Heepvention 2008 The Greatest Show on Earth, Day 3

Day 3 has finally arrived, Saturday night, the Greatest Show on Earth. Yes
the HV that all other HV's write home about.

My day started in the cafe of the hotel, in which I attempted to order
breakfast. I could swear what I pointed out on the menu was Ham, Egg and
Cheese Sandwhich. But what I got was not exactly what I would call in the
USA an Egg McMuffin! It was a really hard stale roll with a lump of cheese,
not a slice. On top of the lump of cheese was a slice of ham, which looked
more to me like raw bacon. The egg was nowhere to be found. The sandwhich
was also served cold. I was hungry, so I attempted to eat what looked and
tasted like my 9 year old grandson's science project.

I choked it down just in time just as Mike and Denise arrived to pick me
up for our sightseeing trip to Cordoba. I managed to catch a nap in the
back seat while they sorted out the details of the drive there. It seems
each had their own opinion as to which way to head. I thought it best to
rest and keep my mouth shut. The old pie hole arleady got me in enough
trouble earlier in the weekend!! After awhile we found a parking space in
Cordoba and proceeded on to a historic cathederal that was built in 500 A.D.
(the AD by the way does not stand for Accountically Driven) As tired as I
was, the cathederal was a fascinating piece of history. As Mike put it, "we
got some culture" We had to go it alone though, as Mike informed me that
the tour guides only spoke English and Spanish, but not American! :-(

After the cathederal we did a bit of shopping in town, where I picked up the
obligatory souveniers. We also grabbed a bite to eat. Mike ordered a
cheeser burger, but when I saw that it was frozen and then microwaved, I
opted for some sort of pastry and expresso. After lunch and some ice cream,
which was the best tasting food I found in Spain, we made the return trip to
Mike and Denise's hotel. The majority of stayed at a couple of places
right next to each other in a small town. The Taylors stayed in a fancy
hotel almost near a mountain top. It had a pool, a gorgeous breathtaking
view and employees that actually spoke english (but not american).

Mike and I travelled straight to the venue, and the magic evening was ready
to begin. Saturday night was the most exciting of all and the night the ex
members would perform. However there were a couple of jams and the Flemenco
dancers. The dancers, although not heep related, were intended to give us a
flavor of Spanish culture. I must say they were quite good and highly
entertaining. And from what Esa tells me, their pictures are getting the
most hits on his heepvention website!

Then came the first really big highlight of the evening, and that was the Q
and A with the members. I reviewed that in a separate post, but can say the
members enjoyed answering the questions. I felt alittle bad for Jan Dumee,
as there were not many questions directed to him. I asked a question that
of the members as to which song they most enjoyed playing live. I also
asked Jan to tell us his favorite heep song. The reason I asked the
question, was I asked it of Lee the day before while hanging at the hotel,
and he was obviously very touched by it. During his Q & A answer he even
referred to the previous day and said he gave it alot of thought. I can say
overall the questions were quite good, and not as controversial as the
questions asked at Hv2000.

Another cool thing happened, between jams, John L was onstage singing the
song "My Way" by Frank Sinatra. Then Jose the venue manager joined him
onstage singing it. After the song, Jose said "now we do my song" Anyhow,
this was planned, except for John Lawton was not privy to the plans.
Therefore he was roped into singing a Ricky Martin song. It was hilarious
seeing John trying to keep up with it and dance like Ricky Martin. Towards
the end, John was dancing with someone from Finland (no it was not Tapio,
as Tap would have to be standing to dance, hee hee).

We had another jam, and then came the auction of Heep memorabalia, mostly
Lee's. There were several items like rare t-shirts, a couple of caricature
drawings of Lee, several really cool black shirts too. Did I mention a pair
of Lee's jockey shorts were auctioned as well. Lee was turning beet red
when John L held them up in the air. You know how I always say "All Heep is
good Heep" well I do not see Fruit of the Loom as heep related. Amazingly
enough the article in question fetched 5 Euros. God knows what the new
owner will do with them, but the auction went on. I do remember on one
shirt in particular there was a bidding war between folk from Bulgaria and
Greg and Sherry from California. So John says "who came the farthest?" He
decided that Bulgaria was further than Califormia much to the chagrin and
protests of Greg and Sherry. Hence the get an atlas comments Greg made in
his review.

Shortly afterward came the concert we were all waiting for. Ok here we go,
my review of the HLNK and Dumee show. First the set list,
Hanging Tree, Stealing, Sympathy, Wizard, Come Back to Me, Free Me, Still
Paying my Dues to the Blues, July Morning, Gypsy, Easy Living. Then they
did a special request from Pete Wharton, as the encore "Lady in Black" (Rich
W, I turned around and caught Pete nodding his head to the beat)

First let me say Jan Dumee did a phenomenal job as a "Heep" guitarist. I
can tell he was quite accomplished and handled lead guitar duty very well.
Paul Newton was really cool, and I think they should put his name next to
the word 'cool" in the dictionary as a definition. He pranced about the
stage, smoking a cigar, spoke between songs and you could tell he was really
enjoying himself. The first song he moved abit to, then starting coming
closer to the front and played like a guitarist/frontman, an outstanding
bass performance as well as highly entertaining. Hats off to El Bajista
Original!! ( that is how Paul was described on the spanish concert poster)
Ken played with immense passion on the keys and contributed vocals on Lady
in Black and July Morning. It was like a dream come to true seeing him
perform with the others. John Lawton was his usual fantastic self on the
vocals and did alot of audience participation in the songs. He is a legend,
and all I can say is the Leg
end continued last night!! He is super with fans!!! Lastly, I thoroughly
enjoyed Lee on the drums. He gave a powerful performance and beat the
bloody piss out of the skins. (That is what I told him after the show, hee
hee) Of course he is our Heep drummer hero and we all love him. He came to
play and to party and lived it all to the fullest!! His presence on stage
and at the HV altogether was worth the price of admission, airfare, hotel
etc for me. One thing I did feel bad about, I shook his hand after the show
and he winced. He gave it his all but it did take alot out of him. When
the concert ended, just over an hour in length, the whole crowd chanted for
about 15 minutes "we want more". We all thought there would be another
encore. However, I later found out that the issue was Jan only learned the
songs on the setlist. I managed to get a copy of the set list he used and
had him autograph it for me.

After the HLKND band performed, things started to wind down. There were a
couple of sad faces of those who were leaving that nigh or the next morning.
But for many, it was party on! And that we did back at the Maria Jose hotel
patio. It was a beautiful night weatherwise and the cerveza was flowing and
the heep magic was in the air! Around 2:30 am I thought I was heading to
bed and my night complete. However, Lee was sitting alone at the moment, so
I pulled up a seat and asked a few questions. It was sort of like the
Wizard song, "he told me tales, he drank his wine" I was thoroughly
fascinated for over 2 hours as he told me many stories of his time with Heep
and Ozzy. I was on the edge of my seat. And here I thought my evening was
over, but this was definitely the highlight of the whole HV for me. Lee is
a great guy, very open and lovable. He seemed to really enjoy chatting about
the past. Out of respect to him, it would not be proper for me to divulge.
I can say some things that are obvious. For example he isn't too fond of
Mr. Bron. I also asked Lee on what inspired the song Come Back to Me. I
believe this has been spoken of previously, but it is a very sad story of he
he came home form touring and the house was completey empty. The wife took
everything, even the dogs. Well I could go on and on about this most
enoyable part of HV2008 for me, but anyhow, I finally went to bed about 5
am.

There is so much to tell, so many feelings to try and describe to you, but
sometimes it is impossible. Not only were we blessed with having 4 former
members of Heep attend, it was great seeing all my old and new heepster
friends!! That is the most magic part of heepventions, the people. The
memories of which I will forever treasure.

Bob Winward

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