February 5, 1999 Maynard, Massachusetts Show Review
The Sit 'n Bull is a neighborhood tavern in Maynard, Massachusetts that has
become the de facto home of the Kinks Preservation Society in Massachusetts.
This is due to enthusiastic promotion by S-n-B partner and KPS member Peter
Bochner, who has booked five of Dave's solo shows at this bar. Pete and his
partner Ted were gracious hosts to the assembled throngs, and provided a brief
bio sheet which he handed out to each of us as we came in.
That the 'Bull is a focal point was well-illustrated by the number of KPS
members and alt.fan.kinks regulars who began to gather shortly after the sound
check ended around 5:00. The place filled rapidly, and pretty soon most of
the familiar faces were there, including FranK Lima and Andrea Ronnie, who
we'd not seen at the previous nights' shows.
The Guinness flowed freely, (or at least as freely as a good Stout!) with
the bartender chain-loading glasses to pour as fast as the tap would let him.
Leslie's rather picky about Guinness, and I am pleased to report that the
'Bull's Guinness was the first in many months that she found to be poured
at the right temperature and with the right amount of foam. Because of the
large crowd, the grille was hurried- about half of the food at our table arrived
a little more rare than it was ordered. By Saturday night, though, they had
this under control.
The S-n-B is known for their barbecue- I tried three of the four dishes
on the menu over the days I was there; I found it very tasty, not overly strong
or sweet, and without that cloying quality that makes me want to shave my
teeth afterward. Taste in barbecue is extremely subjective, and epic battles
have been waged over what constitutes "proper" barbecue (including one in
the rec.models.railroad newsgroup that has dragged on over a period of years).
Joanne's boyfriend Jimmy joined us just before the opening act went on,
bringing with him Bob VanderPyle, a friend of Joanne's. With Odsie, this completed
our table as the rest of us completed our dinner.
As the show began, we had a crowd of between 160 and 175, which had the
place pretty much at capacity. While the place wasn't particularly large,
Joanne managed to get our party a nice table right in front of the stage,
between Dave and Dave Jenkins. This afforded an especially close-up view of
Dave and Dave, and a rather good view of what Nathan, the guitar technician
and roadie-of-all-trades was doing before, during and after the show. Nathan
seems to be a good fit for the band, with an easy-going and gregarious nature.
The Sit 'n Bull has a very small and oddly-shaped stage. Mr. Airplane Man,
the opening act, couldn't fit on stage while Dave's band's gear was on stage,
so they moved a few things at Dave Jenkins' end of the stage (stage left)
to make room for their drum kit. This sat extremely unwell with Dave's road
manager Rich and the band.
The opening act was billed as performing "Psychedelic Delta Blues." While
I didn't see much of anything I'd call "psychedelic" during their set, I thought
that the slide guitar work was extremely good, and that they managed to do
quite a bit with only a guitar and a drum kit. I don't have much of a taste
for Delta Blues, so I thought that their 40-minute set was just about the
right length, as it hadn't gotten tedious, and they were still giving it all
By the time that the three Daves and Jim took the stage at 10:00 sharp,
the house was PACKED. They received a warm welcome from the audience as they
pounced into a set consisting of:
- 'Til the End of the Day
- I Need You
- She's Got Everything
- Susannah's Still Alive
- Creepin' Jean
- See My Friends
- Milk Cow Blues
- Gallon of Gas Blues/You're Looking Fine
- Climb Your Wall
- Picture Book
- There Is No Life Without Love
- This Man He Weeps Tonight
- Death of a Clown
- Young and Innocent Days
- Fortis Green
- Living on a Thin Line
- I'm Not Like Everybody Else
- Rats (partial)
- Father Christmas
- You Really Got Me
A quick glance around the room early in the show revealed Sit 'n Bull regular
Jenny singing along in sign language during "See My Friends." Her gestures
matched the fluidity of the song in a very complimentary way.
"Milk Cow Blues" seemed much more energetic than usual, with Dave and Jim
frenetically raving up. As with the rest of the evening, Jim drummed like
a man possessed! There is no question that the man loves his work.
During "Death of a Clown", Dave had Dave Nolte play the keyboard intro not
the twice (which is typical), but three times. During the song, I was amused
to see that Dave still cracks up during the keyboard run in the middle
of the song. Jenny, who had been signing earlier, did the honors on the chorus,
singing the "la, la, las" tonight.
"Young and Innocent Days" has been a "particular favorite" of mine since
I first heard Dave's rendition at the show in Grand Rapids, Michigan. It always
brings tears to my eyes, and tonight was no exception. Dave Nolte did a particularly
good job of covering the parts that were formerly done on harpsichord on his
"Fortis Green" is beginning to join "Death of a Clown" as an audience participation
favorite among those who follow his shows. For some reason, the crowd's meowing
was rather weak this night. Given the number of people present who've seen
his show multple times, Dave made us do it again. I think that we must have
been tired from all of the dancing in the (narrow!) aisles!
As the show ended, half of the crowd was standing in the aisles, and the
situation in front of the stage was getting a little tense, with the crush
of people thrusting their fists in the air during "I'm Not Like Everybody
Else." Dave appeared to be getting uncomfortable, especially as he was grabbed
and poked by one particularly overzealous of fan. All the same, he returned
for an encore set which consisted of about half of "Rats", "Father Christmas"
and "You Really Got Me."
Despite the relatively small size of the 'Bull, I felt that the sound was
much better than the previous two nights, perhaps the best of any of the shows
I'd seen to that point. Dave seemed a bit congested, and was sweatier than
usual, but still gave us a great show!
From the Diary of a Raving Dave Fan
Friday, Feb 5th, Sit 'n Bull. Maynard, Massachusetts
I've heard of the Sit 'n Bull, I've seen pictures of Dave's concerts from
June of 1998 and heard a webcast from there. So I was really anticipating
finally seeing the place first hand.
Peter Bochner, one of the owners, is one of the nicest people I've had the
privilege to meet. He and spent a long time talking about Dave, Ann Arbor
(where Fritz and I are from) and life in general. He even bought me a Guinness.
Forget diamonds, a well-poured Guinness is a girl's best friend!
crowd poured in, and many familiar faces, Odsie, Chris Locke, Frank Reda,
Rafaela, FranK Lima and his lovely Andrea were there.
The food was a bit light on the vegetarian side, so I had to contend with
veggie burgers. Small sacrifice for the company I was in and, of course, the
chance to see Dave again.
I got to chat with all the band members and Nathan the California surfer
dude-looking roadie. (Nathan, if you read this, it's a compliment, honest!)
One of the things that constantly amazes me about these people is how wonderfully
human they all are. Dave Nolte even showed us his lovely daughter Anastasia's
The opening band was a duo of blues-influenced flavor. I liked them, but
everything sounded the same and they can't have been comfortable trying to
fit into the small stage's even smaller corner that was not occupied with
Dave's band's equipment.
There was some concern after the duo left the stage that Dave's band's stuff
had been toyed with, so Nathan did a quick sound check before Dave and company
took the stage.
Thanks to Joanne's wonderful luck with Dave shows, we scored a table up
front and to Dave's right. Primo seats! The crowd was enthusiastic and unfortunately
"well lit" by the end of the show.
As the band launched into, "I'm Not Like Everybody Else" a wall of booze-fueled
fans rushed to stageside. For those of you who have not seen the stage at
the Sit 'n Bull, it's about 18 inches off the ground, so this rush of humanity was
right in Dave's face!
To his credit Dave didn't lose composure once, even when some overstuffed,
alcohol-intensive woman began to pull and poke at him. He continued to pour
his heart and soul into the music, but it was obvious he wasn't too comfortable
with this development.
At the spot where Dave and the band would have left the stage and then returned
for the encore, Dave eyed the crowd, and decided to just stay on stage. I
guess he felt it was safer that way!
They did a rip-roaring few more songs and then parted the sea of fans. Joanne
and I got into position to hand off the flowers, but both of us were careful
to not get right into Dave's face, unlike several of the others crowding the
To my great surprise, Dave scooped and lifted me up unto the stage so that
he could give me a hug and kiss in return for his flowers and he did the same
for Joanne. I hadn't expected that, as I thought he would have had enough
of people getting too close.
Photo by Leslie Ohanian