Goodbye Mr Music


There was no definite closing time on the last day of business in Maximillian Strasse as Bonn’s last independent CD/Record store welcomed visitors.  The last CD’s were being snapped up, along with shop fittings and  posters..  A popular man on the day, with a never ending stream of well-wishers,  Mr Music, Bernie Gelhausen, found the time to clink glasses with me.  A toast to those four pillars of sanity in an often crazy world: Love, Health, Happiness and MUSIC!

Regulars in the shop appreciated the staff for their seemingly endless patience and inexhaustible knowledge.  Carsten, Duck, Frank, Piti, Flö and Thomas, I salute you all.  Were you a football team you would be in the Premier League!

A last word on this sad day for Bonn must come from Mr Music himself.  What should it be?  I asked.  Bernie thought it over for all of two seconds and replied: “Rock and Roll will never die!”  Sadly, today the shop we loved to buy it from did though.


Fay Claassen – A Touch of Claass!

Fay_Claassen-18Ice cream during the interval?  Not your usual Harmonie concert for certain.  The 20th Bonn Schumann Festival was paying a rare visit to the Endenich venue better known for Rock, Pop and Blues.  I think it’s fair to say though that it wasn’t only the refreshments that were cool on Friday night as the crystal clear voice of Dutch Jazz Lady Fay Claassen, with a world class backing band to guide it, headed like an exocet missile straight into our ears and clean through to our hearts.

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Dave Goodman at Musik Baum

The excellent Dave Goodman reminded me how far I am from being a real acoustic guitarist today.

During a short set in the backyard of Musik Baum in Plittersdorferstrasse the gifted Canadian showed local musicians and music lovers how it’s done, breathing new life into that old warhorse ‘St James Infirmary Blues’ and delivering a quite sublime version of the Hendrix classic ‘Little Wing’.  Part of a promotion for Yamaha guitars, but I suspect it will take more than one of these beauties to sound anything like Dave!

Whisky is the best Blueswater

So how did a scottish blues band come to be playing a gig in one of Bonn’s more prominent hard rock/heavy metal venues?  The answer, rather surprisingly, is whisky.  Edinburgh based Blueswater were booked after Dominik Hafner got to know them during a band tour of Islay (land of Talisker, Bowmore and other wee drams of pleasure).  It proved to be a lucky meeting for Bonn Blues lovers  as the band put on a cracking show in front of an appreciative audience at Kult41 on Sunday.

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Bonn Youth Jazz Orchestra – LVR Museum Bonn

Being in charge of the Bonn Jazz Youth Orchestra (JJOB) must be like being manager of a top football team.  You spend a lot of effort creating a talented team – and before you know it, the stars have moved on. .. and it’s time for a new team.  Not that either of the ‘trainers’ Thomas Kimmerle or Thomas Heck would complain in this case, both men clearly love introducing youngsters to the music they themselves love (see my INTERVIEW with Thomas Kimmerle last year).  Now in it’s fourth year the JJOB ‘Prom Night’ was upon us – The LVR Landesmuseum was our venue and a bright evening of Jazz in it’s many colours awaited.

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Fay Claassen in Bonn


The American music magazine ‘Cadence’ had this to say about her:

“ Fay Claassen is to singing what Audrey Hepburn was to the movies:
elegant and graceful“.
You can make up your own mind on Friday at Bonn Harmonie.  Should be a visit worth I think…!

With the first notes due to ring out from it’s stage on 22 June there are already 25,000 tickets sold for Kunst!Rasen, Bonn’s top Open Air Festival by the Rhine.
During the last five years artists like Lou Reed, Bob Dylan, Patti Smith, ZAZ, Santana, Deep Purple, Crosby Stills & Nash have looked out over the trees and seen the Rhine river meandering beside their audiences.
The program for this year is an interesting mix of newcomers to the venue like Jean-Michel Jarre and Zucchero, alongside return visits from Passenger, Sarah Connor and the ever popular Brings.  Klassik!Piknick is taking place again too (and, being free, one of the year’s best bargains concert-wise!).  Something for everyone?  Well certainly something for pretty well everyone.

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