The bad gas-station roadfood, the rain, the dirty clothes, the cheating promoter, the street gang, the lazy stage hands, the bossy housemanager, the angry journalist not on the guest list, the slimy mtv crew, the sunny day, the too small club, the snobby unimportant ‘important’ guests backstage, the record company dinner, the violent security, the stressed stage manager, the crappy house light engineer, the forum bielefeld, the promoter over 30 years in his office in fear missing that one hip band, the agents booking clubs lying to themselves, the sweaty bunk, the endless returned vegetarian pizza because vegan (no cheese) was ordered, the ‘hip’ bands forgotten after one year, the inexperienced local sound technician, the always ‘where you from?’ question, the talks about other bands, the envious audience, the friends made, the impersonal cold hotel room design, the trust from local promoters and crews, the cancelled show, the ‘pretty looking’ tm, the waiting, the tourbus back lounge, the fairly easy available drugs, the borders, the death, the kino ebensee, the people I forgot, the eating without hunger, the colleagues, the effenaar, the lack of sleep, the mac light, the union crew, the overcooked restaurant food, the always feeling sick, the sharpy, the adrenaline rushes, the limelight, the audience, the amplifiers, the 4am drink in the hotel bar, the rushed sight seeings, the star club, the festivals, the always neil young and spinal tap in tourbusses, the vacant tired eyes, the alcohol, the not being able to shit for days, the zap club, double door, knaak club, huxley’s, pfefferberg, grant, american music hall, garage, wembley, rai, abc, nice ‘n’ sleazy, paradiso, knitting factory, interstates, autobahns, snelweg, autostrade,…..the white line, the endless road, a dream that doesn’t exist and I will not miss…
The bad gas-station roadfood. Its a common statement, but roadfood is bad! Gas-stations offer only rubbish against ridiculous prices. The same bag potato chips priced Euro 4 cost only 40 cents at town’s cheapest supermarket. I think these prices are set by touring low-cost-van-bands. They steel so much from roadstop stores, honest customers must cover the lost. I can only support this. You must be ‘well in wallet’ when capable to shop and pay at roadstops. A nice indirect way for rich helping the poor. Minor is that its all junk food. Chocolate bars and potato chips is not what I consider a well balanced healthy meal. Jason Molina once said to about eating potato chips (during a van drive) “you can’t stop eating it, but when finished the bag you feel sick”. Right! Still we all keep doing this sickening addiction. Restaurants at roadstops aren’t better. The worst kitchen for unpayable prices. In their advance nobody will (can) complain. Everybody is on the move to far locations unlikely to return. I guess roadstop places don’t have regulars (I am not talking about truck -stops). So far this was al about the European situation but the US ain’t better. Usual sweet and salt crap is mostly offered cheaper, but that isn’t food. Sometimes its even worst than Europe. Restaurants turn out to be fancy looking fast-food-stands. US road coffee gets a golden medal for being the worst in the world. It makes dirty dish-washing-water tasty. Once on a roadstop; a layer of light brown stains on pot bottom, the cash-register lady comes from behind the counter, picks up the empty pot, walks into the bathroom, fills the pot with water, returns to the coffee machine, pours the water in, switches the machine on. Amazed I stare at the slowly dripping light brown liquid, than I turned to the lady “what about fresh coffee in the filter?” I ask. She just raised here shoulders and grinned.
Taking quality and prices in consideration it pays back turning of the highway when hungry. A short detour brings you to cheap and good quality food (and cheaper fuel!). Friendly restaurants located in or near nice town centres or quiet surroundings. Turning back on the highway you realize you didn’t only save money but also feel well fed. Except when touring with The Pharcyde. Turning of they spot the ‘m’ (‘Golden Arches’ or ‘The Embassy’ as they name it) from many miles distance. While they que up, discussing where fries are better; McDonalds or Burger King, I unwrap my earlier in healtfood store purchased whole wheat bread and open a jar of peanut butter.
Enthusiastically I wanted to start a long line of posts about my (almost by me) forgotten tour memories I do not miss, but the second subject blocks me already: the rain. It simply rains too much here lately, although sun is peeping a bit again last days.
The garden is drowned. Look out of my window:
Don’t know if this line has to do something with today’s post, popped in my mind and just like to write it down: ‘It feels like steel wire is strangling my heart’.
Soon ‘The Rain’!
The Rain. When touring in sleeper bus you don’t notice much of weather conditions. Rain doesn’t do you much for those few steps from/to the bus parked close to some venue door. But on van tours rain can be a pain. I also did many of those ‘toilet tours’, travelling from one small club to the other with some known/unknown club band. On these tours you are the complete one-person-crew. FOH sound technician, tourmanager, driver, baby sitter, tourist guide and everything else that is necessary to have the poor bandmembers survive their (often first) touring experience. I got in horrible rain situations sometimes. Remember a few. Driving somewhere in Spain. Through one of these deserted parts, must have been south from the country centre. Empty roads and empty landscape endlessly stretching out around you. Don’t remember where we came from and where heading. The band was Bracket. Gosh, what happened with those kids! Kids they where, all very young and inexperienced. On their first trip they very politely asked me if they could have a coke. The dressing room fridge was full with soda’s, beers and snacks. I explained them that the complete dressing room and everything in the fridge belongs to them for the evening. “Take what ever you want, but don’t get drunk” (they where very young). Disbelieving big eyes stared at me. After a few gigs they where used to it. This ‘toilet’ band performed that typical 90ties California punk. You know what I am talking about, ala Green Day and such. Brackets roots where in ‘Forestville’, Calefornia. One of those small country side fruit villages. Marty’s (singer/bandleader) father owned one of these massive apple farms. That explained the lyrics I always had to laughed about: ‘I really don’t like the taste, of all those green apples, I just want them all go away’. Oh well, they where young and honest. Maybe not the most original, but they could do it, especially the harmonizing vocals. It was a good laugh on these tours. A typical bunch, all the same age, friends from kindergarten on, growing up together. Probably now they all took over their dads farm. But then we drove this deserted road in Spain. It started to rain more and more heavier. All four where sleeping in the van seats behind me. At certain time I got worried. The water poured down heavenly, roadside slowly turned over into a mudpool. No traffic, no town within my view, not even a roadsign. Slowly I saw the asphalt disappearing under water. Guessing whereabout the road went, partly leaded by wire poles, railings and reflectors I kept driving through about 5 inch of water. Thought keep going would be the safest. Stopping in the middle of this mess could get us in serious trouble. Miraculous after some miles the road went uphill and we drove out of the ‘river’. To my relieve this had a smooth ending. I was getting worried in all that water for a moment. Bracket was still asleep. I wonder if they ever realized…. I did a few tours with the four from Forestville. They even named one of their releases after me….isn’t it!
One of the most frightening rain experiences on the road I had with The Pharcyde (yes, again The Pharcyde. Did many tours with them, expect their name in my ‘memoires’ often). We where on our way to the ferry Calais (France) – Dover (UK). Crossed the Belgium – France border following the channel coast highway E40, just passed Dunkerque. In the distance you see the sea. It was a sunny day, but suddenly out of nowhere the sky turned totally black and within no time rain poured down so heavenly I could barely see a few feet in front of the van. With some guessing and gambling I slowly moved the van on the (what I was hoping to be) hard shoulder. Standing still I turned the engine of and firmly pulled the handbrake. We all sat there in silence, amazed watching this total darkness and rain that surprised us in the middle of a sunny day. Suddenly the van started to tremble and move. Strong wind accompanying the storm pushed the van slightly, few inches over the road. “The engine is of and handbrake on. This is out of my control” I said in kind of worried panic. Someone started to pray. As quick it came, the storm disappeared and sky was blue again. 2 meters behind the van was a big truck who also stopped. We both did not notice each other until weather cleared. I realized this situation could have ended in a devastating drama.
The cheating promoter. Why the fuck did I write this down. I almost never got cheated. Only know stories of others, but I always was neatly paid by the promoter probably due to the solid agencies I mainly worked for. There where a few embarrassing moments standing next to an ATM machine while a promoter was emptying his bank-account mentioning his wife and kids, or that time in the venue kitchen where I got paid with bankrolls of change (coins), walking out with a heavy (weight) bag, money is money. Honestly, I wasn’t proud of my job on moment like those, but bizznix is bizznix, and I was just the middle man (often combined FOH-tech with tourmanagement) moving the cash further. I remember only getting cheated once. It was a small club gig in the USA. Don’t remember exactly but I think it was the Crocodile in Seattle. It was a low budget little money gig with Consolidated in their last days when the band was reduced to the singer/guitar player, a new kid on bass and a pile of sampled loops. The management woman refused to pay me in full. “This is what I give you” she simply told me. I was speechless having no experience with situations like this (and I was already over 20 years on the road then) not knowing what to do, I walked out. Next day I called the agent who managed to get the rest. (Promoters: this is not a hint. Nowadays I am backed by a worldwide network of Serbian friends. Don’t try to fuck me. I won’t stand in for the consequences.)
The biggest scam in music bizznix I was also a little bit involved in was not an ‘on the road’ situation. Remember that ‘CDbaby’? Well the guy who started it had a major big plan in his head to rip of world wide all indie musicians and bands sweating their last money releasing their own music. The name of this cheating prick is DEREK SIVERS. His plan was to set up a site (CDbaby) where all these independent self made cd’s could be sold. Big promises ‘we sell your cd’, but you had to pay first $ 35 and than ship the cd’s (postal costs). For that you got a page on the CDbaby site and are in the program of the online store. Did you do that? I did. Did you sell cd’s? I did sell 2 of the total of 15 mailed (3 releases, 5 per release). Did you make profit? I didn’t, it only costed me a lot of by hard work earned $. Slowly I started to realize the page was one of those internet scams. Worst is that DEREK SIVERS gave you the idea he helps the poor hard working unknown musician. Well, he helped filling his own wallet. From inside (knew people working there) I got information that besides the very few indie releases of titles that sold everywhere else also, nothing got sold. Hundred of thousands titles standing on shelves collecting dust never to be sold. Like every internet scam hype, CDbaby slowly faded. DEREK SIVERS saw it coming (like all unreliable bizznix scammers) and sold the bizznix when administration figures where still looking good. After that CDbaby had a short life. Did you get that email that they will return your cd’s from the CDbaby stock after you paid shipment cost or they will be destroyed? I did. But paying again after all that money spend? No way! I never replied.
A scam is a scam, but what hurts me the most is that this guy DEREK SIVERS ripped of those who didn’t had anything. What is this guy an anti social ashole, the lowest type we have under us humans. Probably not daring or enough brains to rip of multinationals like Sony. What a ‘hero’. Be careful, DEREK SIVERS is still around in other territories than music, trying to steel from the poor with ‘I help you’ stories.
The street gang! Wow, thats a story. I never was really bothered by a street gang, but when in America often warned by locals about unnecessary violence. Despite that bullshit, I never felt anywhere in the world threaten or unsafe. I remember in Frankfurt, staying as usual in Hotel Maingau. Day of. Laundry time. There was a laundrette down the street, around the corner. In those days the hood was known to be a bit ‘tricky’, but what did I care. Laundry was spinning for some time and I sat at the only table going through a magazine. Suddenly a whole bunch of kids came in and sat all around me. Yes kids! The oldest must been 14, youngest 8! Deliberately they where pushing, grabbing my magazine and started to annoy me making silly remarks of me being gay. Men in laundrettes referred probably to them as ‘gay’ (oh well, small minded kids with growing up problems…). That the situation was suppose to be ‘dangerous’ became clear to me watching other customers quickly grabbing their unfinished laundry, and leaving. A bunch of about 15 to 20 kids with aggressive attitude is a fight I would never win. I still see me sitting there with all these kids at the table. The only other person inside was Romey from The Pharcyde (yes, again Pharcyde, I toured often with those guys). He was about done, packing up and looked at me in a strange way. I decided to get up and leave too. There was some yelling behind my back, but street was busy, they would let me alone. I left my clothes spinning in the machine and returned 10 minutes later. The laundrette was empty and all my clothes still in the washer. I calmly finished using the dryers. Not such a sensational story, but still, a kiddie gang….. Until then I was only familiar with some song lyrics about ‘no future’ life for kids living dangerously on the edge in certain ghettos of US cities, but hey, this is Germany, Frankfurt AM. Maybe it is better that kids watch lesser tv and YouTube.
This reminds me that I accidentally skipped one subject ‘the dirty clothes’ (see starting post few weeks back). Oh well, maybe this was it, or the next time. Have loads of stories, just need the ‘trigger’.
The Maingau hotel has another story (probably a few, but those I save for later). Was this with Firewater? Or another band…. On the corner, just few meters away from Maingau was (is?) a bar that serves breakfast all day. We sat there with a bunch, those who already checked out of their rooms, it must have been around noon. A band member, just leaving the hotel, came up to me and said that the hotel manager wanted to have a serious word with me. Hmmm, I thought, what will that be? Someone broke something in the room, stole a pillow (happens), left without paying after drinking the complete minibar…? The hotel manager was behind the reception desk. “I am very angry at you” He said, looking seriously angry. “What for” I replied confused. “One of our maids found this in your room”: he laid a note of DM 500 (German Marks) on the reception desk. I must have dropped it after counting money. Surprised about the honesty I returned with many tanx and a bouquet flowers for the maid. Yeah, the note was realy mine and it was lots of money, compare it with $ or Euro 500 nowadays. Doing tourmanagement (besides FOH tech) you deal with the cash and administration. Safest place to do this is in the hotel room, mornings after breakfast, counting the cash to see if everything still fits. The note must have slipped behind bed and desk… More money stories later, we swerve a bit from the streetgang subject.
This I only have from hearing, but out of first hand. I could have been the victim, but to my luck it turned out differently. I was on the road with Caspar Brotzmann. Yes toured with him few times. Great personality and amazing musician. Caspar is one of the most under estimated talents on earth. More about Caspar later, first the story. I couldn’t finish the tour due to obligations with another band. Don’t remember which one, it must have been one of my regulars. I was honest in my scheduling, who came first was first. I must have confirmed the other tour before Caspar came. Yep, I was extreme. I went from tour on tour without a break. In my top years I had an average of 9 months out of the year! Now finally started of writing about it I must have posting material for years. Back to Caspar. I couldn’t do the last 2 gigs of that tour: VK Brussels, and London UK (forgot venue’s name). Joe, my bizz partner I worked with a lot, took over for these last days. If you are familiar with the VK Brussels you probably know where this story goes to. The VK was (is?) situated in a Brussels neighbourhood with shaky reputation. When a band in van got to the VK, the stage door (in site alley) opens, it just fits a van and you drive (backing up) in kinda sealed back alley. Safe! For the night. You do the gig, pack up and drive out again or sleep there (they had poor accommodation possibilities). Most bands drove out by night to hotel or other destination. The VK was (is?) situated in an old part of Brussels. Many small alleys, everything circles in a one way system. Caspar and crew drove out after the show in the night. Getting out of the gate the one way system forces you to make a right turn, and right turn again. In the second back alley a complete streetgang, armed wit guns, was waiting for them. They ripped everything; tourcash, passports, gear,…. left was some clothes, the guitars (miracle) and a pick…. Gosh, it must have been shock for Caspar, his band and Joe. The VK doesn’t usually handle the biggies making loads of cash. For Caspar it was a step further in his ongoing downhill life at that moment. But it got worse. Caspar and crew decided driving on making it to the ferry to London for performing the last tour gig. After a night without sleep (hours of making declarations at a Brussels police station), and being hassled at the border for not having the right papers, they managed making it to London late afternoon. Just in time for soundcheck they turn into the street of the club and find it blocked. Police and fire-brigade everywhere, you guess it….the club was on fire. How much bad luck can you have within 24 hours? Meanwhile I was on my next trip and heard about the horror I escaped from 6 weeks later, after returning home.
That ‘dirty laundry’ starts later in this post., First a few things that has to go out of my mind. Can someone stop this rain? Tanx! But besides that lets discus this latest electronic communication device many people use in the more richer parts of the world: the Iphone. Now don’t get me wrong, I am not against new modern machines. When handy, I might use them myself, but the Iphone seem to be far from ‘handy’. Correct me if I am wrong, the Iphone is developed to have communication between people go easier, quicker, director,… Right? Hmmmm….if so, I must conclude: the Iphone doesn’t work. Communication only gets worse. Lately I get many replies on my emails (especially bit bizz orientated) out of which context its clear that the replier misunderstood my mail. So I reply again: ….uhhh, I think you misunderstood my mail…. or ….uhhhh, I do not understand your reply, did you read my mail right?…. Often I do get an honest answers in return: “Oops I am sorry, I read your mail on my Iphone”. Interesting, a communication device that doesn’t communicate, at least lesser good than earlier (outdated?) devices. “Oh, its the user, not the machine”, you say. Uhh, well, I understand, but are machines not there to serve the users making life easier? That doesn’t seem to be the case. I understand, the Iphone you have with you all the time, during a conversation with friends, while watching a soccer game, while kissing your (girl/boy)friend, it suddenly bleeps, a new message/mail came in and you quickly look what it is about and might even reply while your brain is half with the conversation/game/friend. I think the Iphone is a passing thing, a toy, people buy now to waste their money. Endless reachability isn’t a highly necessary thing, even not in today’s society. Everybody who thinks this, likes to be fooled by the industry. And that’s not in control. Remember WE are in control. If nobody uses anymore, there is no more industry! The Iphone will soon, by most, be considered as inconvenient and therefore disappear.
Dirty laundry (moving on with my tour stories). I published my best ‘laundry’ story in previous post about street gangs, but yeah, sometimes getting your laundry done is a problem moving around changing location almost every day. You get trained wearing clothes as long as possible. Underwear, socks, shirts are small. You can take piles, wash them in the hotel sink (dry on the heater overnight), or dump them and by new at cheap Chinese stores. Trousers and sweaters is different, and I notice sometimes wearing jeans for a month (when I am on tour). Its very dependable on your whereabouts (country) how to get your laundry done. Laundrettes are not that obvious everywhere. Major cities mostly no problem. But try to find a laundrette in The Netherlands. Very difficult! Strange for such a ‘developed’ country, you might think, but that’s probably the reason. Even the most poor student can afford owning a washing machine. On the other hand, Germany is on the same (or even higher) economical level and there you find laundry places on every street corner. Its probably more a cultural thing. Sure, you can always have the cleaning done by a hotel service, but it always takes 24 hours (on the road you stay in a hotel averagely for 10 hours, when lucky) plus the costs of cleaning one pair of jeans equals buying 3 new ones. In the US its all a bit easier. Almost all hotels have coin laundry machines. Bringing the laundry to a service doing it for you is almost impossible since also they take at least 1 day, if not more. It happens seldom you are longer than 1 day in the same location. So you wear dirty close. Now do I have a story regarding this subject not told in earlier posts since I started these road memories (‘road dreams’ I call it now, but this name is going to change)? Not really, although to my surprise I once saw a member of Audio Active throwing his sneakers in the washing machine. Never realized you can clean shoes like that, it seemed to work.
I should do a bit more ‘prove reading’. Last posts had some funny mistakes, but the good readers will interpret these the right way.
Its rock ‘n’ roll time again. Leaving today direction Norway and Finland. Just a short trip. One weekend with PTV3. Somehow I am looking forward to this. Its good to be out of here and travel a bit, hanging in the music ‘scene’.
Will pick up my tour memories soon. Maybe during the trip, otherwise next week. Depending on time and internet access I will try to keep you updated about this trip.
Interesting, Saturday February 22 is Genesis P Orridge birthday! Come to the Tavastia in Helsinki to congratulate…
See you all there.
First the short trip with PTV3, than I got hit by a heavy flue I am still suffering a bit. Fever, hot/cold shivers…thought I had malaria, but according a local it wasn’t that bad, just the ‘black dead’! Aaaarggh, oh well, every dead needs a name, worst ever was ‘grateful’. Don’t need to ask: do you remember that heavy overrated country band from the US. Oh well, deadheads stayed after they all went grateful, youngster probably never heard of, and better be so.
Anyway, soon pick up my writing again. No more today, no picture either, just wanted to let you all know I am still here…..
March 12, 2008 I wrote my very first post on this site. Funny (remarkable – or not?- ) this was also on a Wednesday. Don’t know why I started to write. My first aim was bringing more life in the ‘static’ Limbabwe pages. I also started adding loads of new content from than on. So let this be a ‘looking back in history’ post. This is what I wrote:
‘Wednesday March 12, 2008 Communication channels became so easy to excess and payable. With a free obtained old computer that you’re brother dumps, and a free modem that somebody else does not use anymore because of obtaining a new laptop, you can access the world cheap with free software calling people all over the world or send emails for hardly any money. Still, despite all these modern facilities, people do not seem to communicate. They hide themselves behind the machines using cold meaningless messages. Are we really becoming more machine and lesser human? Is there anyone out there who understands that music is much more a form of expression and energy instead of a technical skill?’
At that time my computer was more upgraded to modern standards, but for sure I started years ago with some free obtained equipment. Became total autodidact in this. Not that I ever made it to an expert IT, but nowadays I work on a very small, low energy using, laptop with a Linux program I installed myself. Learned some things about computers. For example very quickly and most important; avoid all Microsoft and Mackintosh products. They only make your life miserable. The ‘open source’ software is the best, easiest, least vulnerable and for free! Besides only using open source I am often thinking to learn computer programming language. I am anxious writing my own programs and be totally independent with my own machine. I might become the ‘oldest’ programming student in the world!
Since 2008 means of communication developed very quick and like I wrote few posts ago, despite the technology and intense use of devices, people communicate lots lesser. So, not much changed since then.
What also still stands is that music is in the first place a form of expression, not a technical skill neither a commercial product. That the latter became common in nowadays societies shows a lot where humans on this planet are heading for…. the end – my friend!
Ok, again I am ‘slacking’ it, I mean, my posting. I am sick, suffering some flu that doesn’t want to leave. Its in me now for almost one month! Ok, not that bad like it was when this weird virus started to develop in my body, but its still there. Feel it under my skin. I am getting sick of this feeling sick every day. Don’t get to do anything than the highly necessary. My cure is either loads of anti biotic or decent dose of rock ‘n roll. The latter is coming up, back on the road again! Can’t wait (despite my memories writing here on these pages). Its in my gypsy blood, I must travel, plus I feel comfortable on that spot I spend last 30 years; the dirty black box called ‘rock-club’! Soon more about my upcoming travels. Russian dates PTV3 are announced on home page! Here more dates in September:
Saturday 13 September:Valada, Portugal; Tejo Festival
Tuesday 16 September: Brussels, Belgium; Beursschouwburg
Thursday 18 September: Bucharest, Romania; Control Club
Saturday 20 September: Berlin, Germany; Gretchen
Sunday 21 September: Paris, France; La Gaité Lyrique
Back to the memories; the lazy stage hands. In most venues stage hands and humpers are pretty ok. The worst I encountered was a couple in a Madrid venue (forgot the name). They where big guy’s with lots of artificial muscles. You know those types, work out on machines a lot and eat chemicals to impress women with big bulbs on their upper-arms, meanwhile they are weak pussies without strength not being able lifting the lightest cases. These ‘body builders’ in Madrid where clearly trying to get of easy. Oh well, I did most of the load with my mate. A bands backline isn’t that much, neither that heavy, not even an SVT with ns10. I let those fake muscles be: weak!
Had the remark more often that my posting is often ‘negative’. True, I mostly seem to approach subjects with a negative view. Don’t know why really. Look at my previous post where I talk about stage hands. Why don’t I remember the many great help I had from very professional local crew. After 30 years on the road all I remember is that one night where I had to deal with a few losers. Often (mostly) the local crew was very good. I had situation where the van/bus/trailer was unloaded before I realize it and (to my fear also) on stage cases where opened and getting unpacked by stage hands. These situation made me a bit nervous. The locals are unfamiliar with set up and special treats of some equipment. In situations like this I run over the stage giving instructions and warnings. Pity, don’t remember what and where these venues were. Probably that one ‘negative’ night was such an exception, I remembered it.
Anyway, something different what popped up in my brain walking this estate. Landowning! Real estate! Ever thought about it what a strange idea this is. The question went through my mind; do people own land? What is owning land? What means ownership of any real estate. Thinking about it the answer is: nothing. Owning real estate has no meaning whatsoever. It seem to be an agreement among people, everything else what lives doesn’t give a damn about it. The deer that comes here eating all figs shits on that ownership. Mimosa trees (the ‘owner?’ doesn’t want) keep on popping up everywhere they like obviously wiping their ass with that contract, aso… It seems most living organism in this ecological environment don’t care about that weird ownership only one kind can follow: humans. Anyway, they are just a minority in this massive huge amount of living creatures. They don’t even manage to overrule. So lets give up that weird paperwork and moving around money (money for what?). The world owns itself!
The bossy housemanager! Ha, another ‘negative’ tour memory? No, we all know that housekeepers of all buildings worldwide have an attitude of “I own this place”. Somehow they do, taking care of it as if they are the contracting party, trying to keep uninvited creatures out, and repairing all broken shit. Still, these are touring memories. Here come one. Troubadour LA. At arrival with the band (could have been many) I was introduced to someone who called himself the ‘house manager’ (no keeper). The man was very sympathetic and helpful, but after the soundcheck he took me apart (I was also the tourmanager) to explain me the houserules. Suddenly his voice changed. In a monotone speech he quickly rattled a long list of rules and regulations. I was astonished and surprised. Suddenly this helpful person changed into a machine, just for these 10 minutes (had the feeling it lasted that long). He must have learned this by heard and performs his little ‘cold’ act everyday a few times (LA Troubadour is a busy club). One of the best shows I ever saw from a housemanager. Until today I still see him standing there doing his thing he probably hates, but is a part of his job.
It rains again and according weather forecast this is not changing for a while. I had it here. Move somewhere else. Not that it will rain lesser on other locations. This spot is not designed for long extended rain periods. Overall weather is suppose to be ok here, so all buildings, estate lay out,… is created for mostly ‘nice’ weather, not half year of rain.
There is a new download added on the Pandemonium download page (click on ‘downloads’ in navigation). Vincent from France mailed me this file: Pandemonium live De Buze Steenwijk 13-10-1984. Don’t remember this gig, have only vaguely memories of De Buze (club). With all respect Vincent, don’t take following personal. I don’t understand the ‘collectors’. Some people send or direct me to extreme extended long lists of music material, mostly complete albums, concerts, video’s,… so many, its impossible to listen all of it no more than once. Obvious this is about collecting. Ok, I did some vinyl collecting in the 70ties, but never really fanatic. From some favourites I purchased all official releases, but never bootlegs, illegal tapes,…. Later I dumped lots of these records, realizing that most artists have only a few highlights in their career, all the rest is just to satisfy the bank-account of record companies managers. I think I simply like music so much, I have no time chasing doubtful sounding, bad performed, recordings only to complete a list.
Still its good some do it, otherwise this new download would never be available here. Tanx again Vincent. Here the download:
Recorded by: unknown
02 MitSchwarze Fahne/Demonstrate
03 TV Activity
04 Conned Again
05 No More Talk
06 Feelings Won’t Change
07 UN Real
08 Paid Of
10 Full Prove
11 Wir Fahren Gegen Nazi’s/Zuviel
13 No Reaction
14 Suspect of Ignorance
15 Nobody Knows
Here the link: It comes a bit different first opening another page, click on the zip-title, your browser does the rest,
The angry journalist not on the guest list. Is the next on the list (what a ‘list’ post this is, should list it on the most listing post list – for collectors only) about my tour memories. Funny thing these ‘guests-lists’. Through time it must have developed to a weird ‘personal status’, achieving to be on it. I know Steve Albini makes a point of not having a guest-list, but he is a rockstar and needs something to be listed for in the rock and roll history books (since Bono took Afrika, Paul McCarthy PET, Niel Young Hybrid cars, Madonna MTV,…… as propaganda to sell more). I can imagine that in previous days the guest-list was for people you invite to the gig for a reason, f.e.: record company guy is interested signing you, journalist who actually will write a review, some poor friends who can’t afford the ticked, the crazy fan who wasted all his money on travelling following you and buying tickets, your mum who otherwise would never come,…. All good reasons, but nowadays it seem that everybody related somehow to music industry claims the right to be on the list. Get in for free! Exactly those people who do have a paid job and easily can afford purchasing a ticket. I did had that more often, the yelling journalist at the door because he is suppose to be on the list, just because he writes for a music magazine….. Once I had to bare the line “I better be on it, or….” Oh well, I thought, what can you do. All propaganda is propaganda. History proved, good or bad press does not sell more or lesser. Press doesn’t mean anything nowadays. Even in the masses grew an awareness that all media are spoofs. Entertaining, but don’t take it serious. I suggest that we ban the press from the guest-lists. Let them buy their own ticket, and give those spots to people who don’t have the money, but like to attend the gig.
Am I an ‘old fashioned’ blogger? From emails and other messages I somehow understand that ‘blogging’ the way I do is a bit ‘out’. Oh well… I probably keep on doing it as long this website exist. The word ‘blog’ doesn’t mean much to me. Its weird and I don’t understand it. When I started to write on these pages I wasn’t aware of the ‘hip’-nes, neither its called ‘blogging’. Found that out a year after doing this. Think I wrote a post about it then. Sure, I believe what I do here is not very ‘up-to-date’, I write for more than 5 years. Nowadays ‘hip’ doesn’t last longer than one minute, so probably yes, this is ‘out’. Also having your own site as ‘homepage’ is ‘out’. Your suppose wasting time with 100000000000 fake friends on the popular ‘free’ log-in sites wherein you can create your own page (obeying rules). That aint me, I prefer paying a bit money buying my own space and keep on writing because thats what this is: writing! Fuck blogging! Don’t mention that word any more. Tanx.
The first writing in April, this article. It didn’t wana happen. Have some things written down in my notebook. Yes, an analogue notebook, you know, these things made out of paper. To use this ‘tool’ you need another one called ‘pen’. Remember? No, you can not download these tools for free, but you can obtain them without paying…..
Oooh these tour memories: The slimy mtv crew. Does mtv still exist? Didn’t look at it for over 10 years by now. Have a few memories with them….and you know what, I complete this article when I feel for it…..Later!
Oooh these tour memories: The slimy mtv crew. Does mtv still exist? Didn’t see a second of it for over 15 years. Have a few memories with them….and although nothing shocking, its still worthy writing them down. Think it all was with the band Consolidated I toured a lot (almost everything) with in the 90ties. They where a good going club-band. Typical political engaged San Francisco band commentating in their songs all kinds of unrighteousness of those days and ofcourse also mtv. But Consolidated was a band, and like all bands they tried to ‘make’ it (sell/make money/…). Understandable, we all have to eat. Consolidated did reasonable well so there came that invitation from mtv. Funny, I write it like this. What probably really happened was that the record company pr (propaganda) team sold Consolidated to a mtv show. I remember the visit well, but forgot the name of the show. Mtv most wanted, 200minutes of…. Fuck it, isn’t important. I do remember that the moderator was a horrible idiot. One of these types making you switch the tv of. Anyway, Consolidated had to perform (was it live?) on mtv while they had clear anti mtv statements in some of their songs. At arrival we where brought into a kind of backstage room. The host loaded us up with drinks and vegan food (most of the band was vegan). Very remarkable, they came with pizza, and on that pizza was cheese, ‘vegan cheese’ according to the host. The yellow stuff on the pizza for sure looked like cheese, think it even tasted a bit like it. We all thought it was ‘weird’. Are they joking with us or are they slimy? Does vegan cheese (I don’t mean clear tofu) exist? I never saw it somewhere else. Probably only mtv can serve ‘vegan cheese’. The visit at the London mtv building was for me also remarkable in other ways. Everybody behaved extreme slimy nice. They all had these tv-fake slimy ‘be nice’ smiles. Everybody looked like a mtv-star. Fashioned clothes, hearstyles, shoes, fake-smiles,.. Even the toilet cleaners joined the ‘mtv-look’. Obvious everybody inside tried to work up to…uhh yeah,… to what? The top? On mtv? Come on…. Anyway, the complete building stank after brylcreem, powders and cheap odours. Not my kinda surrounding. The mtv-ers probably expected us to be nasty political punk rockers ready to destroy their make-up and smash the studio. Until we left the building everybody kept repeating in their ‘dandy metro’ voices “oh you guys are so nice”, “you guys are really nice”….
Another time, Berlin, Loft. Is that place still around? It was (is?) literally a loft. The top floor of one of those typical caddish Berlin buildings. Been there often with bands. Still see the location (a roundabout with railway bridge overpass) in front of me. Nice friendly promoter, huge tall bold guy. But the load in! No elevator! Well, uhhhh yes, one of these small ones to send shoppings up and down. Doesn’t fit a person, so forget trying to squeeze in a flightcase. Gear had to be carried all stairs up (and down after the gig). Hell of a load in/out. Lucky the stairs where wide. You could walk up next to each-other, flightcase inbetween. Much easier than one person up pulling, the other down, lifting. Top of the stairs you immediately enter the venue through a wide double door. It was in the middle of the soundcheck (in those days I believed they where necessary) the wide doors opened and a mtv crew walked in. What is up with these huge tv crews anyway. They are always with 6 or more, all doing shit. Just for a few seconds ‘news’ (thats what this was about). 3 questions, some filming, all can be done by one person. All material filmed is on the end edited, reduced to a few ignorable seconds. These tv crews are a waste; camera person, sound person, camera assistant, director, light person, sound assistant, moderator, light assistant… It was a bunch. Don’t remember what the deal was, but I think it was agreed they could film and ask questions after soundcheck. Mtv was far to early and therefore disturbing. I got pissed of and walked up to them “out” I yelled. “but we are mtv” was the response. The wrong defence line against me. I never watch tv, neither mtv and tv is since late 70 NOT important. Nowadays (and then, in the 90ties) nobody watched (m)tv anymore. The masses waste time by just gaze and zap, not registering anything passing by. Tv is the lease important thing in the world, so if you are from mtv you have lesser claims than the garbage person (environmental cleaner), you are the lowest scum of this planet. “We only need a few minutes” was another defence line. Dear junior tourmanager take this advice: do never believe any tv crew whatsoever that they ‘only need a few minutes’. For these 3 seconds broadcast they need at least 2 hours. Tv is not only a waste watching it, but also making it! So I pushed the complete mtv crew (blaaaghh what a stank) through the doors down the stairs.
Correction on my previous post. I now do remember Loft did had an elevator. A real large freight elevator! But it belonged to the neighbouring theatre. The Loft was the loft of that theatre. The elevator could only be used if there was nothing going on in the theatre. That wasn’t often, but I must have been lucky sometimes. It was a push trough hallways entering The Loft by a backdoor in the backstage area. At least it saved you from lifting everything up the stairs.
Years ago I promised to re-edit and re-publish some old articles. All the time I had in my mind to do this at least with one, my story about visiting a Sex Pistols gig in 1977. This article was originally published in spring 2008. I edited the text a bit and replaced the links to the filmed live footage of this concert. The old links don’t work anymore.
For introduction: In 1977 The Sex Pistols toured The Netherlands mainly performing small villages in the middle of nowhere. The band was already world famous by then. Probably it was one of those ‘funny’ publishing ‘punk-rock’ stunts from the manager Malcolm McLaren. One of the gigs happened to be in a village (Maasbree) near my home-town (Venlo). I attended this concert. I was 18 years old. The gig was professionally filmed by a national Dutch tv station. It is one of the best visual concert material of The Sex Pistols in that period.
Here the story:
The pre-sales where a couple of days before (a week?), starting 8.00 pm at the entrance of the club where The Sex Pistols came to play. Maasbree was about 12km away from where I lived (Venlo). Got on my bicycle around 7.00 pm. Wanted to be sure catching a ticked, only 400 available, and somehow I had the feeling arriving at opening hours would be ok belonging to the first 400. In Maasbree I expected a long line in front of the club. It was 7.50 pm when turning around the corner, the street was empty. At the level of the club no living soul! Parked my bike against the wall, walked up to the front door! Nobody! The door was locked. A poster glued on with some celluloid tape, clearly announced pre-sales starting here this evening. The world wide most discussed rock band of the year is coming to play, nobody is here at the pre-sale! 5 minutes later few more people I had seen at other punk rock gigs, lined up. 8.00 pm the door opened. Was the first in line, the first to go in, and had ticked no. 1. The ticked was numbered by pen and sold by the organizer, Matje Nellen, himself. Still have that ticked.
The gig got sold out that evening by pre-sales.
A week later the concert. Again I left early. Doors open at 8.00 pm, better be there in time to have a good spot in front. Same routine, leave 7.00 pm and again, at arrival nobody there. At 8.00 the doors opened. I walked in alone. Nobody in the place, except in the front, on right hand next to stage, a few punk-looking people. Walked up to them. They came my direction, obvious planning to leave. I realized it was them; The Sex Pistols. I moved to Johnny and yes, you will believe it or not, but in 1977 THEE Johnny Rotten did speak two words to me : “Go Away”………………….. I stayed.
The place slowly filled up. A support act that I do not remember played. Now it was time for The Sex Pistols. People what can I say. It was a fuckin’ amazing gig. The Pistols played great. Sid was tough, Johnny was evil, Steve played great and Paul kept control. This band played for real. Of all punk bands I saw so far, it was the only one that actual could play their songs. For those who do not believe me. Here some links to the filmed footage of this gig :
Or better quality:
I am completely in front, left, were Sid Vicious is. Sid was 1 foot away (and his amp was on), Johnny 2 feet, I could touch them. Sometimes you see an arm of me sticking up out of the crowd. During the show I did what was common to do at punk rock gigs those days, the anti-rock star thing. You show you’re admiration by spitting. Sid and Johnny got a lot of me. One moment Sid grab his chance and took revenge by sending a greasy slimy one my direction. It got stuck on my coat, soon to be washed of by a fountain of beer.
The last song, Anarchy in the UK, Steve is a bit out of tune (never heard John Lee Hooker playing in tune either). A tray of beer travels above the audience heads, made it close to the stage, Steve quickly grabbed one, misses a cord. Sid and Paul keep playing. Johnny is of the track for a moment, lost his lyrics. Steve saves the song by playing a smashing solo and pulling the complete band back in line. Clearly Steve is the musical leader of The Sex Pistols. This band rocks.
Its good to see that some of my youth highlights is well documented. I had a great time in the 70ties (and decades after).
It has been busy weeks with many weird moments. Most of them positive. Good vibes from many people and activities. I forgot the few who tried to spoil this. Don’t let them influence this nice time. Change is coming up, moving into the right direction, but today too tired for writing, so here (since a long time) some pictures:
First the surrounding hills of my now whereabout. The forest became devastating. Its an eucalyptus plantation, not really ‘natural forest’. After 6/7 years the trees are cut (industrial use for pulp/paper/firewood..). Last year most of the forest was cut. Here pictures how it still looked last week. Lots of rubbish (the workers don’t clean), death burned pine trees sticking out. Devastating scenery. The fresh green are young ferns covering up some of the mess.
If you look well you see where I stay, the red-roof house in (about) the middle of both pictures.
And this is Sedi, the dog….
And me in the backstage of Tavastia club, Helsinki last February, making the ‘Serbian’ sign! (tanx Alice)
And here the church of Gol, Norway
Why?….Don’t know…. just fun and a nice building….
And, oh yeah….I NEVER GIVE UP !!!!!
There are reactions on my writings. Sometimes someone drops an email. Lesser, but still ok, a note in the guestbook. The emails vary. Some sent additional info about articles, others write serious comments, sometimes (barely) I get a stupid remark. I do read and reply all emails (if not spam). Incidentally this progresses in an email conversation (never lasting long). Last months I had a couple ‘weird’ short term mail contacts. Its strange how ‘understanding’ can come across, especially after reacting on my website. The Limbabwe pages are my private ‘open book’. My ‘style’ varies but is recognizable. Its not a gimmick, although sometimes I do put down one. But thats the freedom I have purchasing this space and do with it whatever I want. Ofcourse, this is also entertaining, otherwise it wouldn’t be public. On the end make from it what ever you want, see, read, hear or understand from it. That responsibility is with you, not me, even if I triggered it by expressing myself.
Today an email came in and broke. Dropped so hard in my mailbox, it slid down the screen, rolled over the table and despite quick catching attempt it slipped my hand landing on the floor in thousand pieces. Desperate I crawled around trying to figure out who the sender was. Useless, the damage was devastating. The old wooden floor, suffering decades of sweeping, heating, feet and tricycling showed its wrinkles of age by many cracks, bits and pieces disappeared in. An uncomfortable feeling arose inside me. What to do now? Maybe it was a very important email. I can’t even ask for a re-send. Who do I blame for it? The server? The mail program? The computer?
Confused I sat down. This is a complicated issue never discussed before. Did this happen to others also? Curious I typed logic search-terms in my browser : ‘broken email’, ‘destructive mail delivery’, ’email falls on floor’,…. Many pages, but non directly relating my event. Am I the first one?
On the bicycle to the library. Maybe some books, written rapports, letter conversations, magazines or news paper give some info. Until closing time nothing. Confused and dissolute I came home. What to do now? I asked myself looking at the mess on the floor. In the kitchen I looked for the broom. Then suddenly an idea! Let me make a picture of it. This looks like art! Suddenly it all became clear! I am the first ‘broken email’ artist in the world! Expositions in famous galleries! world tours over famous museums! Louvre, Rijks, Warhol, Tate…. Every millionaire wants to pay lots of money to have an original ‘broken email’ from Matski on the wall! So here it is, the first ‘broken email’ picture ever. Ofcourse this is just a copy in low bit quality. Please make an offer for obtaining an original:
‘Broken Email’ by Matski, April 2014
Busy, busy, busy….Ukraine or not? I am suppose to travel with PTV3 to the Ukraine in 3 weeks for a performance. We try to make a band decision if we go or not taking the unstable situation at this moment in consideration. Its a going on discussion, the opinions vary, but also the situation in the Ukraine changes rapidly. I am for going. In times like this the normal people who prefer peace and usual daily life, need support more than ever, even if its ‘just’ a cultural event, to forget the misery for an hour or two.
PANDEMONIUM LIVE IN BABYLON, HENGELO (NL) FEBRUARY 18, 1984.
For the second time in a short period Vincent from France surprises me with a live recording from Pandemonium. This time its a concert on 18 February 1984 in Babylon, Hengelo, The Netherlands.
This recording triggered memories. I remember Babylon very well. Besides Pandemonium performing there very often, with a group punkrockers from Venlo we visited Babylon to see shows plus I sometimes went there with the PA (sound equipment) to service concerts. These drives where crazy. PA’s were big boxes in those days, never fitting a van, so I rented a small truck. After the PA was loaded there was sufficient space left for lots more and often crazy local punks decided to hop along in the back for the ride (and gig). It was a crazy time doing lots of foolish wild things I would never agree with getting older (wiser?). The youngsters in the cargo trailer sat on top of the equipment with door locked for a 2 to 3 hour drive, not able to get out until I came to open the door from the outside. Communication with the front cabin was not possible. In the cabin was only room for two! A kid that helped me out with the job and me. I remember not having a driving licence yet, but the help did. Often though he got so drunk that I drove home (without licence + people in the cargo trailer!!!!!). Crazy we were, but it was mostly that dusky time in the night/early morning where the roads were empty and cops having coffee breaks. I must have done some complete up and down drives too. At Babylon, backing up the truck in the alley towards loading door, I always demolished the rain-pipe (yes Guus, sorry, it was me….) disappearing in a blind corner of the mirror.
Guus was the local promoter, or more official ‘social worker’. All rockclubs in The Netherlands are actually social centres. People working there are on paper social workers. Guus was a great guy, easy with everything and supporting the local punk rock scene. More often he came to Venlo with some Hengelo punks visiting gigs in OOC/Bauplatz. It was the days that hardcore-punk was at its top in Europe. The often (small) venues (social centres or squats) where packed. Impossible to do nowadays. Ooc/Bauplatz had a max capacity of 300 divided over 2 rooms, bar and concert space. The place would be so full its barely possible to walk. Hardcore gigs attracted sometimes over 500 visitors. If I think about all the risk we took (we organized them – a group of volunteers-). I am still amazed nothing too serious went wrong, although it once did, but lucky the damage wasn’t to big. That was during a MDC gig where an idiot in the crowd pulled a knife. Panic all over, everybody wanted to go out at the same time. Impossible in a room with an official capacity of 200, holding over 350 people, and only two small doors out. I am still surprised just one or two people got little hurt (nothing to serious). On another over sold hardcore gig I ran around in the evening opening all doors and windows just for the sake of safety. Who cares some get in for free. All tickets are sold anyway!
Ok, time for the recording. I got the file dated 24-6-1984, but the gig was for sure on 18-2-1984. Online you might come across files of a Pandemonium gig in Hengelo 24-6-1984, that is this same gig you can download below. I am sure it was on February 18. Behind Rowdy (drums) hangs the Crucifix backdrop plus on the recordings Der Peter mentions that they are the next band performing. In their short existence Crucifix toured Europe only once, that was in that period. The February date is also mentioned on the ‘Babylon Revival’ site.
It was a wild night with many drunk punkrockers in the audience having obviously a good time. In the long breaks between the songs you hear them screaming and singing. They force Pandemonium to play the Toten Hosen (German punkrock band) classic ‘Bommelunder’, what they do on the end.
Online I found a picture of the gig:
There are many Germans in the audience. Its a pity if you don’t understand German or Dutch. Best part of this recording is the screaming, joking and singing inbetween the songs. Often individuals from the audience use the leadsingers mic. On the end of the recording, just before ‘Bommelunder’ I even hear myself talking.
Pandemonium, probably aware of the wild rousing audience ready for good night must have thought best is to start with a few classic hits. ‘Wir Fahren Gegen Nazi’s’ is the opening song, very uncommon for them, and they even repeat it twice more in this set.
The concert is originally recorded on a cassette tape. You can hear that clearly at the beginning, its that typical fluttering sound older worn-out tapes have in the first few inches. I am sure I recorded this tape. Its a recording from FOH (mixing desk) and I was the engineer plus the tape starts a bit in the first song. Thats so typical me. Until today I always forget to start recordings just before the concert takes of. Mostly after few seconds (or minutes) I realize to press the button. What ever happened to the tape then, I don’t know. Mostly I give recordings to the performers. Miraculous, after 30 years the recording returns.
I got the file with every song split individually. I thought the atmosphere of this particular concert comes out much better if it is one flowing gig, so its edited in one long mp3. No songlist, takes me to much figuring this out. Here the download:
PANDEMONIUM ‘Live In Babylon, Hengelo (NL) February 18, 1984
01) Complete gig
Clicking the link opens a new page. Click on the text below zip file to download.
Alphorn Experience live on SHINAFEST 5th edition. 11/12/13 September.
Location: Idrija, Slovenia. Free festival! Book now travel and accommodation @ Idrija Tourism http://www.idrija-tourism.com/en , or drop me a mail
Yes, the PTV3 Ukraine gig in Kharkiv on May 28 is cancelled. Not due to the political situation there at the moment, but because of logistics. You probably don’t believe this, but the band really wanted to perform this gig (and so did I). Problem is its difficult getting there reasonable travelling and fitting our schedule. Lots of flights are cancelled, other means of transport blow up our tour schedule. Sorry, next time. PTV3 will perform Ukraine one day!
Anyway, its time for a ‘cute’ factor on Limbabwe. I never do the ‘cute’, but hey…for ones:
Few weeks ago a bird built a nest on a broom that was standing upside down in the tool-basement (the door is always open). Nice cosy spot, dry out of the wind and unreachable for the cats. The bird is a bit nervous with me walking in and out, but got used a bit. Its dark and difficult making pictures, but here the nest.
You can clearly see her tail. When she was gone for a moment, I looked inside; 3 little egs. And now, few weeks later here the result:
Tour memories can wait. Its time for some wining. Probably some readers here noticed this before. The term ‘cheap is expensive’ became more true than ever. Mass produced ‘throw away’ products are not only expensive on long term but also destroy our environment. zfh[ 0=m (the cat just wrote this, tanx for your contribution). Anyway, there is for example this extreme expensive airline Ryan Air. How long do people still fall for their ‘cheap ticket’ lie. Besides adding additional costs for luggage and such, their planes take of, and land on logistically impossible places and times in the middle of nowhere. Sure, you can take airport transport to the nearest normal public transport terminals (trains/buses) but that adds again extra cost to your travel, plus these airlines fly either extreme early morning or late evening, when transport is hardly available. Booking hotel room, while waiting the night over for connection, adds again more costs. Often I realize flying with Ryan Air results in higher travel expenses compared with ‘real’ airline tickets departing normal times from main airports. Believe me, try it. I don’t look on Ryan Air pages any more. Can’t afford this expensive airline. Anyway, their flights are very uncomfortable selling shows, from lottery to overpriced waters. Not very relax. I prefer my cheaper KLM/Lufthansa/SAS/TAP/BA/…. ticket, comes with nice service, leg room, no extra costs and a free drink.Another cheap ‘scam’ I got exposed to is the ‘Chinese store’. Not the one with Asian food, but another, selling all kinda crap, from forks to radio’s. Let me tell you first that I live in the ‘hinterland’. Besides local grocery (barely offering something) there are no stores here (oops, not true, few stores that sell an unidentified chaos of products. From tools to cans with chick peas. But these stores only have what farmers need). So if I need something simple ‘modern live’ daily item, my only option is the Chinese, unless I drive 50km to nearest town offering decent choice. So here the issue. The computer mouse I use gave up, need a new one. I have 2 options: drive 50km or Chinese store. A mouse costs around Euro 5. Driving 100 (up and back) I thought is exaggerating for such an item. Lets gamble the local Chinese. There was one for Euro 5, it worked 11 days! Pissed of I smashed the cheap crap. The mouse is a preference, I can still use the touch-pad. A week or so later I had to be in the 50km near town anyway at a home improvement store. On the other side of the parking I saw a major supermarket. Lets give it a try I thought. Supermarkets like this have a big non-food section. Yep, choice out of several computer mice. I purchased one for Euro 4,70 (30 cents cheaper than the Chinese). It still works!The masses will stay the masses especially in todays enormous population. The group of idiots falling for the tricks of expensive ‘cheap’ companies will stay large, but on the other hand I notice a grow of ‘companions’ ignoring ‘cheap’. Spread the message, and let us force the industry to create a quality, safe and care-taking product. (can we trust cheap food……)
Has been a while ago, my latest article. Got a very hectic 3 weeks behind me. Moving back to Idrija (Slovenia) while also on tour with PTV3 in Russia. Lots of work, packing, travelling, settling, unpacking, repairing (the new/old house) etc… No time for writing, but things are easing out, so expect articles regularly.
The move was intense. Had to leave a few good friends (see the video on top) and remains of Tomas (the dog). After his passing I buried him on his most favourite spot, a warm, but dry plaque of sand on top of the hill at the estate entrance. From there he often overview and guarded. A week before I left Tomas gave me his farewell present. On this spot where normally nothing grows suddenly appeared a beautiful flower bouquet, right on the edge of his grave. Tanx Tomas, you where a special dog, I will never forget you:
Idrija is more my home than the hinterland of Portugal. Its good to be back.
The Russian PTV3 dates where great. Nice gigs, good audience, great atmosphere. More dates in September (see below the video). Come and join the party of PTV3 live.
Busy and on the road for a week working gigs with Kylesa. Great rock band. Come and see. Here the dates I will be with them:
28.06.14 Belgium Dessel Graspop w/o Lazer/Wulf
29.06.14 Germany Wiesbaden Schlachthof
30.06.14 Germany München Strom
01.07.14 Italy Pisa The Jungle
02.07.14 Italy Bologna Freakout Club
03.07.14 Slovenia Ljubljana Gala Hala
04.07.14 Crotia Rijeka Delta Summer Street Session
Check for further more dates online, the tour goes on after Rijeka, but without me!
Soon more posting. I will find the time….
Not even gonna wine about ‘time’. Yep, I am still alive. Had some ‘informing’ mails over the weekend about ….. about….. oh well, about. Shinafest: THE BEST FESTIVAL IN THE WORLD! This year booked and confirmed: Alphorn Experience’, Borut Kržišnik, Partija, Matej Ocepek, Dallas Kingston Kollektor. Plus ‘Zelo Balatos‘, the heaviest and hardest ‘crème’ of Slovenian noise scene, crammed in a 60 minute jam. More names will be added! Keep checkin’ : www.shinafest.com. And yes, I will keep on adding more stupid video’s about Idrija and Slovenia on top. If you are/where never here, you never been anywhere!
SHINAFEST 2014 PRESENTS:
Thursday September 11, 19.00, IDRIJA, SLOVENIA
Intensity, diversity and exciting changes are the main characteristics of his music. The key moment in his musical stories is not only emphasising contrasts but rather building bridges between them. Confronting the differences till they dance or burn together. Avant-garde or popular, tonality or atonality, genre or non-genre, underground or academic, program or abstract music, written score or improvisation – these are the extremes between which he moves easily. Using a polyglot musical language the composer weaves a thread through all these contrasts and introduces them to us with inspiring optimism.
Borut Krzisnik (1961, Zagreb) is a Slovenian composer of contemporary music, based in Ljubljana. Born into a family of diplomats, he moved frequently during his childhood, both within former Yugoslavia and abroad, before finally settling in Ljubljana. Living among different nationalities and experiencing different mentalities helped form his understanding of diversity, something which certainly contributed to his broad approach to music. He played piano as a child, eventually switching to guitar and building up his unique way of composing. He graduated in Psychology from the University of Ljubljana, but devoted himself to music.He released seven albums and wrote the score for Peter Greenaway’s film trilogy, Tulse Luper Suitcases and its integral version A Life in Suitcases.
Kržišnik colaborated world wide with many directors for dances, films and other visual movements. Recently, apart from his albums, he devoted himself to contemporary dance projects. He colaborated with Thomas Noon, Ana Lujan Sanchez, Josh Beamish, Virpi Pahkinen and Gyula Berger.
Borut Krzisnik was also the initiator and a member of DATA DIRECT, a group that united Slovenian, Italian and Yugoslav musicians who stem from various musical areas: symphonic orchestra, ethereal folk music of the Balkans, improvised jazz, “avant-garde rock”, noise etc. They were using a great variety of instruments, sensibilities and methodologies which led to strong, almost visual experiences.
For a while not much writing. Not in ‘the mood’, but I will post regularly tour updates, Shina – and other – news and such….
Free Music US tour:
Sat. Sept 13 – Port Townsend
Sun. Sept 14 – Tacoma
Tues. Sept 16 – Eugene/Ashland?
Wed-Thurs. Sept 17-18 Chico
Fri. Sept 19 – SF
Sat-Sun. Sept 20-21 Aptos
Mon-Tues. Sept 22-23 Carmel/Big Sur
Wed- Sat. Sept 24-27 SF/Mt. Tam
Follow your ears and/or nose figuring out where in town they are.
Man, do I feel for writing a post just to get some of my mind, but ….., next time. Tomorrow? Anyway, The Clash London Calling was (is) a great album. Still got it inmy collection (someone denied the other day)
And so was their first album (I am playing right now)
Was at a Ferus Mustafov gig the other day. Something very different then Clash, but regulars on these pages know about my ‘variable’ taste. Amazing and impressive, Ferus still can do it. Its a relief enjoying a live performance of a great musicians.
SHINAFEST 2014 COMPLETE PROGRAM:
SHINAFEST 2014. 5th EDITION! 11/12/13 SEPTEMBER
The program of Shinafest’s 5th edition is completed. 5, an anniversary figure? Every Shinafest is a celebration. This year the festival is going to be smashing! Alphorns and noise jams, gambling and magic….. and …….
Thursday 11 September:
18.45: Echoing alphorn sounds (CH) played by the Berner (Switzerland) quartet ‘Alphorn Experience’, howl through the Idrian valley announcing the opening of Shinafest 5.
19.00: Borut Kržišnik (SLO) http://www.borutkrzisnik.si/
early member of legendary Slovenian bands like Laibach and Borghesia, nowadays one of the most prominent Slovenian composers gives an insight into work methods and creative process creating compositions.
LOCATION: MUSIC SCHOOL / CASTLE GEWERKNEG
21.00: Partija/The Game (SLO). http://vimeo.com/76682464
A project of Slovenian sound explorers plus visuals affected by the randomness of a game.
LOCATION: BUSSTATION WAITING-ROOM
Friday 12 September:
20.00: Alphorn Experience (CH). http://www.mikemaurer.ch/alphorn/experience
Quartet of Alphorn players from Switzerland pushing forward the boundaries of traditional instruments.
LOCATION: MESTNI TRG (MAIN SQUARE)
21.00: Matej Ocepek (SLO). http://www.matejocepek.si
A special kind of audio-visual performance, where sounds feed the visuals and vice versa with the performer clamped inbetween
LOCATION: MESTNI TRG (MAIN SQUARE)
23.00: Shina late night with Rok Šinkovec Time to let it all sink with a drink and easy music…
LOCATION: BAR KAVARNA
Saturday, 13 September:
19.00: Zelo Balatos (SLO)
A meeting of the heaviest and hardest ‘crème’ of Slovenian noise scene. Goal is to reach unity in sound by showing respect for, and allowing space to, eachother in a 60 minute jam.
LOCATION: PRI ZOBOTU (At Zobo’s)
21.00: Dallas Kingston Kollekter (World). https://www.limbabwe.com/?page_id=44 Wir alle haben dass Gefühl dass war schon mal da. Dass haben vor uns andere versucht, dass hatt nicht funktioniert und warum soll es plötzlich bei uns klappen?
LOCATION: BUS GARAGE
22.00: Bear Bones, Lay Low (Venezuela). http://bearboneslaylow.wordpress.com
An energetic trip through the most warped zones of the cartoon world hidden in your mind.
LOCATION: BUS GARAGE
23.00: Shina late night with Branko Božič
Give your ears some rest in all comfort with a drink
LOCATION: BAR KAVARNA
ALL LOCATIONS ARE IN IDRIJA, SLOVENIA. IF YOU CAN’T FIND THEM, GO TO THE CENTRAL SQUARE (EASY TO FIND) AND ASK IN BAR KAVARNA OR TRY TO FIND SIGNS “SHINAFEST”.
MORE INFO?: http://www.shinafest.com
Usually I don’t write obituaries, but….
Last Thursday, August 28, Fish (Kovačič) passed away. Fish was his nickname. Honestly, until today I still don’t know his full real name, neither why everybody called him Fish.
Probably most of my blog readers don’t know Fish. Let me tell you the story.
Fish was a average normal person here in town (Idrija, Slovenia). He never did something outstanding that would draw attention of the masses. No golden medals or no. 1 scores on the billboard chards. Fish made his money by running a small convenience store. Kinda ‘corner-store’, where you can buy surviving necessaries like food, cigarettes and wine. All these stores disappeared here, eaten by supermarkets. But Fish survived for one simple reason, his store was next to the retirement home.
Fish was also a musician. He played drums. If he ever had ambitions, I don’t know. He gave the impression performing this as a hobby. Long time ago, before I moved into this town (before 1999) Fish managed to obtain an abandoned space behind a local theatre. He isolated it and moved his drums in. No connecting neighbours and across the road the health centre, closed after 6pm. A good spot to practice his playing disturbing nobody. Because he did not use the space all the time other musicians could practice there too. Tanx to Fish ‘Rudniska’ (the name of the rehearsal space) became the home of many local bands and, like so many rehearsing spaces, a hang out of locals, mostly sharing interest in music. Rudniska developed a scene. Out of this scene came f.e. The System. They rehearsed and recorded all their cd’s there. Even the latest release of Aikula is recorded in Rutniska. So Fish did something outstanding! Rudniska developed through time into a respectable rehearsing room with some recording equipment, last years mainly under the responsibility of his son, who (ofcourse) is also called Fish (young Fish).
Fish was not one of my ‘close’ acquaintances in the town. I knew him because I bought sometimes wine in his store, and through his son, who played drums in The System. Incidentally we crossed path on the ‘work-floor’, me being the technician, he playing drums in the ‘weekend’ band. Fish was an easy person. Always happy and often joking. He played drums with a lot of enthusiasm. Another, more personal, reason why I give attention on Fish’s passing is that he made me move back to Idrija. I was living in Portugal (barely 3 years) but stayed in connection with Idrija (Shinafest). I visited Idrija at least twice a year. On one of these visits I walked on the Mestni Trg and met Fish. Very happy and full enthusiasm he pulled a picture out of his pocket. “Look Mat, I just found this picture from when I was 17 with my first girlfriend”. Back in Portugal (I lived in a boring, desolated, middle of nowhere depressive part, where nobody in town walks the streets) I often thought about this encounter with Fish. On a certain point I said to myself “Fuck this, it will take centuries before someone here will show me a picture with his first girlfriend”, and started preparations moving back. I never had the chance to tell Fish that he triggered my return.
Fish had the disease that takes so many of us away. He was not the youngest, but still his passing was unexpected and before his time. It created a depressive atmosphere hanging like fog in town for a day. Last night we tried to drink this away.
Living modest, there is almost nothing to find on the internet of Fish. Nowhere mentioned, no pictures. This is the best I could find:
With such a positive and happy character like Fish had, he must have ‘helped’ more people than he (and we all) realize. Fish deserves a gold medal, but its to late. All I can do is this post, a spot on the Limbabwe pages postponing oblivion.
Free Music! Stop America!
We are one week away from the 2014 USA West Coast Musical Detour.
What’s Free Music! Stop America!?
“FREE MUSIC! STOP AMERICA! are two organizing principles around which individuals and groups can practice and enact various forms of freedom without mediation by political systems, markets, and money. FREE MUSIC! is an international d.i.y. expression of those for whom the act of gathering, collaborating, and having fun is more important than the product being sold, or the points being made.
FREE MUSIC! invites all to jump in and create; people from all origins, working in all mediums, to ‘start where you are, use what you have, do what you want!’. by welcoming different experiences and different aesthetics, we make the sound that reconciles harmony and dissonance. by engaging people socially and creatively without the need for money or the music industry, we demonstrate a revolutionary form of life that doesn’t require capitalism or control from above.
talking/listening,teaching/learning, practicing/creating, resisting/partying are all done at the same time. if you are interested in freeing music and/or stopping america, you can start with friends and strangers in your community, or by yourself inside your own head!
MUSIC IS THE SOUND OF LIFE!”
We are blending music, spirituality and activism into new shapes and sounds that will support and heal us all. We’ll have musical toys, shakers, drums, etc., BRING YOUR INSTRUMENTS so all can join in making music together.
Everyone is invited to join in all Free Music! Stop America! travels and jams. Tell your friends.
Sat. Sept 13 – Port Townsend; Jam with Artis – Spoonman and friends
Sun. Sept 14 – Tacoma; Jam with Art and family/friends on the front porch or the streets of Tacoma
Mon. Sept 15 – Ranier? St. Helen’s? Hike a mountain and back to Portland
Tues. Sept 16 – Ashland; Jam with the Bee Goddesses and friends of sacred beekeeping http://www.collegeofthemelissae.com/
Wed-Thurs. Sept 17-18 Chico; Jam with Tom and Susan, friends and neighbors
Fri. Sept 19 – SF; Music in the City or East Bay
Sat-Sun. Sept 20-21 Aptos; Jam at Cory’s with friends and neighbors
Mon-Tues. Sept 22-23 Carmel/Point Lobos; Beach walk and Jam with Tracy & friends. Hike Pt. Lobos/California Condor viewing http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=25208)
Wed- Sat. Sept 24-27 SF; Jam with family & friends indoors and out. Beach Bonfire Picnic Jam,
Friday 26 – Ocean Beach
Sun. Sept 28 Bye Bye. Drive back to Portland
The kitchen has always been the best surrounding for creative inspirations.
DALLAS KINGSTON KOLLEKTOR on Shinafest now saturday
18.45: Alphorn Experience.
19.00: Borut Kržišnik
20.00: Alphorn Experience.
21.00: Matej Ocepek:
23.00: Shina late night with Rok Šinkovec
19.00: Noise Meeting.
21.00: Dallas Kingston Kollekter.
22.00: Bear Bones Lay Low
23.00: Shina late night with Branko Božič
Here we go . . . .
Last September we were playing with Shinafest in Slovenia – Shout out to Matski, Zoran, Tilen, Jan and friends in Idrija. Shinafest is happening NOW! Tune in and plan to be there next time.
Free Music! Stop America! is setting off tomorrow for Port Townsend and a jam on the sea wall about 3pm. You may hear us before you see us . . . so come on down and jam.
Free Music! – destination Port Townsend ( but first Indian buffet lunch in Olympia) ok – on to the waterfront and an awesome jam with Spoon Man. Sidewalk artists created a colorful tapestry surrounding us and young and old joined us to celebrate the day.
One more pic – mural on the indian place in olympia
Shinafest is over. THE GREATEST SMALLEST FESTIVAL ON EARTH!
WHERE WERE YOU?
Live moves on. On the road with PTV3. See dates on the frontpage. Come and check it out
Tacoma Washington ,,,,,,,,,
Free Music at the sea wall. Another beautiful day with beautiful people and free music. =A new sound with Art on keys and another day of learning listening teaching learning – that’s what its all about,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
Thanks to Art and family for the fun, food and music. More jams soon.
Indian buffet lunch in Olympia) ok – on to the waterfront and an awesome jam with ArtisThe Spoonman. Sidewalk artists created a colorful tapestry surrounding us and young and old joined us to celebrate the day.
Thanks to Leslie and Alec for an awesome time! They have their own lovely peace of heaven and we will be back soon.
Here we go . . . .
Last September we were playing with Shinafest in Slovenia – Shout out to Matski, Zoran, Tilen, Jan and friends in Idrija. Shinafest is happening NOW! Tune in and plan to be there next time.
Free Music! Stop America! is setting off tomorrow for Port Townsend and a jam on the sea wall about 3pm. You may hear us before you see us . . . so come on down and jam.
Keep rocking and keep in touch. . .
Free Music takes on Mt Ranier! Sunny skies greeted us as we started our hikes from the Paradise visitor center. The views are spectacular and friendly marmots popped up to greet us as we made our way up above the tree line to our lunch spot by the glaciers. Back at the base we enjoyed a feast before heading back to Portland…but we’re back on the road tomorrow!
Free music and the bee goddesses. ..
Ashland Oregon home of the sacred temple of beekeeping. ( but first a stop for Indian buffet in Eugene!)
Free music celebrated the bees and thier keepers in the apple garden with the bear goddess and the priestesses who sang and danced with us. ..later we took to the streets jamming with local performers in the city square late into the night.
Free Music Chico edition….
Free Music was embraced by a sculpture of giant hands at the Chico municipal building just off the main square. It seemed like everyone walking by was carrying a guitar. We hijacked some local jammers on their way to a gig and kids and parents joined in to make a wild rhythm section. Then a musical journey to north Africa with Soloman who danced with some amazing traditional Ethiopian moves. A huge drum tried to pass by but was detoured by the sights and sounds and soon the boom resonated in time to the Free Music beat. More travelers continued to join us – singing, dancing, shaking, rattling and rolling into the night.
free music hit the streets of San Francisco – playing in the Haight at the entrance to Golden Gate Park. Derrick appeared out of the fog toting a keyboard and we got him hooked in to our mobile rig for some unique percussive rhythms. The mayor and his associate worked out on a huge sidewalk art piece and a traveling drummer sat in on the flat kit. Friends old and new stopped to jam. As the sun set and the temperature dropped we called it a night and loaded up the little red wagon.
Free music Santa Cruz
The kids ruled in SC! With a bas trio and dueling drummers in the living room the guitars were outmatched for once. The youngsters surprised us all when held down the beat on some deliciously funky tunes while the adults tried to hang on.
great weekend with boogie boarding, beachwalks, great food, music, games and fun! My first time in a wet suit!
Free Music: Carmel, Point Lobos, Big Sur
An amazing couple of days on the California coast. Beach walk in Carmel last evening then we wandered down the street for a private back porch Free Music celebration of life with the best of friends. Today hiking and photography at Point Lobos and Big Sur.
Thanks to all our hosts for the FMSA West Coast Detour! We love and appreciate your massive contributions to our musical circus. Thanks to all who joined in the fun to create new sounds and ideas for how to make music a community event at BART stations, parks, sidewalks in front of banks, mountain tops, living rooms, bee goddess islands, town squares, inside giant hands, and outside in windstorms. Thanks to Paul for the blogs!
Back in Portland and on to p:ear jam tonight, http://pearmentor.org/.
Keep rockin’ people!
Soon a post again but first this:
THE GREATEST SMALLEST FESTIVAL IN THE WORLD
AND YOU MISSED IT !?
SEE PAGE http://www.shinafest.com/shinafest-2014/ HOW IT WAS, and
DON’T MISS IT NEXT YEAR
SHINAFEST 2015: SEPTEMBER 10/11/12
Shinafest 2014 gallery added on this Limbabwe site. Click on ‘Image Gallery’ in the main menu on your right.
Shinafest originally started by Gregor Zupancic (Kud Avgust) and Matski (Limbabwe).
Matski based in Idrija for a while. In this period Gregor approached Matski in a bar (Kavarna) after visiting the Limbabwe site. He was impressed by Test Dept and found out that Matski worked for them in the 80ties. The conversation quickly moved towards performances and having a gig with Dallas Kingston Kollektor (Gregor organized gigs). Few drinks later the gig idea turned into a yearly festival. That year, 2010, Shinafest was a fact. The first year the festival was realized without a budget. From then it is supported by the Municipal of Idrija and Ministery of Culture Slovenia.
After few years Tilen joint giving support towards publicity and promotion.
Goal is to present a variation of artists/events/performances/documentations pushing usual limits.The word ‘experimental’ is given by language limited choice attempting defining (labelling?) the festival, leaving the interpretation to everybody individual.
Its time for a post again. A kinda real one…. Didn’t do much writing last months. Mainly posting events and such. Its very busy and often I am too tired. ‘Live is sucking me dry’ as Genesis (PTV3) would say. A pro po, PTV3. Yep, had a short fun tour with them , uhhh…almost one month ago… Anyway, for a change I took some pictures. Not the usual you can expect from ‘bands on stage’, but ‘weird’ things. Bucharest, around the corner of the hotel. Look at the electricity wiring chaos.
Funny moment during the soundcheck in Brussels. The db meter (decibel loudness in venue) goes into red while on 69.7 db. Max is 102! Interesting, 69 db is about a normal speaking voice volume. O well, it is an Acer computers with Microflop program. The worst combination in the world.
The fucked up promoter Ruslan
All in the year 2014.
Only the information concerning subject are copied and paste from relevant mails
XXXXX means scratched out info for privacy reason.
After already many mails and one cancellation due to logistics:
July 23 9.22pm I suggest to Ruslan new Ukraine dates for PTV3:
“I suggest following schedule, hopefully possible from your side:
Tuesday 2: Depart NY
Wednesday 3: Arrival Kiev, rest
Thursday 4: Kiev, gig
Friday 5: Travel to Kharkov
Saturday 6: Kharkov, gig
Sunday 7: Travel to Kiev
Monday 8: Depart Kiev back to NY”
July 23 9.48pm . Ruslan reacts (and confirms) on my proposal for the new dates in the
“I would like to suggest to go that way with our shows:
I’ll begin the promo of shows from next week, for example. if we’ll see that Ukrainian
situation won’t stabilize, we’ll return to discus an opportunity of cancellation of Ukrainian
tour and I’ll anounce about cancelation both shows. If we’ll take a proof of stabilization our
situation till the last week of September, I’ll bok fligths and the band will go to Ukraine
What could you tell me about this suggestion?”
Here he writes and suggests to book flights end of September!
Few minutes later, for getting a clear confirmation, I write to Ruslan at 9.54pm:
“Last week of September 100% confirmation fine. Do you agree with the schedule Kiev Dec 4, Kharkov Dec 6?”
He prompt replies: “yes”
July 27 9.38pm. I write to Ruslan:
“Ok, we can move on with the plan. You can start announcing and selling tickets.
Kiev, December 4
Kharkov, December 6
Purchase of air tickets end September.
Is it possible payment is done in $ instead of Euro? We talk about apprx $ XXXXXX for both
Do you need a contract?
Can you wire an advance (usually 50%)? I can supply an invoice.
If yes, please mail me official details I should address the contract/invoice with.”
August 12 10.41 Ruslan replies:
“Yes, those dates are confirmed. yes, the payment in $ is possible. Yes I need contract for
payment via bankwire:
Business name: FOP Chyzhychenko Ruslan Volodymyrovich
tax number: 2661515392
address: 2, Chychybabin str., Kharkiv, Ukraine, 61058″
On August 18 I email Ruslan the contract and invoice.
On October 2 I email Ruslan info about the 3 different flight requests (JFK-Kiev,
XXXX leaving earlier to Europe, my return from Slovenia). It is after the ‘ticket
purchase’ deadline, September!
On October 6 I remind Ruslan on my mail of October 2. Production must start. Two
months before is a normal period to start the production and PTV3 member XXXX
sends me mails asking about his ticket, he leaves earlier to Europe, in November (within one month).
October 7. Online with Skype I sent Ruslan a message with a request to react on my
mail. He replies (on Skype chat) few hours later, “you get an email tonight”.
October 9 8.20am I again write Ruslan with the request to react and express my concern
” If I don’t hear from you today I will have doubts if the Ukraine gigs are actually
Later that day, 3.29pm Ruslan reacts mainly copy and pasting out of my mail and
asking information about issues that are already clearly explained in the same mail sent a week earlier by me:
“Flying from and return to New York JFK are:
Will these people fly to Kiev, on Tuesday, Dec, 2nd from JFK?
Will XXXXXXXX fly to Kiev from Zurich or Basel on Dec,3d?
Will you depart to Kiev on December 3 from Triest (Italy) or Ljubljana (Slovenia)? When can
you tell me what point of departing should be?”
Contract signed and attached returned in this same mail.
Same day, 40 minutes later I reply confirming all flight requests (for the second time)
and reminding Ruslan that we are long past the date that tickets are supposed to be
Few hours later I email him again suggesting in-expensive flights (LuftHansa) that
would be ideal for all
Ruslan replies quickly: “I’ve understood everything with flights, will begin to book them
tomorrow and will send you all ways that I’ll like.” In the same mail he drops the remark: “I care about Genesis and other artists…”
Clearly no action regarding purchasing a ticket has been taken. He still has to come up
with a suggestion…’tomorrow’.
This was the third time Ruslan promise me a clear date when he will react…
October 15 7.12 Ruslan comes with flight proposals. JFK-Kiev what looks ok, for XXX
from JFK to Dusseldorf with Air Berlin departing on November 9. Only mistake is that Ruslan thought I would fly back to NY too. I inform him about this mistake and
propose a flight from/to Trieste.
I inform XXX about his flight, he agrees.
October 17, two days later I realize that the flight from JFK for the band is on
December 2, departing shortly after midnight arriving the same day. A day too early.
Ideal if this same flight would be on the 3rd. I inform Ruslan about this by email.
On 20 October (5 days after his mail of flight proposals, 20 days after the flights should have been purchased) still no reactions from Ruslan. I sent him an email “Just want to see if all my messages got through regarding the flights and the overseen mistakes (my flight plus one day to early from NY). Can you inform me about the status?”
Ruslan reacts within 60 minutes: “Yes, Matski – everything is fine. will send you tickets in
the nearest days”.
October 27 (one week and ‘nearest days’ later) I sent Ruslan mail on which he replies
same day answering after every paragraph:
“What is the status of the other flights? You informed me that tickets supposed be sent to me last days. – All tickets already booked exept tickets Kharkov-JFK I’ll send my suggestion about this flights a little bit later today and will send you tickets after your confirmation of flight”
I would also like to remind you that we agreed the $ XXXXX advance to be wired before
November 1, what will be in a few days. Attached again the invoice with necessary bank info. – Yes, I’ll send you the advance intil Friday.
October 28 Ruslan emails new flight proposals JFK-Kiev with Lufthansa with change
over in Germany, and also proposes my return ticket.
The same day I confirm these flights are ok.
November 4 2.29pm Email from Ruslan:
“The money was already sent to you. The procedure of payment was began last Friday.
Please advise me when you’ll get it.
Ticket for XXXX will send you tonight or tomorrow morning, other tickets already booked too and I’ll sent them a little bit later.”
On November 7, two days before XXXX departure, Ruslan sends me XXXX’s ticket. Its
a very different ticket as agreed (with a massive detour over Moscow). I was not
previously approached about this change. The ticket was purchased that same day, last
minute. It was Friday, XXXX leaves Sunday. The last possible working day before he
leaves. Its too late to change the ticket. I feel pulled in a ‘trick’ and send immediately an email to Ruslan:
“its different than agreed??????????????”
Then I call him, but the connection was bad. Still I understood from Ruslan that “he
was not aware of the ticket change, the mistake must have been made with the travel
agent who thought this ticket was better because cheaper”
I also asked him about the advance. Its already one week overtime. If the wire
procedure started there must be bank-papers for proof.
The connection was really bad so we decided to go further by email.
Few minutes later I had an email from him:
“I have the payment order and will send you this one with other tickets Monday-Tuesday
when I’ll back to Kharkov. Other tickets was bought exactly how we’va agreed early! My
travel agent told me that a few minutes ago.
According our crisis legislation we have to buy foreign currency (USD) on banking market and currency purchasing must make after 6 days from the payment order’ making”
Tuesday November 11, 6.31pm. 3 weeks from supposed gigs in the Ukraine. End of
another day Ruslan promising to sent me the tickets and proof of wiring the advance.
Its one hour later in the Ukraine. Everything is closed there, office hours are over. I send Ruslan an email:
“I am on the point contacting Genesis and Eddie to consider cancellation. I lost my trust in this”
Ruslan replies 30 minutes later:
“I’m on the road to Kharkov. will send you tonight!!! Сould you wait for my email a little?”
I wait till its midnight in the Ukraine. Reading above I make a simple calculation:
With this one its 8 times Ruslan made me a promise he didn’t keep.
It becomes very difficult for me to believe action is taking purchasing plane tickets and
XXXXs ticket was last minute and the ‘wrong’ ticket.
I start to feel this as an insult on my professional approach doing this job.
I write an email to XXXX of PTV:
“This is going to be a lesser happy mail. I am on my end with the Ukraine. I don’t know
where to start explaining, but this promoter makes endlessly promises he doesn’t keep. Let me try to make a balance:
– He doesn’t send be proof of bank wire (I assume no money came in yet)
– He says tickets are purchased but doesn’t sent them to me (I think nothing is purchased)
– He bought last minute a ticked for XXXX that was not agreed with, but too late to change.
My fear is that he will do the same trick to us as with XXXX, purchasing last minute tickets that are impossible travel routes and too late to change.
Regarding the shows in the Ukraine (to his credit)
– They are announced and tickets are on sale
– He did invest purchasing a ticket for XXXX
– He did return and sign the contract
His English is bad. Maybe he doesn’t understand everything but I also told him that already and advised to take a translator (person, not program).
Somehow I am stuck and get tired endlessly chasing this guy. Don’t want to cancel the gigs yet. Still I want you to be aware of this situation.
For me the Ukraine trip is already a hell….”
At 1.26am (midnight) I sent Ruslan following mail:
“Well Ruslan. Its already after midnight and again you made another promise you didn’t
keep. Why do you even bother to make these promises all the time when you can’t keep them? You raise false expectations plus I am getting on a point where it becomes very difficult to believe you. I prefer more talking facts, fulfil them and doing honest business instead of wasting time on empty promises.”
This same night I start to look around and send emails to people who where involved
with Ruslan organizing gigs. Replies are not very positive. Here a few quotes copied andpaste (most contacts don’t want to be involved or mentioned, “keep this mail between us”, what I respect):
“the show in Kharkov and Kiev were canceled by Ruslan in 2 days before the concert!”
“he lied again that money was sent prepaid, but in fact they have not seen the money ofcourse.”
“many people can not get money back for canceled concerts but Ruslan almost every 2
weeks announces new shows with new artists. This is crazy.”
“I think this man is a liar. now he is in my black list.”
“he will begin to tell you that has already sent the money but there are some problems
with the banks because of the war in Ukraine. I hear this story for several months and it is certainly lie.”
Meanwhile XXXX of PTV reacts on my mail:
“I read everything over and it sounds terrible. I am so sorry you are having to go through
this. The things he has done ‘to his credit’ seem very small compared to all the stuff he is
fucking up on. No money has been wired as of yet.
If this guy is going to make this trip a hell then it’s not worth doing. Still, you’ve put a lot of work in and come this far…but if this is turning out to be a disaster, then it might be better to pull the plug.
What do you think?”
I reply with ‘waiting a bit and see what happens. We can always simply not go’
At 6.24am I get following email from Ruslan:
“I understand your action with this situation I just came back to Kharkov and I’m ready to send you all information that you’ve asked. But in this situation… anyway, could you advise me about Genesis and Eddie opinion and your decision? What have I do?”
I reply at 8.11am:
“I’ve been talking with other people in the industry of recent gigs you where suppose to
‘organize’. There is a very bad rap going around about you. Few lines out of emails some
people sent me:
“the show in Kharkov and Kiev were canceled by Ruslan in 2 days before the concert!”
“he lied again that money was sent prepaid, but in fact they have not seen the money of
“many people can not get money back for canceled concerts but Ruslan almost every 2 weeks announces new shows with new artists. This is crazy.”
“I think this man is a liar. now he is in my black list.”
“he will begin to tell you that has already sent the money but there are some problems with the banks because of the war in Ukraine. I hear this story for several months and it is certainly lie.”
Obvious in a situation like this if you still want PTV3 to perform these 2 shows in the Ukraine I can only demand full advance payment $ XXXXXXX on the bank account as instructed in the invoice sent earlier, latest on the bank now Friday November 14, and the tickets being sent today.”
I also inform XXXX (PTV3 member), who is already in Europe, about the situation
(and possible cancellation).
At 9.20am I get a reply from Ruslan on my previous email:
“Yes, Matski, this is very sad but those word are almost true.
Yes, I’ve the two shows which was canceled with my fault.
Yes, I’ve got two times when I’ve lied people that I’ve sent them payments.
You want to peceive the tickets and full advance payment, aren’t you? Well, you want that I should be honest with you, here are my reply to you:
I’ve bought different ticket for XXXX because the cost of agreed ticket became very-very high. It’s became more than 20.000,00 UAH then the bought ticket costs almost 9.000,00 UAH. Agreed tickets for other member has already booked but not payed. Booking shield I can send you a little bit later – I have to connect with my tickets agent, she’s out of office yet. You could ask me why I still didn’t pay for these tickets. My answer will be very simple: who can tell me what situation have we got here next day?
You tell me that I lie people. I have three very good lessons with cancelation of shows with artists initiative last spring. Did you forgot this? PTV3 were one of them. I lost a lot of money last spring… By the way, probably one of people who talked with you has cancel their show in Kharkov before a week to the show due the referendum in Crimea! Can you keep in your mind? we have more than 1000 miles between Kharkov and Crimea and show was canceled… and I still can’t refund my money…
Now about the payments situation.
As I meantioned for international payment I have to buy USD on Ukrainain bank market. this act should make on 6th day after the sending of requirement to purchase of foreign currency. I’ve sent the requirement and the payment’ order on 31th of October at the same time I’ve sent XXXXXXXX UAH to buyng USD XXXXXX. But during the time of requirements action the rate of UAH was felt down and USD has became to cost 15,95 UAH per 1 USD. That’s all, I have to begin all procedure from starting. You want that I’ll send you full advance payment until 14th of Nov. I can tell you honour – I can’t do this. First of all, I will have this amount before next Wednesday not early, 2nd reason, I have to go in Kiev tomorrow and meet there one of the my guest band and to work with them one show in Kiev on 14th of Nov and one show in Kharkov on 15th of Nov.
Another one thing that I want to tell you about the PTV3′ Ukrainian tour – as I’ve mentioned I wait for sold out of your shows, that is true, at the same time I’m waiting to loose something beside USD 2000,00 due the currency rate felt. But I’m ready to this because your fans wit for you, because I cost my words and try to keep my reputation too.
I think that this is true brave to work in Ukraine in our conditions.
Well, regarding those people I can tell you only one – I always do my duties sooner or later but always.
So, what could you say?
P.S. This mail was wrote without any dictionary. How many errors are here?)))”
I decided not to respond to any of the issues in this mail of which some are not true, I
can proof. Its useless energy about bulshit. So I write Ruslan one line:
“Ruslan. 8 times you made me a promise you didn’t keep! What do you expect?”
“I’m just waiting for your decision about our situation, that I’ve sent you early. Please
I reply (one line):
“PTV3 will not go on a plane to the Ukraine unless the full payment is received in advance on XXXX’s bank account”
“This is completely clear for me! How much time do I have for the payment? Could you send me XXXXXX account?”
Ok, I am done for a moment and put myself on a break (make some coffee, cook
breakfast (vegan),…) just to calm down. Obvious I can not expect anything from this. In
my mind I am done with the Ukraine and move to other jobs that actually bring me
somewhere instead emailing in circles. Just scroll back on this page and you can read
that I wrote to Ruslan: ‘advance latest Friday November 14’, plus I sent him the invoice with all payment/bank details already twice! Plus….. he wrote to me about starting the wiring process two weeks ago! How can he do that without knowing the bank details? This guy takes serious efforts making a total fool out of himself!
Still I reply:
“Invoice with all payment details sent to you twice already but here attached again.
Friday November 14 at least a proof of wiring (scan paperwork)
Today proof of air-tickets.
Don’t keep on asking things sent earlier. This is emailing in circles. Have no time for this, I am busy.”
The communication stops. No more mails from Ruslan.
XXXX who is in Europe writes me that he is going to arrange his own travel because he doesn’t believe in it anymore.
I reply to do so, I don’t see it happen either.
Next day, Thursday November 13, 3.34pm an email from XXXX PTV3 forwarding me
a mail from another Ukraine promoter “We would like to know the possibility of makingPTV concert in Kiev in 2015. Unfortunately next month show in Ukraine is cancelled by promoter” ???????????????
It seems Ruslan cancelled the gigs without informing the band, but some people in the
Ukraine seem to know. I reply on this mail asking how he knows and what is the reason.
Reply: “Ruslan fucked up with so many projects so there are no trust anymore.
The reason of cancellation – yesterday he announce that he’s closing his company and
cancelling all shows “
Later that day I inform the band the gigs are cancelled and send Ruslan an invoice for
the cancellation costs.
14 November, 6.44am Ruslan replies on my invoice:
got it, Matski, will pay!
Hahaha. The guy has ‘humor’
To be ahead on questions and remarks on above I certainly will get from some people:
– Why didn’t you check this promoter out before dealing with him?
Ruslan was a direct contact from another promoter who I worked with often and is very
reliable. The earlier this year cancelled Ukraine show came through him with Ruslan as local promoter. So the connection was already there and I had no reason for doubt.
I also have the impression that this reliable promoter just very recently found out about
Ruslan fucking up.
– Why did it take so many mails before you where getting in doubt?
I do productions from behind the computer. Its endlessly replying and sending emails for
several performances dealing with at the same time. Its answering incoming mails not realizing how long some issues are dragging on. Sad enough, my experience is that 50% of the promoters react slow or late, Ruslan didn’t stick out. Reading this back I think by myself ‘how could I be so stupid’. But probably I would have the same thought re-reading email conversations of other gigs that did happen. With Ruslan I had many more mails. Most email conversations are not mentioned in this document. They are about other subjects concerning these performances (transport/technical/food/……..). What you read above is not the only conversation between us. I did had my doubts at a certain moment. Early October, when the air tickets where supposed to be purchased and Ruslan did not react. I asked someone for his phone number, just in case…. but another email came in and the conversation moved on.
– For those in a sentimental mood after reading Ruslans mail of 12 November 9.20am here my comment on his bulshit:
Ticket: When Ruslan proposed the ticket it was still very cheap. Of course tickets get
expensive when you purchase them 2 days before the flight. Anyway, the agreement was that no ticket would be purchased without my permission…. he did.
“who can tell me what situation have we got here next day?” Hahaha, in April when the
Ukraine was in a total state of chaos, violence and war, Ruslan was the one who tried to
convince me how safe and stable it was in the Ukraine. Now all a bit calmed down and
violence limited to a clear territory Ruslan uses the ‘unstable’ situation as a defend! Get lost!
PTV3 cancellation in the spring was due to logistics. It was in a tour with confirmed dates
and travels. Due to limited flight options we could not get to and from Kharkov within this schedule.
The gigs in December suppose to come forward to his lost in the spring.
Ruslan should have started the advance payment half September, so it would have arrive
within agreed time and he had no currency problems. Ruslan broke the contract!
Rest of that email are nonsense. Cheap excuses for a fuck up.
I advice everybody not to deal with this guy in whatever kind of business.
Watch out for this guy:
His name: Chyzhychenko Ruslan Volodymyrovich
Address: 2, Chychybabin str., Kharkiv, Ukraine, 61058
Telephone: + 380675785591
Use google translation (or other), or better, drop a message on his page, call him, send mails.
BESIDES ADVERTISING THE CONCERTS, NO OTHER SOLID CONFIRMING PROOF WAS RECEIVED WITH ME OR BAND (solid proof are financial papers, not a contract).
SO FAR RUSLAN NEVER APPROACHED US ABOUT THE CANCELLATION. WE RECEIVED THE NEWS FROM NOT INVOLVED PERSONS AND READ IT ON PUBLIC INTERNET PAGES.
Zwarte Piet (Black Pete)
Instead of generalizing all Dutch people regarding their racist attitude towards ‘Zwarte Piet’ here a few comments from inhabitants of The Netherlands:
“a colonial hangover.”
“a cheerful relic from racist times”
“Zwarte Piet is, indeed, offensive due to the character’s continued role in perpetuating negative stereotypes of black people”
In addition my comment on all defends:
Whatever historic reason you find on the web justifying the skin colour of ‘Zwarte Piet’, remember, these stories are impossible to check on reliability and therefore doubtful truth. Time is mostly the reason, and its the ‘now-time’ we live in.
Users of terms like ‘tradition’ skate on dangerous ice. This term can lead to a quick slide direction ‘nationalism’ slipping towards……’fascism’……. I hope the ice cracks here……….