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Thursday, 21 April 2016

When Doves Cry - The Kid Is Dead

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1984. An epic year for pop music. Welcome To The Pleasuredome by Frankie Goes To Hollywood, Some Great Reward by Depeche Mode, The Gun Club's The Las Vegas Story, the first The Smiths record and of course Purple Rain by Prince. I can remember watching the Purple Rain film on VHS with some ex girlfriend, feeling all deep & funky. I remember studying the album artwork and taping the record so I could listen to it in my first car. Driving around the German countryside blasting When Doves Cry.. I never felt more "now" that back then.

And it wasn't just Prince, it was Prince and the fucking REVOLUTION! And that's what it was. I never liked "funk" much, and I never really warmed to Prince's very funky side.. whenever a slap bass appears I'm normally out, but Purple Rain opened up a world of black spunk. I stayed with Prince till the late 80s, Lovesexy the last interesting album.. after that I lost track and somehow interest. I remember a couple of nice tracks on Diamonds And Pearls but that's about it.


Prince was probably one of the most underrated guitarists [and drummers] ever. He could play like Hendrix, and before [and after] he started using these weird 'Symbol' shaped custom guitars he always played a simple Telecaster. Keeping it simple.. I love simplicity. That's why I loved Purple Rain. There's a lot of air and space on that record. It was also the first time that I saw that word shortening shizzle: 4 = for, U = you, etc. that was proper "cool" back then.

So, for me Price will always be The Kid from Purple Rain: Problems at home, problems with authority, problems with the girls, motorbike.. basically a black version of me :D




Monday, 28 March 2016

De-program >> Re-program

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I have lost my patience with almost all forms of religion. Oppressive, patronising, smug, violent religions.. just FUCK OFF. All of you. 

As long as you do your "praising God stuff" on your own or with some mates, do as you like, but as soon as you start preaching and "converting", that's it, you can go fuck yourself. 

My parents who were never openly religious [except from my dad who loved being in churches because of the calm atmosphere], had some friends who were really lovely people, they had kids that I used to play with, etc. Then the parents [mostly the dad] got sucked into the New Apostolic Church. They started to go to church 10 days a week and they also started, pressurised by their new church mates, converting other "non-believers". My parents even went with them to the church one weekend after lots of begging from them, just to not be rude. A long story short: Their long friendship broke down, they were just hanging around with their new church buddies and trying to get as many others into the church as possible. There were quotas and when you didn't bring in new people on a constant basis, you got looked down on. That couple's marriage went down the loo a long time ago and the whole family including their two brainwashed kids are not talking to each other any more. The creepy thing is that the kids still have partners [and kids] that are also part of the New Apostolic Church.. like they can't/won't say good bye to that lot. So, these people don't even build real bombs to blow up non-believers, but they were throwing mind-bombs, playing psycho-games. And that's already enough for me. 

So, if you are into organised religion and can't do that without preaching and inciting, you might want to get out of my social bubble, thanks. Like I said, my last bit of patience has gone.

Actually, I can expand this.. any form of fanatics that think that they have to tell or make others do stuff because they think it's the only way: Do fuck off. 

My grandparents were proper Nazis. They were also very nice and there is a long story for another day that explains very well why they became Nazis, but they were basically unable to leave all the brainwash behind after the war. They never killed anyone but they were stubborn and frustrated armchair ideologists. I spent a lot of time with them when I was a boy and a teenager, they loved me like no-one else.. one of their dearest sons got killed after the war in the late 50s in a terrible accident when he was in his early 20s, so my grandparents were very focused on me and were always very protective of me. So I grew up with conservative parents and Nazi grandparents. When I was a teenager, I was [without actually really thinking about it much] a fully fledged neo-Nazi. I was really into war-stuff, weapons and when asked, my career was either German border control or army. My parents were very naive about all of this. I recently asked my mum how much she actually knew about all of this, especially me and all of my stupid countryside/village mates all being juvenile delinquents, getting into fights and talking shit, and she said that she had no real idea. I do believe her, as my mum is VERY naive. But that's also how any extremism thrives: People's ignorance, fear or naivety.

Another long story short: I somehow managed to de-program and re-program myself. I met new friends, away from the village and over the course of some years, we opened our eyes and minds and started questioning everything and anyone. That was a very painful process for me, as I was finally able to see my grandparents and parents as who they were. It also started a long and painful process of arguing about politics and history and our story and history as a family. I had verbal fights with my grandparents and my dad about politics and the state of the world nearly all the way up until they died. I let it go at some point because sometimes you have to let it go when you finally realise that you can't change someone. As long as they don't hurt other people that are dear to you, you need to let them go, as it sucks too much energy and just creates more bad vibes. You have to walk away.

Anyway.. I've been brainwashed and I have seen and dealt with other brainwashed people, so I know how easy it is to end up like that and I also know how hard it is to actually de-program and re-program. We exist in believe systems, our reality is made up of billion fragments of distorted reality. There is not much over-riding truth and if there is a bit, it's hard to find and one man's truth is another man's lie. The world is a rainbow of grey, there is no black and white, red and blue, right or wrong. It's all perception and context. 

So, we need to find our own way through life and it's often confusing and crazy ways and possibilities. The only things that have really helped me during my 30 years since leaving the village are:

Empathy
Love
Respect
Stubbornness
Laughter

..and a bit of ignorance in the right places ; ]

Never take yourself too serious ever. Because you might suddenly discover that you are a bit of an idiot.

I am still a work in progress, I still get irritable with stuff that I should laugh at, I still shout and get angry at stuff that I should let go and I still get upset when I see this theoretically beautiful world descending into chaos. 

I have to be calm and content and be happy that I survived a lot of crazy shit with a functioning brain and bright eyes. The answer is always Love Life. I believe in a positive evolution of the mind. That's my church.

Hate is for losers.


ps: I originally ended this post with "Death is for losers" and then Sharmila said "Shouldn't it be 'Hate is for losers'?", so I thought about it and then changed it accordingly. We all have to die, so death is just another part of life. No death, no life. A terrible paradox ; ]

But I think my original point is: We need to be good and awesome in life and not in death or "the afterlife". I don't say that there won't be any form of afterlife [what do I know?] but the thought that we get rewarded with a glorious afterlife just because we've been cruel arseholes in life is equally crazy and sad.

pps: Additional possible forms of 'religion':
Consumerism
Politics
Fashion
Food
Plastic surgery
..anything that has the power to replace that empty bit inside you that should be filled with love and happiness.



Sunday, 7 February 2016

KIDS VS FOOD

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As an aspiring half-broken/half-defiant father of two daughters [2 & 4] the only kids thing that can really set me off is "food". Well, that's actually a big part of raising kids.. the crazy dance to make them eat something 'healthy & nutritious' at a certain time. Because they graze all the time.. they grab and munch and snack like there's no tomorrow.. half an apple here, a plum there, little biscuits that my mum always smuggles into the house, ..anything that is not "real food", when they are supposed to eat something properly a.k.a. breakfast, lunch or dinner, the grand spiel begins..
There's a great variety of scenes and plot twists:
I don't like this spoon
I want the red bowl
I'm not hungry
I wanted honey
I wanted golden syrup
I don't like the green bits
It's too spicy
There's not enough sauce / too much sauce
It's too hot
It's too cold
It's too lumpy / not lumpy enough
I want more!! (you make more) I don't want it now!!
I want something different!!
I don't like pasta
I don't like the stuff around the fish fingers
I want water instead of milk
I want milk instead of water
I want the spoon with the flowers on it
etc.
Baked beans are the only hassle-free food in existence. Baked beans are my happy place.. they will eat them without moaning and whining.. again and again .. the only stable thing in dad-world. God, I LOVE baked beans! ..and bacon.

‪#‎BreakingDad‬

Thursday, 7 May 2015

Put Your Love In Me

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I only actually cried two times so far when someone died: One time was when my dad died of cancer in 2006 and the other time was this afternoon when I read that Errol Brown died. Just a couple of tears.. but still.. I have no fucking clue what happened there but it happened and if it says anything, it probably says something about the state that I'm generally in at the moment. There is a very well protected, very emotional person inside that grumpy old fuck.

I think the death of Errol made me realise that everything will come to an end. Everything. Everybody. And all that will be left will be the thoughts of the people that knew us - and this blog post will most probably still be on-line after I packed it in.
I never cared about Errol Brown. I don't know anything about him. And still, his death has touched me - because some of his music had touched me once when I was young and it stayed with me forever.

Tonight I wanna touch the stars
Tonight I wanna be in heaven
Put your love in me


This was my favourite song when I was 10. I loved that song more than anything. It's still in my top 10.

Most people know and like the more obvious Hot Chocolate songs like You Sexy Thing, I Believe In Miracles, It started With A Kiss, etc... the list goes on.. all nice, slightly boring pop songs.. but there was  a couple of songs that were better: Emma is a dark soul ballad with that dirty guitar sound that should re-appear some years later on the great dirty disco bump ride that was Everyone's A Winner. But one song always stood out for me: Put Your Love In Me is the killer track.. my ticket to ecstasy, the soundtrack to my first wet dreams, later topped up with amazing stuff like Supermax's Lovemachine..


These things stay with you. They become a part of you. There's a version by the Tindersticks which is interesting but can't touch the original.


I remember hearing about Bobby Farrell, the dancer of Boney M, dying and that was a similar feeling because it also remembered me of my childhood and early teenage years, it left me feeling a bit empty and clueless. Like hearing that a cartoon character has just died.. you don't seem to be able to compute it properly. Boney M also only had a couple of great songs, well.. probably only one. Look at Bobby, the coolest guy on the planet.. who would have thought that he'd ever die?


Some music just does something to you.. it lights up something inside you, it actually talks to you and takes you on a journey to something new and nothing will be the same after that. It preaches in a language that is completely new.. shit like this:


Shit that grabs you with one hand by the throat and with the other by your balls and drags you in. Soul music. I just read that Errol died of liver cancer - like my dad. 

RIP Errol Brown, you sexy thing.