19-July-1985 – Call Super Chicken

19-July-1985

Did some laundry in the sink.  After lunch John & I walked to Dwarf Garden, etc. He went to meet Colette & Marci at store — I went to the piano.  After dinner went to “Top of Hotel Stein” and across to Casino with Kevin, Jen, & I forget his name.  Had beer at casino.  And Kevin with a beer is really funny.  Got a ride home on back of Kevin’s bike. That was fun.  Kevin could remember all the music to George of the Jungle, Super Chicken, and Tom Swift.  We went to the same playground as a couple nights ago.

That ride home on Kevin’s bike was really silly.  I don’t even remember what I was sitting on exactly, but I remember trying to keep my feet from dragging on the street.  Kevin was a stereotypical surfer dude from California: blonde, chiseled, with a take-life-as-it-comes attitude.  He’s the kind of person you wish you conjure up when you need some encouragement.  He really did know every word to the Super Chicken theme.

I don’t know if it’s been obvious yet, but I wasn’t living in downtown Salzburg. It was a good 45 minute walk, and mostly up hill.

Posted in Europe1985, Salzburg

17-18 July 1985 Midnight Sky

Two very different nights on the town interspersed with some the best memories about my music.

17-July-1985 Wed to 18-July-1985 Thurs (missed Munich bus)

Nothin really happened during morning.  In afternoon we (John, Tony, Barb, Colette, Shirley & I) went to “Cafe Ranch” along river and had stuff.  Then John, Tony & me went to piano room & played lots of my stuff.  The both have really good voices.  Then after supper (same crowd minus  Tony and plus Joel) went to Augustinian and then went to VIP.  I don’t know how I’m going to get pictures of all these people.  Before VIP we went to a little playground by river — great rides there.  We took turns on this thing (that sat six) with an Austrian crowd of about the same number.  Then VIP.  I guess I had fun. There was a fish tank imbedded into one of the walls with some really weird big white fish with huge lips watching us.  After that, we headed toward another bar.  I made a spur of the moment decision to not go in.  The buses were gone so I started walking home.  Half way home I realized that I had left my keys on the table at the restaurant.  I managed to get Al out of bed to open the door.  I slept, but didn’t rest, on their couch.  In the morning I got into John & Joel’s room, changed my pants w/ the ones I had hung out to dry  and went to restaurant & got my keys.   Came home.  Took shower, got real clothes, rested a bit and made it to lunch.  After lunch – went over to Piano w/ Tony & Shirley.  Tony sang Edelweis, Midnight Sky, and made up lyrics to Jazz Epic and One Arm Bandit.  Shirley split.  Tony and I went back to restaurant until dinner.  After dinner Tony, John and I went to “top of hotel stein” and walked around old city & didn’t drink.

For me, the best parts of this story are about playing my music with Tony, John, and Shirley.  “Midnight Sky” never sounded better.  It’s one of my most carefully crafted pop songs, but because I can’t sing it, it’s never had a decent recording.  Tony had the perfect voice for it.  I remember writing the lyrics on the black board for him to sing.

The second night when we “didn’t drink” was of course normal for me, but a first for John.  Talking to him afterwards he made the comment “yeah, it’s OK once in a while”.

Posted in Europe1985, Salzburg

16-July-1985

I eat strudel for dinner, and then complain about not getting enough to eat “around here”.  I miss another field trip.

16-July-1985 Tues

No, I didn’t go to Hellbrunn, but I hear it’s wild. Slept (or tried to) in afternoon, then John came home and of course tried to get me to drink a beer with him, but I wouldn’t do it.  I read him parts of my letters.  Frau Glück made Apfel and cherry(?) strudel for dinner. Everyone was there — a rare occasion.  Afterward John & Joel tried to get me to go with them out to meet Marci & Colette which would’ve been nice, but I felt not good and the bus leaves at 7:00am tomorrow for Munich.  I’m really glad I didn’t go because now it’s raining.  Went to Bahnhof & exchanged money.  I hope Lance talked to Frau Glück about eating an early Frühstück .  We don’t get much to eat around here — that’s for sure.

Posted in Europe1985, Salzburg

15-July-1985 I dreamed I was Mozart

I come down with a sore throat and cold.  Honestly I don’t remember that at all.  I do, however, remember the Mozart dream.

15-July-1985 Monday

Had class — sat at restaurant ’till lunch.  Played piano after lunch — talked with Peter a bit.  Went home and did some underwear and studying.  Went down to supper.  After supper went w/ John to McDonald’s to eat.  And then John made me show him the Augustinian (ran into Colette and she went along).  We didn’t get home ’till 10:00.  I realized that I felt absolutely terrible and had a bad bad sore throat.  Tried to study a bit.  Was extremely cold — it started raining like crazy.  I must have had a fever ’cause in the middle of the night I was sweating like a pig (the fever must have broke).  I dreamed that I was Mozart and was wandering around Salzburg — everyone kept hitting me and giving me wrong directions.  Finally, I couldn’t sleep so I got up, went into the mini-kitchen to tried to study.  After about 10 minutes I realized I was nauseous as hell.  So I ate some Tums and went back to bed.  I looked out the window and the sky was beautiful.  It must have been Jupiter that shown so brightly.  In the evening the air was remarkably clear — I could see all details on the mountain — I could even see mountains I never saw before.  They say that if you can see the mountains clearly — that means it will rain.  And sure enough – it rained.

But Anyway — I eventually fell asleep.  I think it was all test anxiety.  I don’t know, though, I feel good enough to go to Hellbrunn which is the scheduled trip.  Oh well, maybe it’ll rain.

I can’t believe this isn’t in the log, but the best part about the Mozart dream is that in the morning, Lance told me that in the middle of the night I sat up yelling something in German!   Maybe I was really dreaming in German. Too bad I still couldn’t speak it when I was awake!   I don’t remember who “Peter” was — I think he was a West Chester student with long hair…probably liked Gentle Giant.   “John made me show him the Augustinian” — that’s pretty funny.  How dare he force me to take him to a beer garden!

Capitalizing “But Anyway” is  a reference to a character I created named But Anyway.  But Anyway had a pet dog named Balboa, and a tyrannosaurus for a friend.  He appeared mostly in letters I’d write to friends away at college.  I still like the concept.

Posted in Europe1985, Salzburg

14-July-1985 – not climbing the Untersberg

I didn’t climb the Untersberg.  That’s the most exciting thing about this day.  From Lance’s description of the climb it sounded really cool.   I remember descriptions of  them scaling up and down ice-filled crevices.  I do wish I had gone…

14-July-1985 Sunday hot

Planned to go to Dom but never made it.  Slept ’till about 2 dreaming strange things. Lance climbed the Untersberg (can be seen out window) with Peter & Frau Glück’s son-in-law at 5:00am.  From what he said, it is something I must do.  Tried to go with Lance at 6:30 to Augustinian.  The place was so crowded with people pushing to get to this one deli counter. I couldn’t take that, so I sat while he ate and later went with Al to Gasthof at the corner. Surfin’ Kevin got back from Switzerland so he told us about that.  Shot the old breeze for a while.  Lance told us about his love life.  And I took a shower.  I take Kevin for an extremely nice guy.  I should have brought more underwear.  But really, that’s how Sunday’s should be.

…and I wish I had brought more underwear.   How did we survive without high-tech, dry-overnight underwear?

Posted in Europe1985, Salzburg

13-July-1985 Sat.

I turn on the Beer Gardens.

13-July-1985, Sat.

Tony and I sat in the park and read and talked most of the day.  There was a Frau convention just by where we were sitting and they took one of our benches.  I started reading the Fidel Castro interview in his Playboy.  Then we walked by the river and sat until dinner.  After dinner I went to a concert (Augustinian Church) of Bach.  One string orchestra piece in a-moll and 2 Kantatas.  The adagio of the string orchestra piece was one of the best Bach things I had ever heard.  Being an ancient church the seats were extremely uncomfortable — especially the student discount seats.  I could attend one of these every night, $3.00.  Afterward Lance, Kevin (from West Chester), Peter, some other guy, Linda (older woman), and that girl that’s friends with Linda & I went to Augustinian Beer Garden — drag.  I hate those places.  I was lucky enough to catch one of the last Buses home.

That scene in the park with the Frau Convention is pretty vivid.  Like I said earlier, the Frau’s ran Salzburg.  The haunting reality is that I think there are so many because they’re husbands died in WWII. When I realized that I got chills.   The entire park was dominated by Fraus, all from mid-50s to 70s, and many with very short-legged dogs.  In my mind I see that Seurat painting, but everyone is a older Austrian woman, all in a similar flower-patterned dress, most with long-bodied, short-legged dogs.  I think by now I’m gradually reincorporating the guy I left back home with the guy I was in Salzburg.  It’s OK to be me and not like beer gardens. But it’s also OK to be set free.

Posted in Europe1985, Salzburg

12-July-1985 – Silent Night house

More native words enter the log as well as a healthy dose of sarcasm.  Friends are evaluated on their ability to talk knowledgeably about Bugs Bunny.

12-July-1985 Fri.

After lunch went on lokal train (some of us who weren’t going to Switzerland: about 10 w/ Tony, Vanessa, Dennis(?), Frank, Foote, etc.) to the site of the church where Silent Night was written.  There’s this tiny round chapel with 2 stained glass windows – one with Glück writing on paper with holy light descending upon his mighty head, and the other with the Actual Guitar player that played it!!!!!!!  I almost descended.  But I did sign the special guest book.  And outside there was the actual post card stand where you could buy actual post cards of the actual spot where Silent Night was wroten.  Toll! (German for cool-o daddy).  Then – we crossed the bridge into Germany to see the oldest church in Deutschland.  This was a little more impressive.  Mrs. Foote didn’t even know what year it was built.  It’s that old. Severely Gothic carvings of St. George slaying dragon on the wall.  That night the dinner was so bad Tony & I went to McDonald’s (fish).  I’ve been finding more and more places to eat fish.  Saw Boy’s Choir from Philadelphia at St. Peter’s Church.  This was pretty good.  Talked to conductor afterwards.  At one point the conductor sang a solo which was then joined by choir.  After that I had to convince Tony for us not to go the Artis-Kino (porn) and instead we went to Sound of Music (auf English). I (we) enjoyed it.   The theater is small with tables in front of soft benches and private lights.  Bar outside.  Very nice.  Movie ran so late I walked home and Tony found a cab (I hope).  Tony is strange.  He reads Playboy and analyzes every physical feature of every girl that walks past.  And yet can talk to me about Godzilla, Gamera, Kimba!, bugs-bunny & stuff like that.  Most of the time his sense of humor is good.

Funny how I find it inconceivable that someone who reads Playboy could also be conversant in the Japanese monster-movie genre!   A note about the dinner: where we ate lunch and dinner was very bizarre, and had to the be the result of some mishandled negotiation.  It was an Indian restaurant near the school.  I don’t remember eating a lot of Indian food before this trip, but I know I had tasted better in Philly.  Curry broth was the soup of just about every day.  And to be honest I don’t remember much else.  Most nights it was edible, given that you’re eating Indian food in the heart of Bavaria.   I think Tony comes up a few more times; he was a character.  He won the “ET” award for phoning home the most.  I had forgotten about that boys choir concert.  The conductor turning around in the middle of a piece and singing a solo backed by the choir was kinda cool. Up until this trip I had been a vegetarian for 2 years, hence the search for places to eat fish.  But it was impossible.

Oh, and I need to say that Gluck had nothing to do with Silent Night.  Gruber was the guy in the stained glass.  I was so pleased with myself making fun of the silly chapel, that I didn’t bother to get my facts straight.  Not my best work.

Posted in Europe1985, Salzburg

7-11 July 1985

5 day catch-up here… we go from the depraved, to the surreal, to the boring, to the interesting, to the beautiful, and to the lonely.   Actually, it’s all surreal!

7-July-1985 Salzburg:

Slept most of the day – slept and read while Lance slept ’till 4pm. I ate in a Gästhof and it went well. I brought everyone else back there in the evening. At night John decided to go to every bar in Salzburg. We had every type of drink imaginable. Incredible. A huge Greek woman in a Neglige tried to pick John up. She even wanted all three of us to go up stairs with her. Lance & I had to rescue John who kept giving her money for some reason. I rescued about 500 shillings that had “by accident” dropped into her crotch, just in time. Later after running into 3 girls from somewhere we paired up and I was not interested in this so I walked off to find a place to urinate and I ran into this guy from Louisiana. We talked for a good while. Then I went back to the place I last saw John & Lance and they were gone. So I walked to the cathedral and laid on a bench in front and stared at it for about 1/2 hour whilst starting to fall asleep. So, then I started the hour walk home arriving at 2:00.

I can still hear John saying “tonight I want to go to every bar in Salzburg!”  The sentence with both “3 girls from somewhere” and “this guy from Louisiana” cracks me up.  I hear “Honkey Tonk Woman” when I think of that night.  Not sure if that was playing in that first bar or if it just seemed that way.  The whole night is really more Dylanesque.

8-July-1985 Salzburg:
felt horrible all day. first day of classes. I exchanged money & bought post cards. When I came from under the mountain I ran into this girl (wow!) who asked me if I spoke English. I said, “Yeah!” She wanted to know how to get to Mozart’s house. That made me feel good and the lady selling post cards was very nice…that was the highlight. John & I talked for a long time tonight. He wanted me to go out with him at 9:30! Sounds familiar.

It’s amazing the number of people that just wink in and out of scenes, yet remain pivotal figures in this story — like the smiling girl that appeared on the other side of the mountain, the other side of that previous night.  John became my closest friend in Salzburg, but man he was mental with the drinking.

9-July-1985 Salzburg, not too much sun, but warm enough w/out jacket:

Second day of classes. I found out that the school is open (I have access to a piano) until 5:00 daily. Had Mozart tour with this old Australian professor who had to be translated. He could hardly do it in German! And most of the info he gave I knew and some was incorrect. But he was someone who had permission to play the Mozart pianos. (the clavichord & the forte piano he travelled with). He didn’t play very well. There’s a record that can be bought only at the Mozart house of a real piano player playing on the original instruments. It’s about 7.50 which is not bad at all. Most things, I’m finding out are very inexpensive. As of Sunday I had spent only the 20 dollars I exchanged in N.Y. If the weather gets bad I may have to buy a scarf. Leopold & Constance are supposedly buried in St. Peters, but I couldn’t find them. Bought some yogurt, cookies and soap. Sat by the river for a short while after supper & came home & took a shower. I was told that a tour of the fortress is really beneficial and takes you places you can’t go yourself.

I loved sitting by the river, and think of it frequently.  I had really fallen in love with the place by now.  Having that piano around was a godsend.  BTW Leopold and Constance are Mozart’s father and wife.  It was “Fa” soap — I carried it with me all over Europe!

10-July-1985 Salzburg, sunny, raining, warm, cold:

Showed Dr. McVoy piece I was working on after class. After lunch figured out how to do laundry. The lady at the laundromat assured me that my cotton pants would not shrink. I haven’t tried them on yet. She had me stuff all of it in one tiny washer. It cost 79 shillings. While waiting for laundry I went to the classroom and played for a bit, then, for some stupid reason I came all the way home for about an hour & had to leave again to get laundry. I came home w/ my laundry at 6:30 (dinner time). There’s a concert tonight at the Univeristät at 8, so I, after changing into good clothes, caught the bus which got me there just barely. I felt bad because the first piece played was Bartok and I wasn’t sure that it was (I had to ask McVoy). I knew some of it was but not all of it. After concert I walked around in my Trenchcoat. They have all the important buildings lit up with spot lights at night (the Dom, fortress, statues, etc.) Really exciting. I found the most romantic spot on a bench against the Dom which looks toward a statue (fountain) of Neptune, with the fortress bright above. It’s strange — I walked slowly toward the wall of the Dom, it’s so huge that it seems to rise forth and forth, skyward as one walks towards it. Really powerful and enticing. It was kind of cold so I was glad to have my Coat. I could have brought my herringbone jacket instead of the light one. It really does get cold here. The weather’s been totally wild recently. I was told that just before I woke up it was thundering & lightning violently. But then by 10:00 it was beautiful – then about 3 it started raining and by 4:30 it was nice again. It rained a little tonight. John & Joel left for Paris tonight and Al and Kevin are both going to Switzerland so that leaves Lance & me & Frau Glück.

11-July-1985 Salzburg sehr shön

Actually, Al didn’t go to Switzerland. After lunch I walked around Mirabell Gardens. Saw Dwarf garden & statue of Copernicus.  There was a stairwell inside the house that circled up. On the bannisters were slightly larger than life baby statues pointing their fingers in arbitrary directions. Then sat by river & read Mozart. Then went to school & played until 5:00. Got some good ideas in my head — walked outside & wrote some down. I felt more creative than usual. After dinner – walked up hill opposite Altstädt on other side of river. Heard all the bells in the city go off. Extremely powerful experience, especially from up high. Walked around Altstädt, saw chess game, people throwing frisbees. Seeing a lot of people with their girl/boyfriend made me feel lonely so I went home – got home at 9:30.

I’m telling you, those baby statues were flipped out.  The sound of all those church bells haunts me to this day…

Posted in Europe1985, Salzburg

Flashback to 3-July-1985

Commentary… this note was writtten on Monday night, 3 days after the day we arrived, and expands on the “wild night on the town” reference in the first log entry.  This is where it starts to get embarrassing, folks…

Back to 3-July-1985.  We (Lance, Joel, John & I) walked all over the place looking for a Bank and Post. Came home & drank some horribly strong liqueur and then walk in a haze to meet Joel’s girlfriend-teacher at the Biergarten in die Alt Städt. We drank Beer, then went to a Bar & Dancing place by Marcy’s and Drank. Most of the music they played was 70’s top 40 (American). They played Lobo! (I want you to want me). I wrote an aerogramme to Frank (one I don’t think I’ll send) at the Bar.  After the Bar we went to Marcy’s and she put some food in our stomachs. We then (somehow) found our way back across the river, debated whether or not to walk home, and finally went to a police station. They were all too happy to call us a cab and get these 4 drunken American’s off the street. The next morning I never felt worse in my life.

Hearing about this, my friends back home were understandably annoyed.  Not because I had a wild night on the town, but because I never had a wild night on the town with them.  I admit I maintained a holier-than-thou attitude about drinking, and always remained sober while they freely imbibed.  But I don’t have any regrets — I did learn that alcohol can serve a purpose — I certainly bonded with my roommates that night, and it set the stage for the friendships that followed.  And though I’ve never seen any of them again, I’ll never forget the friendships.  Wherever you are, thanks for adopting this awkward introvert.  I think I did end up sending that aerogramme to Frank…

I think it’s funny how I started capitalizing my nouns and random other words as if I’m slowing taking on a Germanic sensibility.  Wait until you hear about the Mozart dream.

Posted in Europe1985, Salzburg

3-6 July 1985

3-July-1985:
Arrived in Salzburg at 12:30
met other 5 room mates and haus frau. Unpacked, ate dinner and spent a wild night on the town.

4-July-1985 – Salzburg:
Orientation at 10:30
Lunch at 12:00
city tour after lunch.
figured out Buses and Train Station (the stares of the FRAUS)
got confused on the way to dinner
walk around after dinner, got lost, eventually made it home by 10:00pm

REM write frank as soon as you have # of office so he won’t call Frau Glück

5-July-1985 Salzburg:
After lunch I walked to the Dom and spent a long time looking all the walls and ceiling
found american express, but didn’t go in because I suddenly felt overwhelmingly ashamed to be in a foreign city and not even be able to ask how to change travelers checks. Because of this I walked to the river and read my Frommers book until dinner and then came home.

6-July-1985 Salzburg:
Had lunch with Dr. McVoy & Parents.  Walked up to the castle, took two pictures, it seemed like every time I found a place to look from a huge crowd would encircle me and crowd me out. — before that I watched the ducks and swans just under the first walking bridge on the far side — After the castle (climb wasn’t that bad, it was much shorter than I expected). Some great views of Dom on way up. After that, walked around St. Peter’s graveyard and went into St. Michaels Cathedral. All gold inside. Had a coke at the beergarden. Then sat by the river (on near side) and read Mozart & Death in Venice until dinner. After dinner walked around river. At dusk the sun makes beautiful colors on the far side of the river and on the trees and houses. (took picture). — Went over to the ducks & swans (4) again to take a picture in this light. Went home, wrote up lyrics to JOE.

Commentary…  The “Stares of the FRAUS” is a story in and of itself.  I was so focused on figuring out how the buses worked that I wasn’t paying attention to what was going on around me on the bus.  I was seated towards the back, and when I looked up I noticed that the bus was full – mostly of older ladies – and they were all staring at me.  As I felt my heartbeat in my mouth and my face turn red, I realized it was because there were other ladies standing waiting for a seat.  I was not yielding my seat like a gentleman.  I got off at the next stop and walked home.  Salzburg was ruled by the Fraus I soon learned.

I think it’s funny that I entered an aside in the log by using the Basic program “remark” symbol, REM.

The “lyrics to JOE” refers to the tape of Joe (the name my songwriting partner, Jim, and I gave ourselves) songs that I brought with me, with the intension to somehow give it to Dave Cousins of the Strawbs when I eventually got to England.  That’s another story…

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