Further On Up The Road…


May 5, 2009 by esarsea

Quite a night for Joe Bonamassa. Playing to a sold-out Royal Albert Hall in London and sharing the stage with his childhood idol. Joe also performed his Just Got Paid/Dazed and Confused medley with Robert Plant in the audience. Reports are that Robert Plant rose to his feet applauding the performance and waved in acknowledgement to Joe on the stage.

A professionally filmed and recorded DVD is due for release later this year.

Congratulations Joe. You’ve come a long ways. It wasn’t that long ago that I saw you playing in front of 20 or 30 people in a dive tavern in Seattle. Enjoy the moment, you’ve earned it!

22 thoughts on “Further On Up The Road…

  1. bill says:

    That’s very cool on a lot of levels.

    I have a question that may seem a bit odd, but not really: What was the occasion of the show? Was it a Joe Bonamassa show and Eric Clapton and Jimmy Page just happened to be in the neighborhood that night?

  2. esarsea says:

    My mistake on the Jimmy Page thing, it was Robert Plant in the audience (and I edited my post to change the name, in case you were wondering).

    It was just a stop on Joe’s current UK tour. He sold out RAH in a matter of days I guess. Given the history surrounding the venue they made it a special event with a horn section, 2 drummers, a DVD shoot and the special guest appearances. Paul Jones http://www.thebluesband.com/biographies_paul_jones.htm joined Joe on stage for one song on harmonica, in addition to the Eric Clapton appearance.

    The guest appearances were planned/rehearsed, but were surprise appearances to those in the audience (it was announced that there would be some special guests, but they kept a lid on who).

  3. bill says:

    Automatically generated links are about Joe The Plumber and one hysterically ironic link about,”You’re better than that, Jimmy!”asking Jimmy Page to please stop playing an appearing with musicinas who are apparently beneath his legendary mantle.

    Good for Bonamassa. He’s worked so hard for that evening. May it be a springboard for the future and not a sign that he’s jumped the shark in America.

  4. Joanie says:

    Good for him. Let’s hope this doesn’t go to his head.

    And really? JGPT/D&C? I’m still not a fan. I’d have preferred Tea For One. Much better and less musical masturbation.

  5. bill says:


    What does that mean?

    I would have figured Had To Cry Today, but JB’s version was not an exact cover, and, in fact, kinda took away from the original in the power chord structure. Probably would have been great as a live concert piece, though.

    True to form, I’m still confused, Stu. Are you saying that JB invited Robert Plant and he showed up in the audience? Hell, why stop there? Invite Elvis Costello, Brian May, Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page, Prince Charles, Ritchie Blackmore, Dame Edna, Pete Townsend and Mick Jagger.

    (Note to self: Maybe they did and they didn’t show up).

  6. esarsea says:

    I have no idea about him being invited. One of the guys there just saw him in an adjacent box seat and commented on seeing him, and his reaction to the song.

    I think Joanie was commenting on Just Got Paid Today/Dazed and Confused. It’s never been one of her favorites.

  7. bill says:

    Well, paint me blissfully ignorant about playlists. Always have been.

    I would think that if given a chance to play with an idol who happens to be a guitar virtusoso, there would be lots and lots of musical masturbation. A regular power tool cirlce jerk. I mean, if J Beck showed up and plugged in, I wouldn’t expect that things would turn down, slow up and get all warm and fuzzy. (Look what Beck did at the Hall of Fame induction with Jimmy Page giving the speech and then playing rythym back-up for the Tone Master. He lit into it and screamed off into the Strato-sphere).

  8. Jane says:

    it was cool finding out that Clapton made this guest appearance… can’t wait for the DVD but in the meantime there are a few youtubes up, including the KILLER Just got Paid/Dazed. That compilation, if thats the correct word, is so damn cool. Its weird with the two drummers however cause Bogie just slays that one.
    Hopefully Joe’s next heavy hitter like that will be an original but even if not I look forward to the next one he replaces this one with.

    i also checked out the opening act Scotty McKeon and i like his sound alot, nice and heavy.

  9. Randy Spiker says:

    Interesting coincidence that this was posted at this particular time…… last week on Biography channel they had back to back bios on first, Led Zeppelin and then followed by Eric Clapton. The Clapton bio was fascinating in that I was unaware of just how fucked up his life has been pretty much from the beginning.

    Kudos to Joe! Seems he is really busting out now? The Fort Wayne video is still one of my favs.

  10. Joanie says:

    MY problem with the Just Got Paid/Dazed jam is that it just goes on and on and on. Any song going on that long should be one of his own compositions. I’ve been in the audience TWICE when it’s gone over well. Once when he first started to play it and once again at Doheny last year. But several times, at other venues, when he breaks that tune out a little toward the end, people use that as an excuse to leave or start talking (loudly) to their neighbors. If you listen to the live boot from BB King’s in NY, you’ll hear it. And it’s a good representation of the standard response to the tune.

    Joe’s said he can’t (read: won’t) play a song like P&S anymore because he can’t (won’t) play that way anymore. But he puts all that same energy into Paid/Dazed and it often goes over like a lead balloon. He either doesn’t care what’s going on with the audience or he’s not aware.

  11. Jane says:

    I’m not so sure that is a direct quote or at least it is different than what I remember reading. But anyway its clearly a matter of opinion. My experiences have shown a differnt ‘standard’ response to Joe’s Paid/Dazed but that doesn’t suprise me.
    I never liked the way he did Woke up Dreaming for much of the past few years but the standard response from the audiences I was in was a standing Joe-vation each time. Additionaly So Many Roads is one of my least favorites but I hear alot of people praise it highly. Personaly i find the Paid/Dazed much more interesting for its length than the regular (read similar) blues solos/ Can’t please everyone all of the time but I do think Joe cares about his audience and I know he listens to and reads comments about his performances.

  12. Jane says:

    who am i kidding i know that didn’t make sense, when i said read similar i meant many of the blues olos songs, Tea for One, So many roads, all sound similarish to me, even if they aren’t, and they are quite boring to me while I find the dazed fascinating and easier to relate to personally

  13. Jane says:

    Here’s the quote that I know of. he says he doesn’t play like that, wouldn’t even know how, so thats sorta like saying can’t but i know that ain’t true. i have faith Pain and sorrow will be played by joe again one day but the time sure isn’t right IMO. anyway Paid/Dazed has definitely had a good long run. i do hope it gets replaced with another heavy rockin hitter rather than some long blues song, but thats just one fan’s opinion

    “NHOR : Is there a chance you might be bringing back any older songs, such as “Pain And Sorrow” for example, for this show? Or is that beating a dead horse?

    JB : I don’t play like that anymore. I’ve really gotten away from that. There are so many good guys out there that do the two verses, twenty minute jam thing, that I don’t feel like I need to be in that category. I used to do that, but I wouldn’t even know how to do that anymore. It used to be like on auto pilot, you’d look down and you’d played nine songs in two hours and fifteen minutes. Now, it’s sixteen songs in two hours. I think honestly, what separates me from the rest of the pack is that I don’t do that anymore. I’ve economized it to the point where it’s not neutered, but it means more when you do stretch out.


  14. esarsea says:

    Joe has clearly moved in a different direction, away from what first attracted many of his original die-hard fans. That’s not an indictment however. It happens. Look at Zeppelin. Their 1st 2 albums were/are my favorites. As Zep “matured” so to speak, and released IV, Physical Graffitti and Houses Of The Holy, they lost some of their early supporters but gained a whole new fanbase. As a result they enjoyed more success. There are a lot of examples of this in the music industry. Look at the changes and progressions of the Rolling Stones and The Beatles for example. Their later recordings are nothing like their early ones. Fleetwood Mac is another (very dramatic) example. In their Peter Green days they were a blues/blues rock outfit…but they did not attain super-stardom until they experienced substantial personnel changes and took on a new genre of pop and adult contemporary rock.

    I’m fairly confident that Joe was playing what he wanted, and how he wanted – both then and now. I don’t feel he changed his sound and style in search of greater success. I think he was digging the power trio thing early in his solo career, and today I think he prefers the style of music he’s playing now. If Joe personally still liked playing Pain and Sorrow, I think he’d still be playing it. Clearly it’s not because he lacks the ability. He just doesn’t want to. It would after all be a lot easier to pull off now, with a keyboard player as talented as Rick Melick to help fill it out.

    It’s unfortunate that his new direction has diminished some of my passion for his music. It’s not that I don’t enjoy or appreciate what he’s playing now, becuse I do. It’s very, very good…better than most in my opinion. I listen to him all the time. But that’s still a long ways away from the days when I was so blown away that I felt compelled to create and fund a fan website, and organize a grassroots promotional effort on his behalf.

    I remain a supporter of Joes. I am happy for his success, and I’m proud that I played a (very) small role in helping promote him in the early days. But I’m afraid the Pain and Sorrow days are gone. Thank goodness I have a copy of the KXRO live in-studio performance!

  15. bill says:

    Okay, I’m starting to finally get it.

    Joe’s evolving, just like Led Zepplin or The Beatles or The Rolling Stones.

    The only little hitch in that analogy is…oh, yeah! Millions of units sold from the very first album for the Brits ;-) Led Zepplin’s poorest selling album outsold all of JB’s put together, multiplied by a factor >500% + infinity.

    Although I was a JB fan in the early times, I didn’t ever really care for the kind of stoner jams like Pain & Sorrow. It’s one of the reasons I probably never cared for the Dead. Jams just got to be annoying as Hell. Self-indulgent, even boring. I was cringing the other night watching The Who at The Isle of Wight show in 1970. Ugh! The godam jams were just awful.

    And, yeah, Randy, I went for Joe after seeing the Indiana show on disc. It was a thing of beauty. Rawness, fun, three piece wall of sound, dancers rather than horns (kidding, Jane!) and a kind of determined innocence that was so inviting and exciting.

    You can’t really expect that to last. I think it’s very cool that he sold out Royal Albert Hall. It means that even though he’s moved away from what so many of us enjoyed about him originally, he still has enough fans to sell out a hall.

    Or, as his die-hard fans still say to this day and have said after each CD release over the years:”This is just the beginning!”

    Actually, each CD release signals the end of the sound that attracted so many to him.

  16. bill says:


    This is three pages of people not exactly pumped over our hero. I love the commnet about how Joe and his “Daddy” ruined Bloodline. That’s some anger going wayyyyyyyy back.

    Apparently not all Europeans are fawning all over JB. And the constant comment coming out of the RAH show is that the sound was terrible. Loud to the point that people left the show, vocals covered over by dual drummers, etc.

    Interesting to hear the “other side” sometimes.

  17. esarsea says:

    Fans on the Zep forum seem to have thought it was pretty good…

    Not surprised really. Zep fans are more likely to like loud, British-Blues influenced music than Southern Rock/Jam Band fans, even tought they too are very blues oriented.

  18. bill says:

    Well, the good thing that came out of that Allman Bros Band web site forum was the name of a player named Guthrie Govan. Someone asked why anyone would go see JB at Royal Albert Hall when they had Guthrie Govan in their own backyard, so I checked him out and, yup, he’s a fantastic player and seems to be a good guy. Obvioulsy a very educated, bright and well-spoken dude, as well. Looked a a Youtube video and the guy’s amazing. He can play anything he wants in any style, it would seem.

    Erotic Cakes is the new cd just out.

  19. Joanie says:

    Stu, you said a mouthful. Definitely better than how I said it. Thank you for putting it into words that were more easily understood.

    I guess my thinking is this: if you’re an artist and trying to carve out a niche for yourself, you would definitely do better by branding yourself as original when your music is your own. I don’t see playing covers, even carefully crafted medleys, as particularly helpful in the branding department.

    One prime example of someone with potential gone wrong is Anthony Gomes. (He’s no longer even billed under his own name, if that helps paint this picture better.) When he was playing his own stuff, he was interesting. When he devolved into cover jams that went on interminably, it was unbearable.

    I hate seeing people walk out of a show before it’s over. I especially hate it when it happens to an artist I like. Even worse is when I know there’s still good stuff coming up. Having seen it happen many times with Joe, I can’t help but draw the conclusion that the song playing when this occurs has something to do with the exodus.

    Anyhow, there it is. My opinion. No more or less valid than anyone else’s.

    Back to the “playing with an icon” — very cool. And it was even nicer to see it covered by Gibson.

  20. rsr348 says:

    I’m a little late to this topic. Extremely busy month. Can’t read all the replies, but very cool indeed for Joe. Saw all the hype about the upcoming event on his forum a while back. Congrats Joe!

  21. rsr348 says:

    I’m back. Crummy weather today, and I found this thread too intriguing not to read thoroughly. All worthy and interesting opinions. It’s good we all have different tastes and music gets to us in different ways. I’m a Zep and Allman Bros fan. In fact, they are my 2 all-time favorite bands, although they are very different, so Stu’s comparison caught my attention. And yeah, something about the rawness of the early Joe days was more exciting.

    So, I had to check out Bill’s link to the Allman Bros site. Quite interesting to hear a different side. I only read 3 of the posts, but the impression I got from that seems similar to the way my husband, my friends and I felt the last time we saw Joe. I truly hope his head has not grown too large with his success.

  22. […] #8. Further On Up The Road… (206) […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


May 2009

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 21 other followers

Blog Stats

  • 149,184 BS BLOG visits to date
%d bloggers like this: