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Thursday, May 22, 2008

Return of the Rock Stars

Mike returned Tuesday evening from his three-country, European tour with the James Burton Band. That’s Mike and guitar legend James Burton above standing under the Eiffel Tower in Paris. Mike hasn’t run out of trip stories yet, and I hope he doesn’t for a good while.

They played in Paris; Mol, Belgium and Eindhoven, Holland to wildly enthusiastic crowds. In Mike’s words, “They were just goin’ nuts.” James is amazingly popular in the area and, as Mike learned, a truly nice, compassionate guy.

A couple of tour stories. First, Rob (of Rob and the Rage – the band Mike plays with here) got a standing ovation from the Paris audience on his terrific rendition of Jerry Lee Lewis’ Whole Lot of Shaking Goin’ On. Hooray, Rob. Here’s a one-minute clip of Rob.

Then in Holland, an autograph table was set up after the performance and all the guys were seated there and signing away. Mike forgot something on stage, and started across the concert room to retrieve whatever it was. As he was crossing the room an older man approached him carrying a piece of paper which Mike presumed he was needed to autograph. But, no. The wonderful fan indicated that he wanted to clean Mike’s shoes. Feeling a tad embarrassed – no fan had ever shined his shoes before – Mike just stood there. When the fan was satisfied with his work, he arose beaming at his accomplishment and, with both sincerity and a sly Elvis innueno, proclaimed to Mike “thank you very dutch.” And that became one of the key phrases of the trip.

The Burton Band above – (from left) James Burton, granddaughter Taylor Burton, Mike, Rob Haynes (standing above), Burton’s son Jeff Burton, drummer Terry Moxley, and James’ grandson Skylar Burton. Both the grandkids are learning guitar, and James lets them play on the last two songs. A real family affair.

The photo was taken on their “tourist” day in ancient Brugges, Belgium known as the Venice of Belgium due to its many canals and water taxis. Brugges was a medieval settlement that has endured and evolved. Mike said that the architecture is amazing, dating back to the ninth century, and with most of the historic buildings being constructed between 1200 – 1600 A.D. That’s so hard to comprehend in this country where we consider a 100-year-old house as ancient and a safety risk.

The promoters/hosts for the tour – in particular Peter Verbruggen – managed the important logistical minutia and were gracious, generous hosts. We hope to be able to reciprocate to Peter when he visits Memphis.

Here are two of the several tour videos currently on youtube. Mike stands on the far right side of the stage. Look for him playing his 1963 Fender P-bass.

Here’s five-minutes of Polk Salad Annie in Holland -

Check out Susie Q in a clip that's just over two minutes.


Willow Goldentree said...

Wow! What a great sound!

The 3rd video you linked to doesn't seem to work, but I enjoyed watching the other two. :D

Scarlett said...

Thanks, Miz Willow. I'll check it out.

Scarlett said...

I've removed the link that went dead on youtube and replaced it with a new song.