Full TCB Band Reunion

Oct 3, 2004
Full TCB Band Reunion
The greatest fanclub of Flanders, Elvis Matters, organized a show offering the full TCB-band, so including John Wilkinson. Unfortunately John isn’t able to play anymore, due to a giant stroke in the 80’s, as most of you know, but having them on stage together one more time is really something special. Knowing the “EM”-festivities in the past, we headed in good mood towards Belgium to have a party. After some fooling around with a guy that painted his car Elvis-style, but made some terrible mistakes in song titles, and meeting up with old friends from all over Europe, it became about time for the show. Before the show started the president of EM, Peter Verbruggen, awarded Al Dvorin the Elvis Matters Award for his "outstanding achievement in the Elvis world". John Wilkinson’s wife accepted the award on behalf of Al’s family. As you probably know, Al died in a tragic accident a couple of weeks ago and so we missed his great personality and stories in Belgium. Last year we received this award from Elvis Matters, and feel honoured to be listed on one list with Big Al Dvorin. The band already got a standing ovation upon entering the stage, so the atmosphere was settled… we thought. Unfortunately EM sold the front row for higher prices (including a “meet and greet”) and due to some complaining by “non dancing” fans sitting on the front row after previous events, dancing in front of the stage was forbidden this time, where it was encouraged in the past. Although the TCB-band, Jenson Bloomer and the other members of Mondo Carne seem to love such reactions by the audience, it stayed a no-no this evening. Anyway, as much as we do not like that decision, we can understand it. The worst thing was that one of the “order” guys really behaved like a prison guard not able to handle the pressure and stress of his responsibilities. It gave a nasty taste to a lot of people. Enough complaining, since this might give the idea that the evening was spoiled, but it wasn’t at all. The show itself was fine, with laughs, tears and of course great music. We were told Jenson Bloomer had some throat problems recently, but that was not really noticeable during the show. When Glen Hardin’s piano broke down he reacted promptly by doing a stand up comedian act that would make many professionals jealous. Glen himself did some nice additions to Jenson’s one man show, by impersonating Joe Guercio directing the TCB band. Perhaps the funniest thing was that it took the greatest guitar player in the world, James Burton to fix the piano. The first half of the show was one big party and some little minors like the piano problems could not take it down at all. Especially the bluesy songs like “Steamroller” and the medley “Reconsider Merry Christmas Baby” were outstanding. James Burton even played his Dobro again on “Funny How Time Slips Away”, obviously not to his own satisfaction, but the crowd loved it and asked for more. JB gave it with his signature song “Johnny B” that got a driven treatment. After the break it was time for the reunion moment in the show, and John Wilkinson came on stage to do some songs, among them of course “his” “Early Morning Rain”, “Party” and “His Latest Flame”. It was good to see the complete band on stage, only one guy was missing… but he will not make it to any reunion, but probably he was enjoying it on cloud #9, together with Big Al. After a few songs and some memories Jenson Bloomer came back on stage to fire a couple of more great songs. “Polk Salad” highlighted both Jerry Scheff and Ronnie Tutt, while “An American Trilogy” brought an ovation for Mondo Carne’s keyboard-player John Anthony because of his “flute” solo and finally… they couldn’t hold the crowd away from the stage because it was “Suspicious Minds”-time. After “Can’t Help Falling In Love” we even got an encore in the form of a powerful “Mystery Train/ Tiger Man”. All together we had another atomic evening at the VITO, and we are already looking forward to the next big EM event… “Elvis Classics II” next May, which you should attend whatever it takes.
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Reactions

JapioF (profilecontact) wrote on Oct 6, 2004report abuse
Peter, Please don't take the comments personally. I for one had a great evening. And ofcourse you are right about the photographers. But that wasn't the problem. The problem was the way these measures were put into action. The other guy at the right hand of the room was much more relaxed.

I totally agree with Loesje on Elvismatters. You are being far to modest!

BTW: Thank you for the opportunity to put up flyers for Mondo. It was greatly appriciated, not only by me, but also by the members of Mondo! Sincerely, Jaap Fresco
Loesje (profilecontact) wrote on Oct 6, 2004report abuse
I want to add something to my reaction earlier in this thread. My remark about 'money and love for the musicians' has got nothing to do with ElvisMatters; only with that ONE security guy. He was the one who gave me the idea that just because one payed more, one should have more rights. Let me get this clear: Elvis Matters is far to modest and we all should be very proud of them!
Peter@EM (profilecontact) wrote on Oct 5, 2004report abuse
In all honesty, I think we're a bit off track here. What really "matters" is how the show came across, what an impact the TCB reunion had on the audience (ànd the band!) and how the beautiful legacy of Elvis was carried on. The biggest selling news papers in Belgium reported with praise, and Belgian national television put the Elvis item in their late night loop and afternoon broadcasts, stating that "Elvis is still alive".

This was an historic occasion, in more than one way and I'm very pleased the ElvisNews review focusses on that.

The security thing however had to do mainly with 40-50 'photographers' that constantly cued up in front of the stage, blocking the view of 500 others. If you permit one, you have to permit 100. Take as much pictures as you want, but don't bother other people. That is called 'respect'. Personally, I thought that the 'middle way' that we found (and announced) turned out very well. Some people want to dance, others want to sit and watch - it's not easy to keep everybody satisfied. But judging by the many màny mails, our visitors returned home happy & satisfied - correct me if I'm wrong please.

The 'Standing Room Only' idea (cfr. the Heineken Music Hall in June of 2003) is a great idea and we'll try to find a way to work this out in the future.

However I strongly protest this sentence in one of the replies: "It is very sad to see that money weighs a lot more than enthusiasm and love for the musicians". C'mon! Only 'love for the musicians' could pull this big one off. And as far as the money is concerned: Yes - we donated 1.000 euro to the Belgian cancer research and No - we didn't mention that. Yes, this was a financial risk and NO we don't like the smell of money over the love of music. I thought that everyone by now knew what ElvisMatters is about. Seems that we haven't proven ourselves enough. By the way, the cheapest tickets were for free. Yes - although we had two 100% sold out shows and a limited seating capacity of 500, we presented 2 x 16 free tickets to people living on social security. Next show(s) up are the Elvis Classics with a 75 piece orchestra, a 5 p. rhythm section, Elvis Presley's conductor, 3 backing vocals, a star guitarist and a lead vocalist. Tickets are 17 and 27 euro, drink included. I rest my case.
pinktele (profilecontact) wrote on Oct 4, 2004report abuse
Hi, we were there on sunday and I only want to say it was a real great experience for all of us. A great compliment to ElvisMatters: they did a perfect job! And by the way: there are people who enjoy music and show respect to every musician on stage without shaking here body!!
Loesje (profilecontact) wrote on Oct 4, 2004report abuse
A standing room only, would be very nice indeed!
Elkris (profilecontact) wrote on Oct 4, 2004report abuse
Hello, I was there as well on saturday night. And I can only say "WHAT A NIGHT" ! Mol was really burning ! The atmosphere was electric and the TCB band rocked as always, even taking a technical problem with Glen's piano in full stride. Big moment for me too was John's appearance on stage, his kind words to the fans and the songs he shared. About the "security guy issue": in all fairness, it was not people dancing that were "targeted", but people just standing in front of the stage, shooting film and pictures. Whereas I agree it's quite fun to be in front row among a dancing crowd (aads to the experience, even), this is not always true if you try to look over the shoulder of a cameraman or someone looking for the correct photo angle. I think the security reaction would have been alltogether different if dancing was involved, but this was just flashing bulbs (which, of course, is cool too at an Elvis event, but should be done from your seat).
I was in second row and on my feet most of the time, so it didn't bother me, but for fairness to the EM security people, I thought I'd make this remark.
Lex (profilecontact) wrote on Oct 4, 2004report abuse
It was good to see this event made it to the Belgian news on tv. Does anyone wonder why they used 'Suspicious Minds', with all the people dancing and partying? Indeed, because that is what such concert should be about... dancing and partying. Maybe the next event should be "standing room only", since that turned out to be great with Elvis The Concert in Amsterdam too.
JapioF (profilecontact) wrote on Oct 4, 2004report abuse
I also want to express my grief with that one 'security'-official from Elvismatters. His reasons were understandable, but his way to carry them out was nothing short of agressive.
Coming to Elvismatters always is a pleasure for me, but this time, this man made it a lot less fun to be there...
I hope Peter will do something about this so it won't happen in the future. I for one know that Jenson Bloomer always likes to interact with the audience, especially when they're dancing right in front of of the stage.

The last three times I was in Mol, this was always a great part of the show. Last time in May, I had a front-rowseat and I didn't complain about people standing and dancing in front of me, because I know that is what will happen when you attend such concerts.
I will keep going to Mol (tickets for May are already booked, and yes, they're fronrow, but please, dance in front of me), but this one was by far the worst I've ever been to... and that cannot be blamed to the TCB-band or Mondo!
Loesje (profilecontact) wrote on Oct 3, 2004report abuse
Just for the record: I was there and the music was as great as ever and so were the musicians. Unfortunately I must agree with the minors, mentioned above, about the security 'guy'. Being a regular concert-visitor I like to dance when the music is good and the guys on stage give me the impression they like the reaction. It is very sad to see that money weights a lot more than enthousiasm and love for the musicians. Since the majority of the people on the front - expensive - row didn't even have the courtesy to rise when John Wilkinson came on stage. (talking about respect)
Even so, I thought the higher prizes were for the 'meet and greet session' and not to shoot their own private DVDs. But hey, that's only my opinion. I will dance at home in my livingroom instead of in a concert hall from now on :-(

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