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There are two reports of the show in Bocholt, Germany on March 10, 2006. These reports are written by:

Sebastiaan Roelands

Wolfgang Guhl


Where: Bocholt, Germany (Kinodrom)
When: March 10, 2006
Written by: Sebastiaan Roelands

Set list:

The Band:
1) Rip It Up (Kenny Lovelace)
2) Honey Don't (Robert Hall)
3) The Hole He Said He'd Dig For Me  (BB Cunningham)
4) Boppin' The Blues (Buck Hutcheson)

1)  Roll Over Beethoven
2)  You Win Again
3)  Mean Woman Blues
4) Pledging My Love
5) CC Rider
6) Rockin' My Life Away
7) Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On
8) Lewis Boogie
9) Great Balls Of Fire

Show length:
37 minutes

 Jerry Lee Lewis at the Kinodrom in Bocholt, Germany (March 10, 2006)
Picture: Maarten van der Tol. See
Pictures section for more pictures of this show.

 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 “Mighty Flea” Conners was into his act (he started just 15 minutes earlier). He isn’t 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 that’s why he’s called “Flea”) 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 isn’t just a trombone player; he’s a singer, who plays the trombone when he doesn’t 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 Lee’s songs are always different; I wonder if Conners’s shows would know such variety (this one probably excluded, as it’s a rock & roll show).

They did song like “What A Wonderful World”, 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 he’s funny as well, singing during Hit The Road, Jack: “I asked my Mama: ‘why does she treat me like that?’ She said: ‘Son…’ – My Mama calls me son. She calls me other things too…’”

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. It’s a shame I had never heard of him before and I’m glad I have now.

I think it was 9.30 when Conners and ‘The Voyagers’ 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 hadn’t 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 – 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. didn’t have his bass right yet. “B.B., you’re slow.” 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 rockin’ 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 “the lonely fiddle man” from Nashville, Kenneth Lovelace, to come on stage. The four of them are magnificent together. I thought Gene Conners’ 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 Presley’s version of the song, and I’ve always liked that very much. Kenney’s version was truly great. It was a surprise hearing him do that song (he told me after the show that it’d 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 couldn’t jump and hop, but I didn’t try to keep my feet stiffly stuck to the floor. I couldn’t, had I wanted to!

Robert Hall’s song was the same as in Amsterdam, 2005: Honey Don’t. The chords are real cool of that song, and I love Robert’s vocals, the true swinging Memphis drawl.

I heard that earlier on this tour B.B. played The Hole He Said He’d 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 doesn’t usually do it as a part of the show. In Bocholt, he did it! It’s slower than Jerry Lee’s Smash studio recording; B.B.’s voice takes you to the funeral of this hole digger.

I was anxious to hear Buck’s song, as ‘The Fireman’ in Amsterdam was a huge success. In Bocholt he did Boppin’ The Blues. It’s 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 glissando’s with both his hands! He sounded good, vocally, and the piano was loud enough. “Roll over Beethoven, and dig a little rhythm and blues,” 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 ‘Roll Over Beethoven’. 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 didn’t 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 Rockin’ 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: “Like Hank Williams would have said to Miss Audrey herself, probably on a bended knee: You Win Again” (without the little yodel in “you”).

As after ‘Roll Over Beethoven’, he took a sip from his Coke. He made a funny face, and said: “It seems like they’ve put somethin’ in it.” It’s 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.

“This is by request. Especially for Graham.” 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. “Well, I got a woman mean as she can be!” His voice wasn’t 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 “uhuh, ahahuh” and “I got a woman mean as she can be, let me hear both guitars for Jerry Lee!” Buck and Kenny were absolutely rocking together, looking at each others’ picking. Competing and united at once. After the song he underlined that she is “almost!” as mean as Jerry Lee Lewis.

“We have done Pledging My Love now at three shows in a row, but I did it wrong every time. We’re gonna do it right this time.” He hit a chord, and asked Kenny what key it is in. “How do you know it’s in that key? I think it’s this key,’ he said, hitting another chord. Kenny shook his head and told him in what key it should be. “We recorded it in January 1973, in London, England,” he told us, and the audience applauded and yelled. “I don’t think it’s in that key. Are you sure? No, that doesn’t sound right.” Kenny tried to convince him once more, but unsuccessfully. “Well, I sound like Johnny Cash anyway” (his voice still wasn’t great) “so let’s just do it in this key.” 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 don’t like the song much. But that’s my problem. He did fine, he made it a long version with four or five piano solos. He sang the verse “My heart says your command” four times.

Also after this song he took a sip of his Coke, but accidentally burped into the bottle. “First time a bottle of Coke played in the wrong key!” Great fun!

After this, he played the famous intro to C.C. Rider. I haven’t heard him do that song before, in concert. I do think it suffers the absence of Kenny’s 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 “that moon is shining bright”. When he heard Jerry Lee say “Guitar, boy”, Buck played a fantastic solo with the high notes of his guitar. It was simply amazing, and that’s what everybody thought. Some people rose to their feet after Buck’s solo, everybody applauded, even though Jerry Lee was singing again. When we were quiet again, he added “Thanks, Buck” in between the lines.

After ‘C.C. Rider’ I looked at the list of song titles I had been scribbling down and I saw it was the fifth song. That’s great, I thought, because I hadn’t expected Jerry Lee to get this far. I was really worried about him during and since ‘You Win Again’, apart from ‘Mean Woman Blues’, 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 Rockin’ 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 ‘What’d I Say’ 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 ‘Mean Woman Blues’ (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 – nobody can play the piano like that, and I heard many good piano players at the after party – but on the other hand, it was the beginning of the end of the show. Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On. It’s still great to hear the song, the way he build it up after the piano solo. “Wiggle it around a little bit,” 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 “come on, come on”. The hit was finished with the whole audience in a standing ovation.

“You know, I alwaysdo it, do it, do it, do it, do it, do it, I’ve done it about 80 billion times, at least, ‘cause if I don’t do it, they tell me, they don’t want ya, so I do it, and I do it. I did it.” He put the same theatrical emphasis on ‘do it’ over and over again, like he really is through with that song. I can’t blame him, It’s a great song, better than ‘Great Balls Of Fire’ in my opinion, but he has played it so many times it could keep the whole wide world shakin’ until the it’s all gone, and even beyond that day. “We love you, Jerry!” a fan shouted. Jerry Lee seemed relieved.

He was looking around, into the audience, to Robert, to Kenny, I thought he didn’t 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 wasn’t 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 ‘Lewis Boogie’. Someone requested ‘Cold, Cold Heart’, that made him chuckle as well. It’s great to see and hear that he’s 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 Kenny’s guitar solo. He thanked us, stood up, picked up his cigar and walked away. Rolf came to his help, I think. I couldn’t 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 can’t think of and don’t 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 Kinodrom’s staff were very gentle and friendly and dressed in “Jerry Lee Lewis im Kinodrom” t-shirts. Mr. Rolf Bresser, you and your people did a great job – thank you. .


Where: Bocholt, Germany (Kinodrom)
When: March 10, 2006
Written by: Wolfgang Guhl

On Friday, Folke Myrvang and myself took the train to Bocholt, a 7-hour journey with 2 changes in between. He is a very pleasant person to talk to and this made the journey a little easier. There were not even cabs in Bocholt and after a 30-minute walk we finally found Hotel Kupferkanne (it would have been 10-minutes if we had known where to go). Kinodrom in Rolf-Bresser-Stadt, as we jokingly call Bocholt was close by. A huge cinema complex, probably the most beautiful in the world. I especially liked "Jerry Lee's Bar" with lots of rare JLL items. Staff was very friendly, but don't you dare not to like Jerry if you work for Rolf. We wanted to eat at "Spencer's" to help Rolf, but it was closed so went downtown to eat another "Schnitzel". As we came back, the place was crowded. I met Amadeu, Andreas J. Keller and even Piet and Els. Rolf was excited as everyone. He soon moved us to Jerry Lee's Bar where we had a nice chat with the band. Then he showed me the location which only he & his staff, Graham, Pierre, Scott and Niek (who did the sound check) had seen before. The most beautiful stage I have ever seen and a very expensive sound system. Jerry even got 3 piano's to chose from and eventually played a Electric Grand Piano (Yamaha). Every detail was planned to satisfy Jerry.

Show started at around 20:30 with an announcement by Rolf. No video and audio recording allowed as he would release the show later with royalties going to Jerry. Pictures only during the 5 minutes. No requests while Jerry was talking. Gene "Mighty Flea" Connors opened, a brilliant choice. Even though 75 years old, he is full of energy. It's artists like this who play the city of music, New Orleans. Reminded me of Fats Domino. After a short intermission the Killer Band entered the stage, introduced by Rolf Bresser. One by one they joined in a instrumental. The choice of songs that followed was special for the occasion: "Rip It Up" (Kenneth Lovelace), "Honey Don't" (Robert Hall), "The Hole He Said He'd Dig For Me" (B.B. Cunningham) and "Boppin' The Blues" (Buck Hutcheson). All played with great enthusiasm. The sound was the best I ever heard at a concert, our view on the stage was perfect.

Then Jerry entered, supported by JW. He looked frail and when he opened with "Roll Over Beethoven", Folke and me already felt that this would not become the special we hoped for. "You Win Again" was next. Some time around that point B.B. was talking to Kenny and Jerry did not seem to like it. "What are you talking?". "Ehem, I just wanted to point out that we need a little piano here", B.B. replied. "Okay," Jerry said, "that's always a good idea". Jerry dedicated "Mean Woman Blues" to Graham Knight, an exciting version. Jerry and Graham seemed to be moved, the highlight of the evening. "Pledging My Love" was next with Jerry and Kenny arguing about the key. Jerry was talking a lot more than in Munich, sometimes he was funny, sometimes it came across as a little strange. The atmosphere was not as relaxed as in Munich, because everyone expected a special show and Jerry did not seem up to do it. There was pressure on everyone's shoulders, but especially on Rolf's. Jerry never ackowledged the great stage design and sound and I also doubt he got to see "Jerry Lee's Bar". For Jerry it seemed to be a normal show, he probably was surprised to see only 300 people in there. Jerry got 3 drinks (2 Coca Cola + 1 Sprite), but he only drank about 15 % of one Coke. His hands were trembling, he had problems to drink and was obviously embarrased, so his sips were very short. The trembling hands worry me. When he played, it was okay, but in-between the songs, it was terrible. Parkinson? "C.C. Rider", a standard he had not played for a while and "Rockin' My Life Away" lead to "Whole Lotta Shakin' Going On" and it was obvious something was wrong. All smiles on and offstage dissappeared and no one seemed to enjoy Rock'n'Roll's greatest song. He accepted the request "Lewis Boogie" before he played a short "Great Balls Of Fire" without kicking the piano stool back. Rolf and JW helped him offstage and he stopped before B.B. to tell him to play a couple of more songs. Yes, the show was the worst of the Tour, even though sound and stage were the best. Show was solid, but we all excepted a little more (including Rolf I bet). So it turned out to be a good show, but not the highlight we expected. There were some highlights though and I hope Rolf can release the show on some CD/DVD-Package, maybe with a little bonus material.


Last update: August 17, 2007
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