SJ's European Tour 2007

Testing...testing...is this thing on?

Hello readers, welcome to the first installment of my tales from the road. I am 1 week into a 4 week tour with the band SS and thought I should maybe document what's going on. Backstory: I am a DJ and open for SS whenever they go on tour. Mind you, everything here is filtered solely through my goggles and therefore should only be taken as my humble impression and not viewed as anyone else's opinions. Having said that, "let's get celebrity-ed up!"

So our first stop was Zurich which I as I have stated before seems like they left off a couple Z's when they spelled the name of this town. Kind of a snooze-fest audience-wise. Quite frustrating really since my job is to warm the crowd up, take them from 0 to 50 so that the band can then yank them to 100 when they hit the stage. I could barely get them to 20, even trying every sad trick in the book. Luckily the next night we headed to MILAN which was fab. The Italians were certainly up for it. The venue was on the edge of town so I didn't have time to explore. The merch bootlegging there is absolutely insane. During the day, merchants set up rows of tables literally right outside the venue (about 40 yards long) displaying all variations of SS t-shirts for sale. Some with the most current tour designs. It's absolutely shameless and completely overlooked by local police. Apparently it's somehow tied to the mafia so the police just ignore it. We were gagging. And honestly, some of the stuff was really well done with color combinations that had some of the band a little green with envy. The only low point of the evening was that there was an opening act which was a woman playing acoustic guitar singing in Italian which brought new shades to the term brown. But nevertheless, things turned around quickly after and the crowd were whipped into a frenzy. At one point it sounded like people in the audience were being killed the screams were so blood-curdling.

Next stop: VIENNA. Due to an unfortunate sore throat contracted probably on the plane ride over, I have had to keep the partying to nil which. The upside of this meant that I was awake and full of pep and ready to explore beautiful Vienna. I spent the afternoon just walking around the city on my own, doing a little shopping, and watching street performers fend off non-tipping picture-taking tourists. In the evening me and some of the guys from the band decided to do a round of some of gay Vienna. First the Eagle. Yes there is seemingly one of these in every city in the world and they all apparently hire the same decorator thus diluting the kink factor of chain link fence. Fisting videos aside, it was all pretty tame with just a few old men lurking in the corners. They did have a back room which meant none of us dared sample the popcorn in bowls on the bar. From ther it was on to several other places that are nothing really to write home about, and this was a Friday night. Oh well. More later...
Original Post
Yeah!

First some back story on DJ Pickles...
As most of you know, Pickles is my DJ Daughter.
As a youngster Pickles worked for The Empress and I and was a big part of the day to day running of "Jackie 60", "Mother" and pretty much anything we did including the legendary "Grey Gardens". In fact, I named her "Sammy Jo" because he was without a doubt the "Heather Locklear" in our Dynasty family.

You can imagine my shock to learn that Pickles had secret DJ dreams and my total amazement at how good he was...
RIGHT OUT OF THE BOX!

This was right before everyone in the world became a DJ. Every go-go boy, every drag queen, every East Village trust fund kid yearning for a life. (If he had wanted to become a DJ now, I probably would have just laughed).

My point is, Sammy snuck into the DJ world just before it became a joke. He learned "Old School". He went with me to the record pool and record stores, met legends in the industry. I remember taking him to "For The Record" (which was the first and most famous DJ record pool in the world. Pretty much any 20th century DJ that you have ever heard of is a member).
Judy Weinstein (founder and music industry legend) asked me after meeting him, "So who is he?"
"He's the future" I told her.
"Does he want to join?"
"No", I said.
This was interesting because before, any kid would have KILLED to become a member of "For The Record".
Times were changing.
I quickly learned that Sammy Jo had a lot more to teach me about DJing in the 21st century than I had to teach him!
("For The Record" is now Disco herstory BTW)

He would play things that totally confused me.
"Why the hell is he playing that?" I would think as the crowd went crazy.
He clearly had his finger on the pulse.
I watched him get better and better and was always disapointed when promoters wouldn't hire him or would stick him in some stupid side room when he was CLEARLY the real DJ.

I would tell him that someday he was going to get a break and he would explode. That some club would hire him and his night would go through the roof. It was just a matter off time.

What I didn't see coming was that it wouldn't be a club that showcased his talent but a band. (Again reminding me that we are not in the 20th ccentury and NY clubs are not what they once were). I went to see this band that he thought was so good at his (and Sweetie's) party CheezWhiz. There were about 8 people in the audience. I liked The Scissor Sisters but had no idea they would get as big (and as good) as they got.
He knew.

So...
As the DJ for "SS" Pickles finally has a dance floor.
The world.
Anyone who has ever called him knows that he is always somewhere. He travels more than any DJ I know so getting an inside look at the debauchery that is his life now is a real treat!
And by the way...
You should have asked me about ZZZZZZZurich.
I would have told you to skip her.
(Even Antwerp is more fun!)

But Vienna is a different story!
REALLY fun.
Love the old people! They are the crabbiest, nastiest crusty old things that I have ever met in my life. They ask you things like, "You are Jew?"
Hot.

You will no doubt come across a gaggle of Drag Queens that run the town.
Give Mario a big kiss for me.

AND GO TO THE PALACES, THE OPERA AND THE MUSEUMS!!!!!!
Thanks so much Daddy, my true Daddy! Let me deflate my ego now so I can fit in the dressing room to type the next installment...

VIENNA: The show in Vienna was fun and having invited the staff of the gym next to the hotel (what??? I'm just trying to be NICE!) it was a delight to have all these moosles lingering around the backstage after the show. Plus Lucas (of Bel Ami infamy) was there and I must say he has the most amazing eyes, so clear blue and soft. It was actually hard to look at him and not break into a sweat. Back on the bus and off to...

ISCHGL (Switzerland): Everyone was excited for this stop because we lucked out with a day off (again) before the show day. AND the show was to take place outside halfway up the mountain at 1pm. However, disappointment struck for me when I found out they have a dj that is contractually obligated to play before any of the concerts on the mouintain....whatever. But needless to say my wounds were soothed by the fact that we were booked to stay at a spa, which was cunt. Gorgeous sunny weather, outdoor hottub, steam/sauna rooms, nudity, what more could you ask for at a ski resort. Well the nudity was something I would have passed on as it was quite saggy (a la Messy Bonnie). Show day was fantastic. Bright sun blaring down on the mountain and 8,000 people in ski gear standing in the snow attemtping to dance in those clunky boots. Tons of crowned heads. Many jokes referring to the quality of "snow", talk of sex in the gondolas, and chlamydia jokes made it fun family entertainment. Although Jake hadn't anticipated how high up we were and so halfway through the show he was sucking on an oxygen tank. We joked about how great it would have been to switch it with a tank of poppers but I had left my industrial-sized one at home. 3:00pm-DONE. Off to our pool party at the hotel and what I thought would be a quiet night until I made the acquaintance of a charming Austrian who made sure I made it back to my room safely (from the lobby bar). Ooops, missed my wakeup call and had to pack in 5 minutes flat with the tour manager screaming down the phone "GET YOUR FAGGOTY ASS DOWN HERE YOU LAZY GIT!" He loves me. Goodbye Ischgl and my Austrian, somewhat racist, lover.

MUNICH: Having had zero sleep I decided it was best to spend the 4 hour bus ride to Munich looking out the window listening to 70's AM radio rock. I think it was actually more helpful than if I had slept. The venue in Munich was, to put it mildly, unglamorous. Basically a wharehouse that had what looked like train tracks that once ran right into it...eek. But the german crowd turned it out despite the language barrier seeming to get the witty banter in between songs. They certainly were the craziest crowd at the final encore "I Don't Feel Like Dancin'". More to come as we head deeper into Germany...

Attachments

Photos (1)
First of all Isla what are you doing in this blog?
Don't you have your own blog?
Where is DJ Pickles?

Anyway...
"ISCHGL"?
You're in deep sweetie, I never even heard of ISCHGL!
And the Austrian racism is kind of sweet don't you think? They are so innocent about it like little kids. They have no idea.
GET OUT!

Munich...
Much more fun.

(That's where the feminists came out to protest The House Of Domination when we did a Jackie 60 there).
Hello readers, I'm in Stockholm, it's 6am and I can't sleep (stop snickering Bonnie), so thought I'd use this time to catch you up...

STUTTGART- What has come as a surprise to me (and everyone on tour) is that the weather has drastically improved. It now feels like early summer with temps in the high 60's and super sunny. I'm telling you this it seems that even just a little sun therapy goes a long way to improving everyone's mood- both band and crew. It means sightseeing/daytrips are more likely, too. But not Stuttgart.

KOLN- Day off in Koln or Cologne, whichever you prefer. And although there is much culture to take in I set out with Del to just wander and shop. He's a great guide and we end up at an amazing men's suit store. Koln is one of those great walking cities that has maintained a village feel to it yet is very cosmopolitan. Again, it seems to be the first of the warm days and everyone is out in the cafes. It's a bit like NYC in spring when you can smell the pheromones in the air and it's not only dogs sniffing hineys in the parks, figuratively speaking of course. Here's the view from my hotel a cathedral that I forgot to get the name of. I'm trying to attach a pic but I think I have to have my travelling companion Nancy do it...hang on a sec.
Ok that's going to be annoying to have to rely on her for pics cause, well, she drinks a lot on tour. Is it because this account is new that I don't have the option to attach pics? ANy help is much appreciated...

But I digress.

KOLN- The night off in Koln we have the now traditional tour dinner where everyone on the tour gets together to wreak havoc on some poor unsuspecting restaurant. Due to the fact that our crew is mostly (all?) from the UK, copious amounts of beer are consumed and at some point when the belly dancer comes out I end up dancing on the table a la the bionic woman episode where she flamenco dances. Next day is a show day and I have the wickedest hangover since the tour began. Let me insert here that we have a fucking brilliant crew who make being on tour that much more enjoyable- zero grumpsters. And they love joining in on the campy banter. The show goes great for the band but I am disappointed in my set so I'm more than happy to hop back on the bus and bid adieu to Koln.

BERLIN- This is my first time in Berlinand I'm thoroughly excited to see what all the fuss is about. While the band is busy with a packed promo schedule, Randy (tour drummer- Paddy, the official drummer has sadly had to go home for family reasons which I won't go into) and I hop a taxi to Potsdammer Platz to see the Brandenburg gate and go to the Wall Museum. It is amazing to read the history of the wall and all the stories of people attempting to, and some succeeding at crossing over from East Berlin to the west, people stuffing themselves in car trunks, luggage, even hollowed-out speakers. I forgot how it is only in the last 20 years that it became a unified city. That night the show is superb and I have erased the memory of my Koln show experience whipping the crowd into a frenzy right before the band come on (thanks Daddy for the Depeche remix!). Everyone in fact is happy after the show and ready to hit the town, especially since it's Saturday night. First, we head to a club called Schvutz which is a great basement space. I understand now why they say nightlife in Berlin is so good. From there we head to a huge club called Berekime (sp?) that at times can be quite filthy, but in a sexy way. A voyeurs paradise. We've only got an hour and a half there and we spend it all on the dancefloor living for this electro dj. God it seems ages since I went out and danced someplace I wasn't working at! I have definitely fallen in love with Berlin after dark.

HAMBURG- The venue in Hamburg is conveniently located in the heart of the red light district where each block is filled with stripper bars and sex shops and I discover that there actually is a large market for straight scat/fart videos that I didn't expect. There is a series called Kaviar which I suspect is the slang or code for poo. Amazing. Leave it to the Germans... Correction, the Brazilians cause most of the videos are from Brazil. Who knew? Adam the wardrobe guy and I joke about the fart videos where the girls say things like, "My name is Suzi and I've had nothing to eat all day except pickles..." BAH! Also located near the venue is an amusement park that I can't resist. Another fun show at the end of which 2 super muscley men come onstage during Filthy/Gorgeous, strip off their shirts and make their boobies bounce to the music. Silly and hysterical. The crowd goes wild for it. Back on the bus for the 12 hour drive to Stockholm.

STOCKHOLM- It's a day off and my first time here in Sweden. Again we are blessed with gorgeous weather so it's a wander through the streets and coffee at an outdoor cafe. It's lovely here and the views of the sunset from the bridges are breathtaking. Me and some friends hit a cute gay bar that is quite dead due to the fact that it's Monday night. One forgets that NYC is very unique in that there is always at least ONE bar that is hopping on any given night of the week. Anyone who thinks NY gay nightlife is totally dead should try and find something to do in Stockholm on a Monday night. So we sit and get tipsy listening to Donna Summers' greatest hits....twice. Now here are some pics...
STOCKHOLM/OSLO: I am lumping these 2 days together because, well to be honest they sucked for me and why dwell. I wasn't happy with my sets and the crowd response was luke warm at best. The fact that the next stop is Copenhagen is the only thing keeping me off the ledge cause I've got a fierce crew there who are all coming to the show. I will say that for the band the audiences in Stockoslo were some of the best so far on the tour (yes, rubbing salt in my wounds, BAH!). But somehow I know CPH (flight-speak for Copenhagen) is going to fucking explode...

CPH: BOOM! My fave night so far on the tour. Well, a toss up between here and Berlin I suppose. It's such a dance-oriented town that people young and old in the crowd are going mental. I set them up nicely for the band to just knock 'em down from the first note. The band have a fierce show and are in love with the audience as much as the audience is in love with them. Certainly the loudest crowd so far. And I've said it before and I will say it again, these people are the most beautiful specimens ever. Not the swarthy, foreskin fiesta, pre-jail types that Daddy goes for, but true nordic gods with clear skin and beautiful drug habits. And the straight ones are very touchy feely, too. Swoon. After the show it's off to the afterparty with Del where we dance, drink, dj, and drool the night away. Now I have the day off in CPH so I thought I'd catch you all up. Sorry if I've been skint on the pics but all I have is my phone camera and it sucks so I never think to snap pics with it...obviously. Tonight I'm meeting my friends at the best restaurant in CPH called Umami. It's their version of Nobu, but relaxed. Then I'm supposed to play at 2 different places so we'll see how that goes down. Then it's up early to catch a plane to Brussels to meet the rest of the band who are already there in lovely Hasselt.

PS I am working on sending my recorded set from Berlin to the Mr Black website so if you're interested in hearing what I'm like on the road then have a listen. Go to www.mrblacknyc.com and click on "Listen Up". Moms, I hope interweb cross-promotion is ok.

XOXO

Add Reply

Likes (0)
×
×
×
×