Phoenix/Arizona - Thursday, 10th June, 1999
by Geneva and Bernd Haeber
Public Toilets and the British Invasion III in the USA
How does this fit together? Someone urgently had to use a restroom and consequently, a historic music event was initiated. In this case, we have to name it "serendipity".
When our family drove back to Tucson/AZ from visiting the Tubac art festival, someone in the car had announced an urgent desire to get rid of the previously consumed coffee. The very next highway exit solved this problem with a stop at a fast food restaurant. While waiting, the rest of the family stretched their legs and visited the furniture store close by. Asking about our furniture desires, the approaching sales manger turned out to be Pat Garrett, the U.S. tour manager for the 1999 June concert tour of LINDISFARNE. It took us just a few moments to exchange information and promotional material and the rock started to roll. During the following weeks and months, the deal would be worked out. LINDISFARNE would be playing at Fiddler's Dream in Phoenix/AZ in June.
The concert at Fiddler's Dream on June 10, 1999 marked a historic milestone in music history. After a 27-year absence, LINDISFARNE kicked off their promotional tour in Phoenix/AZ. It consists of 20 gigs including Arizona, Colorado, Texas, Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana. One can certainly say that this will be the start of the British Invasion III. For us folks at Fiddler's Dream, an acoustic music show case in Phoenix/AZ, it was an inspiring fact that the tour started in our venue.
Without a doubt, LINDISFARNE showed with an explosive concert that they are an excellent and professional live band. Rod Clements (slide guitar, mandolin, fiddle, voc) and Ray Laidlaw (drums), both in the band from the beginning, Billy Mitchell (guitar, voc), coming in for Alan Hull, who passed away in 1995, Marty Craggs (sax, flute, harmonica, harp, whistle, voc), Dave Denholm (guitar, voc) and Ian Thomson (bass, vocals) really challenged the air condition system of the concert hall. The evening took off rocking with "Why Can't I Be Satisfied" and "No Time to Lose" followed by the ethereal "Driftin' Through". By this point, even the people who did not have an idea about the musical roots of LINDISFARNE were tapping their feet. Others came well prepared for the show, enthusiastically singing all the songs and waving their old and dusty record covers.
Most of the songs were from their new 1998 album "Here Comes The Neighbourhood". Songs such as the tragic "Can't Do Right For Doing Wrong" or reflecting the good old time "Ghost in Blue Suede Shoes" or the reaching under the skin instrumental "Uncle Henry" were quick to find new friends that night. Later, they added some of their old hits from the 70s as a tribute to the long waiting American fans, such as "We can swing together", one of their greatest hits. This song encouraged even the last hesitating person in the room to get up and dance. Finally, a standing ovation was a good sign that LINDISFARNE is back and on the path to winning the hearts of new American fans.
In questioning the band about their intentions for this tour, as Ray and Bill pointed out that they were excited about putting the name LINDISFARNE back to the forefront. Just with a car you've driven for many years. It is more than just putting a new engine under the hood. To reach new fans, you have to improve the car body and provide many good extras but keep the known Fahrgefühl for the old fans.
We wish them the best luck for this ride!
And this only because of a familiar need Conclusion: Should there be a time when this need comes to you on the highway, we recommend to use the very next exit!
Fiddler's Dream: www.fiddlersdream.org
Bernd Häber - Executive Board Member of Fiddler's Dream, 1999