They say there are no second chances in love. They say perfect memories should be cherished and not revisited. They can say all they want but what would you do if the possibility of meeting a long lost love suddenly presented itself? Would you be wise and stay at home or follow your guts and confront your past..? I dare you…
This is a multi-layered love story with a bad ending. It spans the 15 years between 1989 and 2006 and ends on a cold night in 2006, one of the few times I left a concert disillusioned, knowing something just got broken beyond repair. I finally saw Tuxedomoon, but I should have left them untouched in my own mind and fantasy.
Rewind to 1989. The world just changed for me. Sure, the Berlin Wall fell, but I just found my very first girlfriend. This was really unsettling, I didn’t know how to act, not in her absence and certainly not in her presence. I wanted her but I also felt lost. Did I still exist myself, was there something that still belonged to me? Music, obviously. So I stuck stubbornly to the music I loved and flatly rejected anything she introduced me to: The Pixies, Nick Cave, Front 242, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Fela Kuti… The mixtapes she gave me I treated with similar contempt until one day, on a tape appropriately labeled ‘tabu’, I stumbled over ‘In the name of talent (Italian Western Two)’ and fell in love with Tuxedomoon.
It was the beginning of an intense love affair. In quick succession I acquired Desire (1981), Holy Wars (1985), Ship of Fools (1986) and You (1987). For a while I could think of no song more suitable for mixtapes than ‘Incubus (Blue Suit)‘, none as sad and moving as ‘In a manner of speaking’, and ‘Holy wars’, my God, was there anything more divine than the bass on that song?
Only a year after I discovered Tuxedomoon the band split up. Our relationship stayed platonic for the next 14 years, and then they suddenly returned. The band released a new CD (Cabin in the sky, 2004), which I of course bought after reading positive reviews, and even started touring again. The tour would also take them to The Netherlands, and I just knew I had to go, not a single doubt in my mind, this was my chance…
Maybe the new CD wasn’t as good as I thought. Maybe the guys just got too old and conventional in the meantime. Maybe love just set me up for disappointment. Maybe all of that and more. I just felt cold and somber as I left the venue that evening. I still listen to Tuxedomoon sporadically, but the big love is gone. Tuxedomoon were my gateway drug to far more experimental and abstract music. They opened a door for me, and I shouldn’t have returned, because the only thing I saw was a version of myself I wasn’t ready to deal with yet.