Steve Gibbons, about whom it was often written during the most successful period of his career in the 1970s that he could have gone far because of his talent if he wasn’t already so old turns 80.
From today’s perspective, when the Stones and Paul McCartney (there are links to both in Gibbons‘ career) are still rocking the arenas, if Corona doesn’t play the spoilsport, this seems like a clear case of age discrimination. Jethro Tull (Steve played with a Jethro Tull member in the same band as well as with later members of the Wings, YES, The Plastic Ono Band and ELO) once put it this way: „You’re never too old to rock ’n‘ roll if you’re too young to die.“
Anyone who has seen Gibbons shortly before the pandemics at the age of 78 with the British Blues Explosion, which had only just been assembled, live in Germany or Slovenia will agree: Even on the threshold of the ninth decade of life, one can still deliver a damn good show and unite joy of playing, spontaneous fabulosity and experience into a total work of art.
But how do you describe Steve Gibbons to someone who is (at least) half a century younger than him?
There are several ways to approach this:
- On the one hand, there is the story of a contemporary witness (one could also say: a second winner), that is, of someone who has seen a lot and many in his career, and who has performed with many other musicians in various bands.And had to experience that some who had less ability and charisma had a much greater career.
- Secondly, there is an author who on the one hand not only – „Love and Theft“ says hello – transfers the schemes and narratives of Chuck Berry and Bob Dylan into his own contexts, but in his best moments also combines the iceberg technique of Hemingway (in which only circumstances surrounding the actual events are reported, making the latter all the more vividly visible before the listener’s eyes) with the stereo (or should we say: mono?) types of Raymon Chandler and an acting skill that puts all these things together into a one-person drama.
- But above all, there is a musician who has created an oeuvre that is bursting with diversity, but unfortunately was only sporadically available in continental Europe after the beginning of the 1980s. Here you can find straight rock (which came across even more dynamically in the live concerts: to be able to play two encores as the opening act for The Who in front of an audience of 10,000 – great job that), wonderful ballads, sprinklings of British folk, reggae and jazz. And with „Chasing Tales“, a mature work that even surpasses the highly praised last works of Steve Gibbons‘ guiding star Bob Dylan in terms of consistency, but above all vocally.
- And then there’s the painter and tinkerer who designs his own record covers, the bibliotphile, the alert mind with a great sense of humour during backstage and after-show conversations.
Many facets that we trace on this website – or at least try to do so.
For today we are hosting, unfortunately only virtually, a big party in a hot club in Dreamland. And it might look like this:
Down the Road Apiece, Chuck parked his car, between a B.S.A. and a Triumph Boneville, just in time before Any Road Up was closed for the Street Parade. Buddy and the Tupelo Flash, who both gave their lives to Rock`n`Roll, made it from Down in the City not in an Idle Race, but by bus, not without being admonished by the driver not to spit as long as he is holding the wheel.
Johnny Cool sniffs at a package in which he suspects „Love Potion No. 9“, while Velda tells Eddy Vortex about jazz but actually wants to do The Natural Thing with him. Tulane has closed her Novellty Store today and is enjoying American & British Rock`n`Roll at this Social Dance where there is all kinds of music but guaranteed no synthesiser, because it had been stolen and the mailbox is locked. Those who want it a little quieter chat brought up the chairs, but not the problems.
Now Mr Jones, Grace, Manjana and Big J. are sitting together with One Of The Boys not Down in the Bunkers, but somwehere Home from Home, Watching the River Flow, knowing it will be Alright Till the Fire Burns Out.