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Gabbi WernerGirl Friday – the Book of Bad 31. “I´m with the Band.”

Von | 14.03.2014, 9:01 | Kein Kommentar

How to learn more about anarchy when touring with an English band and getting stuck in an Amsterdam squat.

Welcome. To the stories I told in many hotelrooms. To a man who had trouble falling asleep. A business deal. He paid for my words.

Here they are.


That summer I learned more about anarchy. I went on tour with an English band. We travelled in a black van of a friend of ours. The band performed in a bar underneath a squat in Amsterdam. We were allowed to sleep in the squat. Whilst the singer and I had a nap on a worn-down sofa in one of the rooms, the rest of the band went shopping.

Then it was time for the soundcheck. I hung around a little and looked at the posters in the bar. It was a dark place, just two or three lightbulbs hung from the ceiling. The place smelled as yellow grey as the walls were. I sat down on a barstool and listened to the music. One of the squatters started to talk to me. He asked me questions that I was in a way not supposed to answer.
The squatter, who never introduced himself to me,  was worried, he said. That I had not realised that I was being sexist Indeed, I had never been aware of such thing. So I asked him what he meant by that. He started to explain. I was a girl? I had to agree to that. Then he said that I was a girl who did not only wear make-up, which I could not deny, but a girl who had also chosen to wear a short colourful skirt. He emphasised the last two words: Colourful. Skirt. He nodded to my legs whilst he said that. Then he stared at me. His girlfriend had joined him.
She was wearing a huge grey t-shirt and military pants. Her armpits where unshaved and she wore no make up. The girlfriend whispered something in the squatters´ ear and then stood behind him, holding him at the waist.
The guy continued: they had watched me all afternoon and felt intensely agonised by my presence  in their home. A woman should not be an object of lust to anybody, and my way of dressing was obviously an attempt to attract sexist attention. The fact that I had shaved my legs was the most obvious clue to this. A woman  is the way she is, I was mutilating my body by shaving my legs. Maybe, he continued, I had not done this on a conscious level. Maybe I had been brainwashed; by commercials, most likely. I had probably issues I could not deal with and my intentions were good. Anyway, they would have to give me the benefit of doubt as I was travelling with this band. A band that he and his girlfriend knew and admired for their true and virtuous anarchistic  standards; but still, it would be very much appreciated if I could wear less conspicuous clothing and would cover my shaved legs as long as I was a guest in their squat. He rolled a cigarette. The singer had finished the soundcheck and joined our little conversation. The singer said: „Can I have a cigarette?
 The male squatter told the singer that he could only offer him a shag, which is the Dutch name for rolling tobacco, but to him it must have sounded like decent English. The singer said he did not fancy men to have sex with.
From then on the situation went downhill rapidly. The squatters had cooked dinner for us upstairs. The band ate the food, whilst taking out their loot of that afternoons shopping spree. It was porn. The band could not believe their luck, Holland was a truly wonderful anarchist country indeed. The freedom of porn was just brilliant, the could never buy such gross magazines in the United Kingdom. They swapped the magazines amongst each other staring at the pictures, showing the worst to each other and to our hosts who, by then, were staring at me malignantly as if I was the root of all evil. The concert was a blast though.

To be Continued. Next Friday. Every Friday. From 09.00h.

Link to German Translation: click  Girl Friday – Buch des Bösen 31. „Ich gehöre zur Band.“

Artwork: Gabbi Werner

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