Ken Gutberlet

3/19/2001 - Ramblings- Thursdee

Yo to all! I typed this Thursdee (NCAA references a little dated) and ran out of time before sending it, so, a few days later, here 'tis . . . Oh yeah, GO TERPS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! LATER, Euro-Ken G

Well, I should be slicing green peppers in preparation for scrambled omelettes, worrying whether I need to go back to the store to get celery for bloody marys, and viewing the last-minute HOOPS! Hype before the Kentucky/Holy Cross tip. Oh the MADNESS! Of March! But, alas, really what I should be doing is troubadouring a couple months away in Copenhagen.

Troubador. That's what my breed of pub singing, wandering musicians is called over here. It romanticaizes it a little. The actual lifestyle, from my Hagen roomies' perspective, ain't all that glamorous (can you imagine me in a glamor profession?). For a 2-month stint, it's the coolest thing in the world (well, to me at least). However some folk have been doing it non-stop for a couple years. The staying up til dawn, preferring beer as the beverage of choice, jamming every night life wears on em. But, like I said, for me, it's the coolest thing in the world.

The gigging has been going well. A lot of nights I show up to the Fisken pub and the place is empty, but the crowds hear some live music and start cruising on in. Of course, numbers and enthusiasms are varied. Some nights the requests don't stop. Other nights there are none. Sometimes they sing along, sometimes they clap along, sometimes they stare blankly and offer no response. If they get a 2nd round, then at least I know I'm not doing anything too awful. Some "high"lights . . . The brawl. Yeah, Denmark's supposed to be a low-key, everyone's really nice kinda joint. But, ya know.

So, this guy had been crashed out on a bench in the back for a while and water was splashed on him to stir him and finally, he got up. I don't know what was said with the other guy, but shortly they were at the bar and the fight was more slo-mo than Mission Impossible 2 action scenes. It kinda resembled a couple in a hug slow dancing. I kept on playing Sympathy for the Devil- hoo hoo- and they ended up on the steps by the front door- one guy sitting on the other. Fortunately it was late and the place was pretty empty, so it wasn't a major disturbance. Kinda humorous. The police showed shortly and dealt with the drunks. The flood. There's some kind of water leak where I stand to play. So, suddenly, for about an hour, at a random time of the evening, the tide kinda creeps in.

It's not too bad when it's just me playing, I keep shimmying over onto higher ground. But as a duo, my partner, poor Duncan, had to splash around in it for a bit. On solo nights I was taking mop breaks to clean the zone around me. But he told the manager that we couldn't play in the water and we got an extended break. Long water breaks have been the norm the last week. The tough part is when people start dancing in the puddle (or just splashing in it for fun) and provide a shower for us jammin' types.

The tips. We're not allowed to set up tip jars. But, sometimes, these kind Euro-types enjoy the tunes so much that a tip comes. I got my first one last week = 82DKK (about $10). Sweet! Last night 2 tippers combined to offer 172DKK (about . . . Uhhh . . . Math). That's the thing, when the tips show up they're usually pretty juicy. There's also the liquid tip. Buying beer for the musicians is a common practice (note to all visitors). The smoke. Let me just say that if there were smoke detectors installed in the place, they'd be buzzing all night. Hack! On to other things- Holy Cross is giving Ky a game!

I apologize for leaving everyone with a cliff-hanger with the last mail and not resolving the issue until now. What's that expression about kicking a gift horse in the teeth or something? Yeah, so as not to reduce my chances of a return gig, I conformed. I got me some sweet Euro trousers. I picked up a black pair, draw-string waist, free-flowing. Yeah, they make me sweat a little more, but I can still do my floor routine at the mic. Popular maneuvers like the flamingo, the foot spaz, and the I-don't-know-what-it's-called-but-it-looks-really-dumb are all still part of the show. I even dug the trow so much (ok, I'm fibbing) I went out and got a 2nd pair- these are a sweet beige- partly to reduce the time spent in the laundromat, partly to get a 2nd safety pin to pin up the back of the legs (I don't have that tall/thin Scandinavian physique) to keep them out of the slush.

Speaking of physique, I joined a gym. I feel like such a . . . Gym joiner . . . ? ? ? ? ? Yeah, if I had been able to check 4 bags for the flight, I might have brought enough foul weather gear for outdoor exercising. So, I decided that a little warm biking for worn knees was a good thing. When I signed up the signer-upper asked me about my goals- kind of a goofy "is this guy gonna survive?" survey. I didn't feel the need to tell him that I wanted to continue my search for the ultimate Euro chocolate baked good (which, by the way, hasn't gone well- another topic) and still fit into my new slick hip Euro longs. So, I storied about a sprained ankle and told him I didn't need a regimented plan. How did I make sure I could find this gym again? Landmark- right at the 7-11. Yeah, oh thank heaven. I've found (well, I always knew it was there) the late night delight of 7-11 croissants. Tasty when nice and warm. Of course, they could use more chocolate. "Go right at the 7-11." That was the direction that a Fisken bartender offered when I went searching for the Sundee nite all-night jam at a place called Tex. It's Copenhagen's home for heavy metal- this month's offerings include Thin Lizzy, Iron Maiden, and Van Halen tribute bands. However, on Sundee nights (Mondee mornings?) after 2 am, it's a free jam and anyone who plays a song drinks beer for free until 6 am. Hooooo-weeeeeeeeeeeeeee! I'll just say that my first Mondee in Copenhagen was spent mostly in bed.

It was a great chance to hear all my flat-mates jam and do some co-jamming. Last Sundee a few of us went to a different late-nite jam- Irish joint called Foley's. Same beer deal, but this was a song circle, everyone sitting around, no electricity, just jamming on tunes. Fun dobro op!
Go Holy Cross! Come on Lefty!