Damn, I’m tired! No fucking idea where that comes from, for nothing really happened so far, but I’m tired.
When I look at the last post it still really depresses me. Especially when I add all the bloody lies prime minister Abe told in order to get that stupid games and is now begging for international help. Argh! Maybe I stay away from the news for a while, ‘cause everywhere I look - the shutdown of the American government, the bullshit that happened in Germany with the last election (If I only don’t have to life in this country. It would be so much fun to watch it throwing itself down the abyss. YOU DESERVE IT YOU STUPID BASTARDS!) - things seem to get worse. Well there is no absolute in human condition, everything can get worse as Cormac McCarthy put it. Or to quote “Invader Zim” on this planet we’re surrounded by danger and madness.
Anyway. The other day I finally did something that made me happy and I wished for in a long while. I searched the internet a little lately for an older LP - that vinyl things you can put on a turntable, from the time an album still mattered. So, this particular record was lesser a wish of mine for the music, it was the image of the cover that haunted me for years. When we are kids the visual language of things makes a far more intense impression on us and we feel almost mystical attracted to that. Some of these we can never forget or can get rid of. I still remember how I saw my first cigar box, which might be one reason for me smoking them now. These images open a whole world for us, full of amazing unknown places where they came from or stories that need to be told. I always had that feeling and was sometimes disappointed when the appearance of something hadn’t anything to do with the contend.
But back to the record. I was about nine years old and were still living in a little culture-less suburb which the devil had forsaken. The best that could be said about that sad piece of space was that you could get quickly to Hamburg. Ooh, I still hate that town. In this town, at least for some time, there was one record store - which later closed down and left us only with the music section of the local department store. Sad! - This record store was in an pretty old building, the only thing my town was famous for, an old historic inner part of the town. On the ground floor of that building there were two stores, left and right (the record store was on the left, standing up front.) and between those two stores, inside the building but open to the street there was a narrow corridor which led to the door of the stairway. I think above the stores were offices, maybe apartments. The record shop itself was oblong and cramped, with no outer walls, but windows. It was before CDs became popular and the inside was filled with shelves and lots and lots of records. In the windows there were these multiple-clear-sleeves put up. So new records could be on display to the people passing by. You could hardly look into that store, you just saw all these new and - for a kid - strange but colorful looking covers all over the place. As I said, I was nine years of age, that was 1989. It was the year Tim Burtons first Batman movie was released, accompanied with an unimaginable pr-campaign. It was pretty exciting, for everyone was talking about that movie and how serious it was. In the hindsight it is just as campy as the old ‘66 TV series staring Adam West. Which is fine, but a total different picture. (I for my part haven’t given up on the hope that someone will someday show us a Batman as we know from the books, not some interpretation of the myth…) So there I was, still young I had just seen some selected scenes from that movie on TV, going to town, it might have been for grocery shopping with my mom. We came by the record store and there in one of those sleeves facing the sidewalk it was: The soundtrack for Batman by Prince. It was this big record, all black with the huge golden/black Batman symbol on it, so big that it was cut on the edges. I’m not quite sure if there was a sticker on the record I saw which told the customer that this was the record by Prince. But the cover as it hang there in the window made some major impression on myself. It really was like it came from another world. Something really mystical surrounded this record, almost like a fetish. I hadn’t seen the movie back than, knew it was out there and read some comics. But now there was this record with music and songs, not a radio play or something and it had this giant logo on it’s cover. In my mind it was completely different from all the other “normal” record covers. This, this was Batman. I couldn’t afford the record back in the days and a deeper interest in music started only a couple of years later. So the record disappeared from that window, then the record store disappeared and some day the record left my awareness. But the image of it was carved somewhere deep in memories. Sure it isn’t a great record. Neither for a soundtrack nor by Prince (and I like Prince, I have to confess) . It was quickly written and produced and I’m not even sure that Prince saw the finished movie when writing the music. It was more to put one more big name on that franchise, than to add another layer to the movie.
I looked that album up on the internet from time to time. Never bought it because I couldn’t take a look on the condition. But this time I found a version at a small second hand record store here in Hamburg (which - and that’s the funny part - is next to my comic book store!). It was an original German pressing from 1989. Well, the cover was a title worn on the edges - if I will ever find a mint condition one, I will buy it again - but the record itself was in perfect condition. And it only costed €7,- ($9,50/¥934) As I hold it in my hands that day in the store, all the emotions, the fascination, that I projected on that record as a kid came back. They came down on me as a summerly thunderstorm and bathed my in nostalgia. I will get a frame for that record and put it now on my wall above my stereo. Just so it will remind me on this deep fascination and the archaic emotions that music and art will awake in us. I want to think that everybody who has at least some kind of love for things of culture has a similar experience somewhere in the past. An object that will put a spell on you just by existing. And it is just such a great feeling when one day you get the chance can hold it in your hands, call it your own. Even if it is just for the reason to keep this feeling of excitement and passion in yourself alive.