Spring Tour 2017 - Day 6

Good news!!!!! I found my tour schedule book and song lyric journal. After contacting the train company I imagine that, perhaps literally, one or maybe even two people searched the country; a nation was mobilized, put aside for a brief moment were concerns of state, matters of security, jokes about Trump, and the question of whether David Hasselhoff will release a new album. 

Now as far as I am concerned it really doesn’t matter that I found the books myself in my guitar case, I truly believe that’s a small detail and the bigger picture we should all focus on is that I single-handedly managed to usher in a tender glistening moment of community and shared vision in a world where darkness can often be found. 

 Anyway I have my books back and that thieving railway worker, pop-start-wannabe is going to have to write their own hits. 

So, a brief synopsis: 

1. Lost luggage, lost songwriting book, lost train tickets, lost the will to carry on 

2. Workshop done in Grevenbroich 

3. Two concerts in Oldershausen, my first matinee 

4. Took possession of the new album 

I imagine you are all captivated by the stunning life I lead; I am. 

I travelled from Hamburg on Tuesday back down to Grevenbroich, near Köln. I was met at the station by my dear friend Christina Hammecher, and taken to the Hammecher residence. There I met with Isa, Leandra, and her husband Ingo. I speak often of how I survive purely on the kindness of friends, and here once again I am “cradled” (sorry for placing the image of a 50 year old singer songwriter being held aloft by a family of four in your mind’s eye) by their kindness. I honestly don’t mind that I have to do all the laundry by hand and clean the outside 6th floor windows and tend to the 64-acre organic farm; I consider it a blessing that they allow me. 

Ingo, as I have previously spoken of in previous dispatches, is a man who likes his home hifi set up. His front room resembles the bridge of the Starship Enterprise, and not the old one either. I guess most of you know that vinyl has made a resurgence, however did you know that the new hip thang is reel to reel? I’m serious, Ingo had just bought himself an old Studer ¼ inch recorder, and it’s now possible to buy master tape copies on reel to reel. The sound was THE greatest I have ever heard. Of course, whilst the technology is albeit old, the product network is relatively new and it’s hard to buy reel to reel masters. The choice is quite small, but I thoroughly enjoyed Pinky and Perky’s (if not faithful, but joyus) version of Les Miserables, and hearing with such clarity Milli Vanilli’s emotional rollercoaster club mix recordings of twelve different versions (to be honest they started to sound very similar after track 6) of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah, will most likely stay with me for decades. 

So you heard it here people, reel to reel is real. Nice, eh? 

The following day I spent a really great morning and afternoon in the company of thirty Grade 10 students from the Pascal Gymnasium. It was a wonderful start to the tour and I thank my friend Ulrike Küper, a gifted teacher and musician, and Manfred the head teacher for allowing me back to enjoy their amazing school. 

In the evening we all went out for dinner at Beppi, a Sicilian restaurant, joined by more of my friends, the famile Ploenes. I know I am far away from my family when I tour, but with friends like these the distance doesn’t seem as far as the 7000 km that separates us. It’s more like maybe 5500, or even 5000, which is nice. 

From Grevenbroich, I took the train to Winsen (Luhr). The larger than life Rene FLINDT, met me at the station. René as well as being my friend is also my photographer. He is responsible for all of the pictures on my new album. He had organised a concert for me, and as it was my first concert of the tour, I arranged for the new CDs to be delivered to his place so they would be available for the first time at the show. The effect however was slightly dulled for me when Rene informed me his name was incorrectly spelt - awkward pause – FLINT. Where had the D gone? Perhaps it was hanging out with my luggage in Vancouver? I will never know. 

Rene is a sweet man and took it well, and only cried once. Classy. 

My evening show was full, and so Rene’s wife Nicole had asked me whether I might consider doing an earlier performance for the under 12s. I had never done a children’s matinee show before, and I loved it. I was taken aback by how much they drank and the heckling at times was a little close to the bone, but overall once the security guys came it ended up all smiles. Thank God for the chicken wire. 

I sign off now, sitting on a train to Essen. Essen translates from German to English as food, so my opening words tonight as I take to the stage in the vast stadium… 


You can’t make this stuff up…

Millie Vanilli


Pinky and Perky

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