YOU ARE ENGLISH WITH CATPOWER IN KÖLN
Gebäude 9, backstage, sometime in 2003; this, apparently, is where you meet popstars. Brick walls, some bulky waste furniture, with Chan Marshall and her entourage draped around. She’s hanging on a kitchen chair, her very worn out cowboy boots with her very naked legs in them lying on the table. Next to that: Bottle of Whiskey, which either is half-empty or half-full. Yet. Miss Marshall looks knackered. She looks terrific. She’s got a pimple above the corner of her mouth and obviously is heavily boozed. And now she’s talking to us. Pissed off because she got stopped by the police earlier on and is telling some mazy story about a family who got into trouble with the police and the government… Here we blend in…
Frau Marshall: ...it´s like a dollar amount. It´s like a million dollars you know. You know...make it possible for the government...to just control, it´s horrible.
Herr Bösch: So that has got nothing to do with these police officers?! [A respectable try to order the lady’s world of thought. There’s a strong interest to understand what comes out of her mouth. She’s looking great.] I don’´t get the point [Such a thing one might not say, not yet. And definetely not here].
Frau Marshall: [Angry silence.]
Herr Bösch: So this is just a comparison. OK. [quickly moving on]
Frau Marshall: You are starting on a bad note [This is what you get. Dramatic pause]. On purpose. [In the tone of a governess]
Herr Bösch: No. [defiant]
Frau Marshall: Yes you are. [Terribly Sweet]
Herr Lasar: Things can only get better. [Desperate try to save the day. With Howard Jones...tststs]
Frau Marshall: No....unintelligibly...you can stop blaming me.
[It could all be over now, after one minute only, totally blewing it all. We should leave now. What does she actually want?!]
Herr Bösch: MARIO!
Herr Lasar: Ok, shall we start. First question: Ähm, Yeah. OK. Ähm.
Frau Marshall: You are here for tearing me apart?
Herr Lasar: [ignoring] This time you are touring with a band. Do you think that makes it easier to perform for you?
Frau Marshall: Doesn´t matter.
Herr Lasar: It doesn´t matter.
Frau Marshall: You know the good thing about people is friends. Best thing about people is friends. Friendship.
Herr Lasar: So the people in your band are all your friends.
Frau Marshall: Yeah. Venus, Goddess, Genius and we have Fag.
Herr Lasar: Fag, like cigarette?
Frau Marshall: As a gay...
Herr Lasar: Ah ja.
Frau Marshall:...liberated, fag homosexuall, as licking,
Herr Lasar: Ah
Frau Marshall:...human. who loves pussy. Who likes pussy.
Herr Lasar: Well that´s a contradiction, isn´t it?
Frau Marshall: Exactly....What do you do with a fag? Fuck him oder let him fuck you? It´s not your decision.
Herr Lasar: No.
Frau Marshall: You are obviously not a fag.
Herr Bösch: Ähm no. Thanks.
Frau Marshall: You got a loose tooth. Are you guys in a band?
Herr Bösch: No
Frau Marshall: You seem like a kind of band. Kind of wild baaaand [for real]
Herr Bösch: No, we don´t look like that.
Frau Marshall: You seem it. You seem it.
Herr Bösch: I think we look more like this sort of twee boys.
–General laughter within the room--
Frau Marshall: Oh [pitiful or even rather motherly?!] No you are the rough grouser [?? Whatever that means].
Herr Bösch: Thank you. No one ever said that to me.
Frau Marshall: Do you like it?
Herr Bösch: I´m not sure. I haven´t made up my mind.
Frau Marshall: You should...
Herr Bösch: [Where do we go from here? What comes is better than what came before; one should enquire] Do you think it`s good to grow older?
Frau Marshall: Absolutely. [This is what you get asking closed questions. Super.] The best things in life keep coming.
Herr Bösch: That goes on and on and on?
Frau Marshall: Well you...[Ok this is where she’s pulling out. Can’t be bothered.] What time is it? It´s half past äh brazilian unintelligible...
Herr Lasar: What does that mean?
Frau Marshall: It means whatever you want to write on your paper.
Herr Lasar: Did you know that David Bowie used to wear two watches. One for the central european time and one for the brazilian time...
Frau Marshall: Who?
Herr Lasar: David Bowie.
Frau Marshall: He is a fag end up man.
Herr Lasar: Do you think he´s a fag?
Frau Marshall: My mother, when i was a little girl, changed her name to Ziggy. Cos she loved him. [silence]
Herr Bösch: On the cover of your record...
Frau Marshall: It´s not me.
Herr Bösch: It´s not you? I thought so. Ok, but that´s not the question.
Frau Marshall: Ok, because my ex-boyfriend for four years..so the really first person that loved me back.you know that when you love somebody and he loves you back? The first person. Have you ever loved a person and she dind´t love you back? Like several times. He was convinced that was me. I kept ...he didn´t believe me. But it´s not me. It´s a couple. They were in Central Park.
Herr Bösch: And when was the picture taken? Where is the place? [She’s just said Central Park!]
Frau Marshall: In New York [Her voice is beautiful.] In Central Park. Unintelligibly---taking pictures. It was not for the record. We were sitting there and his daughter they had ice creams and we went to the zoo. Blalalal..and there was this couple in the field and we had to take a picture of that. Because there is a man next to her who is so in love.
Herr Bösch: And do you think that places like these are nearly as important as people? [please just keep on talking, anything]
Frau Marshall: What?
Herr Bösch: Do you think that places like these where you go and feel good are as....
Frau Marshall: Of course. Like the ocean, like the animals. Yeah. Of course.
Herr Bösch: So what else is there [Now I’m getting there. With her. I want to take part in this and follow. Keep on talking. I want to learn something. I think we’re on the same meta-level now.]
Frau Marshall: universe, memories, happyness,
Herr Bösch: And do you think that growing older has got something to do with a voyage to fullfillment? [What the fuck?]
Frau Marshall: When you are like young and you have like a rebellion cause you understand the whole system is not there for you. It´s there for them. They. Banks. Commercials. Teachers, who want to construct you like try to survive to their limits. [?]
Herr Bösch: You said that you like Hip-Hop.
Frau Marshall: I love it. Hip Hop street talk.
Herr Bösch: We had to think about it. Because Grandmaster Flash is in Cologne.
Herr Lasar: How old is he now?
Frau Marshall: He is old enough to be my daddy.
Herr Bösch: Have you ever seen him?
Frau Marshall: I have seen him on TV and i love him. I´ll never forget him. He is like for me as a child i knew that something was going on...cos he knew. And only if you are like other people communicating can you even try to think about understanding.
Herr Lasar: In your song good woman you say that you want to be a good woman.
Frau Marshall: I sure do. We all...
Herr Lasar: You mean like being loyal and true in a relationship?
Frau Marshall: loyal and true. What is a relationship? It´s your foundation. Everyday you are alone and everyday there is different faces. People come and go. And like being loyal to yourself. Is important
Herr Lasar: The record is called
Frau Marshall: YOU ARE FREE
Herr Lasar: Yes.
Frau Marshall: It´s called you are in jail. You smoke pot. You smoke some Hasch, like a few days ago. And you have to take a test at the side of the road. And apparently you are a criminal. Because you are an individual and you think for yourself.
Herr Bösch: You said it must be the colors and the kids...unintelligibly, the support band is playing
Frau Marshall: Yeah i think it must be. Because there is really nothing else.
Herr Bösch: Unintelligibly and most definetely somewhat irrelevant.
Frau Marshall: It`s like a heart beating prism. Like your heart beating. Do you know what that is in german: a prism? It´s like glas that you can reflect in the sun. It shows all these colors and you can´t describe the colors. There are some colors that people will never know about.
Herr Bösch: I like the idea of the rainbow. We have this story that at the end of the rainbow there is this bowl of gold.
Frau Marshall: It´s a lie.
Herr Bösch: Have you been there?
Frau marshall: Everybody knows that it is a lie.
Herr Bösch: Well.
Frau Marshall: But they have hope. Because at the end of the rainbow is just the end of the rainbow.
Herr Bösch: Everything in the end is about having some hope.
Frau Marshall: Of Course. But the hope shouldn´t be within a pot of gold. That´s a trick.
Herr Bösch: So you want...
Frau Marshall: Fiery. Are you a fucking philosopher. Are you a Nietzeschist?
Herr Bösch: Ähm, no...
Frau Marshall: You are a Lacosteist [Yeah exactly. Because I’m wearing a blue Lacoste poloshirt.] And you are a Perryist [Mario is wearing a Fred Perry poloshirt] You guys are Istists.
Herr Bösch: Yes you buy them in the second hand shop when they are cheap [Not this blue one today. Bloody lie. How very unnecessary.]
Herr Lasar: Mine is not second hand. You don´t need to worry. This concept of freedom keeps coming up...
Frau Marsahll: OK, you, us ,me, we, we all, humans, my ...unintelligibly....i am going to say one more thing. And you then have to fucking watch them [the support act] because they are fucking good. And the last thing i am going to say is that you only live once and then you go to heaven. And if you choose to believe that: god bless you. Burp. Have a good time.
Herr Lasar: Thank you.
Herr Bösch: Thank you.
Frau Marshall: Oh you have. YEAAAH. Burp.
Herr Bösch: Thank you.
Frau Marshall: You guys are very intelligent...
...here the recording ends. Frau Marshall covers her pimple thickly with black eyeliner, gives me an elephant lighter which 15 minutes later on stage she will be missing and be be swearing about loudly. Three hours later, after most unnerved attendants have left the building, Chan Marshall is chased off stage. In front of the venue a German popstar to-be is cowering in a corner. He had come the long way from Berlin because he truly madly deeply had fallen in love with Frau Marshall. This is widely understood. But now it´s three years on. Now it´s three years on.