Saturday, September 6, 2008

Revenge of the histories.

Right.. the top picture is the Berlin Wall, the first weekend that it was breached, I was studying photography and hitch hiked there. Nothing much happened...(at this Point)
By the end of the week you could put your head through that part of the wall as it had been chipped away so much.
I sat on the wall.. had my leg on the East side smashed by a guard on horseback and a machine gun pointed straight at my face.. and a quick lesson in German. "get the fuck off they are gonna open fire" sounds the same in any language.
A broken leg, two broken ankles and many twistsed limbs later (not mine) gave you the indication the East wasn't yet ready for the wall going.
It was the most amazing experience.. I took maybe 19 photos, I don't document, others have a better eye for that.. when I find them (the photos) I might do a little show.

Picture 2 is a page from '(R)EVOLUTION messiah' a graphic novel I designed around the same time.. it was very simple idea that people were fighting for ...I think.
Just the normal right to be free. These are some of the local headlines.. mostly it was just gathering to party or protest.. but those repetative beats didn't half piss off that Thatcher robot.
oh.. some songs that have a bit of history involved.. come on, I could have twistwd it even more.
De Rosa
Saul Williams
The Wolfgang Press
Sage Francis
DJ Shadow
Spiral Tribe
Rational Youth


nilpferd said...

Very interesting story, Shane.
We were in Berlin two weekends ago, I took Mara to see the bits of the wall still remaining next to the old checkpoint Charlie, it has already become dominated by the second world war as they excavated some grim reminder or other while removing "Berlin wall" foundations from Zimmerstrasse.
I was first in Berlin in 1993, by then everything seemed tame and the wall was a memory. Sandra (the female half of the hippo) was in East Berlin before the wall fell, and at least got to visit all the great museums on the island- she remembers being bemused at the rain dripping through the roof into buckets at the Pergamom museum.
Oddly enough she got into "trouble" when we were in Berlin on May 1, 1998- wanting to visit the Brandenburger Tor, which was obviously off-limits when she'd been there last, we got turned back by police on Unter den Linden, because we were both dressed in black leather and she had a red flower in her lapel- we must have looked like unreformed communists or anarchists I suppose.
I just got up, so I'll listen to the music later..

ejaydee said...

Interesting, I'm in Berlin this weekend (Cassiel's turn to carry an upside down donkey hat) and we drove through East Berlin and the bit of the wall along the river as well as checkpoint Charlie and the island. There's a picture somewhere of my brother-in-law chipping at the wall in 89.

ejaydee said...

I liked Hellsongs and de Rosa and Saul Williams' Sunday Bloody Sunday, he kept the drumming which is the best bit.

nilpferd said...

Ejay, you doing a tour of the greater 'Spill empire? If you're down south, let us know and we can add to the photos.. and if you're hungry and like asian food, visit Sian in Rykestr., Prenzlauer Berg...

TracyK said...

We've been to Checkpoint Charlie, the museum there was very interesting. We also did the 3 hour Third Reich walking tour, led by an absolutely brilliant Scottish historian. The tour ends above the bunkers, which is now a carpark next to a very suburban block of flats. We sat on some benches outside the kiddy play area there to listen to the final part of the story, and this very blonde and scary woman deliberately came out with her massive alsation, which she let bark at us until the tour guide reluctantly asked us to move. They had a bit of a ding-dong in German and he told us she does it every week on purpose, she had some strange sympathies!
The Pergamon museum just blew me away, one of the most moving experiences I've ever had in a museum, actually. The scale is incredible. I also loved the statues of gods and godesses.

That's a different version of Six Days Shane, mine has a more eerie backing vocals thing going on. Great track, nontheless.

We're off to Bratislava in half-term, anyone of you well-travelled lovelies got any tips for us?

saneshane said...

I went back a few years ago to see how it had changed and it was so different, I couldn’t quite place myself in the city as a whole, the longest strip of wall left didn’t really have the power and the graffiti was too stage managed at East Side Gallery, to give a glimpse of what had occurred.
Does the wall at Checkpoint Charlie still have the old tram track going into it, that got me, made my heart shudder seeing it for the first time.
But I come from a different perspective (One German friend was quite shocked at my son demanding to be ‘The Leader’ over and over when we were on holiday!)
But I love the city and as we have said before, if you only get time to see one thing the Jewish museum is incredible, I still get shivers thinking about walking the ‘Void’.

When I got there not much chipping had started on the wall, they still weren’t sure it would come down, but the quick thinkers had already smashed up some cement blocks and sprayed random colours on them and had genuine Berlin wall for sale to the tourists.

The trip would make a great story…
I had to buy a passport on the way…
I bribed border guards..
Slept in shopping malls..
Sang songs all night with an old American blues guitarist over a station in Holland so I didn’t get mugged by the junkies…
A very kind member of the German green party put me up in his water mill for a night, the home made bread, wine and cheese were fantastic.. the extras he offered not so appealing.
Having to play chess all night so I didn’t fall asleep and get thrown out into the freezing cold from a bar in the middle of who knows where..
As well as the battered legs, the guns and Alsatian dogs.
Lots and lots more… but I can’t type that much.

nilpferd said...

Maybe you should podcast it, Shane.. it would be an interesting story..
I had the feeling that the recent history- the wall, the east/west separation- is being quietly shelved, and the WW2 industry is taking over. On Zimmerstr., near Checkpoint Charlie, there is only a small segment left- the rest has been cleared for development. As people here in the West sometimes murmur "if only they'd left the wall up..", it's obviously not quite as well processed in the Germany psyche as the war years.. we told Mara all the stories of the wall, the war, etc while we were there, she walked up the big Reichstag ramp with her handycam and gave a running commentary of everything she'd heard, all mixed up together, on the way.. a seven yr. old talking about concentration camps, people trying to jump the wall and getting shot, etc...
The J. Museum is indeed out of this world.. when we were in Berlin someone sprayed swastikas on the Holocaust memorial and all the synagogues had police protected... guess the 30's are still more present than the 90's in Berlin..

saneshane said...

oh the music..
@ejd, the Saul Williams is from his last (Trent Reznor produced) album. I'm not getting into it yet.
You are right the drums are spot on.. I'm not a U2 fan, only seem to like them covered.
@tracy that version of Dj Shadows six days is a Soulwax remix.

@nilpf.. it is amazing the stupid mentality of some segments of society, I always thought the extreme views usually came from lack of intelligence or propaganda (my grand parents generation) but still I see it all around and it's truly frightening.
I found the German north/south divide quite funny (as I do the English N/S divide) but when the East came into the mix, bright people had idiotic reactions to them.
It's a complex world.. especially for someone who doesn't understand how a red line on a map makes that OUR/THEIR country.

nilpferd said...

yeah, the scarey thing is sometimes it's people who are otherwise actually quite intelligent who come out with these things.

Napoleon Bonaparte said...

"a tour of the greater 'Spill empire?"
Yes, and will be repossessing my brother's residence in Kassel as well.
Thanks Nilpf, you know I'd have let you know if I was going your way. I saw your post too late but I'll check Sian next time I visit.

FP said...

Donds for the deutsche Fassung of Nena. That's still a cracking song...

Shoegazer said...

Great art & tune choices as always Shane