On my way to Cologne yesterday I thought about writing the next – this – post about my Roxette fan years (in the 90s). Just a few minutes later I knew I’d have to write about the car trouble as well. In Cologne I then realized I might want to cover the “last Saturday before christmas” madness in the streets of Cologne. During the first part of the “Night of the Proms” I knew I’d have to write a post about this incredible music event. And then Marie Fredriksson came on stage and I was back at making the post about Roxette. So this post is a bit of everything, I guess :-)
I should start with the car trouble. When we drove to the hockey game in Iserlohn on Friday, Bro3 noticed that the windscreen washer at the back window was spraying the fluid too high on the screen and even above, so he fixed that yesterday, before I took his car to get to Cologne. He proudly did inform me about having fixed it. After aprox. 30 minutes on the highway I wanted to clean the front windscreen, because it had gotten a few splashes of slush and dirt from the wet streets on it. The wipers worked, but the washer didn’t. No fluid anywhere, so the wipers just smeared the dirty slush all over the windscreen. Great! Thank God there was a gas- and service station ahead, where I stopped and checked the nozzles, but they weren’t blocked in any way. I called Bro3 and the only explanation he could come up with, that the tubes of the front windscreen washer are frozen. Which probably is doomed to happen at -14,5 C (6 F) + the chilling effect of the apparent wind on a moving car, even when the washer contains some anti-freezing fluid. So there wasn’t much I could do about it except cleaning the screen manually while I parked there and hoping that I wouldn’t get too much more slush and wet dirt on my screen until I reached Cologne.
I don’t think I’ve ever experienced frozen windscreen washer tubes before. I was a bit worried about the drive back home, because I knew it would happen again and there wasn’t anything I could do about it. I bought some wet wipes at a drugstore in Cologne, but didn’t even need those, because the washer worked in the parking garage before I drove back and during the first 20 minutes and I managed to stay away from too much slush later on. It’s still an experience I could have done without.
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Because of the forementioned pit-stop ;-) I got to Cologne a later as planned and as the snow and low temperatures affected the metro system as well, I didn’t have that much time at hand as I thought I would have. Which probably was a good thing anyway, because I would have gone crazy if I had have to spend more time among all the crazy folks with their last-minute shopping or visiting christmas markets. I got my ticket for the Gabaldon event at the Lit.Cologne festival next March and decided against grabbing a coffee, when I saw the 25 or more people waiting in line at Starbucks. I should have taken into consideration that it was a Saturday evening though, when I was looking for a restaurant close to the Lanxess Arena to grab a quick dinner. Of course every place was crowded already. I ended up at a snack bar, which wasn’t what I had in mind when I was planning my evening :-) If I had known that there’s a Subway’s now very close to the Arena I would have stopped there, but I should remember that for the next time. And I got my coffee inside the Arena after all.
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Roxette were the reason I took the trip in this nasty weather in the first place. Roxette were my favourite band in the early 90s and basically all througout that decade. I wasn’t overly impressed with the last few albums though and had discovered other singer/songwriters/bands, which I loved more, I guess that’s a natural process in a lot of music fans. Or is it just me ;-)? Anyway, I was a huge fan once and I think Roxette was the first fandom that made me realize that I am in fact a fan-person. There are those who like something/someone (music, movie, sport) but don’t get overly excited about this stuff. And then there is me ;-) And thankfully millions of millions of folks around the globe, no matter what fandom they’re a part of. The mere fact that somebody can get into something like this (going to concerts or sport games, collecting stuff, getting enthusiastic about it, building networks with others who share the same interest/passion) makes me in general favour this somebody. I don’t know if that makes a lot of sense (especially to the non-fan-persons out there). But being a fan-person in general makes life so much more exciting, doesn’t it?
So, being a Roxette fan made me realize quite a lot about myself, but also about other fans. Because there is a wide range of very differenty fan-types and I had to learn that I don’t get along with some of them. Like, there are those who respect a celebrity’s privacy and those who don’t. I’m on of those who do. I want everyone else to respect my privacy as well, so I don’t think I have to right to invade anyone else’s. Especially not of those celebs I like and admire and don’t want to cause any trouble. Well, that’s my fan-philosophy in a nutshell.
Anyway, I wasn’t a hardcore Roxette fan anymore in 2002, but of course I was shocked to read that Marie Frederiksson was diagnosed with a brain tumor. I tried to follow the news and information concerning her state of health throughout the next couple of years and was happy to read that she won this fight. I didn’t try to stay up-to-date with the way her or Per or Roxette’s musical career were going, because I just wasn’t interested in their music that much anymore. But when I earlier this year read about Roxette as headliner of the “Night of the Proms” (NOTP) I knew I had to get a ticket to see them back on stage. Maybe mostly for sentimental reasons because they’ve been a huge part of my life 15 years ago.
I honestly didn’t expect to be so touched by the mere fact to see Marie Frederiksson back on stage, but I was. This woman survived a brain tumor! And she fought her way through all that crap and she was back up on a stage and she obviously enjoyed it. Rightfully so. It was great to witness that. Roxette played just a couple of songs, but of course they did the classics, like “Listen To Your Heart” and “It Must Have Been Love”. Even after all those years, I love listening to those. And it was just so wonderful to hear Marie sing those words. Live! On Stage. For me to hear and see. Definitely worth all the car trouble and christmas madness.
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Roxette were the reason I went to the “Night of the Proms” (NOTP), but they weren’t the only reason I enjoyed the night as much as I did. I’m determined to make that a anual event, no matter which pop singer/band will join the classical orchestra. I have to admit I don’t have much experience with classical music, big orchestras, opera and such. It’s not that I generally dislike it, not at all. Most probably it’s just my inexperience and lack of proper classical music education that let’s me shy away from all of it. An event like the NOTP probably is the right mean to nudge people like me to pay some more attention to classical music. At least I’m determined to do that in the future.
It was just so much fun to listen to and to watch, because even during the classical parts there was something going on on the stage or in the audience. The audience was explicitely asked to clap along and when the orchestra played a waltz, they were asked to dance in the aisles and quite a few couples did!
There were classical guitar players Peter & Zoltan Kantona, who played something classical (overtueres and such) but also a medley of “All Summer Long”, “Bad” and “Smells Like Teen Spirit”. All of it accompanied by the classical orchestra. Really, really incredible.
The show ended with the orchestra and the choir performing “Land of Hope and Glory” and then the orchestra, choir and John Miles performed the last song “Music”, which is the most appropriate song to end a show like the NOTP. I really had a great time last night and I’ll definitely try to be see the NOTP next year as well.