Friday, April 26, 2013
This is obviously the last from this group we needed to hear and I dedicate it to all 'children of the seventies'.
I remember well when I purchased it some years back in West Berlin at the Musiksammlerschallplattenrekordsboutique because when I attempted to send it to my friend Franz in East Berlin at the notorious Brandenburg gate I was held up an unusually long time at german customs by a very rule-bound military/customs officer:
"You say this is not jazz, not fusion, not rock? it is somewhere in between? then please sir how do you expect me to fill out this customs form? Do you not see this form, with--" (here he counted the number of spaces available to him) "-- ten possible letter entries, in accordance with the number of human fingers anatomically correct? you must provide me with a specific style, in order to list it as such. Please, you do understand these formalities, sir, is it -- Herr Stefan?"
I laughed perhaps awkwardly with my hands deep in my pockets mining for debris for the mutual satisfaction of my thumbs but persisted,
"I do indeed maintain, good sir customs officer, that the style is somewhere in between those which you have mentioned, just as your rifle is somewhere between your right and left testicles."
"I shall ask you to inform me of your language of preference as this seems to be a not inconsiderable part of the problem. Would you prefer we converse in English or German as I am fluent in both of these kingly languages having had an american vater (whose name I regret to inform you was Joe) und eine deutsches mutterlein, Heidi."
"Please customs sir, I prefer German-- the language of Hermann Hesse und David Hasselhof. Bitte sehr."
"Then you shall explain to me the manner of this record, for I do not understand it-- is this perhaps a pornographic item you are attempting to export? " And he set aside his severe circular glasses on the shiny table and put his hands into a triangular shape that to me was quite isosceles both in shape and in emotional content.
"Pornography? bitte, can you please examine the front photograph. These individuals are quite ugly all. In fact they are jazz musicians. Is this even a possible actuality in your opinion good sir? I mean, yes there is one attractive female upon the cover who probably recorded the album naked in the studio, and thereafter, of course, all the males had intercourse with her one at a time, probably some simultaneously in various positions enabling multiple openings entered, but surely you agree with me, this was normal for recording artists at this time this being neither pornographic nor unusual?"
For many long minutes he studied the photo on the cover during which period, ticked away slowly by the cuckoo clock with fake nestlings and tiny chastity belt for birds hung on the wall, I subtly mopped the sweat from my brow with the Hustler magazine I had carried in my back pocket. Finally I spoke up, attempting to resolve the issue once and for all:
"SIR!! this is progressive jazz-rock fusion! it is a style all of its own, one of its kind, like the alsatian sauerkraut with knackwurst you know so well made from your own mother's eczematous hands and the sweat of her armpits! You shall let me depart at once and cease this insidious and unnecessary interrogation!!!!" --however I believe I spoke too loudly for not only did this annoying individual stand up, but many of the neighbouring officers stood suddenly and reached for their rifles.
"You shall lower your voice before your hominid superiors!"
At this point my friend Franz, who in point of fact lived but two blocks away in E. Berlin (but across the wall) overheard us yelling as he was strolling the Spitzbergenstrasse, and exclaimed,
"Ah but dear Herr Stefan!! I urge you, to simply throw in the manner of a projectile, the vinyl record, as I shall catch it with utter facility right here where I stand! !"
"Dearest Franz, it is you! but do you not think the guards shall destroy it in chronic machine gun fire, which shall not add a pleasant dimension to the music of Herr Frederic Rabold? (albeit there will be some who will enjoy it highly thus disfigured or perhaps not even notice a difference)"
"we merely have to indicate to the guards it is a US government-made UFO, and they shall leave it in peace to cross the wall!"
"Excellent idea! or I shall simply state it is part of Yuri Gargarin's superego-protection device falling back to earth!"
At this my dear customs officer became impatient and stamped his boot upon the ground, striking a small bug in the process, CIA-planted of course:
"Enough of your womanly chatter! it will take two weeks to transmit this record over to the other side-- it is worth how much you said, 40 marks?"
"Yes, 40 marks."
"Then you must pay german duties of 518 marks for the export."
"Ha ha! dear sir, you may easily observe my friend is but 20 yards away from us, please, turn around and see!"
"I shall not turn and play your childish games! At this time I do not desire anal penetration sir, for it is too soon!! "
... needless to say I am still standing there at the Brandenburg Gate to this day holding my record and arguing with the german customs officer, even though now the gate is gone, the wall is dismantled, and my record has melted in the acid rain ... .... ach, deutsches burokratie!
at 11:19 PM Posted by Tristan Stefan