Ozzy & Sweden Rock Festival [Part 1]

It’s been a busy time for me, which is why there just has been no time (or energy) to write. It’s just so typical that when you have TONS to write about, it’s also usually when you don’t have a chance to do it. :) And now… Graspop Metal Meeting in Belgium is only a few days away, so it’s really now or never. 

Let’s start with June 2nd – the day after the Ozzy-show in Malmö, Sweden…..

My friend Bianca had come to Malmö to get another chance to see Ozzy because she had such bad luck last year. We both went to Graspop, for her it was mainly about seeing Ozzy – but… he got sick that day and had to cancel. So, she went all the way to Belgium without even seeing him. This time she finally got to see him.:-) And she loved the show – who doesn’t love Oz, he’s just the most lovable man ever. :-D

[From the Malmö-show]

After freezing our asses off all day, we slept really well that night after the Ozzy-gig. Then the next day, she took the train back to Skövde, and I got on a train to Copenhagen where I was about to board a train to Dortmund, Germany – for the next Ozzy AND Steel Panther-show.

I was so excited about it, was looking forward to getting the window seat I had reserved, to look out the window and enjoy the scenery, relax, write a bit on my laptop, and then sleep – a lot. I always sleep so well on trains, so I couldn’t wait to do that. The whole time I had this idea that the train would look just like the modern trains I had been on in the UK for instance. The Virgin-train was great, power outlets, Wi-Fi, comfortable seats…. 

When the train finally rolled in at the platform, I got slightly worried… It looked like something from the seventies, old and rusty – definitely NOT the modern train I had in mind for my 12 hour journey….

The wagon I was supposed to be in – didn’t exist. I had booked a seat in a salon, not a regular compartment or sleeping compartment. But there were only sleeping compartments on that train – for 4 people or more. My god!

I asked the conductor where my seat was and he said that I could “sit here” and pointed at a seat in the compartment he had in front of him. There were 2 teenage girls and an older woman in there. Of course, I didn’t get a window-seat either. 

I took out my laptop and started looking around for the outlet. Asked the conductor where I could plug it in, and he went: “Oh… you can’t . But I can charge it for you in my office, then you can pick it up”. Are you kidding me?? What the f…….?? So, for the next 12 hours, I was supposed to run to his office and charge it every time the battery died? Then I learned that there wasn’t even any Wi-Fi on that old Eastern-Germany piece of crap train from Deutsche Bahn….

So… I hooked up my laptop through my cellphone. That would at least work as long as we were in  Denmark, but as it’s locked for roaming, it would stop working the minute we crossed the border to Germany.

There were no “seats”, only a rock hard bench which resembled what I figure they must have in prison. I was super uncomfortable and was disappointed that I didn’t even have the window seat I had wanted….

Dsc02802

It was the longest trip ever. It would have been fine if I had a book, a magazine, a friend or if the people in there had been nice to talk to – but the lady was a total weirdo (she must have been on parole from a mental institution or something…) and the young girls were listening to their ipods so… I was bored out of my mind after only a few hours.

At 9 PM the old lady decided she wanted to sleep, so we all had to transform the compartment into the sleep compartment that it was – and go to bed. She wanted it dark and quiet. I NEVER go to bed at 9 pm! So I was lying there staring into the dark nothingness, until I finally managed to relax enough to doze off a bit.

JUST when I had fallen asleep there was this creepy horror-movie old-lady laugh in there – really loud! It was the old lady. I thought she was either on the phone with someone or maybe she was reading something funny…. but no, she was just nuts.

Then at midnight when I was fast asleep, someone banged on the door and scared the shit out of me. It was a guy who said that the conductor  told him that bed was his. So, suddenly there was a strange man in there was well. At that point I was tired and pissed off and couldn’t relax to go back to bed, cause I was supposed to arrive in Dortmund at 4 am and I was worried I’d fall asleep and miss my destination…

I arrived in Dortmund, Germany at 4 am almost precisely. It was dark and raining and not a soul on the streets. My original plan had been to walk to the hotel. I had the map and all in my hand, but being as tired as I was, and the weather being crap, I decided to just grab a cab instead. Five minutes later I was outside my hotel.

My German friend, let’s call her Suuded, as she doesn’t want her real name online, had checked in the day before and told the people at the front desk that I would be arriving in the middle of the night. They had told her it wouldn’t be a problem, the front desk was open 24/7. But the man who opened the door for me apparently never got THAT memo…

Front door was locked so when I rang the bell this sleepy and anything but friendly man, opened the door. He looked at me with this angry face that pretty much just had “WHAT THE FUCK DO YOU WANT AT THIS HOUR?!” written all across his forehead.

I explained that my friend was already here, I just wanted him to let me in, as there was apparently only ONE key to that room. He pretended not to understand any English. So I said the same thing, in German – or, my limited German “Meine Freundin ist hier….“…. He didn’t WANT to understand, he was still staring at me like I was sent there by Lucifer himself.

So I called Suuded, woke her up and asked her to explain to the dude in German… He FINALLY let me into the hotel. Then I couldn’t find the freaking room because the numbering system in this hotel was QUITE different from every OTHER hotel – instead of having numbers starting with 1 on the 1st floor and 2 on the second and so on, they ALL began with a “1”…… So I climbed up the stairs to the top floor and still hadn’t found the stupid room. I eventually did – after passing a crack-whore on the way who looked high as a kite.

Introduced myself briefly to my new hotel room-mate, then got about 3 hours of sleep before breakfast. I never even took off the makeup that night. I felt like Alice Cooper the next day…. I just did a touch-up and thanked god that nobody knew me there in Germany.

Suuded was super nice, an attorney with a passion for music. It’s not easy finding females who are in this for the right reasons, so it was great fun discussing music with another girl who knew exactly what she was talking about. That’s the cool thing about the internet, you start talking to someone and next thing you know, you’ve got a friend in another country that you kind of already know through e-mailing…! 

After breakfast we went to the room and got our stuff and went straight to Westfalenhalle. There were only 2 guys outside waiting, so we decided to just go and grab a bite before the show.

I ordered the fillet of pork with pepper sauce and potatoes, and it was the most amazing, heavenly fantastic dish I have ever had in my LIFE! It just melted in my mouth, wow…!

While we were enjoying our meal (and drinks!) it was pissing down outside – I mean REALLY pissing down, the sky was all black and it was like a waterfall. Glad I wasn’t out there.

After dinner we went back to stand in line, and people started coming, all lining up nicely and civilized… When suddenly this guy, whose face I won’t forget, came out, looking all important and started bossing everyone around. Apparently he was in charge of the whole line/barricade/security process and he sure as hell had his own ideas of how that was going to happen. Even the guys working for him were rolling their eyes.

He kept yelling at the fans to move the fuck out of his way, wherever we went, it was the “wrong” place to be. Basically he had ONE mission – to make sure that those horrible rockers were out in the rain where he figured they all belonged. So – eventhough there was a big roof above the entrance, where we would all easily fit in before the doors opened – he made sure that no matter WHERE we stood, if would be out in THE RAIN…

I had a rain-poncho, thank god, so Suuded and I made a “tent” out of it and managed to stay dry. But standing there for 3 hours like that was no fun… I remember a young guy who had nothing, no umbrella, nothing – after those hours he was soaked and his lips were all blue as he was shivering and shaking. Felt so bad for him, he just wanted to see Ozzy Osbourne.

When we got in, Suuded, me and another girl we met in line, got straight to the right side of the stage – the SATCHEL side. She was one of the few who knew that they were opening, there had been almost no advertising about that. “You girls are so cool, I’m so glad I met you!”, and she actually wrote me an e-mail a few days after the show. I’m yet to reply to it. :) Another example of music bringing people together from all over the planet.

The Steel Panther show was as awesome as always – us 3 girls must have been easy to spot as most of the Ozzy and BLS-fans had no idea who Steel Panther were. Suuded got 2 picks that Satchel threw out, one for herself and one for me. I got that one signed at Sweden Rock a few days later.. ;)

The Ozzy show was great. Especially after the Black Label Society gig, I was REALLY grateful to see Oz, cause I’m sorry, I can’t stand BLS, it’s pure torture, boring as fuck. :-/

Ozzy with Geezer or Blasko and Gus G on each side of the stage is what I want to see! After more than 20 Gus-shows, I’m still not bored, the guy was born to be a rock star. I’ll probably never get enough of seeing him on a stage!

[Gus “Rock Star” G!]

After the gig I felt slightly….uncomfortable. I was happy cause the gig had been great – Steel Panther and Ozzy kicked ass. But… I was soaked after the Ozzy-firehose thing and it was COLD, so I didn’t feel like going out in the rain and cold but amazingly, I didn’t even get sick after that ordeal.

It was crazy at the Westfalenhalle train station. Thousands of rockers trying to get into that ONE train, it looked worse than Tokyo! How many rockers can you fit into a train? Apparently quite a lot. :D 

Suuded asked a guy about other options and found a better solution, we were back in city center Dortmund a few minutes later. Went straight to McDonalds, hungry and thirsty.

When we got back to the hotel I was dead tired but couldn’t sleep, uploaded my Ozzy videos on YouTube…

The next morning, after showers and breakfast, we went for a short sightseeing, then to the station. I took the ICE-train to Düsseldorf airport and came home late that evening.

The next day there was very little time for anything – cause that’s when Sweden Rock Festival kicked off!

I picked up Vera, from Classic Rock Magazine Russia, who is now living in Gothenburg, Sweden, at the train station and drove up to the festival….! :)

[to be continued….]

 

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