Monday, December 01, 2008

My Golden Ambivalence

Tossed from the warm bosom of Britain, out into the cold of Europe we went. Our first show, after a rather triumphant London gig, was in The Hague. It was the first time that I can remember being there, though I'm sure I've been there once before. We were playing at some miserable little club as part of some asinine festival celebrating the end of tulip season or girl with the pearl earring or something. We were on just after a Dutch Bob Dylan cover band, and the crowd reacted as if we were stealing their bicycles and melting them down to make tanks. In fact there was a steady stream of chants for Slayer who were not only not playing the festival, but were on another continent altogether. I did salvage a few hours in the middle of a cold, dark day to wander out around town, have a waffle and marvel at the bird shit stained statues.

Germany, Bavaria to be precise, in winter is one brutal place. To dull our collective pain I found the world's largest bottle of Jagermeister at a gas station.  When life hands you lemons say 'fuck it' and drink booze so thick it's like cough syrup. The lighting guy at the venue was named Lucas as well. I think that may have been the most exciting part of my day.

The next show in Brussels brought more snow, and more cold. We were out of town a ways in a bizarre Frank Lloyd Wright-ish hall flanked by some of the most amazing buildings in Europe.

Whatever gets you through the night. Half a dozen baguettes, red bull and booze, it would seem.

We did a strange little show in a strange little place called Bielefeld in Germany. The town is best known for it's food processing plants and home appliance manufacturing. That is all. Oh, and snow. Lots of it.

It was grim outdoors. I ducked into a supermarket and was scolded on two separate occasions for just being. I retreated out into the cold and wandered around a train yard for a bit. As you do.

The last show was at an old opera house in Berlin called The Admiralsplatz. In the 40's they installed a private box on the balcony for Hitler. It looks something like this, though I somehow pictured it with Hello Kitty wallpaper and a slushee machine in the corner.

There was also a private bathroom installed in the box so the fuhrer didn't have to mix with the general population. The local stage hands told us all of this, and immediately following the story I said, man I'm going to go poop in Hitler's bathroom, to which they responded, everyone always wants to poop in Hitler's bathroom. 

I made it down to the Brandenburg gate just at sunset. Berlin is quickly becoming one of my favorite spots. The East anyway. Andy and I found a mobile bratwurst stand that was quite literally a large German with a grill strapped to his waist and a bag of buns tied to his back. It was no less delicious.

And that was that. 2 solid weeks of kicking and screaming in the cold, and it's all over. Home for Thanksgiving, and then back out for radio festival madness for a few weeks.

I'll take your shitty plane movies with a silly grin, an ambien and twelve nonstop hours of mid-flight sleep crimes. Can't wait to be back on solid food and solid ground.

big blue

for lack of a better name...

Neige en Belgique