Perhaps the best voice of the whole rock n roll era, and certainly one of the best songwriters and performers for the last 50 or so years is Gino Vannelli, who’s jazz rock is in a class by itself, and he still has a killer voice and band. Gino who is exactly the same age as me, has has been performing since he was 20. His first real tour after his first record (Crazy Life) was opening for Stevie Wonder 50 years ago, and they came to Cinci, which he had not visited again until last night, where he blew us all out of the building at the Ludlow Garage venue with classics like Appaloosa, Living Inside Myself, I Just Want to Stop, Brother to Brother, Wild Horses, People Gotta Move, Love of my Life, and even a brand new song about loving an elderly person who was failing. Ludlow is a small venue in a basement under a restaurant, and it has been hosting premiere acts since 1969, when the Kinks, Janis Joplin, the Allman Brothers and so many more have played there. It’s a historic venue now. Gino has lost none of his energy or his voice, and he tells great stories.
So about 30 years ago Gino took a little sabbatical to Amsterdam to refresh and try and remember what it was like to be 19. He says a young beautiful woman came up to him and asked for his autograph. He was flattered and said sure, after she said they played his music in their house all the time. She said, would you autograph this CD, its for my Mom who is a big fan. And then he remembered….. I’m not 19 anymore.
He also tells the story about being in Quebec City (he is from Montreal) and its winter and its just snowed but the sun came out and its beautiful so he goes out to watch the ice skaters nearby, and a little old woman comes up to him, who he says was about 130, and says to him— ‘so nice to meet you here Mr Bocelli.’ Not wanting to correct her, he simply says ‘why thank you’. She walks away and then says ‘oh’ and comes back and says ‘how impolite of me, of course you are blind, can I help you get somewhere’ and he says ‘no, actually I can see a little bit now’… and she walks away again saying ‘its a miracle!’
Here are some shots of the venue and of Gino with the band…..