I don’t recall any of our previous shows in New York being quite as exciting as these two. New York audiences are traditionally hard to please but both nights here, they were rearing to go from the start.
Most of the guys had family visiting for our time here so for me it was quite relaxing with a great gym and pool upstairs in the hotel and perfect weather, for the time of year. Our stay ended up like mid-Summer with highs in the upper 70’s. New York is a breathtaking city and walking around every corner are surprises, architectural wonders, weird and wonderful people and ‘noise’. It’s quite the loudest city I’ve ever been to – maybe something to do with the tall reflective skyscraper surfaces which reflect both light and sound to a high degree. Construction work seems never-ending as new structures rise from deep foundations at a frightening pace. I walked past the slightly ‘skuzzy’ old Mayflower hotel we used to use in the DS days on Central Park West, now a beautiful apartment block, next to which is yet another hideous ‘Trump’ tower block, the name of which is impossible not to notice. The beautiful Time Warner towers on Columbus Circle house modern shopping and restaurants and a fabulous Whole Foods store which was my first stop in the city, stocking up on breakfast items for the week long stay.
After a few days of ‘hubbing’ we were finally on our New York run of shows. The Beacon Theatre is an old haunt for many of us, we played two nights here in 2001 and I played three nights here with Bryan Ferry on the Mamouna tour of 1994. The Beacon is another Vaudeville movie palace built in the late 1920’s and today it is considered the “older sister” to the Radio City Music Hall. Both legendary venues were the “brainchild” of Samuel “Roxy” Rothafel, the great theatrical impresario and visionary of his time. The catering over the two nights has actually been very nice and served in the space beneath the stage. Whilst eating I noticed the interesting cast-iron support structures which look more like screws and discovered that the whole stage can be lowered whilst supporting an entire orchestra…no doubt to the detriment of our dinner. (you can see them in the image below) The staff were ‘numerous’, as is always the case with a Union building and the dark stages here last longer than anywhere else which is a little irritating for our crew boys but something one just has to deal with here in New York. Our sound check even had the be cut short to accommodate it. No matter…
Pete, Steve and Alfie’s ‘underneath the stage’ bar and grill…
We took to the stage to a rare standing ovation – both nights! I’ve never seen that before here. The excitement continued throughout the show, the stage energy was intense, the fun levels were higher than ever and the crowd seemed to respond to every little musical nuance. Mark played and sang fantastically and the rest of us just rode the wave. An incredible two nights. No runners as after show there were many guests including Rudy Pensa, John Monteleone, Pat O’Conner, John Mcenroe, our travel agent from the DS days, Brooks Ogden whom we haven’t seen for many years. Bette Midler was also here too although somehow I missed her. Too busy yakkin’! I guess.
Thank you New York
Two very contrasting Tracks of the day for this entry.
Where or When – Johnny Smith and Stan Getz (“Man, I can never be that perfect. No one plays like Johnny Smith.” – Wes Montgomery)
Motivational Speaker – Cut Chemist (LA DJ Lucas MacFadden was also part of Jurassic 5, he featured in the award-winning documentary ‘This is the Life’, chronicling the music movement which was birthed at The Good Life Cafe in South Central Los Angeles)