Outtake from an article by Stein Omland in IMAGE magazine published at
The English & American Studies at Oslo University
The sun was beating down, hard, to the sound of a very loud drum. Mid-whirl, Bob Walkenhorst gabbed a garden hose, and doused the mass of wildly rocking fans in front of the stage, offering them a few moments of relief from the blistering heat. Steam rose from the crowd as Walkenhorst sprayed himself before launching into the ﬁnal verse of “Big Fat Blonde”.
It was the Kalvøya (Calf Island) festival of ’89, and Kansas City rockers The Rainmakers were the kings of the island. They were facing their most faithful audience and making more than a handful of new converts. The band probably won themselves more new fans in one single day, than they had done in one swoop since “Let My People Go-Go” dominated the airwaves in ’86. The concert was the stuff of legend. Loud, smart and shock-full of straight ahead undiluted fun. It was vintage Rainmakers.
One year later, it was over. The band came back to the festival the next summer. and did another classic set. But a lot of things were different. The day was overcast and plenty of showers proved that the band could live up to its name if the mood required it. Just a few days earlier the band had announced that they would be breaking up after this, their final concert.
But when they entered the stage that day they did not hold back one inch. It was an American band going out with a bang. They whipped the crowd into the same state of near-frenzy as they always did, and the audience begged them to stay.
When it was ﬁnally over and the band left the stage, bass player Rich Ruth turned towards the roaring thousands. “I have to leave all this?”, he seemed to ask himself. He looked sad.
Here’s two full concerts with The Rainmakers recorded in Norway for you
The Rainmakers Live at Rockefeller Music Hall on 1994-09-04
The Rainmakers Live at Josefine Vertshus on 2012-06-26
And a mini-gig at Høgskolen i Oslo March 24, 2011 during the
“25 On” comeback tour of Norway.
And a Rainmakers interview at Herreavdelingen NRK Radio.
January 24th 2012, The Rainmakers straight from the airport and into the NRK radio studio in Oslo, Norway to record some songs and an interview for the Herreavdelingen radio show. Host is Finn Bjelke who’s been championing the band since the 1986 debut – Thanks Finn!
The Rainmakers have always had a large faithful following here in Norway, me included. The two concerts at Kalvøya were my forth and fifth with the Rainmakers. The first one was in ’86 and the ticket was a birthday present from my employees. Rainmakers’ Norwegian fans are still just as faithful and the band show their gratitude by giving five concerts here this coming summer, I plan to attend at least two of them – Ted
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