Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Nurse the Hate: Stuttgart Germany

3.2 Stuttgart Germany

Christoph wakes us up early.  Too early.  I look to my left and see an old photo of a Nazi officer smiling at me.  Where the hell am I?  I am in the loft of a haute couture fashion designer named Olga Van Goyagoya.  I have not met Olga Van Goyagoya, but envision her to be like a detached Bond villain smoking a cigarette from a long filter while stroking a cat.  Christoph is in such a frenzy to get back “to his homeland” that he wants to shove us in the van ASAP.  Laiki went out to get breakfast for us with Christoph in tow where they will undoubtedly smoke 27 cigarettes and return with rolls, cheese, and meat.  That guy is a VERY heavy smoker.  He may set an alarm clock on the hour to wake up and have a quick butt. 

I go downstairs to breakfast at the elusive Olga Van Goyagoya’s flat.  This is the kind of house you only see in Europe.  Vintage curiosities and thrift store treasures create a nostalgic era evoking many times/places at once.  Olga’s Colombian boyfriend George, who looks like Dean Stockwell in “Blue Velvet” greets me inside.  We talk about his job selling security systems to customers in Germany, France, and Spain.  Each culture presents differing cultural challenges and approaches for the sales process.  The Germans just want the technical information.  The Spanish want to socialize first.  The French are slow to warm, but then will make the deal quickly at the end.  It’s really interesting to me that people that live so relatively close to each other geographically can be so different.  We have a breakfast of excellent quality cheeses with rolls, and a special extra salty butter that is produced in the region.  Olga Van Goyagoya finally appears from her curtained off dressing area in a vintage dress with pink pom-poms on the shoes.  Perfect.  She and George take the dog and leave, allowing us to finish breakfast and clean up.  Good people.

We head out of Frankfurt with Antje, Christoph’s sister at the wheel for the first time.  She has been looped in by her brother for part of the tour as Christoph has to return to his job in the exciting world of dental equipment sales.  Christoph is showing her the time tested procedures and systems that he expects her to execute flawlessly in his absence.  I can only imagine how much trouble she will get in if his instructions are not followed to the letter.  The drive to Stuttgart goes without incident, though I am sure Christoph has criticisms he chooses to keep private. 

Stuttgart is without question our favorite place to play in Germany.  It is where most of our closest friends live, and it is always so great to spend time with them.  Additionally our pal Robin is doing the show, so we all know how professionally it will be handled.  We get dropped off at a functional hotel near the gig, and a couple hours later wander down to Goldmark’s to load in.  Robin’s mother will be cooking us a local meal, and I always look forward to having her food.  I like to eat locally whenever I travel, and there is nothing better than someone’s home cooking.  If everyone else in town is eating something, you know it must be good.  In this case it is a goulash over spaetzle noodles.  Awesome. 

After sound check, our pals start to arrive.  Johan shows up with his new girlfriend.  Andy, in an unbelievably thoughtful gesture, brings me a bottle of wine as a gift.  We learn that Mr. Evil is home sick and will not attend.  Familiar faces start to fill the room along with a whole bunch of strangers that seem primed and ready to go.  It has all the trappings of a good night.     

The Railbones open and are a good traditional rockabilly band.  They play what seems like every single cover the Cowslingers cut their teeth on in 1990 when we were trying to get it together.  We all especially like it when after each song their curvaceous female singer whispers “Danke schoen” in a smoky voice.  I want to really try to “Ramones” it up and clip through the songs when we play.  I want to keep the energy up.  I really want to bring it today.  As we set up to play I notice two girls in the crowd that don’t fit the scene.  They are in extremely short dresses that cut as high up on the thigh as you can go before it ceases to serve as a dress and becomes more like a blouse.  They have obviously dressed to get as much attention as possible, and I wonder if they might be “working” tonight if you get my drift.  They have a third person with them, a boyish fireplug of a girl who Sugar learns is their “driver”.  What the hell is going on over there?  I don’t like that they are trying to become part of the show by sitting on the stage.  I consider that a violation of our property line, so I haul one of them up to be like a living prop with a maraca.  I do the sleazy dry hump thing and Sugar takes her bass stock in and out of her thighs.  The crowd seems to like it, and the girl likes the attention.  Don’t we all win this way? 

We really get going in the second half of the set and the crowd really gets into it.  It’s really packed in here and it’s really hot up on stage.  I’m sweating my ass off, and tell Sugar to make sure she does not knock over my beer over by Leo’s kit.  We all jump around during “Just The Thing” and suddenly the stage under my feet is like an ice rink due to beer rapidly spilling across the stage.  Sugar!  God damn you!  “It wasn’t me!  You did it!”  Leo then sells her out with “I saw you knock it over Sugar!”  I have to imagine the crowd is wondering what we are talking about as the tempo gets faster and faster at the end of the song.  We do a final encore with “Greasy Box” and I bring both of the little tarts up to shake the maracas.  It lasts forever, and when we are done I say to one of the girls “It gets tiring after awhile, doesn’t it?” in regards to the maracas.  The taller of the two smiles and replies, “It does!  And it shouldn’t since I do this (making a jackoff motion) so much!” .  Hey, just a couple of gals having a good time on a Saturday night…

We sign a ton of CDs and posters, and take lots of pictures with people.  Everyone is very nice and complimentary.  This really is a great town.  It is right then, when things are at their brightest during the post show, that Christoph leans in.  “Ah…  Mr. Jagger…  Big rock star….  But tomorrow you will be deep in the Black Forest where everyone will HATE you.”  He smiles at me nodding his head in full expectation at my future humiliation. 

Robin spins some great music and Sugar hits the dance floor.  Plenty of guys are excited to dance with this minor celebrity in their midst.  Leo talks to a guy at the bar that tells him he is good but not as good as the guy that played in The Cowslingers years ago that just wore his socks.  Leo explains, “But I was that guy!  I am that guy!”.  I look at my watch.  It is 2:30.  Better to leave too early than too late.  I tell Leo at the bar that I am leaving.  He says we should grab Sugar instead of leaving her in a strange bar with a dozen drunk guys on the dance floor.  This seems sensible and is strange coming from Leo.  It is always shocking to hear a well thought out plan emerge from him.  Sugar, who has traded her cowboy hat with some guy for a sporty little cap, complains “Why do we have to go?  I was having fun!”.  We walk outside the club and see someone has gotten sick right outside of the door.  We have fulfilled our mission to provide fun to the good people of Stuttgart.  We walk home in the cold.  I pass out in about 22 seconds and pummel Leo with my snoring.


At March 28, 2014 at 12:22:00 PM EDT , Blogger Eric Kuehn said...

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