Al Stewart

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Een kleine groep die-hard fans van Al Stewart probeert bij elke tournee van Al Stewart nog samen te komen voor een praatje en een drankje. Helaas is het niet gelukt om tijdens de laatste tournee af te spreken.

This speech was meant to be held in Veenendaal in the Lampegiet at the nineteenth of October 2008. It was the last performance by Dave Nachmanoff and Al Stewart. Thanksgiving for their performances. But the spectators immediately left the Lampegiet after Dave and Al were willing to sign their albums. So the speech has lost its meaning. The speech starts calling Al Stewart back with both hands as a natural megaphone saying: “Admiral Lord Fisher, we call you back, we call you back.”

And then as parable with Al sometimes saying after the show: “My name is… And each person starting with my name is:… Mr. Carmichael, Mr. Willoughby, Prince Louis Battenberg, Warren Harding, Ernst Roehm, General Guderian, Robespierre, Charlotte Corday, Napoleon Bonaparte, Joseph, the Georgian, Stalin, Nostradamus, Lord Grenville, Merlin, Dwight Lee Eisenhower, Mr. Shackleton, Mr. Scott, Dorothy Parker, Josephine Baker, Coco Chanel, Helen, Cassandra, Lord Salisbury, William Mc Kinley, Peter White,the Great, Django Reinhardt, Sandy Denny, Yoko Ono, Bob Dylan, Paul Simon and Robert, King Crimson, Fripp.

Dear Dave Nachmanoff and Al Stewart, No nonsense anymore. Let’s be serious with a poem: There was a Young Lady in White. Who looked out at the depths of the Night. But the birds in the air, Filled her heart with despair, And oppressed that Young Lady in White.

Who knows? (as a question). “No, Mr. Stewart, it’s not your turn.”

Let’s compare this poem with:
Blow thou winds my good fortunes bring. Mind the hours such as minstrels sing. Come fair thoughts let heart take wing. My lady calls to me.
And then somebody out of the spectators calls: “Cleave To Me, a song by Al.”

So, Mr. Stewart, you gave that Lady wings, so you must be the poet Edward Lear. Singing: “How pleasant to know, Mr. Lear. How pleasant to know at the end of the day he’s near…” No nonsense, in a melancholical way, at the End Of The Day, when we know you’ll soon be leaving.

So you are here and we are hear and you are near with your musical friend Dave Descartes in Veenendaal. Thinking and existing. Playing, so existing. A Thing Of Beauty is a joy forever. Time Passages like The Snowballs and instead playing Lonne Donegan, you do it with the shrew Katherine of Oregon.

So what are you doing here in Veenendaal, The Loneliest Place On The Map? Right time, wrong place? Fortunately we got supply of foods in dark water.

History repeats itself and after orchestral Bedsittered Imaged, we are again haunted by you in Ancient Light.

You are At The Wheel and Elvis like a crazy Fred driver goes along with Joseph Stalin in drifting clouds and besides Nostradamus Edward Lear nods. Again we take place in your ancient ships and lightens ourselves in your sparks. With your grandmother sitting at the beach before the war. We flirt with Coco Chanel, jazzesses with Dorothy Parker and cool ourselves down in Antarctica with Scott. We visit the Palaces Of Versailles, we kill Marat. Your days are not numbered, but Paint By Numbers. We tapdance in Spain and kiss the feet of elegant young ladies in white with elegant shoe in time, Laughing Into 1939.

Sixty four and there is so much more. And the sun has the moon in his eyes, as you wonder the timeless skies. Admiral Stewart, are we able to call you back again? Sailing dreams like ships across the sea.

And the circle turns and turns again like alpha and omega. Let’s start with omega: “And put you away in a drawer in my mind. And I’ll just bid all of my troubles goodbye. “ And returning into alpha, it’s the twelfth of August 1966. Your Elf rises out of the dark. And still you are The Elf with fumbling fingers found the chords and trembling lips fought for the words. And when we have passed away The Elf is looking over the Evening Hill. You can hear his echo. Let’s sing: Sing, sing to me your song Sing, for I belong to the night In the grey morning light I’ll be gone

Jur Wijsman


Het slechte weer en de files uiteindelijk getrotseerd te hebben, schoof een kleine schare Al-fanatici vlakbij het Muziekcentrum aan tafel voor een gemeenschappelijke maaltijd. Al had ook in de file gestaan en was dus veel te laat voor zijn interviews en soundtest. Hierdoor moest Al helaas terugkomen op zijn eerdere toezegging met ons mee te eten.

Wij werden aangenaam verrast toen Al langskwam in het restaurant. Op de vraag waarom hij eigenlijk nooit piano speelt bij zijn concerten, antwoordde hij dat hij niet pianospelen en zingen kan combineren (ik weet dat dat niet waar is .... RS). In elk geval nam hij plaats achter de piano in het restaurant en begon te spelen. Wat zullen de andere gasten van het restaurant wel niet gedacht hebben ...? We vroegen Al nog wat hij het liefst speelt. Vanzelfsprekend kregen we daar een ontwijkend antwoord; op "Jailhouse Rock".
Snel eten, rekening betalen, naar het muziekcentrum rennen ... en genieten van het concert. Het was een goed concert. Al sprak alleen weinig.
Na afloop bleken er meer mensen dan verwacht te hebben gereageerd op de oproep van de fanmeeting. Jur Wijsman vertolke zijn speach op briljante wijze. Al (en wij ook natuurlijk) moesten er erg om lachen.

Dear Mister Stewart,
Let me be the madman swinging from the pulpit. It feels good that the Stew-family has been gathered around you, like a mantle on the waves of time, after you have sung for us in a voice of amber. You can’t say much in an evening, if you know you ”ll soon be leaving. With Marian Davis, we count the days as they run.
Each of us has his own harliquinstrings with you. My strings has begun in this town, Eindhoven, living in a rack-rent landlordroom and I got bedsittered imaged. Identification with you has been a source of console. Then alone in my room I must stay to lose or win, while these wild bedsittered images came back to hem me in. I know from your first class lackey, here comes the Judd, that the song reflected your broken window pane images in Lisle Street.
Alone in my room your voice nestled my bed in a warm bath of clay. Falling with you in embryo shadows across the wall. The apple kisses the core of the orange. With your Manuscript flowing over the waves of time. Forseeing, like Nostradamus, with your secret smiling grandmother the Second World War. Flying between the wars. Time seems to pause in the flow of time dwelling in nostalgic and romantic streams.
Walking in town with bleeding mind, alone on her streetsheets, going nowhere with nowhere to go. Drifting into time passages, knowing that you’re in there, just out of sight. Romantic suffering, out of linedreaming. Dipping feet in the cold stream of time, seeing tomorrow run by, hand in hand with yesterday. Are we going to Riyadh again?
More than a generation later, you visited the time between the wars again. History repeats herself. She laughs, in her partyhad and temptating satindress, in1939. Walking in distinguished banjoplaying Paris with the clearskinned Coco Chanel. The Spanish guitar sweeps like Spanish flies over Spanish Citizen War. Dancing cossacks with pitchforks in the anteroom of Stalins hell. Django Reinhardt fretting like a fast train through Munich, waiting for a date under the timeclockumbrella. Dorothy Parker jazzes in and leads to the forbidden drinkplaces.
Mister Stewart you have had your fifteen minutes stardom. But we call you back, Admiral Stewart. We know that the sands ran through the hourglass each day more rapidly. The compass roads guided you from a black long haired dreamery hippiepopfestival singer, in Kralingen Rotterdam ’70, with Zero flying in morning sighs, into a folk rock troubadour with running man bandmembership. History repeats herself and alone again you frettened your hour for the same old crowd. The more you change, the more you stay the same. And the circle turns and turns again.
Winter ’96, the coldest winter in memory. Then winter moans in old men’s bones. Virtuosity Juber, biographer Judd and you were, with crazy driver Fred, on the virgin snow. Scott Stewart I have given you a cheap bulgarian cabernet sauvignon. Close-fisted by the frost, I must have injured you. Perhaps drinking that wine along the Rhine, you were run after by Ernst Roehm. Or did tante Pascale haunted you?
Admiral Stewart, I suppose we are not waiting for the dawn to come. We are sometimes trapped by the close confines of the age we are born into. Time runs through the fingers. Some fragments just linger, like snow in the spring hanging on. We hope that in this foreign town, the new day breaks out opening up its hand.
You have been here one stage before. Again history repeats herself. You are the Nostradamusminstrel. You saw those half-familiar faces in the second row. Ghost-like with the footlights in their eyes. But where or when we met like this last time you just don’t know. It’s like a chord that rings and never dies. For infinity.
We hope that you will wander the timeless skies with your friends Neville, your wife Kris and your flower power children Violet and Daisy.
The Allunatics are cleave to you:
Blow thou winds you good fortunes bring
Mind the hours such as minstrels sing
Come fair thoughts let heart take wing
Jur Wijsman