Zweitausendeins (Two thousand and one) is a cool outfit.
They're CD, book and DVD mail order with a few brick and mortar locations around the place.
Mine is in Frankfurt, just up the road from a good Japanese supermarket and stand-up sushi bar and across the road from the oldest coffee roasters in Frankfurt.
Their catalogue's great. They have stuff like
- The Blues Archive - 40 CDs for €70
- Mozart's entire output (170 CDs) for €85
- Plus all sorts of obscure stuff
This was yesterday's haul
Shawn Colvin - These four walls
Free - Live at the BBC
Claire Waldorff - Perlen der Kleinkunst
Das Boot on DVD
Free and Shawn Colvin are linked irrevocably on my "Stop You In Your Tracks Tracks" playlists thus.
Shawn Colvin I heard knowingly for the first time in Eddie Bauer's outlet shop in Kittery, Maine. There was a bibabibabiba lead-in bass line and then the three steps forward- three steps back riff and at that very instant it was mine.
As was everything else I've stumbled over, either accidentally or via Jefito's excellent Idiot's Guide to...
"All right now" really stopped me in my tracks. I'd just turned up at my uncle's place in Leeds sometime in 1970 and Top of the Pops was on and THAT SONG was playing.
I just stood there with my mouth open.
And pretty much my reaction when I heard "Doctor my eyes" in the Ops office at Lufthansa at Heathrow.
So finding Shawn Colvin was really good, but not earthshattering.
Free - Live at the BBC is.
Disc 1 is a series of sessions that survived frequent spring cleanings at the Beeb to make shelf space for more episodes of Gardeners Hour and Blue Peter.
Disc 2 is even better - live broadcasts that someone recorded off their radio in 1970. Which might have involved sitting there with a tape recorder and a microphone in front of the speakers, for all I know. Here's "Be my friend" for good measure. And "Fire and Water"
And it still really pisses me off that I never got to see "All right now" live.
Went to the concert at the Lyceum in London with my mate Lothar Lehmann and we had to leave at 11:30 to catch the last fucking Tube back to Hounslow West. From where I had to walk 5 miles home.
Which was obviously before the end of the concert.
And don't tell me that Cameron Crowe didn't base Jeff Bebe in Almost Famous on Paul Rodgers. And yes, I have kept the cover of the Daily Telegraph magazine for 37 years. (You don't want to know about the rest of the stuff...)
And here's a neat little story . David Kossoff - well-known British actor - was at a do sometime in the 60s with Cliff Richard and the Shadows and they got chatting along the lines of "Well, my boy wants a guitar for Christmas, what should I buy him"
"My boy" was Paul Kossoff, later of Free and dead at 25.
Postscript: This is unreal. Listening to Bob Harris on BBC Radio 2, I find out that he died 30 years ago today. Fuck me sideways.
And (Sir) Cliff Richard was the Brit equivalent of Elvis in the 60s (and who's still going strong these days at 67, plastic surgery and all) and I hated him with a passion. But I rate Rock'n'roll Juvenile where he at last acknowledges his roots and tongue-in-cheeks his own born-again Christianity - "I'm a rock'n'roll holy roller". Bloody good live performer.
So it's really good to have those.
Then I see "Shellac" and "€4.99" and I've just decided to buy 48 tracks by Claire Waldoff.
You have to understand the context.
Cabaret (yes, there was a film...) blossomed especially in Berlin in the 1920s and 1930s. The political censorship of the German Empire (censors in every theatre...) had been lifted, allowing artists to deal with social themes and political developments of the time with texts written by people like Kurt Tucholsky, Erich Kästner, Klaus Mann and Joachim Ringelnatz. Biting stuff.
Claire Waldoff was right in the thick of it. Drank like a fish, smoked like a chimney, died a pauper.
Adolf turned up in 1933, censorship came back in with a vengeance, writers and performers were banned, forced to emigrate, imprisoned or shunted off to concentration camps. Tucholsky committed suicide.
Claire Waldoff was blacklisted - think Kafka-esque McCarthy-ism - for her socialist leanings and later again - after a period of rehabilitation - for "Hermann heest er" ("Hermann's his name") - a dig at the narcissistic Hermann Goering. Goebbels supposedly foamed at the mouth when he heard it.
"Wenn die Soldaten durch die Stadt marschieren" (When the soldiers march through the streets" wouldn't have gone down too well, either.
All very reminiscent of "The life of others" which has the same sort of claustrophic grittiness that "Das Boot" has. See it before Hollywood gets hold of it and rewrites history in the same way they did with "Das Boot" and U-571
A pretty good haul.
That - along with some good sushi, a latino next door and the OpArt exhibition at the Schirn - made for a pretty good day.