Heepvention 04

DAV Building / Concord, NC
July 24th, 2004

Notes of Importance:

• This marked the 5th Anniversary of the Heepvention 99 Jamnight.

• Thanks to Bob Keller and author KW Clark who attended and made available copies of his book Restitution.  We strongly recommend you look into picking up a copy of this book if you have not.

• A most unusual version of Tears In My Eyes was preformed.  Thanks to David Powell for the arrangement.  To hear his original version recorded for Heepsteria II scroll  down to his photo and click to download this file.  The other version listed is from the event itself featuring David along with Rob Dwyer on acoustic guitar and Dave Griffin on vocals.

Special Comments of interest:

I just wanted to send you a congratulatory e-mail for the HeepVention 2004.  I hope you all had a great time and you know that we were with you in spirit.

‘Appy Days,

Mick Box

Say Hi to everyone at Heepvention for me.  I wish I could be with you and remember all the good times from Myrtle Beach in 99.  The main thing is you guys have a good time.

I'll raise a glass to you guys........or 2 or 3. :-)))

John Lawton  


The Entertainment:


The Set List:

The Musicians:

Classic Rock Set:

1.   I Just Wanna Make Love To You (Foghat)
2.   Behind Blue Eyes (The Who)
3.   Working Man (Rush)
4.   Into The Void (Black Sabbath)
5.   Burn (Deep Purple)
6.   Desperado (Alice Cooper)

Acoustic Portion:  
7.   Lucky Man (ELP)

Rob Dwyer / Guitar

8.   39 (Queen) 
9.   Dust In The Wind (Kansas) 
10. Wish You Were Here (Pink Floyd) 

11. Daydream (Robin Trower)
12. Feel Like Making Love (Bad Company)
13. Man On A Silver Mountain (Rainbow)
14. Jesus Just Left Chicago (ZZ Top)
15. Crystal Ball (Styx)
16. In My Time Of Dying (Led Zeppelin)

Mac Steagall / Bass

Uriah Heep Set:

1    Easy Livin'
2.   Love Machine
3.   Cold Autumn Sunday
4.   One Way Or Another


Dave "Big Dog" Griffin / Vocals

Acoustic portion: 
5.   Why Did You Go 
6.   Tales
7.   Tears In My Eyes 

8.   Sweet Lorraine

Wonderworld Presentation:

9.   Wonderworld
10. Suicidal Man

Avery Rogers / Drums

11. The Shadows And The Wind
12. So Tired
13. The Easy Road
14. Something Or Nothing
15. I Won't Mind
16. We Got We
17. Dreams

18. Across The Miles
19. Lady In Black

Brad Todd / Vocals

Red Links are Audio Files
Yellow Links are Video Files

Photo Credits:

Bobbie Hinson
Charlie Gibb

Video Credit: Lannis Ethridge


Jeff Reid / Keyboards & Guitar


David Powell / Guitar, Dobro & Lap Steel Guitar


John White / Bass & Vocals


C12.jpg (151524 bytes)
Ed Halliburtion / PA & Sound


Andre Sokolnikov / Keyboards

The Comments And Reviews:

After about two years of talk of doing one in my area, the CHA members decided to go for it.  Several meetings were held to discuss the possibilities and the promise of success.  Toss in about 350 phone calls and 2000 emails and planning was a breeze.  The official date was changed during the planning and actual event several times.  The venue had been decided long ago so that was the easy part, multiple set list changes were made to accommodate the many musicians who planned to participate then dropped out for various reasons during the journey.  But all was worth it in the long run as you will see with all the comments, photos and sound files.  Going in we knew we could not top what happened in Trenton in '02, or London in '00, or Myrtle Beach in '99 for that matter.   Just a large private party of Heepsters enjoying the evening.  

So what we planned was something different, something bold, something never attempted before. We had discussed doing other classic rock material besides the normal Uriah Heep set.  So we planned to promote this as  the CHA/HV-04 & Classic Rock Festival.  To spice up the Heep portion Dave Griffin suggested we do an tribute to the Wonderworld because of it being the thirtieth anniversary of the release of the final studio album of the classic lineup of the band.  We had all but two tracks listed then Rob Dwyer suggested we do the entire thing as he had discussed with others and always wanted to do.  Now this was getting to be really interesting.

First of all let me make it clear that even though I was initially head of the planning committee, this would not have happened without tons of effort and work put into it by everyone.  Thanks to Mac Steagall (the one who pushed me to finish what we started), Rob Dwyer, Dave Griffin, Ed Halliburton, Andre Sokolnikov, Lannis Ethridge, Bobbie Hinson, Avery Rogers, Jeff Reid, David Powell, John White, Dave White (even if he could not make it), Brad Todd, and all the friends and family that attended to pull off another memory.  Also a special mention to Alan Edlund for sending 75% of the door prizes, and to Dana Dyck for sending the crossword puzzle, thanks a bunch dudes.  A chain is no stronger then it's weakest link, so with that thought "WE" did it.  Without support I may have thrown my hands up in the air and given up along the way (see the photo above).

This truly was a group effort in the spirit of Heepsters everywhere.  I have no regrets far as my end, I just wish we had gotten a larger turnout but that is understandable in today's economic times.  In closing all I say if you were not there, you missed a great night, but the great night missed you too.  Can't wait till the next one.............

Ron Mann

C01.jpg (183777 bytes)Hi People!

The Carolina Heepsters Association's 2004 Heepvention and Classic Rock Fest is in the books. The only sad part was that more people couldn't make it. I think everyone that attended had a great time, however. My HV started on Thursday night putting together some lyric books and shooting the bull while I had a beer (or twelve) with Ron. Contrary to published reports I didn't get so drunk that I dropped a beer. Actually I noticed Ron's office carpet was a little dirty so I improvised a little. %^\

After getting an early start on Friday (welp, actually early afternoon ;-P), Ron and I picked up a grill for the first annual CHA cookout and mud wrestling extravaganza. I'll come back to that later. Anyhoo...next, we met Charlie Gibb and Amber & Brad Todd at the official motel of the CHA, the Microtel in Kannapolis. (They gave us a special rate for our endorsement. 8->) The Mann family (Ron, Libby, Ashley and Jennifer) was kind enough to host the cookout and we pigged out on grilled hamburgers and hotdogs while we listened to the latest bootleg of... yep, you guessed it. Led Zeppelin. Anyway, we shot some more bull as well as checking out Charlie's Heep photo portfolio but much to my disappointment, the mud wrestling was cancelled. 

On Saturday, the venue, the DAV building, was to open at noon. (The Concord DAV Building, the official home of the... oh, never mind!) Avery and his wife arrived from Knoxville with the PA and the drums early and ended waiting in the parking lot for hours for the place to open. Soon the usual suspects began to arrive from out of town... Dave "Are you the Heep guys" Crookham, Dave "Big Dog" & Kim Griffin, Rob "Mr Sabbath" & Suzanna Dwyer, Stan "the Heep Fan" Evens, John "Tough Guy" White, Jeff "Life Saver" Reid, Lannis "Mr Video" Ethridge & Bobbie "She comes prepared!" Hinson and David "Steel Guitar" Powell and Ed "the Sound Guy" Haliburton... David Powell, Brad, Rob, Big Dog were putting in some acoustic set rehearsal time while Avery and his wife were getting his drums and PA system set up and operating. We did get a chance to run through several songs but Andre still hadn't arrived! We were beginning to get concerned. First, we knew that Andre wouldn't miss this event so it seemed very strange that he wasn't here. We thought he might have had an accident or broken down.  Second, he was playing keys on most of the songs so Jeff quickly was trying to learn some of his keyboard parts. What had happened to Andre? Was he OK? Would he miss the entire Jam? ~8-O

More later... Same Bat Time, Same Bat Channel!

Mac Steagall

Avery and his Dobro

Suzanna in front of Rob
C07.jpg (80155 bytes)
Mac gets his

Just got in from my '24 hours on the road' HV 2004 weekend. I had a blast!

Thanks to Ron and Mac for all their hard work getting this off the ground.  It was great seeing everyone again.  To Dave, Dave, Todd, Andre, Mac, Rob, Jeff (and Avery) - it was great jammin with you all. All of you should be making money with your musical talents. I heard Ron talking with the manager of the venue - he was trying to book us twice a year. Ron, just make sure you negotiate plane fare too!  (and Mac, don't forget to edit out all off my mistakes...

Rob, the cider is on ice...

See you guys (and gals) next time.

John White

Dave C., Andre, Mac & Dave G.
C02.jpg (106173 bytes)
Jeff Reid playing keys
C05.jpg (308587 bytes)
Part of the acoustic set

I had a wonderful time hanging out with all of the Heepsters that were able to make it out to Concord this weekend. I want to thanks each and everyone of those people for showing up, even if the fun was too short lived.

C10.jpg (211007 bytes)For myself, it was a blast to finally have the opportunity to play an entire Uriah Heep album with likeminded musicians such as these. WONDERWORLD may not have been the best Heep album ever, but it is one that has great personal significance to me.

In a 1996 letter to Ken Hensley, I was sure to let him know how important songs like "The Easy Road" were to me while I maintained a long distance relationship with my wife-to-be Suzanna (who also attended the show- her first Heepvention). 13 years ago, that song was my conscience in a very difficult quandary. It was a decision between staying in New York to try to make it with a band called FEAR ITSELF or to return to Atlanta to be with my newly found love. I won't risk being too cheesy or melodramatic here, but if you know the words to the song, you'll understand why Atlanta was really "the easy road" for me. It's a decision I've never regretted.

The band had some great moments and some bumpy ones too. I'm sure that I could nitpick all of the little things that I wish we could have redone. But considering that we had little or no rehearsal on most of these songs, I think we did a fine job. There were enough proud moments to make up for the cringeworthy ones!

It was great to finally meet people such as Stan and Jeff Reid. Jeff did an absolutely fabulous job at trading off on keyboards and guitar on several songs. Anyone who was fortunate enough to catch the soundcheck got to witness a really nice rendition of "Dreams" with Jeff on keys. We also traded off on songs like "One Way Or Another" and "I Just Want To Make Love To You". It was a pleasure to play with him!

Extra, extra special thanks to Dave Griffin for giving me a place to lay my head on Friday night and for simply being a great person. I think the sound samples will testify as to how great he sounded on vocals, so have a listen for yourself. We'll definitely be working together in the near future in some way shape or form. I think we shared a few really transcendent moments during songs like "Daydream" and the acoustic set with Dave Powell.

With that said, Dave Powell should have played on even MORE songs. He teased me with a little bit of "La Villa Strangiato" during rehearsal, so I still wish he had wanted to play more. His dobro added a great new dimension to "Tales", "Why Did You Go?" and "Tears In My Eyes", which was the real highlight of the acoustic set.

Another amazing individual is Avery, who made his very first Heepvention appearance this year. This guy learned all of the songs in under a month, took care of setting up an entire PA system AND his drum set, played all day on drums and then packed up the PA and drove home. This guy went way above the call of duty and he deserves the highest praise for all that he did to help us out. He certainly changed my feelings about the work ethic of your average musician! Avery also got through an entire set of music he wasn't really familiar with and still made it work very nicely!

We weren't so sure if Andre was going to make it. We had already finished the 4th song ("Into The Void") when I finally saw him standing in front of me! He had arrived just in the nick of time to tackle "Burn" and many more songs throughout the night. It was a joy to play Rainbow and Purple stuff with Andre, as this means a lot to the two of us. Also - I was very happy to see him finally playing "Cold Autumn Sunday", one of the very first songs he had I learned on the keys I believe. Andre handled the keys for most of the WONDERWORLD album and even traded off with Jeff on a few numbers.

Brad Todd also delivered the goods for us, singing on tracks like "Working Man", "Crystal Ball", "Dust In The Wind" and "So Tired", among others. I hope he can forgive me for stopping during the 1st verse of "Dust" for a retake. I could see myself heading down a dark alley with my chord progression, so I figured we would be better off starting over. And yes, take 2 was much better! My wife Suzanna enjoyed talking with him and his wife Amber too - good people!

And we cannot forget the bass meisters- John White and Mac Steagall! Thank you Mac for tackling much more material than he probably would have wanted to! "Into The Void" worked very nicely :) Mac also gets credit for keeping the Heepvention train on the tracks, both financially and spiritually. There were a few moments of doubt, but he convinced me and Ron to soldier onwards with plan A. John White also did an ace job at providing bass for most of the evening. I do believe Gary Thain would have approved :) I can still remember him throbbing away on "I Won't Mind". And yes, I will take you up on that beer next time around.

I do regret that I had so little time to hang out with people, so this might be kept in mind when we plan the next Heepvention. Maybe a two day affair instead?

I cannot forget my honorary brother Ron Mann, who really was the heart and soul of Heepvention 2004. Despite his own personal obstacles, Ron was willing to make many sacrifices in the planning and execution of this event. There were times that I thought it might even be too much for him to bear, but he kept going forward until he finally reached the finish line on Saturday. He probably doesn't even want to hear the word HEEPVENTION right now, but I think he's been far too humble about his own accomplishments here. We can't praise he and Mac enough for babysitting our musician egos and dealing with the ever changing logistics of the event.

Thanks to Libby for the pillows!!!! My tired head sure appreciated them on Saturday night!

It was great to see Lannis, Bobbie, Dave Crookham and Charlie Gibbs again. And of course, Ed Halliburton (as always - our excellent sound man!)! There are probably more people that I'm forgetting, but I'm getting long winded here. I only hope that we can do this again and that more of you can make it out next day. But many thanks to those who did come! It was good seeing y'all!

Rob Dwyer

C15.jpg (306341 bytes)
The LIB backup singers
C14.jpg (220035 bytes)
Avery pounding skins
C09.jpg (189883 bytes)
Ron & Ed discuss sound

What had happened to Andre?  He was stuck in traffic... Was he OK?  Yes, except for being worn out from driving all day... Would he miss the entire Jam?  Nope, just the first four songs...

Mac Steagall

C13.jpg (169563 bytes)Fact is, I had a blast as usual. It's always great to get together with the Heepsters and play some great music.

For some time now, a few of us kicked around the idea of playing some Classic Rock tunes as well as the Heep stuff at the next HV. About June 2003 several of us met in NC to talk about things. The plans were to have the Jam roughly in August 2003. Until then I hadn't told anyone about my Gastric Bypass surgery I would have in July 2003 so I figured I better spill the beans. There was just no way I'd be able to do it in August just a month after the surgery. So we put it off for awhile until I could participate, and I'm very very thankful for that.

So we'd been planning the setlist for awhile when I realized 2004 was the 30th anniversary of the great Wonderworld album. My original idea was just to feature some songs from it but then it was decided to do the whole stinkin' thing! Because of the nature of the some of the songs on the album I had some reservations about that at first that turned out to be completely unfounded as it came off really well. So well that we might just feature a complete album at the next HV.

Normally we come towards the HV date and there's last minute changes in tunes and musicians and this time was no exception. This time tho we were 2 months away from the date and we found ourselves completely without a drummer which is pretty dang essential! We eventually ended up with a great drummer named Avery Rogers who's from this area, and I'll tell more about him and how he came to help to us out in a separate post because it's a pretty cool story.

This would be the first time for us to do any tunes outside of Heep and I must say it was a real kick in the pants to do some Classic Rock. We'll definitely do that again at the next HV. There's just too many great songs out there to not do that.

Knowing your part beforehand is essential because we get little or no time for rehearsal together. There was a slight exception to that this year tho. Rob was in Nashville for Ozzfest on Thursday and then he stopped here in Knoxville on Friday and we met up with Avery at his bandroom outside of Knoxville. We practiced together for close to 5 hours and I think it really helped them get on the same page for most of the tunes. I know it helped me because singing with just the recordings nowhere matches singing with a live loud guitar and drums. Rob stayed with me Friday nite and we all headed to NC real early Saturday morning.

If you didn't know, as of July 15 this year, one year exactly since my surgery, I've lost 235 lbs. And I admit I look a good bit different, especially if you hadn't seen me for awhile. So I walked in the hall Saturday afternoon and Ron Mann, who last saw me in March of this year, said he didn't recognize me at first. Brad Todd, the other vocalist who hadn't seen me since HV 02, sat across from me at a table while Dave Powell and I ran thru a couple of acoustic tunes and we also talked for awhile. Later Brad came up to me and apologized for not realizing who I was. I think his wife or someone told him it was me. Trust me, no apologies are necessary. People not recognizing me is a very good thing, if you know what I mean:-)

My hat's off to all the musicians who obviously worked hard in the months prior to HV. We did some different things this time and everyone hung in there and got it done! It was really great to be with those guys. If it was up to me we'd played all nite! All of you deserve major kudos. And Ron and Mac deserve the biggest kudos of all. Without their driving force, this event simply wouldn't have happened. Coordinating these things can be a major headache at times from what I understand, and they did just a great job. Things went so well that afterwards Ron mentioned to me about doing this thing 2x a year. Well I knew right off that was the beer talking so I just played along with him knowing he'd eventually sober up and come to his senses:-)

So it looks like another successful HV is over. It's really too bad more of you couldn't have been there but allot of things are going on that just keep that from happening and that's understandable. So maybe next time OK? Keep your eyes posted for news on HV05 as planning for it has already begun!!

Dave "BigDog" Griffin

C11.jpg (323265 bytes)
Libby & Ashley Mann
C03.jpg (47180 bytes)
Brad & Amber Todd
C16.jpg (20730 bytes)
Trying to solve the puzzle

Hi everyone,

I think that I have the same opinion as all the participants who have sent their messages:

the Heepvention 2004 was a success! Thanks to the musicians and the audience and, of course, to Ron and Mac for organizing the event! We had new musicians that joined us and we were lucky to have them. I hope that they will be at the next Heepvention.

The door prizes were great! I was audience myself for a number of songs: I really enjoined the performance: the acoustic set, Into the void (Rob's solo), Avery especially on the guitar based songs: Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin. Jeff, the keyboards on "Love Machine", John on "Desperado", Mac on "Sweet Lorrain" and bunch of other songs, Dave and Brad on many tracks, Rob on the improvised "Stairway to Heaven", just a name a few highlights. Of course, there were more and more great parts!

I would second Rob that we need more time for a Heepvention: maybe a couple of days for our interaction with each other and practicing. We had a better sound this time around: I brought my own instrument with a much closer sound to the original and Jeff had a great one to say nothing of the drum kit. So we saved some money and improved the overall quality. I think that the soundboard was also better this time. And Rob and his wife have already posted some excellent panoramic photographs.

The only thing that was to the negative side - there were fewer people and I was repeating the same thing in my head "I Wish You Were Here" to all those who missed this wonderful convention. That was one of the acoustic songs played during the evening.

Again, great job Ron and Mac and the same goes to all my colleagues-musicians and all the participants that made it all possible.

Sorry for being late (there were several accidents on my 10 hours trip causing delays), I repent it just the same but I tried my best in preparation and in my attempts to get to Concord as soon as possible.   Heepvention 2004 was an important event in my life!

Thank you.

Andre Sokolnikov

Back to the story... Man, Avery had use some great equipment to use. He even set up a lighting system for us! The Classic Rock set kicked off with a bang. Rob and Jeff traded licks on the Foghat classic, "I Just Wanna Make Love To You". I had a bit nervous on this one since the bass and drums start all along but once the dueling guitars starting wailing, I could relax a bit. Anyway, the next tune was even better if possible with Big Dog doing just a great vocal job on Behind Blue Eyes. Brad added some outstanding harmonies to it. Next it was Brad's turn to show off his pipes on "Working Man".  Rob had WM down to a tee, even nailing the string bending ending. Next it was time for some Sabbath, Ozzy style, Into the Void. I practiced quite a bit on this one because I didn't want to screw up our only Sabbath song especially with Rob, the Sabbath affeciano, on guitar. Anyway, with Rob putting his Sab chops on it, it almost sounded like it was Sabbath! Just as we NewC02.jpg (57060 bytes) finished Andre came in the door and he was  greeted by cheers. I know I was a bit concerned because if anybody was looking forward to this Heepjam it was Andre.  I think he was the first commitment we got to come. "Better late than never!" as Dave said. We took a bit of a break while Andre got his keyboard set up.  I don't really want to do a blow by blow of the entire set but I'll just hit some highlights. Both sets included acoustic sets. An rendition of an unusual song by Queen named "39" had the audience clapping. Also I thought "Wish You Were Here" was very moving and it ended up the Classic Rock acoustic set. Other highlights included Man on the Silver Mountain, Jesus Just Left Chicago and In My Time of Dying, IMO.

We had drawing for door prizes during the intermission between sets and Alan Eundland(sp) furnished most of our door prizes. There were some really cool DVDs, framed posters, CDs... Really cool stuff! Thanks Alan!  Avery had to learn the entire Heep set from scratch... songs he wasn't NewC04.jpg (216764 bytes) familiar with and he did just great!  The Heep set kicked off with Easy Livin, the old standard but One Way or Another, Cold Autumn Sunday and Love Machine gave the set list a bit of a new twist. The Heep acoustic set was extremely cool with David Powell's use of a dobro (or a lap steel guitar) on "Tales" and "Tears In My Eyes" ( Think Acoustically Driven.) but the main highlight of the Heep set was playing the entire Wonderworld album.  John White must have put in a ton of hours to learn the bass part for almost the entire album. He did great and it sounded like some pretty tough  parts to me!   Also it was cool to do "Across The Miles" at the end of the set. Not really typical Heep but very catchy. After ATM, Rob asked for requests and he was goaded into doing an improvisational version of "Stairway To Heaven".  Big Dog remembered lyrics for about two verses and then Rob was on his own... no drums, no bass, no nuthin'!  After the Lady In Black finale, Andre ad libbed Lady Madonna on piano and Brad started singing along. We should end all our Heepventions that way. It was kind of like saying "That's All Folks!"

NewC03.jpg (130216 bytes)Mac  Steagall 

Notes and Quotes:

Thanks for the clap! - Ron Mann impersonating Stef Fontaine.

I didn't even know you had the clap. - Dave Griffin

Tough man contest, semi-finals. - John White when asked how he hurt his arm.

Don't trust them. I don't! - Ron Mann talking about his wife and daughter drawing for door prizes.

I'm never gonna do this again! - Ron Mann one week before the Heepvention.

We should do this every six months. - The beer talking through Mr. Mann. ~8-0

We can give you a discount if you rent it more than once a year. - The DAV building manager trying to line up a steady customer. 

Oops! I got a little lost on that one. - Me after tangling up my bass part on a song. ;-<


At the end of the night, Ron doing the nine beer jig to Lady Madonna as played by Andre. Worth the price of admission! ;->

NewC05.jpg (23698 bytes)
Stan Evens & Ron

NewC01.jpg (122854 bytes)
K W Clark & Bob Keller

NewC07.jpg (92813 bytes)
Rob and his riffs

I had a great time at Heepvention 04 (this was my 2nd HV, HV02 in Trenton was my first). For me, it was worth the 7 hour drive yesterday and the return drive today. I wish more could have made it. I couldn't believe how much talent these musicians have, maybe they can come out with the new Heep album :-)

I got to meet a bunch of Heepsters that I've corresponded with on the list. It was a gathering of friends most importantly, secondly (and very important) awesome music.  Got to meet Dave Crookham., Mac, Charlie Gibb, Dave G, Rob Dwyer, Brad Todd, Lannis (again) Andre, Jeff Reid (not to be confused with the Jeff Reid that works with me) and several others. Including two truck driving Heep fans - K.W. and Bob, that much to my surprise, live 30 miles from me in Michigan (and we meet in Concord, NC, goes to show - its a heepy world). K.W. has filled the juke box of a popular local bar in Mt. Pleasant -The Green Spot, full of Heep.

Some highlights for me were: Behind Blue Eyes, Man on the Silver Mountain, Burn, In My Time of Dying (great job Rob and BigDog), Tears In My Eyes, Love Machine, the entire Wonderworld album, Across the Miles, and actually all the rest of the songs.  These guys put in a lot of practice in a short time and they rocked!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thank you to Ron and Mac, CHA, all the musicians, and fellow Heepsters for making HV04 another awesome event in the life of a Heepster.  A special thank you to the gracious lady (and her husband) that allowed me to dance with her to "Across the Miles", my wife's favorite song (even though she has to relate to it sometimes too often).  It's too bad "the Miles" seperate us fans, as all would have enjoyed it. Let's Keep on Trying and doing what we can. I look forward to the next time, who knows when, but there will be a next time.

Thanks for the memories.

Stan "the Heepfan" Evens

John during Desperado

Brad leads Lady In Black

A trio of discussion

Well we made it back to Myrtle Beach safe and sound after a brief stint in the Mountains of NC following the amazing Heepvention 2004 in Concord. All I can say is WOW. It was better than expected with almost all the usual suspects with their instruments.
We got into town right on time Friday the 23 at around noon and it wasn't long before Ron and Mac, and Charlie from Delaware came calling at the motel door. Of course I wasn't prepared for the unannounced visit so I took a few minutes and proceeded to the lobby and chatted with my old buddies for about an hour going over stuff and remenicing of Heepventions gone by. That night we had  good ole fashion burgers and dogs on the grill and a nice get together from around 5pm till about 11 and yes as was stated Led Zep in the background. Ron was on the comp introducing me to one of his daughters by playing one of our Promyse tunes on the computer. Amber and I were greeted very warmly by the few people that were there, and it was a very nice get together!
We arrived at the DAV around 1pm, and as we walked through the door were greeted by 4 Heepsters...Rob Dwyer, I recognized, Dave Powell and John White. Rob let me play around with the acoustic while he and this other guy chatted going over lyrics. More on that in short order!
I sat down towards the front of the room near the stage. In the biz I think it's stage left. Amber and I were chatting and Rob and his wife Suzanna came over and Amber looked at me and said , do you see anything different on the stage? I looked and shook my head, "no I don't think so, what should I be looking for". It's Dave Griffin checking out the mic. I looked and lo and behold I didn't recognize him. You see, it was Dave at the door but he didn't say who he was. I think he just figured I knew. I was so embarrassed but not of my own doing. No one had ever told me that he had lost a huge amount of weight with surgery. Ron, it's all your fault..lol...

I did a few warm up acoustic songs in a spare room with Rob after he and Dave finished up and then we did a couple of songs on the stage to check the equipment. Avery the drummer had everything ready to go as far as sound goes and we started with Wonderworld and Behind Blue Eyes and they sounded pretty good for a first run in 2 years!

Everything else is pretty much as it has been stated by other folks and the night was a blast. Thanks to everyone for their hospitality. Amber and I really enjoyed it!
Brad Todd

Well, its been a week since Heepvention 2004 took place.  It was well worth the eight hour drive (well actually, it was more like ten hours when you add in the traffic tie ups around Washington). As with Stan Evens, this was my second Heepvention, the first one being in Trenton. Was a real pleasure to renew old friendships with Ron, Mac, Brad, Rob, Dave (BigDog) and also to meet some new faces like Avery and Stan. Special mention has to go to Libby Mann for hosting all of us at the CHA cookout on Friday night. Like Mac said, the mud wrestling was canceled, but maybe we can try for that next time around. The Ice Cream bar was a big hit!!

The Heepster Band was right on the money all night!!!!  My Favorite was the acoustic version of Tears In My Eyes. David Powell really nailed the lead on that one. The addition of the Classic Rock Set was an awesome addition to the festivities.  Nice to hear some songs that classic rock radio doesn't play like Desperado (Alice Cooper).  I just realized that I'm not in any of the pictures. Kind of hard to do when your behind the camera.

Breakfast Sunday morning with Mac, Dave Griffin and his wife and then the long drive back to Delaware, with more traffic jams around Richmond.  After a busy week and weekend at work (I'm at work now) thought it was a good time to put a few thoughts down about Heepvention 2004. I hope we could do it two times a year but at least once. You can always count me in to help out. Take care guys.

Charlie Gibb

This was my 1st Heepvention & I hope it's not my last. It was great!!!  I first came upon Mac Steagall when I was trying to order "The Legend Continues" dvd.  Buccaneer Records told me there was an extreme Uriah Heep fan in N.C. & that's how it began.  Since then I've been keeping up with all things related to Heep!.  One night Mac called & talked over an hour about Heep & he mentioned  that the Heepvention would be in Concord in 04.  I said I would definitely be there!!!

I got to Concord early afternoon & walked into the building & Mac introduced himself.  He said he wasn't much of a bass player but I thought he did a good job.  We went over a  few  songs; "Wonderworld" &  John was playing bass.  I knew he was going to be good with all the chord changes that song has.  Then they told me Andre' hadn't got there yet & I may have to play his songs.  The Heep stuff I kinda went over it but "Burn" had me worried;  especially the "harpsichord" type solo in the middle.  When Andre' showed up I was glad.  He played extremely well;  "Burn", "Man on the Silver Mountain".  It was a joy joining him on "Wonderworld & "The Easy Road".

I was very impressed with Rob as a guitarist; his tone, his delivery & keeping the band together during the arrangements.  It was a pleasure to work with him.  Avery worked so hard to make sure we had our monitors right & then jumped on the drums & played tirelessly.  He said he had learn those songs in a short period of time. Great job Avery!!  Brad sung his heart out & Dave sang great & added some professionalism with  the changing of the t-shirts to fit the different artists.  Ed worked hard trying to keep up with each of us saying; "we need this up & down" & etc!  I think my favorite song of the night was "Tears in my Eyes".  Dave's (Powell) dobro was note for note with Hensley's slide but he added his own style of playing at the same time.

I enjoyed talking to everybody there (Stan & etc ) & checking out the Heep pictures.  I could talk Heep all day! I tried to get Ron to answer as many Questions as I could.  (thanks Ron for all the work!!)  "Across the Miles" was one of the ladies favorite songs & my wife's favorite is "Heartless Land"; both from "Sonic Origami".  I have a friend from Finland & he relates to the "Free Me"; Lawton era.  I guess the rest of us is the 1st. 5 albums.  It must be nice to have a 34 year career to have  such good material to pick from; but I digress.  As you can see I could talk Heep all day!!  I agree with Rob maybe we could try to have it 2 days.  One day to talk & listen to Heep & maybe go over some songs at leisure during the 1st.day.  It would have been fun to have learned the harmony solo in "One Way or Another"!

After I left the Heepvention; I went back & watched "Live in the U.S.A." to see who was up on stage in "Lady in Black".  I had a great time & you can call me a HEEPSTER!!!

Jeff Reid