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…


Re-make/Re-model

I’m an old soul when it comes to cover versions. I believe musicians should first and foremost be judged on their performance and not on the quality of their songwriting. When Jimi Hendrix covered Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band a couple of days after The Beatles released the album with the same title he…


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…


Rock ‘n roll suicide II

You’re too old to lose it, too young to choose it (Bowie, Rock ‘n Roll suicide) Far more musicians die from natural causes. Far more musicians die from heart attacks and cancer. Far more musicians die from substance abuse. Even knowing that, there is an almost natural bond between suicide and artistry. It is because…


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…


Poptones

One of the funniest music related websites is ‘kiss this guy’. The name of the website refers to a line in Jimi Hendrix’s song ‘Purple Haze’, the part where he sings: ‘scuse me, while I kiss the sky’. Many people apparently hear: ‘excuse me while I kiss this guy…’ Personally, I very much love one…


Frozen in time

When I look in the mirror I automatically Photoshop myself. My brain adjusts for age related imperfections and creates an image of 25 years ago. The same happens when I look at my mother, she is 74 now but I still see her as a 50-year old, literally. I don’t see her true age, my…


Unknown pleasures – never thought that song was so great

Did you know that almost all music players and online streaming services don’t really offer a randomiser? Do you also know why? It is because people can’t deal with randomisation and start sending complaints when the randomiser ‘decides’ to play the same artist twice in a short period of time. I love my randomiser, even…


We’re a happy family

Sitting here in Queens Eating refried beans We’re in all the magazines Gulpin’ down thorazines In April 2001 Joey Ramone died from Lymphoma, not even 50 years old. Five years earlier The Ramones had stopped playing together, but even though that formally ended one of the most influential (punk) rock families, Dee Dee Ramone couldn’t…


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