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27/02/96- Muziekdoos - Yeeta came in with one of her workmates asking for Gerhard, saying she was drunk and probably adding to that at the bar. I did not leave the table to talk to her --- I think I am learning.  She had asked if I'd seen Gerhard:
"No," I replied, " I haven't! Maybe he's playing Gent?"
"Oh, he's playing all right!" said Yeeta, " Anyhow, when you see him ... tell him that I still love him."

Well.. Everts was telling me of Leena, a German girl, who invited him back to her place.... only to find her 'boyfriend' sitting there ... and who was that? This caused a glitch in the niceties of social beauty.
"Well...." concluded Leena, " I was going out with him first! So I'd better go out with him."

I can't remember whether Everts said he had the one night with her before all this was decided ( no doubt at a hastily arranged summit.) I think a hefty re-arrangement of my conditioning is still needed.

23/02/96 - .....Interrupted ( from writing) by a man who bought me heaps of coffee and kept me in De Klamper for a couple of hours. Said he....I see, but I say nothing!.. and he spent the next two hours saying nothing.
This is not strictly true, but when you get the chance to twist words....well, why not?
I suppose the conclusion of it all is that people are different on the outside, but the same inside - that there are good and bad people - and that your sex drive is likely to diminish as you grow older. So... in the case of a 120 year old man...erm, forget it.
That concluded, I went down to busk the Cathedral.
NB. This entry is cynically flippant. The man did have much to say. He claimed that Donovan busked the streets and bars of Antwerp. In support, I have heard that Donovan used to play the Muziekdoos. This man claimed Donovan formed a trio while here..and that when he became famous he reformed the trio for a special gig.
 Email me if you want to offer your version... or, of course, if you're Donovan.

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Extracts from journal segment ' Early Worm' - Feb. 1996

     (dEUS)             (Zita Swoon)
              Antwerpse "rockshtars"

10/02/96 - ... and headed to the Elephant's Graveyard (Irish bar), where David Lloyd and Helen were playing. Peter and Peggy were in there, alongside some other girl, and, much the same as Molly's (another Irish bar) a couple of weeks ago, beers just sprouted up from nowhere.... so I busked no more that night.
I walked home with David, who is due to return home to Michigan (U.S.) on Thursday.
He was upset about Helen not suggesting any private meeting before he left. Well... Helen seems very similar to Ruana (my female pedestal). They both deal with their emotions in similar ways.
I was pretty drunk and when I returned to the appartment I ate some bread, cheese and salami.... because I had not really eaten that day, which ... I suppose... was why I was so drunk!

Gerhard arrived about half an hour later, even more drunk than me....
I thought you'd be working till six...?
Yes, he replied, the plaishe wash empty early --- sho I didn't earn mush..
Uh huh! said I
He staggered to a chair.. slumped down... and spoke on ...
Yesh --- I earnt 400 francs, but I had shome drinksh after... afterwardsh. Tom Barman offered me a lift home. We shtopped off at the Frituur No 1 on the way. I shaid to Tom,
"Tom! You're all imagesh! Why don't you play accoushtic guitar and write Flemish .. sh..shongs" ----- ' Well yesh..' he shaid, ' I have been doing a bit of that.' He ish all imagesh.... playing the rock shtar...

Oh dear! Gerhard was clearly too much drink, too much talk and not well thought out.
So I said, Tom does a lot of good work helping on developing groups
Well, yesh... I shupposh sho -- ohhh... why did I get thish drunk... I'm all .... he animated his fingers in imitation of a mouth busily talking.

Well, I suppose Gerhard  felt a bit bad about the things he had said to Tom, but I think Tom shows up well in this because he made sure a very drunk Gerhard got home safely. In addition, he calmly put up with Gerhard's uncharacteristic verbal bombardment.
But, in another way, it shows the sheer vulnerability of stardom alongside its pleasant fulfillment. I have heard stories where female fans went to extraordinary measures to attract his attention. Things might have altered a bit since Stef Carlens told me (last Spring) that it was Tom who received around 30 'come on' letters from girls each week...while Stef only got the one. Because now, of course, Stef is a 'rock star' in his own right, so he probably receives as many himself these days.
But, judging from his re-actions to one of the letters he received, he may well find it hard dealing with this aspect of 'stardom'.

A 29 year old female wrote him a letter saying how much she loves him etc...
She then wrote another letter blaming Stef for her writing of the first letter.
Stef was most upset by this strange behaviour. Said he, " She's 29... I'm only 25! What's she blaming me for? I never asked her to write no letter! "

As I've said before, I don't know Tom that well. We haven't had any deep, meaningful discussions in comparison to Stef. But Tom has usually been very friendly and courteous when we have met. The last time he stood up to shake my hand (Muziekdoos). As far as the media ia concerned I am unknown --- Tom is a 'rock star'.
He could choose to ignore me. He doesn't. So I am at odds with any comments branding him arrogant. He has achieved --- and I think he should have the right to enjoy the fruits of the achievement. It seems, from what I've seen, that he treats people with respect and friendliness.
That is not arrogance! It is dignity!
All power to him!

moving chair



20/02/96 - ANTWERP CENTRE:-Weekend aside, people here are very responsive to the weather. On a mild patch they would come out to the centre... provided it is not raining. So yesterday, with snow/sleet/rain and strong, cold wind, the centre was fairly empty --- and this seemed to confuse Sven and Kevin a bit because they came out to play bars. But they played only one ( with about 4 people in it) and earnt 50 francs each.
I said, " Maybe you can spend your 50 francs on a coffee?"
"Yes, that's true!" replied Sven, " But I think we are better off than most people coming out tonight. Most people spend money. We came out to earn it."

I suppose this satirical image we were portraying could be extended:-
Hi Joe! Jeez....I went out last night... oooo, have I got a bad hangover....
Looks like you have, John. I went out last night too. What did you do last night?
Well, I had a drink with my girlfriend in the Muse, then on to a few other bars... then a nightclub, where we danced a bit....oh yeah! Onto a great party and then back to mine where we got real animal until midday today.I guess all of that explains my hangover. Oh... by the way... what did you do?
50 francs

Satirical or not, it is an excellent summary of the extreme experiences of my lifestyle.
Times when social high life, glamorous settings and financial cushions are balanced by lonesome, dreary days when it is all about 50 francs..... can I afford 50 francs for a coffee.

It is June,1994 - and across the water from England come a greenhorn wannabe busker with a promising musical duo, but next to no busking experience. For one of these it was not an adventure. It was the end of everything he had held dear. Into the apparent wasteland of Belgium he had come - and then on to Antwerp. The will to live had deserted him - and now, like an elephant, there was only one place to die....the Elephant's Graveyard.
Only one thing could restore his will to live: LOVE.
Find out what happened to...


Running dog



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