JUNE 12, 2015 – BETHLEHEM PA – VENUE – GODFREY DANIELS
This was as bad a traffic day as I can remember. John Platania started in the Woodstock area at noon .. it was after 3:30PM (an hour later than expected) when he picked me up in New York City for our drive to Bethlehem. The drive from NY to Bethlehem would normally take about 1 hour and 30 minutes. Today it took over 3:00 hours.
We got there 40 minutes from show time.. in time to say hello to the kind host Ramona, get a feel of the total living room atmosphere of the venue and sound check with our new friend & fan, Lou. Great job Lou!
It’s a one-of-a-kind sound system, with the monitors overhead and recessed 5 feet or so from the stage .. they sort of become part of the stage as well. But John & I liked the sound Lou was giving us right away. And that short sound check enabled John & I to get a quick bite to eat before hitting the stage at 8:00 where a friendly and warm group of kind folks awaited us.
THE SHOW – FIRST SET
John Platania is revered in this area. He was brilliant again tonight! These songs don’t have a planned direction .. they go wherever the spirit of John & I take them .. and this show was as inspired in that manner as ever. Great John!
We started again with The Yonkers Story. And as I told the story about growing up with my brothers in our little bedroom with the Motorola radio in the hallway, somehow I felt more back there than ever. There were a few hard core LAST CHANCE fans in the room who cheered The Real Thing as we began our story .. Loved Bastard Brothers, Hey Jonny, Charcoal Sky and the lived-in stories that accompanied them .. A stop at 1650 Broadway leading to my first song advance ($30) and a Bobby Bare hit, Just A Little Bit Later On Down The Line totally connected.
We ended the first set with a chilling, ANGEL OF THE MORING: .. with the folks singing along .. I couldn’t wait to get back on stage again!
We started with a fan favorite (and mine as well), DANCE WITH A HOLE IN YOUR SHOE .. then we drifted in and out of some of the silently powerful stuff from The Little Prayers Trilogy – TRYIN TO LET THE ANGELS KNOW, SLEEP WITH OPEN WINDOWS (for the prisoners),NINE SOLDIERS IN BALTIMORE in memory of some peace activists from the 60s .. mixing in a rockin’ Track 224 and Big River .. drifting off to tributes to my friends around the world with Czech Heaven… including some folks who stood tall in their efforts for peace in Northern Ireland (more about that later). We left a great chorus on these walls of WILD THING .. in the spirit of true rock & roll passion .. and ended with ..the audience prayerfully singing along to FUCK ALL THE PERFECT PEOPLE .. this was a special night.
ANOTHER THOUGHT ABOUT THE SHOW
One of the major stars of the show tonight was Godfrey Daniels .. the club itself. And the way it embraces all stuff real. Like it did tonight with the heroes of this night … Phil Sinclair, a record store owner in Belfast back in the 70s and his music loving friends.. who would not stand for anything but THE REAL THING and kindness and understanding for those on opposite sides of the political fence back then ..and legendary and loved DJ from northern Ireland, Gerry Anderson, who, during that same period of time met the challenges of “the troubles” by doing something about it … changing the name of Londonderry or Derry (depending on the side of the fence you were on) to STROKE CITY. Again, helping folks on both sides of the issue to drop their swords.
Few clubs have the silent power to host those type issues .. Godfrey Daniels has no choice .. it IS that place. From the minute Fred Boenig stepped on stage to introduce us, Fred,. known to some as heroic local DJ “Chance Austin”, who had one son killed and three others currently fighting in Afghanistan .. was fresh back from Washington challenging issues of our “boots on the ground” platforms .. looking and demanding wider support from countries close to the conflicts – I knew where this show was heading.
This show was all about passion .. the passion of music and the courage to speak true words from a deeper place! from those who fought with the passion of true rock & roll to bring down the white controlled radio frontier of the 40s and 50s.. to those like my Dad .. a humble golf pro who led the charge to strike down the PGA’s Caucasian clause and allow folks of color to become PGA members and play in events sponsored by the PGA.
THIS WAS A NIGHT I WON’T FORGET!
HI & THANKS:
Hi Ramona .. great to be here! .. thanks for inviting us. So nice to hear you and your husband’s connection to “7 Days..” I’ll remember that for next time.. and volunteers Jack & Lou .. thanks for all you do & the kind words .. from LAST CHANCE forward .. great meeting you!.. And Lou .. perfect sound! .. THANKS FOR THAT! .. and thanks Tod… hope to see you all again.
Hi Marc .. so great talking to you about Last Chance .. thanks with the support with that! .. and thanks for making the drive …. and hi Tom & Joan.. good seeing you front and center and meeting you when we arrived … AND GREAT TO SEE ANGELA & SON AARON .. it was so good to see you from the stage.. hope to see you both again!! .. . and John’s great friends Doug & Marcy .. so great to meet you.. and Pat & Larry & the rest.
This was a special one .. hope to do it again before too long.
JUNE 2 – 3, 2015 – Brighton and Oxford
Arrive in the sea town of Brighton at 1:30 .. love this town since I first came to play a little club called The Greys.. one of my favorite all time venues .. Jon & I would squeeze knee to knee with the audience… JUST LOVED THE PLACE .. former owner .. a great character with a loveable wry sense of humor .. will be at the tonight!
Had time for a power nap.. then off to the Prince Albert pub.
VENUE – THE PRINCE ALBERT PUB
On top of one of the winding hilly streets with cool record stores, music stores, restaurants and I don’t knows .. is Prince Albert…. a busy, friendly place .. lots of young folks.
We meet Jim, our promoter for this show. Jim had his hands full .. as this was the last show booked .. originally planned as a day off .. but Jim had posters plastered all over town .. in the coolest places .. as we walk the area, we see them here and there… great job Jim .. thanks for all the knid words about our Little Prayers Trilogy.
Sound man Steve arrives at 6:20 .. we have great sound in minutes .. great job Steve
After a great pub meal and a bit of a walk we hit the stage at 8:30.
THE SHOW – FIRST SET
Jim’s work payed off .. a blast of people come to the pub at around 8:00, young and old and pack the small Rock & Roll room .. standing .. surrounding the stage.. it reminded me of the vibe of playing New York’s Mercury Lounge with Lucinda Williams years ago.
THE YONKERS STORY
We started the Yonkers Story with THE REAL THING (awesome solo by JP!), then broke for a tribute to my Scandinavian friends with thoughts of the tragedy in Utoya, with BLOCK OUT THE SIRENS OF THIS LONELY WORLD .. with one of my friends mentioned in the song, Elin Olsson, from Sweden in the audience. Great to see you Elin!!
John Platania .. has been awesome on this tour .. and he is again tonight .. all night! And this audience let’s him know it at every turn! His small soulful magic can never be duplicated .. EVEN BY HIM!.. that’s why he’s so great!
We went back to the Yonkers Story in story and song with BASTARD BROTHERS, HEY JONNY, CHARCOAL SKY .. then the song that brought my first $30 publishing advance, Just A Little Bit Later On Down The Line… then a song for the prisoners (from the Little Prayers album) , SOLITARY, followed (Again.. John was so soulful on this solo!) .. then came the gambling story, the tribute to 1650 Broadway .. then one of my biggest hits written behind the 1650 Broadway sign, Angel Of The Morning.
SO GREAT TO PLAY FOR MY BRIGHTON FRIENDS AGAIN AND MEET NEW ONES!
Loved this .. started with DANCE WITH A HOLE IN YOUR SHOE from NEW SONG’S OF FREEDOM.. so vibey! .. then the prayerful TRYIN TO LET THE ANGELS KNOW .. a favorite on this tour .. and for John & me as well.
John stole the show with TRACK 224 .. this song has been so sexy and cool on this tour .. it brings cheers pointed in JP’s direction every time.. NINE SOLDIERS IN BALTIMORE.. is the hidden treasure of the tour .. loved again tonight … BIG RIVER was awesome tonight .. never more rock & roll.
Then, for the first time on tour, we played The Freedom Trilogy (formerly known as Ted Williams) .. OH.. I loved this .. again.. John’s magic erupted on all the little solos.. just beautiful John! We paid tribute to the Troggs with ANYWAY THAT YOU WANT ME .. then Czech Heaven took us many places .. including “the troubles” in Northern Ireland in the 90‘s and the heroics of Gerry Anderson in mediating the dispute of the name of “London” Derry .. changing it to “STROKE CITY… and at song’s end .. a stop at my local Bar Parnell’s and a big hello to my Crestwood girl .. my wonderful wife Joan! (see you in two days!).
WILD THING was awesome tonight .. with a huge chorus send-off to the one and only Reg Presley … then came my song for the prisoners with the great audience group chorus at the
end ….. “FUCK ALL THE PERFECT PEOPLE”!
GREAT TO BE BACK IN THIS GREAT TOWN!!!! WHAT A NIGHT!
Great to see some old friends from the Greys .. & others .. a special night!!
Alison (The Likes Of Louise” friend…. so good to see you again! Hi William (William Wolfe Hogan) .. son & violinist .. good to see you! .. thanks for the kind words!! .. Hi Jon .. good to see you!! … thanks for the advice! .. honestly I screwed up .. we left without seeing the mural .. but came back this morning to see it! .. great stuff.. thanks for the suggestion!
Hi Dave.. good to meet you.. .. and Kevin .. great to see you again! .. it was so good to see Pat & Darren last night.. thanks for the kind words .. look forward to seeing you all next time .. Hi Phil & Julie .. & Rachel ..& Shaun .. so good to talk to you!.. Hi Ru & Jo !! .. great to see you both .. Hi Hellen & Chris .. great to see you again!! ..Hi Jon .. good to talk to you!! .. Hi Tom .. & Brian..
Hi Keith & Julia .. before the show .. good to see you!
MIKE .. former proprietor of the Greys .. GREAT to see you again! .. what magic memories I have of playing there!
Jim .. great to meet you .. thanks for having us! Steve .. great sound! .. much appreciated!
HOPE TO SEE YOU ALL AGAIN!
JUNE 3, 2015 – Oxford
Arrived in OXFORD to do a BBC interview at 2:30 .. on air with Nick Pierce .. nice guy .. good talk .. mostly about the hits.
VENUE – THE BULLINGDON .. another smallish rock & roll venue with a good vibe.. similar to NY’s Mercury Lounge .. good to see longtime fiend and Americana Music supporter, Mike Trotman .. and sound man Martin… we sound check very quickly .. leaving us a few hours for a leisurely dinner at an awesome Indian restaurant a few blocks away .. then a stop at one of the coolest reord stores on the planet, The Truck Store.
THE SHOW – SET ONE
John Platania was awesome again tonight.. we’ve reached a new level of interaction on this tour .. one that’s very inspiring to both of us.
Good to see so many friends in the audience .. that’s what this tour has been about ..meeting old friends we haven’t seen for about 9 tears.. Again.. the Yonkers Story led things off .. lots of highlights.. BASTARD BROTHERS, HEY JONNY, CHARCOAL SKY .. the audiences have all loved this trilogy .. same reaction tonight .. my first song sold for an advance, JUST A LITTLE BIT LATER ON DOWN THE LINE.. hit home.. then SOLITARY had real magic tonight .. as well as the stories about 1650 Broadway and its half moon window.. behind which horse race betting and songwriting took place … we closed with a chilling ANGEL OF THE MORNING.
Loved this set
THE LAST ET OF THE TOUR WAS A MAGIC ONE! .. DANCE WITH A HOLE IN YOUR SHOE.. started it off .. then the silent honest magic of Tryin’ To Let The Angels Know and NOTHIN’ COMIN OUT OF ME THAT I LIKE .. connected with these kid folks in a deep way .. as did 9 SOLDIERS IN BALTIMORE .. JOHN was SO awesome on Track 24 .. a show stopper .. BIG RIVER, dedicated to long time friend and fan Barry .. totally rocked … Czech Heaven .. with its ending story about the ‘TROUBLES’ in Ireland .. with a dedication to a couple of guys who helped the peace process along .. Phil Sinclair & Gerry Anderson.. has become more and more powerful as the tour went on .. as has the anarchy-like power of WILD THING.. which resonates so strong at the end with the audience singing a powerful and emotional sendoff to Reg Presley .. for all the right reasons .. the prayerful song for the prisoners, FUCK ALL THE PERFECT PEOPLE ended the show with the audience singing along like it was THEIR song as well .. and the truth is it certainly was their song tonight! .An ending cannot be better than this.
WHAT A TOUR … JOHN PLATANIA WAS SIMPLY AMAZING .. so, so warm & soulful!
Old friend Barry .. great to see you .. so happy to hear you were helping your friend program his radio show with LITTLE PRAYERS TRILOGY SONGS .. love that you chose TED WILLIAMS first! .. hope you liked BIG RIVER tonight .. it felt great on stage!! Hi James & Nick & Andy .. & Bernard .. great to see you all .. Bernard.. hope Gill enjoys the CDs as well.
Hi Charlie & ARTHUR .. HUGE thanks for your great support over the years!
MIKE .. huge thanks foe booking us! .. Lorraine … IT WAS SO GOOD TO SEE YOU AGAIN! Hope to see you soon!
MAY 31, 2015 – HEADING FOR ROMSEY
NOTE: we are doing this show in Romsey for a longtime fan and friend TONY PANKHURST.. he’s been wanting us to come here and play .. Tony .. we are so glad to be with you!
We leave Bedford with the capable Milan (and our great friend) at the wheel at about 11:00, we arrived at our awesome country-setting hotel in Romsey The Potters Heron – a great place to spend our last day off. We have plenty of time to catch up on tour notes, write a bit.. and have an awesome dinner at the hotel dining room.
A nice, relaxing night with John & Milan tonight where some out-of-the box thinking left us with some thoughts about possibly getting my 70s Ghost Train band together again for a tour of Holland next year. Milan (who assists in booking one of Holland’s biggest venues) thinks he might be able to organize, with a few festival anchoring a two week tour. So .. So Skinny / Crazy Joe .. it’s in the thinking stages.. get ready! .. practice up on Last Chance, This Side Of The Big River and Gasoline.. Milan is practicing his new instrument, a pedal steel.. which he will play if the tour goes forward.
FILMING FOR A DOCUMENTARY – THE STORY OF WILD THING
THIS IS IS TROGGS TERRITORY! Alan Grindle, a former TV presenter in this area has set up cameras in the hotel. Original Troggs members Pete Staples (bass) & Chris Britton stop by the hotel and Alan and kind crew members, Steve, John & Trevor, film each of us talking about our memories of how WILD THING came about. These are great guys .. hope the filming results in something honest and good.
Note to Alan – as the documentary goes forward .. when it’s time to get permission to use footage .. rather than go back and forth with my office in New York, let’s make it simple. I’ve asked Jacqueline Ryan to be my rep with this stuff. She knows and loves the boys and she’s seen my shows many times and knows what I’d like and she’s a good friend. So please keep Jackie in the loop and best of luck with it .. .. it’s a good idea .. I trust you’ll take that honest Troggs/WILD THING vibe to the screen! .. Thanks for doing it!
One of the film’s great results is that it got Pete & Chris & I getting together .. thanks for that, Al, a great thing.
Tonight, Chris & Pete will join John & I on stage near show’s end tonight. The great lead singer Reg Presley passed away two years ago and was paid tribute to at an amazing ceremony which I attended. His lovely wife Brenda will attend tonight, as well as Troggs original drummer Ronnie Bond’s wife Pat & son Darren (a vg drummer as well) .. humble great folks .. looking forward to seeing them.
JUNE 1 , 1015 – ROMSEY – VENUE – THAR LANTERN SCOOL
The venue is a theater in The Mountbatten School that has an amazing music program! The theater holds a bit over 100 .. every chair will be taken tonight!
Gordon .. sort of the head-master of all sound things .gently.guides his capable Staff .. sound man Matt and lighting expert, student Nathan .. they did an awesome job in a not-so-easy situation .. as it was at last minute that we decided to have Chris Britton & Pete Staples join us on stage .. which meant extra gear and output …. WELL DONE BOYS!
DINNER BREAK AT LOCAL PUB
We had time for a quick dinner… a simple good pub .. decent food .. met Troggs fan club president Jacqueline & friends Jan & Liam there.. All of us arrive back in time for the show at 7:30 … on stage at 7:45.
Again .. John Platania shone bright again throughout this set .. we’re never quite sure where each song is going to go .. we have no beginnings and official endings..we just ride with it and that’s where the magic comes .. lots of JP magic floating all over the place tonight.
Again it was the Yonkers story .. in story and song ..mixed in with thoughts of my Scandinavian friends .. with references to the tragedy in Norway at Yutoya, where so many kids were killed and a visit to a songwriting work shop in maximum security prison with Block OUT THE SIRENS OF THIS LONELY WORLD .. loved this .. other highlights for me were THE REAL THING, BASTARD BROTHERS, HEY JONNY, CHARCOAL SKY .. so special tonight!! .. Then a stop at 1650 Broadway and the first song I got a $30 advance for .. the Bobby Bare hit, JUST A LITTLE BIT LATER ON DOWN THE LINE.
Ended the set with SOLITARY from The LITTLE PRAYERS TRILOGY .. loved this .. and so did this reverent audience… then came the gambling stories.. which audiences all seem to love.. leading talk of the misnomer of the phrase “The Brill Building Era” .. and the mention of the real blood, sweat & tears building of the Rock & Roll era… 1650 BROADWAY… and one of my hits written behind the actual 1650 sign, ANGEL OF THE MORNING ..
This was a kind, warm and great audience to play for.
Dance With A Hole In Your Shoe started it .. it felt so vibey .. John was great… but JP’s blues magic on Track 224 brought the house down .. Loved SLEEP WITH OPEN WINDOWS..the title of which was inspired by a female Russian prisoner…The idea of this song as I see it, is prisoners sitting around talking to each other about there thoughts of finally getting released .. at one point I forgot the words .. and just became that prisoner forgetting the words.. and making stuff up.. it was a highlight moment! .. the audience loved this .. I think of it as the “screw up magic” .. we all get humble and “real” fast!
NINE SOLDIERS IN BALTIMORE .. continues to be one of the fan favorites .. again, much loved tonight…. then came a rockin’ BIG RIVER .. which led to a requested GETTING OLDER LOOKIN BACK…
THEN CAME THE BIG HIGHLIGHT – A MEMORY FOR ALL TIME!! .. Chris Britton & Pete Staples from the original Troggs band joined John & I on stage …. the audience was so wired for this! We ripped into two hits I had written for the band in the 60‘s… First, ANYWAY THAT YOU WANT ME .. this was so cool .. with Pete pulsing the bass in that cool special way and Chris playing that one-of-a-kind strum. I was sort of happily following his feel .. loved doing that .. THEN CAME WILD THING! .. OH MAN! .. this was loud and great!! .. the boys were so cool .. punk Rock & Roll at it’s best!!
Then.. in a great send off to a great guy, Reg Presley .. and his awesome spirit .. this audience blasted there own chorus of WILD THING.. with every once of passion they had … THIS WAS SOMETHING .. these generally gentle folks .. giving it all they had in tribute to REG AND THE REAL SPIRIT OF ROCK & ROLL.. a spirit that changed the world!! .. in the best way possible
After the boys left the stage to huge applause, it was Czech Heaven.. with its story of folks (Phil Sinclair and Gerry Anderson) who helped mend some fences during some of the tougher days of the Ireland “troubles” … ending in an invite to Parnell’s bar in New York.
Then came more magic with the song for the prisoners, requested by our friend Tony Pankhurst, FUCK ALL THE PERFECT PEOPLE.. with the passionate defiant final chant of FUCK ALL sung by the entire audience.
We double encored with I WASN’T BORN IN TENNESSEE and said goodnight.
Another amazingly inspired night .. thanks to all!
SAID HI TO MANY INCLUDING:
Big thanks to Pete Staples and kind and lovely wife Hillary (Hillary – thanks for singing Monday Morning Rain… you sing so pretty!) . and Chris Britton & new friend Dib .. great to see you! Thanks for joining in boys! .. you made the night! .. Hi Brenda .. so wonderful to see you again .. what a special memory for us Brenda .. Reg’s spirit was all over this room tonight!! .. great to see Troggs great original drummer, Ronnie Bond’s wife Pat & son Darren .. drummer as well!! .. so good to see you guys!!!
And Jacqueline & Liam & Jan .. so great to see you again .. Again Jackie .. you are officially my rep with coordinating with Al bout the filming stuff.. Hopefully it will be great. Al good luck with it!! Thank all the boys.. Steve & John & Trevor .. great guys! .. good to see you all at the show & before!
Hi to Karen & Paul .. thanks for the kind words! .. Ed & Barbara .. great to see you .. I’m glad you requested Getting Older Looking Back .. it brought back great memories! .. Hi to Barry & Karen .. thanks for the nice words!! .. hope to see you again.. Hi Neil & Ageli .. GREAT to see you both .. James & young looking mom, Marion .. great to see you!
Hi Eric.. from Dobbs Ferry .. good to see you! .. see you at the bar soon@.. Hi John & Cliff Tina & Chris .. thanks for the kind words as well… Debra & Chrissie .. hope to see you next time! .. Hi Wes & Ruth from Brighton .. hope to se you soon! ..Hi Colin .. good to see you before the show .. Hi Ian .. nice to talk to you! .. HI WILLIE & JEFF … GREAT TO SEE YOU GUYS .. WILLIE THANKS FOR ALL THE SUPPORT FOR ALL THESE YEARS .. see you soon!
THANKS GODON, MATT & NATHAN .. hope to see you again!! .. great job!
MY GREAT FRIEND TONY PANKHURST!! .. thanks for having us Tony! .. just great.. we loved being here!