECT PEOPLE was again, the show stopper and was so amazing tonight.. with the audience singing the chorus so reverently at the end … tonight was like a good, healthy church service .. we took away a lot from each other!
What a humble, warm bunch of friends to share the night with! .Let’s do it soon again.
Hi Martyn .. great doing the interview with you … hope to meet Ralph soon .. Hi Matthew .. see you in NY!.. Hi Per (originally from Gothenburg, Sweden) .. so good seeing you before the show.. thanks for the kind words!
Natasha.. again.. thanks for your kindness!.. great to see you & Nick!! Big Thanks!! .. Hi JEFF .. great talking to you .. best to Michael.. * .. good to see you Steve .. thanks for the good words.. Hi Tom (Obrien) and new friend Joanne .. so great to see you guys in the front row! .. Joanne .. hope to see you next time! Hi John .. great to see you again..
Hi Willie & Tony .. great to see you . see you in a few days.. so good to see you Jasmine .. what a special thing to meet you .. best with school .. see you in Alberta! .. Hi Julian & Cathy .. nice talking to you .. big hello Willy & Elaine. loved that you asked for WHAT A SMILE YOU HAD.. one of my all time favorites.. Hi Terry & Linda .. thanks for coming again & again!!.. Hi Florence .. and friend Barney.. thanks for the nice words Barney.. Flo .. John says your heading for the Alps?? .. best wishes if you do…. hope to see the kids soon!
SEE YOU SOON TOM & JOE .. big thanks!
MAY 27 Marylebone, London
Internet Radio with Andrew Mueller
Loved this! Big thanks to engineer Alex and producer Holly.
This is the home of some brilliant former (and some still) writers and radio hosts. A conclave for important discussion and reporting on politics, the arts etc.. It sort of reminds me of NPR radio in the US – great to be part of this!
Andrew asked some great and interesting questions about my process of writing.. and asked if the the process was different now then in the 60s when I wrote most of my hits .. very good and
interesting questions… John Platania & I played three songs.. Nothin Comin Out Of Me That I Like, Track 224 and Angel Of The Morning.
Thanks Andrew! And Alex & Holly .. best with all you do here . . hope to see you soon!
MAY 24, 2015 – LELAND – FOX LANE SOCIAL CLUB
Our venue tonight is housed in one of the simple wooden structures that houses a beautiful well kept Cricket field. The Social Club houses about 60 or so in comfortable seating areas around small tables facing the stage with a quiet bar in the back. Despite the fact that it’s an official Bank Holiday, we have a very good turnout.
What a wonderful night! Loved playing for these kind folks and meeting many of them. Thanks Steve for booking us .. good to meet your wife Shirley at shows end.. so nice you do all of this for charity .. what a beautiful thing… big thanks to Keith for the great sound .. and special hello to partner/ wife Janet! The sound was so simple and good tonight!
John Platania & I wove in and out of the Yonkers story .. in story and song .. and all those songs seemed to connect. And folks got to know my bastard brothers and mom Barbara and dad Elmer. Highlights for me included The Real Thing, Charcoal Sky, Hey Jonny .. maybe my top favorites here were my tribute to my Scandanavian friends with BLOCK OUT THE SIRENS OF THIS LONELY WORD .. which seemed so strike home with several .. including my birthday friend Peter. Loved Solitary (a song for my prisoner friends) and Angel Of The Morning was so chilling tonight.
John Platania was so off-the-charts unique tonight. I got so many chills listening to him play.
This was chill time from beginning to end .. heavily laden with songs from The Little Prayers Trilogy. The messages of those songs resonated strong on stage and off. And John & I got so lost in their power. There were many highlights including TRYIN TO LET THE ANGELS KNOW, TRACK 224, SLEEP WITH OPEN WINDOWS (another song for the prisoners), CZECH HEAVEN and maybe my favorite of the night, NOTHIN’S COMIN OUT OF ME THAT I LIKE.
Mixed in we played an awesome version of Johnny Cash’s Big River (John Platania was other-worldly on this), my Hollies hit – the Taylor/Gorgoni penned, I CAN’T LET GO .. then a tribute to the TROGGS, with ANYWAY YOU WANT ME and WILD THING … then closed this show with this amazing audience singing the chorus to FUCK ALL THE PERFECT PEOPLE!
JP was special all night.. and what a warm group of folks to play for!!!
Huge thanks to all who attended.
Great to see John & Ilene walking up to the entrance before the show.. & Yvonne .. great to see you before the show as well .. almost knocked me over (only kidding!!)..
Hi to Jim & Steve .. and Andy & wife Linda .. great to see you guys.. thanks for the kind words.. HI GARY .. so good to finally meet you .. loved the picture of your dog, Chip .. a first for me!! .. thanks for those kind thoughts Gary .. hope to see you soon again
Hi Andy & June .. so great to talk to you both .. Andy thanks for the mention of NOTHIN COMIN OUT OF ME THAT I LIKE .. * June .. such kind thoughts!! .. PETER! great to see you again! 10 years?! Wow! You look the same! So good to talk to you again!
So good to see another PETER! Happy Birthday .. thanks for the kind words about BLOCK OUT THE SIRENS.. that meant a lot to me .. big love to your daughter .. hope to see her next time! Hi to son Steve.. thanks for getting your dad tickets to the show! And good to see your friend Darren .. hope to see you all again!
JOHN .. huge thanks for the compilation CDs .. SO GREAT TO SEE YOU! Joan sends her love!
To the others I missed .. thanks so much for the memory!
UK TOUR 2015
NOV 22 – Saltaire, England – The Caroline Social Club
John Platania & I arrived on the morning of May 21st .. a day in advance to beat the jet lag .. stayed at a VG Radisson Blu at the Manchester airport .. . LOVED THIS HOTEL! Kind people .. Dean, Javi.. Malu booked us .. huge thanks Malu & all .. got a bit of sleep .. then a great dinner and a good bar to wind down in.. beating the jet lag worked fairly well .. we’re almost on UK time!
Great friend Milan (see Holland tour notes) .. in from Holland! Picked us up on May 22 just past noon .. GREAT to see our old friend.. arrived at our next hotel, The Abbey Lodge in Shipley, UK, ( sort of an up-scale B&B) at about 2:30 .. an hour downtime then headed for the venue about 10 minutes away
Old friends, Ron & Hillary .. who formerly booked us in Wales.. run The Caroline.. a cool music venue .. great vibe .. nice to meet their friend Michael who kindly assisted .. Wiyh little extra effort Ron had us sound checked in short order
THE SHOW – First Set
This was an amazing opening set for John & me and it felt like the audience was so totally with us and inspiring us .. so we let go .. and took chances.. lots of YONKERS stories and songs (Bastard Bros, Charcoal Sky, Hey Jonny) plus Midnight Blues from King Records days and a requested ME AS I AM – my ‘62 chart record on Warner Bros .. plus SOLITARY from The Little Prayers Trilogy .. plus my Bobby Bare hit Just A Little Bit Later On Down The Line .. plus ANGEL OF THE MORNING – this was the longest first set in memory .. much of it audience inspired .. loved every minute!
For me .. it doesn’t get better than this .. DANCE WITH A HOLE IN YOUR SHOE, TRYIN TO LET THE ANGELS KNOW, TRACK 224, SLEEP WITH OPEN WINDOWS, NOTHIN COMING OUT OF ME THAT I LIKE … the connection with this AWESOME audience was so strong … the deeper we went .. the closer we got .. it all built so strong for John & me.. John was so awesome as usual .. but something special was happening tonight .. the connection with HE’S A GOOD GUY .. could never have been stronger.
Somehow we turned to a Reg Presley tribute with ANYWAY THAT YOU WANT ME and the audience rolled right with this.. them Czech Heaven .. lots of folks from here will be visting PARNELL’s .. I’m sure of that! Then came an AWESOME .. .. Then WILD THING!!.. then FUCK ALL THE PERFECT PEOPLE .. with the audience choir joining us … so so reverent!
John & I left the stage exhausted but so fulfilled .. encored with a totally rockin’ I WASN’T BORN IN TENNESSEE.
WHAT A NIGHT!
Hi to old friends Rob (DJ and presenter) and Molly .. loved seeing you both .. thanks for the support for all these years Rob! .. Hi ERNIE & PAULINE!! .. so good to see you always.. thanks for the HERE I AM request .. loved doing that! Hi Allen & Jackie .. SO GREAT SEEING YOU BEFORE AND AFTER!.. and Hi John & Angie .. nice talking to you.
Hi VIV & HAREN .. thanks for the kind words! .. Hi Dave! .. good to see you .. HI GRUM! .. thanks for the kind thoughts.. Hi Daleen (love that name!) .. and Richard .. so good to see you both!
Hi Colin & Karl & Annette .. Hi Ian & Allison .. nice to see you! Hi Sally & John & Gard.. (ooh .. that’s not quite right!) ..can’t read my writing … sorry?? .. HI JACKIE & MIKE .. with the great Chris Barber band .. Jackie .. see you in Belfast!