Sonntag, 16. Dezember 2012

Opa erzählt vom...

And here is the announced French film about TD and Nico 1974 in Reims Cathedral. It is nice to see my old friend Assaad again; we had a lot of fun together during the concerts in France with Agitation Free, Ash Ra Tempel, T.D., KS, in the early seventies (and later).
In autumn '74, Assaad had asked me to check the technical possibilities of the Reims Cathedral, for a possible concert of Tangerine Dream, and I travelled from Berlin to Reims, inspected the "stage" (the chancel) and the cathedral's electric capacity. For the actual concert on 13 December 1974 I was again in Reims, 'cause Assaad had given me the job of the stage manager.
Oddly enough... I don't remember any film cameras on stage during this concert.


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I just have found an entry in an older edition of THE KS CIRCLE. The director of this film had contacted me before (which I had forgotten):
My name is Benoît G. I am a frech director of documentary and i am working now on a project about the concert of Tangerine Dream and Nico at the Reims Cathedrale December 13 1974. Assad Debs tell me to send a email to you to have some information. Assad said to me you directed the technical crew of the concert. Can you tell me a little more about it like the name of the technicians, the difficulties of the installation in this particular place.

Actually, with my producer (les films du Tamarin) we are working on this project with France 3 (it's a little like than German TV ARD). If you agree i hope to interwiew you in this project.

I hope you agree. Best, Benoit

I hope my english is anderstandable.

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Yes, merci, your English is understandable + very good. Thanks for your kind interest.
Indeed, in 1974 I was hired by Assaad to do the job of "stage management" for the Reims concert of T.D. (and Nico as supporting act). This concert was - more or less - a publicity concert from Virgin Records, to promote the first album of T.D. on their label.

I was hired because I had worked with T.D. before, and I was also T.D.'s technician when they recorded "Phaedra" in Virgin's studio near Oxford.

Also I was a friend of Nico. During French concert tours that I did with the German group "Agitation Free" (also managed by Assaad) we often played the same concert or festival, and sometimes we even stayed together at the same house.

Because Reims was an important promotion concert, one part of the church (the north transept/Querschiff) was reserved only for the press. There was really a lot of press invited (and paid?) by Virgin: 300 to 500 people.

T.D. (Froese, Franke, Baumann) did their usual improvised concert, and before, Nico did her usual solo thing with her little hand-harmonium and her pathetic voice (I love her!).

I don't know any "name of technicians". I don't remember that the TD-people had their own technicians; probably I helped them with the set-up and installation, as I had done in former concerts. They were not yet a "super group", and Edgar Froese was always a thrifty man.

The "difficulties of installation" were nil, because with Assaad I was in the church some days (weeks? I forgot) before, and I had told Assaad that the trio needs so-and-so-much voltage (ampère) on stage. This was possible and no problem; at least I don't remember that we had any electricity problems on the concert day.

In addition, and as far as I remember I also asked for a huge carpet for the trio, for a better "atmosphere". Because, as usual in churches, there was a cold & hard stone floor.

The promotion went well for Virgin, later: The music press all over the world reported positively about this "sensational" concert; the headline was very often not about the "new" music (which they probably did not understand), but: that the catholic church was not so happy about it! Because there were no toilets in the huge church, and some people had pissed in a corner inside the church. At least the press wrote this. I don't know if this is actually true, I have not seen any pissing people. At least this "people pissing, and the Pope (!) was angry" was an irritating, great story for the press, "ein Aufreger" (s'irriter), ...and it's still mentioned today in biographies about T.D. (even in Nico's Wikipedia site!). But as we all know, pop music and journalism needs and lives from such "stories", and no one really asks if it's invented or not: "If the myth is bigger than reality, then: print the myth!"

I don't see any reason to make a face-to-face interview with me. The above is all I do remember today about this concert 36 years ago. For me it was just one of a variety of concerts that I did with many various artists during the seventies. Later I only did concerts with "Klaus Schulze"; I still enjoy to work with him.

Best regards / à bientôt - kdm

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