zondag 8 juni 2014

John Fogerty in Jelling, Denmark, 5/31/14

even though we crawled in our beds around 2, we had to get up early again. Another great breakfast with delicious food and great company. And, uh, raw meat sandwiches :-D it was pretty good!

after booking a hotel for the night, we said goodbye to Michael and Isa and their kids Tini and Tobias, and fellow traveler Peter S. We felt so at home at their place, they took so good care of us and absolutely spoiled us.


We left their cute little town and drove up north.

Driving through the beautifull countryside of Niedersachsen in northern Germany on our way to beautifull southern Danmark :-)There are all these cute little towns with beautifull farmsteads and cute looking houses, lots of green fields and farm fields, and trees....

driving trough the harbour of Hamburg now.... the Queen Elisabeth is docked here....oh there it is! its here because they have to fix the "B" in "Elisabeth". It fell off somewhere, theres only "Elisa-eth" now. It was also in San Francisco when *we* were there in 2012. (so its following us and it took her 2 years to sail to Hamburg?!) :-D (added note: one week later it followed Robert and me to Amsterdam!)

we had enough time, as this was a festival, and in Scandinavia, so we were not worried about that, but we didnt have a ticket yet.
17 years ago it was the first time we went to Scandinavia to see John, and since then, we've been there about 3 gazillion times, but it has been two years now, and exciting, even so exciting that I made pictures of the welcome in Denmark sign :-D

Denmark has cute small hills and everything was very green. we were almost out of gas, and we didnt have any Danish money, so we needed to take care of that. Last time we tried to get gas we ended up in a scary forest with Stephen King vibes, and this time we decided to leave the highway too because its cheaper to get gas in a town. So, we drove to a town called Haderslev and got gas. So far so good, but finding an ATM machine was a bit trickier and we ended up driving circles trough sleepy suburbs, and tying to get into town resulted in so many dead end streets and wrong way streets that we thought it was  a set up. Okay, long story short, we found downtown, and while Robert was getting stressed about finding a parkingspot I was taking pictures of the beautifull Danish colorfull old houses. Sorry honey :-)

One small problem, we didnt have a clue what the rates for the Danish crowns were. The decision to go to Denmark was last minute, so we werent really prepared. Robert paid 10 crowns per liter gas, so we assumed one crown about was 15 cent, (what made sense) and figured out how much we needed to get from the ATM.
I once had an encounter in Denmark with a ATM that had the keyboard UPSIDE DOWN, try that!! but was able to get my money, and now we were a bit more relaxed.


As we werent sure about how the day was going to be, we decided to get a quick snack somewhere back on the highway and ended up in a small truckstop with a lot of weird sandwiches, so we thought it would be safer to just eat there and we had a schnitzel with fries. Very friendly staff gave us pick up nr 8, and when we sat down Robert said "wait, whats 8 in Danish?" I only know 8 in Swedish, but we assumed we would be fine. After waiting for a short while, the guy just ran into the restaurant with our food, ran back to grab us some knives, forks and napkins, and dove back behind his counter to take the next order. That was just too cute :-) we just always meet people like that on the road and I love it.
unfortunately, the schnitzel didnt taste very well and when we wondered what was in it, I thought "roadkill!!" it's probably an acient joke already, but that meal will forever be the Danish Roadkill Schnitzel :-D
And the receipt gave us the rates to Euro, so now we finally knew. 7 krones to 1 euro!
Scandinavia = black icecream.


we thought we were almost in Jelling, but the gps sent us off the highway through some local road, through some cute but very deserted villages.

 No roadsigns of Jelling anywhere, but we didnt know how big the town was, if it was just a tiny village it would take a while for the signs to appear. Even though the GPS tried to sabotage the trip once again, we arrived safe and well. Festival parking was a big field with grass so tall you could almost get lost in it! We looked at the sky and it was so grey I decided to bring my raincoat (best decision ever) and Robert gave me his scarf.
It was a nice surprise to find out it was only a ten minute walk to the festival. There were still tickets, we got in, had a supergood meal, walked around a bit, it looked like a very nice festival but it was cold. Amy Mc Donald was singing in the background and we took the time and enjoyed our food.
After Amy McDonald we walked up to the front and... there was aaaalll the space at the frontrow we wanted :-D so we found a nice spot. Only thing was that the stage was superhigh, and we knew we would have troubles seeing the guys in the back. as we were on the right side yesterday, we choose the left side now, to take a better look at Shane, Bob and newbie Devon.

(okayyy... driving back south... lots of cars on the german autobahn... it's the last day of a four day weekend so lots of traffic going back home. It has been very crowded on the road since we left on thursday. Also saw a lot of hitch hikers getting dropped at gasstations. Our GPS warned for trafficjams on and off, and the arrival time keeps changing all the time, plus one hour, minus half an hour, maybe its just that the thing has lost its mind. (years ago already))

Anyway, lots of familiar faces on the right side of the fence, and on our side too, and it didnt take long for us to be surrounded by a flock of old and new Scandinavian friends, like ofcourse Egon and Bente, who I have been looking out for! great to see them again. oh, and ofcourse Arnold showed up too.
discussing yesterdays setlist :-)

I gave Robert his scarf back and put on my raincoat to keep warm, so glad I had it with me!
Last band for Fogerty was the omnipresent popular local old rockers band, this one was called TV2. they were not bad... and very popular. I  danced along a bit just to keep warm. Didnt work very well because when they finished I noticed a few of my fingers felt dead and they looked pretty dead too!

I asked the nice lady next to me to keep an eye on my spot and left for the bathroom and some coffee. They didnt have those nasty porto potty  toilets but something decent, and, and, it was warm inside too. I took the slowest pee ever :-D then I went for the coffee, but they could as well sell cups of hot water, I would have bought it too. The awesome feeling of the hot cup in my frozen hands. Pure, pure extacy. Who cares what it tastes like! it came in a nice refund cup and when I finished the coffee, I noticed Dr Feelgood was on it :-D

when I came back to the front still big gaps of space... thats what I like about Scandinavian shows. its just way relaxter. unfortunately the reason that they're not there is that they're getting drunk at the bar, but hey.

we noticed that the head of security was talking to a young guy, who had a cd in his hand and we assumed he wanted it to be signed by John. We smiled and went "not a chance, dear, but never give up and keep trying!" I mean if you dont try, its not happening for sure. The conversation took quite a while and all of a sudden, Shane walks on stage to take the CD. the crowed cheered as he took the cd and walked away with it. it was pretty awesome.

9.30 John walked on stage and started with Traveling Band again. I think the setlist was more or less the same as yesterday. Right away it felt better, maybe because I had earplugs ready this time and because we were on a way better spot, though we didnt see Kenny or James. (also, I dont know if it was on purpose, but you dont see a black dressed band in front of a black backdrop!!)
I was already having a bit of a party when John all of a sudden throws a look on us and smiles. I'll never get tired of that.

Who'll stop the rain: another story about woodstock, and the indirect joke that we should take our clothes off like the crowd in woodstock. Then "well, it worked in Belgium" WHAT!!!
that was just so NOT RANDOM. we laughed and looked at eachother and Arnold going "what?!"
Born on the Bayou: another big smile in our direction and a HI! ah, thats just all we need. Just a smile and to see that he's still happy to see us.
okayy if I could only read my notes. Note to self about notes: bring a pencil because pens still dont work. It has been like that for 17 years. (I'm retarted)
It was a fun show and I even liked Suzy Q, but it looks (sounds) like John is making long solos and intros everywhere he feels like.

Devon: Born on the Bayou

Bob: Looking out my backdoor


Shane is a great guitarist. we loved looking and listening to him, and I still feel kind of proud when I see him doing solo's and alll. In the end, he and his brother have been around for 17 years on the road too, we've seen them grow up from cute little kids to grown up ass kicking guitarists!
Directly behind Shane was Devon who did a great job too. Some excellent solos with slide but cant remember wich song that was. My notes just say "dvsoLOsldgrt >dan Shn" ok...one bad thing... it was just so nasty COLD. I was doing quite ok with my raincoat, but my fingers were just frozen, and my nose kept dripping. Pretty amazing that we arent sick now.
we werent the only ones who were cold, as a roadie rolled a heater on the stage for John!

turning the heating on

James: Grapevine


although there were lots of drunks, they were all nice and behaved. Only misbehaving was singing along wayyyy out of tune, but thats totally fine with me :-)
I love, love Penthouse Pauper. Just so great to hear that live. One of those songs I was never sure if it would survive live, but for me it does. And then theres "New Orleans" I cant stand still. Its one of the best dancing swinging songs ever, and ever. Luckly I had room enough to wiggle my butt a bit. what a great choice John!

and then, John yells something to Devon, that sounded a bit funny. Robert repeats it to me, and makes it worse. In end it just was "RRRRAWWWRRRR Devon!!!!!" and it killed me. Iguess you had to be there, or its just me being silly, but I spend the next song folded over the fence with tears running down my face from laughing. Robert said the securities in front of me were laughing too, thats good, cos they had been looking very unhappy all the concert. I cant remember that ever happened to me before but it felt very good :-D and also it charged up my battery completely because I could help dancing and bouncing around on the next song; Up around the Bend ON WARP SPEED. We all know John likes to speed things up a bit and I dont have a problem with that....  it doesnt sound like CCR anyway, so i rather have it too fast than too slow.



Devon, John, Shane: Keep on Chooglin

Midnight Special... the ancient "Fork or Pork" discussion/joke... John grins and looks in our direction.
grapevine contains Bob Malone showing his best, and then James showing his best. He's also bouncing around like "the lovechild of Bob Malone and Kenny Aronoff on speed" :-D
Both him and Devon are totally accepted. You know as soon as you're pissed of that you cant see one of them because your view is blocked by a stage monitor.
there was a bit of pushing to the left going on, and in the end I WAS able to see his head just between two obstacles. Its something. I didnt see Kenny all night, just some arms flying through the air every now and then.
John was mixing up some lyrics a bit, one time he had to laught about it himself, other times I just sang along with him out of solidarity. receiving looks from Robert :-D
I like Mystic Highway a lot better than last year. Glad that he plays it every night.

(aaagghh after dinner we just dove straight back into another traffic jam. Pffff its that 4 day weekend traffic !! Its really one of the slowest traffics we've ever been in... I know theres black saturday in July, this feels at least like gray sunday. Anyway, the food was delicious. Too bad we had to eat it with a cake fork because there were no big forks :-) and both our cards got "declined" but luckly we had cash. pretty crowded in that truckstop too. Aaaah and ooohh.... if you take "tallbrücke" (valley bridges) at only 20km p.h. you have a way better look at the view!)

somewhere in the middle of the concert, the young boy that gave the cd, held up another cd and John noticed it... and ended up asking for it! So it got up there, John made some jokes about it and called the name of the band in the mike. Its "the Elephant Suit" . How COOL is that!



It must have been Have you ever seen the Rain when John said some words about "no matter how bad it is now, it will always get better" and that touched me a bit.




We got an encore with Rocking All Over The World, with me ending up as the only one doing our special wave again. Hey Uwe and Martina, we need you back!!
It started raining... great... just what we needed.
Bad Moon Rising, Proud Mary and it was over.

we gathered around a bit to have afterchats with the others and I talked to the young guy who gave the cds to John.  The anouncer came back onstage and probably told the crowd that there was going to be fireworks, so everyone that doesnt speak Danish just got scared the shit out of them when a loud  BANG all of a sudden happened behind our backs. But the fireworks were pretty :-)
That's Kris, who handed over the cd during the show :-)

dead frozen middle finger.... other than that, everything ok!


i wasnt ready to go home yet though we were both exhausted, tried to buy a souvenir but the shop was closed, and then I discovered the ... Beatles cover band on a smaller stage. They were wearing the same clothes as our friends of the Slovenian Beatles tribute band and that was a bit trippy :-D


Finally Robert was able to drag me out. We passed backstage... do we wait? no, we go home.
Got hungry again and saw a churros stand, and they were the best I ever had. friendly guy behind me in line translated the toppings (unfortunately no shocking local stuff like licorice or whatever) for me and in a big cloud of powdered sugar we walked to our car.




GPS acted a bit up again on our way to the hotel but luckly we just saw the highway sign from the corner of our eye. Even though it was only 1,5 hrs, it was a long drive, and we were relieved when we finally parked at the hotel. I was so tired, I was sure we wouldnt be able to get in, as it was one of those self check in IBIS again, and it has happened before that it doesnt work. But the gods had mercy on us and without ANY trouble (normally you always have to type in your code 10 times before the door finally opens) we reached our room. Forgot my computer cable, so we both went to the car again, now I was sure we wouldnt be able to get in again and that we would be locked out in our t-shirts without phones and purses, but no, it was real, I plugged in my computer, jumped in bed, realised few hotel beds can be better than this cheap IBIS bed, and felt asleep.

No time for breakfast this morning as we left around check out and hit the road... didnt expect it was going to take this long, and we're not home yet. But at least it gave me the time to write down everything :-) Aaaaaaaaaaaahhh traffic jam is gone and Robert puts the pedal to the metal and we're going 150 right now.

It has been a short but supercool trip and I'm looking forward to the next one!

maandag 2 juni 2014

Fogerty in Hamburg, May 30 / 2

Yesterday we arrived at the Stadtpark around 11, driving through the big city Hamburg is, lots of stuff to see. The weather was stunning; not too warm, and perfectly sunny. This was at least the 4th time John played this venue, the venue itself is nice, but the standing in line is a bit annoying here, partly because theres another gate on the other side of the venue. I felt excited walking up to the entrance. we're here again! Fogerty time! Creedence and Fogerty are in their own universe, you cant compare it with anything else. we were supposed to meet the others there but some of them were still sightseeing the harbour. Svenja and her friend Benjamin were already there, as well were... a flock of dutch Bruce Springsteen fans! they were surprised there was nobody there yet when they arrived at 10am, we were surprised there were allready people there.
We also met a nice Swedish couple! even managed to speak some swedish words with them :-)
When Baltasar, Antje and Peter S arrived, we went for lunch somewhere in the park. we found a restaurant at the waterside, very nice, we had a nice view on all sorts of boats that came by.



(oohhh we saw a little deer along the highway! not exactly a moose, but still :-)

anyway... small boats and big boats and riverboats and canalboats and everything that floats, floated by. I felt a bit jealous that we couldnt join them! Food was good, but because of a small communication error, I ended up with two big plates in stead of a salad and "some potatoes on the side" :-D

around 14.00hr we went back to the gate and there were some other old friends like Bernard from France.
More and more people showed up and I spent most of the time chatting about fan stuff with the Springsteen fans, and reading On the Road (yeah, after being "on roads" for 24 years, finally decided this would make a nice reading on the road)
It was a bit weird to be there without people like Uwe and Martine and especially Anne and Alessio. Missed you, guys!!
picture by Svenja Terzenbach

I saw Bob F  leave in a van and looked at the plates, it was a local one. after a while, a different one came back so I didnt pay attention, and then... the band came out! I was just standing there "guys, the band. Guys, the band. GUYS, THE BAND" but everyone just stood there; I wanted to say Hi to Kenny and Bob and meet the new guys, but because no one even moved, I got confused, and when I finally decided to walk up there, they were gone. Bummer!!! also, slightly a sign that things have changed I guess... there were times when everyone would have walked up to the band to say hi. When we were eating, we talked about this too, the band changes so quickly, that it looks like fans cant keep track on it anymore and somehow care less. I mean by the time you get their names and decide they're awesome, they're gone. :-(

Funny stuff happening at the gates: two women tried to jump the line and the dutch sprinsteen fans didnt really dare to say something about it!!! some Germans werent, it almost turned into a fight, unfortunately.
More and more friends showed up, more chatting, more Bruce stories. Bruce fans are funny people :-D and Bruce himself is quite the piece of work I believe!! but hey, I'm glad you dont have to line up THREE DAYS ON FOREHAND at a Fogerty show!!
we were getting nervous... tried to assure ourself that we've been doing this so many times and that it almost always goes right, so we shouldnt worry. Standing there getting so extreme nervous, trying to calm down a bit, but I'm pretty sure, if i'm ever going to get an heart attack, it will be in line for a rockconcert 10 minutes before the gates open!!

I've been doing this for 17 years now and still always forget the same stuff (like some plastic to sit on) and still have the same trouble arranging my purse and bag the right way. every second counts as you get in, security has to be able to get through your stuff quickly. But its always good to hide your camera behind some tampax :-)
When the gate finally opened, right away it was clear we made a major mistake, and that it has been too long since we've done this. (and also, that the security was not very smart) They blocked each gate with red/white ribbon, and when the gate opened, they still had to cut it... and you cant just rip it... there goes the seconds. Neighbour gate opened way quicker and people passed me by way too quick. Robert and I realized that we normally always pre-cut the ribbon ourself, so it will open quickly when the time is there. Too late now. when the other ran in, people behind me started pushing and trying to get pass me. People started pushing back and chaos was there, so the security decided to stop us all. I looked up and saw people running in from everywhere. When we finally were let in, I experienced a big anti climax. Robert ran in trying to get a good spot, and he was able to get one at the front, but way way at the side. Still, at the front, though, but I was so pissed off about what happened at the gate. We just had the worst spots of everyone we've been waiting with all day. I guess this is a good case of "it ALMOST always goes right"  Also I was pissed off because this was the only normal concert! If this would have been one out of 10, I would be totally ok. (and I also dont like it if people who jump the line get a good spot)

ah well, the sun was still shining, I was at a Fogerty show, with Robert, with a lot of friends, and the Stadtpark venue is very nice once you're inside. I went for a walk and a drink, it all felt pretty good. Then had some more nice conversations with friends and my mood went up fast.
Pete Braun and his wife, and KP arrived shortly after us, and were standing directly behind us, though we had been making big fun of them as they were only able to leave home around 1pm, and had to drive pretty far. We've been joking all day "do they know the concert is today and not tomorrow?" and "if he's quick we'll have a drink with him after the show"

I sat down untill the show was about to start. pre-show music was partly same as always, wich is cool in a way. We've been listening to What I like about You for 17 years now :-) No matter where I am, if I hear that song on the radio, my heart starts beating faster. Fogerty!!

The concert started at 7.30, and it kicked off with a rocking Travelin Band, one of my favorites. Started to dance and sing along, but the fact that I could hear myself sing along, as I was the only one, slowed me down again. oh dear, was it going to be one of those gigs?
John seemed to be in a good mood most of the time. We did see him make some gestures to the side maybe "volume up!!!" haha but other than that....
and then ofcourse, the new bandmembers. Just the fact alone that Dave Santos wasnt there, who has been with John forever (and deserves an award for that :-D ) felt like that we had entered a new era. Also felt a bit stupid that I didnt know their names. (after checking several times)
But, like we expected, they're pretty awesome and did a great job. Bassplayer James lookes like he's related to Bob Malone, he's jumping around all the time.

Bob Malone intro of Looking out my Backdoor





Kenny and new bassplayer James



there were some nice surprises in the concert. The new intro of Looking out my back door with Bob Malone on the accordion, super, the surprising intro of Hot Rod Heart.... and later in the show, the super swinging New Orleans! Endless Sleep wasnt much of a surprise as we heard it during soundcheck, but that doesnt mean we werent happy with it. It was great to hear it, always loved the song, and it also took me back to the times that I miss a bit, those wonderfull Fogerty years in '97 - '98 that felt like a dream and fairytale and pure magic at the same time.Its interesting to see how bassplayer James "detunes" his bassguitar during the song to get that special sound.
Another highlight was Penthouse Pauper, wich he doesnt play a lot.

Sharp dressed man: new guitarist Devon




Devon, John and Shane



All the time, there were a lot of Rickenbacker guitars.
Not sure what he sang during Midnight Special... I heard "if you're ever in Frankfurt!" and Robert and Arnold heard even stranger things. It was probably our wicked minds :-)
I wasnt only missing people onstage, but also off stage. its just totally weird to not have Anne around to dance on Keep on Chooglin, for example.
And to not have Uwe and Martine around for the Rockin All over the world wave!
Grapevind had awesome solo of Bob and awesome solo of a bouncing James.
Somewhere during the show the crowd started singing happy birthday for him, and near the end of the show John pointed up and we looked over our shoulders to see a huge airplane about to land!! Man, those passengers had a nice view!! Saw a few more planes later. Can you just imagine flying over a city very low and see a rockconcert in a park :-D

After the show we met Isa who has been on the third row, and some others that came to the front to talk. I had planned to wait for the band outside, what normally is easy here and always cool, so I walked out and went to the backstage, where I met some nice random people and one of them was a guy that spoke Dutch with a funny accent so I asked "where do you live, you have a funny accent" he smiled and said "i'm german" okay, I said, so where in Holland do you live? "not in holland, in Germany, I learned Dutch in school!" wow! that must have been quite the compliment for him :-)
we then talked about Albert Heyn and that was a bit surreal. Also met a German woman who lived near our hometown as a child. Its a small world!

In the mean time, we watched the trucks being loaded. The Bottle Rockets introduced me to the word "Van Tetris" but this was  "Truck Tetris"

Henry the driver ran around conducting everything and a group of helpers pushed all the flightcases in the truck. We made sure we didt stand in the way.
The bandvan drove inside the gate and that didnt make us happy, normally they come outside and take time for a talk.
when the flightcases where loaded, they drove outside. we got half a glimpse of Bob Malone getting in and a whole glimpse of a waving Bob Fogerty, and because the windows were dark we didnt see anything else, what was quite a bummer. But so it be. We stuck around a bit more and then left, as we still had an hour drive to do to Michi's, where we had a few beers, a lot of laughs, and a lot of Haribo before we finally went to sleep.