Category: Memories

Play for today (and yesterday too)

The other day I suddenly stopped in my tracks and did nothing for almost 4 minutes. The occasion…my Ipod decided to play an early Cure song, ‘Play for Today’. What’s with this song, why does it make me stop, do nothing and go back in time? The answer essentially is that ‘Play for Today’ defined…


Teenage Wildlife

Friends are like clothes, they are either in or out of fashion, they make you look good or not. As a teenager I defined style as the point where politics and music intersected.The Clash were the only band that mattered and after reading Orwell’s ‘Homage to Catalonia’ I ruled out communism in favour of anarchism…


Living too late (the death of Mark E. Smith)

The artists who defined my youth all die at a frightening pace. It almost feels like routine. Soon my youth will be erased. Soon I will look at the musical landscape and feel nothing. No joy, no hate, no melancholy, no nausea. Losing my youth also means losing originality, chaos, excitement and unpredictability. What’s the…


The loss of my youth

In 1985 I composed my first poem under the friendly light of a lamppost after crashing with my bicycle in the middle of the night. I crashed because I was drunk, the result of spending yet another night at ‘De Boemerang’. It was a bit of a strange place. Mopeds parked outside, routine fights between…


Punk and Puberty in three episodes

Scene 1 – Iggy Pop playbacking ‘Lust for Life’ on Toppop. I was 8 years old. Toppop was our primary channel of (new) music in the 1970’s. I didn’t see at the time how drugged up Iggy was, nor did I notice how paper-thin he was or the sloppy make up on his body. I…


Ghost in the machine

When I was 17 I read Arthur Koestler’s ‘Ghost in the machine’ (1967). I didn’t understand half of the book, but it still left a big impression.Taking the relationship between mind and body as a starting point, Koestler tries to explain why people have a tendency towards (self-)destruction. According to him it all boils down…


The toe of Bob Marley

In this age of instant gratification, here’s the summary: Bob Marley died in 1981 from metastasized cancer. Already in 1977 a melanoma was discovered on one of his  toes. Doctors thought it would be best to amputate the toe, Marley refused. In the end only the melanoma and the tissue around it were removed. Four…


I’m sorry, Paul!

My kids call me a know-it-all. I always deny, of course, like all professional know-it-all’s would. Before you start drawing conclusions, I’m not a mansplainer, I usually stay far away from topics I know nothing about. One of my favourite know-it-all topics is music. In a way I’m happy I hardly see my old friends…


A day in the life

Strolling through the airport departure hall I suddenly hear it, the unmistakable synthesizer sound and that lazy, slightly nasal voice: Enola Gay, Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, 1980. I immediately want to return the favor by humming a contemporary, but then I remember…I’m at Zürich Airport, not Vienna’s, I can’t sing Ultravox here. The flight…


My dear librarian the rainmaker

30 years later I still remember what he looked like: in his late thirties, although he looked much older from my teenage perspective, already bald with only a tiny bit of hair left around his ears, quite tall and serious but friendly brown eyes. Bambi eyes. He had a bit of a hunchback posture, but…


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