Rock on, Werner - Jimmy Carter thinks I'm a sinner - CycleBlaze

April 23, 2007

Rock on, Werner

Werner is in his mid-40s, I'd say, and puts you a little in mind of Meatloaf. His hair is longer than fashionable, his stomach more generous than he might wish, and he also sings.

'We are a Status Quo band,' he said, as though that hadn't been obvious from the chug-a-lug and strum-a-dum music that powered through the gaps in their rehearsal room beside a football pitch. And even if it hadn't been, there was Werner's black T-shirt that recorded his presence at a Status Quo world tour some time.

'Quo are good,' Werner told me in immaculate English, 'but too many people in Germany are AC-DC fans.' My knowledge of rock is no more advanced than most other people's but I was surprised nevertheless to find that in German eyes, or ears, there was enough similarity for the two to be rivals.

I told Werner that I had once met the drummer of Status Quo, who was giving a lecture around ten years ago. This isn't at all the image that drummers enjoy, for they are the butt of stupidity jokes. But Drummer Quo was not only lucid in front of drummers but also toured schools, for no fee, to talk to students about music in general and percussion in particular.

'You used to play?', Werner asked.

'Yes, but not at that level. I took money for it but not that much. I used to be the drummer in a nine-piece soul band. Like The Commitments, if you ever saw the film.'

'Sure I saw it,' Werner said. 'In fact for my 40th I was given a ticket to Dublin and I went round all the music bars there. And there are hundreds of them. I said "Hi, I am Werner from Germany... can I have a go?" and maybe there aren't that many Germans in Irish music bars but they nearly always said yes, and to have a German sing Quo used to bring the house down.'

'And is it hard to sing in another language?'

'With Quo it is: there are so many words!'

'And how would you describe your band.'

'LOUD', he said.

In fact, his command of English extended to employing a highly colloquial adjective as well. 'Very loud' is what I think he was trying to say.

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