Vienna 2014

On the way from the airport to the hotel I always marvel at the fact that I forgot about a pretty big section of unsightly refineries. Huge tanks and pipes and derricks for a longtime it seems. All of it soon forgotten when you start to see those classic center city cream colored stately structures that are sometimes government buildings and museums and other times wonderful apartment buildings with artistic glass awnings. The same architect must have designed lots of buildings in Paris. It’s fabulous, gorgeous, and makes you shake your head…wow! Once again I find myself saying, “Man, I’m just a little kid from Milwaukee and I’m gonna play the Opera House.” Somebody would say, “well of course!” and remind me of my name. They don’t get it.

A lot of nerves tonight. We’re going to do a lot of new material that we’ll rehearse for a squeezed in two hours. If we weren’t already a very well rehearsed group with lots of stage time together we would never attempt this. But we’ve decided to push the envelope and our luck because we desperately like to stay fresh. It’s part of ANY appeal that we may have…changed the material and changed the arrangements, too. Sometimes big festivals like this do the uncomfortable approach of playing five or six acts on both Saturday and Sunday of a two-day event all on the same stage. That’s exhausting. By the time the headliner goes on, people are numb. We played the beautiful Opera House with no opening act and a full house. They we’re so close that I could smell their perfume and sweat on their blue suede shows. I told them so. I also told them that they have been so loyal. We’ve been doing this a long, long time. These days they even invite me in as a guest at special occasions, such as “Life Ball” and awards and other ceremonies. And this time I made a guest appearance at a fundraiser for the Girl Effect, assisting endangered teens in Ethiopia.

The band was on point that night and people leaned over the railings in four tiers of balconies that came all the way around to both edges of the stage. Maria Callas and Pavarotti played here. Yoyo and Streisand, too. I’ll bet the crowd screamed as loud for us as they did for them. When it’s good here, it’s great.

Erich “Jazz Car” Zawinul, our excellent friend, and son of Joe Zawinul, brought his warm heart and smile backstage and a couple of friends, too.

It’s unusually special and so good when reporters come to a show, stay all night, and ask for an interview. There were two of them. Lots of autographs at the back door along with a deep breath and sigh and a grateful “this was good…no, this was great.”

The night air was perfectly cool and those famous pillars brought it all home to me again about what had just happened.

Thank you, and until next time…


Share : facebooktwittergoogle plus

Leave us a comment

Comments are closed.