Dave Begel is a big guy. He’s of imposing stature and imposing reputation in this town. He’s got opinions, a strong voice and he doesn’t back down easily, though he's not shy about admitting when he’s wrong (at least to me).
But when he made his solo debut on stage at Linnemann’s on Saturday night at his 70th birthday party, we saw the other side of Dave Begel. Sitting with his acoustic guitar, he was understated and he was self-effacing. There was nary a trace of the bluster that he can blow into his columns.
He reminded us that in addition to his hulking frame, he’s got a hulking big heart, too.
He played maybe eight or 10 songs – by the likes of John Sieger and Phil Lee, but also a cover of "Help Me Make It Through the Night." Despite his warnings to the contrary, Dave did a great job, rendering the songs quietly, passionately and in his own style.
Maybe I was wrong, but when he introduced a song for his wife, Susan, I thought I even detected a tear. Luckily, top-notch lensman Dave Bernacchi was there, as he was able to capture the range of Begel's emotions during the performance.
His family and friends came out – and hooted and hollered after every tune – and I was pleased to see a few Milwaukee notables in the audience, too. After Dave finished his set, Sieger and his brother John were joined by ace drummer Bob Schneider (and also John's son Sam) for a few tunes, including a nice version of the Everlys' "Bye Bye Love."
Later they added lefty bassist – and Journal Sentinel columnist – Mike Juley, who played in a newsroom band with Begel in the early ‘80s. They even coaxed me to make my debut playing the drums standing up (I apologize if I offended).
I didn’t get to talk to Dave, really, at the party, but we did share the stage for a few songs and as any musician knows, that was really communication enough.
Happy birthday Dave. Don’t make us wait another 70 years for the next gig.
Happy Birthday Dave! And here's to many more. Have a Healthy, Happy and Fun 2014. (Photodavie.....much better) :) ...and if Dave does go on the road, I have a feeling you'll be signing up as either his Tour Photographer or just a Roadie.
4 comments about this article.
Post your comment/review now
Disclaimer: Please note that Facebook comments are posted through Facebook and cannot be approved, edited or declined by OnMilwaukee.com. The opinions expressed in Facebook comments do not necessarily reflect those of OnMilwaukee.com or its staff.
Recent Articles & Blogs by Bobby Tanzilo
Published July 1, 2015
As the 11-day music blowout we all call Summerfest was about to get underway, we caught up with the Big Gig's associate booking director Scott Ziel to get a peek behind the scenes.
Published June 29, 2015
Thanks to my co-worker Jill Jensen-Matelski, I saw this cool Summerfest 1970 poster that you can see above. She found it on the Facebook group "You know you are from Milwaukee WI if you remember..." My eyes immediately went to "Roland Kirk" and I was blown away. Then I saw Sly and the Family Stone, James Brown, Sarah Vaughan and so many other amazing acts.
Published June 29, 2015
As the 11-day music blowout we all call Summerfest was about to get underway, we caught up with the Big Gig's associate entertainment director Vic Thomas to get a peek behind the scenes.
Published June 28, 2015
How on Earth does one explain the ongoing success of The Flaming Lips? Don't get me wrong, frontman Wayne Coyne and company make interesting and engaging music and put on a hell of a show, but since when has that been enough? We found out Saturday night at Summerfest.
Published June 27, 2015
Saturday night marked Maritime's first Big Milwaukee Gig since it released its paean to its hometown, "Milwaukee," in April. So, did Brew City turn out to return the love?
Published June 26, 2015
U2 is in the midst of an eight-day, five-gig run at the United Center in Chicago as part of its iNNOCENCE + eXPERIENCE Tour. We went down to have a look and a listen.
Published June 24, 2015
Living rock and roll legends the Rolling Stones took the stage at the Marcus Amphitheater Tuesday night for what may well be their last Milwaukee appearance. Here's what happened when the Zip Code Tour steamed into 53202.
Published June 23, 2015
When Paul Weller came to Chicago's Vic Theater last week I had to go. And, because Weller is so defined by Britishness, I decided to make the jaunt an English themed trip.
Published June 23, 2015
Word emerged today that Top Shelf Guitar Shop in Bay View sold the Rolling Stones' Keith Richards a guitar.
Published June 22, 2015
Milwaukee is lucky to still have so many beautiful 19th century and early 20th century schoolhouses - designed by the most respected and talented Milwaukee architects of their day. But some have also been lost to time, thanks to fire, demolition or replacement. Here, excerpted from my 2012 book, "Historic Milwaukee Public Schoolhouses" - and augmented with a few more "bonus" gems - are 11 lost Milwaukee schoolhouses.