The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, November 19, 1979, Page page 8, Image 8

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    daily nebraskan
rponday, november 19, 1979
Ski Nebraska..:
Professionals do it sans snow
page 8 '
By Brian McManus
It isn't often that one gets to see pro
fessional skiers perform in a flat state like
Nebraska. Especially in beautiful 65-degree
weather.
. But those visiting Gateway Shopping
Center last Thursday and Friday had that
opportunity, Lawlor's sponsored" the
Nordic aRossingol Ski Show which was
nerformed at 3, 5 and 7 pjn. on both days.
Luckily, the Ski Team is capable of per
forming without the assistance of snow,
They demonstrated freestyle aerial acroba
tics from a 25-foot high ski ramp made of
bristled black "Polysnow."
The performers would leap from the
platform, speed down the ramp without ski
poles and kick off into the air, executing
flawless axles, hammers, front somersaults
and back layouts, landing on a 20 feet by
20 feet air mattress.
"This bag looks pretty large when
you're down here standing next to it," said
Gary Longley, head of the ski team. "But
when you're up at the top of the platform,
it looks about the size of a peanut."
Also featured was a "revolving table"
and a sloped conveyor belt about 10 feet
long, where the ski team showed their
finesse at ski ballet. After the show, they
allowed people to take lessons on the
slope.
"For those of you who will be taking
advantage of our free lessons, let me warn
you that the revolving table is more diffi
cult to ski on than a regular ski slope,"
Dede Burns, spokesperson for the group
said. She then demonstrated some of the
basics in skiing-snowplowing, stem
christying, and parallel skiing.
The ski team performed so gracefully
and fluidly that the viewer could easily get
the mistaken impression that what they
were doing was relatively easy. Many
.people found the opposite when they tried
to ski on the fevolving table themselves.
The show concluded with Bob Turgeon
and Gary Longley flying down the ramp
hand in hand-a dangerous stunt-since the
ramp is only 3 feet wide. They reached the
end of the ramp and kicked off, one doing
a forward flip, the other doing a backward
flip , in perfect synchronization.
"I haven't really ever injured myself
seriously," Longley said. "The people who
hurt themselves are the ones who try to do
the stunts without really, being skilled
enough skiers to attempt such things."
For example, he jnentioned intermedi
ate skiers who build up their own jumps on
a ski slope.
"A person is crazy to start out doing
jumps on a ski slope," Longley said. "You
should start out practicing on a run set up
. with a cushion of hay or a lake. Snow's not
that soft when you're coming at it at such
velocities."
Longjey added that this is the 32nd
show they've put on since August and after
one more show, he said he will finally be
able to go home to Vermont and rest,
"It'll be good to go home for a while,"
he said. "Of course, two weeks after I get
there, I'll be heading back out again in
competition. The snow's already pretty
good in most areas. I'm looking forward to
getting out on the real slopes again."
em
Q
fl
Photo by Steve Visser
A member of the ski team is caught in midair during theNordicaRossingol Ski Show
at Gateway Shopping Center last Thursday and Friday.
Behmer composition is crowd-pleaser at Open Stage
By Michael Wiest
An open stage the words seem to promise something.
For the musician, it may mean the opportunity to be
heard, the incomparable experience of performing before
an audience. Perhaps this, or just the new sound one gets
from using a sound system.
For the listener, it means variety and there was plenty
of that Wednesday night at the KZUM open stage benefit
at Jesse's Lounge,
The evening's entertainment began with Bill Behmer on
guitar and Bill Mearns on dulcimer. These two produced
some nice instrumental numbers, mostly in a traditional
folk vein. They sounded better when they didn't sing, but
even when they did, it wasn't anything to be offended by.
Behmer, accompanied by Mearns, presented, an original
composition entitled, "I See You've Been Out Smokin',
Daughter, Again." This tune dealt with the problems of a
father who finds his daughter (only 23 years old) being
slowly corrupted by evil city ways. '
After finding nicotine stains on her bubble gum, he
sees it has only a short road to travel before she starts
drinking and smoking LSD, not to mention opium and
"marjewana." So he beats her up and locks her in a barn.
The number was a real crowd-pleaser.
- MEARNS, PREFACING a guitar solo, related a story
Liquor , fame and money the end
By Jerry Fairbanks
The pathos of a performer falling apart from too
much money, acclaim and liquor was the underlying
theme of a re-creation of a Hank Williams performance
in Hank William s: The Show He Never Gave.
Peter "Sneezy" Waters, an actor from Ottowa,
Canada, portrayed Williams in this one-man show at
th Music Hall in Omaha Friday before a crowd of
several hundred. Weaving music and between-song
banter into a narrative, Waters spoke about success,
loneliness and ended with religion to describe the life
of the father of modern country-western music.
Several devices played a part in giving emotional
strength to the narration. The performance began with
Waters making several deliberate mistakes in the first
song and later beginning to repeat a joke he had told
earlier. After intermission, he reappeared acting dis
oriented, mumbling and falling over, obviously the re
sult of what he termed his "milk" drinking.
Through it all, the back-up band covered for him.
The band, George Essery on pedal steel guitar, Dave
Harvey on bass, Doug Orr on lead guitar and Joel Zif
kin on fiddle, acted the part of an alcoholic's friends
trying to protect him from his own drunken mistakes.
Hank Williams was written especially for Waters by
Maynard Collins because of Waters uncanny resem
blance to the late country singer in his prime. The
show is set on the night of Dec. 31, 1952, the day
before Williams died at the age of 29. Thus, Waters
often makes reference to the time left before the new
year, when both 1952 and his time will have run out.
Williams had a short career in music, gaining fame at
the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville in 1 949. Ilis major
innovation was to combine rural forms of music, cow
boy songs and folk songs, with popular forms, widen
ing the market for country music. He wrote, and re
corded a number of songs that were later picked up by
rock musicians, such as "Jumbalya" and "Hey Good
Looking."
Waters' singing portrayed a good Imitation of
Williams voice, a nasal tenor that many country music,
singers imitate today. He had a strong characterization
of a country boy confused by life, subtly put across
to an audience that often didn't pick it up. The sole
defect was his lack of ability on the guitar, which was
distracting when he played solo.
Hank Williams will play this week in Wichita, then
tour several Midwestern cities.
about how his mother, after blowing a lot of money on
guitar lessons for him, was very disappointed when he
quit.
Years later, he said, he picked them up again and paid
her a surprise visit. He sat her down and played
"Whispering," her favorite song that she used to whistle
around the house. She was very impressed, he said, Then
he played it for the audience. It was a catchy little tune,
done Chet Atkins style. Well, maybe he needed a few
more lessons.
The second act of the evening featured the McElravey
Bros. They opened up a Grateful Dead songbook and sang
"Just a Box of Rain," among other old favorites. This pro
duced some distinctive, if not inspired, harmonies,
probably because they were really serious about reading
the music and carrying a tune at the- same time.
Everyone's coordination has its limits.
Later on, the crowd was treated to a little Irish music
by Paddywack band members Dan Newton and Terry
Keefe, joined by Emon ODochertyODocherty, on
wooden flute, was the real thing, Irish brogue and all.
hailing from Dublin.
NEWTON, WHO really looks Irish, certainly played the
part, jumping with leprechanJike nimbleness from
hammer dulcimer to piano to Irish pipe, displaying great
talent and versatility. Keefe played the mandolin.
The final act of the evening featured Bill Wohrman and
Rick Kincaid, both on acoustic guitars. Wohrman
delivered an impressive Cat Stevens imitation, singing
"Hard-headed Woman." The voice was very close, and
then, amazingly, he followed this song with an equally
impressive Neil Young imitation of "My, My, Hey, Hey,
(Out of the Blue)." Kincaid, who played a solo set just
after the McElravey Bros., backed up Wohrman with good
guitar and harmonica, and helped with the harmonies.
vjVS CrW!? rnoTr quite f,Ued me fcar to capacity.
aMrectorCam according to Julie Williams, program