Archive for 1996-09

Santana Tour Report #22

01996-09-30 @ 15:09

A day off in Dallas… the Meridien hotel, the funny hotel with the ice-rink in the middle… a phone-interview with L.A.Times regarding our TV Special… then i find out that E.T. scheduled the piece about our TV Special for next Saturday… i change strings on my Flamenco guitar… i’m getting a little cabinfever… i might have to get into trouble tonight…

Santana Tour Report #21

01996-09-29 @ 15:09

El Paso: i wake up with the bus standing still, parked in front of the UTEP Center in El Paso… i make myself an espresso with the machine and the Illy beans i picked up at home yesterday…hm…and another… today is the 3rd aniversary of the death of Miles Davis… it is still unbelievable to me that we opened a show for him and his band at the Paramount Theater in Seattle in the Spring of 1990… we were so nervous… somewhere at home i have the ad from the Seattle newspaper that reads: “Miles Davis – with special guest Ottmar Liebert”… when we leave for Dallas at 10pm, we play “Sketches of Spain” on the bus in honour of Miles…

Santana Tour Report #20

01996-09-28 @ 15:09

I sleep from midnight until 2am, and then i am wide awake with antissipation… from 4am on i sit in the buslounge and watch New Mexico pass by… the silvery moon light on the blooming chamisa, the dark dots of pinon and juniper… shortly before 7am the bus drops me off at the Albuquerque airport… it is surprisingly cold – i pick up a rental car and drive to Santa Fe… i arrive at my house shortly after 8am… the leaves on my cherry trees are bright red, and the aspens are beginning to turn colour… the chamisa is yellow with blooms and the wildflowers next those are purple – and it is quiet, no bus engine, no generator… i drink from this landscape and soundscape… the Huevos Rancheros Christmas (Santa Fe term for ordering both green chile and red chile with your meal) at Tecalote Cafe is still as wonderful as i remember it… At 2pm i drive back to Albuquerque… Tingley looks pretty frightening – like a hockey arena or a tractor pull location with big neon advertisements for beer and beef… the amount of concrete promises lots of slap-back echoes all over the place… our show at Tingley is the closest we have ever come to the taste of the Rock & Roll experience… when the lights go out and we walk on, the crowd roars in anticipation… there is a huge pit for people with general admission tickets and they holler and move… and we love every second of it… the reverberation in the big hall does sound like a propeller plane circling above or like a herd of cattle stampeding… it starts with the first note and ends half a minute after the last… we have a good time though, ’cause the audience is into the music… we go through the set smiling… it’s time: next year we have to do a big show in Santa Fe with our 9-piece FLAMENC-O-MATIC, RHUMBA-PHONIC, LUNA NEGRA XL… oh yeah, and there was a bomb threat at 9pm as Santana was supposed to go on… but, since no bomb went off at 9:15pm as threatened, the Santana show started at 9:20pm… the 2 songs we play with Carlos sounded good and rounded off the Tingley experience nicely… oh, and i almost got a ticket from a state police officer, but that’s an entirely different story…

Santana Tour Report #19

01996-09-27 @ 15:09

Tucson, Arizona: last night in Chandler/Phoenix Carlos asks me wether we would record our show there… when i tell him that we are not, he asks wether we would let him record it and i say of course, knowing that Carlos has a huge collection of bootleg tapes: lots of Hendrix, Bob Marley etc… Carlos thinks the lunar eclipse might bring some special music out of all of us… and it is indeed incredibly special: when we start our set a little bit after 7pm, the moon is a shrinking sliver and during our second song it turns black… we all stare at the moon, which is right above the audience in front of us, while we are playing… La Luna Negra in Arizona… this may have been the only chance in our lifetime that we are performing on a stage that faces the moon during a lunar eclipse… a special moment with our namesake… then, after our 2 songs with Santana, we drive to a hotel in Tucson, an unscheduled stop that became necessary because the airconditioning of the bus broke… during the drive to Tucson four of us finish a new bottle of Absolute Citron, listen to Indian Raga music, and discuss the hearing-loss we are getting from just the 2 songs we are doing with Santana… today, Friday, the AC will get fixed or we will get a new bus… in the morning Jon and i walk around the city and find a cafe and some pretty bad coffee… then we discover a huge musicstore that looks like second-hand heaven… lots of trashy guitars and drums and bargain keyboards… an incredible disarray, quite amazing actually…

Santana Tour Report #18

01996-09-26 @ 15:09

Chandler, AZ: yesterday i read “Idoru” by William Gibson – what a let down. “Neuromancer” was brilliant, “Mona Lisa Overdrive” was still pretty good… now he has been swallowed by time… Gibson had a vision, a glimpse, a taste of the future, and then time, like a slowmoving gel or soft plasma, caught up with him and engulfed him and swallowed him… not a single new idea here, just the fulfillment of a contract to write another book…

At 10pm last night Jon and i tried to find a bar or a liquor store – nada!!! even the bar of the sligtly fancier Windham hotel, where Santana’s band stays (we all stay in the Fairfield Inn, the crew hotel) was already empty and closing… we have reached a new tea + coffee low at this hotel… Santana’s guitar tech walked several miles down the highway for a cappuccino yesterday, but there is nothing nearby and the coffee in the hotel tastes like dishwater… Tonight we will have a lunar eclipse, a “BLACK MOON” or “LUNA NEGRA”… the Earth’s shadow will appear on the moon at 6:30pm and will grow until the moon is completely covered…

Santana Tour Report #17

01996-09-25 @ 15:09

We are in Chandler, Arizona. The choice for lunch was: Denny’s or Marie Callender’s…yum… – so now i’m reading the new book “Idoru” by William Gibson and i like it so far… and there is nothing else to do here besides reading, practising guitar and making phone calls… there is not even a bar to get in trouble in tonight, but at least our crew is enjoying themselves, sitting by the pool and drinking beer… after all it is almost happy hour somewhere in the ocean east of New York City right now… i’ll get back to reading…

Santana Tour Report #16

01996-09-24 @ 15:09

The Blockbuster Pavillion in San Bernadino, CA… great audience… almost all standing after our short set… a nice warm night with a fat full moon… i heard that Carlos feels that our in-ear monitors are like having phone-sex instead of the real thing – his band has about 15 monitors and 2 huge side fills blasting sound onto his stage… but then again my flamenco guitar sounds great in the auditorium while his acoustic guitar sounds absolutely horrific… oh, and i still have all my hearing left… hm, and i really don’t like phone-sex anyway…

Santana Tour Report #15

01996-09-23 @ 15:09

another day off… we stay in L.A. and will leave for San Bernadino tomorrow afternoon… i have a meeting with EPIC Records regarding doing a bi-weekly internet radio show with them… i would record these shows (lotsa music from EVERY category, noises, and interviews with friends and stuff) and send tapes for them to play on the EPIC Internet Radio… when the time comes we will create a button that will let you connect from our site to the exact location of EPIC Internet Radio…

Santana Tour Report #14

01996-09-22 @ 15:09

The Greek Theater: we come back for our 3rd and last show… all of them have been sold-out… it would be wonderful to come here with the new 9-piece Rhumba band next summer… meanwhile we are still looking for the proper name for that band… something that suggests dancing and upbeat fun… Carl suggested “RHUMBASTILZKEN”, but nobody liked that… “OTTMAR LIEBERT’S FLAMENC-O-MATIC RHUMBABAND”… well, we still have some time to figure this one out…

Santana Tour Report #13

01996-09-21 @ 15:09

The Greek Theater: everything went very well last night, so imagine our surprise when we hear loads of feedback erupting in the beginning of our second to last song… we fight with it for a few minutes and then i give up, unplug my guitar and walk off the stage… later we are told that NOBODY could figure out what and who was responsible, but that it would never happen again… strange, huh? well, at least i’m sure it didn’t happen on purpose, since Santana’s people have been a very supportive and genuinly nice bunch, but somebody flipped a switch connected to a microphone and it didn’t happen at our mixing board… but, by the time Santana went on everything was OK and our duets went very well… in fact i had quite a bit of anger in my belly because of the feedback and the abruptly ended show, and played better because of it… i just kind of attacked my guitar passionately…

Santana Tour Report #12

01996-09-21 @ 15:09

Greek Theater in Los Angles: i did an interview with CNN for our upcoming TV Special and Entertainment Tonight will do a piece on the Special for their weekend edition on September 28th… it’s curious that PBS stations in every major market have scheduled our program (including New York, Miami, San Francisco, Atlanta and Boston), but the Los Angeles PBS affiliate hasn’t so far…

i also had Gino’s cappuccino again, and it was a masterpiece as usual… but i am starting to miss Santa Fe… less noise, less people…

Santana Tour Report #11

01996-09-20 @ 15:09

The Greek Theater in Los Angeles: what a wonderful venue… great sound… we had quite a few people dancing during our brief show… AND so many people seem to want to dance to our music that we are putting a nine-piece RHUMBA BAND together for next year: 3 guitarists, 3 drummers, bass and small horn section… it’ll be loads of fun… 2 1/2 hours of nothing but the RRRhumbas from my 8 CDs…

anyway, the Santana audience was fantastic and we had a great time… also, today we had some great cappuccini at last, made by Gino at Alto Palato, easily the best coffee in Los Angeles!! what an uplift after the horrible Java in San Diego… three or four bands are staying at the Riothouse on Sunset (the Hyatt) today… we ran into our friend Eric Schermerhorn, who is across the street at the House of Blues, playing guitar with “They Might be Giants”… Carl and i know Eric from our time in Boston, 11 years ago, and Carl’s band opened for Bowie’s Tin Machine, in which Eric played guitar as well…

after the show some of us went to see Fishbone, others went to a club … i went to Greenblatt’s, bought a couple of bottles of red wine, and went back to my hotel room and chilled… the mere thought of lots of people and loud music was too much for me…

Santana Tour Report #10

01996-09-17 @ 15:09

San Diego: we are staying at a hotel in the old gaslight district so that the crew can go out drinking at night and crawl back to the hotel… i went sailing w Stefan, Patch and Carl yesterday… wonderful weather, perfect wind… feeling the sun and the salty ocean breeze, surrounded by water… hm, nothing better… this morning i tried to get a decent cup of coffee and was denied… i will have to put my own espresso machine on the bus, ’cause this is rediculous… read more of Ken Wilber’s “A Brief History of Everything”… he’s an American visionary and wrote an amazing book, utterly amazing in scope and depth and really another example of this age of INTEGRATION… that’s what the end of the 20th century is really about: INTEGRATION… to integrate science AND religion… to integrate various types and traditions of music into a global approach…etc. etc…

When i heard the sound of the bell ringing, there was no i, and no bell, just the ringing

Santana Tour Report #9

01996-09-14 @ 15:09

day off… I walk around San Fran with Stefan… we have an awful lot of days off…

Santana Tour Report #8

01996-09-13 @ 15:09

from the concord pavillion: what a difference a soundcheck makes!! after getting our first soundcheck since last friday in Reno, i walk around with a big smile ’cause i can finally hear myself… we play louder than ever and peak at 103 decibel, but Santana’s band breaks new records and peaks at 120 decibel at the mixing console in the back of the venue… the band was creating about 110 decibel of volume on stage alone… i think 120 decibel is how loud a jet is at take-off!!!

when i go up to play the duetts w Carlos, i wear my in-ear monitors and have only my guitar in them and yet the roar of his band on stage is deafening… it’s the total rock & roll experience!!! we play 3 songs with the Santana band and when Carlos starts up “Samba Pa Ti”, his home-crowd goes nuts… it’s pretty amazing to perform that song with him: i remember hearing Santana in concert in Cologne, Germany in 1974, and i remember receiving the 3 LP Santana album that was recorded live in Japan for Christmas that year and learning to play “Samba Pa Ti” from the record…

Santana Tour Report #7

01996-09-12 @ 15:09

another day off… i rent a car and drive to San Fran… i look for the CD “White Rabbit” by George Benson, since my copy of it is in my car in Santa Fe… can’t find it at Tower or Virgin…

Santana Tour Report #6

01996-09-11 @ 15:09

driving from Eugene, Oregon to San Francisco…

Santana Tour Report #5

01996-09-10 @ 15:09

Eugene: a wonderful hippy crowd in Eugene, dancing to our music… when we play the songs with Santana a guy in the crowd raises a Jerry Garcia photo over his head… Santana’s audience probably includes a lot of the Grateful Dead crowd…

Santana Tour Report #4

01996-09-09 @ 15:09

we are driving almost 900 miles to Eugene/Oregon…

Santana Tour Report #3

01996-09-08 @ 15:09

Santa Barbara… 2nd day… good bike ride into the hills with Stefan in the morning… nice Illy Cafe espresso at the Montecito Coffee Company… then Stefan talks me into buying a bicycle helmet… i tell him that i never wore a helmet when i was a bicycle messenger in Boston from 1983 until 1986, but he makes me get one anyway… again we don’t get a soundcheck at the County Bowl in Santa Barbara, but we get to join the Santana band and run through a tune Carlos wants us to join him on: “El Mar”, which is on George Benson’s wonderful CTI album “White Rabbit”… hard-to-find, but still in print on Epic records and worth ordering… after we perform “El Mar”, Carlos starts up “Samba Pa Ti”, which i haven’t played in years… and i am onstage with one of the guitarists that inspired me to choose this instrument years and years ago… amazing…

 


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