©Troublekids in Funkheaven / Fuxia Art Productions  

Site Menu  

John Solo - Paris - 30th February
Sibel's Story

To Record A Human and His Music For Two Hours

My head is full of things I want to say about this experience but actually nothing
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.

I guess 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 one big
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 of the
electric organ and tons of SFX as on the album- Most of all his voice, when
he sings lower key- is very rich and warm.
The second thing that strikes one is how incredibly warm and genuine the
person himself is- everyone later said independently of each other: "God, he
is so HUMAN
He is tiny, hardly taller than me. When he walks past one he is just a wee
hunched figure.
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 see him
shaking so hard, his arms were shiny with sweat, and he kept retching and
spitting into a big jar. It really made one scared! He is well aware and so
courageous about it though, he interrupted one song and said: "Hey, I'm a
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 at him
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 chords,
either cursing his guitar and asking for a new one, which he'd then curse as
well, or saying that he changed his mind and he'll play a different song
now. It was so refreshingly unorthodox, the whole gig, such a far cry from
the picture perfect shows of RHCP- and so much preferable in my opinion. I
thought all the time: "This is what live music is all about"- this was
really "live" like life- not like an MTV video in 3D.
And it was very interactive- which is also how live music should be- He
talked and joked with the audience all the time, discussing which song to
play next - he doesn't have a set list at all- just a huge list with several
hundred songs, all the songs he ever wrote,- and then he pauses between
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 stage,
one of the winners, Sophie, shouted: "Play Smile from the Streets.." and
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 froze with
nervousness, she tried but no sound came out, and then much later on, after
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 audience,
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 than the
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 some of
his best!
After the show, I asked Louis politely if we could have a little "meet and
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 image was
gone when he was offstage- for all the fragility he gives off, that is just
one side of him- He is very vulnerable, yes, but when you get closer, you
realize he is also very, very strong- and so he has to be, how else would he
have gone all the way to the edge of death and destruction and come back?!-
This requires a helluvalot of discipline and strength.
On one level he is talking about spirits and death so much, he seems like someone
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 glowing,
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 we all
hadn't met before, and I even got hugged by two complete strangers, who
later ended up coming round to my place for dinner as well - If you knew
Parisians, you'd know how out of this world THAT is! They normally do
not even acknowledge the existence of any other person in this town that
they haven't known for years or are closely related to, they are famous for
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!

If you haven't dropped dead from having to read all this by now, please read
I really have to say something about the people who were part of this
competition and mini fan club meet now:
I am so glad and thankful for having met them!!! It was so much work (14
hours a day and weekends too), to organize all this, in the beginning I was
just tense as fuck and so tired and worried about the responsibility that I
almost dreaded seeing them- But due to the amount of communication needed to
organize the attendance, transport for foreigners, accommodation and meeting
before the gig, I got to know them a little beforehand, so I decided on the
day that it would be easiest if all had my phone number and would meet at
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 to
experience the whole thing with other people who feel the same, are on the
same wavelength!
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 same way
as you do, because you'll definitely need something to hug near at hand
during the concert and after..



Home Troublekids in.. | Pictures |  The Lebedeva Gallery |  Frusciante Feature |   Discography| Rare Tracks | NewMusic! |   Tabs   

Filmography |  Interviews  |    Equipment |  Forum | Chili Chat A-Z Links Directory |  Concert Reviews | Credits | Mail me!

All materials on this site are protected by copyright
©2001 Troublekids In Funkheaven / Fuxia Art Productions