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VOLUME 113, sent December 2, 1997

Topics in this issue:
  1. (deleted)
  2. Phoenix review, November 13
  3. Warfield, San Francisco
  4. Rock Stars....
  5. Midland Maniac
  6. Rock'n'roll audiences
  7. Konocti concert
  8. Re: "Strange piano"
  9. Winwood musician
 10. Universal Amphitheatre
 11. Re: Dancing at concerts
 12. Re: Giving To You

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(This message was deleted from the archives at the request of the author.)

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From: "BobbieG." 
Date: Mon, 24 Nov 1997 15:58:33 -0700
Subject: Phoenix review, November 13

Union Hall is an historic old building right downtown in the heart of the
Phoenix 'arts' area, that normally books string quartets and that sort of thing.
The decor is very gingerbread-y, like an old movie theatre, with pillars
inconveniently placed among the rows of chairs.  It holds about 2000 and
appeared to be not more than 90% full.  The acoustics were great, and we sat 5
rows behind the soundboard (assigned seats), so the sight-lines were great too,
but all the silly yuppies were more interested in getting another $4 plastic cup
of wine and then using the washrooms than they were in the concert, so they
were constantly passing to and fro before us. The couple behind us were very
nice and handed us their binoculars, unasked, several times.

My favorite tune had to be Can't Find My Way Home.  If SW doesn't release
that as a live version, I'll beg, borrow, or steal a bootleg. Another highlight was
the 20 minute version of Low Spark with the atonal jazz break.  It really gave
me shivers, thinking that this was Traffic's natural progression.  Also, did
anyone else notice the strange little cut-measures in Back in the High Life? In
the measure before the pick-up to the chorus, every time, he changed from a 4/4
measure to a 2/4 measure.  I thought it gave it an anticipatory urgency, well-
suited to the theme of the song, but OTOH, it really wrecked my sing-along. ;-)

Some people have said they thought having all the J7 tunes in the middle of the
set really slowed things down.  I have to agree but it seems to me that the blame
lies more with the audience.  The songs themselves are not intrinsically 'less
good' than the old standards, but audiences are generally not as well-educated,
winwoodially (is that a word?  if not, it should be), as your average SPer, and
they responded more enthusiastically to the tried-and-true.  SW himself seemed
to enjoy this section of the show more than the others. It was a special treat to
see him attempt to imitate the Val and Emma's choreography during Just
Wanna Have Some Fun (anyone who has seen the show knows exactly what I'm
talking about) with an extremely puzzled look on his face, and then give up,
laughing.

People got up several times for standing ovations in the middle of the show, but
then (much to my annoyance) sat back down again. One guy in front of us
jumped us and tried to get everyone to dance, with the participation of yours
truly, but met with limited success.  I paraded ostentatiously around the lobby
and outside courtyard with my SP tee-shirt on before the show, but no one
admitted to recognizing me, except Steve's tour manager himself, who grabbed
my hand and called me "the infamous Bobbie G".  Hmmm .... Is that good or
bad?  LOL!

BobbieG (infamous as always)


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Date: Tue, 25 Nov 1997 09:21:26 -0800 (PST)
From: Alan Woontner 
Subject: Warfield, San Francisco

Well by the time I got to Winwood I was pretty tired so I didn't have a lot of
youthful enthusiasm like the kids that were there. I didn't think it was a great
show, but I appreciated it and the thoughtful musicianship, not only of Steve
but the trumpeters and the percussionist and drummer.

Here is the set and my comments I wrote down while I was there.

I'm A Man (with a wonderful flute intro that reminded me of Chris)
While You See A Chance
Freedom Overspill
Angel Of Mercy
Roll With It

At this point Steve introduces Narad Michael Walden who plays drums on the
ollowing 3 numbers

Spy In the House of Love (wonderful guitar)
Let Your Love Come Down (great, great fun)
Gotta Get Back To My Baby (Steve has his eyes closed and waving around in
the air as he walks around the stage during electric piano solo, also fantastic
trumpet)
Plenty Lovin (sweet to hear him do a traditional love song)
Can't Find My Way Home (not solo, but with great acoustic guitar licks, the
audience just adored this)
Low Spark (very experimental, sometimes crazy -amazing percussion and
trumpet)
Glad (fabulous percussion duet, no real Piano solo, thunderous applause)
Family Affair (Wonderful)
Finer Things
Just Want To Have Some Fun
Higher Love

Encore
Back In the High Life ( wonderful mandolin solo)
Gimme Some Lovin (introduced by an amazing drum duet, Steve comes on
stage, with Narda Michael Walden who brings with him CARLOS SANTANA
who plays just overwhelmingly fantastic guitar solos throughout the song that
just makes Steve grin, Carlos is having fun too! and so it everybody just blown
away by this finale)

Alan


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From: "Elena Iglio" 
Subject: Rock Stars....
Date: Tue, 25 Nov 1997 19:02:29 +0100

Tim - as the world-known and acknowledged # 1 Wood fan I thank you  - on
Dan' s account also-for putting Tragic Magic in your Top 5 - though of course
knowing more of Chris's solo work I can assure you that it's not his best effort -
I am sure the German audience wasn't referring to swans but to some German
Word.

Anyway of course Chris - who was a very witty, intelligent, amusing person
and not the "poor guy " many people guess he was - didn't give a damn about
becoming a rock star - but he saw himself as a musician. The "one and only
trouble" with Steve Winwood is and has always been - his early attained "rock
star" status IMHO.

Take care
Ellie "who still feels a stab in her heart when thinking of the "I used to be an
artist, but I'm an entertainer now" Winwood quote".

[That quote is taken from an article now archived on the web-site; go to
http://www.azstarnet.com/~bobbieg/articles/rs-dec-88.htm   --BG]


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From: "Elena Iglio" 
Subject: Midland Maniac
Date: Tue, 25 Nov 1997 19:06:59 +0100

Hello Paul!

As one of the few European SPers and a Traffic fan since 1972, I was aware of
the Midland Maniac and J7 references. As you've been following Steve since
the days when Robert Plant reportedly stole his mouth harp during the first R &
B Festival in February, 1964, you could maybe have a clue about The Question
that has been obsessing me for 20 years:  who was Midland Maniac written for?

A Curious
Ellie


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From: "Elena Iglio" 
Subject: I: Rock'n'roll audiences
Date: Tue, 25 Nov 1997 20:19:16 +0100

Kristin,

I must compliment you on your brave behavior  - you followed your heart and
dance and sang while many others would make themselves condition by other
folks' blasŤ behaviour!! Go on like that!! Roger Daltrey of the Who once said
that he would have proud to play rock'n'roll in his rocking chair!!

BTW, some dear friends of mine saw Steve in Oakland, CA, and there were
wild people dancing and jumping around.... Are  Northern California people
special or have you simply picked an "unlucky" night?

Love
Ellie


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Date: Tue, 25 Nov 1997 12:30:35 -0800
From: Carol Stewart 
Subject: Konocti concert

Well Bobbie, a life long dream came true this weekend. I was able to see Steve
on Friday  & Saturday night at the "Joe Mazzola" dinner theater at the Konocti
Harbour Resort in Northern Calif. I had a front row table both nights and was
able to rest my elbows on the stage. What a great show both nights.  I danced
almost the whole time! I was 4 feet away from his piano and I was allowed to
take flash pictures !!! (I was afraid he was going to take my camera away
because I took so many...but he was too much of a gentleman to even think of
it.  The shows were superb and the level of intimacy in the room was magical!!
The icing on the cake though was meeting him and hanging out on Saturday
night!!!!! There really is no place to go after hours at this resort so the band
hung out in the bar and Steve showed up at about 1:30 a.m. for a short while.
What a gracious man...

My pictures are fabulous as are my memories of the performer that I first saw in
1965...still on cloud nine...

Carol aka Avalon


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Date sent:        Tue, 25 Nov 1997 12:52:12 -0800
From:             Jim 
Subject:          Re: "Strange piano"

In regard to the question about the "Strange Piano". No it is not a Fender
Rhodes  but rather an electric concert grand called a Clavinova and it's made by
Yamaha. The best acoustic piano emulator made and costs nearly as much.
Retail: $11,000!

Great show @ the Warfield (11/23)  I hadn't seen Steve since the John
Barleycorn tour! He is quite simply on another level.

Jim in SF


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From: DPolyglot@aol.com
Date: Wed, 26 Nov 1997 00:31:45 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Winwood musician

Hey there.  Saw some of your postings re music, and thought you might dig a
line.  I was the saxophonist/keyboardist on the High Life tour in 1986.  I have
just released my first solo record, "And Then Some," on Speechless Records, an
indy.  It is available at Tower and HMV record stores in Manhattan, or by mail
order ($12.50 to Speechless Productions, Inc. 334 West 87th St., New York,
NY 10024), or at any of my shows.  My web site, dwilensky.com, will be up
and running on December 2.  Please tell your fellow music lovers!

Thanks, D


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From: Winwoodie@aol.com
Subject: Universal Amphitheatre
Date: Sun, 30 Nov 1997 03:17:24 -0500 (EST)

Once again Steve Winwood showed why he is an international treasure.  I had
"party in the pit" tickets & got there early enough to take up a residence right at
the front of the stage in front of the Hammond B-3.  The Universal
Amphitheater is a large venue & looked sold out to me.  Like clock work the
band came out 20 mins. after the stated start time.  This concert was 2 1/4 hrs.
long but went by so fast!  It seemed a lot shorter.  Steve sounded great!  He
looked a little tired during the first two songs but perked up to his normal self
right after the first two songs.  The set list shows off his talent & was as listed
in SP with minor exceptions:  An extra song was sung by Tim Cansfield about
SW.  It was a reggae song called "Stevie Lion".  Steve seemed to enjoy it and
tweaked his own cheeks to show his lion "look".  Steve had earlier said that the
band was the best but Tim introduced this song by saying we all know who's
really the best it's "Stevie Loin".  This song came after "BITHL" & before
Walfredo Reyes Jr. & Kevin Ricard, the bongo player, did a drum duet which
was just before "Gimme".  We also did not hear "Feelin Alright", "Valerie",  or
"Don't You Know What the Night Can Do".  After "Higher Love" he gave hand
slaps to many of us along the front row near the stage.  I was lucky enough to
get one which is what I wanted most out of this concert (besides the music).
The only 20 min. long "Low Spark" was brilliant & levitated most of us in the
audience.  During "BITHL" he started singing the second verse first.  To tell
you the truth I didn't even notice until he stopped the show & said wait this is
the last song of the last show so let's start over.  At that point he thanked the
crew for a great job during the tour & the LA audience & then he did "BITHL"
right.  Of the other band members Chris Margary the sax/flute/etc. musician
really seemed to be having a good time up on stage.  IMO he is more talented
than Roger Bramlett whom we saw at the June concerts.  Like someone else in
SP said Val Chalmers is better than Des'ree.  Mike McEvoy was great as
always.  The trumpet player Kevin Robinson also seemed to be having a great
time on stage.  Scott Firth was good on bass again as he was in June.  As usual
SW was modest when he referred to his new CD as "our" new CD.  Steve
looked more energetic in June but that was before months of touring & the
bronchitis. Now SW can get a much deserved rest.  I just hope Steve doesn't
hibernate too long this time.

Craig Loudon


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Date: Sun, 30 Nov 1997 22:11:00 -0500 (EST)
From: Seltaeb 
Subject: Re: Dancing at concerts

There have been a couple messages lately about the "pathetic" crowds at recent
concerts that haven't been up dancing.  Now, I was not fortunate enough to be
able to catch one of Steve's recent shows, so I can't speak from personal
experience, but I would like to point out that there ARE people (like me!) who
are really into music but really hate dancing.  I have nothing against people
who do want to dance at concerts, and I would never dream of yelling at them
to sit down (and I would CERTAINLY never throw anything at them!).  But I
swear, it really is possible to absolutely love a concert without once getting up
to dance.  There are a lot of ways to appreciate our dear Mr. Winwood's music,
and they don't necessarily have to include dancing. :)

Melissa


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From: MHargre586@aol.com
Date: Mon, 1 Dec 1997 12:15:49 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Re: Giving To You

SP 110, re item 11 - Subject: Traffic: Giving to You.

I have made all these points before, but here goes: GTY was the "b" side of the
single "Paper Sun". This version had some opening lyrics:

"Moving and grooving through country so soothing,
My mind taking five now and then,
Relaxed at the wheel I'm beginning to feel,
That life is worth living,
And living is giving to you."

The musical "jam" that follows IS THE SAME as on the "Mr Fantasy" LP.

Bye for now,
Mike.

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END OF SMILING PHASES, VOL 113