Yes, I was, once again a
Dude-of-Leisure, both with and without Gary, on 1/11/07 in NYC at the
Beacon Theater show. Here's the story:
Since Bryan's gig was less
than a klick from my nyc studio/pad, I felt it was time to play 'ambassador to ny' and so I e-mailed ahead, and was
at the stage door when the band arrived. BA knew that I would be
around, and he told me I was always welcome. It had been oh, 18 months
since I'd last seen him, at Coney Island, Brooklyn, NY. Anyway, after saying hi to
Mickey Keith Gary and Bryan on the street, I walked up Broadway to find
my lady, and the musicians went upstairs to the dressing rooms at the
Theater. A bit later, we were sitting around with Gary, Mickey, the
hilarious Norm, and Keith upstairs before the show, and Bryan pokes his
head in (he had a TV interview to attend to) and says 'Tom would you
like to play Lonely Nights with us?' I said 'Sure!' so they inserted that
song on the set lists, before 'Summer of 69', after 'I Think About
You'. Me and the Lady
are sitting behind Jody watching the show, and when 'Back to You'
starts, I go up to the inside door which leads up to the stage (they
loaned me a tour pass to be sure I could get backstage during the show)
and Don points me to Gary's keyboard tech, he gives me a
headphone/monitor pack, I snap it on my belt, and go out there. And
instead of 'Lonely Nights', Bryan starts 'Summer of 69 ! (cuz i guess
that was the normal sequence of events.) So I'm out there already, the
fans are happy, and Gary says, 'Stay out here and play - which do you
want: piano or organ?' So i say 'B3!' and off we went - we
both played that one, Gary on piano, me on organ.
great fun, and really strange too, like a part of me wasn't really
there - it felt like a paradox... hard to explain.
Not because there
were 2 of us there playing at the same time, but just cuz of me
being back in what felt like another lifetime (ooo-Time Travel!!!) yet
natural. (I mean think of all the 'practice' I had over the years - no
wonder!) But, strangely, the lights
were very different than I remembered - t'was definitely a super-great
light show too. I think the fact that the lights were DIFFERENT, may
have been one reason why it felt other-worldly. . . Not like being on
Pluto, but maybe like Mars or the Moon.
after '69', Bryan announces both of us, then says 'Here's a song me and
Tommy recorded at The Power Station in NYC' (or something like that)
and Handsome Gary took a 1 song break and I played with the old boys on
'Lonely Nights'. No mistakes! Gary's a tall guy, so his reach is very
wide, and to reach way over to the 'sweet' octave of his synth with my
left hand, and still be able to play the high notes on the Hammond with
my right hand, was a pretty big stretch! I had to slink down a
bit, which was fun - a new Tommy-dance
And I have
to say, the crowd was up on their feet for the whole show - a real warm
NY, NY welcome. Bry said it was his first NYC show in 12 years, so I
guess I had played the previous one too - 1994? With Def Leppard at
Madison Square Garden maybe, for Z-100. Or was it that hot little Town
Hall gig after a TV show? Who knows!
playing, I went back to Gail, my Lady, in the hall, she smiled. (and watched the rest
of the show from our seat behind Jody's mixing board.) By the way, the sound was AmAzInG ! (Great
mix, Jody!) The group do a really cool new thing during "It's Only
Love", especially Keith and Mickey. Check it out if you can, live. Then
after the show, went upstairs and ate with the boys. Talked some more
with Gary, he gave me some interesting info about the German Synth
company, Waldorf, which evolved from Wolfgang Palm's legendary PPG synth of the
80's, (T. Lavitz of the Dixie Dregs had one, when, on another
Two-Keyboarders-Experience, he and I played on a Nils Lofgren CD...)
Gave Mickey our traditional hug.
He sounded better than ever too, btw. At the evening's end I sat with
Keith, reflecting on the total experience, and he told me picturesque
stories about the band's recent trips to the Middle East and Serbia -
fascinating travels and tales. Nearly the last ones to leave, we 'hit
the street' just in time for Bryan and Keith to talk to fans and sign
millions of autographs in the cold night air, and me to sneak
away, and walk back up the street to my place, full of memories and energy.
End of story, fun fun fun.
photos- courtesy of bryan's
fans - Karen Petersen and Teresa Bodziony - thanks, dudes!
back to where we were