BIRTHDAY STORY 3/15: THE COUGAR & MR. KÜHN
On this day, my 61st, I’d like to give a well deserved Shout Out to another fellow
‘Ides Of March’ birthday celebrant, the brilliant German Jazz musician, JOACHIM KUHN, who was born on this selfsame day in the Year of our Lord 1944.
Upon my salad says as a wisp of a still green young blade, I used to play a club in one of my favorite cities in the world, HAMBURG GERMANY, with the band I was in at the time, ‘THE TOUCH’.
The club was ‘ONKEL PO’ (Uncle Po’) & was managed by a lovely, sagacious, & seductive woman INGRID, who was good friends with Joachim’s wife & young daughter. Ingrid had raved about our band to Madame Kuhn who, as it happened, lived right down the street in a well proportioned & kept house on the corner.
The Madame’s daughter & she came to a performance one night & without hesitation after introductions post performance invited me to their home the next day for lunch, which I readily accepted since we’d be in Hamburg for the duration of our residency at the club, which was highly esteemed for its legendary history of previous bookings & celebrated artists.
But that night, Ingrid, had suggested that since the Kuhn’s home was within just 2 blocks short walking distance from the venue, that I sleep upstairs in the apartment which belonged to the club. Rather than return with the band to the accommodations awaiting us, cramped & spartan to say the least, & smelling of ‘pommes frites’ & stale beer, I thanked Ingrid & agreed that it made more sense.
I informed the band & management that I’d been granted leave to bunk upstairs, & our manager’s wife, an American woman named Gail that I’d grown close to, looked at me with a gleaming eye as if she were aware of a dimensional reality to which I’d not yet been made privy in my innocuous naïveté, but to which I’d be soon exposed.
And with that I grabbed my stuff from backstage & made the short trek upwards towards the apartment & the promise of a welcome evening’s comfortable slumber. Nor did I imagine what was to come. But after having been in bed for roughly an hour, the door to the flat opened.
In walked Ingrid.
And so gullible & callow (not to mention fallow) was my nature that it hadn’t dawned on me that the well tended place with a woman’s attentive touch was where the club manager resided. She walked right past my widening pupils & straight into the shower. My impecunious personage witnessed a mind racing with thoughts to rival the speed of Speedy Gonzales. Here was I, a 22 year old hot blooded hetero whose hormones & love of the ladies defined the fixed boundaries of his pronouns, listening to what was presumably hot water massaging the body of a vivacious 50 year old divorced beauty who, awakening instincts told me, was about to COLLECT THE NIGHT’s RENT.
End of Part 1 !
It was a Queen Sized Bed, & I had been too Young, Dumb, & full of Cumbersome Gravity to make the connection that it WAS a Queen’s bed. And just as quickly as had anxiety arrived, the Angels Of Mercy followed.
In a Silk Robe, standing over me was Ingrid. “DO YOU MIND IF WE SHARE THE BED” ? (spoken in north German dialect), My mind answered first, speaking in wildly reverberating Exclamation Points, “ABER SICHER” (But Certainly), because YOUR BOY wasn’t EVEN about to betray that whatever was about to happen was straight out of a well worn porn fantasy shot straight through the perfumed pages of what the British like to call ‘A Bodice Ripper’ (cheesy romance novel).
It was ALL THAT I COULD DO to attempt to maintain a semblance of dignity & cool as she discarded her modesty’s wardrobe & climbed into the bed, after which, she then, like a seasoned jockey, climbed atop my barely concealed trembling excitement. NOW, IT WAS SHOWTIME BITCHES ! The performance beforehand, inside the club onstage, had merely been the Opening Act, clearly.
At first my focus was distracted by the very idea that here was I, not too far removed from the projects of DeLand Florida, being ridden like a prized stud by an elegant & electrifying Teutonic woman ‘Of A Certain Age’, as had she stumbled fatefully upon the very Fountain Of Youth itself & was thereby determined to milk that well for all that she could receive from its gushing well, & from her temerity’s spoils.
But then, as if a switch had flicked within as a gift from the Gods themselves, I AWAKENED. And what proceeded to occur took me by a most pleasant surprise & took her, from what ardent reactions stemmed from our congress, into the fertile fields of ecstatic union where fantasy & reality form a dialogue with vortex of immediacy, where all that I could hear within me was an urgent voice imploring me to “HIT THIS PUSSY BITCH, & SIGN YOUR NAME IN THIS ARYAN SHIT”.
Lust being nothing if not graphic & precise.
And THAT was the night, a sweetly tempered Summer’s Eve, where time herself ushered me from an Age Of Nubile Innocence & into the space of a Young Motherfucker Who Now Knew Some Shit for real. And with all great & due respect to the Christian nations, THAT WAS THE NIGHT of my righteous Baptism, the night that witnessed my rebirth as a man, stamped with a newly earned swagger, & with a new found grace.
Exhausted from 2 performances that fateful night, Onstage & in the arms of my teacher’s ample, sweaty bosom, A Page Turned & I dropped my soul into a sleep as deep as the edge of a dream.
End of Part 2 !
BUT WAIT, THERE’s MORE !
Of course there was more. I was 22 years old & was ONLY composed of MORE.
More of everything indicative of being that Star Spangled Age, in all of its oft imperiled darkness, in all of its intrepid luminosity. I was being ‘LEARNED’ (pronounced ‘LURNT’ in southern dialect). And luckily for me my limp that morning was successfully integrated into my natural free wheeling gait, so as not to be TOO noticeable as a temporary result of the blessed ‘Rules Of Engagement’.
A simple breakfast was consumed, typically German, fresh Whole Wheat Bread, Honey, Jam, Butter, Coffee for her, Tea for me. She thereafter kissed me warmly, told me that I could leave my stuff there & gave me the exact address to the home of the great Joachim Kuhn & family.
“Bis Spater” ! (As I believe I recall, ‘Until Later’).
The Afternoon unfolded as a splendid example of North German Hanseatic hospitality. I barely recall what exactly was eaten, I just remember being with 2 lovely visions of a mother & daughter, the latter of whom could hardly conceal her flush cheeks & rosy glow, whose Bohemian upbringing betrayed her longing for the attentions of a budding Rock Star. She was a darling, as were her mother, but even in my fuzzy peach chinned days, I was never drawn to the early morning dewdrops of a woman’s dawn, but more to the high yield of her late summer surplus, the onset of her cinnamon tinged dusk. I longed for an Education & not just a thrill, or a cop & a feel.
Later Joachim arrived as I was playing the family piano, vintage, brown & well attenuated to the touch of a master such as Kuhn unerringly possessed.
And then he proceeded to tell me that according to his wife’s valued judgment, I was a Songwriter destined for notice. And listening to me play, he said words to me that have helped to shape me & have stayed with me since.
“I CAN TELL BY YOUR PLAYING THAT YOU HAVE A SONGWRITER’s INSTINCTS, SO DO YOURSELF A FAVOR. Never Let Your Growth An A Musician Outpace Your Growth As A Writer, because if your TECHNIQUE goes ahead of your writing, you will begin writing FROM your technique & less from your musical instincts & ear. And if you want to be a VIRTUOSO, that’s one thing, BUT IF YOU WANT TO WRITE SONGS FOR THE WORLD TO SING, which I believe that you might be capable of, then LET YOUR DEVELOPMENT AS A MUSICIAN follow your development as a songwriter. So that as you grow & gain experience as a writer, you will likewise grow as a musician, & the more you write, the more in any event you will grow your vocabulary & expand as a player.
Technique has its own pride & exacts a cost often at the expense of better judgment. The world has more than enough virtuosos, but never enough great songwriters.”
Those words have remained etched within my grateful cellular body as had I heard the voice of God herself, conferring upon me the parchment papered receipts of the Wages from the Sages of the Ages. He had chosen the way of the virtuoso as composer, but recognized that I’d been called to a different drummer’s cadence & a more populist repertoire of presentation, and he understood that what was expected of him as a ‘Jazz Musician’ wasn’t what was expected or required of a writer of Pop Songs with hungry ears & a broad palette.
I sit here writing this out now, after having opened my family’s gifts, after having had some Cheesecake, as well as a slice of Sacher cake favored by my sons. And swimming in the afterglow of a Pinot Grigio reserved by me & the Madame Maitreya for special occasions such as this.
And so, with Love in my Heart I send out the Warmest of Regards to the generous & wise JOACHIM KUHN, whose timely advice was ‘instrumental’ (pun included at no extra cost to you, my dear reader) in guiding me to where I now sit, in MILANO, ITALY firmly planted in a life that allows me to Thank God that I was fortunate enough to have received his timely & most fruitful counsel & to wish him on this very same day as were I also born, A HAPPY BIRTHDAY !
To Wherever He May Be.
As well as to my hero Sly Stone & the other varied & many formidable persons born upon this incredible day, too numerous to mention, too unforgettable to ignore.
In the course of one glorious weekend, my thirsty cups were filled with both Knowledge & Understanding. One, by a Woman of Experience & Delight, the other by a Man of Means, & both by a Divine Intervention from which I’ve never fully gotten beyond the scope of, nor have I any intention of so doing. Hamburg will never not contain, a little piece of my soul.
Sananda Maitreya !
15 March, 2023
© TreeHouse Publishing, 15th March 2023