Wayne, Van, Kyle, & Bryan
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Cuba Show (Guantanamo Bay, Cuba) - May 28, 2007

Monday May 28, 2007 NSGTMO, The Producers will entertain the troops at the United States Naval Station for their annual Beach And Music Festival in Guantanamo Bay. They will appear with with Mother's Finest and State Of Man (two other bands from the Atlanta area).

This review and photos were submitted by CDR Jeff Johnston. WOW! What great photos! Thanks, Commander Jeff!

I was at last night's Producers concert here in Guantanamo Bay.  It was an amazing show!  

I contacted Charlie Offer via the link on your website and asked if the band would be willing to perform for the troops here in Cuba, and I had a resounding "yes" in less than 24 hours.  The band flew in Sunday afternoon on a Navy C-130 Hercules, along with the other acts for the show (State of Man and Mother's Finest).  Anyone who has logged any time in a C-130 knows that 4 hours in a cargo seat is a chore, but they were great sports about it.  Wayne couldn't make the trip, so the band enlisted David Manion, a longtime fan and friend, to fill in.  David had never played with the band before, and gave himself a crash course in the Producers songbook in the days leading up to the trip.  

That night there was a reception at the base Commanding Officer's house.  The guys met a big cross-section of the base, including the Commander, Joint Task Force Guantanamo, Rear Admiral "Buzz" Buzby.  The were also presented with a flag flown over the base in their honor.  

The next morning's sound check went great, and everyone was amazed at how quickly and confidently David had picked up the music.  After the sound check, they came to the base radio station, where they did a long interview (that will be played on the station later).  After catching a little rest, they took the stage about 8:00 PM.  A short rain shower had dispersed some of the crowd, but the hardcore fans (like me) and some others were not deterred.  The original setlist was:

  1. Operation
  2. What She Does To Me
  3. Back To Basics
  4. Certain Kinda Girl
  5. What's He Got
  6. Here's to You
  7. Life of Crime
  8. I Love Lucy
  9. You Make The Heat
  10. Merry-Go-Round
  11. Dear John
  12. You Go Your Way
  13. Who Do You Think You Are
  14. She Sheila
  15. Encore: Hard Day's Night
Before the set began, Bryan crossed out "Life of Crime" and "You Make The Heat", although he crossed out the wrong songs on Kyle's setlist, which led to a little confusion during the show (and an opportunity for Van to take a few good-natured shots at Kyle).  Before "Dear John" (a song that resonated with all the military personnel who were spending this Memorial Day away from friends and family), Bryan read a couple of letters written by students at the middle school where his wife teaches.  He also presented a few dozen more to Master Chief Brad Levault, the Joint Task Force Senior Enlisted Advisor.  It was a very nice moment.  The show was running a bit long (the first band went on almost 6 hours earlier) so they skipped "Who Do You Think You Are", which was too bad.  David worked really hard to learn that one and he sounded amazing during the sound check.  I managed to sneak onstage during "She Sheila" and Kyle was kind enough to let me sing (or attempt to sing) backup vocals with him.  "Hard Day's Night" had everyone in the crowd on their feet, and closed a great show.  The guys joined us at an after-party at the Officer's Club following the show, and autographed a ceiling tile (a tradition here in GTMO) to be displayed in the bar.  They went out of their way to talk to as many servicemembers as they could, and everyone enjoyed hanging out with them.  

This morning we were able to take all the bands on a quick tour of the base, including the gate leading into communist Cuba before putting them on the boat to take them back to the airfield for the trip home.  The trip back was on a much-more comfortable C-9.  It was an amazing few days and the guys couldn't have been nicer (or sounded better) and the wheels are already in motion to get them back here in the future.  

I've attached a few pictures, and I'll try to send some more later.  

CDR Jeff Johnston
US Naval Station Guantanamo Bay

David, Bryan, Van, and Kyle, at the CO's reception Band with Capt. Leary and RDML Buzby Jeff and wife with band and Charlie Offer Van during 
soundcheck Kyle at the 
afterparty Kyle 
and Jeff during She Sheila Bryan 
during soundcheck Soundcheck Van before the 
show David 
'almost Famous' Manion

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 Copyright © 1997- 2007 by Paul Schulz. All rights reserved.

Created: 5/11/2007 / Changed: 6/1/2007 10:29:19 PM

I'm Paul Schulz in Columbus, Ohio and I'd like to hear your stories about The Producers. Maybe I'll put your experiences on the Fans page! schulzp@rrohio.com.
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