History of Ten Years After is
Seemless, Intact and Energized:
-- Ten Years After in Osnabrück
Germany ---April 10, 2004
and Photos by Brigitte & Dave
The best concert we’ve
venue is called “Lagerhalle”, the band is Ten Years After with Joe
Gooch on guitar and vocals. The venue is on a side street you enter
through a side door, our names are on the "friends of Ten Years After guest
list" so we are able to walk on through with no delay.
place is already half full and we’re running a little late this time, as
I had to work this Saturday from 8 to 6, so this feels a little strange,
not to be the first ones in and on this occasion we also won’t be the last
ones to leave.
venue appears to be nothing special but in very short order we will feel
very differently. The main hall is where you enter, and the entrance to
the backstage area is on the left hand side of the room, walk through the
door, hang a right down the hallway and you’re there. What we soon discover is that the main concert hall and the
backstage area are parallel to each other, with only a wall dividing them.
So in this case the band can go directly onto the stage and off again
without delay or resistance.
and Chick are out shopping in the town, while Joe and Leo are backstage,
also our friends Torsten and Jens are out having dinner somewhere so we
just settle in for a little semi-personal chat with Joe and Leo. My main talk with Joe was that about the band's sound at their
last concert we attended in Holland, to Joe from the stage vantage
point, it could’ve been a little better but it was acceptable, he’s
played “under much worse conditions” in his life. Joe continues
“every venue is different, with its own characteristics
and inherent set of problems, we
try to adjust to them and the environment as best we can”.
Joe and I have had honest discussions like this in the past and he
always has been up front and straight forward, he has nothing to hide and
no reason or time to play head games.
was during my next conversation with Tom Lyons that more is revealed, the simple truth is that the monitors were the problem
and their sound technician that was at the Holland gig is also here this
evening, so we’ll see how things unfold.
time with Leo was relaxed and this time Brigitte wanted to ask him some
questions (big step for her as shy and timid
as she is). Leo as with Joe is a straight shooter, he pulls no punches,
plays no games, ask him a direct question you’ll get a direct answer,
but as in the old (Peter Green / Fleetwood Mac song called OH WELL), you
just might not get the answer you want me to (that you’re looking for). Leo always the gentleman doesn’t try to deflect or confuse
the topic or his response. Leo at the most will add some dry humour to the situation and
give you a quick smile and a possible wink, all in good fun and
understanding. I remember asking him, “will it bother you, if I ask you
a question on this topic” his reply was “you might bore me but you
won’t bother me” and that folks, is the Leo Lyons that we have come to
know and respect.
with Brigitte, is soft spoken and attentive to her needs and concerns, she
is not only comfortable but content which for her is rare under the best
Half Hour to Showtime
and Jens are returning from dinner and Jens has brought with him a new
digital camera just for this event, all I can say is it must have cost a
few thousand dollars more than Brigitte’s so this is really starting to
become special night.
us it’s only an hour drive, for Jens
and Torsten it’s about three and a half hour drive
from Hamburg, so when we get the chance to
meet it’s a real treat for everyone. Sometimes we just sit and listen,
other times we join in, but most of all we learn what one of the best rock
and roll bands in the world is all about.
you get Torsten and I together with a dozen of other people backstage
things start to move very quickly and time flies faster. Not long after
they enter here comes Ric and Chick to add to the mix of this cozy little
family. Stories start to flow,
questions are being asked, information is exchanged and answers from all
different angles are flowing back and forth, everything is normal and
progressing just fine.
This “behind the scenes” view is special because you get to
observe how the band functions before, during and after the show. Who
helps who, who needs what when and how they interact with each other, the
venue owners and with the fans like ourselves. I personally lost track of
how many times we’ve been with TYA but it must be rounding the fifteen
mark in the last two years, and everytime it’s different for us, but for
the men of TYA they act and react with the same professional style and
good manners that you would expect from a seasoned group of rock and roll veterans and
an up and coming future guitar legend named Joe Gooch.
Opening Band / Pre Show Preparations
do a great job and play some good music, the crowd loves them. While
they’re on stage Joe picks up his guitar and plays right along with them
while sitting backstage, and understand that Joe is playing by ear and
it’s coming out his fingers at the same time, that’s an example of
just how fast he learns. Forty five minutes of this band and their job is
have given you the setting from our position, and now the pace picks up as
TYA is the star attraction. At this point each member is getting ready
individually and collectively for what’s to come, and what I found
interesting is Ric may have a little joke or comment with Leo and Chick a
short exchange will follow and then the rest of the time moments of
intense individual focus. The
joke or comment isn’t planned but yet also not spontaneous,
I learned from observation that this moment is the same as a signal from
pilot to his co-pilots to prepare for take off, it’s just a mutual confirmation that all systems are green and go!!! This is the simple type
of event that speaks volums to a fan like myself, Ric listens to the tone
of the reply and the legenth and input of the response and then he can
judge accordinly. That verbal and in most cases noverbal interaction
would go virtually unnoticed to any one else, but I find it an
important ideosyncrasy that later will
be a factor in their stage performance. All it really amounts to right now
is that everyone is on the same page, at the same time and is ready to
Rock and Roll tonight.
Concert in Osnabrück—Ten Years After Rocks a Packed House
place filled up fast, people were lined up outside still waiting to get in
and the band is more than ready to please them. The bar is at the back as
if placed on top of a little hill because this place is set up like a
large movie theatre with staggered platforms for the audience to stand on
and enjoy, there’s not another place left to stand and not a bad view
from anywhere in this venue. No one is restrained to seats and everyone
can move around at will to any position he or she desires.
of the unexpected highlights for me was being able to watch our friend and
long time Ten Years After fan and collegue Torsten Strube have the great
honor to go up on stage and personally introduce the band. I think Torsten
would agree it was the chance of a lifetime for any fan and he was like a
kid in a candy store. He did an excellent job and the depth of our
friendship has grown, to witness your friend being the happiest man
on this planet is a real thrill.
can’t remember who took the stage first, I’ll guess Chick then Joe
then Leo and Ric, what I did notice is another thing that makes this a
very special band, Leo bows to the audience, Joe has direct eye contact to
acknowledge them, Chick waves his hand and has a big smile on his face and
Ric raises his drum sticks high and this audience like every other
audience that we have been a witness to is getting in tune with these four
can now put my finger on exactly what makes a Ten Years After
concert extraordinary, it’s a ceremony, not just a Rock and Roll show,
is a sacred event, a precious moment. It’s magic happening right before
your eyes. I’ve been trying to figure out just how this happens and what
a revelation it was for me to finally discover how this comes about.
individual members get themselves into a positive groove,
then collectively the band becomes one, and upon entering the arena
they’re one solidified unit,
unstopable force to be reckoned with,
this all happens within seconds, not minutes and the room is electrified,
and I don’t mean just with anticipation but it’s in the air and
spreading like nitrous oxide. It’s
infectious, like being in love for the first time or riding your new bike
on your own, or getting a long letter from an old friend or lover. In the
time it just took you to remember these warm thoughts Joe is banging out
the first notes to “I Woke Up This Morning” you’re wide awake but
it’s the same feeling as being on a picnic in mid Summer. A Rock and Roll dream,
“Hear Me Calling” “Big Black 45” "I Can’t Keep From Crying” is
the soundtrack. Of course you're standing there in body but in spirit
you’ve forgotten all about the real world, the band is in control and
you’ve allowed them to take
reaction to their new songs is incredible. Now
you're listening to their third or fourth number of the night, and the
energy and passion that they’re projecting into the audience has now
been to the back wall and is now heading in the direction of
the stage. It’s a wave that continues throughout the whole two
hour show and with the fan excitement rising and the volume increasing no one is immune from this positive vibe.
Joe is now doing a Ten Years
After song called “I’d Love to Change the World” on acoustic guitar
and as you can see in Torsten’s photo the audience is calm, aware and
A sensitive ballad full of emotion.
the band at this point: Chick is just Chick and having a great time and
checking out the female fans in front of him,
Joe is into the groove,
into his guitar and responding to the crowd, Leo and Ric miss
nothing that’s happening on stage or in the audience and here is a quick
example. Some people decided that they wanted to dance and not just in one
place, but in a five by five space so other people were getting bumped and
pushed alot, one woman got a little too close to the man in front of her,
he turned around and started dancing with her, her man didn’t appreciate
this interaction and voiced his opinion loudly. Ric came out from behind
his drum kit, walked to center stage and said “hey, we’re all here to
have a good time mate, calm down” easy as that.
next event happened when an over zealous
fan jumped up on stage and headed towards Ric, the fan then proceeded to
do the best version of the “Wayne’s World We’re Not Worthy” salute,
only in this case it was a solo performance by a fan expressing his
admiration for Ric Lee’s drumming ability on Hobbit. Tom Lyons had to
escort the fan out through the backstage area and back
into the concert hall, no muss no fuss, no hard feelings in the
least. It has all been in good fun and in a positive spirit. (on a
personal note: The larger the audience becomes the more these situations
seem to spring up, it is a true sign where Ten Years After with Joe is
heading, bigger venues and a fan base that’s increasing every day. Also
I dread the day that we have to sit in
our seats to watch our favorite band in a huge venue from thirty feet away.)
the end of the concert another wonderful event took place, stationary Leo
(as if you could ever refer to Leo Lyons as anything
disconnected from his amp and heading over to have a little private jam
session with Chick. Leo is now free to roam where ever he likes thanks to
the radio pack that allowes him and his Lakland Bass to travel around unrestrained.
Joe is getting better all the time, he learns quick and he’s really into TYA
the music and the veterans he works with. Backstage with Jens and Torsten,
Jens said “within five years Joe will be one of the top five guitarists
in the world” this coming from Jens (who has extensive music experience
and professional musical knowledge) took me by surprise. I have been
thinking of TYA and Joe week to week and month to month but Jens just put
the overall picture into perspective. I think that Jens' quick
comment was another real revelation for both Torsten and I.
main show is over, and the band isn’t exhausted yet but sopping wet
drenched in their own sweat, Joe’s shirt is now dripping water looking
as if he just stepped out of a hot shower, he quickly puts on a new shirt
and drinks a whole bottle of orange juice-one gulp half gone, two gulp all
lost track - two or three but at least four more songs including “50,000
Miles Beneath My Brain” “Choo-Choo Mama” and some good old Chuck
Berry to top off a perfect night.
folks, I earn my stripes as the official towel passer-outter and TYA
groupie water boy, no problem for me, in fact sometimes I can come in
quite handy, as Joe hit his head coming down the stairs to the backstage
area and I knew where the first aid kit was located for the medical
supplies needed. My day job is working as a nursing assistant, but Tom is
attending to Joe’s care in a heartbeat.
rest of the evening was more observing and listening, to the band members
and shortly to their fans.
Two fans in particular were Thomas Pfeifer and
Reinhard Pieper who both attended Joe’s second gig along us in Twist,
Germany in 2002. Thomas came to me looking for a TYA Polo Shirt, we went
out front and asked Leo, who asked Ric who said we’ve sold all of them, I
thought it was for that night only, but no, there’s no more to be had at all.
I offered Thomas another shirt he said no thanks he had his heart
set on a polo shirt. I said Thomas, give me your address and I’ll send
you my brand new one from home, still in the box. I figure anyone who has
supported Ten Years After over the years and now again, right from their
second gig in Twist deserves a special present, as for Reinhard, his
request to Brigitte was a copy of the
One Night Jammed CD, both our packages arrived at their respective houses
Men who put the Magic in Ten Years After
makes no difference if you’re discussing the “Classic Ten Years
After” or the “Ten Years After now”, this band can only be called
“Ten Years After” if the quality of the music is present. How the
music is created and what goes on behind the scenes is inconsequential to the real question are they
extraordinary and making their fans happy? There is no doubt that the Ten
Years After name means top shelf, for they can be nothing less. The legend lives on
have the same ingredients now as they did back in 1967, we refer to
passion, energy, an over
abundence of raw talent and the desire to be happy and make others happy
while they do what they have always done best, making music.
stage: they’re professional and give one hundred and ten percent of
themselves to their audience. Off
stage: They’re honest, open,
straight shooters and just damn fun to be around.
you going to feel this magic happening at one of their concerts? In simple
terms yes, all you need to do are a few simple things:
when you get to the venue stop and say hello to the person standing next
to you, compare notes, buy a drink or two and get
comfortable with your surroundings.
When the band comes on stage watch their body language and gestures,
they’re just as happy to see you there as you are to see them. They are
showing you respect in a way
that few other bands in the world take the time to do. This creates a warm
atmosphere and a personal bond between
you and them, if you’re receptive you’re in for a great time, if
you’re not receptive then you came for the wrong reasons and it’s not
the job of the band to deal with or help you solve your problems.
After the show every member of Ten Years After is accessible for
autographs, conversation or just shaking hands with their fans, old or new
- everyone is welcome.
this band does is for obligatory reasons, it all comes from their heart,
they will give back to you “the audience” double what you give to
If you’re a real fan of Ten Years After or just like great Rock
GET THERE and THEY’ll DO THE REST!!!