After Iman, I bummed around Europe for a while. I had money, I had a broken heart. I used one to ease the other. It was a rainy afternoon, 1991 – Prague. I bumped into Nick Cave in The Thirsty Dog. He had a small New Zealander locked in a suitcase, don’t ask me why. When he let him out he told me that David Hasselhoff’s album “Looking For Freedom” had actually been written and produced by John Cale and Lou Reed and was going to be used as the centre piece to an absurdist Andy Warhol tribute they were planning.
When The Hoff found out the truth he went berserk. New Zealand had heard it from the horse’s mouth, so to speak. He’d been in Rostock just the week before and, the way he told it, Hasselhoff was drinking whiskey by the gallon and spilling his guts to anyone who’d listen. Hey it was The Hoff, the good burghers were all ears, in every seedy bar, from the docks to the market square. I headed north the next morning, with a passion for truth and a thirst for Rostocker Pilsener.
December on the Baltic, it was 15 below, the town was full of deep sea fishermen (reading Proust) and salty lags of every shape and size. I caroused, I cajoled, but I couldn’t find Hasselhoff. Maybe he’d blown town, more likely the town had blown him. I was drinking steins with 3 brawny seafarers in a crowded waterfront tavern. We’d locked beards somewhat earlier, a many-headed, hirsute hydra. I asked them how they survived the winters up here in the frozen north. “It’s simple Few”, one replied, “We drink, we sing and we fuck!” I stayed for 3 years.
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