Friday, July 14, 2006

Blood on the drums

This story was submitted by photographer / musician / last action hero Kris Verdonck.

A few weeks ago we had to play with our band The Chocolate Lovers on the opening of a three-day art fest in Antwerp called 'Liefhebber' ('Amateur'), which was being organised by the city of Antwerp and one Mr. Raoul from the venue itself. It was supposed to be about art & music and the love for both. It turned out to be somewhat different...

The venue was an old squatted mansion which could hold like threehundred people. The chief-squatter was a guy from Nigeria, dressed in this funky jazz outfit from the 50’s. You know, with the hat and all the works.

You had to address him as Mr Raoul. Or even better, like he had said before: as the Governor. So Mr Raoul had been chewing on these strange plants all day, which made him all the more nervous as time passed by. During the soundcheck, he started making weird yelling noises while talking nonsense and dancing all along. “Okay, that’s one weird guy”, we thought, “We better not pay too much attention to him.”

After we had finished the soundcheck, the au
dience started to come in. Then some art connoisseur –you know the type- made his opening speech and we finally hit the stage. Into the fourth song the Governor -who had been dancing all the time- mounted the big stairs behind and above the stage. Suddenly he started yelling at the crowd. Then he grabbed a lamp-post that was standing there, ran a few flights down the stairs, and smashed it on the head of our drummer, Dirk. The latter started to bleed heavily, the stuff dripping on his snare drums, and the poor guy nearly lost consciousness. Luckily there were some women in the audience who knew how to treat an injured head. They got some bandages and other useful stuff from the emergency kit and took care of him.

When we realised what had happened, I put my guitar down and chased the Governor, who in the mean time had run out of the venue. After a few hundred meters, I was closing in on him. But the Governor suddenly turned on his heels. He was holding this big brick in his hand and he obviously intended to hit me with it - preferably on the head. “Fuck.” was all I could think. And I naturally ran off as fast as I could.

The Chocolate Lovers performing with Johnny Dowd

At this point, people were pouring out of the venue and they noticed what was happening. Some of them tried to block the Governor. So what did he do? Well in the end, six visitors hit the dust. Then along came our friend Bart, who tried to grab him. Unsuccesfully. He got smashed on the head as well and started bleeding profusely. Knock-out number two.

Finally, this giant guy, nearly two meters tall and built like a boxer -he turned out to be a concert organiser who had come to check us out- managed to get hold of the Governor, wrestled with him for a bit and put the guy’s arms behind his back. The Giant Organiser dragged him into the venue and locked him in a room, after telling him that if he’d make as much as one single move, he’d be dead before he knew what hit him.

Meanwhile, we had returned to the stage and after we got the all-clear sign, our singer grabbed the mic and announced the next song, as if nothing had happened. “So ladies and gentleman, sorry for the inconvenience & the blood on the drums. Okay, now let’s do ‘Sinnerman’.”


Blogger Manny said...

I'm not sure what on god's green earth he was chewing on but, it sure seems to have made him extremely intoxicated to a point where he lost control of himself. Which is strange i must say, because as far as i know, most rockers seem a lot more normal drunk then they are

4:43 PM  
Anonymous God's own prototype said...

well, the Governor is - to say the least - not a rocker. Some guys from Nigeria told me it was probably qat, tho they usually don't react bad to it at all. Okay, gonna grab a beer.

1:56 PM  
Blogger AnJaka said...

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2:57 PM  
Anonymous reflux said...

hahah lol, I know this guy, once I was on a party in the same house with the same guy and he starts accusing some random guy of stealing his shoes, a lot of people tried to calm him down, it worked but later he trashed an emmy-like statue in the garden lol! It is said he was in a war in nigeria, i guess it's some kind of explanation...

1:58 PM  
Blogger AnJaka said...

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6:47 PM  

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