What an awesome HV so far! By the time I got to bed it was near 9 am when I woke up. I found some Heepsters at the El Cruce downstairs and had a leisurely breakfast of long flat roll with jelly on it. That seemed to be what everyone was eating so I assumed that was the only item on the menu. It took me several minutes to order a coffee, and what I got was something like what we in the USA call expresso. I am one cranky s.o.b. in the mornings and need my caffeine fix so I accepted the beverage with full realization I was not at Starbucks! It seems that morning, just about every Heepster staying at that hotel was there, and it afforded me an opportunity to get plenty of pictures.
The next thing on my agenda after breakfast was to acquire some Euros. Word had spread that there was an ATM in town about a 10 minute walk. So I made the journey into town along with Pete Wharton and Janine (whom Pete affectionally calls the Anti Heep). Our quest was successful, and we walked back to the hotel pockets stuffed with Euros. Remember, this is important as there would be Heepvention Merchandise for sale! As we were walking back a vehicle honked its horn at us. I seriously doubted anyone knew Peter or I in Spain, so I assumed it must be local custom to honk at pedestrians. After all, Alan in his driving in Spain info mentioned that someone always honked as soon as the traffic light would turn green, without fail. I was to find out later it was Ken Hensley! I am sure he was honking at his most loyal fan Pete Wharton. What was really ironic, as soon as the vehicle passed, I saw some roadkill and next to the roadkill, blood on the highway!! (ok, just threw the blood part in to spoof on Pete). Anyway, later at the venue Ken told me he saw me walking. What I did not know was that Greg and Sherrie from California were with the Hensleys. You may want to see my other report entitled Trouble in HV Paradise! :-)
I arrived at the venue at 2:30 with Esa. Friday started out with Kickoff speeches. Although I was up at the merchandise table buying my hv t shirt, Ken Hensley mouse pads and a hat with no brim. Someone mentioned i looked like a rapper in it and I am sure there are photos at Esa's site. Mike Taylor said I would get mugged in London wearing the hat.
There was a heepsters Jam that was phenomenal. I saw Jyrki, Mac and Mike Taylor play bass and Madman and Staf took their turns on drums. At 6:30 we were supposed to have some flamenco dancers but due to scheduling issue they did not come. So Lawton, Hensley and Kerslake got on stage and did an accoustic set. Rain, July Morning, Wise Man and Close My Eyes (not in that order). The magic was in the air the place was rocking!!!!!
We had a band from the Faroe Islands called the Deiggi Band do a set of Heep covers followed by another Heepster Jam. I make it a policy not to critique fellow heepsters that jam, as I know I could not do any better. I would have to say overall, the participants in the jam played their heepster hearts out and everyone enjoyed it, and I know it is a huge thrill for the musos.
Around 10ish the Circle of Hands band came on. I originally had them confused with Easy Livin another Heep cover band whom I saw at HV2000. This was not them, this was the group that played with Ken and John in Germany circa 2001 and attempted to do Salisbury with a local orchestra. Well this time around, they did play Salisbury, without an orchecstra and did it as a rock number. I tell you I was mesmerized at how great they sounded and it brought down the house. They finished around 11:30 and then it was heepster hangout time as the festivities were over, but we had the venue til 1 am
I have mentioned previously about Esa Ahola, who by now everyone knows took an extraordinary amount of outstanding pictures. Throughout the evening, he was like poetry in motion, gliding around the venue capturing the joy of Heepvention. Yes Esa is the James Bond of Heepvention photography, as "nobody does it better"
So after more fun that an heepster could imagine coupled with gallons of cerveza (spanish beer) Esa and I hopped in the van and drove back to the hotel. As seemed to be the pattern each evening, mostly everyone gathered at the Maria Jose Hotel in a valiant attempt to drain the hotel's cerveza supply!! There the magical events of the evening were recapped and enjoyed over and over. I went to be around 3 am, happy knowing for the first time in many years, I was in paradise!