Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Nurse the Hate: Frankfurt Germany

3/1  Frankfurt Germany

 The breakfast in the Swiss Hotel is behind a discreet door with a small sign which translates to “clothes must be in order before breakfast”.  This is a great Swiss sign.  I love the word “order”.  This is the exact opposite of any routine experience in a Hampton Inn in the United States where a bunch of fat fuckers roll out of bed in pajama pants and bed head to cram Froot Loops and powdered eggs into their maw.  Here dainty Swiss couples in impossibly expensive perfect fitting clothes satiate their hunger in their trim bodies with small servings of gourmet cheese and croissant artfully presented on a slate board.  It really is quite pleasant. 

I head upstairs to use one of the bathrooms on “our” floor.  I beat Christoph upstairs and check out the scene in the two duplicate rooms.  One looks pretty much untouched.  The other has water all over the floor, urine left in the toilet, and a wet towel crammed into a corner.  I quickly get my shower gear together and take the good one, totally fucking Christoph.  After our showers Christoph walks into our room and says, “Ah…  Mr. Jagger.  How was your bathroom? Much like mine?”  We both laugh as he appreciates the strong cheetah move I made. 

Leo, Sugar, Christoph and I take a stroll down to the lake.  The pretty little streams are crystal clear.  It is March 1st and you can see five feet down to the bottom.  There is no trash.  It is pristine.  Switzerland is really great. 

It’s a long drive today.  We make the slightly less complicated border crossing getting our francs we fronted for taxes back (after a processing fee of course).  This time Christoph only had to go to three different desks.  No one really even looks at our passports.  They just want our taxes so they can keep those streams and mountains pristine.  You don’t keep a country looking this good without $34 tolls to make a one hour drive on a Swiss road.  It’s crazy expensive here.  Only the Swiss would go to an Airport to drink and say, “Wow!  This is a great deal on this beer!”. 

We go to a radio interview at Radio X in Frankfurt.  I sit in the studio with a male/female team.  They have a daily show where they recommend events in the arts that the listeners should attend.  Frankfurt is like the Chicago of Germany.  There are a million things to do.  It is very odd to do this interview as the hosts open their show in German and switch over to English to have me as part of the dialogue.  I sit in a chair facing them and listen to the man speak.  “Guten Abend ... Was für eine Show haben wir für Sie heute. Wir haben ein spezielles Interview mit Greg Miller der Whiskey Daredevils.  So Greg…  Why would anyone want to go to this show?”  Direct and to the point.  I respond with, “Well, we talked about it in the van and we decided to do the single best musical performance in the history of Frankfurt.  As in ever.  So I would go if I were listening out there.”  The co-hosts stare at me expressionlessly and there is an awkward pause.  The female co-host finally says, “Well, The Darkness played here eight and one half months ago and it was the best.”  I realize painfully that the sarcasm I used had only confused her and no doubt the entire audience.  “Well, we have a lot less lights, but I think we can play better.”  Pleasantries are exchanged.  I leave. 

Going to the show Christoph is sure it will be a disaster.  At the slightest hint of disorganization, Christoph assumes all is lost.  To this uber German, lack of organization and tardiness are a sin along the lines of treason.  When we arrive at the club, the promoter is running late.  The club is locked.  Christoph is simultaneously outraged and pleased.  He is furious that things are off schedule.  He is even more pleased that there are indications the evening will end in disaster, and he will be vindicated. 

We eat at a traditional Frankfurt restaurant, named something like Zemzungunderfundergarten.  Long wooden tables.  Traditional apple wine.  Big scary hunks of pork.  Sausages.  Giant glasses of pils.  It’s all good here as the professional staff keeps it rolling.  Sugar gets mad when we don’t let her doggy bag up her leftover sauerkraut into the van.  You want to put sauerkraut into the van for hours?  Seriously?  We are all on board with this wise decision. 

The Dreikonigskeller is a small basement club.  Think of the Cavern Club but smaller.  We set up on the small stage and store our cases in a storage area upstairs that are unbelievably in the same room as the bartender’s vicious Doberman.  Why the dog is kept in an area that guarantees interaction with strangers is unexplained.  I love dogs, but even I am afraid of that fucking thing.   

We struggle to get a beer from Marco, Germany’s least friendly bartender, as the club fills up.  I don’t understand this guy at all.  He moves sluggishly and will not provide service at all if he doesn’t like you.  He is notorious in the city for being a curmudgeon.  The owner of this place would triple his revenue with two cute hard working girls back there.  Yet year after year it is Marco that may or may not sell you a beer.

The guys from LSD, where we rent the van, come to get paid.  Leo and I are standing at the bar with the two guys.  I learn that the both of the guy’s main jobs are as paramedics, and now one serves in a helicopter.  I turn to Leo.  Hey Leo…  These guys are both paramedics.  “Oh!  Very good!  Very good!”  That guy serves out of a helicopter.  Leo turns to the guy.  “No way!  You are in (Swedish band) The Hellacopters?”  No Leo!  He’s not IN The Hellacopters.  He works as a paramedic ON a helicopter!  “Oh!  See I thought you said…”   

There are about 75 people in the room.  That does not sound impressive until you realize we have crammed 75 people into a place the size of your bedroom and have them lined down the stairs craning to see.  We are packed right up against the humanity with nowhere to go.  A group up front is especially crazy, throwing beers around and dancing wildly.  They are chanting like a futbol match, which makes it tough to sing your melody when they are chanting “Yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah!”.  It’s really crazy on stage, right at that line between chaos and riot.  We make up a song on the spot with the football chanting.  Everyone has a great time.  The show is a great success.  Apparently the promoter knew what he was doing.

After the gig Leo is almost ripped to shreds by the dog when he tries to get his cases.  You need a lion tamer to try and get them out of there.  The load out is tough from the crowd, still in the afterglow of the show.  We get in the van with the promoter, who drives us to the crash pad of the mysteriously named Elena Van Goyagoya.   


At March 12, 2013 at 1:20:00 PM EDT , Blogger Frank said...

Oh! Very good! Very good!


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