Jan Akkerman at the Night of the Guitars/89

Night of the Guitars - 1989
July/14/1989 - Projeto SP Theater - São Paulo - Brazil
July/18/1989 - Hotel Nacional - Rio de Janeiro - Brazil

Jan Akkerman at the stage of Projeto SPFirst of all, Focus enthusiast, I'd like to emphasize I remember just a few scenes of that show, and to apologize any mistake concerning the event or even on the Sheakspeare's language. I'm writing these lines due a (always kind) request made by Mr. Rodrigo Mantovani. If you do not cope with the above mentioned, please skip this text. Night of Guitars 89 was a smaller version of Guitar Heroes, that happened in Europe in 88 and 89. I had the opportunity to atend both (In Rome a few months before and then in São Paulo).

First overall impression is there are more Focus fans in São Paulo than in Rome. In Italy, Akkerman's virtuosity and talent seemed to have an appeal just for me, as most part of audience interest fell on Montain guitarrist (whose name I forgot). In Brazil, most part of audience really wanted to see Mr. Akkerman, as a number of fans proudly keeping theirs Moving Waves, Hamburger Concerto and Profile LPs with hopes for an autograph. It seems amazingly strange that in a country with a lot of (remaining) prog bands as PFM, Banco and others, just few ones were interested to see Jan. Unfortunately Mr. Akkerman was not feeling good with Brazil's tropical atmosphere. Even after a great applause and expectative from the public, he didn't came back for the final number. His manager (or event organizer, doesn't matter) explained that Jan was sick and didn't want to be disturbed. I remember Mr. Andre Christovam, a relatively known Brazilian blues guitarrist, trying to convince security to allow him to get in to the backstages....

TicketJan's band was a classic set up (bass+keyboard+drums), and the keyboard player (a young english Keyboard player, whose name I don't remember) came into the theater to watch the remaining show (actually he was looking for his brazilian "girl-friend" he had been introduced in the hotel). I had a chance to talk to this gentleman a little bit, giving my overall impression on Akkerman's performance. He confirmed Jan was sick. During the show Jan played sometimes followed by band, and sometimes followed by samplers (or similar electronic stuff). From Focus tunes I remember Sylvia, Hocus Pocus ("sung" by a guitar solo) and parts of Moving Waves (Tommy, I mean). Most part was composed by jazz rock pastiches (that means those tunes Jan had been recording during 80s and 90s similar to a lot of Berkeleys and IGT guitarrists). He didn't play lute or any acoustic instrument.

Elias Frederico

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All pictures in this section kindly sent by Elias Frederico, Brazil.
Ticket sent by Alex Castro.