erfurtposter.JPGWhen we got to Erfurt, on Christmas Eve, we were immediately excited. We learned that we would be sharing the huge hall with the three local reggae soundsystems — a dream come true. After setting up our sound we were taken to our hotel a few blocks away. The building had been a police station during East Germany days, but was now a pretty hip hostel. We got the “special” room, the lock-up where they used to keep all the weapons.

After the most delicious eggs and potatoes we had ever tasted, we waited for people to arrive. We couldn’t play until midnight: apparently there is a law in Germany banning live music on Christmas Eve until after midnight. We played a great reggae rock set and the response was massive. I remember feeling a certain charge while I was singing Give Thanks in Hebrew in front of this great German crowd — perhaps it was a feeling of redemption. Later, after our set, I learned that Erfurt was only miles away from Buchenwald, a Nazi concentration camp where Elie Wiesel and many others had been kept prisoner. Redemption indeed.erfurtcrowd.JPG

I wasn’t feeling so hot, so I headed back to the hotel to get some rest as the reggae kept rockin. Ed and Cez-One showed up at dawn laughing and drunk. At one point in the morning Ed stumbled out of bed and knocked into the prison bars, waking me up. I saw him lurch towards the lockers and lay his head on the locker door. It seemed like he was starting to piss. I shouted at him, “Ed! The sink! Over there!” He mumbled something back that sounded like “I’m pissing in the shower.” “The sink!” I yelled. Mumble, mumble groan was the response. Maybe there was a bottle or something he was pissing into that I couldn’t see. Hoping that he hadn’t just peed all over his back pack and the floor, I turned over and went back to sleep. Sometime later I heard  Cez-One stumble out of bed and bump into the walls. He was confused but I managed to safely direct him to pee in the sink.erfurtprison.JPG

Unable to go back to sleep I decided to get up. I looked on the floor where Ed had stood, and indeed there was a fresh wet spot, and his backpack looked wet as well! Although Ed would vehemently deny that it had happened and swear that he had walked all the way to the bathroom, I had seen it all take place with my own very sober eyes. I am not telling this story in order to embarrass Ed — not at all! The truth is, I felt proud… as a rock n’ roll band we had finally managed to a little damage, even if it was minor, we had taken our first baby steps in hotel room wreckage…

erfurt1.JPGWhile the guys slept off their drunk I walked around Erfurt. Everything was closed on this Christmas morning, but the old city was everything you might hope a German town to be, complete with massive cathedrals, tranquil streams, and a walled citadel that overlooked the red-roofed city.