Originally we had nothing booked for this date — and it had been bugging Freddy to no end. But while we were in Jena, Falko Rock, our buddy from Chemnitz, had called with news of a last-minute gig. It wouldn’t pay — but we would get dinner and keep the momentum going. We picked up Falko in Chemnitz and headed to Zwickau, a nearby industrial town that had once been the center for manufacturing the Trabant, an infamous East German automobile. On the way to the club, Falko was recalling how in East German days you had to apply for a Trabant, then wait for years, possibly decades until you got it. After reunification, a lot of “Trabis” were simply abandoned by their owners, and you could pick em up for cheap. Now they’re kind of collectors items — and Green Trabis are supposed to bring good luck.

The club was in a huge warehouse on the outskirts of Zwickau, We walked through before it opened: three levels, eight or nine different rooms, over-the-top metal and goth decor — this promised to be good. Falko did a great job helping us set up sound in a hurry. When the doors opened the place filled up with hordes of young rockers, heshers, and goths. Black was de rigeur, with bonus points for looking super-vampy. Our favorite room was next door to where we were playing, an industrial/goth room, where the DJs were spinning NIN, Cure, and Ministry, the girls swayed in fishnets, and the guys did the zombie dance in their trenchcoats. It took me back to high school days — anybody remember Marilyn’s in Pasadena back in the day? We played around midnight, but it was hard to compete with the neighboring sound systems. Still we managed to attract the outcasts of the outcasts — and those who stayed to watch us were intrigued. Late at night we were on our way to Dresden for the grand finale.