Munich’s Rock Museum..


Ever been to Munich’s Olympia Park? Built for the 1972 games, it has a multitude of attractions.

 

Adrenalin-junkies can abseil forty metres down the stadium pylons, or take an ‘expedition on the roof’, climbing to the very top of the Olympic Stadium. And footie fans can take an ‘exciting’ tour of the stadium – yawn. No, to be fair, there are people that think football is a game worth playing, and I’m sure that the tour would be of some value to them.

 

But I don’t know why fans get quite so cross – or rather, vitriolic – when they lose. What is it about the game that rouses a normal sort of chap into a fury, wanting to bop a rival fan on the nose? Maybe it’s that odd seventeen pints of lager. You have perceived my disinterest in football by now?

 

So, if none of these attractions arouses a twinge of enthusiasm, then tag along with me, for free, along the Olympic Walk Of Stars. Here, one can feed the ducks whilst looking at palm prints of Tom Jones, Bryan Adams and Lenny Kravitz. Also dull, I would have said, but the nation – certainly in the UK – is obsessed with celebrities.

Celebrities

 

Why are we so obsessed with the famous? Goodness knows. I, for one, am fogged to the core. Celebrities are just people, so what is the fuss all about? That said, my heartbeat did quicken, years ago, when I walked down Australia’s Ramsay Street – keep up please, it’s the infamous cul-de-sac in TV’s Neighbours – and who should be walking in the other direction? Oh my god, it was, like, Madge and Harold.

 

So there you go; I’m not entirely immune to the presence of celebrities. And I doubt you are either. So check out the highest rock museum in the world right here in Munich’s Olympic Park. It houses “…a large number of autographed guitars, original stage outfits and rare tickets, all at an altitude of approximately 200 metres…” Now, phlegmatic pedant that I am, I ought to mention that the height is in fact only 185 metres.

Still, it’s worth ascending the 40,000-ton tower. In the small rock museum, to name but a few items, there are: Madonna’s combat fatigues from a video shoot; a piano used in 1973 by Sir Elton John; and black and white photographs of The Rolling Stones. And there’s a revolving restaurant serving tea. Obviously order coffee, though – this is Germany, after all..

Career Change?..

My lunch partner in Copenhagen is American Rob. He’s a fascinating chap, now living in the Windsor area, and full of bonhomie today. We meet romantically on a street corner in a drizzling rain. Our jackets and umbrellas form puddles at the restaurant entrance – it’s a super eatery above the old telegraph station – as we settle down to a magical fish tapas…and business.

 

‘What about teaching English?’ suggests Rob. I’ve explained that rock ‘n’ roll trucking ought to have a shelf life, and that with me it’s been reached. Actually, it was reached in 1998 but it’s easier to bumble along than change careers. The industry has changed so much, you see; as I’ve said before, no one even snorts lines off  flight cases backstage any more. It’s just not like it used to be. And, remember, I don’t actually like driving.

 

Which country?

So, teaching might not be a bad idea. But where? Rob is thinking of a country in which I find the women attractive – simply to cushion the move. ‘Pretty but not black?’ asks Kirsten, bluntly. Christ, did she really just say that? Oh sorry, I forgot to introduce Kirsten. She is a Danish girl, one of Rob’s numerous old flames, and she’s struggling to get a word in edgeways. Four words, as it turns out, is to be her lot. She tops up my Chardonnay.

Now, let’s talk about attraction. If a white girl prefers black guys to white guys, nobody bats an eyelid. There is no problem; it’s not deemed rascist. Indeed, if a black guy fancies black girls, and not white, then that, too, is fine. So why is it deemed bad form for me to admit favouring the English Rose over an ebony beauty? It’s ridiculous. But Rob wants  – excuse the pun – black and white answers.

 

Coffee?

‘So how far down the colour scale do you go?’ he enquires. Well, it’s hardly a question of going, Rob, old thing; it’s simply a matter of what I’m attracted to. (I mean, we may as well contemplate ginger people if this conversation gets any more absurd.) So if we don’t count that intoxicating dalliance in Mombasa with a masseuse… ‘Latte?’ he prompts. Heavens, this is controversial – if they invented an award for enfant terrible of the blogging medium, it could surely go to nobody else.

 

‘Salma Hayek,’ I mumble, desperately hoping other diners aren’t eavesdropping. ‘What about Arabs?’ he replies, tact abandoned entirely now. Crumbs, I’m uncomfortable. The onslaught continues, but Rob is only trying to establish geographical boundaries. The restaurant begins to close. Lunch is taking four hours.

Not too big, though

I exclude only one category in the end: spherical. After all, I’d hate people to think I have a roving eye. India is mentioned as a possibility – what goes on underneath a sari is pure mystique – but it’s those dashed arranged marriages that are such a nuisance. In the end, we decide Venezuela could be worth a shot. ‘The women are spectacular in Venezuela,’ says Rob, ‘a variety of hues and colourations you won’t have seen before.’ Rightho then, that’s settled. But perhaps I could squeeze in a long weekend in northern Finland first.

 

Soporific from wine, and feeling fruity from thoughts of complex undergarments, I visit the park. The sun has come out now. Alas, it is still too early in the year for topless secretaries. Blast! Just when I needed one most..

Still sorting out blogs from ’09!

In case you think I’m being lazy, I’m still busy importing all my old blogs onto this site. There are now plenty of “recent” entries for the AC/DC Black Ice Tour – such as the one below. Scroll back through the archives for more you haven’t yet read..

 

(17th June ‘09:)

We’re having a silly day today, bar-hopping. Getting tipsy is something of a national sport in Finland – that, and suicide – so we’re simply embracing the culture. And, if you happened to read the last blog, there is a slim chance of meeting a straight-talking nymphomaniac in this country.

 

Think of Namibian and me as carrots on sticks; think of Finnish girls as donkeys. Oh hang on, that sounds dreadfully misogynistic. The sentiment couldn’t be further from my mind; we are simply hanging out in bars, waiting to be approached – a social experiment, if you like. What a role reversal, eh? Well, perhaps the Helsinki womenfolk are intimidated by Namibian’s bulk – or my sunglasses – because very little in the way of skirt heads in our direction.

 

Still, the notion of being chatted up hovers, urging us to continue the pub crawl. Erm, when I say “us”, I mean me. Now, the alcohol limit is indeed zero for drivers in Scandinavia, but Namibian and I aren’t driving tonight. My pal “Wrecker” Jon has very kindly flown in – to pilot my truck back to the ferry. Goody, that means I can treat myself to a little drinkypoo. Oh, the ports involved, for those following tour progress, are Naantali (Turku, Finland) to Kappelskar (Sweden). Incidentally, Wrecker is promising not to damage any of my wheels this time.

 

The Tractor Pub

 

Talking of wheels, we start the crawl at “Zetor”, a famous bar in Helsinki filled with tractors. The interior is poorly illuminated, but fun for a pint and a photo on one of the gleaming agricultural machines. But, at £6 a pint, eyebrows are raised; breath is sharply inhaled, and enthusiasm is somewhat dampened. On the plus side, however, tables are built around the tractors, so you can eat reindeer off a Massey Ferguson. Whoopee! Can you imagine a more exciting prospect? Yes, OK, point taken.

 

Drat, we haven’t been approached yet – maybe 2pm isn’t the best time.

 

Our next port of call is across the road: the Ateljee bar, sitting squarely atop a 14-storey hotel. It is Helsinki’s first skyscraper, and the bar has interesting toilets.  One-way mirrors, from floor to ceiling, offer a panoramic view of the city. Little Dick seems keen to visit, but Namibian, craning his neck, is reluctant. ‘Fuck that,’ he says, before realising there is a lift.

 

A Multi-Use Elevator

 

In fact it is a splendid, old-fashioned lift – the sort of lift, according to chivalrous Little Dick, ‘that you could shag a bird in.’ Dick and I, however, opt for the stairs – we could do with the exercise. En route, we find a chair designed for a giant. Little Dick looks absurd in it, as you’ll note from the photograph.

 

Namibian is already sprawling on the rooftop terrace when we get there, authoritatively noting the whine of a DC10 overhead. In these sunglasses, doesn’t he remind you of Tom Cruise in Top Gun? He wanted to be an aviator, you know, but failed on a couple of minor points like not being able to see properly. Yet he still worked in the Namibian Air Force. He loves planes.

 

He also loves fridge magnets and thimbles. Keeping an eye out for these keepsakes in cities across Europe has kept me on my toes. Oh, I’m such a good friend. But here, in Helsinki.. Ooh, hang on a minute, we’re being approached. Things are finally hotting up. It’s not quite the mirage I’d envisaged, however; it is a salesman from Oulu, in a tracksuit, asking about the AC/DC show tonight.

 

Disappointed, we return to the topic of fridge magnets. At the rate he’s going, Namibian is going to need another fridge just to store the magnets. Now, I’m tempted to end with a gag about bending his partner over a chest freezer – to keep her on her toes – but that might sound a little crass. So I won’t..

Good old Dad..

Hello, Barnaby’s father here..

I’d just like to apologise to you on his behalf for the stream of insufferably arrogant drivel that he writes in this journal. It all comes from his mother’s side of the family, of course.

Real men’s talk of big lorries, friends, rock n roll and women all comes from his imagination. I happen to know for a fact that he has never been more than a mile or two from Hastings where he works as a trainee junior accounts clerk in a furniture store. The people he writes about are just extensions of the imaginary friends he had as child. As for the photographs – he just paint-shops himself into exciting pictures he finds on the internet.

So, Barnaby, switch off that computer now; have a wee-wee, clean your teeth and off to bed. Lights out at 10.30 and let’s have no more nonsense about Leipzig or wherever – otherwise you might get a disappointment on your birthday next Wednesday..

 

[The cherubic face pictured is indeed me as a small boy – The Editor]

Wine, women…

EunuchOpposite me, reposed on a bentwood chair, is “Eunuch”. And he’s eyeing up my bowl of pitted olives. ‘I’ll give you a little tip,’ he says. ‘What you do is put this butter packet between your hands and then…’ He breaks off, cupidity gripping him as an olive-skinned girl strolls past the window, heading to the beach.

 

‘You were saying, Eunuch?’ I prompt, as I force another glass of Tempranillo down the hatch. He wheels round, brow knitted. ‘We really ought to dispense with this nickname,’ he bleats. ‘Couldn’t you come up with something else?’ What, like Posh Jeremy? Or The Dominator?… No, Eunuch is a humdinger of a moniker; one can’t just chop and change on an ephemeral whim.

 

Pick-Up Arist?

 

He smiles, knowing I’m right. He clicks his neck back into place and begins tucking into a bowl of onion soup, all thoughts of the tanned cutie forgotten. What the chap needs is a little bolstering, though. ‘We could pretend your nickname is a bluff, you know, Eunuch,’ I begin. ‘For example, it could have been administered to knock you down a peg or two, perhaps after your days coaching as an international Pick Up Artist…’ He likes that story; the nickname can stay, at least for now.

 

Now, as I say, or rather I didn’t say, the venturesome Eunuch rolled up at my front door a couple of Dinadays ago. There he was, looking frightfully snazzy in short trousers and plimsolls, his ageing BMW immediately being used as a seagulls’ toilet. Now it’s no good asking me whether he drives a 525TD or a 535i – my view of motorcars is similar to that of girls: they simply come in colours, as far as I’m concerned.

 

‘Whatho Eunuch,’ I’d gushed at the Davies threshold, and embraced him in a bear hug. I’d not seen him for three-and-a-half-years. Ah, it’s been a nice break.. ‘The Old Boiler is in the kitchen faffing with the kettle, I think – do go through and say hello. And there’s a pretty girl called Dina loafing around somewhere, quite probably in the drawing room.’ I noticed the impecunious bluebottle hadn’t even brought any wine..

 

Wine, Women and…

 

‘Ah, this is the life,’ he’d said, making himself at home. ‘It’s about time I came down for a weekend,’ Now the last time I checked, a weekend was not arriving on Sunday lunchtime and clogging up one’s mansion until Wednesday afternoon. Still..

‘Ooh, wine,’ he ejaculated suddenly, noticing an open bottle. ‘I say, pour me a large one, would you.’ Bloody cheek..

 

We sat cosily in the garden, corseted by attractive women and dead Busy Lizzies, Eunuch happily tipping a glassful of the pink stuff down his neck in one fell swoop. Well, more like a foul swoop. ‘Any more booze?’ he asked, toying with taking off his shirt. I trotted obediently down to the cellar, grabbing my sunglasses in case he did in fact go topless. The second and third glasses slipped down equally as easily, and after an hour he excused himself for a moment.

 

‘Your friend’s been gone a long time,’ said Dina, lolling around on the grass. ‘Do you think he’s all right?’ I tutted, a little soporific from wine and sunshine, confident that my pal of thirtysomething could look after himself. ‘Probably just fancied playing with his knob,’ I assured her. Well, after about an hour.. Either he was vigorously engrossed in something unspeakable or… Well, off we set to investigate.

…An Inebriated Eunuch

 

Aha! There he was, giggling to himself on the bathroom carpet. ‘Whoopsy, I should have had some lunch,’ he said, unable to sit up properly. Good old Eunuch.

 

Now, I’m not running a dating agency here or anything, but the dashing, playful Eunuch is still – gobsmackingly – on the market. Snap him up, ladies, while you can – he’s got a heart of gold, a sexy voice and a guitar. Ooh, and a shit BMW. You’ll find him on Facebook under Jeremy Turner… (as an ice-breaker, you could always ask him about the butter trick).