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Home arrow Articles arrow Miscellaneous Articles arrow The Wall: a BD reader's "self-perceived history"
The Wall: a BD reader's "self-perceived history" Print E-mail
Written by Ove   
Wednesday, 06 February 2013

Pink Floyd - Dortmund 1981Swedish Pink Floyd fan Ove contributes to a blog and wanted to share his thoughts with the Brain Damage community worldwide on what turned out to be an eventful trip to one of the Dortmund Wall concerts in February 1981, and Stockholm in May 2011.

Below is a translation of his story, which can be read in its original language through this link. Our thanks to Ove for what he has said is the first of his articles looking back at his life with the Floyd as a soundtrack...As you will see, and is so often the case, the journey to and from the concert proved just as memorable to Ove than the concert itself. For us, it is one of the many reasons we happily travel to concerts, as the memories they provide - the things we do, and the people we meet - are an essential part of our lives...

Roger Waters will return to Sweden's Ullevi Stadium this summer to once again build the Wall. I've seen this show twice.

In early February 1981, I saw Pink Floyd perform this legendary masterpiece in Dortmund. Incidentally, it was one of the total of 27 shows, seen in a total of four sites in the world, and it turned into a somewhat unexpected outing for me.

It began with a flight from Ostersund - Stockholm, where I joined up with three guys from Skellefteå: Hakan, Peter and one that I now forget the name of.

In Stockholm, we warmed up with a little party that night to pass the time. Next morning we boarded a day train to Malmö and the trip down was a big celebration. On the trip we had a portable cassette player, a piece that weighed about three kilograms and that we would use to document the journey with. All kinds of strange comments on a cassette somewhere preserved for posterity...

In a strange way, we arrived at Copenhagen, and in some still stranger way we found a trashy hotel room near the central station. So on the second morning we went to the train station where there were 15 buses ready in a caravan to take us to the next milestone: Hamburg. We ended up in a bus along with a VERY happy bunch from Malung, a group which included an EXTREMELY happy Norwegian. Yes, my God, this day's celebration began in the early hours of the morning. The beer flowed, the laughter echoed in the bus, we were happy, the Malung gang was even happier but the Norwegian, he was the happiest. I have rarely, if ever, heard someone laugh quite like he did.

The recording continued. In Hamburg there waited a specially chartered train that took us plus a bunch of others to Dortmund, and the concert. The dining car had no furniture, just a bar and a good music system, and speakers in every car in the entire train. To say that it was a party on the train is a real understatement, this started, so to speak, phase two of the day's party. The Norwegian laughed the whole time at maximum volume, even if he now began to take power naps every now and then. Here we made the last recordings of our documentation, as the tape recorder suddenly started to malfunction. The atmosphere was at its peak and with great joy we heaved the tape recorder out the window. That the tape recorder was borrowed from some poor friend was something we paid no more attention to.

Food? We ate something? Well sausage! Sausage and beer was our food, possibly with some grog instead of vegetables. Arriving in Dortmund and a very short walk later, we arrived at the Westfalenhalle. The Norwegian was a little quieter now.

The concert started and we were quiet, for it was very powerful. I turned around and right behind me was the Norwegian, and now he slept like a log. Moreover, it was the last I saw of the laughing man, for the next time I turned around he was gone. When the concert was over, it was just to go to the train that would take us back to Hamburg and now most were fairly modest and quiet. The Malung gang was really quiet and the Norwegian, he was well away in his sleep.

On the train, I felt the beer and sausage diet begin to make itself known in my troubled stomach. This was OK to deal with on the train where there were toilets, but the toilet-less bus between Hamburg and Copenhagen I suffered a hellish torment. Going the distance with galloping spray diarrhea without access to toilets is not a thing I would wish on my worst enemy. At piss breaks, I was most in need of the toilet, but last off the bus because of my rigid pursed state, and ended up last in the toilet areas every time. Honestly, I thought repeatedly I'd rather get off the bus and go into a field to die like an old elephant. But by a miracle we got to Copenhagen, but I shat myself once there and we then took the hydrofoil to Malmo.

Once in Malmo I waited for the next trial which did duly affect all of us four - Customs and Immigration. Me and one of us managed to just suffer our packing and clothes turned inside out. But the other two went off to get a more thorough investigation by officers putting fingers in orifices and things that do not lend themselves to be talked about in this forum. I can only say this, that if I had gone on this rectal examination, I would have probably still been in prison for insulting the officer given the volatile stool I had within! I'm wondering to this day about where the laughing Norwegian went.

Roger Waters - Stockholm, 2011I could never believe that I once would see "The Wall" performed live by Pink Floyd or any of its members. But so it was.

In the year of our Lord 2011 came Roger Waters to Stockholm and built a show like no other with his own version of The Wall. Almost exactly 30 years had passed between the first show I had seen, and this. The technology has advanced and the show we got to see now is hard to beat but the conclusion is still that the 1981 version was even more impressive, and it didn't have the benefit of the future standards and techniques.

As I said, this show was almost overwhelming with all the effects and I had a very good spot on the floor thanks to my good friends Micke and Gun Boström.

Micke Boström is a real Floydian. I'm also a Floydian which I'll tell you more about later. I met Micke and his charming wife in contexts related to Pink Floyd and Roger Waters and now we are friends for life.

As a "small" brackets, I can tell you that Micke went over to Canada and saw the first four concerts on this tour. Respect!

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