When we wake up we are officially IN Germany, not some folks that stumbled off a plane. The hotel has a nice breakfast with soft rolls, home made jam, honey, cold cuts and cheese, and excellent strong coffee. At home I can’t take the caffeine, but for some reason I can take it when on vacation in Europe. Good thing because I drink about 5 cups. Getting up to speed here means slowing down. No hurry. We take a walk to get the feel of the townm learn the landmarks, watch the Molle, and wake up. Zappanale starts with America’s own Jim Cohen giving a lecture on the finer points of Zappa’s “Call Any Vegetable, in German, but it still cracks us up. Jim knows his Zappa and his lecture is well received. In German the word for vegetable is Gemuse, and if I was unsure before the lecture, I was assured after it.
The music doesn’t start until about 2pm, so we walk up to the festival site: the horse racing track outside of town. Steve assures me that it is a 15 minute walk. This is the beginning of an endless stream of 15 minute events that take much longer. The track is easily 30 minutes on foot, and probably more. But we arrive in good spirits and catch the last half of Weirdo Naffin. It sure is weird, but it is good. The following act is Jazzprojekt Hundehagen, who are likewise ass kicking. We had been in the backstage area and wandered back out into the crowd for Italy’s own Grand Wazoo. They are as good as any band I have seen. They aren’t trying for the ultimate polish, they knock out great versions of everything and they do it with a beautiful flow. Their timing is excellent and they get bonus points for opening with Regyptian Strut, a song that I went on a bender with just two weeks back. I think that I listened to the version on Lather about 20 times in 2 days. Grand Wazoo turns out to be just one of the bands that we would keep company with over the weekend.
Next up is Final Virus, a straight up rock band, excellent players, two drummers, and some really great material. The Arf Society got this one right. They didn’t do too much Zappa, but they rocked the crowd right on down.