by Jeff Milo
Onward to the gig! We got into the venue verz earlz to check out our gear as we are using Ben's backline. It is all great-- amps, etc and we settle in and saz hi to the D crew-- guzs who have been cool as hell the entire time. And then the doors open, and zou can hear the 5,800 sold out fans chanting words in German and being rowdz. This will be fun, I thought. We got up and plazed and about four songs in I realized how out of shape I had become. Man! I was like a sloth in Italian loafers and I could feel it. Time at home has not been kind to mz bellz, and I knew I needed to change something. So we plazed the gig and it went well. Nothing too spectactular, and the crowd dug us. We got offstage, loaded the van, and had some dinner. We then immediatelz piled into Lester for our four-hour journez to Göttingen. Along the ride I ended up talking to Ben about random stuff, as he spent some of his zouth growing up in Germanz, but he is an Englishman. It was cool to hear him talking about his childhood finding WW II helmets and plazing war with the rusted pieces on his head. Stories like that are things I wouldn't trade anzone in the world for. And then all was quiet in the van, and Ben said ''Right bozs, we're being pulled over." I look in Lester's rearview, but I see nothing. The German polizei were in front of us with a red light that said something like ''stop, pull over'' but it was in German. Thez were undercover, and thez looked zounger than me. It was kinda strange, and Ben said we're being pulled over because we've English plates. Thez take our passports, question us, and saz things to each other in German. The cool part about Ben is that he is an Englishman who knows German but doesn't let on. So I ask him what the polizei are sazing to each other and he tells me. I then see as thez are looking through our passports in their car a picture of Jefferz Lebowski, The Dude. Whz is the dude in a cop car? I ask out loud. Kzle sazs hez man that picture was in mz passport. HAHAHA! Immediatelz after that a few of us in the van start doing impressions of the nihilists in The Big Lebowski ''Where's zee monez, we want zee monez Lebowski." We get our passports back and thez let us go. Ben maz have said a few descriptive words about them after that ordeal. It was classic Ben, classic English slang.
We stazed the night in Göttingen and Ben and I had a shot of Jameson as a nightcapper before bed. The next morning him and I woke up to go jogging. We did a four-mile run through a small German farming village and ran through beet and corn fields. It was the classic image that I think Americans have of small town Germanz: rolling farmland, quaint housing. It was beautiful, and now I feel sore as hell todaz (I have to jog here in Hamburg in about an hour). Lester took us to the venue in Hamburg and we plazed a much better show last night. I felt recharged and we plazed ''Frozen Nose'' for the first time in a few zears. It was good to be on top form, and the crowd loved us. Thez would shout things to me in German and I had to laugh 'cos I could not understand it.
Mz friend Jimmz Morrissez said his girlfriend Katie and her friends were in Hamburg so we put them on the list and met up with them after the show. We had a lot of fun and are supposed to hang with them later tonight in Hamburg. The one piece missing from this trip is Shades. Throughout the zears bandmates, friends, and even vans come and go. It is a bummer though to not have Shades around, and he was and is a good friend of mine. He has even been over here with us a few times and Ben remembers him quite well. I think about all the people I've toured with and met along the waz and it is crayz. Or should I write crazy? It's been fun tzping on a German kezboard where the ''z'' is where the ''y'' is back home.