November 5, 1996 Tuesday FZW – Dortmund – Germany


21st day, Dortmund, Germany, Tuesday, 5th of november 1996, FZW


We’re enjoying the time and the delicious breakfast. It’s 9.30 AM and we’re close to leave Munich. Doreen Shaffer is already taken to the airport to arrive much earlier Dortmund than we will. She’s going to sing the vocals onto her upcoming album “Adorable You” (Grover Records, here’s the album on iTunes) with Dr. Ring Ding. The release of this album will be in 1997.

Nobody expect me knew, that Kirk Thorne wanted to leave the Skasplash tour in Munich, luckily he didn’t. He will stay until the end of the tour.

10 o’clock we’re leaving Munich. 1.16 PM we’re 140 km before Frankfurt. 2.30 PM a rainbow is showing us the way.

I’m writing this poem, don’t know why or what for.

Watch out what you eat
is your stomache you treat
he gives you back every beat
how long you hit it with meat

People say there’’s nothing left to eat
That’’s no excuse to eat bread and meat
So what’’s going on is a slow process
They call it progress

In fact it’’s a slow killing
with so called food – it’’s killing
Can’’t you see – how much they eat
Why is that? You bet eat you shit
and drink you piss
instead of bread and cheese.

You wanna know what you can eat
instead of meat, bread, cheese & sweet
Eat the sun! Drink the water!
Whatever mother earth gives is smarter
Just open you mind and listen what Jah has to tell
then your feeling’’s fine.
Take you chance and dance – move your body.

This is the original poem out of my diary. Hey, it’s 20 years ago.

3 o’clock at a gas station there is also a kind of restaurant. We wanna leave, but Lester Sterling and Laurel Aitken are still eating their soup. We should be in Dortmund in 15 minutes, but it’s still 200 km until there. Today it’s heavy raining, it remembers me when I was on the bicycle from Berlin to Münster in 1992, there was such a heavy rain, but after a while, I enjoyed it.

FZW is a small venue, but pretty. A real nice team is welcoming us very kindly. No hurry, everything fine and clean. The DJ-equipment is small, only 2 CD-player. We have plenty time for hanging around and just enjoying to do nothing, relaxing or playing domino.

Rolando Alphonso, on the table: Tony Looby, Kirk Throne, Devon James, Lloyd Knibb backstage Skasplash FZW, Dortmund 1996
Rolando Alphonso, on the table: Tony Looby, Kirk Throne, Devon James, Lloyd Knibb backstage Skasplash FZW, Dortmund 1996
Bill Smith, backstage, Skasplash FZW, Dortmund 1996
Bill Smith, backstage, Skasplash FZW, Dortmund 1996
Jeff Lucas (sorry for this shot), Nathatn Breedlove, Shay, Will Clark, Duncan, backstage, Skasplash FZW, Dortmund 1996
Jeff Lucas (sorry for this shot), Nathatn Breedlove, Shay, Will Clark, Duncan, backstage, Skasplash FZW, Dortmund 1996
Cutty Williams, backstage, Skasplash FZW, Dortmund 1996
Cutty Williams, backstage, Skasplash FZW, Dortmund 1996

9.45 PM backstage, Doreen Shaffer is back with Dr. Ring Ding from the recording session. She sitting beside Lloyd Knibb and she’s proud because she knows she did a great job. Dr. Ring Ding plays on Will Clarks trombone. Laurel Aitken is hammering a door, without no reason. I should start, but short ago the engineer sent me out. I guess he doesn’t like me. The table with the cd-players brought his mixing desk to shake. But now, it’s time to start.

The club is full up with a whole lotta lot of Skinheads. This will be the right audience for Laurel Aitken, but what will happen with House Of Rhythm? We’re all very tired. And House Of Rhythm is really playing a tired set. Maybe it wasn’t helpful that we had no time to go the hotel before the show. But anyway, we’re missing days of sleep. Moreover the food wasn’t a hit. It’s really strange, we always have hours of waiting, but no hotel and in the club is quite cool and not one sofa to sit on, only wooden chairs. Real comfort is different.

Herb means pure nature
Smoke, drink or eat it,
Jah say I say this drogue is healthy.

Although I believe this is true, I don’t use Ganja. besides of that I don’t drink no alcohol since my school days and I’m not smoking cigarettes. Why do I wear a wallet with a cannabis leaf on it’s front? Stupidity? Guess so…

I’m talking to Laurel Aitken. He tells me about the time with Bob Marley. Both lived in Kingston, Jamaica. But while Bob was in Trenchtown, Laurel himself lived in Greenwich (which is just beside of Trenchtown). Alton Ellis was living close to Laurel’s place and the have met many times. In 1960 Laurel Aitken emigrate to England. When he came back in 1963 to a recordings session with The Skatalites, he also met Alton Ellis again. At that time, Bob Marley was around with bad rude boys who went into radio stations to blackmail the DJs to play The Wailers. They only left the stations, when the rudie who kept a lookout in the car outside heard The Wailers in the radio. Or they called at the radio stations under different names to wish The Wailers to be played on the radio. This gangster methods have brought the first success and not only to be Bob Marley. Laurel tells me, that it was cold in the van without Doreen. He said, sunshine was missing. He tells me, that he wants to bring Black Slate to Lucerne. I don’t know why, but it never happened.

Later, Doreen Shaffer tells me about her German forefathers. She guess, somebody with the name “Schaffer” (means worker in German) must be the original name. But I really don’t know, why she is Doreen Shaffer, her name in the passport is Monica Johnson. Doreen have survived them all and all the tragic in her live just made her stronger. She was one of the first women in Jamaica in the studio and she’s still strong all over the world. But on Wikipedia you only find almost nothing (little is published in this interview or in this book). Doreen asked me not to publish too much about her privat life. That’s what I respect.

Between Laurel Aitken and The Skatalites show, I play some old Ska tunes.

The Skatalites show is very funny. The band makes a lot of mistakes, that they fix in a professional way.

After the concert I play “Lively Up Yourself” by The Wailers. But that was the wrong choice inside this club full of Skinheads, they’re all leaving.

Dr. Ring Ding is great. He even remembers my name. I met him in 1990 in Lucerne, when I was DJ while he was playing with “El Bosso & Die Ping Pongs“. After my DJ set he asked me for a mix tape. I sent it to Münster in 1990. And now 6 years later, he still remembers that and salute my mix tape that it was his first contact with the original “One Step Beyond” by Prince Buster.

Here the flyer booklet to promote the show:

Overview Dortmund, FZW

  • audience: approx. 400 sold out
  • catering: good
  • backstage: very nice, many rooms, with Dr. Ring Ding (Richard Jung)
  • diner: delicious
  • DJ-set: I’m not that kind of beer-ska-DJ the audience is aspecting, they don’t want no Reggae, 2 channel-mix with two cd-players
  • HOR: not Ska enough
  • Laurel Aitken: this is what the people want, The Godfather Mr. Skinhead
  • Skatalites: good, but too jazzy
  • hotel: too far away, had to ask the police to find it, Shay was sleeping somewhere else, he gave Barney the management job
  • room mate: Will Clark
  • driving the next day was windy with lot of traffic

Website today:

Come back tomorrow. For most of us will be a premiere: The first trip ever to the eastern German territory. I was in Eastern Germany (German Democratic Republic) before the wall was mashed… but more about all that later. Chemnitz is the first visit for all of us.

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