If Leo Kottke's "Rings" doesn't put you in a good mood...

...maybe you should have a talk with someone. (No relation)

I first saw this when I was about 16, and I snuck into Kottke's sound-check at Toronto's Convocation Hall with Zak Hanna and Paul Mesber, having shown up five hours early for the general admission gig, convinced that there would be lines stretching to the lakeshore of people hoping to get a great seat for Kottke's only Toronto gig that year.

We got great seats! But that sound-check, man, it was wonderful.

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  1. This is one of my all time favorites from Leo. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qmPkBQ04XE4

    My son and I took a road trip to Milwaukee a dozen years ago or so to see Leo Kotke play at a small venue somewhere downtown. We got there early so we had to hang out by the entrance until they opened the doors. Leo showed up shortly after we got there. My son is huge fan and so he was appropriately star struck. Leo was very gracious and, when he found out that my son was a budding guitarist, spent a good 10 minutes giving him pointers.

  2. Watching Leo Kottke play Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring was one of the most astonishing things I've ever seen someone do with a guitar on stage.

  3. Ah, now I know why I know him! I think I listened to reruns of this Rockpalast recording in the early 90s...

  4. And of course, it don't get no better than this . . .

  5. Leo is a wondrously weird dude. He absolutely knows that he is more or less asocial. He was so wrapped up in his guitar that he never exactly learn ho to be, er, social. But, Damn if he can't tell stories about being asocial. The times when he had no idea he was drooling on his guitar. He plays here in Austin, pretty much every March at our old theatre, The Paramount. And sometimes he just stops and tells the oddest fucking stories that professional comedians would fucking KILL to be able to do. Somehow, he told a story about how you crack chickens necks by swinging them around and how he couldn't quite get the hang of it. Lord. He had the audience literally rolling on the floor. He wasn't even trying to be funny.

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