Nice gigs with nice people who can all play and sing their asses off. What more can a guy want?
The next months have me appearing with Helge Schneider and Henrik Freischläder in a jazzy trio in which each set is like a jam session. Big ears and big smiles all round. Only a couple of gigs but maybe more will come along.
My treasured group of Munich pals will be with me in various combinations in far flung places. Claus Koch, Stephan Holstein, Andi Kissenbeck, Torsten Goods, Rocky Knauer and our singer, Nina Michelle, are by now much valued mates on gigs. Their experience in jazz, blues and rock gives me the kind of sounds around me which I love.
The last time I wis involved an international rock combination was the Jon Lord Blues Project which ended with Jon’s tragic death. This knocked the stuffing out of all of us for a while.
Recently I began to feel that the rock side of my life was missing somewhat and I thought of my old Brit friends who I have had so much fun with over the years. Miller Anderson, Zoot Money and Albie Donnelly are all very strong personalities totally capable of holding an audience individually. The great Bass player Colin Hodgkinson had moved on to Ten Years After where he is kept very busy and deserves all the exposure he gets. Who to play bass? Did I really have the cheek to call Roger Glover of Deep Purple legend? He is an old friend with whom I spent delightful times over the years. Plus he is one man who knows what a solid bass line should be. I wondered whether he would like to play with us and was thrilled when he said yes. So this little tour before Christmas will be exciting.
I’ve got a couple of days in Vienna with the legendary Abi Wallenstein in duo which will be challenging but I know we can get along very well. Once again, he is in himself a pillar of strength.
THE CENTENARY OF GENE KRUPA
One thing every old drummer knows, it’s the Centenary of the first Super Drummer, Gene Krupa, born January 1909 in Chicago. He went on to become a pop idol for his time, during the swing Era of the late Thirties.
His good looks made him a star in Hollywood movies where the story lines had him drumming on whatever was handy at the slightest provocation. He remained a respected figure in the drumming fraternity until his death in 1973 and his life was filmed once with scant regard for the true facts. The real story is far more thrilling and heart-warming and we hope to tell it one day in a theatre musical. If I should live so long !!!!
But for now I have to be content with playing a few shows with the fine trio of Claus Koch and Kuno Kürner and paying tribute to this great musician as best I can.
The first dates will be on Mar 20 in Fürstenfeldbruck, March 21 in Seefeld (Ammersee) and April 24 in Eisenach. We hope to meet some of you there.
IS IT REALLY FIFTY YEARS OF THE BEATLES THIS YEAR?
In the past some of my musical highlights have been with orchestras of one kind or another. Back in 1973 I was part of Jon Lord’s Rock Meets Classic concerts. Brave onslaughts against the entrenched conservatism of some European orchestral audiences. I still remember sensitive violinists rushing weeping with horror and pain from the stage when the guitars made their first entry with a deafening KERRANNGGG.
They were French and it was in Luxembourg so perhaps it was only to be expected.
Since then there have been happier meetings of musical styles. The best for me have been my shows with the Bayerischer Kammerorchester. This year we’ll be together again for a „Beatles Go Baroque“ evening.
Along with the orchestra we will have Sandy Patton singing with Stephan Holstein, Martin Schrack, myself and others doing the group bits.
It’s scheduled for July 17 in Bad Brückenau in the Open Air and July 18 in Fürth, also Open Air. It should be fun musically and otherwise and I hope I’ll be allowed to tell some first-hand Beatles anecdotes.
Is it really fifty years of the Beatles this year?