Die Beatles waren seine Begleitband - kann einem Musiker mehr Ehre wiederfahren?
Skiffle, Beat, Blues, Folk oder Rock - Tony Sheridan hatte alles drauf! Paul McCartney bezeichnete ihn einmal als "Teacher", und George Harrison und John Lennon schauten sich bei dem versierten Gitarristen den einen oder anderen Trick ab. Deutschland wurde dem 1940 geborenen Engländer zur zweiten Heimat, hier starb er 2013 und wurde auch hier begraben!
Die vorliegenden Aufnahmen stammen aus Tony Sheridan's Solo-Unplugged-Show 1981, als er in der renommierten Galerie Flensburg, einem beliebten Musiklokal, auftrat. Das war Jahre bevor "Unplugged" zur Mode wurde. Diese Doppel-CD ermöglicht es, einen beeindruckenden Einblick in die musikalische Welt von Tony Sheridan zu erhalten.
Im ersten Teil der Show malt er die verschiedenen Facetten des Seins; verlassen, einsam und erfolglos, das "einsame Gefühl" nach dem Ende der Beziehung. Es folgt die Hoffnung und der Optimismus, dass Probleme gelöst werden können und auf ein lebensrettendes Zeichen "Drop Me A Line" warten. Endlich ist es vorbei - und die bedauernswerten Gedanken darüber, was in der Vergangenheit schiefgegangen ist, „Rückblick“. Diese Sheridan-Kompositionen werden durch Coverversionen amerikanischer Hits ergänzt, die perfekt zu diesen Lebenssituationen passen. Aus der Feder von Carole King stammt die Behauptung "You Have Got A Friend", in der er seine ständige Unterstützung anbietet. Es gibt ein bezauberndes Interlace-Thema von Freundschaft und Liebe aus James Taylor's „Fire and Rain“ und Herb Alperts „This Guy´s In Love“, bei denen sich Sheridan eher pessimistisch anhört. Mit einer Ode an die Welt, die zur "Morning Sun" erwacht, und einem Blick auf Rassismus durch die soziale Botschaft von "Color Blind Blues".
Der zweite Teil des Abends entwickelt sich zu einer nostalgischen Reise durch die Musik, die seine Generation geprägt hat. Das Konzert beginnt mit Ray Charles „Hallelujah I love Her So“ und einem mit Ray Charles assoziierten Lied und aus der Feder von Hoagy Carmichael und Stuart Gorrell, „Georgia On My Mind“. Die musikalischen Erinnerungen beinhalten "Jailer Bring Me Water" von Bobby Darin sowie die Songs "Long Lost John" und "Frankie And Johnny". Diese drei Songs klingen so, als würden sie sich auf die Lonnie Donegan-Versionen stützen.
Danach kehrt Sheridan zur populären Musik zurück und erweckt mehrere bekannte Songs zum Leben, die alle mit seiner individuellen Interpretation "Dream Baby" (Roy Orbison), "Oh Lonesome Me" (Don Gibson) und "Love Is Strange" geschmückt sind '(Mickey und Sylvia) alle Hit-Parade-Songs, die Sheridan behandelt wurden.
Eine weitere Stiländerung folgt mit 'Yesterday' von den Beatles und "Bridge Over Troubled Water", diese inspirierte Version fügt sich nahtlos in das Set ein , auch wenn Sheridan so tut, als würde er das Lied nicht kennen.
Sheridan kehrt zu seinem eigenen Originalmaterial zurück, um die Show zu beenden. Diese Aufnahmen bringen sicherlich seine eigenen künstlerischen Qualitäten zum Vorschein. Das Thema ist allgegenwärtig "(ihre) Liebe ist hier, um zu bleiben", endlich hat er die Liebe gefunden, die er braucht: "Danke für eine schöne Zeit". Liebe bedeutet, zu verblassen und schließlen den denkwürdigen Abend "Winter (Of Love Gone By) ', es ist wieder alles vorbei!
Tony Sheridan was an artist with almost 6 decades of musical activity, however fate in the same breath acknowledged him more so through his association with more prominent musicians. This was sadly still the case at the time of his death on February 16th, 2013, in Hamburg, Germany. The 'New York Times' obituary put the headline “Tony Sheridan, Colleague of Beatles, Is Dead at 72” , in death he was still regarded as a side man not a major performer (1).
In his early years Tony Sheridan indeed had served as a background or session musician for the Beatles and certainly the Beatles intern had provided instrumentation on some of Sheridan’s early and most well-known recording sessions (2). Career wise for Tony Sheridan session work only covers part of his artistic career. The book 'The Hamburg Sound' characterizes Tony Sheridan as an "unusual guitarist and singer known for doing the unexpected". Furthermore soon after his arrival in Hamburg from England, Tony Sheridan was considered the “King of St. Pauli” (which was the music quarter of Hamburg).
People attending his shows expected him in the 1960s to sing 'My Bonnie', 'Skinny Minnie' and many other rock 'n' roll hits, naturally Sheridan sang these numbers and the crowds were very well served and satisfied by his repertoire. Most certainly this was the music by which he had become known in Germany (3).
When Tony Sheridan faded from the spotlight, theatres and television, he did not fully disappear like countless ‘stars’ who had experienced their "15 minutes of fame" through involvement with music. Tony Sheridan still toured, he was constantly on the road, he travelled from near, Detmold to Hannover, and he travelled far, Australia to Vietnam. His fame over the years has been based upon the legacy of the 'Beat Brothers' band show and the song 'My Bonnie'. However Sheridan’s interest was more deeply tuned towards blues and folk music. It goes without saying that he did not want only to perform his repertoire from the sixties some decades later, he wanted to push his musical boundaries (4).
The change in style musically found on these discs has an emphasis solely on 'Tony Sheridan and his Guitar'. The recordings are taken from his solo unplugged show in 1981 when he appeared in the renowned Galerie, Flensburg a popular Germany music pub, this was years before performing ' unplugged’ became the fashion. This double CD allows you to hear different and enthralling sides of this evening, and gain an insight into the musical world of Tony Sheridan.
In the first part of the show, he paints the various facets of being; forsaken, lonely and unsuccessful, the 'Lonesome Feeling' after the relationship ends. This is followed by the hope and optimism that things can be resolved and go back to normal, waiting for a lifesaving sign 'Drop Me A Line'. Finally it is over and the regretful thoughts dwelling over what had gone wrong in the past ‘Looking Back'. These Sheridan compositions are augmented by cover versions of American hits that correspond perfectly to these life situations. From the pen of Carole King is the assertion 'You've Got A Friend', where he offers his constant support. There is an endearing interlace theme of friendship and love from the cleverly combined James Taylor's ‘Fire and Rain’ and Herb Alperts ‘This Guy’s In Love’, on the latter Sheridan sounds in a rather pessimistic mood. With an ode to the world waking up to the ‘Morning Sun’ and a look at racism through the social message of ‘Color Blind Blues’. The pessimism is finally repealed by 'A Girl Like You', his spirts are raised "How could I ever hope to find a girl like you". Tony Sheridan’s life is perhaps found within his song list?
The second part of the evening develops into a nostalgic journey through the music that shaped his generation. The concerts starts with Ray Charles ‘Hallelujah I love Her So’ and a song associated with Ray Charles and from the pen of Hoagy Carmichael and Stuart Gorrell, ‘Georgia On My Mind’. The musical reminiscences offer ‘Jailer Bring Me Water’ from the pen Bobby Darin, and Public Domain songs 'Long Lost John' and ‘Frankie And Johnny' orally these three songs sound like they are based upon the Lonnie Donegan versions.
Born in Glasgow, Scotland, Lonnie Donegan (29 April 1931 – 3 November 2002), influenced both the Beatles and Tony Sheridan and was known as the “King of Skiffle”. This hybrid music style was a defining force in the 1950s for young Englishmen who either, made their own instruments from tea boxes, broom handles and string (the double bass), used washboards to strum the rhythm or purchased banjos or guitars as instruments from department stores (5).
Within this segment the sound is returns to popular music and brings to life several well-known songs, all embellished with his individual interpretation, ‘Dream Baby’ (Roy Orbison), ‘Oh Lonesome Me’ (Don Gibson) and ‘Love Is Strange’ (Mickey and Sylvia) all hit parade songs, given the Sheridan treatment.
Another change of style and Sheridan breathes new life into well-known songs that only a consummate musician would dare to cover, namely the Beatles ‘Yesterday’, and the radio favourite 'Bridge Over Troubled Water', this inspired version fits seamlessly within the set, even if Sheridan pretends not to know the song.
Sheridan returns to his own original material to end the show, most certainly these recordings bring to prominence his own artistic qualities and should remove the ‘tag’ of associate musician, which sadly the press maintain, and thankfully his fans knew better. The theme is omnipresent ‘(Her) Love Is Here To Stay’, at last he has found the love he needs, ‘Thanks For A Lovely Time’ , love is being to fade, and finally to end the memorable evening ‘Winter (Of Love Gone By)’, it’s all over, again!
Looking at his birth and early years Tony Sheridan was born as ‘Anthony Esmond Sheridan McGinnity’ on the 21st May 1940, in Norwich, Norfolk, England. As a child, he learned to play the violin, but soon became enthusiastic about the rock ‘n’ roll guitar. As a 16-year-old, he founded a skiffle band and moved to London to develop his career and soon became a backing musician for visiting US rock 'n' roll stars, including; Gene Vincent, Eddie Cochran and Chuck Berry. In 1960 he once again moved, this time to the city of Hamburg, Germany where his musical skills established him as a top international performing artist. Between 1960 and 1962 he appeared at the cities internationally famous music venue the Kaiserkeller, where he was for those years in the Kaiserkeller list of ‘Top Ten’ most requested musicians. Perhaps the most celebrated German music venue in the district of Hamburg, was the Star Club. Sheridan was at the opening of the renowned Star Club, where a band from the city of Liverpool in England, the Beatles would perform and develop their show before becoming international stars (6).
Sheridan’s recordings with the 'Beat Brothers' have established his musical identity as an artiste. In the 1970s his career broadened, he was, a presenter of a blues show on radio NDR, and he made an album with the TCB band (the Elvis Presley band). During 1981 he was involved in a ‘jam session’ with blues stalwarts Alexis Korner and Steve Baker, at RIAS, Berlin which resulted in the album ‘The RIAS Session - Live in Berlin June 19th, 1981 (RWA 12510). This was followed by tours in Scandinavia and appearances in the former East Germany Democratic Republic (DDR), which since reunification has become fully reintegrated with western Germany.
In 1981, Tony Sheridan's life was a phase of reorganisation and of searching, he needed answers for himself, about himself. At an early age he had studied Buddhism, and he absorbed the sannyasins of Guru Baghwan, (saṃnyāsa) is the life stage of renunciation within the Hindu philosophy of four age-based life stages known as ashramas, with the first three being Brahmacharya (bachelor student), Grihastha (householder) and Vanaprastha (forest dweller, retired). Guru Baghwan, had many supporters in Germany during the 1980s, and as a Sannyasin, Sheridan called himself Swami Prabhu Sharan (7).
This double CD is a labour of love and offers the fans of Tony Sheridan a chance to spend an intimate evening at home in the comfort of their arm chair to enjoy an unforgettable evening of entertainment, from an unforgettable artist. Sound wise these discs offer you the best sound money can buy, you can hear Sheridan’s powerful vocal chords resonate with his acoustic guitar in vibrant and crystal clear intonations.
Tony Sheridan in his later life lived in the village of Seestermühe, Germany. Sheridan sadly passed away on February 17th, 2013 in Hamburg, Germany after undergoing heart surgery.
01 Lonesome Feeling 4:29
02 Let Them Be 4:35
03 Drop Me A Line 4:13
04 You Got A Hold On Me 4:22
05 Looking Back 4:14
06 My Eyes Refuse To See 5:02
07 Born Roving Ranger 3:01
08 Soon I'll Be Saying Goodbye 1:53
09 I'm Gonna Be Leaving In The Morning 4:09
10 Some Kind Of Blues 2:38
11 You've Got A Friend 4:11
12 Fire & Rain / The Guy's In Love 4:47
13 Morning Sun 4:14
14 Color Blind Blues 3:08
15 A Girl Like You 4:57
01 Hallelujah I Love Her So 2:23
02 Georgia On My Mind 5:53
03 For You 4:24
04 Jailer Bring Me Water 2:31
05 Long Long Gone 3:29
06 Dream Baby 0:54
07 Oh Lonesome Me 1:08
08 Frankie and Johnny 3:59
09 Love Is Strange 6:01
10 Yesterday 3:23
11 Introduction: Bridge Over Troubled Water 3:27
12 (Her) Love Is Here To Stay 3:23
13 Thanks For A Lovely Time 4:15
14 Winter (Of Love Gone By) 4:37