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…


This one goes out to the one I love to hate

I’m not starting a political blog, but with the days of contemplation approaching, I dare you to think about the following: “Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that ‘my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.’” (Isaac…


Funeral songs

It could be my last act of musical education, the one no one really wants to be confronted with. It would definitely address my annoyance with the way most funerals are being run. I don’t expect happiness and joy, but a bit more tasteful and unusual music would be nice, if nice can ever be…


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…


Rearview mirror

  My son plays electric guitar. I wish my parents would have given me something similar when I was young. All I got was a flute. Maybe I could have gotten more. Not a piano, our house was too small for a piano, but even a saxophone or a drum kit would have been fine….


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…


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