• Face The Music

When I was painting, I always was listening to music. The colors were formed upon the canvas systematically according to the chords melancholic or happy, flashy or chary. Levitating in time and space, I almost could reach a Nirvana-like state, as this strange journey got started into the past. I was falling unstoppable even more deeper into the bottomless crater of my own memories, accompanied by rhythm and vibes. I couldn’t escape from that swipping pull, I had to think about the long forgotten, about faded scenes, which subtitled with music just forced my mind to have to remember. I couldn’t resist myself against, from song to song emergenced alternately excursive faces, showing theirselves totally unexpected, they came from nowhere, just to win the temporary importance of the presence, but immerse straight after in the dark sea of the forgotten. Each and every song had its own name label. Oh, how well I know those moments, they are deep damned to squeeze, but they are following one, they are suddenly here again, persistent and obtrusive, one song long ongoing, recurring, stirring miracle. I was caught by the old sadness, I felt the lonely pain of the one way remembrance (I never had a common song with somebody), and needed to ask myself intentional, where are all the people (predominantly women), who did mean so much to me? The songs still are there. In the meantime they got transformed to my personally evergreens. When I listen to them, skeletons are getting alive, and the ghosts in my head start dancing.

LIZ MANDVILLE GREESON • FACE THE MUSIC

• Move Over

It was 2000, the beginning of May. Here I was, standing reverentially touched in front of the Lyon Street #122, in San Francisco. Nothing indicated that, that she ever lived here, one did simple know that (or not),  but I could see her through my mental eyes behind of the facades, in her apartment, lying on her colorful couch, up beat, maybe on a trip of some kind. I could feel her presence almost real, I heard the clang of her jewelry, during she was lying back and laughed haggish. I took a deep breath. I sucked it in, the air of the heroical nostalgia of Ashbury Haight. Yes, I’ve been there. Thirty years too late. Janis, I missed y o u.

JANIS JOPLIN • MOVE OVER

• The Ship Song

C.R. lived at that time in San Francisco. She wasn’t a projection of the past. I’ve got to know her short before Christmas in Florence at the Biennalè. We both exhibited there, and were staying at the same two** hotel. She talked to me already on the very first day. She just drunk coffee and ate one orange for breakfest. She had this erotically smoky voice, and those certain two dimples around her lips, to them I am attracted by women so much. She spoke English only, and she had a lot to say. Although at that time (now, eleven years ago) I didn’t speak her language yet, I had the feeling, to understand her completely. The language had no meaning, we communicated with each other on a quite different level. I enjoyed every moment of her presence and felt her attractiveness. She was ten years older than me, already fourtyfive, though a very pretty Canadian Jewish woman. We spent ten unforgottable days together. I delayed my departure day by day, the strike of the Italian railroder came more than welcome to me. It was so hard to say goodbye to her.. I wanted more, even more to experience with her, and I believed strongly in saying to myself, that it was only a friendship I was interested in. However, on the last day, in front of the Uffizi, as our lips met in a one long never-want-to-quit kiss, I have totally forgotten, what I wanted, or don’t wanted. During the night I couldn’t sleep at all, her kiss burned on my lips still, I just could think of her, and used the time of the dark night to write her my very first love letter. As already mentioned, I didn’t speak any English at that time, but the love I felt was showing me the words I was searching for. I left the letter at the reception early in the morning, as I finally left Florence with a heavy heart and heavy suitcases. Hardly arrived at home again, I started to play her favorite song from Nick Cave. During the song played nonstop, I stared hours long, days long, weeks, actually months long at a picture of her, which was made at our last dinner. When I looked at her, my breath caught, she and her features were set full with mistery. Her mystical smile and her sparkling green-blue eyes accompanied with the overwhelming heartbreaking lyric and melody had only one effect. Like an obsessed fetishist, I falled madly in love with a picture.

NICK CAVE • THE SHIP SONG

• I Got The Feeling

..you know? I think, no, she didn’t. But I did know, I need to see her again. Best, immediately. Between us was only the ocean. Actually not an insurmountable obstacle, not at all, for a loving person, like me. Oh, this love didn’t know any border. But I needed to be patient, still for a long time. We did have only one possibility to communicate with each other, we were developing our relationship through writing to bridge the gap of time. So I’ve been confronted though with her language again and again. I don’t know if it was a captivating story to read, but the printed pages were getting to a big thick book by the time. On that way she was always with me, twentyfour hours of the day, hidden between the lines, turned into black characters, so we got united. I felt her in my deepest inner, and woke up every night, when she was sending an email to me. Bing! With the time difference I lived the past of her future in the same time. Virtual lovers in the cyber space of the universe. I’ve got the feeling, so deep and so moving, like only two times, eighteen years before and than ten years later, again.


SHARON JONES • I GOT THE FEELING

• Words

É.Á. was only the beginning in engaging myself with the closeness of writing, first time done on my native tongue which was full burdened with taboos. She was a Jewish woman, like C.R., eleven years older, than me. I was seventeen, and it was my birthday /the best, ever!/. I’ve got a huge water melon from her and from her artist friend a beautiful, self made japanese, Edo drake. The red and white calligraphically patterned drake was flying on this one day only. We were in a summer art camp. É.Á. wasn’t an artist, but the daughter of a famous painter in exil. She suffered very much from living in the shadow of his fame, to bear his last name, since she was very creative as well. But so she just teached ideology and Russian at my school. As the school started again, I saw and met her daily there. Additionaly we were writing and sending letters one another via snail mail, each and every day. That was our secret game. It was so exciting to escape into the written empire of phantasy, I could feel her warmth and felt safe and secure in her thoughts. But very soon this penpalship seemed to be more than a simple friendship. Each day the letters got more intense and even more intimated. The written, but never spoken words we used were exploded into unknown emotions, Oh, she understood very well, how to handle sensitive words. One day she did write to me „szeretlek“ and the lines got blurred before my eyes, my hands shivered, as I was reading her usually six to eight pages letters till to the end.

BEE GEES • WORDS


• Baby What You Want Me To Do

At that time I wasn’t able to understand or to define those feelings. Neither hers, nor mines. It was so strange, it excited and hurted in the same time. It was unexperienced love. It was clean and virgin, fullfilled only through writing, as the only spirited act in the passivity. But I did know, she loved me, at least with the same deep passion, as I loved her. Later she became jealous, or just got scared from the intensity /?/ and she asked me to decide, to make a torturous choice: either she or the rest of my world. The abrupt end made me confused, since I didn’t understand, what she actually wanted from me, why in such a dramatic way at all. She just seemingly left it to me to choose, and I am sure, she didn’t expect, that I ever will decide against her, as it happened.

BONNIE LEE • BABY WHAT YOU WANT ME TO DO

• Helplessly Hoping

It did not matter, if we saw each other or not. Even when years went by without any contact, when we met again, our past got immediately alive, and all those undefined feelings got back. She played with me the same game with long breaks for six years. I think, I got back to her four times and we restarted four times, always with the same intensity and with the same end. She quit everytime cowardly with a remorseless, humiliating long, long, long letter. She destroyed the love, which she feeded. This insolvable riddle of WHY? accompanied me during my whole life (well, it was worth to live long enough, since shortly I could solve it though). So I was not surprised, not at all, but much more relieved when her last letter arrived. It did not require any answer. I didn’t hate her anymore, I didn’t love her anymore. I ripped her letter into little bits, together with all the others I kept so long, and burned them up, before I moved from Hungary to Vienna. Those letters weren’t destined for external views. We never spoke about what happened between us, with us.  She passed away 1995.

CROSBY, STILLS & YOUNG • HELPLESSLY HOPING

• San Francisco

But right now I was just waiting for a sign of C.R. With her I experienced a new awareness, again in a different language, but this time in a more unselfconscious way. When after three long months of hopeful despair the sign finally came, I didn’t hesitate, not for a second. I booked my airfare immediately on the 1st of April. It wasn’t an April fool. Only nineteen days later I arrived in San Francisco by beaming sunshine. A trip into the unknown affected by expectations and shy dreams had started. The disappointment was preprogrammed. At the airport nobody was waiting for me. Even though she showed up hours later I hardly recognized the woman I was waiting for. I simply was high from the nicotine detoxification due to the long flight. As a welcome gift, she kissed me on my lips /wow!/ and smoked my cigaret with me. We drove to her apartment, uphill, downhill. She lived near the Twin Peaks, somewhere on the fourtysecond hill, with a gorgeous panoramic view over the city. She fixed some food, filled fish and salad, a traditional jewish meal to Easter. But I only was hungry for her. I kissed her neck tenderly, she said, „Oh, thank you!" /?/ We were sitting on her sofa, intimately entwined.. in front of us the ghetto of the gay people in twilight. A tiny romantical detail from the land of unlimited opportunities.

SCOTT McKENZIE • SAN FRANCISCO

• White Rabbit

Nothing happened that way, as I had hoped or had wished for. It wasn't much I could give her, but that not much was already too much, just because she didn't want me, not really. She couldn't let her feelings in, she could not let me in, she was not able to make a decision, although I think she tried to make some efforts, and in a way she was fascinated by me still. She was simple overburdened in every sense, and she was extremely contradictory. We had a start from the zero, we hardly knew each other yet. She loved and lived the distance, she was deeply irritated through my presence. I had got too close to her. I didn't need much time to notice, that I was at the wrong place. I got caught in my own trap, I was stucked there. I felt superfluous, ordered without being picked up,  just like at my arrival. She was not taking any time off during my stay. In the morning time the phone was ringing constantly, it was hardly possible to carry on a conversation with her. She was always very busy but went to work at noon. After work she had to swim. Back home she only came late at night. I really tried, using my best endeavors, to adapt to the situation, to her life, although I already realized, I would not fit to that, not a bit. There was no place for me. Not in her apartment, and not in her heart. Everything was about her and there was no hint she would ever show some interests for my needs. There was no relationship between us, even I had wished for it so much. I got aware, that our get-together would work only, if I would live her life, if I would totally forget about myself, which I could not. Not always. I tried to ignore these highly uncomfortable thoughts, but the fact was, WE didn’t exist. There was just she but there was me, too, and between us the ocean of unresolved emotions.


JEFFERSON AIRPLANE • WHITE RABBIT

• Cyclone Shuffle

I had a terrible jet lag. I would rather have been sleeping or to holing up. I hated myself, to need a dictionary even for cooking. During my whole stay I had this weird blackout, I couldn’t keep anything in my mind, I was not even able to remember the brand name of the butter she used to take. She was right. My English was very deficient for communication, „very limited“  just like the harmony between us. But why got the spoken word suddenly such an importance? We didn’t miss that in Italy. Although, I told her everything, what I wanted to tell. I don’t like to repeat myself, so I wrapped myself most of the time in reticence. In the meantime I realized, even if I didn’t want to admit it first, she only could give me the feeling through her letters. Her person was too strange to me, in reality I couldn’t let her in either. She couldn’t perceive me, cause she just perceived herself in her selfish way. She didn’t want to understand, what it meant to me to love her, to be able to love again. She just enjoyed narcissistically being desired, and my dependency due to the situation. She drove the car, I took the bus, if I could find a bus station. One night we were going out nevertheless, she was showing me some parts of the city, Little Italy, the Pier 29, and we were at John Lee Hooker’s Boom Boom Room. We didn’t meet the „Father of Blues“ personally, but I was sitting at his reserved place. Somebody took a quick picture for $ 5.00. We both looked sceptically into the polaroid camera, during Mr. C was thrilled blowing the harp. 

Mr. C • CYCLONE SHUFFLE




• Boom Boom

One of the highlights of my stay was giving a lecture at the CCAC about my paintings. I was excited, it wasn't easy to explain my concept about the circles. But the students were very interested. I had taken enough visual material with me, I guess I did a good job. C.R. was obviously proud of me. After work she took me out for a dinner, than we walked around Castro for a long time hand in hand. Under the rainbow colored flags that was nothing special. But unfortunately I broke the temporary harmony successfully by putting a little question in the air, which I could not resist „do you think, that you have some little place for somebody in your life at all? /Be amazed!/ She did understand me. She winced, and  got a hysterical attack, she started to scream, so loud, I thought she would show me the dooor there and than. She screamed at me on the street, in the car, during the whole time until we got home. I didn’t know, how to ease the situation, since I didn’t have a chance to dispute with her. Well, obviously I had touched a sore spot /shit happens!/ Suddenly she started to cry, as she said: „ I really wanted you to come here, because I love you, yes I do!“.. /Oh!/ I kissed away the rolling teadrops on her face. I love you, szeretlek, ti amo, ja ljublju tjebja. In how many languagues, and how often had it been repeated, this innocent on the most primitive way built-on sentence [ I + Heart + You ]  whithout getting the right significance, perceiving the real meaning or devastating consequences? If love comes into the game, everything is changing. Why? Those words keep their validity only as long as one is articulating them. Anyway, you do have three second time, to let yourself be misleaded by it. The matter of love seems to hold a painful secret, which, in the end, is simple to disclose. Maybe I just got the intuition, since I was not able to tell these words anymore. You might think, there are so many different  kinds of love, it’s easy to get lost in the jungle. But believe it or not, there is only one love, as it gives only one word for that. We just handle it different, splitting and making different kinds of it, since we feel on different ways, as we all are different. So speaking about the feeling (not  about sex), I have to say, actually there are only two kinds of love, always two extremes: either a viable love, ready to make compromises, or a together non viable, egocentric love, just as there is only a mutual or onesided love and there is nothing in between.

JOHN LEE HOOKER • BOOM BOOM

• California Dreamin'

What I experienced with C.R. was not the “Nightmare before Christmas“ but the american nightmare after Easter. My pipe dreams were broken, the California Dream crucified. I never could live there, I never could live with her. I just was happy, to be able to leave this continent finally, and I am sure, she was relieved as well, that I disappeared from her life. Actually I didn’t want to see her again. Not again. When we would not had planned a common exhibition in Vienna, most probably a reunion would never had happened. But the prearrangements for September were already running on high tours. We could keep just somehow, very sporadically in touch. I hardly could write to her, I couldn’t trust her anymore since she told me „We have to write a book together. You know?“ That was even more than I wanted to know. So that was it what she seriously intended  to do with my letters. Simple to take and use my most intimate thoughts, to publish the love, I felt.

THE MAMAS AND THE PAPAS • CALIFORNIA DREAMIN'

• Big Mama's Door

I wanted to be late,  as I picked her up from the airport in Schwechat by Vienna, but was in time, like her airplane. First I thought vengefully, right now it’s my time, and I will reward all her mean indignities. But as I saw her again, a short look was enough to shift my decision for hundredeighty degrees. Actually why should I hurt myself again, why I should not simply enjoy the anyway limited time we have? It was my territory, this time I was at home, but she felt like at home at the spot.  She loved Vienna, she loved me, and she even liked my enterprising dog. She was on vacation, and we did an exhibition. She did forget her fears, her inhibitions. I don't know how I could push away the intermezzo in San Francisco and was falling in love with her a second time without realizing it. Well, sometimes you just make the same mistake two times, even if you are aware that it is a fatal mistake, you do it though. I wasn’t able to control my feelings, to navigate them with my head as I usually do. I wanted and I wished to get close to her. Don't ask me why, but I wanted her, still only her. It wouldn't be nice to meet somewhere in the world two, three times yearly, to spend our vacations together and living in that way a kind of a compressed long distance relationship without sharing our day to day life? That would have been enough for me. She promised me to meet me soon again, she promised, that we'll have a future, and I believed her, because I wanted to believe in us. And I was sure, that was love. This time the ten days were too short, they were flying by, like an instant. I couldn't prolong it even if I wished to enjoy every second of the fullfilled luck in slow-motion, it was over much too soon.  Saying farewell she aspirated a last kiss through the glass wall at the airport, I saw her blurred through my tears. She was gone. Just like my tears, I couldn’t keep her back.

ALVIN YOUNGBLOOD HEART • BIG MAMA'S DOOR

• Misery 'N

The hope to see her again soon, all her paintings from the exhibition, which temporarily were stored in my studio, and the music, which reminded me of her, were the only things she left me. I still felt her presence in my apartment, and felt, this time she had been fallen in love with me as well. I gave her time, to get used to the feeling. Although I could hardly wait to meet her again, I wanted to hear her speaking out the same wish. She would have needed to say only one word, I would have booked immediately a flight, no matter where. I did not mind even if it would have been to the end of the world again. But I had to be content with her meager friendly letters, since nothing arrived from her otherwise. I missed the word, I was longing so much for. That hurted again. The months, the years went by, the paper was patient, till I lost my patience finally. She called me on the phone every Sunday (cheap day), at my birthday and at New Eve’s Day. She was writing to me every year for Valentine’s Day, and on Thanks Giving. Sometimes she was sending me some cool CDs by snail mail. But I didn’t get the impression, she would have ever wanted to see me again. To plan a meeting was everytime extremly inconvenient. It always was too short-dated or too long-termed. Either she had no money, or no time for that. I couldn’t watch, how our big love decayed to a pen-pal relation. But she didn’t let me go, she didn’t quit to write. Seemingly I could give her something special. And I was hoping secretly everytime when our contact was getting more intense and the fire was flaming again. I was faithful to her for years. She filled my thoughts, even if I wanted to forget her, I couldn’t let her go either. I wallowed in pain and in painful beautiful memories. „But I've tried, don't you know I've tried. Cried, cried, you know how I've cried. An', an' baby, I've been missin' you “, till  finally I got enough from her once more repeated „forgive if“..

JANIS JOPLIN • MISERY 'N

• Everybody Needs a Good Song

How do I think about it today? One is dying a bit by every breakup. Sometimes even you do feel, that a reunion happened for the last time. Although one doesn’t need to die necessarily to be dead. Sometimes it is enough to loose touch with somebody. It’s an only coming and going. Some people have to go to make place for other. Some maybe come back into your life one day, some get lost forever. Some paths may cross for a short interchange, some are running parallel without any chance to meet, living two different stories. Sometimes you won't get a chance anymore to talk about, sometimes it is too late to talk at all. To leave somebody or to be left has the same sad meaning and the same effect. The lack of communication. It’s so heartbreaking to look helplessly on, how the big feeling getting less and less, disintegrated bit by bit, day by day, till completely passing out. Being together depends only on a silk thread. Sometimes it will do one word, to tear it. In reality one always does break up in a lonely way, mostly long time before leaving actually. The blame is shifted to one only due to convenient complacency, although there are always (at least) two people involved. It does not matter, who is quitting. There is no winner and no loser. Stand-off.

THE CHARMAINE NEVILLE BAND • EVERYBODY NEEDS A GOOD SONG

• Why?

Even if the memories were very painful, I must admit, they were very inspiring. After she left  I finished the seventh tryptich (the last) from my four-years project „the seven prayers“, for which I had got the grant of the Pollock-Krasner Foundation from New York. /How C.R. envied me for that!/ During I was painting the huge pictures (they were bigger than me), I was listening to only this one song back and forth „Why?“ I needed those hot beats to compensate the silence of my daily meditations. Besides that was the only question which busied me, to find an answer for everything what had happened. I was confident (whithout being excessively conceited) that with this work I wrote a piece of art history. Literally. I did write a whole chapter of the Lotus-Sutra (the prayer of the soka-gakkai budhists) into the paintings, and dedicated them to the four base elements (sea, earth, wind, fire) as well to the moon, to the lotus-flower and to the sun. I finished them exactly in the right time before I changed my studio and still was able to document them in my huge, loftlike basement-studio. In July I moved into an attic studio, which I got from the City of Vienna. In August I designed a book of the seven tryptichs, a small postcard book. It was meant for spreading my art and even after sending the postcards having still a mini book. In September I found the right book publisher, we went in print and in December we could present the book for the first time during the exhibition of "the seven prayers" was running in the House Wittgenstein’s in Vienna.


JESTOFUNK • WHY?

• Emergency

I mostly was left. But someday I learned to go, when the time was right to hit the road. Of course those bitter times left marks and the willingness, to get hurted, decreased. I was sleeping alone even during the time I’ve been with W.C. together. I must admit, the start of meeting her was really romantic. We just could not have been more different. She was in a relationship, that bothered me less although it was not defined, who cheated whom. I didn’t care about, since I was free, only responsible for myself. Her tongue was pierced, that bothered me much more. I was surprised to notice, how conservative I actually am. She was Gemini from zodiac sign, sexuality for her was a self-evident way to communicate. (I can’t say till today which sign of zodiac is mine. I was born on July 22nd, which is the first day of Lion in Hungary, but the last day of Cancer in Austria, just because the Hungarian language doesn’t include the last day of „ from -till“, but German does.) Already after a short time, W.C. claimed, she had fallen in love with me. She left her girlfriend in lightning-speed, but found it too intimate to spend Christmas with me, inspite of three months of intense contact. Overnight I found it quite easy not to see her again. A down time of paralyzing winterdepressions cought me after I left her. In my head reined a terrible chaos. I couldn’t do anything against, I was totally taken out. Sometimes I even couldn’t leave my apartment. Everything around me apperad so strange, so surreal. I tried to get out from this deep hole, I needed to get back to the roots. That way I got the blues again. Within weeks I redoubled my music collection. I was searching for new vital energies, for a new voice. And finally I found it by accident on the web. That helped me, only that. The voice, I always wanted to hear since I am listening to music. 

KOOL AND THE GANG • EMERGENCY

• Juicehead Man

I was running with my newest discovery two floors below in the house and knocked impatiently at the door of C.W. Finally! She was at home and a bit amazed how excited I was. I had to share with her the exalted joy. She couriously put the CD into the player and turned up the sound. I realized what was going on in her, as she listened to those vibes the first time, since I felt the same. She was the only one, who could feel, what I felt. She said „Oh My God, I thought Janis is dead!“ She wasn’t scared to make this two hour, soul session trip with me, to sense all heights and deeps by going through mysterious dimensions. She was one of the few people, who did understand what’s the message, which only music can bring, to get one with it, even without understanding the lyrics. Only the music counts, the 4/4 or 12/8 rhythm, the harmony kept within the right key with major an minor chords, the interaction of playing and singing, the joy of the sound, the heartbeat of the beats, „take me to the bridge!“ This music was not made for fading away in the background. Listening with her to that together was a catarsislike real experience.

LIZ MANDVILLE GREESON • JUICEHEAD MAN

• Addiction

Although C.W. was thirteen years younger than me, she was very grown up at least in her inner entity. We flirted already six years with each other, since she was living in the same house like me. First, I think, she hated me, just because I did know earlier than she did.. /Oh!/ She still needed some more time to bear, as well as some more experiences to understand her own coming out. We had spent some long excessive nights with each other, until she stayed with me for breakfest the first time. I was gripped by panic, in my awareness beat only one sentence, you can’t tie her to you. She still was so young, untamed, she  had her life yet to come. I didn’t have to wait for something new anymore. Only once in a while there was a little surprise like that night. I did know it would be irresponsible of me to expect anything from her, just because I couldn’t resist her juvenile charm. 

VERENA • ADDICTION



• Like The Way I Do

Actually I don’t believe in accidents. Things happen, as it has had to come that way. After a month we met again, but I couldn’t stay with her. I needed to escape from myself, I couldn’t take a risk. She could have hurt me. I couldn’t trust, neither her nor me.

MELISSA ETHERIDGE • LIKE THE WAY I DO

• Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien

But no, I don't regret anything at all.

EDITH PIAF • NON, JE NE REGRETTE RIEN

• Sweet Home Chicago

I would never have thought, that the american continent would ever see me again. I needed immense much love to cross the Atlantic. I did it six times until now, four strong reasons gave me that courage. Firstly helped the love to C.R., secondly the love to the music, thirdly was my art, fourthly a deep long term friendship to H.Z., fifthly and sixthly a mix of all, love, friendship, art and the music again, so I could forget about my fears of flying. I am pretty sure it won’t happen again as there is no reason anymore. Back than I got fourty, Blue Chicago was waiting for me, the windy city by the lake, so I tempted fate provocatively, even if it should have been my last flight. Since my last trip to San Francisco four years had passed. I was in urgent need for some new inspirations. I did know the voice, I did know the name, I just missed the person to it. I already missed Janis, just because I was born too late, so right now I only wanted to use my time, the right time. I needed a real-life experience, to get to see and to get to listen to her live. When I arrived in Chi-Town, I immediately had the feeling to be at home. The city seemed familiar to me, the smoky blues bars were the reflection of my youth. I spent seven restless, sleepless nights in that exciting city, the blues was flowing through my veins. Finally I’ve landed by accident at the right place, in the right time. I got the blues every night and every day all kind of it, from Delta till to the 21st century, in all possible variations, everywhere. I sucked each and every beat in, insatiably hungry for everything Chicago was offering me.


KAREN CARROLL • SWEET HOME CHICAGO

• Look in Your Heart

I asked her for it and she was singing the song o n l y for me, whithout a guitar, accompanied only by a tambourine and drum, almost a capella. She encored with it a four hour long gig at Big Downtown. The room vibrated of her frequency and was fullfilled with her powerful, four octave voice. She was giving all, and oh, even more. She sung her heart out and speared my spirit. The walls were shaken from her powerful Red Hot Mama vocal. „Follow Your Happiness“. Yes, I did, and it made me really happy. „Only you walk your road.
O n l y  Y o u.“ How true! On the next day she had her next gig at Bill’s Blues, it was no question for me to get there, even if the bar was in a suburb, and even if the rain was pouring down the whole day. She gave me the address last night and I took a cab, we arrived at the same time there. It was like a miracle for me, incredible, unbelievable that my dream came true. I did get to know her and I was sitting next to her at the bar before the gig started. I was so excited, that I was not able to open a bottle of milk. „Sometimes I´m so helpless. You know?“ „Oh, Baby, come on!“ I made her laughing, and she put me on the spot. I hardly risked to look in her cosmic blue-grey eyes. She reminded me much too much of my mother for being attracted to her. A short woman with a voice of a lion. So it wasn’t the person herself but solely her voice I was attracted to. I tried to look deep into my heart to ask myself honestly. Did I want to get to know her really just because of the music or was I searching for something else? She spent every break between the gigs with me, we chatted and laughed, and we made an appointment for Sunday.

LIZ MANDVILLE GREESON • LOOK IN YOUR HEART

• Sitting On The Dock Of The Bay

That was my last day in the metropolis of blues. We met first in a restaurant on the Clark Street. She came with her friend. Afterwards she invited me surprisingly into her house. It was like the dream I dreamed already long ago. We were sitting next to each other on her colorful couch in a red living room. I could hear the clang of her jewelry when she was lying back. She was in high spirits and played some not yet released songs. Suddenly she picked an other guitar, started to play on, and said to me, „take one and feel free to play with me“. There were at least twenty different guitars everywhere in the room. I took a red one, hold it carefully in my hands, but I had too much respect to play, it was too long that I played guitar at all. I just wanted to listen to her play. I know, she did know, that she couldn’t have given anything to me which would have meant more for me.. That was the non plus ultra of all my dreams, she shared her gift with me. I was almost exploding out of luck and joy. I could hardly believe it, but she was singing and playing for me. O n l y for me. For hours. What a voice! By enjoying this private gig I was literally getting stoned by the music. We spent eight hours with each other celebrating all kinds of art. Than she gave me a drive back to my hotel. She honked for farewell and beckoned to me through the open roof of her deep blue Chevrolet. End of the film spool. But this dream wasn’t dreamed out yet. I did know, I’ll be back.

OTIS REDDING • SITTING ON THE DOCK OF THE BAY

• La vie en rose

I was her fan, her so-called friendly stranger. I hardly did know her, she did know me even less. The person was strange to me, but the voice all the more familiar. I did know her voice already when she didn’t even know that I existed. I could listen to her night and day, whenever I wanted to listen to. Her incredible voice was given so much energies to me, and she was not even knowing about. Nobody believed me, that I didn’t fall in love with her. /As if I would be obligated to fall in love with every woman, just because I am gay!/ I was fascinated, that’s right, but not in love. How I could ever explain, also to her, that I did only admire her voice? That would have been close to an insult. We were keeping email contact, that was cool. I hoped for an exchange between artists. Our interests were very similar, she was painting and writing too. But we met only in the world of music. And one year later we met in Paris. Thinking of the Eiffel-Tower, I still see her drawing and have to smile, the paper was too short, the tower too long, so she did turned down to the left  the top of the tower, like a bedcap. /Long live the artistic freedom!/ And oh, of course we did the photo of the millennium in front of the Eiffel-Tower. I like that photo much. She was on a vacation there but did a gig too and I came to Paris only for the weekend. Although it was my first time in Paris, in everything I saw or did there, I had the feeling I had seen or done it before, that I had already been there. I was amazed, how similar the buildings were to the buildings in Budapest. But well, both cities were rebuilded about the same time at the turn of the century. The Déjà Vu started and didn’t left anymore as we visited the House Of Rodin, in Camille Claudel’s honor (again an amazing woman behind a man). We walked and took lunch in the rose garden. I still see her bending down to a rose bush holding carefully a fresh yellow bud to smell at. At that place we were not the diva and her fan, but friends, two no name tourists with a map in the hand on the Champs Elysees. We treated ourselves a delicious, high-priced dinner on the top of the Monmartre, (they accepted VISA) but most of the time we spent in her hotel room, drinking exquisite french red wine, playing and singing. I even sung the russian hymne, which I could sing even if you wake me up in my deepest sleep. I learned that at the school forever. In Paris we had so much fun and a wonderful intense time together. Even if our friendship didn’t survive my second trip to Chicago, I wouldn't like to miss those memories.

EDITH PIAF • LA VIE EN ROSE


• Tobacco Road

She gave me back my youth, the ability for enthusiasm, she gave me the feeling of being fifteen again. In my younger days I took copious photographs of a blues band in Budapest, I even won the state prize of photography with some of those pictures. I was at every gig of them. I accompanied them for years, from their very special, very hard start to their foreseeable breakthrough. They took me with on tours and did let me work on stage with my single lens reflex Practica camera (still from the East Germany, DDR era). Between and after the gigs I was always backstage with the five guys and their groupies. I belonged almost to the band. They were bringing something to the red country, you never heard before, free translated lyrics of western music literarily on highest niveau. They represented the Hungarian Big Beat Generation, even Allen Ginsbergh himself, accompanied by his friend Peter Orlowsky came for a guest appearance to their regular weekly gig. They did a real admirable true pioneer work. They were the first, who did understand the know-how of a show, how to deliver the message and deepest meaning of Blues to the from day to day bigger crowd, which was growing only by snowball effect, by word-of-mouth recommandation. They were showing the wild screaming pain of hopelessness, the loneliness of the rebels to thousends of bewildered teenagers. The shows acted so naturalistically, the infectious charisma so authentic that even in Hungary could happen a wonder. Out of a clown hobo and a handicapped gipsy stars were born. When I saw them at the very first time open air in 1979 in a warm June night at the castle, I did know immediately that this music is different. It was different in the same way, like me. The lyric was asocial, never adaptable it screamed for paying attention and get tribute and it was very sad. That was MY music and it owned a very own philosophy.

RARE EARTH • TOBACCO ROAD

• Big-Leg Woman

D.B. was grinning at me after a cool gig, „Call me Baby!“ He gave me his phone number, written on a dirty scrap of paper. He was disgusting as a man, his full beard pasha-like face filled my pupil, but he had a blues voice like nobody else. And I, I just wanted to get close, even closer to the blues, I wanted to belong to somebody. I felt at a loss, still struggled against the invitation, half a child, half already an adult, the dirty scrap of paper just burned my hand. One week was gone, I was torn but after long hesitating ready for everything. It was only my decision, nobody could help me. I took the public transportation and was on the road for many hours in different buses, as I needed to change them frequently, till I arrived in that godless outlying district of Budapest. I was standing in front of a long time closed run-down movie theater. I was waiting for him. Dark shadows of wretched figures appeared, they were watching me curiously to vanish inwardly a short time later. Sharp wind was blowing, it was middle of November. It was damned cold. I was completely dressed in black on that day, maybe subconcious I bemoaned the loss of my childhood. I got alerted as a puddle splattered. D.B. came up to me, based upon his crutch. He just waved for me shortly and I followed him into the unkind, bare-faced substandard one room-kitchen love nest. After his drooling kiss he asked me „Are you always so sad?“ That was the first kiss at all in my life. I abadonded apathetically my virginity to him. He was taking it without any scruple, without words, without love. That was all I could give him. I didn’t love him either. I just loved his voice. I felt the ecstasy only if he was singing on stage. I closed my eyes so I didn’t have to see his amputated leg. Before I left, we smoked a cigaret in silence, we didn’t have to say anything to each other. Although I was aware, that I wasn’t the only one (he was married, and he was glory in the popularity of a musician), and this was anything but love, he became sporadically my secret lover for the following years. Only my grandmother discovered traces of changing within me. She fumed but she couldn’t prohibit me anything anymore. It was a one sided breakup as I left him two years later. I guess, he didn’t even notice.

HOBO BLUES BAND • HOSSZÚLÁBÚ ASSZONY

• You Are My Destiny

Oh, well he was. At least, he got a big part in it. H.Z. was just like me. If he was showing up somewhere, you couldn’t ignore him. He was simple present. His tweed-coat was busted by his buff broad shoulder. He was not a tall guy, but he had a big soul and an even bigger heart. We went to the same art high-school, he was on the ceramic class. We were in the same age. He felt already very adult of himself, like a man, he spat sharply and often. But with his charming smile, flirting eyes, with his open, honest face he could conquer even the heart of my grandmother, who was hating men in general from the bottom of her heart. His birthday was on March 13th, „just like my father's birthday“ said my grandmother and got moved from her memories. I didn’t fall in love with him, but I loved him, unconditional, deep and forever. He was the brother, I never had. He was my hero, my James Dean, the most handsome boy at the whole school. Around him was a constant rotation of girls, he wanted to marry one after the other, he was serious in all his relationships, short or long. He had his own living and bedroom in one, it was a small, but very long, so called domestic room in a seven-room apartment at the third floor in an apartment house, in downtown Budapest. He painted his room, there was hanging from the celling a painted leg with candy-striped sox, he said, that was the hanging leg of the rain. From the wall was laughing a strawberry, in 300x blow-up. He collected inflatable hippos, and had the biggest disc-collection I ever had seen. He was a big fan from Donovan and Neil Young, at times when everybody was a fan either from the Beatles or from The Rolling Stones. He revealed some new music to me everyday, „Did you ever hear that? You must listen to that!“ I guess, he needed hours after our music sessions to get back the LPs in their right cover. He played in an ice-hockey crew, and he played guitar. He wore everyday a new colorful patterned tie. He got several roles in different movies. With seventeen he earned more money, as his father, who was a graphic artist in demand.

PAUL ANKA • YOU ARE MY DESTINY

• Rock Around The Clock

We had our first grand entrance at a prom. There was live music, the coolest rock’n’roll band of the city, called Hungaria, played. H.Z. took my hand, we started to dance, and suddenly everybody did quit dancing to give place for us, for our shaking and turning rock'n'roll figures. A chering crowd clapped their hands, no one’s feet could stay still when those heated rhythms were blasted out of the boxes. One, Two, Three, Four.. We rocked like there would be no tomorrow. Five, Six, Seven, Eight! I had highheels, a black dress and crimson lipstick on. We both were dressed in 60ies look, from head to toe. My father borrowed me for that night his butterfly sunglasses original from the 60ies, but it didn’t take long, the sunglasses break during the wild turn-around. We danced only together, the world was swinging around us, and we were swinging with it. But that was just the first of endless dancing nights. That was the era of wild house parties, we didn't miss any of them, we were everywhere, every night somewhere else. We danced twist, rock’n’roll, swing, we danced through the nights till our hand (from holding each other) and feet got bloody. We complemented each other in every movement, we had the same rhythm in every twist, in every swing and step. Our both youth melt into one, we were inseparable, like twins. With him I felt myself like a woman for the first time.

BILL HALEY • ROCK AROUND THE CLOCK

• Sand and Foam

A new store opened on the outskirts of Budapest, we heard, they had a very rare LP from Donovan. I went there with H.Z., we lifted some of it on the spur of the moment, because no one of us had so much money, but we had to have it. We were grinning, ducking, and running. We bought some hard alcohol, we were drinking it directly from the bottle on the street, while we were admiring the view of an inexpressibly wonderful sunset after the rain in a strange light. The sun was going down magnificently behind the rambling fume out of the long, thin chimneys of a factory in the distance. Deep in thought we already listened to the newly gained music. /Wasn’t that romantic?/

DONOVAN • SAND AND FOAM

• Sh-Boom

Our Sturm and Drang periode went some day to end, we had to grow up. H.Z. got married. He needed a woman like her, to raise a family. He needed a woman, that he could be THE man. I was invited to the wedding, I took the photos. Although I got very touched by the ceremony, I didn't cry. I couldn't cry at that time yet. Maybe I thought I lost him forever, but no I didn’t. Not yet. I think, he didn't know, that I would go through fire and water for him. The wedding took place in a little chappel at a small village by the Danube river loop northwards from Budapest. Instead of a bridal bouquet his wife was holding a huge plush strawberry, which actually smelled like strawberry.

THE CREW CUTS • SH-BOOM

• My Generation

We both left the country in the same year. There was an itractable crisis in the government, Kádár’s (the then Federal President) lies came to light, the one-party-system came to a fatal standstill. The people wanted more than something to eat, they wanted to be free. There were no chances being admitted at the Academy or to survive as an artist if you didn’t have any connections or patronage. We didn’t know yet, it doesn’t work somewhere else in a different way, but we believed in us, in our skills, and we did know „no prophet has honor in his own country“. That was our only chance, the plus, we could take with us by leaving. Being an exotic stranger in a foreign state. We didn’t have time to wait for anything, there was no outlook for anything, so we left the sinking ship of crumbled communism. Short before his departure we met in Budapest, but H.Z. didn’t tell me anything about his plans. /Not even me!/ Independent from him I left six months later. I was admitted at the Academy of Applied Arts in Vienna. He arrived after long waiting in Paris in the USA. Not only we both, but everybody left, who could. If I tell, Hungarian language is a world language, that’s no joke, because it is spoken in the whole world. Even if you’ll get among aboriginies, there will be somebody, who speaks Hungarian. It was a mass migration in 1987, almost like 1956, although without an (anti)revolution, but right before the Iron Curtain fell, which happened, totally unexpected, overnight, so nobody could have seen that coming. We scattered to the four winds. To Germany, France, Canada, Italy, Holland, USA. To change the country is not easy. Although I dreamed about living in the USA originally, I only managed a 43 miles jump but even so I landed in a quite different world. My parents were getting old, and I suspected, that they would need me soon.

THE WHO • MY GENERATION

• Go Tell It To The Mountains

I was nineteen when I was in Vienna the first time, it was my first time in the West at all. We were not allowed to travel often, we could do it only once a year. For three years only a small amount of change in a foreign (western) currency was granted. So we couldn’t get very far with that money anyway. Austria was „a land to live“ as it was said provocatively already when crossing the border, the portal to something, which I never saw before, although I was used to live in a capital. I always loved the anonymity of big cities. But here I got blinded from all the lights, from the luxuriance, from the transparent tricks of the rotting capitalism. As I arrived in Vienna I already played with those thoughts, I had plotted to stay. But after a few days, as I succesfully spended my whole money on LPs, and I couldn’t afford anymore to buy something to eat, I realized just in time that this luxuriance is only a pseudo luxuriance. It was too expensive and whitout money no brightness was shining anymore. Aside from that, I didn’t speak any German and did know, I could not escape from myself, nowhere. At that time I got back to Hungary with those profound insights, just to leave it four years later, forever.

SIMON & GARFUNKEL • GO TELL IT TO THE MOUNTAINS

• Good Vibrations

Although I really wanted to change my life, I didn’t have the courage to emigrate. I needed a better position to start than getting branded as a political refugee. I spent my so called most beautiful young years in a darkroom, as a photograph, I didn’t miss anything, but the money didn’t make me happy. I finally wanted to start living, not being buried alive in the darkness for twenty-four hours. I needed light, freedom, to live my life in my way. I booked a short one-day trip to Vienna, I had hardly time to do all the things, I had planned to do. I took some drawings with me. I wanted to show them to a professor at the academy. He was a guest professor and was not available on that day, so I left the drawings and my address on his table at the graphic class. I had no time to come back another day, the short trip was to end. Two weeks after I got a letter from him, he wanted to have me in his class. What a joy! What an acknowledgement! My heart jumped in my mouth. I could hardly believe my luck, but it was true. I felt the time of big moments has come, my decision was prompt, definite and inconsiderate. I had to arrange the big journey carefully. I had two months left to learn the language.

THE BEACH BOYS • GOOD VIBRATIONS

• Break Away

Due to the letter of the professor, I didn’t need to emigrate. As a self-preserving student, I could leave  the country legally. That meant the benefit, I could get back everytime to visit, I wasn’t on the black list. I closed my photo studio forever, left my hopelessly lonely parents and my grandmother in their house. I took the express train called „Wiener Walzer“ (Viennese waltz) and I took only one suitcase and a portfolio of my drawings to the West. I arrived in Vienna in the middle of the night in drenching rain and didn’t know where to go. Nobody with open arms was waiting for me. I didn’t have any friends or relatives there, I was completely on my own. I only knew a little hotel for hungarian people, where I already had stayed once before, but it was booked out. Nevertheless I took a cab and went there. The owner, Hungarian himself, had some mercy with me. I could stay that night, sleeping on wing chairs pushed together. To end up - I stayed in that hotel for the next month. I payed all inclusive up front and got a room without a window, a dark hole next to the common bathroom. There was no furniture either, only a bed to sleep. Sitting on that I wrote every day long letters to my parents and to my grandmother. Suddenly I got bitterly homesick, the temptation of giving up the fight was very big, already now, before it really had started. I hardly had money but I bought a cheap walkman with only one audio cassette, it was one from Garfunkel. I was listening to that for six months and one day, before the walkman broke. The guarantee for it was half a year /of course/. When I saw Garfunkel twentysome years later live in Vienna, he was singing that song as well, and I needed to think why actually I had not bought a new walkman?

ART GARFUNKEL • BREAK AWAY


• No Easy Walk To Freedom

The tuition fee for one semester at the academy swallowed almost my whole money, although I had sold everything what I owned in Hungary. Everything beside of my books and my car, an (almost) oldtimer Ford Escort (still with an original great britain motor from 1969). I even divested myself of my, in the meantime huge, LPs-collection. I needed to find a place to stay in Vienna, but all was ultra expensive for my conditions, I would have never been able to afford an apartment. The education system was totally unknown to me, at the beginning I still went to the academy every day, but I hardly met somebody at the class, as there was no compulsory attendance. I didn’t have a clue which lectures or seminares I actually needed to attend. I was at a loss, I didn’t know anymore how to help myself. I used up all my financial reserves very soon and was worried about how my life should go on. I did know, I could not survive by occasional jobs, the income of that was at most enough for small presents, which I took with me everytime when I visited my people back home. I was living in the Golden West and of course I had to keep up the expected appearances that I was doing well there. Suddenly something was set in motion. I applied for a place in a chatolic student hostel and got it. In the hostel two people shared a tiny room. There was a piano in the basement, where I liked to spend my evenings, playing piano or reading my books. There I could be alone, alone with my thoughts, and I could smoke.

PETER PAUL & MARY • NO EASY WALK TO FREEDOM


• Respect Yourself

I didn’t need to wait for some help from somewhere. Everybody said, if you can’t afford to be there, than go home. Even hungarian people working for Caritas in Vienna said the same to me. The months were flying by too quickly, it was soon again payday for the rent. I would have taken every job, no matter which one, if I just could have get one! But I was just running after jobs. If they heard my foreign accent, all the vacancies were already taken. I had huge escapements to speak German. Although I had passed an officially recognised language test on highest level before I left Hungary, that used nothing there, I hardly opened my mouth for half a year. The German language was and remained strange to me, I never liked the sound of it. It was like being in a dream when I suddenly found myself staying in front of the America-House. I had not known the address of it, and wouldn’t find it again, not even today. I went in, there was a phonebook from New York, I searched for the address from an american multimillionaire with Hungarian roots and found it. He got popular in Hungary through his several foundations. I wrote to him a long, long letter and described him my hopeless situation. It was more a letter to myself. I did know, if I could not get a fellowship from somewhere, I would have to follow the advice of my grandmother and of the sound mind to get back home, as there was no other choice. I was stubborn, it was about me, about my future. I ignored the catch-22 I was falling in, I didn't accept a "no" or "no chance". I wanted to show everybody, to prove especially to my mother, but also to myself that even if I am a dreamer, if I really want something, I am able making my dreams come true. My proud would never have permitted the confession, not even to myself, that I nearly had failed already. I would had lost my whole self-respect.

ETTA JAMES • RESPECT YOURSELF

• Freedom

I set me a very last deadline till the end of January, I abadonded myself to my fate even if I seemed to be powerless against, I still had one chance, to gamble with it. All or None. I couldn’t do anything else but waiting for a miracle. Today it sounds like a fairy tale, it was hardly to believe in those days either, but the marvel did happen. Not only one but more. On January 1st the Iron Curtain fell, the hungarian people were allowed to go wherever they wanted to, if they could afford that. They got back their liberty, so they could not get political asylum with the aid of the Swiss Convention anymore. Actually I received THE fellowship from America, I had applyed for shortly. All at once I got rid of all my worries, I won half a year to stay, to live. I even got a job in January by a filthy rich Jewish-Hungarian family. I learned there how to cook, and doing the cleaning I slipped around on their persian carpets. After a month I had enough of that. Living there has not brought any advantages yet, I had hoped for. I wasn’t free, not at all, but caught in persistent unsecurity and loneliness. I had no time for developing my art, no time even to think about, since I landed on the stage of the hard school of life, and first of all I had to learn the art, how to survive.

RICHIE HAVENS • FREEDOM

• Que Sera

I often have to think of those words, which my mother had written to me (I was maybe seven years old), whose real meaning I just started to understand over time. She said „life is the most complete roman, which ever was written. We are the existing heros in it. Our life is a big thick book, we flip through its pages, one after one, looking always straight forwards, what could hide away the next mystical chapter. When we hit the last page, suddenly all secrets get disclosed, nothing will be interesting anymore.“ Well, in my life were several heros, more leading roles were assigned. And although I knew, I should have been the key figure there, sometimes I left politely and gently the role to others. I had to get more distance to be able to see closer, to keep track of the whole. „Ahogy lesz úgy lesz..“ „whatever will be, will be“ sung Hollós Ilona  a hungarian crooner (my mother’s favorite song) on a clattering old shellac from the 50ies. That was the ideology, which I adopted and kept till today for my own use. Today is the day you live here and now, but you’ll never know, what will be on the next day. /Right?/

DORIS DAY • QUE SERA

• Break On Through

So I just lived for the moment, awaiting the next. I didn’t have a plan. I wasn’t sure yet, what I really wanted, I just did know, what I did not want. I didn't want to get back home.  So I chain-smoked my stinking hungarian cigarets called Symphony at the lobby of the hostel, as I usually did on the evenings. I was just thinking about isolation in general, as I got some company. A very pretty girl with long hair smiled at me and set down. She looked like a madonna painted by Caravaggio. We started to talk soon, we philosophized about God and the World, about life and art, till the sun was rising. What a night it was! Suddenly I could think in German. I could express what I wanted to say. I did completely forget about my inhibitions to speak, from that night I even started to dream in German. I met her again on the next weekend and after that too. We talked and talked as she kissed me surprisingly. I felt her warmth, her toungue, and returned her kiss. Than I thought, enough done for the start, and went to sleep. Of course I couldn't sleep. Late at night she knocked on my door. She slipped into my bed with a naturalness, I didn’t experience before. She snuggled her whole body to mine, I felt her soft skin, her long hair sheltered us like a tent. Honestly, I have not had much experience with women at that time yet, but we belonged together from that night.

THE DOORS • BREAK ON THROUGH

• Susanne

I didn’t know yet, if I was gay at all, I just could get THE feeling usually only with women. Now, being together with R.K. I had to remember my first time. It wasn’t long ago, just a few years back when I was falling in love with Susan. Through the crazy schizoid game of fate at the same time I got to know somebody else called also S. I think that S. fell in love with me, maybe a little. Both had Jewish roots, both were in the same age like me and both were very pretty. Susan (whom I loved), was a natural sex bomb at all. She played for a long time with me, with the fire, and with her thoughts to try it out, and on a cold December day she decided to do the first step. I still feel her first kiss on my lips, it tasted like kissing a cool, sweet strawberry. /Oh!/ She had beautiful lips. To kiss her was exciting wonderful, but nothing more did happen. It never came to more, since I cheated on her with S. already before ever could have had happened more. S. said „ lie to me! Tell, that you love me!“ Although I really liked her, I missed the love, I missed the desire I had felt by those first kisses, but I wasn’t able to say "no", to stand up to the temptation. So I lied the love to her, which she needed, but due to that I was unable to be together ever with Susan. This love affair brought anyway more complications into my future, than satisfaction. I was confused, I wasn’t sure, what was going on with me. In those days the consequences of an outing in the countryside of Hungary would have been the same like suicide.  My grandmother said terrified, "that's a bad illness, you must get healed from it!" /think: 1984!/ It wasn't to change, so she kept this (for her) such unpleasant and unwanted fact unwillingly among her other dark family sectrets.

LEONARD COHEN • SUSANNE

• Hallelujah I Love Her So

A new epoch started in my life, I belonged to somebody. I was giving my whole love I could sense to R.K. With her I also could live the unconcerned student life, I always imagined to live in Vienna. Often we went  to theater, as she was studying dramatics and philosophy. We spent most of our time with each other, long nights with everlasting discussions about everything. In the hostel we lived almost together, not in the same room, but under the same roof. As the summer came, R.K. went back home to Italy. I stayed in Vienna, but I suddenly missed her so much. She was sending me postcards from never seen romantic Italian cities, from Mantua, from the Torre del Mangia in Siena, even her mother was writing to me, and invited me to come to visit them in Verona. My (almost) oldtimer was still fit for use, although not officially licensed anymore, but I wanted to see more from the West, so I already dreamed about a journey to Italy. I got a temporary summer job to sell doors and windows sitting in a trailer, which was standing for weeks in front of the central cemetery. That especially did not lift up my soul, I felt bored to the death. To get distracted and to banish my cloudy thoughts I used my time to learn Italian, so I dreamed along. But the cruel reality was, the boss didn’t pay out my salary. As I didn’t see any money, I borrowed some. I took time off and was ready to go.

THE ANIMALS • HALLELUJAH I LOVE HER SO

• La Sposa Rubata

I was simply overwhelmed when I arrived at the border, seeing the huge, half in fog hidden montains of Tarvisio for the first time. Even the air was different there. Loud laughing and fast speeking cheery people were sitting outside on the streets, drinking grappa or macchiato, or leaning out of their windows talking to their neighbors. I was captured from the beautiful sound of the language, and perceived immediately the so likeable southern mentality, even if I just attended the most northern point of the north side from Italy, I couldn’t negate the conspicuous apparent difference to Austria. The wind billowed the colorful laundry on the fixed lines between the two sides of the narrow streets. Each and every little hundred-of-years-old stone house had its own story and history. I wanted to see everything, and everywhere I looked I got to see many different wonderful lively masterpieces of both, of art and history. This land would definitely have been  the land to live for me. I lived there my own Renaissance. I didn’t have a tent with me, just a sleeping bag, I slept at the campgrounds al fresco, under the open sky, covered by sparkling stars. From the annoying mosquitos or from the soft rain I could escape into my car. How I loved it to be on the road! - to drive early in the morning into the light of shines of the rising sun, to perceive the importance from quite different things than usually when living in the city. There was no everyday life but every day a new chance to discover the life, not just to look at, but to see it. I didn’t take a camera with me, I detested to take photos to remember. I just wanted to keep the inner picture, the spirit of all. But I did send, alternately to my mother or to my grandmother, beautiful postcards from every city, where I had been. I was already on the road for seven days when I noticed, that it might get tight with the borrowed money. Accidently I was nearby to Verona, I did have R.K.’s home address with me, so I thought „why not?“ and although I didn’t even know, if she is at home at all, I decided promptly to surprise her. The street to her house zigzaked on a steep hill. I was fighting in vain with the gear shift, the motor died-off, and the car started to roll back in spite of the pulled hand brake. I only could bring it to stop, by driving it against a fence. But then the car didn’t start again, and I couldn’t get out of it. I lighted a cigaret, pondering about, what I could do, and prayed that no car would appear behind me, as it was a one way street. After the smoke break, miraculously the motor started again. I was already staying in front of the gate to their luxury villa, just about to ring, as a car stopped behind me. R.K. jumped out from it, suntanned and with a big smile on her face, she just came back right from her vacation. She was more than happy to see me, we had missed each other too long. I spent a wonderful time there in Verona, in the romantic city of Romeo and Juliette. Visiting the house, where they might have lived (but didn’t), I saw there the biggest graffiti icon of love, millions of signed loving hearts pierced by Cupid’s dart. I am just asking myself, what would have happened, if their love would have come not to the well-known tragic but to an unexpected happy end? She would have got most probably some screaming children, and the big love would have been fading in the mill of their day to day life. My conclusion was (and is), that the magic of the uncertainty and the road to the actual event is offering much more thrill. You are always longing for something out of reach, until you reach it.

ANGELO BRANDUARDI • LA SPOSA RUBATA

• The Little Church

After four days I was saying farewell with a heavy painful heart. I heard the call of the road, I had to go. Driving my car between deep rooted green olive groves I had to remember a short poem, written by a schizoid waiter. „Ahead of you is all, behind you is nothing, you are on the road, you can’t do anything but move on. You got all, you realized, that’s nothing, you are on the road, you can’t do anything but move on.“ So I moved on, I crossed the Alps, the lila and red fields of the multicolored hills of Tuscany, the sun was beaming and wrapped everything in a golden light when I arrived in San Gimignano. The seven four-squared towers soared high up to the azurite blue sky, the magical small town still in the original state of the dark Middle Ages, captured my heart in a heartbeat. I admired the cathedral which was the shooting location for the movie „Brother Sun, Sister Moon“ feeling myself like an insignificant ant staying in front of it, as just out of nowhere rain was puring down. I escaped among other tourists to the open loggia waiting for the sun as suddenly somebody started to play on a celtic harp. The ambiance to feel myself moved in time into the sixteenth century was simply perfect. I could have stayed there till the end of time, but after two hours I had discovered even the last little hidden edge of the place. The most southern point I reached of the „boot“-land at this journey of time, was Island Elba. The summer and the five weeks were flying by, I had to cross the Alps driving back again, the last station was Venice, the sinking Byzantine dream, but I couldn’t see the beauty of the palazzos anymore, I only could think of the upcoming unsecure days. Even I had been fascinated by Italy so much, I took the way back to Vienna. There I had to start a lawsuit against my boss, cause he still had not payed my salary, and I won /Yeah!/ without having a lawyer, even only just one year later.

DONOVAN • THE LITTLE CHURCH

• The Snake

A new semester started. The girls were coming back into the hostel, R.K. too. In our relationship nothing changed, we carried on to the point we had to quit. We went out almost every night, we went to theathers and to opening parties of exhibitions, not really interested in the art of other artists but in the always great buffets. I mainly lived on that. She inspired me so much. I shooted a nine minutes 8mm film, she had the leading role in it, the only role. I called the short movie „up and down“ I shooted it at the academy. There was an elevator with a transparent glass door, of course the view from outside in it was blurred and alienated because of the patterned thick glass. The story was: R.K. went up and down in the elevator, till she fell in a claustrophobic panic and started to pantomime (the wall), caught in a transparency of a closed room. She went up and down for hours till the elevator came to a stop between two floors, and she really was caught in it. I intended to take this song from Laurie Anderson as soundtrack, her voice and the tempo of the song fitted just perfectly to the movements and to my thoughts about being caught in oneself, but also in reality. I just never cut the movie. I also shoot houndreds of photos of her, from her cosmic grey-blue-green eyes, from her perfect body. Some of the photos were published later in a gay journal. But she wasn’t gay, not really, not in her sexual habits and not in her lifestyle, and I still didn’t know, who I am.
One night we went to an alternative student party, and met independent from each other two guys, who were friends, and shared one room in a living community. We spent the night there, all in one room. As I woke up next morning, I hated and loathed myself infinitely. Suddenly I had the feeling, that R.K. was awake as well, and she watched me. I cleared out, quickly and silently. I was sitting for hours on a bench on the riverside of the Danube canal, watching the dirty grey-brown water, throwing chestnuts in the river, and tried to get rid of those awful bad feelings. Sitting there I got aware, that I cannot separate feeling from sexuality, my soul from my body anymore. I longed for being loved in all senses only from a woman. My perception was so crystal clear, my decision so definitely, the constant unrest, which I always carried around with myself, subsided slowly. I stayed consequently in my decision (till today), finallly I subdued my own homophobia. R.K. helped me to get MY coming out. But she herself made a different choice. Before long she got to know a painter, she dated him. I called him Pinocchio. He looked always scruffy. Our situation got pretty worse. One day she said „I don't want to feel your skin on my skin.“ But then she acted in a different way, so I didn’t understand anything, anymore. I didn’t know for what I should wait, if still I had to wait for anything at all. We didn’t talk to each other often for days, but then she did write desperated letters filling pages. "Where are you?"

LAURIE ANDERSON • THE SNAKE

• Stone In Love

In Budapest was the opening of the Austrian Cultural Week, my professor exibited some of his work there among other artists in the Art Hall. Every important face of the art scene was present,  so I had to be  there too. R.K. accompanied me. After the opening  was a huge party at the so called Fészek (Nest ) - Club (a club for artists only). The girlfriend of my professor was fascinated by my Buddha-like ears, she couldn’t quit to admire them. We all were already slightly boozed. R.K. was sitting on my lap she hugged me with one hand, with the other she kept a bottle of wine. I was inebriated by the night, by the many kisses I got from several women, but suddenly I was sober. A long-haired blonde woman came directly to me and asked me for a cigaret. I went into raptures, I never ever saw such a natural beauty before. Susan was a sex bomb, but this woman was sensually as well, she was a phenomenon. I never saw her before, although she said she was studying architecture at the same academy like me. Suddenly she dissolved into thin air, like a dream, like an eidolon. As I finally came to me from the amazement, she was nowhere to find, as if the earth had swallowed her up.

TIM BUCKLEY • STONE IN LOVE



• Dream A Little Dream Of Me

I didn’t know anything about this woman, not even her name, I just did know, I absolutely need to see her again. I only could remember a blurred face of her (since in general I can only remember voices), but the impression she left me didn’t leave me alone. I was searching for her, consciously or unconsciously, wherever I went. I even asked a stranger, a long-haired blonde woman on the street, if she had been to Budapest last weekend. She smiled at me and said „no, but I’ll be there next weekend“. I wished her a good trip. One week went by, I didn’t hope anymore, that I ever will see her again, maybe she did not exist at all, maybe I only had pictured her to me. I was lost in my thoughts, I wanted to cross a cross-walk in downtown as I felt a light touch on my shoulder and heard a voice saying „did you get back well from Budapest?“ /OMG! That was her voice!/ I turned surprised back and couldn't trust my eyes. I needed to thank my fate, that I always got a second chance, which I certainly would not blow that time. We went to the next old fashioned viennese coffeehouse, (Cafe Museum) and over coffee, I got her phone number and I learnt her name. It was as beautiful, as she was. It sounded like the 9th symphony to my ears. Jacqueline. Destiny. Just looking at her was an inexpressible esthetical experience. Not even a camera could catch her perfectly features. The lens of any camera drew her cosmic grey-green eyes, her erotically lips, her perfect nose oversized. She wasn’t photogenic at all. I was fascinated from her native, natural beauty (there was no need for any makeup), but from her soft style even more. I falled in love with her in a fraction of a second, but so deep, that I couldn’t think anymore. I felt the attraction of a hunter to a prey, I had to get her at least one time.

THE MAMAS & THE PAPAS • DREAM A LITTLE DREAM OF ME



• Fever

My following two weeks belonged exclusively to J.K. I was thinking nonstop of her, I couldn’t think of anybody else. We met almost every day, we went out together almost every night. I invited her into the hostel for a lunch. I cooked for us, she was late, but she came and smiled at me. She got a bit tired from the glass of wine we had drunk, so we went into my room. She was lying in my bed, and felt asleep on the spot. I was sitting next to the bed on the carpet. I enjoyed the lovely sight of  her face, half covered with her long soft hair. I couldn’t cut off my eyes from her, she was so beautiful. I gaped befuddled from longing for her, but I didn’t venture to touch her. The dream could have get broken. J.K. must have felt my eye, she woke up, our eyes met in a flash, and she dragged me to her into the bed, she said „Come closer!“ and she allowed, that I addicted myself to the desire, so I could give her all the love, I ever felt. Oh, I did know and was aware from the beginning, that she just wanted to try out to be loved by a woman. But she wanted to make this wonderful unique experience with me, so it made me thankful and proud forever. It was already late at night when I went along with her to her house. Coming back home into the hostel I still was floating on clouds of conquest. In the lobby I met R.K. she smoked nervously. I had had an intuition, that she was waiting for me. She asked me with an afflicted voice „where have you been?“ I answered cool and curtly „I just cheated on you“ and rushed into my room.

ELVIS PRESLEY • FEVER



• Need Your Love, So Bad

Over time, I got some more summary. I noticed that I could discern the women, who were longing for love, /well, who don’t?/ for understanding, faster.  In fact those women were only frustrated by men, in no way gay, only starving for some tenderness, and open to get it, even from me. But they accepted only the masculin side in me, they were attracted by my androgynous being and got interested in. Because of my active desiring I was pressured in a role which I adopted intentional involuntary. That supported also my inhibitions, so I never could  break the cycle. It was a tiring game, a long process, during those women discovered their own sexuality, they struggled with themselves for the most part. They acted out their femininity, they played with the fire, and with me. It was allowed, I did desire and captured them. I was seduced to love, but the love I gave, was rarely returned. My longing for women was only one-sided satisfied, I got them. Although I yearned for affection as well, I didn’t know the feeling, being desired. I was that petrified in the requested dominance, that I hardly was able, if I ever felt, to let in the love of somebody. Seemingly I had the position of power, but no, I had not, since I just could give my love, if they were ready for getting it, depending on their delight and whim. I never had time to think about, if I wanted to do it at all, I just grabbed my chance on time. By their passivity I got  permanently humiliated, and I was too proud, to beg for their love. I never was body oriented, if it was about my body. I just have an existing head (maybe that's why I think too much) and an existing heart (maybe that's why I feel too much). It is also a more esthetical principle that I like the body of women. I was drawing female nude portraits at the school, since I was fourteen. Seeing a nude woman meant to me nothing else, as to see a body, composed of muscles and bones, of light and shadow. This body could get converted into an object of the desire only by the charisma of a character. I am called gay, because I was born with a female gender. But no, I never felt myself, like a man. I never had this penis envy. I also never wanted to raise a family, or to bear a child either. I am not a man, and I am not a woman. I am both, and no one of it. I am the ID, the third gender, the bodiless thinking and feeling individual. /Are you happy Mr. Freud?/


B.B. KING & SHERYL CROW • NEED YOUR LOVE, SO BAD

• Hit The Road Jack

I had not payed the rent for my room at the hostel for the last three months. I should have searched for an alternative stay, before they kicked me out from there. I just didn’t have money to take an apartment. R.K. did find by accident an advertisement, I called there. It was hardly to believe, but a real baroness was searching for somebody to make her breakfest, and for that she was offering a room to stay free of charge. The baroness was a ninety-one years old, petite and a really cool lady (with some Hungarian aristocrat blue blood from the Battyányi family). She did like me, so I got the room and in September I could move into her house with a huge backyard and garden. It was located in the thirteenth district, one of the green districts of Vienna. In the neighbor house Egon Schiele had lived and painted. That was a good sign. The baroness lived very modestly, her daily breakfest consisted of two hard rolls with butter and tea, but she was adamant about taking the breakfast in her bed. That was my only task -  to prepare every morning at the same time her Earl Grey tea, to butter the rolls, to bring it into her room, to open the window saying „Good Morning!“ That was all, she was asking for. She needed that. The room she was offering to me had an own entryway and was furnished with beautiful, precious, original Biedermeier furniture. We shared the bathroom, the kitchen, and the phone. Never before had I had a private room for myself. At home I didn’t even have an own bed. I had to share it with my grandmother for a long time till I asked for my own. So I simply loved to be there, and prayed every day, long may live the baroness! I was searching for some society of similiar spirit, it required quite a lot of grit to enter the Rosa Lila Villa, which was (and is) a popular gay meeting-point for all genders. So I went there one day. I entered the pink house with big expectations, I hoped for getting to know somebody there. I entered a yawning empty local. I was too early. I spended there, I guess, eight hours on a Sunday afternoon, drinking two coffees during the whole time, reading the few illuminative brochures back and forth, waiting for the female Godot. She didn’t came. /of course../ As the local filled up, I needed to admit (superficially seen..), that I never had seen so many ugly women at one heap. I couldn’t ascertain beyond doubt, if they were men or women at all. I could not catch a glimpse of a feminine woman there. One cigaret yet, after that I wanted to go, when somebody came to my table, she had been sitting eight hours long, like me, vis-à-vis to me. Finally we started a conversation. She was studying art history, and was a big fan from K.D. Lang. I didn’t know the music from her. I didn’t know any gay artists. (Or I didn’t know they were gay.) In the following period, we met a few times, she was showing me some gay cult movies, and introduced me into the scene. I got a new friend. But I was searching for a new girlfriend.

RAY CHARLES • HIT THE ROAD JACK

• Alabama Song

I was firmly convinced that I was ready for and capable of a long, deep, close relationship, and I did know, that I could start that only with a woman. Although I was aware that the gay scene is not the right place for me to find the girl I wanted, I went there more often (the food was good). We wrote already 1990 when I went there to attend a Sylvester party, after midnight on New Year’s Eve. I didn’t nurse any hope for that night, so I met B.P. surprisingly the first time. She was studying at the painting class at the same art academy like me. I never saw her before. We got drunk, she was funny, although not my type, we stayed together watching out for pretty girls, who must most probably have been somewhere else, but not there. So we landed early in the morning in my room at the house of the baroness. Before all started, we needed to go to the hospital. B.P. paniced because she couldn’t see her contact lenses on her eyes anymore, she was searching for (she was searching nonstop for something), but couldn’t find them, so I drove her to the eye-clinic. Knowing she was gay, made the story then pretty uninteresting, but we had some fun, and she said, as she left „I’ll call you“. Of course, she didn’t, but I didn’t care about. One night I met R.K., we still met once in a while and we went for dinner to the Villa. She never had been at such a notorious establishment, she didn’t feel comfortable there. The local was overcrowded, not one single table was free, we already wanted to go, as I spotted two free chairs at least. We consorted to two unknown women. One of them had a nice smile, I have noticed that incidentally. That was the last night I spent with R.K.

THE DOORS • ALABAMA SONG

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