|>>> Ūŗ ūůŮŮÍÓž|
|Interview with George Kerwinski|
George Kerwinski is a tour manager of Chris Norman for many years now. A man whose life is inseparably linked with a history of show business, who had worked and was friends with many stars of the world music. But his own biography, full of ups and downs, hopes and disappointments is a separate and a compelling story. Fantastic storyteller who always has some incredible story or anecdote in reserve, a man with a sharp sense of humour, loving life in all its diversity and, of course, loving and understanding music. But let him tell us about all that himself...
— Ok, George, letís start from the very beginning. When and where you were born and who were your parents?
— I was born in 1946 in Munich, one year after the war. My father was Greek, and he was in concentration camp in Dachau. Because when the Nazis moved into Greece he was a Resistance fighter, he went out with his friends at night chasing German soldiers. And thatís when they captured him, they caught him and took him to Dachau.
— And he managed to survive?
— Yes, he was working in Dachau, because he was young... There were different kind of concentration camp political prisoners... He was caught and taken in 1942 and was there for 3 years. At that time they were still producing armory and weapon for the Second World War. And not far from the concentration camp it was a company “MAN”, a big German company, and then they produced tanks and everything. These days they still do trucks “MAN”, you may have seen the logo. So he was taken there every day and still working for the production of the war ammunition and stuff. Then in 1945 the war was over and he left the concentration camp. And thatís when he met my mother.
Her family was from Gdansk, they were a big family Ė I think, they were 8 brothers and sisters. During the war when Russians moved to Gdansk, they all went West. The rest of my motherís family got stuck in the north of Germany, and my mother ended up in Munich. And there was a warden in the concentration camp who knew my mother, he had an affair with my mother outside the camp. And this concentration camp warden told my father about my mother. After 3 years of concentration camp, when the war was over, my father got introduced to my mother. And then it was like they had a hot passion and affair. And the result of that was me in the end. I already had 3 half-sisters that were born in Gdansk.
(showing a photo): Thatís my father, thatís me, thatís my mother, this is my oldest sister, I had another 2 sisters.
— So you were the youngest in the family?
— Yes, I was the last one born.
Look, on this photo Iím 17. This is my mother, and this the sister who got lost in the war and was still in Poland.
And this is my favourite sister. This girl, that girl and that girl Ė they are 3 sisters from the first marriage of my mother in Gdansk.
The affair with my mother and my father didnít last long. Because... First of all, the biggest handicap was my motherís family, they were all hardcore Nazis. Two of my motherís brothers were in the SS. They didnít speak for a few years to my mother because she married a Greek person and they ignored me. For they hated foreigners. My mother hated foreigners until she died.
Anyway. My parents got divorced when I was 7 years old. And then my father left Munich the way he came to it Ė not on his own decision. My mother reported him to the police. Because he was dealing at the black market after the war Ė with food vouchers, cigarettes from the Americans Ė we were in American zone, in a south of Germany. And it was illegal, but... My mother was a really awful woman. All together sheís been married 6 times. My father was husband number 2. She had affairs always besides her husbands. And as soon as she was finished with one of her husbands, she didnít only get divorced from them, she... she stopped peopleís careers. So she reported my father for dealing on the black market. He was arrested in Munich. The last time I saw him was before he was deported back to Greece. He left Munich the way he came Ė not on his own accord... So he was sent away and was not allowed back into Germany for 20 years.
My mother was not really interested in having me because I was the son of a foreigner. And her family did not agree with that at all because he was Greek. Then, I think, a year after he left, he was on the way back to get me in Munich. But he was caught at the Austrian border and turned back again to Athens. Then while I grew up everything to do with Greece or Greek people was taboo. He was never mentioned at my home. My mother was telling me bad stories of my father. To her mind all the Greek people were gangsters and like the scum of the world...
As soon as my father left, I was not living at home anymore either... My mother put me in a childrenís home in Munich. But my father tried to get me, to take me to Greece. My mother didnít tell him that I didnít live with her. And I was there for 6 years until I finished my school time. And in early years I still got post, my father contacted me, he sent letters and money. When there were Greek people coming from Athens to Munich, they would bring me presents and all that. Until one day, after I left school and went back to live with my mother, she made me write a letter to my father – that I donít accept him as father, that he should leave me alone... And all the lies she told me about him, that I didnít know if they were true. He must have been very upset about it. And I was a child, I just left home, I didnít have any friends, I didnít have anybody with me, because when I was a child my motherís friends didnít even know she had me. When she had visitors I was locked in a next room and had to be quiet. So I didnít really exist.
So that was the end of the contact between me and my father. And then, many many years later Ė he left when I was 7 Ė when I was 37, I suddenly thought, maybe I should go and find my father, should try to discover him. And thatís what I did then. When I was 37 I went to Greece for the first time in my life. First, with my wife we had a holiday and then we took one week to go there... All I knew he was living in Athens. So I went to Athens. But in Greece in those days you didnít get registered where you live. So first I went to the police and tried to find him by his name, the address, but they couldnít help me. And then I ended up with a Red Cross in Athens, he was registered there because of his time in the concentration camp. And thatís when we united, me and my father.
Then he told me that 10 years before I came to Greece, after his 20 years when he was not allowed into Germany were over, he again went to Munich to look for me. But he didnít know that my mother had changed my name. I was born with a Greek name, Yorgos Wafeas, Yorgos is a Greek for Georg. So after they got divorced my mother gave me the name of her first husband, because the girls were all called that name. His name was Kicker, so a few years I was called Kicker. And then mister Kicker, who was the father of the girls, found out that his first wife had a son with a Greek that has his name. So he didnít want me to be called Kicker. Then I got changed to Kerwinski which is my motherís maiden name, she was born Kerwinski. The whole family of my mother were Germans with this Polish name. There must have been someone Pole in the family before. And in the Third Reich, when her brothers joined the army, and those 2 brothers were in the SS, all the German people who had a foreign name got a German name. The name Kerwinski was wiped out of the books and the whole family of my mother got the German name Kernbach. So at that time when they came for me to change my name again, after all the mess after the war, I got the original family name again which is Kerwinski. And the whole family to this day are called Kernbach. Iíve got nothing to do with them and they ignored me because I was a dark little boy. And Iím the only one who has their name.
— You had rather hard childhood indeed...
After that when I left school I started to work. I did apprenticeship at the Siemens factory. That was at the end of 50s-early 60s. And thatís when I started to get into music by radio. In Munich we were in the American sector of the Allies in Germany. I grew up with American radio. And then when I was working at the factory, just as a job on the side I was working as a DJ at weekends.
— So at the factory you were just a worker?
— I was working on the assembly line. The more I worked, the more I earned money. But it was hard, I didnít really like the job. I was what they call a mechanic. I did 3,5 years apprentice time and then a 1,5 year I actually worked at the factory. Until one day...
Doing the DJ I got more money than I earned at the factory. I was still living with my mother. But I didnít tell her that I stopped working at the factory. I left the house every day as if I was going to the factory. I had a key of one of the girls that worked in the discotheque where I worked. I went to sleep there and then I came home at 5 oíclock in the afternoon, and my mother thought I was working at the factory :). And this went on for about 3 or 4 months. One day my mother called me at Siemens for some important reason, and they told her thereís no Kerwinski working here anymore, he left 4 months ago :).
And then my mother did actually to me what she did to my father and to all her other husbands. Because she was bringing me up on her own, I was drafted into the army but I was cleared from it because I had to support my mother. She asked that I could be freed from the army because she needed my support from the money that I was earning. After she found out that I was working as a DJ, about 2 months later I suddenly got a draft again from the army, they took me in. And I didnít know why, because I knew I was cleared. And about 6 months after Iíd been in the army, one day in the office there I see in my files a handwritten letter by my mother. I ask, can I have a look at that. That was a letter that she wrote to them after she discovered I was not working at the factory anymore. She wrote she doesnít need my support anymore, you can have him now. And then I got drafted into the German army and I spent there 18 months.
In 1964 when I was still in army, I took a holiday and I went to England. Because I had met English girl, we were writing each other letters, we were pen friends. She lived near Liverpool, so that was the most important thing for me because the Beatles were from Liverpool. And that girl, Christina, picked me up with her parents at Manchester airport. I was 19 or 20 then. And they thought I was gonna marry her... :) I mean, Iíve only just known her for about 2 days before that, you know...
But that was anyway my first time to England. And then thereís a picture taken outside the Cavern Club. This is a few days after I arrived in Liverpool. I went with her, Iím standing at the doorway there. Thatís the original Cavern Club.
And this picture is the charts of 1964. This was in the record shop of Brian Epstein, the Beatles manager, he had a record shop in Liverpool. And thatís the charts, in those days they had very mixed charts. Number one, I think, was “Strangers In The Night” by Sinatra and the others were the Beatles, Stones, Yardbirds, Frank Sinatra Ė everybody was in the charts, it didnít matter of the music, all together or not.
I finished the army then and went back to Munich. But I didnít go back to the factory to work. I started again to work as a disc jockey.
And while I was on holiday, when I was in the army, I had met my wife, my wife now, Lynne. I went with some friends to London and we met in a club. We were just writing letters really. And then, when I finished with the army, she came to Munich to see me for a week. And in that week I decided to go back with her. I thought I might find a job as a DJ in London, which I did.
In those days nobody could have thought to fly, we were going by train. All the early trips to England done by train from Munich were 18 hours Ė from Munich to Calais, and then from Calais with a ferry, and then to London.
Then, eventually, after I got a job in London as a disc jockey I stayed there for 3 years. Thatís when sort of my musical career or a thing to do with music really started. But then, after I stayed there from 1969 till 1972, I went back to Munich. Because I also had enough of the night life and I wanted to go back in a day time job.
(showing) These pictures of 1969 were taken in London Ė this was one of the first European open air festivals, in Hyde Park.
— Oh, is this a story with the magazine?
— Yeah! I took these photos of the Rolling Stones played in Hyde Park in 1969. I had a day off, I wasnít working on that day. And I just went to Hyde Park to see, because I knew there was a free concert. I had no concert experience whatsoever, this was one of the first concerts Iíve been to. Especially in this size, because it turned out there was half a million people in Hyde Park. And this was a few days after Brian Jones died. So they played for the first time with a new guitarist which was Mick Taylor, who replaced Brian Jones. They did this also as a sort of memorial concert for Brian Jones.
In those days there was no strict stage security or anything. There were just simple barriers and I was outside the barriers for about 3-4 hours before the Stones played. But from my position on the barriers I could look to the backstage area. And then I took some photos, like this one with Eric Clapton and Ginger Baker.
Anyway, then once the Stones went on. I didnít know how to get on the front of the stage because there was so many people everywhere. And in the backstage area there was a truck of a film company that filmed that event. And there was a girl I had been flirting with the last couple of hours Ė waving and smiling, and she came over, said hello and left again. When the Stones went on, the whole backstage area cleared but she was there. I waved her over, now I asked her could she get me a pass, I wanted to move somewhere, just to see the front of the stage. She disappeared and then came back, and there were different coloured, like these days too for certain areas, different passes. So she gave me a pass that was probably not valid for where I went. I climbed over the fence with this pass stuck on and I walked up the stairs. On to the stage! And it scared a shit out of me because I walked up the stairs and thereís Bill Wyman standing in front of me! I was standing behind a tree taking a quick picture of Bill Wyman. Then I saw a security, the stage security, that was done by Hellís Angels. There was a scaffold in tower next to the stage, and I saw this guy looking down on me, one of the Hellís Angels, starting to climb down the tower to check me. I was really scared, I just left. I ran down the stairs again and I went under the stage. I climbed through the scaffolding and I got to the front of the stage which was covered by canvas. And there was a hole in the canvas, and I stuck my head through there. There was half of million people in front of me!.. And the Rolling Stones on top of me playing!.. (laughs) And then I hung on to with one hand to the scaffolding with my head out and I had to wait until Jagger came to the front of the stage and I took some of these pictures here.
And then quickly after that I just took some photos because I didnít trust that I didnít get stopped to somebody will take my camera away. Before the concert was finished I went home just to save my film.
— And then this story got a continuation in a magazine?
— Well, yes, years and years later. By then, this “Mojo” magazine didnít exist at that time, in í69. They must have been founded somewhen mid 80s or late 80s. Anyway. The Rolling Stones were preparing for a world tour and there was an ad in that magazine Ė they were looking for people who were at the í69 Rolling Stones concert in Hyde Park. And if they had a story to tell, they wanted to know. So I wrote them the story I just told you. I sent it and then I forgot about it. Three months later I get a copy of the magazine in the post. And Iím looking for my letter if they printed it, and they did print it in the short version. But then there was a double fold picture of a photographer that took photos from inside and backstage area to the outside. And I am in the photo! Thatís exactly 26 years after the event, that I was there, that I found myself on the picture of the Rolling Stones concert in Hyde Park!
— Yeah, thatís unbelievable story!
— So then you returned to Munich...
— Yes, I returned to Munich and I started to work on various daytime jobs. But on the side I was still DJ-ing, in evenings or weekends. It was my hobby really. And in one of those evenings, it was always Friday evenings, they started what they called then “Oldies evening”, and I had all these records that I had collected. So I took all my own records and played in the discotheque every Friday. And thatís where in 1972 I met my future boss Marcel Avram who was the founder of a big concert agency “Mama Concerts”. He was living in Frankfurt but he spent his weekends in Munich. And then we just got talking and friendly.
One day he asked me if I know anybody in Munich who could organize the concerts that they have in Munich, because he was not happy with a local promoter. It was like a talk in a bar at 2 oíclock in the morning. I said, yeah, maybe I can do it. But it was more like... You know, at that time I was working in a laboratory developing photographs for magazines. And then a week later I get a telegram from Avram, I should come to a Munich hotel, he wants to talk to me. When I got there, he was there with his partner Lieberberg, they both still in the business today. And they offered me the job of the local promoter, thatís what happened. I gave notice at my day job, and a week later they sent me somebody from Frankfurt to show me how to do ticket sales, how to do advertising, just to show me the inside of the business.
And not having an office in Munich, they used my flat, so my flat was their office. And in those days we had sometimes 3 or 4 concerts a week. That means, for every concert there was about a thousand posters printed, so my flat looked like a warehouse! All these posters were everywhere. It got so bad that my wife left me. I mean, I wasnít married then but I was living with Lynne still. She was so fed up with me being so busy with all that. Our place was abused really by this company, that she went to live in Paris and to study French. And from then on I was sort of the local promoter of that company in Munich for about 4 years, doing the concerts only in Munich.
Then now and again they would use me also on the road, as a road manager, to go on tour with bands. And one of the first bands that I actually went on tour with was ... Smokie. This is the picture of when I met the band, Ď76. And then I got friendly with Chris on that tour. Then they did another couple of German tours with the same promoter and I was always with him. And this friendship really lasted from í76 until today, and the last 10 years Iíve been hardly doing anything else but travelling the world with Chris :).
— So at that time you were like a road manager?
— Yes, a road manager. A friend of mine, who worked for the agency, was the actual tour manager and I travelled with him, to learn the business and all that. And I did all the jobs, I did the hard and physical work, like driving the band and taking them from A to B and all that.
— Apparently for Smokie those were their first tours in Europe...
— Smokie toured Germany before. But then, once they got really big and famous, they went with a big promoter, and that was the company I worked for. And thatís how I met them. They were really big in those days. They played all the big arenas, they sold out like 12 000 seaters, like nobody did before at that time really. Thereís a German music magazine called “Bravo”, itís like a teeny magazine. And they were always on the covers there. And they also did small shows, “Bravo” concerts or “Bravo” shows.
— Ok, so then you continued to work at this agency?
— Well, it wasnít all that long really. In í79 I started to have troubles with it. There were problems with the company. At that time they were a big promoter, they had a big name that did some of the big acts. But the music business such as now didnít exist then and it was just finding its way. And sometimes the company was broke, and then it was not broke, there was money, there was no money... And then they didnít pay me for a while. I had a lot of troubles with the company. So I stopped working for them, to go back to England again.
My wifeís younger sister was married to an Englishman whose parents had a pub. So they knew about gastronomic business in England. With a little money that we had saved – my wife Lynne and her sister, and me, and the husband of the sister – we decided to start a restaurant in England. They found a restaurant, and after they signed the contracts we packed in everything in Munich, put everything on the truck, and went overnight to England. We didnít know where we were going... It was out in the sticks, it was about hour and a half car ride from London, in Suffolk, in a small place called Hadleigh, near Ipswich which was a big port, big town. And from then on I was like a restaurant owner, I was cooking and music was still there...
— You were really cooking there?..
— Yes, in the kitchen. Iím still cooking, Iím still a good chef! Iím very good in it.
— Oh yeah, I remember your goulash! :)
— (laughs) Yes, and Chris knows of my goulash too. When we were on that Dennis Locorriere tour (UK 2007) and we shared a flat in London, I was cooking... (laughs)
Anyway, then I was in England for 3 years doing this restaurant business. Ipswich was a touring town, a place where these acts Ė British bands or whatever toured in England Ė came to Ipswich. And now and again there would be a band that Iíd worked with before. So when I had time I always went in the afternoon, at soundcheck time, to the venue to meet them. One of the bands I met there was the Kinks. After Black Sabbath split Ozzy Osbourne was with his first solo band, I went to see him. And then some of these people stopped by my restaurant, so now and again I would have some pop stars in my restaurant, every few months somebody would turn up. This was an attraction to the customers, and they would just come and show up if thereís anybody there :). So I still kept up the contact to some of these bands and acts while I had the restaurant in the countryside. Also I went to concerts in London and met some of these people.
But then, after 3 years, the business fell apart because my wifeís sister and her husband were cheating us with the money, and there were difficulties. So me and my wife decided to go back to live in Germany again. At first I was actually unemployed. And then I started to get my foot back in the DJ-ing again. Because when I came from England I had a great collection from there, the stuff that you couldnít find in Germany. So thatís how I got into being a DJ again, I was working in a club in Munich. It was actually a live music club, they called it Domizil. We had like live music every day. And in between bands I would play the records there. I was also working behind the bar, I was serving drinks, playing records. And I was involved in the booking of some of the bands that played there.
Eventually “Mama Concerts” started to contact me again, some of the people that worked there when I was still there came down to the club and said that Marsel wants to speak with you, how are you and all that. But I didnít go back because I had so much trouble before with the company that I thought it was not worthy to get back into these troubles again.
And then one day there was a football tournament in Munich from the music business Ė music magazines, promotion companies, bands, whoever Ė people connected with music. Our club had a few really good footballers and we were invited to this tournament. And the tournament was actually run by “Mama Concerts”, and this is when after years I met my old boss again, and we won the tournament. So he had to give me the gold medal and all that and we shook hands. And on that day after the ceremony there he said to me: “Letís go and talk”, and that when we talked again. But I still refused. I mean, I was tempted to go back into that business again because I liked it and I missed it. But I was too skeptical, I didnít want to get into...
And then, I started a completely new life really, after 3 years from í82 to í85. In the meantime, in 1984, I decided to go to Greece to look for my father. This is when I found my father. I was tested by the labour exchange and then I did a new apprenticeship working in a travel agency. I went to school, this was supposed to take a 1,5-2 years and then I would be out of the night job. I didnít want to work at night anymore.
And while I was doing this job in the travel agency, I get a telephone call one day from “Mama Concerts” office. I knew, because it was in the press, that Tina Turner was rehearsing for a world tour in Munich, at Olympiahalle, like every day, on a daily basis. And they had somebody to look after Tina Turner who was really a policeman. He had taken off days to do odd jobs for the company. And there was a day when she had to go to a doctor and this guy who looked after her couldnít go. So they called me if I was available for an hour or two, if I could come to the office to pick up my boss's car, his Mercedes, go to the hotel, pick up Tina Turner, take her to the doctor, take her back to the hotel again. Just for a fee and that would be it. So I did that, to have a little extra money. And it was all like 10 minutes from the hotel to the doctor and 10 minutes after the doctor back, that we got so close in talking in the car that afterwards she insisted... Her management spoke to Marsel, to “Mama Concerts”, that Tina wants him. They said, why he canít look after her, he speaks better English than the other guy, and they seemed to get on, is it possible to have him? And then they called me and then... I was so torn apart because I was just about to finish the apprenticeship in this new job. But then I decided to do just a week or 2 weeks on a German tour, to travel with her. Which I did and I also did it for the money because... I mean, the money that I earned from the labour exchange doing this school Ė in a month I got paid about 300 DM, and I got half of that money for one day working on the tour. So after 2 weeks I had earned more than earned the year before :). And then after those few German dates I got all so well with Tina Turner that she decided to take me on the European tour. So I stopped my apprenticeship, I finished all that and I was back in the business again – but not with “Mama Concerts”, but as a freelancer. On that tour I was actually employed by the management of Tina Turner. But because that worked out so well, after I came back from the Tina Turner European tour Marsel started to talk to me again. In those days the company was really exploding with shows. Thatís when Michael Jackson came, and Whitney Houston, Bruce Springsteen, AC/DC Ė one big act after the other. And they were short of good people. So... I was a freelancer, I didnít really meet a lot with my old boss, I wanted to avoid him anyway, but I was back in the business again.
(showing a photo) This is all the employees from the company. Just for fun I put a guitar around me. We made a poster for our bossís birthday. Thereís another one where all the girls of the office were backup singers. We were pretending to be a band, none of us was musician :). And then we made a big poster with “Happy Birthday, Marsel” and placed these posters from his house outside of Munich on the route to the office. So when on his birthday he drove to the office, there was this poster everywhere saying “Happy Birthday, Marsel” with us on it... :)
— Great idea! :)
— (showing photos) Well, these were those successful days then from í86 into the 90s when I toured with Paul McCartney, Deep Purple, with Jackson several times, Tina Turner. Tina didnít fly, so I was driving her through Europe. Like on one European tour I would cover the distance twice around the globe, with her in the car. And I toured with some classical acts like Jose Carreras or Placido Domingo...
— Ok, so since then you worked as a freelancer for this company.
— Yeah, well, not only for the company, some of these acts went past the company to book me. Anyway, this all went through the 90s where I was on these big mega-tours. Then my boss got arrested for tax evasion, in 1997. At that time he was more or less managing Michael Jackson, he was his worldwide agent. And 2 weeks before the tour started he got arrested for tax evasion in Germany. So the tour was sort of taken out of his hand, he couldnít be the boss of this tour which he was. But heíd sold already the tour to a lot of other European countries. And I was still working on the tour because when I got hired, I was supposed to do it for Marsel. But then because he was arrested, the Michael Jacksonís management took me on anyway. And I was travelling on that tour, that was the last time Michael Jackson actually did tour or work live. In those days he was already on the way down, he was not healthy, his management fell apart. For about 6 months I was on that tour which ended about... (recalling) ... just after Michael Jacksonís birthday, on the 29th of August. I think, 2 days after his birthday Lady Di died. Because he was staying in Paris on that European tour and after all the concerts he flew back to Paris to stay in the hotel. And, I think, 2 days before Lady Di died he had a dinner with her. The next thing I knew when the tour was over, I go home, suddenly I see on television the news – Lady Di died. And Jackson was still telling me a few days before that he was out in Paris for dinner with her...
By that time, in 1997, Iíve been in the business so long and I experienced so many unpleasant things on the Michael Jackson tour Ė personal stuff with him and management Ė it was all... it was not a happy tour. And all the Michael Jackson tours Iíve done before were really on top of my list Ė the best tours, friendliest people, great working. On that tour everything fell apart, he fell apart, he was into alcohol, he was taking pharmaceutical drugs – thatís when his downfall started. And when I got home after the tour I had a depression actually. I wanted to finish to work in this business... At that time my boss was still locked up, Marsel was still in prison.
So, I stopped working and started writing my story down, That what other people, all the artists that Iíve ever worked with always said – why donít you write a book after all this experience? I didnít know how to write a book. But when I came home from that tour Ė I just had made some money, I had the time and I didnít need to work immediately. So I started to sit down and start on all these stories, and collect all the stuff, and put it into shape and together, but my book is still not out...
— You said once you were rewriting it?
— Yes. When I started, a friend of mine, a woman in Munich, had an advertising agency. She helped me a lot. She kept pushing, because also she was involved on that last European tour with Jackson. She published a fan-magazine that came out during the tour. So I saw her regular on the tour and I was telling her all the bad things that I experience on the tour. And I told her that I will get out of the business as soon as the tour is over, thatís what I did. And thatís when she sort of pushed me and made me sit down to write my stories down. She knew some people, so she knew this journalist who came to my house for 3 months every day, set up his computer in the kitchen, I sat with him, told him the stories, he typed them down, then he went home to work them over. And he was supposed to really help me write my book. But after 3 months into doing these interviews with this guy he started... to invent his own stories. When I read what heíd written, it was not my story anymore... :) He mixed events that never happened and the years when all writing it. And so I just said to Uschi (my friendís name): Uschi, we have to leave this guy, this journalist. Heís messing up my stories, this is useless. And then she said, why donít you sit down and write? Well, but how?.. In school I did learn to typewrite with 10 fingers. And actually when the first time I sat at the computer, I looked at the keys... :). So, I tried that again. First, it was all like that... (showing). But then I did get quicker and then I started to write again, and thatís when I started to do it in chronological order. I started on the day of my birth really, all the way through, until the early 90s. Thatís what Iíve written down. There still unwritten stories that I havenít done because I got back in the business again in the year 2001.
Unexpected, I didnít want to get back in there again. With this German band which was a band like Spice Girls in England, they were called No Angels, 5 girls. And they were the No 1 act in Germany. Their agent knew me from my time as a tour manager with “Mama Concerts”, he wanted me to work for them. So he got me back into the business again. But at that time I was 50 years old and I thought, all these young bands and all these casting shows, and all this... I was in the wrong place. I felt too old for that really. It didnít work out in the beginning, it took me to 2-3 months to sort of find my way around in that because everybody was so much... I felt like a grandfather amongst all these young kids.
But then again one thing gave the other, and then these girls did a TV show where they met Chris Norman. And they knew I knew Chris Norman from Smokie days because they knew my stories. That was 2001. Jose Carreras started a charity for leukaemia, because he had leukaemia, he was nearly dying, he was in a coma in hospital for 2-3 months. And then he became healthy again, and then he started this cancer foundation. And once a year before Christmas there was big live TV show with big superstars, mixed, classical music, pop music, everything. And thatís where the girls were, in this TV show. I wasnít there. And Chris was performing there too. So they got talking to Chris Norman, then he called me the day after, just to say hello. And then he said he was going to Russia, if I was available some time later. And the girls had a break at that time. So thatís when I started, this was the first time I came to Russia, straight to Russia with Chris :). In the beginning of 2002, with English band still. And since then Iím back in the business.
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