Back in the late eighties I was working as a humper. Humpers are the people that carry equipment around before a gig. You might think that these people are called roadies, but then you are wrong. Roadies are the people that tell the humpers where to put the heavy things they are carrying around! The company I was working for did mostly rock concerts, but also some different festivals and shows.
In some summer in the late eighties we were doing some sort of city festival in Cologne and I was glad to see Nina Simone on the programme. But alas, Nina was in a very bad mood that day – and for a reason. They had relegated the great singer and pianist to a side stage. In fact she had to play on an upright piano placed on a truck! In front of nearly no-one! I remember her as being quite aggressive and stopping the concert after 20 minutes, she was really pissed. I understood that well, but I thought it was a pity just the same because the people that were there, were there for her.
Luckily I found some footage of Nina in a good mood on VHS cassettes in Otto Flückiger’s collection. The two clips I am presenting here come from the Jazzgipfel Stuttgart in 1989, so they might be from the same tour that the Cologne city Festival was part of.
Here is part 1:
Nina’s band members are on guitar Al Schackman, on bass Chris White and on drums Paul Robinson (thanks to Gerrit de Bruin for information!).
And here’s part 2. Watch Dizzy Gillespie give Nina some flowers at the end!