John Solo - Paris
- 30th February
To Record A
Human and His Music For Two Hours
head is full of things I want to say about this experience but actually
describes it right-
You can't describe the feeling it gives one, to be at such a concert:
Sitting just two metres away from this tiny man perched on his stool
- shaking and sweating, and spitting and strumming, pouring his
music all over us- into us.
it struck a different cord in each, but, at the danger of
sounding tacky, there's only one way to describe the gig: It was
insanely happy family.
The two most important things that struck me were:
He sounds SO much better live, just him and his guitar, and none
electric organ and tons of SFX as on the album- Most of all his
he sings lower key- is very rich and warm.
The second thing that strikes one is how incredibly warm and genuine
person himself is- everyone later said independently of each other:
is so HUMAN".
He is tiny, hardly taller than me. When he walks past one he is
just a wee
He is also terribly sick, at Peppers gigs one doesn't realize how
ill he is,
he seems to be fine. But, oh my god, during the concert you could
shaking so hard, his arms were shiny with sweat, and he kept retching
spitting into a big jar. It really made one scared! He is well aware
courageous about it though, he interrupted one song and said: "Hey,
sick man, I'm ill, but I'm playing well for a sick man!"
and everyone cheered
like mad at this. When one guy made a sarcastic comment, he laughed
and said: "Hey, you wanna be a smartass, you come up here
and do it better!"
He often started to play some song, and then stopped after a few
either cursing his guitar and asking for a new one, which he'd then
well, or saying that he changed his mind and he'll play a different
now. It was so refreshingly unorthodox, the whole gig, such a far
the picture perfect shows of RHCP- and so much preferable in my
thought all the time: "This is what live music is all about"-
really "live" like life- not like an MTV video in 3D.
And it was very interactive- which is also how live music should
talked and joked with the audience all the time, discussing which
play next - he doesn't have a set list at all- just a huge list
hundred songs, all the songs he ever wrote,- and then he pauses
each song , runs his finger along the sheet and chooses one he's
in the mood
for just now. Often he played songs that people asked for. At one
one of the winners, Sophie, shouted: "Play Smile from the
he stopped and said" Yeah, that's a nice song, but I forgot
the lyrics, how
does it start?", and then: "Sing it to me, come on
sing me the first line
,and I'll pick it up from there" - The poor girl positively
nervousness, she tried but no sound came out, and then much later
a few more songs, she "thawed" and sung the first line
to him, so he
laughed and played it.
So all the time it was a thing, a communication between artist and
him pouring out his songs and us being the vessel, and sounding
it back to
You should have seen people's faces, some were crying during most
of the show,
and they had such love and admiration in their eyes!!
He played a lot of his new songs, they are lovely, more melodious
other albums, and he played some REM song and Iggy Pop + a few songs
of his which
aren't published- which is a great pity because I thought they were
After the show, I asked Louis politely if we could have a little
greet" for the winners of this competition, and he said, yeah
sure, he comes out
and signs autographs at all the shows, we can do it today. And so
he did- he spoke to absolutely everyone who wanted to, signed autographs,
posed for pictures with fans and
had all the world of patience!
Surprisingly, John didn't shake at all anymore, and the whole sick
gone when he was offstage- for all the fragility he gives off, that
one side of him- He is very vulnerable, yes, but when you get closer,
realize he is also very, very strong- and so he has to be, how else
have gone all the way to the edge of death and destruction and come
This requires a helluvalot of discipline and strength.
On one level he is talking about spirits and death so much, he seems
who is one foot in this world, and one in the other.-But when he
looks at people, his eyes light up, and he is completely focused
and absorbed in the person talking to him,
concentrating on what they say and giving a personal answer.
When he looks at you, he really looks at you.
Everyone who went there was touched and transformed, I'm' still
and my mailbox is full of mails form the other people who are feeling
the same and still glowing.
During the concert we often hugged each other spontaneously, although
hadn't met before, and I even got hugged by two complete strangers,
later ended up coming round to my place for dinner as well - If
Parisians, you'd know how out of this world THAT is! They normally
not even acknowledge the existence of any other person in this town
they haven't known for years or are closely related to, they are
the sticks up their butts, you could make a forest out of it..
John nearly came for dinner at our place too,but that's another
story..Maybe next time!
you haven't dropped dead from having to read all this by now, please
I really have to say something about the people who were part of
competition and mini fan club meet now:
I am so glad and thankful for having met them!!! It was so much
hours a day and weekends too), to organize all this, in the beginning
just tense as fuck and so tired and worried about the responsibility
almost dreaded seeing them- But due to the amount of communication
organize the attendance, transport for foreigners, accommodation
before the gig, I got to know them a little beforehand, so I decided
day that it would be easiest if all had my phone number and would
our place instead of getting lost ( we didn't know what we looked
like! and I
could hardly shout names with a megaphone).And now I'm' so glad
that we met-
they were awfully nice folk, all of them, and it was so much better
experience the whole thing with other people who feel the same,
are on the
It's like your feelings are cast on a mirror and reflected back
magnified, as if you use a mirror for a candle.
If you get a chance to see John, take some friend(s) who feel the
as you do, because you'll definitely need something to hug near
during the concert and after..