“How can you be here tonight?” was the question asked of Fly Amero by friends and fans who knew he had lost his dear friend of over 3 decades and band-mate Larry Hoppen, one of the founders of Orleans, who had died less than 24 hours earlier.
“The show must go on,” replied Fly. “It’s not just a slogan, you know. Everyone in the entertainment business takes it very seriously. If Lance [Larry Hoppen’s brother, another Orleans founding member] had a gig tonight, he’d be there too.”
Fly began by delivering the terrible news for those who didn’t already know, followed by 3 Orleans classics. By the time the crowd sang, with Fly, the last chorus of Dance With Me, we had all been lifted through Fly’s personal grief to a higher place only music can take you.
Then Fly’s friends began to share the stage with him: Wolf Ginandes on bass, Allen Estes on harmonica. The energy shifted a little, from memorial to entertainment. Finally J.B. and Dave Brown joined Wolf & Fly to bring the house down!
Fly thanked the crowd for sharing this “living room” with him during a difficult time.
Something special — indeed magical — was at work last night. Everyone felt it.
Thank you, Fly, for using music and your extraordinary rapport with your audience to heal all of us a little bit last night. We hope you were healed a little too.