Bands: Smith & D'Abo, SAILOR
A concert review by Ursula Porwollik:
Monday, 11 October 1976:
Concert of my favourite band SAILOR in the Westfalenhalle in Dortmund - A fan-review from cult-times by Ursula Porwollik
For others it might have been a normal day, but for me it was something very special: This Monday I was to see my favourite band SAILOR in the Westfalenhalle in Dortmund, and this was to happen live, in front of all our eyes....
I, Ursula, was to go to this event together with my classmate Sabine! I was so happy: Finally I was able to see Georg, Grant, Henry and Phil "in reality" and not - as usual - only on television. I would like to describe the most important events of this day.....
At 6.40 am I woke up - and I was instantly awake because I knew which day it was! At school I couldn't think and talk about anything else but the concert, that was to happen later today. The 4 lessons went by very fast. The homework was finished by me before I came home at the bus station.
My best friend Monika wished me good luck for Dortmund, so that I could come to the very first row of the audience and manage to shake the hands of Georg and his guys. Let's see.....
Sabine and I talked about when I was going to come to her. I wanted to be there at 1.45 pm.
Back home, after lunch, I started to dress and prepare myself SAILOR-like, while I played the SAILOR LP "Trouble" over and over again. Afterwards I was satisfied with the outfit that I had chosen: Black trousers, a blue-white striped shirt and a black neckerchief, it all matched very good. Then I quickly combed my hair, that looked very good this day, which didn't happen so often. Finally I took my anchor-earrings and my black leather-jacket, which was very "in" at that time. The perfect outfit! My mother didn't expect me to leave so early and wished me a nice and not dangerous evening. The worried one!
I took my handbag and the plastic bag including the letters and presents for SAILOR and went to Sabine by bus. The sun was burning and soon my black clothes became hot. When I arrived at Sabine's place she had also gotten ready, so we only packed a few things and then took off. We reached the Langendreer railway station, because we had to go to Dortmund by train. Sabine's mother had agreed to pick us up on the way back.
I cursed; because of all the hurry I had forgotten my SAILOR autograph-card at home, what should cause some trouble later today. And I was also angry because I didn't take a camera with me, but not because I didn't have one myself - another friend of mine owned a pocket-camera, but she wasn't allowed to give it to me, and Sabine, who owned everything that a teeny could wish for, had forgotten her camera at home when we left. What a shame!
SAILOR were inside my head all the time now. I had all kinds of strange fantasies. I wondered how they were going to look in reality. Even if I couldn't take any photos.
In Dortmund we spent the time in all the different shops and boutiques - especially in record stores - waiting for the evening and the concert. But after a while I couldn't walk any more. We ate French-Fries and then went to the "Westfalenhalle". The concert was to start at 8 pm, and now it was just 4 pm, but I was too impatient to walk through any more shops. I only wanted to get to the concert hall. So I hurried Sabine out of the record stores in which we had been looking for SAILOR, Queen and similar stuff (Sabine was a passionate Queen-fan), and we were lucky because there was a tram-station from which we could go directly to the Westfalenhalle....
When we arrived I couldn't think of anything else than how the SAILORs might be "in reality". Soon we could see the "Westfalen"-halls. Sabine quickly went closer to them, while I followed her carefully. It was exasperating - where was this hall number 2? There we discovered it in front of us.
I had expected not to meet anybody else here yet, but I was wrong. Two girls were waiting in front of the hall. Sabine and I looked at them as suspiciously as they looked at us. Both of them had come from Wesel to Dortmund. The one, taller than the other and obviously the funny one of them, was a blonde beauty, who introduced herself as Gerti - and who kept on talking all the time (a real "Schnabbelschüssel" A note from MARINERO: no way to translate this ;-)). The other one, calmer - was no SAILOR-fan; she liked "Sweet" - was 14 - just like Gerti - and sceptical concerning SAILOR. But Sabine and I liked her more than the "Schnabbelschüssel". But that didn't really matter - I thought it was great that there already were some other people. Sabine and I decided to take a walk around the hall and took a seat on a bench. Sabine told me that she envied me because I would soon be able to see my favourite band live on stage. She hadn't seen "her" Queen live yet. I replied that she would surely be able to see Queen soon, for sure.
When Sabine and I returned to the hall there were much more people than before, also two other "girls". This time they were a blonde beauty with curls and a little "flea" with an anchor on her cheek. Both of them wore striped shirts so that it was obvious where they wanted to go. They came from a town which we didn't know - Verl, wherever this was.
5.10 pm. About 30 people were already waiting in front of the hall. Sabine and I went back to the "Schnabbelschüssel". We started talking; she also liked Georg very much, just like myself. She also told me a couple of new things - e.g. that Georg had fake curls in his hair and so on. This girl then got on everybody's' nerves with all her long stories.
A strange dark-haired girl, who stood next to us, was whispering something about how much she liked Georg all the time. Yes, the true fans were all in the same situation. When we couldn't stand the "Schnabbelschüssel" any longer, Sabine and I went away and got closer to one of the smaller doors. Next to us was a huge security-guy with a huge belly. Behind him I discovered the poster announcing SAILOR's tour once again. I looked at it and sighed. Would it belong to me later tonight? Now a lot of people were coming from all sides. Some real crazy fans had painted anchors on their left and right cheeks, wore sailor's caps and striped shirts. Totally SAILOR-like. Suddenly Sabine said to me: "Well, what would you do if THEY would pass us by with their car right now?"
"Stop it!" I told her, because that was the last thing I needed now. What was that? In this moment a yellow Mercedes with a licence-plate from Düsseldorfer was slowly driving past the bigger and bigger growing audience. This Mercedes, which stopped about 10 or 12 meters away from us while the engine was still running, was completely new, very noble. "I would start laughing if that was them", I heard Sabine say once again.
I was just about to give her my final answer, when I suddenly wasn't able to give any answer at all any more! Because I was looking into a familiar face which was curiously looking into our direction through the window of the Mercedes. The face belonged to a blonde guy with a funny smile. I recognized that guy because of his nose and his glasses; there was no doubt: it was Henry Marsh!
Would Sabine believe this now? Yes, she did, because I heard her giggle silently while she shook me: "Hey, I think I've seen this guy, Henry!" So I hadn't dreamed it! And so we stupidly began to stare into Henry's direction. Four people were in the car in addition to the driver. SAILOR!? Could this be true?
In this moment a dark haired guy who sat next to the driver, also turned his head into our direction. Sabine sighed in a shocked way, and I was even more speechless. We saw a green jacket, a charming face with a brand new hair dress - and the face was also smiling at us through the Mercedes-window: Phil Pickett?
Yes, it really was Phil! But he quickly turned away again. Maybe he was shy. Sabine and I looked at each other without talking and then stared back at the car and the possible and impossible people inside. Strangely enough, only the two of us seemed to have noticed what was happening, because we were standing a bit away from the others. How big would the chaos be if the others noticed the Mercedes as well and realized who was sitting inside!? Better not think about that!
It all seemed so unreal that none of the others became curious or attracted. Sabine and I were rather calm and checked out the situation. And the situation was terrible. "Third time is a charm", I thought to myself, until I tried to get back to my senses, while Sabine whispered: "I would like to know whether Georg or Grant are in the car too!"
"Be quiet!" I tried to say with a smile, but then I was totally shocked. Wearing a black jacket and a tie to a white shirt, looking very nice with dark sunglasses HE was now looking out of the car window: Georg Kajanus. For sure. Now we knew who it was.
But now Georg wasn't there in our imagination, no - he was real, just like the two others! I started to feel sick. It was unbelievable! Georg looked at the two of us, a bit strange but nice at the same time. He looked kind of serious. Sabine watched all this and worriedly looked at me and then back to Georg again. It seemed as if he was flirting with us. But why not?
Sabine was flabbergasted as well. And then: Suddenly the driver of the car - a funny looking, thin guy - got out and walked to our thick security-guy. The highlight followed: Silently - but Sabine and I could hear it in spite of this - he whispered into the ear of the security-guy: "Here are the musicians!" Somehow the two guys seemed to ignore us completely, although we were standing quite close to them, not like SAILOR in their Mercedes.
Sabine and I exchanged frightened looks. We could hardly believe it, but it happened right in front of our eyes - but the truth was shocking!! Meanwhile I was still looking at Georg, who still looked at the surroundings in a nice way - mostly into our direction. Of course he had to look interested; as he could see all the fans who were waiting in front of the hall quite well.
When the car stood there and nobody else watched it, Sabine told me: "Come on! Get yourself an autograph!" "I - I can't! I said while trying to smile, although I would have loved to run to the Mercedes. Sabine didn't stop. "Why can't you do it? Come on, get yourself an autograph!" "No," I moaned shyly, "I don't dare to do it, honestly - and I don't even have a photo they could sign. Damn!" "That doesn't matter". I couldn't to argue Sabine out of it, "You have a piece of paper, and they will surely have a pen in their glove compartment!" Could anyone believe this? What did this woman want me to do. Even if this was THE chance - I was much to scared, and that was it. I had seen that the small "flea" from Verl had two autograph-cards. I could have bought one from her quickly - and then? Then everybody else would have noticed it too, would have gone mad, and SAILOR would have been angry! Or did they expect something like that? I didn't know it. I didn't know what they would think about a coward like me, who didn't even dare to fetch an autograph, either! In this moment I couldn't do or say anything. I was paralysed. Sabine could say whatever she wanted - it was like a ban that couldn't be stopped. But I still kept on looking intensely at the car, in which Georg Kajanus was constantly watching us, too. It was like heaven; but then the car had to drive to the dressing rooms, as we heard. What a shame. That was a special experience for a sensitive SAILOR-soul like myself. I couldn't cope with all that had just happened, and then there was the next highlight: Another car was coming, dark red, a VW van, and the opening act, the band Smith & D'Abo, were inside, accompanied by - Grant Serpell !! The VW caused more attention than the Mercedes; but the fans stayed calm, not a single girl started screaming. I was totally enthusiastic, but I tried to stay calm. Not even Sabine was to notice my feelings, I decided.
After this, Sabine and I returned to the other fans. During the following minutes I noticed that a new girl from Hagen had a large "G" on her scarf. She reacted rather unfriendly when Gerti asked her, for whom the "G" should stand. My head began to get clear again. But that was still too much: Because all of us who were standing here and who hadn't known each other before - I sadly noticed - didn't really like each other! Somehow we all seemed to be rivals - one person wanted to know more about SAILOR than the next one, one loved Georg or Henry or Grant or Phil more than the others. The things we seemed to have in common, the talks - all just smattering. But it was good to experience something like this. That was life.
In the meantime I started to freeze. It was cold, in the middle of October, in spite of my leather-jacket. More and more people joined us, they kept on coming from every direction like magic. I was happy because it would surely become full, but I also wondered where we would be seated in the end. I was afraid because I wanted be as far in the front as possible to see Georg and SAILOR, and then of course because of my letters and presents for the SAILOR-boys. I was really afraid because many people had bought tickets for 20 DM and I had only paid 16 DM. Yet another rivalry-fight, I thought. And the doors weren't even open yet. That was going to be exciting!
It became fuller and fuller, the fans got hysterical and impatient. Some tried to look inside the hall to see one or the other SAILOR. When a security man inside the hall was just walking up the stairs and some fans saw him, the "small one" from Verl started shouting: "Georg, Georg - I have just seen Georg gesehen!" And all the others also started shouting. But no! They had only seen one of the security guys. A short time later something similar happened because of Henry. So the mood remained very tensed. Finally some guys opened the box office. Everybody was running to the box office because there had just been coupons for the tickets so far. When I had finally received our tickets I noticed that our seats unfortunately were further at the back! What a shock! I would never sit down there, that was sure! Sabine neither! Of course we HAD to be somewhere else! More and more security guys appeared inside the hall and watched what was happening outside. At about 7.15 they finally opened the main doors! We ran inside. It was as if the whole world was running to a place were something was for free. Inside the concert hall there were refreshments and lots of mirrors, where people could fix their dishevelled and frozen looks. I was more than comfortable with myself, yes, I thought I looked really good that night. That had a special reason, and I beamed with joy - when I wanted to see my boys on stage I just HAD to look good! For sure.
First, Sabine and I got ourselves something to drink. Then we checked out the concert hall. There were so many people that we wondered, what seats we might get. We also searched for posters or other stuff from SAILOR that they might be selling, but there wasn't anything like this. I still wanted to have one of those concert posters, maybe just take one from the wall, but I didn't do it yet. At 7.40 pm Sabine and I finally went back into the hall again. It was so full inside! We hectically looked for our seats. We found them, oh my god - some people were already sitting there. First they reacted angrily, but then they told us that they had first been in the 34th row and decided to go further to the front, and that we should try this too, so we told them that they could stay and tried to do the same. Let's see if this was going to work! I mean, if all the others did this, we could do it too....
At first we went to the 16th row. Sabine had to go to the toilet. Me too. When we came back into the hall I didn't want to go back to this terrible 16th row any more. So we went to the 9th row. There the sight was great, but Sabine didn't like it yet. It was still too far away from the stage. Soon we found ourselves in the 6th row - where we stayed.
I got more and more excited - I would take Sabine's right arm and hold on to it to calm myself down. Sabine was nervously sitting on her chair too. All the time I would look at my letters that would soon reach their destination. I still had to think of how Georg had looked at us out of the Mercedes, as well as Phil and Henry. And in my thoughts I saw the little presents that I had put into the letters for Georg and the others, which I would throw up on the stage in my unlimited adoration and love. What would they think of this?
At about 8.05 pm the show started. The opening act Smith & D'Abo started to play. Their performance was super-great. In the meantime there war a chaotic mixture including cafés and strip-bars, cables, two drumkits - one from Smith & D'Abo - behind them on the stage. And some bright disco-ball lighted the scene. Later the chaos disappeared.
Smith & D'Abo left the stage at about 8.30 pm. Now the set was changed. What were Sabine and I to do in the last minutes? But I didn't want to get myself one of the concert posters that - I thought - were still hanging at the entrance, yet. But when I had bravely reached the door in order to get a poster - some other fans had already taken them. What else had I expected? What a shame.
The final SAILOR-audience of the evening consisted - read and believe it- mostly of adults. that means people OVER 21. couples and several groups of boys and men. Then the female fans followed!!
My sadness because of the poster disappeared when I came back to Sabine who proposed to change the seats one more time because she had seen two vacant seats in one of the very first rows. Right behind a group of boys, from which one - what a coincidence - owned on of the concert posters. So our final seats had changed to the 3rd row on the right. Sabine had agreed to this final change just for me. Lucky us! - And others did just the same, so that there was a big movement in the whole hall. Others preferred to remain standing or get close to the stage, what wasn't officially allowed and kept the angry security people busy. The boys in front of us introduced themselves as Scottish soldiers from Soest "near the Moehne-See". It was funny and strange for Sabine and me to discover their accent and guess whether they were from Holland or England. If we hadn't asked them we would have thought about it forever! Just when we were about to start to talk about SAILOR, English and the city Bochum, which the guys didn't know, the lights went out!
Now it started! It was quarter to nine.
My heart was beating up to my throat: I knew what was going to follow. I looked at Sabine as if this was my execution. "Don't panic", was the last thing I heard from her, before she - like myself and everybody else in the full concert hall - listened to the announcer who said: "Meine Damen und Herren - heute Abend live hier in Dortmund - hier sind - SAILOR!!!".....
In this moment I felt as if I was going to explode. The curtain opened. Something white or bright was visible in the dark. I thought that I had to be Georg's shirt. And then the lights went on, while I was staring at the stage like mad: The stage was lighted in all humanly possible colours, on which the Nickelodeon stood on the left side with lots of red and yellow lights. Of course the café and strip-bars were now used as the stage-background. A big palm tree stood behind Grant's drums. On the right side next to Georg there was a streetlamp, and behind him a half-opened jalousie with a hardly dressed girl.
I saw SAILOR in reality and not through a camera. And then I saw Georg as the first one of them. He was really wearing a white shirt, dark trousers and a black neckerchief. On his head he had his dark sailor's cap. I thought I saw that he didn't wear an anchor on his left cheek, like on the TV shows, for the first time. Henry, who stood on the left side at his beloved Nickelodeon, wore a black jacket, which he would take off later, white trousers and a red neckerchief that advantageously completed his outfit. Instead of the panama hat he wore a black hat. Philly Pickett, further on the right with his bass, looked funnier than all the others. He had a huge earring on his right ear which was shining like mad. With his kerchief he looked like a charwoman (but for sure his outfit was to resemble a pirate)! A shirt with frills, black-cord-trousers and a red scarf around the hips also decorated the lovely boy. And last, but not least - Grant, or what I could see of him: A white sailor's cap, a black shirt, which underlined his unbelievable brownness - how on earth was that guy doing that? Then I noticed that Grant was wearing white trousers and white shows. All this happened just within the first few seconds of the boys' concert. I listened carefully and wondered with which song they would start. But this was the beginning of a song I didn't know yet, I noticed piano-sounds with the familiar rhythm, and I liked it immediately. Then Georg began to sing.
I stared at the stage like under a charm and couldn't believe that I was experiencing this here and now. It still seemed like a dream. The song was called "One Drink Too Many", which I got to know later, - and it was sweet! I was taken aback because it seemed as if the four of them were each playing just for themselves at the beginning. The looked serious and concentrated. The loudness and acoustic in the hall was not too bad. Now I looked at each of the guys. Georg seemed shy and unsure; obviously he needed some time to "warm up". Grant didn't care about what was happening around him; he played his drums in a clear and experienced way. Phil, the little whirlwind, wasn't so relaxed either. He concentrated on his bass. And Henry seemed to be happy to be at the Nickelodeon because it helped him to overcome the first insecurity. The didn't seem to know what was expecting them here in Dortmund. But even now the audience was enthusiastic. When the first big applause came, Georg's face lit up visibly. I didn't know the next song they played either, it was called "Give Me La Samba". And now it was Georg, who - although a bit shy - smiled at the audience. I looked at Sabine who looked very impressed. Also Phil and Henry were relieved and started to smile at the audience. Grant did the same. It was so wonderful. After "Give Me La Samba" the last ice between the band and the audience had melted, and the band looked relaxed and happy because of their good start. Then it was Georg who cleared his throat, laughed and said: "Guten Abend, meine sehr verehrten Damen und Herren, wir freuen uns, heute abend hier bei Ihnen zu sein!" I looked at Sabine in shock. He had done his first announcement like a newsreader. In German! "German, Sabine - German!" I shouted and shook my friend in enthusiasm, "HE speaks German!". Sabine smiled widely and said: "Yes, yes Ursula - he's just in front of you!" and I turned back to the stage. It had been German without any accent! I was taken aback. Then Georg explained that SAILOR meant "Matrose" in German. "Let's go back to English now..." Georg said in his usual manner, "the first songs we sang were from our new album 'Third Step'. The song we're gonna sing now is one you might remember - One, two three...." He started to play, but in a much more relaxed way. It was the beginning of "The Old Nickelodeon Sound". Wow! And they did it even better than on the record. We all moved our arms in the air, and Sabine said with an enthusiastic laughter: "I think I'm becoming a SAILOR-fan!" I looked at her in surprised; what was that special thing about those guys? Well.... After this song there was a loud applause. SAILOR were very happy.
Then Georg got away from his microphone and tuned his guitar. Henry came to the microphone and - having taken his jacket off - said: "Is there a girl who would like to come on the stage naked?" Shocked noises in the hall. I noticed how Georg and Phil were smiling at each other; Georg couldn't help laughing. Grant was also laughing behind his drums. Henry made faces, looked at his watch and said: "Please hurry - we don't have so much time!" Now there was laughter and the first rows of the audience too. After a little while Henry said: "Thank you - we have found a girl - the others can get dressed again! And", he added, "here's our girl!" In this moment a picture of an almost naked girl was shown on a huge screen. Everybody laughed. Georg looked at the painted, nearly undressed girl on the picture in rapture. Then Georg turned to the audience, still laughing, and said that the next song was going to be "Josephine Baker". When this song started I looked at the four of them closely again. Even from about 8 meters away Georg looked better than on TV; he was so charming and polite, a little naive, but also a bit like a dare-devil. Phil seemed to be the funny one, he was friendly, sweet and very open. He obviously wore make-up. Grant was totally different, he looked as if eh had just returned from a Mallorca-holiday and he didn't need make-up. Very brown, with very white teeth - that's how he positioned himself behind his drumkit. Grant was a very thin guy, but nice and charming, as ever. I had always thought that Henry was thinner than Grant, but I was wrong. Henry was a little stronger and thicker than him. Henry's face was attractive and smart, his temperament funny. Henry was paler than everybody else in the band; he looked like a living shroud. In other respects Henry Marsh seemed snobby and cosily-sarcastic in comparison to Grant, who seemed serious and discrete. Later I would discover more about the four of them.
SAILOR played "Josephine Baker" better than on the LP, too, it was faster, and they got a huge applause. Soon there were the first "Champagne"- and "Girls"-shouts became hearable in the audience. But SAILOR continued their set and started "Blame It On The Soft Spot", which also sounded different than on the record. A long intro, that didn't seem to stop, was what we all liked - oh yes! - and in the end the whole audience was singing along! It was marvellous! I was surprised about this concert.
After SAILOR had finished "Blame It On The Soft Spot", which left us all into ecstasy, Georg had to tune his guitar one again. Then it was Henry's big moment, as he was to announce the next song, an instrumental piece in which Georg played the Charango. With a light smile he went to the microphone and announced "something very special": "And now..." he looked at Phil in a daffy way, "our Philip is going to play the Guitarron" - while Phil looked a bit strange - because of the "Philip" - but then started laughing again as he picked up the huge Guitarron. Then Phil went next to Henry, who continued to explain: "And our handsome Georg....!" he made a funny gesture to Georg who made a bemused grimace and left Henry smiling again. "Yes - our handsome Georg....!", Phil repeated with the same gesture and looked at Georg longingly. Georg didn't look at any of them again and took his Charango. "And our handsome Georg", Henry said once again - but then he let out a funny scream that made everyone in the concert hall laugh.
"Our handsome....." - there it was again! The audience couldn't stop laughing! Even Grant couldn't help it and had to laugh loudly. One last zime Henry tried to make his announcement, this time with success. "And our handsome Georg is going to play his little Charango". He said it silently, but the audience had to laugh again, when they realised the difference of the size of Charango and Guitarron. Now Georg was smiling too. And then they played the long-announced instrumental song. The lights on stage seemed to go crazy during this song. The instrumental was a fast, sweet song that had also been written by Georg. He was still smiling and he obvioulsy had a lot of fun playing the Charango!
Then Phil and Georg went closer together and played like mad! They really got crazy on stage! When this song was finished, the applause didn't seem to stop. No Henry was back at the microphone. Henry, the funny one, smiled (but when didn't HE smile?!) and looked at Grant and Georg. Georg had picked up his guitar and looked at Henry in a funny way. Phil had meanhwile got rid of the Guitarron and returned to his bass. Henry used the time agaon for some jokes with the audiencen. He looked at the audience. Thousands of flashs hit the stage. He didn't seem to like it. Or did he? He laughed at the photographers and said: "Would you please give me your cameras?" One again the audience laughed. What did he want? Cameras? But I should have expected this.... "Of course I need cameras!" "What does he want?" I looked at Sabine, who looked as confused as myself, and laughed. "Of course," Henry didn't seem to understand the people who didn't understand him, "in Panama you need cameras!"
That was it! Georg started "Panama" again with "One, two, three...". EVERYBODY in the hall seemed to sing along. Everybody seemed to know the lyrics. Georg tried to hide his sweet smile when he noticed that. The lyrics were not G-rated, but who cared? When the instrumental part of "Panama" started, Georg left the micophone and looked at the stage-set, palm-tree and the girls in the window behind him; he had turned around and presented his nice back to the audience! Not bad!
When "Panama" was over the hall was filled with applause that seemed to last for 10 minutes. Of course it didn't, but it seemed like this, - so incredible was the enthusiasm of the audience. Then SAILOR performed another song without announcing it, it mostly consisted of Georg's guitar and the Nickelodeon - another instrumental song. I listened carefully, just like during the songs before. I was on another planet, in another world - wherever! But now and here was my home. Again and again I stared at Georg and the others. But then I became afraid of my own courage, that I might go closer to this stage. But I had wanted it. Only - how could I do it?
I had also told Sabine about the letter to the four guys, and she had encouraged me that I would manage to get to the front without any problems. No matter if I was shyness or not - I couldnt sit still on my seat any longer. I had to go to the front, no matter how! Sabine understood, nodded, and I got up. My friend was still right next to me, carrying my handbag and my jacket. I took the letters with me in the bag. We looked at each other. It had to be now. I had to go to the front without running into one of the security guys who had strictly sent all the other people who had tried it before back to their seats. Sabine whispered something like: Come on, you can do it and Im going to help you!" Well said, I thought to myself. And when the instrumental song was over, my difficult work started. I slowly went to the front with the letters in my hand, passing photographers, the amazed audience and distracted secrurities. I stopped and turned around. Where was Sabine? She was placidly standing a few metres behind me and gave me signs, telling me to go on
Ok, I did it, while Georg announced the next song. "And now we're going to sing about two girls who look for love and romance - on a corner. Just 'Two Ladies On The Corner', which is another track of our new LP!" Again a brand new, unknown song that they performed here! I really liked the song. Phil and Henry sang through a kind of pipe , which sounded fantastic. I got closer and closer to the stage. Metre for metre. And there was one of the securities who, just like the audience, was listening ecstatically to the songs and gazed at the show. I hesitated and watched the guy full of fear. Would he send me back? Oh god no! Just the opposite - he grimaced and said: Well, come on and go to the front, I dont care!" That was the highlight I was astonished, but instantly did what he had ordered and continued to make my way to the front. My face was burning, my head was buzzing with excitement. I had never done anything like this before. And then I had reached my aim, the edge of the stage. The securities didnt seem to care about the fans who stood close to the stage any more, because more and more people were standing there mow. Right next to the stage, to the right of the aisle , I spotted a free place. Then I suddenly realised that I was only about one metre away from my favourite band! Was I afraid? Oh my god! My face was still hot, but my hands were cold. Deep inside I was glowing with excitement. And now I was able to gaze at all the four SAILORs really close right next to the huge loudspeakers next to the stage. Georg was looking fantastic! Different than from a distance, different than on television. Better. His eyes were so deeply blue, and he rolled them around quite often. Georg was unshaved, a bit at least. He seemed frisky like a schoolboy and at the same time wicked like a sailor. Perfect. Once more bewitched, I stayed at my place. I didnt cream with excitement, didnt wave my arms in the air, didnt have any ambitions to lose my containment, like others maybe. Why should I? All of my feelings and thoughts were happeneing where they belonged: In my heart and in my head. The next one I saw was Phil he wore a lot of make-up, what was really unnecessairy because of his pretty face: Lipstick, eye shadow nothing was missing. Phil also looked better than on television. He looked really great! His eyes were icy blue. Henry was charming and likeable, wore hardly any make-up in his face, what was absolutely ok. Grant, well, some more wight on his hips might have been good for him he was so very thin, but not unattractive. He wore blue eye shadow, and his eyes were blue too. Grant had the fatherly charm that I had always loved about him. Then "Two Ladies On The Corner" was finished. Henry went back to the microphone, smiled at Georg and then announced the next song: "Now we want to sing somthing that you might know," he said recklessly (Henry seemed to be a perfect actor). "Something", he went on, "that was played in a couple of discothecs, that you might have heard on the radio, and that you might even have bought as a record!" That rogue! I checked my watch and realised that it was 9.30 pm already. Then I looked back at the stage. Which " decent Song" was Henry announcing? "Watch out, listen carefully maybe you regognize the song!" Without saying anything mor they started to play Girls, Girls, Girls!"
This song had been my very favourite song for nearly half a year! And who did not know it? Joker! Phil didnt have to do so much work at his bass, instead he walked around on the stage, teasing people. He also went to Georg, watched his hands while he was playing, and then his penetrating Scorpio-view discovered some girls who were standing next to the stage, adoring their SAILORs. I think Phil liked blonde girls or women he was close to them immediately! He waved, telling them to come close to him and talked to them, what ended in an enthusiastic palaver with them which ended with lots of waving and handshakes. The girls then went away from the edge of the stage as if they had been kissed by a prince, and trickster Phil enjoyed it.
SAILOR did "Girls" really great! I had expected them to do it as an encore and not right in the middle, but that was ok! I stood right in front of them, more and more bewitched, metamorphosed, still shy, but I had the power not to run away. "Girls" got a frenetic applause that got louder with every gigantic song from SAILOR. All four were happy about their success and let the audience know how they felt. Then Henry suddenly appeared with xylophone in his hand and made an announcement for the next song.
"And now", he cheeky joked into the microphone, we want to sing about a man who gets his money from light girls! He looked at Georg who was smiling. Henry continued: "You will surely know a man like this....", and made a short dramatic pause in order to wait for the audiences reaction. "A pimp!" someone was shouting from the right side of the front row. Everyone started laughing, me too. And then Grant, Georg and Phil got next to Henry and oh my god performed the next song right in front of me on the stage... Oh my god! Now I was able to check out each of them closely: Henry seemed so cute as he was standing there with this xylophone and started to sing, Phil, whose face now looked like the one of a baby, started singing too. Wow, this guy was so charming! Henry stood on the left, then next to him Phil, Grant and Georg. Each of them sang one verse of this unknown, marvellous song!
At first Henry, who had a strange but nice voice, then Phil with his unusual sounding voice! Grant was nexz, whose voice was just the oposite to Phil's, very deep. And Georg - well, we already knew his voice of course. I had never expected the four of them to be so nice, as they were standing there, right in front of me, singing. None of them seemed unfriendly or arrogant. They were so sweet! My fear was gone. I couldn't stop looking at the four guys, especially not at Georg, and I started wondering when I would be able to give them my letters and my presents, whether to throw them onto the stage or give them to them directly! When the band had finished the song about the strange pimp - I really liked the naughty lyrics as well as the melody - it got very darf in the concert hall. While Georg put his guitar aside, Henry went back to the microphone and started smiling again, while he announced the next song.
"Hey, you!" Henry shouted to the roadies, "can you help us to turn the sun into the moon?" No answer. "Oh well!" Henry look disappointed. "Then we'll do it differently." He turned to the audience. "Can you help us to turn the sun into the moon?" Of course we could! And so everyone was shouting aloud "YEEEES!". "I'm counting to three", Henry said, "and then we will do it!". We all counted together with him. Three seconds later the sun in the stage set had disappeared and a moon had risen! The stage was lit in a strange dark red. "May we introduce...", Henry pointed at Georg and his harp, "the Veracruziana! It is important for our next song!" And so they began to play. Insider-fans knew of course that this was going to be "Jacaranda". A fascinating instrumental piece, played by Georg on his harp. "Jacaranda" sounded just like on the record. SAILOR were a super live-band, no mistakes, the voices fantastic - some songs were even better than on the records. A loud applause followed at the end of this song. SAILOR thanked the audience. Then the lights went on again. I remained right in front of the boys in the front row. Phil took his guitarron, and for the second time the audience laughed. Georg went next to him.
"Ladies and gentlemen", Georg said, "Mr. Phil Pickett with his guitarron!" Mr. Pickett laughed. The four of them seemed to enjoy everything, and it was unnecessary to say that they were really good friends. Phil sang this sad song together with Georg, which dealt with an unhappy love. I still don't know the title of the song, but they did it great.
"And now I want the lights to go out!" Georg suddenly said. I looked around me; no it was completely dark! What were they up to? "Is everybody there?" we heard Georg ask through the darkness. "Yeeeeeees!" everyone was shouting. And then a small green spotlight illuminated Georg. He then stared another new song. It was strange, sad, but really great. It was called "Dancing" and really made me sad too. Georg sang it adorably. Everyone in the concert hall started to sway to the left and to the right, I could see that in spite of the dark light. The only disturbing thing were the constantly blinking flashlights from the cameras all around me. But of course everyone wanted to take photos and get a memory of all those fantastic events. Except me. Stupid. Grr. "Dancing" also got a huge applause at the end.
The concert hall was illuminated again. Henry quickly announced the next song and said: "I'm looking for a keyl!". He sounded strange. Georg got closer to him and asked: "What are you looking for, my friend?" "A key, so I can open up the door!" He had said it in a confused way, but everyone had understood him. "Open Up The Door" was to follow. A song, oh my god - completely naughty! Everyone in the hall was screaming and shouting when the four of them stared to play. Phil stood right next to Henry now. He had left his bass-side of the Nickelodeon and played four-handed together with Henry. I was secretly hoping that he might look down at me, but nothing happened. Oh well..... But should something like this happen, I would never forget it....
While Georg was still singing "Open Up The Door" gab, Phil suddenly got his "big 5 minutes" or something like that. He was waving and jumping around. What was going on with him? The applause of all applauses followed when "Open Up The Door" was finished. Wow! More people joined me at the edge of the stage. Girls with their friends, other alone like myself. It was quite full. And now something funny was to follow, if there was any possible kind of cumulativeness. Grant Serpell had left his drumkit and got to the microphone at the front. He smiled and welcomed everyone. He was such a nice guy! Georg had left his place at the microphone and stood back, while he was tuning his guitar. Grant's German seemed to be a bit bumpy, but heartily and really sweet. "Wenn mein Deutsch nicht besonders ist, müssen Sie das entschuldigen; ich bin Franzose - und da kann man Englisch besser. Aber - ich wollte auch einmal etwas sagen, und da habe ich mir eine kleine Rede für heute Abend ausgedacht!" A speech? Well, what a surprise. Georg smiled at Grant who continued to talk in German: "Mir gefallt es hier sehr gut. Sie sind ein sehr nettes Publikum - doch nun wollte ich meine Rede eigentlich halten!" He searched his pockets, obviously for a piece of paper, but didn't find it in the one pocket, nor in the other pocket, nor in the ones at the back - oh my god, how many pockets did his trousers have? - but he didn't find it. After an endless search he finally found the piece of paper in his shirt, but when Grant wanted to continue Georg tapped him on the shoulder and said: "Come on Grant, we don't have enough time because we have to sing the song!" He looked sad - well acted - and wanted to continue with his speech! "But I wanted to....", but then he got back behind his drums - while a huge applause accompanied him. And then Grant Serpell looked into my direction for the first time, to the fand who stood at this side of the stage. And he looked straight at me. I returned an enthusiastic look and he smiled back! Great! But the show wasn't over yet. "Do you want to come with us?" Grant asked from behind his drumkit. But the audience didn't quite understand what he wanted.
"Downtown!" Georg said, and then everyone understood that "Let's Go To Town" was to follow, and I thought that was really good. At the end of the song they would play their instruments like mad! I went mad too and my hands were completely red from clapping. That song was a good change after all those dreamy songs before. After the applause Georg announced that they were now going to play the last song of the evening, having introduced the other SAILORs. I was shocked like all the others in this moment!? They already wanted to leave after 80 minutes? That was impossible! Then I listened to what Georg had to say. I thought that we could all hope for an encore - and then my big moment might come, the moment when I wanted to throw my letters onto the stage!....
Georg introduced all his colleagues. First Grant, then Phil and Henry. Afterwards he introduced himself. All four of them received an overwhelming applauset! I was so happy for my boys because they received so much love and enthusiasm. Georg announced the last song of the concert: "And now we want to sing about a girl who likes to walk around in stiletto heels!" It was "Stiletto Heels", and that was their brand new song which would surely become a hit soon. Phil started the song with his bass - and the whole audience joined in!
Georg began to sing in an unequalled way. "Stiletto Heels" was fantastic. Having finished it they disappeared from the stage very quickly, to my disappointment. There was a big uproar, people began shouting "Zugabe, Zugabe!" and pushed and pressed. I was afraid of being squashed. In the meantime the stage was lit dark red, which looked kind of eerie.
I had read that people usually got hysterical at the end of SAILOR concerts, and I was afraid that I might experience the same here. Everyone was shouting "We want more!", everyone was screaming, pushing, shouting. Fortunately the enthusiasm remained non-violent. After a short while and "SAILOR, SAILOR"-shouts that did not die away - it seemed like eternity for me - the four SAILORs returned to the stage. The announcer behind the stage shouted once again: "Here they are again: SAILOR!" and everyone joined his shouting! My hands were cold and I was shaking. More and more "Georg"-, "Phil"-, "Henry"- und "Grant"-shouts came from girls and boys behind me. An arrant blonde on my right tried to flirt massively with Phil, who seemed to enjoy it. What the fans got away with! Oh well. When the four of them were back together, Georg picked up his guitar again. The other three guys went back to the drums, the Nickelodeon and the bass and - without announcing it - started "A Glass Of Champagne"! This was of course the favourite songs of the audience, and they had waited long enough for it to come. Everyone went nuts at the first few seconds of the song. My moment had come. When this song was over I wanted to throw my letters for the four guys onto the stage... in spite of my giant fear.
I was fascinated and stared at SAILOR on the stage; no I was feeling terribly sad because I didn't take a camera with me to takje some photos of this dream-event. I could have made the best photos, seriously!
I started thinking about my plan again, and I hoped that none of the security-people would take my letters and presents away and that SAILOR would see them at all. I had bought something for each of them. Of course I wanted them to know how much they meant to me.
I was still busy thinking about it, when I suddenly noticed that a person was looking at me from the stage. Georg was standing right next to me, playing a guitar-part of "Champagne", and he looked straight into my face! First I thought that he might mean somebody else, maybe some of thr girls behind me. But no! When I turned around there were no girls behind me, only three or four boys. And then I realised that it was me Georg was looking at. Oh no! He smiled at me, a bit mechanically, but he smiled at ME! At me and at nobody else in this moment! I was so happy, nobody could imagine it! They were still playing "Champagne", but it was the last instrumental part at the end. I was still shocked from this eye contact, but my moment for throwing the present onto the stage had come! I was just thinking about throwing them - "Champagne" was just finished - when somebody came close to me and reached for my bag!
A bit surprised at first I realised that it was Henry Marsh! Henry was faster than Phil Pickett who was also heading towards me in order to get my presents. I was confused, but it got even worse when Henry didn't just pick up the bag with my presents but also shook my hand, thet I squeased enthusiastically! What was happening? While Henry smiled amd looked into the bag and the applause for "Champagne" was still as loud as before and Phil danced closely around Henry and my bag, I couldn't believe my luck. They had got my presents. This calmed me down! In this moment - I still waved my arms in the air and shouted for Phil - he suddenly came closer to me and shook my hands - both at the same time!! He smiled and looked at me as if we had known each other for a long time. I was so excited! I would always appreciate what Henry Marsh and Phil Pickett had just done, that was for sure!
Henry looked at me, my presents in his hands, in a curious way, before the four of them left the stage - this time with my presents. I couldn't figure out what had happened so quickly. My favourite musicians had touched my hands! Oh my god!
I couldn't believe it, tried to imagine what Sabine would say when I turned around, but I couldn't see Sabine between all those people any more. It didn't matter. More "Zugabe!"-shouts followed, the people were enthusiastic. The stage was lighted dimmly, I stood there and couldn't say a word! None. No wild gestures, no "Zugabe, Zugabe!", no names that I could shout. I was calm now and starred to the stage, intrigued. And after a while the lights went on once again. SAILOR came back and were celebrated like the saviours.
There was hardly anything to add. The second encore was another instrumental, which I didn't know. But a wonderful one, that I really enjoyed. You hardly noticed how tired SAILOR must have been from this night.
Now I wanted to know it: After things had started so well for me, I wanted to shake the hand of the two others. I also discovered the little "flea" from Verl and the "Schnabbelschüssel" from Wesel quite close to me at the front. Finally? Where had the two of them been for so long?
Full of expectations I spent the remaining heavenly time here in front of the stage. The instrumental song was over, and I noticed that Grant Serpell had also left his drums to thank the fans for the great night, at the edge of the stage. He also started to shake the hands of the fans. But Grant was still too far away from me. I was terribly afraid and wondered what Georg would do? - and then it happened! First he shook the hands of two girls who had fought their way to the front, and then, yes it was my turn! Georg bent down to me and gave me his hand, while he looked me serioulsy in the eyes. I felt dizzy, but I had to be strong, no please not! Oh my god... His hand seemed big and was hot from playing the guitar, but it was soft. Georg held my hand for a short moment of my life. Thanks god I was strong and didn't behave like an insane teenie. No, I enjoyed this fabulous moment calm and totally misty-eyed. But then it was over, just like a short charn. Georg then of course turned to the other fans.
In spite of this - now was the moment for me. Before my knees became even weaker I wanted to reach Grant's hand as well - and I managed to shake it as one of the last fans whose hands he shook, accompanied by his very nice smile. Grant was such a sweet guy, unbelievable! But then all the four SAILORs left the stage, and the concert was over.
Some people started to whistle and shouted that it was much too short, but I could have listened to the band all night long anyway! It was 10.20 pm. SAILOR had played for their fans for more than 90 minutes. Tears nearly came out of my eyes, no, it had all been to much for me! Like in trance I tremulously tried to walk back to Sabine who stood several metres away from me at the edge of the first row, waiting for me. "I touched the hands of all four!" was the first and only thing I managed to say cumbersomely, before I fexhaustedly fell into Sabine's arms and remained there for a moment. She was happy for me and wanted to know all the exact details later on. I was hardly able to walk out of the hall, and I couldn't stop talking. Sabine listened enthusiastically and also a bid jealous.
I front of the concert hall my head began to clear and I felt a little stronger. The boys had make me weak! But it had been worth it - and it would be worth it forever. Sabine's mother was expecting us in the car near the hall and wanted to bring us back to Bochum. Of course I didn't have anything else to do than to talk about my endless love for SAILOR in a very enthusiastic way during the whole drive.
I told Sabine that I never wanted to wash my right hand again, what would not be possible, of course, because reality would have caught me on the next day. But why shouldn't I be crazy just once? At least I wasn't the only one. There were so many stories from happy, enthusiastic fans. I never thought I could feel or think like this myself - but I couldn't help it, I was blown away.
I couldn't get any tour-poster, I never got to know what SAILOR thought about my letters and present, but this concert had been so fantastic, so great and marvellous, that I would never forget it - neither my fantastic boys nor the whole 11th of Octocer 1976. I knew that.
After this concert I loved SAILOR even more, and I knew that I would love them forever.
It was simply great.
Was there anything to add?
Copyright by Ursula Porwollik