Unedited Info from a Meticulous Enthusiast
6. Dec. 2006: Vienna
Support 19:29- 20:16
John played a song with them.
After what seemed like an eternity and was – in fact – only three years, I went through the Serb-unfavorable Schengen-system and somehow made it to mz first two Red Hot Chili Peppers’ shows in Vienna. At that time, I was scared of everybody and everything. To this day, I am still surprised that I made it to the right end of the front row – not the best place to view an event from, but pretty peaceful in comparison to the middle. And relatively close to JF.
As Mike Watt and his two backing musicians took their place at what would otherwise be Flea’s spot on the stage during the RHCP concert, John was messing with some cables sidestage about one metre away from the barrier, observed by myself and a couple of angelic Austrian school children. He was keeping low-profile, but if any of us were not the shy types we were, we could’ve probably talked to him.
I kept on thinking of all these shows where he would randomly join a band onstage, unannounced and thought of how cool it would be if he did that now. And my hunch was correct! At some point, John’s guitar tech handed him the beat-up Fender Stratocaster and John ran onto the stage. It took a bit for the crowd to react and greet him with an applause. He played a single song with the band, then headed back sidestage and once again stood in front of the three of us, me and the children, again and danced with himself. Once the support band was done, he left.
Now for a funny-ish anecdote. At some point right after this, women behind me screamed out loud and pushed me against the barrier. Two of them jumped on my back, one squealed right into my left ear. I looked up and saw Anthony Kiedis. He was there for about a minute, talked to somebody and headed backstage, but the ladies screamed as if their lives had depended on it.
Minutes later, a girl approached me. She asks if I spoke German, I said that I did, badly, and added that I speak fluent English and Italian. She turned out to have been an Italian living in Austria. She was like: “HAVE YOU SEEN HIM?” I nodded and then added that John was there for a longer time earlier. She looked at me puzzled and asked, “Scusa, ma chi Ã¨ John?” [Excuse me, but who is John?] I had to explain it to her that it was the thin man in a white T-shirt who played one song with the support band, at the time the otherwise uninterested audience got loud. She sort of figured out that she did not recognise him because he had recently cut his hair short.
Then she went and brought us beer because she was super-happy about Anthony. I politely refused and explained that I don’t drink alcohol at all. She was confused, but there was more for her! We never talked about Mike Watt and his opening act. I don’t think that was her kind of a thing.
Image credits: Irena Å karica