Thursday, October 30, 2014

so, tonight: Robin Trower at the Keswick, just days after the death of Jack Bruce.  I'm envisioning this: waves of large wobbling notes washing over me sitting in the sixth row.  I would like to hear the infinite guitar sound.

My last experience with Robin Trower in concert was "historic" in that it led to the composition by his then-band, Procol Harum of a song about the night in question.  This was during the cold winter of 1968-69 in Macomb, Illinois at Western Illinois University, where I was an 18 year old freshman. (Uh, 46 years ago.)

Procol Harum (magically, I thought) appeared unannounced on a week night to play at Western - a few buddies and I were in the Student Union and someone came in and said, "Hey! Procol Harum is going to play in the ballroom!"  We went straight there and saw them setting up. What?

The concert, with the original group played their first two albums' (White Shade of Pale and Shine On Brightly) material. The concert was insanely good, but during the climactic part of their closing number and during an intense solo by Robin Trower, the power to the stage went out.  Augh!  They re-grouped, power was restored and they restarted the number.  Again, the power went out.  Oh, no!
This happened, I think, three times.  Finally, they gave up.  However, no one there (maybe 100 students) would ever forget.

For weeks after, we could talk about little but Robin Trower. His guitar playing was quite unbelievable and none of us had suspected he was THAT good.  That note bending and natural vibrato left us in awe.  Of course he would go on to continue to stun crowds from there on with both Procol Harum and successive bands.

Anyway, I greatly anticipate his performance this evening. I'm hoping for a heartfelt version of "Spellbound" in particular, but hey, Robin - whatever you want to play is okay with me. 

Also, being a former band-mate of Jack Bruce, I'm wondering what tribute might be in store? We will see.