By: Maurice Aust, The Netherlands
How can we (my brother Rémy, Jacob van den Berg and myself) possible top the story that Marley wrote...man, the sheer size of it, not to mention the content !! A week he'll never forget and that week is also the best week of my life. Well, we're going to try to write our "adventures" in the best English we can and we hope you like it....we did !!
Our trip starts out at Newark Airport, NJ where we landed from Amsterdam on March 19th. Being the second time we got to do this trip, we tried a different way to get to the Beacon Hotel than the taxi we took last year. We shared a shuttle van with some folks and took off to Uptown Manhattan. That ride to the city
brought back all sorts of good feelings and we were making sure we didn't miss a thing. This may seem weird to you people, but it's just so damn big !! It's like everything in America is 125% the size compared to Holland, the cars, the burgers...hahahah...we'll get to that later on.
Once we got to 72nd street I started to peak for the marquee of the theatre and there it was, getting closer and closer. It was Jacob's first time in NY and we told him how cool the "Beacon block" is, you know getting your Beef Burger Deluxe 10 ft. from the hotel and the best concerts you'll ever see 30 ft. in the other
direction !! I looked at Jacob when we got out of the van and he had his "This is it" face on and I knew it was going to be a great week...and it was only going to
We checked in and got to our room on the 6th floor. We were pretty tired, because of the time difference and all, so we didn't do a lot that first day. I had ordered tickets from Ticketmaster for the 20th, 22nd and was lucky enough to get tix for the 24th thanks to the best thing that happened to us in NY, Lana Michelizzi. When we got to the box-office to get our tix for our first show, we got some real shitty news...our tickets bounced for that night and for the 22nd as well, because we weren't fanclub members the (not even thinking about getting agrivated) lady said...We were like struck by lightning and ready to raise hell. We were pissed, but then the Beacon manager Keith told us that we might be luckier at the backstage
So we went around the block and that's when the positive stream of events continued, because we met "The Tour Mystic" himself, Kirk West. What a great guy...Kirk took care of it and we got to see the show after all, and what a show it was ! In our opinion, it was one of the best of the 4 shows we actually went to...watching and listening Warren play for the first time was really special for us and it was
even better than we expected it to be. The band was on fire that night and so was the crowd. Gregg's voice just gets better and better, it just gives me chills sometimes. I really liked Rockin' Horse, I've Been Lovin' You Too Long, Elizabeth Reed and the awesome Dreams which glided into Revival (first one of this
On Feel So Bad Susan Tedeschi stopped by to play along which was a pleasant surprise for me. She made a little slip-up by singing Gregg's verse, so he had to hit some of the high notes, which he did with success !! Oh, maybe I'm to blame for that...you see she was looking at me a couple of times and I was feeling kinda bad for Derek so I didn't go along with the flirting and that upset her I guess...heheheh...okay you can pop my bubble now.
We were in good company as well, because Gail Packer stood next to me and she told me she's a real Beacon veteran and she was having a great time I could tell. On my way to get some drinks during the intermission I saw Steve Marshall, we didn't know it was Steve until a couple of days later, and he was trippin' man
!! It was unbelievable to see how much the people love these guys and to be part of this all. We don't have that in Holland either ;-)
The next day we were kind of bored, because of the weather and all, so we got on this hop-on hop-off bus and got on until it was time to get off again...another way to kill time I guess...We got some groceries from the Fairway (love those Jellybeans) and got back to our room again. I wish we'd known more people before
we got to NY, so we could hang out, but we didn't know anybody except for Lana at that time and she didn't get to NY until thursday. And we're not the kind of guys to go knocking on people's doors and join the party...hmmm...gotta work on that one.
On thursday we got a call from Paul Kaytes, Lana's roommate at the Beacon, and he brought some good news. Paul, Kirk West and Lana had arranged Plan B for us, a nice pair of tickets for that night's show !!
We were thrilled of course and were looking forward to another ass-kicking show ! But first we got our 36th or so Beef Burger Deluxe on the corner, where the manager already recognized us as "The Dutch guys".
Jacob's first burger was memorable, because he couldn't eat the monster until 10 minutes after he got it on his plate. The guy piled all the stuff onto the burger and discovered that his mouth was too small...we laughed our butts off for like 5 minutes about each other and then actually got to eat 'm.
Ok, we were kind of nervous when we got around to pick up the tix for that thursday's show, but thank god there was an envelope with my name on it at the box-office. We paid the, still, nice lady and were back where we belonged that week...at the Beacon. Another super show by the Brothers, especially when
Chuck Leavell came out and played Jessica, Southbound, High Falls and All Night Train. A real surprise for us and a great song was Hoochie Coochie Man, so was Don't Keep Me Wonderin'. Man I love those songs from the early days !! Hell, I like almost every song they played this Beacon run, but some have this special kind of energy that grabs you and won't let go.
Well, on friday we were supposed to have a day off at the Beacon again, but Lana and company wouldn't have none of that ! Finally we got to meet these great people, because at about 6-pm someone was knocking on our door and there stood Lana, Sheyenne and Paul Kaytes... We made a picture of us all and got invited to a pre-party at the P&G Bar. First we made a stop (wheee!!) at the backstage entrance, where Lana introduced us
to Joe Bell from Hittin' The Note Magazine and to the main man at Kid Glove Enterprises. Lana also gave us backstage passes for that night's show and I started feeling like a 5 year old boy opening up more and more presents under the Christmas tree. It just didn't stop getting the best trip ever ! When we got to the bar the place was crowded with ABB fans and we got to meet hardcore fans like Glenn Boireau, Patrick Lehnherr (the generous guy with the Christmas Jam cd's !) and many more.
Then it was time to leave the bar and we decided to get some standing room tickets, since this was an opportunity we just had to grab. So after the second ATM decided to give us the cash we got the tickets and we were inside again...It was another great show and they played great versions of Done Somebody Wrong,
Ain't Wastin' Time No More, Statesboro Blues and You Don't Love Me. Again it was nice to see the guest players, like John Popper, up there as well. When the show was over it was time to wait until we got to go backstage and perhaps see some of the bandmembers in there somewhere. And we actually did get to see
Oteil and Warren, they stopped by to say hello to some people and that was really an awesome experience to see these guys up close like that. On our way out the backstage entrance Warren passed us again and we saw Jaimoe giving an autograph to a fan.
On saturday the weather was clear again and we went out to take a really long walk through Central Park to kind of get away from the noise and to absorb what we'd done and experienced these last 5 days. We went to Strawberry Fields where Remy took some pictures (he's the photographer) and I was making a video
for the folks back home. We saw some tropical looking birds and stuff, it's really a cool park to spend time in. Somewhere in the afternoon we got back to the hotel and we got a call from Lana, there was a little party at her room and we were welcome to party along, which of course we did !
At the party we got to meet Steve Marshall, Dan from San Francisco, Marley and Gary Seaman, John and Ron from Canada and John from Brazil. Also there were Pat Lehnherr, Glenn Boireau (nice jacket man!), Paul Kaytes, Shey and Lana ofcourse ! A lot of pictures were made and we got some of the home-made
mead and had a good time ! But I do have to say that y'all are missing out on some really good beer in the States...one of the few things America can't produce...hahah...a Heineken just isn't a real Heineken when it finally gets to the US, but hey it's beer... Some beer tips for you people who are thinking about visiting the Netherlands...try : Hertog Jan or Grolsch or the really nice Belgium beers Palm, Leffe and Das.
But I'm drifting off I know...during the party Lana told us she was working on this present for us which was to remain a surprise until sunday. She told John from Canada though and he wished he'd get it, so we were as curious as hell of course...
For the first time that week we got to pick up our tickets at the right place, the will-call venue...wheeee!!! Row C this time, so another great view and of course a killer show. Stand Back, one of my favorites, was the song we hadn't heard until then and the Brothers did an excellent job...which goes for the whole show. Larry McCrae was a little eager during the first seconds of Feel So Bad, but nevertheless played his parts well on both Feel So Bad and Southbound. Being our last concert and night in the States this year I wanted to remember how the guys looked on stage. So I took a good look at all the Brothers and made like snapshots in my mind...no I wasn't stoned...although it was hard not to get stoned ! But at least the snapshots worked, because I can still see them clearly like they're playing a private gig for me...
We woke up the next day and it was checkout day :( We had to leave the compound at noon... but fortunately Lana's hospitality knows no limits as far as we know *k* and we were welcome to drop our luggage and butts at her place. First we had our last breakfast in NY and then looked for a flowershop to get Lana a
nice bouquet for taking care of us and, well, for being Lana ! We got back to the hotel, delivered the goods and watched some tv with Sheyenne and Glenn. It was still pretty nice weather and after a while we felt like going to Central Park. Paul got us our own doorkey (didn't work, but it's the thought that counts !), so
we could all come and go as we pleased.
We went out and used the swings in the park at 85th street. We sat/swung there for at least an hour, got ourselves some hotdogs and eased back to the Beacon. We made reservations for a car to take us to Newark Airport at 6:30 pm, so Lana and Glenn headed off to some secret destination to try and get the
present...unfortunately their mission failed, but plan B was to mail the present to Holland, so we've been on the lookout and herassing the mailman ever since we got back...he knows it's nothing personal.
Well, when it was time to pick up our bags and leave I "found" a couple of cd's in my bag of my father's band called Brother Jake. My old man asked me to take some to the US and maybe give them to interesting people, in this case Paul and Lana, so he can say their cd has reached the States ;-)
We said our goodbye's to our American brothers and sisters and the thought of getting back home again was appealing. Although I wouldn't have mind hanging out some more and see the final show ! That would have upset our manager at work though (Jacob and I are colleagues), since we already took the week off and
all :) Well, we got into the V8 (gotta have me one!) and took off with our Russian driver...that guy was straightnin' the curves and flatnin' the hills just like Bo and Luke Duke !! Luckily we got to the airport in one piece and had a safe flight home. I wish I had the time and money to travel wherever the Brothers would play, but 3-5 concerts a year will also do...hehehe...
What it came down to this past March is that we had a wonderful time eatin', sleepin' and peakin' at the Beacon and that's something worth sharing with all you Peachheads !