The soundtrack of our little clip is ‘Apeman’, from the Kinks album ‘Lola, Apeman and the Money – Go – Round‘, first released in 1970.
At that time I was eleven, the Beatles and my parents had just broken up and this was my very first album. It was also my second year of studying English language at school. The lyrics of ‘Apeman’ particularly intrigued me and I longed to understand them better. So I took the album to school and to my surprise our teacher Mrs. Kunze, an elderly spinster, made an entire lesson out of translating it with us.
It was the time of Pop and Rock and Roll and of course we liked it. As with so many others, both before and after me, I would say popular culture quite probably saved my life. Surely quite a few lives were lost to excesses while global consciousness took a tremendous leap forward.
Unfortunately or not, I was too young for the whole sex and drugs aspect of that time, so probably as a compensation I found myself indulging in heavy overdoses of collecting.
The medieval castle nearby seemed a promising source for artefacts. However my friends and I had to abort our excavations when a somewhat jittery town council interfered because they feared for the stability of the massive curtain walls.
However, no objections were raised to subsequent scavenging and collecting efforts: minerals and fossils (hundreds of kilos), scrap metal (tons of it), everything, absolutely everything from the war, and all manner of rural antiquities that you could easily lay your hands on in the villages of the fairly remote hills of Rhineland Palatinate bordering La France.
Studying art history at university naturally made you want to own no less than all those lovely pictures one saw. Much to my disappointment they all turned out to already be in good hands elsewhere or proved rather unaffordable.
Like all kids room’s mine was plastered with pop music posters and that iconic image of Che Guevara had to conceal a hole in the door of my wardrobe. The Comandante – bold and heroic as ever – guarded it from my mother’s eyes who, as I knew her immaculate taste, would not have appreciated that hole I had shot into the finely grained teak wood door. ¡Hasta siempre!
When rediscovering posters in my twenties, again they filled a breach of sorts for me. They were colourful, they talked to you and they were all over the place. Better still, even with shallow pockets, one can build a meaningful collection on any subject from scratch.
Naturally all you need is love and a degree of obsessiveness, that borders on having an actual degree in it, stemming from certain unresolved issues and an unsettled life with millions of fleeting interests and appetites as a consequence of it.Then, instead of pursuing one subject or systematically moving from subject to subject over time, say a quarter of a century perhaps, do them all together simultaneously and more or less consistently and sooner or later you’ll end up with 130.000+ posters, which then form a kaleidoscopic representation of the times and the places covered. Well all those so far at least.