Rich Wyman & A Very Special Wild Romance
at De Wolk / De Spijker
Nijmegen, Nederland
Thursday, March 20, 2003

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An unscheduled evening allowed me to catch a fantastic show by my friend Rich Wyman at DeWolk / De Spijker in Nijmegen, Nederland. Wow! What an incredible band!

Wild Romance, featuring Dany Lademacher and Ivo Severijns, was the band of Dutch rock legend Herman Brood, who punctuated an amazing career as a singer, songwriter and painter with a flying leap off the Amsterdam Hilton in 2001. This only served to inflame Brood's already mythological standing in the pantheon of European rock music.

Last year, Rich performed two special evenings of Herman Brood and Rich Wyman material with Wild Romance in Holland, and the band has reunited for a tour of Europe this Spring. What a wonderful show I saw in Nijmegen this night! The band is SO good, and each musician is at the top of their chops... Really solid, great energy and chemistry. Rich is a powerful singer and performer with a fantastic arsenal of original material, and I loved this introduction to the works of Herman Brood. I'm only sorry I never got a chance to see him myself! Great stuff!

The full house of Brood and Wyman fans sang along with every word. This was a special evening in Nijmegen, home of Rich's record label, New Road Music. Though it was the first night of Oorlog en Irak Rich made sure everyone understood his passionate views opposing the war, and closed the evening with a moving rendition of John Lennon's Imagine. What a feeling was in that room!

Rich and I have known each other for nearly a decade. He was the first musician I saw perform upon moving to Utah in 1993. It was a Tuesday night at The Downunder on Main Street in Park City, and I had just arrived in Utah a day or two before. The only other person in the club (a private club, for the benefit of members, of course --- Don't worry -- It's a Utah thing) was the inimitable Louisiana singer-songwriter-guitar deity-sax maestro-producer über-musician Coon Ass (he played guitar for Jerry Lee Lewis in the early 70s!). Coon Ass "sponsored" me into The Downunder, I ordered a drink, sat down, and proceeded to have my mind blown by this guy with the incredible voice playing the scheisse out of his piano. Rich Wyman.

Since that night, Rich and I have jammed and shared the occasional stage. In 1997, Rich contributed the song Kiss A Baby to the Altitude Adjustment CD compilation I produced for Big Ugly Music & Media. I had just left Park City when Rich began to tour Europe in the late 90s.

In one of several thousand staggeringly amazing coincidences, seemingly ubiquitous in my life, Rich was once represented by DDA Agency, my European booking agency for the past two years! During my first tour of Holland in November 2001, I was having dinner at my agent's home and I casually mentioned that before moving home to Chicago, I lived in Park City, Utah for several years. For those of you who don't know, Park City is a town of maybe 10,000 people in the mountains of Utah, about 45 minutes outside of Salt Lake City. This was before the Olympics and I never expected anyone in The Netherlands to have even heard of Park City. Instead, my agent floors me... "Oh? Park City? Do you know Rich Wyman?" She pulls out several autographed CDs from Rich's prior tours of Europe. What a shock!

Since then, Rich and I have both been on tour here at the same time on several occasions. Even so, due to the fact that we are both always playing so much, this was the first time I've been able to catch his show, and I'm really glad I did.

On Wednesday, April 6, Rich has a night off from his tour with Wild Romance, and he will join Steve Kouba and I for an historic performance in Soest, Germany at the Highland Hotel. Not only will this evening feature Chicago Mike performing with singer / songwriter / supertalent / pianist extraordinaire Steve Kouba AND piano powerhouse Rich Wyman, but it is rumored that Big Eyed Beans From Venus keyboard cookie monster Jeremy Hughes will be in the house to deliver some Jack The Giant Killer and keyboard madness! I call this show Piano-Mania-Smackdown 2003!

Who knows? Perhaps even Savory La Fontaine may show up!!! Don't miss this show! It'll probably never happen again! How could it! Tot ziens!

Rich Wyman seated at his purple piano (I think he got a good deal at Prince's garage sale!). Get up and sing!
I said SING!
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Rich, backup vocalist Jacko Kreukniet, bassplayer Ivo Severijns (this guy was badass!), and guitarist Dany Lademacher. A better band cannot be found... That's a fact. Though he didn't find his way into any of my pictures, somehow, the drummer, Ramon Rambeaux, was also great.

Guitarist wunderkind Marcel Singor takes over guitar chores from Dany for a few Rich Wyman songs. Of course, both guitars are rippin' for the finale.
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  Imagine... It isn't hard to do.
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Aniek, ??? and Aniek's brother Ivo (not Wild Romance's bassplayer Ivo, a different Ivo). Rich Wyman fans from WAY back. Ivo, Rich and Dany after the show.
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Me and Rich. He da MAN!

Though you gotta admit, I've got better hair. OK.. I've GOT hair. I've got that going for me...
Me with Wild Romance guitarist Dany Lademacher.

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