www.ten-years-after.com proudly present

"Honerkamps Ballsaal" - Melle, Germany 
05 June 2009




Technical Support: TOM LYONS



Hi Tom, see you with TYA in Hannover soon...





Mike Harrison and Dave

Steve Farris (guitar), girlfriend, Shem von Schroeck (bass), Tom Brechtlein (drums)



Mike Harrison, Volker König (Booking Agent, Team "Alte Stadthalle"), Achim Repp (Photographer)


Our good friend Reinhard

loyal fans Reinhard, Franz-Josef, Thomas

Marlon Klein (Musician, Producer)
www.marlonklein.com          www.dissidenten.com     

     Gary Wright


Thomas and Gary

Photos © Brigitte and Dave


June 5, 2009 Melle, Germany 

Arrive at the venue, later than we usually like, park the car and walk towards the door. Who do we see on the other side of the foliage but our good friend Reinhardt with a friend in tow. A joyous way to start the evening. 

Brief introductions and in we go. We meet Siggi Allert for the first time who is the booking agent for the German band JANE. (Thank you Siggi for putting me on the guest list!).Waiting in line, I notice a woman smiling at us, she and her 17 year old daughter were there at the Ten Years After concert in February and it’s good to see them again. Also in this friendly mix is Thomas, whom we see at many different concerts, most memorable was with Ten Years After, Canned Heat and Iron Butterfly in Paderborn. The last one we come across is Achim Repp (Rockart Fotos).

Our new friend is Marlon “Sibusiso” Klein (Studio, Mastering, Musician and Producer).

For a Friday night the venue is not as full as I expected it to be. We hang around chatting for fifteen minutes and then the band hits the stage right on time. No fanfare and no introduction they just walk on and we all applaud their entrance. The band takes their places in a quiet / solemn way. No rush, and very similar to us, just getting the feel for the place.

Right from the start you can tell that Gary and Mike are working off each other and waiting until each other is settled in before beginning. In fact the entire band is working off mutual respect. Mike Harrison does most of the talking and welcomes us to the venue and this concert, then introduces the first song “Waiting For The Wind”.  During the song I’m thinking about how these guys looked back in 1969 and how they look today.

Mike is total snow cap, white short hair. Gary Wright has a receding hair line and a bald spot on top, but he never had really long hair to begin with. In the vocals you can hear a strong Steve Marriott influence coming through. The band is very tight and professional. Looking at Gary’s profile he struck me as looking a lot like Clint Eastwood in Play Misty For Me. The rest of the band is in the background working hard.


Set List:

  1. Waiting For The Wind
  2. Sunshine Help Me
  3. That Was Only Yesterday
  4. The Wrong Time
  5. Feeling Bad
  6. Too Close To The Fire
  7. Tobacco Road
  8. Heartache
  9. Cotton Growing Man
  10. Wildfire
  11. I Am The Walrus
  12. Hangman Hang My Shell On A Tree
  13. Evil Woman
  14. (Encore) Better By You, Better Than Me
  15. (Encore) Love Is Alive 


In between songs Mike talks to the audience. He has a great sense of humour, and after introducing “Sunshine Help Me” he said under his breath, “they wouldn’t know it anyways”, because he was taking the time to explain which album it was from and what the song was about. Mike Harrison was right, most of the people here tonight weren’t even born in 1968-1969-1970. It wasn’t a condescending attitude, he was just stating the facts. Mike and Gary were gentleman throughout the show, and afterwards at the merchandise table.

They signed cd’s, album covers, allowed photos and gave the audience a lot of respect. It was mutual, we all loved them too. 

They did the show in two sets, taking a twenty minute break in between. No one minded, and it was good for us and the band.

Both sets were pretty much the same format. A little rocker, followed by a slow number, and then another ballad and then a rocker again. One fan even called out for “Better By You, Better Than Me” very early in the first set….Mike and Gary both asked the band to be patient, with Mike even adding that he was an impatient man himself, which made us all laugh and Gary too. That is part of what made this band so special, they were honest and real. They were very professional and personable. They are experts and relaxed. When Mike picked up a tambourine and used it on the next song, he didn’t shake it around, or bang the hell out of it, he was subtle and poised. He used it to add texture to the music and not to be a prominent player in the song, as most people would do. Mike and Gary took turns, thus keeping an ongoing dialogue going that also fuelled the momentum. When Gary sang, and reached the high notes with his falsetto voice, the veins in his neck stood out as if to the bursting point. This band wasn’t slacking off  no how / no way, they all worked their collective asses off every minute on stage.  The one thing that stands out in my mind,  is that this is a happy band. No one looks bored, no one looks at their watch, and no one is in a hurry to get through the set list. This concert was far from sold out status, but you'd never know that from the energy the band displayed or their attention paid to the people who were there to see them. 

Tom Lyons (Son of Ten Years After founder Leo Lyons) is the Technical Support for the band this evening. As he's on a brief break from his duties with Ten Years After. When asked, Tom did confirm that he'll be going to the United States with TYA for the 40th Celebration of Woodstock 1969. The band kept him running throughout most of the show, dealing with the usual little problems that occur.

The band saved their three best songs for the end of the show 1. Evil Woman 2. Better By You, Better Than Me 3. Love Is Alive.  The last two being performed as encores. The band was consistant throughout, gave it everything they had to give and everyone standing on the floor or on stage were drenched in joy. 

The band came out later to sign autographs at the sales table. New and old cd's were avaiable, plus a dvd of the band.We picked up a cd called "Nomad Poets" a live cd recorded here from two of their concerts here in Germany, from 2004 and with a different line up. Brigitte kept moving around the room to get some great photos. Gary and Mike were both gentlemen to everyone there. After the room cleared the ones left gathered around one of the tables and  we had a chat while the equipment on the stage was being packed away for the next show, in the south of Germany. Tom Lyons came over to vist for a few minutes before he left, our other friend Thomas was with us, Volker, Marlon, Brigitte and I. After forty five minutes it was time to leave. We left happy,  with many warm feelings and memories of a wonderful night of music and friends.  

A lesson of the band's history:

 Shifting Members:

This band has had so many member changes over the years, that it’s right up there with Savoy Brown.

I never realized all the people that have come and gone through here. The only consistent person in the band is Gary Wright and even he has flown the coop at one time or another. Second most consistent member is Mike Harrison-vocals and keyboards. Bass player extraordinaire Greg Ridley left at the bands height to join Humble Pie with Peter Frampton (The Herd), Steve Marriott (Small Faces), and Clem Clempson (Colosseum).


A Hodge Podge of Random Notes:

Mike Patto replaced Mike Harrison – Drummer Bryson Graham – replaced Mike Kellie on drums – and somewhere along the line Bryson Graham joined up with guitarist Alvin Lee from Ten Years After to play on Alvin’s (then) new solo album “On The Road To Freedom” 1973. He also joined Alvin and his band for an appearance on The Midnight Special television show on November 30, 1973 as a backup singer on

1.Carry My Load 2.Rocking Till The Sun Goes Down 3. The World Is Changing.

Mike Patto joined Spooky Tooth in 1974 for “The Mirror” album. Mike on vocals and keyboards.

Gary Wright released his solo album “Dream Weaver” in 1975 and it went platinum. 

Guitarist Luther Grosvenor guitarist for Spooky Tooth left and changed his name to Ariel Bender.


Art – Supernatural Fairy Tales was released in 1967  It’s All About Spooky Tooth – Released in 1968

Spooky Tooth - Two - album was released in March of 1969

Spooky Tooth - “Ceremony” was released January 1970

Spooky Tooth – “The Last Puff” – released in 1970 

Spooky Tooth – “Tobacco Road” – Released in 1971

Spooky Tooth – “You Broke My Heart So I Busted Your Jaw” 1973

Spooky Tooth “Witness” released in 1973 

Spooky Tooth – “The Mirror” was released in 1974

Spooky Tooth – “Cross Purpose” was released in 1999

Spooky Tooth – Comic Violence was released in 2000

Spooky Tooth – BBC – Sessions was released in 2001


Gone But Never Forgotten:

Greg Ridley – Born October 23, 1947 – Died in Alicanti, Spain on November 19, 2003 at age 56 from complications due to pneumonia. 

Mike Patto – Succumbed to throat Cancer – Born Michael Thomas McCarthy on September 22, 1942 and Died on March 4, 1979 -  He was only 36 years old – vocalist with the “Bo Street Runners” with Tim Hinkley on keyboards ans Mick Fleetwood on Drums.

Steve Marriott – Born –January 30, 1947 and Died on April 20, 1991 in a house fire at his home in Arkesden, Essex

Jim Capaldi – Born Nicola James Capaldi – August 2, 1944 – Died January 28, 2005 from Stomach Cancer


Who Was Spooky Tooth:

Three English Musicians and one American

Mike Harrison – Vocals, Keyboard and Harpsichord 

Luther Grosvenor – Guitar

Mike Kellie – Drums

Greg Ridley – Bass

Gary Wright – Vocals, Organ, Keyboards (The American – Born April 26, 1943 New Jersey)


Part One Conclusion:

I can’t believe all the connections between musicians and different bands associated with Spooky Tooth.

Bo Street Runners, Mike Patto, Joe Cockers Grease Band (Alan Spenner and Chris Stainton), Mick Jones (Foreigner) Henry McCullough (Wings) Greg Ridley, Humble Pie, Hinkley’s Hero’s – Alvin Lee solo projects  Ten Years After and Spooky Tooth were on the same concert bill. Then break these bands down into a family tree and you’ll find the branches spread out far and wide and touch a majority of British Blues Bands – including Fleetwood Mac Jim Capaldi and Traffic, then you’ll see exactly where those sacred roots lead. Spooky Tooth left few untouched or unaffected.  


Pedigreed Past: 1970 - 1974

Spooky Tooth was one of the best and most important progressive bands in England.

Produced by Jimmy Miller (Rolling Stones)

Engineer Glyn Johns (One of the best in the music business)

Spooky Tooth – were one of Island Records finest acts, although they never scaled the heights of fame and fortune that they truly deserved. They were most popular between August of 1970 and September of 1974 


Spooky Tooth Today:

Gary Wright – Keyboards and Vocals (from New Jersey)

Mike Harrison – Vocals, Keyboards, Harmonica and Tambourine ( born September 3, 1945 in Carlisle, Cumberland – England)

Steve Farris – Guitar (from Nebraska)

Shem Von Schroeck – Bass New Jersey)

Tom Brechtlein – Drums (Long Island, New York)

Now three Americans and one English man – just the reverse of the original line up!!! 


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