Excuse me while I fantasize

Heinz Lichius enjoying himself

Heinz, where have you beanz?

Lars and I eventually emerged from our hour-long Zeitz-induced car coma, and continued north to a Nov. 5 show in Berlin.

I’ve played the Petrus-Kirche Music Club since 2009, aided by Gisela and her gallant band of helpers (a lively team of sandwich makers, curtain hangers, and seating designers). I love their energy and enthusiasm. I always enjoy playing there, including a 2013 stop on the O’Brien Family mini-Euro tour.

Heinz joined us in Berlin for a really nice show, after which the three of us drove into the wee hours to Hamburg. Berlin is so congested during daylight it's always better to drive at night. Berlin reminds me of the UK, making weekly journeys to London gigs, locked in traffic jams at 1am. Contrast that with Victoria, BC, which pales in comparison to England's capital on many levels, but takes gold every time for fewest hours spent on the road.

Paul O'Brien fantasizes about life on the Elbe

I took the opportunity to make my regular pilgrimage to the Elbe. I take the train to Landungsbrücken, then the river taxi to Finkenwerder (home of Airbus) and back again. I know the route intimately but still delight in the familiar twists and turns. I often fantasize about my hair, being continually blown across my face as the ship heads northwest up the Elbe into a head wind. Sad, I know!

That evening Lars and I, again sans-Heinz, played a concert in Klecken, at the home of Marc and Britta. Getting out of the city was a nightmare due to striking train staff, but we made it just in time for the show. We shared a stage that night with guests, Jessie and Jana (Marc and Britta's daughter), who loves to sing my song "American Car." Driving back into Hamburg through the Elbe tunnel after the show was exquisitely easier than the torture of our earlier trip. It ended well.

Next stop, Moin Moin, Flensburg.

Paul O'Brien


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