Taiwan June 2006

 

On Friday 2nd May 2006, I stepped off the plane in CKS Airport in Taiwan with my band. I had never been to Taiwan. I went to Taiwan at the invitation of my friend in Taiwan Ronald Shum. Ronald and his band came to Hong Kong two years ago for a show at the Ko Shan Theatre and through the introduction of an intermediary, Ronald and his band did a show at 48th Street Chicago Blues. We met only once in Hong Kong. I liked his music and I could feel his passion for music and I knew in my heart he is a serious musician; I could tell he is a young man full of heart and soul. It was so kind of him to arrange for me to perform in Taiwan on the strength of just one meeting between us. Looking at the tour schedule, I would be playing in Sunchuk, Taipei and Taichung. These are substantial distances between the venues. It was a considerable undertaking as complicated as some of my tours in Japan. But I could have not found a better host, Ronald had everything neatly arranged, took care of everything down to the smallest detail. I am most grateful to him. Without Ronald, this tour simple would not have happened. I could not have managed to travel those distances on my own, not to mention all the gear my and my band members were carrying.

Ronald Shum

Ronald Shum& Shinning

When you walk on stage, you always want your band to play their best; that is the best way of saying thank you to the audience who came to the show. Whether you can play your best depends on a number of things : equipment, stage experience, physical and mental condition and the condition of each member. You want the audience to see you at your best and you want to make it happen when you walk on stage, we did not make it this time. But one thing I know experience, every time I go on the stage I make new friends. In the short span of a few days, Ronald and I have become close friends. We travelled long distances everyday. We would get in the van in the early afternoon and travel to the venue in Roanld's van for sound check. After the shows we would travel back to our base in Taoyuen in the early hours. On average, Roanld was driving at least 4 hour a day. It must have been very tiring for Ronald. Ronald's girlfriend Shinning, a keyboard player in Ronald's band was with us all the way to give us support. Trevelling together everyday, eating together everyday, hanging out everyday we became close friends. Not only did we share our experiences in music, we also shared our experiences in life. There was a great sense of comardarie between Ronald and I.

 

Through the introduction of Masato san in Osaka, I met Aki san and Mr. DC Rapier. DC Rapier is the Chairman of the Taiwn Blues Society. Aki san is the guitarist in the band. Both of them came to see me at the first show in the Living Room in Taipei. They are Blues brothers, we talk the same language and we were instantly long lost brothers. I alwasy believe that people who are into Blues belong to the same brotherhood. At my last show, Mr. DC Rapier, Aki turned up with Isao san and Testsuihiro san. Isao san is also a Blues guitarist. After the trio set, I invited them up to stage for a jam. We had instant communication and got the music rolling in no time. We all enjoyed playing together for the first time. The owner of The Riverside Cafe, also a Blues gutiarist come up to join us as well. I really enjoyed myself playing with fellow Blues musicians.

Aki san

 

Mr. DC Rapier

Isao san

 

For a variety of reasons, we did not manage to play our best in Taiwan. I cannot honestly say the Taiwan shows are the best shows we have ever played, we didn't quite make it, but we made a lot of friends and that is always more important. Life is never perfect, how often does the perfect show come? There is always another chance to get back on stage. But friends are for ever. Thank you again Ronald, thank you for your hosptiality and thank you for everything. I will never forget it and one day we will repay your kindmess.

Thank you, Ronald.