Although we were allowed to enter the performance venue from 7.30 pm, Maarten and his Dad, Joffrey, Sergio and me entered at
8.45. Gene âMighty Fleaâ Conners was into his act (he started just 15 minutes earlier). He isnât a tall man, but he can blow his trombone very well. When I was a little kid,
I played the trumpet in a youth orchestra, and I was always very excited when a trombone player joined us. Men in their forties, really big, so I was surprised to see such a small
guy (I guess thatâs why heâs called âFleaâ) blow his horn with such power, at age 75. He was backed up by a guitar player with little but long curly hair, a drummer, a
saxophone player and a keyboard player, who banged so hard on his little keyboard, that the thing itself jumped up and down itself.
I think they usually play jazz shows, but tonight they played mainly rock & roll. Conners isnât just
a trombone player; heâs a singer, who plays the trombone when he doesnât sing or clap his hands. They had obviously rehearsed the show very well, including the order of the
songs. Every band member knew when to play his solo. When Conners wanted to finish a song in a special way, that might not have been rehearsed exactly that way, he made that clear
with hand or arm gestures, all in the rhythm of the song. Having seen only one concert of popular music before (Jerry Lee Lewis: Amsterdam, 2005), I was surprised to see such
tight control, instead of the improvisations of Jerry Lee Lewis and his band. Jerry Leeâs songs are always different; I wonder if Connersâs shows would know such variety (this
one probably excluded, as itâs a rock & roll show).
They did song like âWhat A Wonderful Worldâ, and also some songs Jerry Lee has done, like Stagger Lee, I Got A Woman, Shake, Rattle And Roll, Hit The Road, Jack. Stagger Lee was my favorite. I think heâs funny as well, singing during Hit The Road, Jack:
âI asked my Mama: âwhy does she treat me like that?â She said: âSonâŚâ â My Mama calls me son. She calls me other things tooâŚââ
Gene Conners and his band are, regarding the control and jazzy way of playing, fundamentally different from
Jerry Lee Lewis and the Killer Band, but they are a very good choice as an introduction show. Itâs a shame I had never heard of him before and Iâm glad I have now.
I think it was 9.30 when Conners and âThe Voyagersâ left the stage, and Rolf Bresser went on. He told us
in German and in English there would be a 15 minute break. Some fans went to get a drink. Folke was sitting two seats left of me, which was a surprise to me. Of many other people
from the internet forum I knew what their seats would be. Between Folke and me sat Wolfgang. He was one of the many fans I hadnât met before. We talked a bit about the music
that was playing, about songs we would like to hear. Wolfgang was strongly hoping nobody would shout a request. None at all.
Meanwhile, J.W. Whitten brought a bottle of Sprite to the monitor next to the piano. He went, and came back,
with a bottle of Coke, and another one. Three drinks for Jerry Lee Lewis â they expected a long show!
At 9.45 Rolf came on stage again, introducing the Killer Band members one by one. The first to be announced
was B.B. Cunningham from Memphis, Tennessee. B.B. walked to his new bass guitar, with his original B.B. smile on his face, that makes everybody smile. Rolf was beginning to
announce the next one from Memphis, but B.B. didnât have his bass right yet. âB.B., youâre slow.â B.B. grinned, and started playing. Rolf announced Robert Hall, who walked
to his drum kit. He hung it in, and now the basics to this rockinâ boogie intro were complete. Rolf was parodying those young television show hosts when he introduced another
one from Memphis, TN: Buck Hutcheson. Buck was wearing his black hat and picked up his new guitar. After Buck started playing, it was time for âthe lonely fiddle manâ from
Nashville, Kenneth Lovelace, to come on stage. The four of them are magnificent together. I thought Gene Connersâ band was great, playing together. B.B., Robert, Buck and
Kenneth are magic! Just a boogie woogie, notes that so many people can play, but nobody can sound as tight as the Killer Band!
The first song played was Rip It Up by Kenneth. I have only heard Elvis Presleyâs version of the song, and Iâve always liked that very much. Kenneyâs version was truly great. It was a surprise hearing him do that song (he told me after the show that itâd been a long time since he had played it). My first Jerry Lee Lewis show was at the Paradiso, an old church building with hardly any seats. As the Kinodrom is a cinema, I couldnât jump and hop, but I didnât try to keep my feet stiffly stuck to the floor. I couldnât, had I wanted to!
Robert Hallâs song was the same as in Amsterdam, 2005: Honey Donât. The chords are real cool of
that song, and I love Robertâs vocals, the true swinging Memphis drawl.
I heard that earlier on this tour B.B. played The Hole He Said Heâd Dig For Me on piano, before or after a show. I was hoping he would play that song, but thought it would be a small chance, as he doesnât usually do it as a part of the show. In Bocholt, he did it! Itâs slower than Jerry Leeâs Smash studio recording; B.B.âs voice takes you to the funeral of this hole digger.
I was anxious to hear Buckâs song, as âThe Firemanâ in Amsterdam was a huge success. In Bocholt he did Boppinâ The Blues.
Itâs wonderful to watch Buck sing and play, as he is clearly enjoying himself so much, hopping and bopping and grinning. He can roar and pick his guitar like nobody can!
It was 10.00 pm, I think, when Kenny introduced the Legendary, the Killer, Jerry Lee Lewis. Everybody rose to
their feet, applauding and yelling when Jerry Lee was brought in with J.W. at his side. He wore black shiny boots, dark blue jeans a beige shirt and a black suede jacket. His hair
was wavier than last year. He was smoking a big Cuban cigar, which he laid next to the highest key.
He sat down and kicked off with Roll Over Beethoven. Various piano solos, including playing the bass
line with both his middle fingers, and some glissandoâs with both his hands! He sounded good, vocally, and the piano was loud enough. âRoll over Beethoven, and dig a little
rhythm and blues,â he said, and chuckled.
Then he played the intro, loud and clear, to You Win Again. But when he started singing, his voice sounded
very hoarse, contrary to âRoll Over Beethovenâ. He sat completely still, the only movements being his fingers playing the piano, and his mouth, trying to sing. The piano solo
was very good, but half way through, he turned away from the microphone and coughed in his hand. Kenny and Robert were looking very worried. His voice didnât get any better
during the song. Looking at him and listening to him brought a tear to my eye. When he referred to himself as Rockinâ Jerry Lee, some people in the audience stood up and shouted
enthusiastically. Jerry Lee turned his head towards them, and seeing their enthusiasm made him smile. He ended the song with: âLike Hank Williams would have said to Miss Audrey
herself, probably on a bended knee: You Win Againâ (without the little yodel in âyouâ).
As after âRoll Over Beethovenâ, he took a sip from his Coke. He made a funny face, and said: âIt seems
like theyâve put somethinâ in it.â Itâs fun to see and hear him chuckle like he did. He was making the very best of it. Robert stood up and leaned towards Jerry Lee, as
did Kenny. Robert pointed at his throat, but Jerry Lee reassured him he could carry on. So he did.
âThis is by request. Especially for Graham.â Before anyone but Graham knew which song he was going to do,
people started applauding. The audience was very kind to him, and he appreciated it. âWell, I got a woman mean as she can be!â His voice wasnât perfect still, but the
rocking seemed to do his voice good; it improved during Mean Woman Blues. It was the complete version, with great piano work, including the âuhuh, ahahuhâ and âI got
a woman mean as she can be, let me hear both guitars for Jerry Lee!â Buck and Kenny were absolutely rocking together, looking at each othersâ picking. Competing and united at
once. After the song he underlined that she is âalmost!â as mean as Jerry Lee Lewis.
âWe have done Pledging My Love now at three shows in a row, but I did it wrong every time. Weâre gonna do it right this time.â He hit a chord, and asked Kenny what key it is in. âHow do you know itâs in that key? I think itâs this key,â he said, hitting another chord. Kenny shook his head and told him in what key it should be. âWe recorded it in January 1973, in London, England,â he told us, and the audience applauded and yelled. âI donât think itâs in that key. Are you sure? No, that doesnât sound right.â Kenny tried to convince him once more, but unsuccessfully. âWell, I sound like Johnny Cash anywayâ (his voice still wasnât great) âso letâs just do it in this key.â Kenny shook his head, but Jerry Lee started playing. It was too low indeed. It was good to hear him do it, it was very moving, but I just donât like the song much. But thatâs my problem. He did fine, he made it a long version with four or five piano solos. He sang the verse âMy heart says your commandâ four times.
Also after this song he took a sip of his Coke, but accidentally burped into the bottle. âFirst time a
bottle of Coke played in the wrong key!â Great fun!
After this, he played the famous intro to C.C. Rider. I havenât heard him do that song before, in
concert. I do think it suffers the absence of Kennyâs fiddle playing, but the piano playing was good. A very nice, slow blues song. His vocals improved during this one. He
pointed at the ceiling where beyond âthat moon is shining brightâ. When he heard Jerry Lee say âGuitar, boyâ, Buck played a fantastic solo with the high notes of his
guitar. It was simply amazing, and thatâs what everybody thought. Some people rose to their feet after Buckâs solo, everybody applauded, even though Jerry Lee was singing
again. When we were quiet again, he added âThanks, Buckâ in between the lines.
After âC.C. Riderâ I looked at the list of song titles I had been scribbling down and I saw it was the
fifth song. Thatâs great, I thought, because I hadnât expected Jerry Lee to get this far. I was really worried about him during and since âYou Win Againâ, apart from
âMean Woman Bluesâ, which was just amazing and fascinating.
Jerry Lee wanted to wipe his eye, but he could hardly get his left hand any higher than the keyboard. It is
completely unbelievable that he has more difficulty wiping his eye than playing a Rocking version of Rockinâ My Life Away. It seems like he started the song rather slow,
but after a few seconds it was fast, faster than in Amsterdam last year. It featured three or four great piano solos, including one similar to âWhatâd I Sayâ on the DVD of
London Hammersmith, 1989, his right thumb and index finger playing four white keys, his left hand the two black ones! I think Kenny and Buck played a guitar solo together, like on
âMean Woman Bluesâ (a double solo is a duo, I guess?).
He started playing the massive boogie, as strong as if you could touch it. It was such a delight hearing that
â nobody can play the piano like that, and I heard many good piano players at the after party â but on the other hand, it was the beginning of the end of the show. Whole
Lotta Shakinâ Goinâ On. Itâs still great to hear the song, the way he build it up after the piano solo. âWiggle it around a little bit,â he said, wiggling his left
index finger, but the microphone was in front of it from my point of view, When I looked at Folke, he was wiggling his finger the same way, but his was not hidden behind a mike.
Jerry Lee extended the song a bit, by doubling the length of âcome on, come onâ. The hit was finished with the whole audience in a standing ovation.
âYou know, I alwaysdo it, do it, do it, do it, do it, do it, Iâve done it about 80 billion times, at least, âcause if I donât do it,
they tell me, they donât want ya, so I do it, and I do it. I did it.â He put the same theatrical emphasis on âdo itâ over and over again, like
he really is through with that song. I canât blame him, Itâs a great song, better than âGreat Balls Of Fireâ in my opinion, but he has played it so many times it could
keep the whole wide world shakinâ until the itâs all gone, and even beyond that day. âWe love you, Jerry!â a fan shouted. Jerry Lee seemed relieved.
He was looking around, into the audience, to Robert, to Kenny, I thought he didnât want to leave yet, that
he wanted to stay a little longer, now that he knew was free to say anything about his monster hits that he wanted to. Some people started shouting requests during this silence,
other people sighed, afraid the Killer would leave. Jerry Lee heard there were requests, so he looked into the audience, just when someone in the back shouted for Lewis Boogie.
He found that amusing, laughed, and played the song. The full version, with good piano solos. It wasnât just a boogie, it was a Killer boogie, that means: rock & roll!
He seemed very pleased with the song, but also much more tired than before âLewis Boogieâ. Someone
requested âCold, Cold Heartâ, that made him chuckle as well. Itâs great to see and hear that heâs enjoying our presence. I felt he would do Great Balls Of Fire now, to close the show. He did. He tried his very, very best to rock it up as well as he could. It was cool to hear and see that world famous piano solo again. He played the short version, stopped playing during Kennyâs guitar solo. He thanked us, stood up, picked up his cigar and walked away. Rolf came to his help, I think. I couldnât see it very well, as everyone stood up. A standing ovation for a great show of the greatest artist in the world.
I know Jerry Lee gave all that he could, and it was fantastic, even as the show may have been shorter than
some had expected and many had hoped for. There were some happy faces, but not many. Some people were disappointed, others were worried about Jerry Lee, like me, or both.
I canât think of and donât look for anything to complain. It was another great experience, with Jerry
Lee Lewis, the Killer Band and all the fans. Everything was very well organized, the Kinodromâs staff were very gentle and friendly and dressed in âJerry Lee Lewis im
Kinodromâ t-shirts. Mr. Rolf Bresser, you and your people did a great job â thank you. .