Beyond The Gates

Pontaillac, August 1986

Dear Alban,

I’ve been waiting for days, we all have. For summer, Depeche Mode coming back in the great south west of France and we’re in ! 11th of August, on the Stadium Esplanade. I had never found such interest in this place …

The old-stock inhabitants must have thought it queer to see their parking invaded by a horde of young people in leather with smoky eyes, hats, pearls and chains. All that the region had for synthpop fans had landed there with a loud clatter. It was joyful. People were singing, mostly “A Question Of Lust”, while the most qualified among them were talking about Emulators, Guillaume Tell studios in Suresnes ( where the album was recorded) , and the curious percussion curtain on which Alan beats obstinately.

The atmosphere was electric, with that hot asphalt blast, trampled with more and more frenzied ardor by thousands of big soles.
Behind the opaque grilles, we heard the first bars of “Black Celebration”. A breathless silence fell immediately.
Alan, Alan … He was certainly there, making the last adjustments, playing.
Fucking incredible. In our little town.
Between the walls, inside our derisory Sundays events’ area ! Alan was honing his sound magic, in the open air , in Royan evening.

Then nothing, the wait again. Colin sat on the ground, then one by one, all those who belonged to our little group, except two guys from Poitiers who you know I guess, for they’re also fond of New Order. Pierre-Louis and Hugues , I think… with peroxidized brush cuts. They remained standing, in this attitude of guys who think they are clever not to sit with the others , and not to drop their long raincoats while we are in the middle of August …
I’m sorry if they’re friends of yours, one of them is DJing in the cellar of the Grand’Goule where Low-Life is a religion…

But they were stubbornly standing. And the sky, I hadn’t noticed it, was heavy like the bottom of a bottle, through which passed a weird greenish sun; and you could almost hear the clouds clashing each other. It was a kind of drought growing in us from the overheated ground, and to make matters worse I stole a cigarette from Colin, what made the others laugh because I finally know how to smoke.

I don’t know how long we’ve been sitting there, long enough to feel this was the bivouac of an long and uncomfortable joke; long enough to feel the first big drops of a summer storm. It was not driving rain, but something insidious that strummed on our foreheads and cheeks, that didn’t stop. The good mood of the beginning was gone, necks were raised to try seeing above the gates.
But a strange silence had replaced our imaginary sounds, those that hope in our rooms had forged before coming here; they dissipated in a single word

It’s difficult to understand such a word, especially when you don’t know exactly where it comes from in the crowd. Your dumbfounded conscience doesn’t believe it, you remain paralyzed while the others begin to disperse. You want to shout at them “Don’t leave ! They gonna call us back”
You cannot imagine that it could happen otherwise, in these cases it’s the reality that seems inconceivable.
Many people were just staying there.

But there were all the rational ones, (starting with your two friends) to give their technical explanation.
“The sound was not good enough”
“ They didn’t think on a proper protection for the machines”
But don’t you remember?

Oh God it’s raining
But I’m not complaining

I’m not complaining … the very diffuse sound of my dumbfounded consciousness, or that of an angry crumpled paper that rolls in the wind on the asphalt.

Why did they not … ?
Tears were not coming by me. I saw Maude and Diane slightly crying but I was unable to.

David and Colin got together to pick me up.
We brought everyone back, and then we drove home. Silently, I was still not crying.

Dad was surprised to see us arrive so early, but he didn’t make any comment. Colin and I have stayed together in his room, and there it came. It came because the magic didn’t happen, and that the time of trials is coming, for good …
Colin made us some tea, lit a candle, burned copal incense.
I didn’t want to listen to Depeche Mode, so we played the whole Victorialand from the Cocteau Twins, that I didn’t know completely, and it was wonderful…

Well, precious Alb, that’s it … I’m not telling you anything new in fact, Colin has already told you everything on the telephone, but it was necessary for me to write it all with my point of view. I remember you saying once that great love stories often begin with a missed appointment; and be sure that I’m not giving up, but still…
How many were we, from the Disease Generation, to come there believing it.

I hope that on your side, you fill up with beautiful sunny hours and music in Italy, and that I’ll see you again completely “refreshed” in September! I can’t wait for it …

Have the best time my friend, I send you all my kisses


Francofolies, and Barney’s voice

La Rochelle, July 1986

My dear Epo,

It’s always extremely funny , when I read your letters having in mind Colin’s phone calls to note the variations in your two stories. That’s so nice of you not to mention the frightful drunkenness with Rioja he had in Madrid… But you didn’t told anything either about your exam of June.
You poor know well that your elders didn’t need to write it to enter High School, you’re a pioneer, and Colin told me you did it wonderfully. Congratulations, Lark ; this , I hope, will boost your self-esteem , it should…

It is now 4 o’clock as I answer you, and I don’t sleep of course, not because of insomnia; Saint Nicolas’quarter is constantly noisy with the Francofolies’ festival days … It’s only the second year of it, but thanks god, it brings a lot of people and tips are plentiful. It’s time to work damn hard, but also to enjoy some free places that we can glean from the organizers who come for a drink. You won’t believe it, I dragged Virgil to the Indochine’s concert ! He spent the evening bitching, as the Cure’s obsessive he is; but it was fun.
Whisper Breathless like a mermaid She sees her waking body She throws off all her clothes in his ears and see him swing my cushions, my glasses and myself is a very special pleasure which I can’t refuse myself when I feel his grumpy and sissy mood … He hates summer. He hates beach. Even with Valentine.

You’re lucky to have real beach enjoyers with you. To take the ferry for the island of Ré during this overcrowded touristic season is quite as hard as crossing the Mancha , maybe… and Virgile almost gives me an old husband fit because of my trip in Lucca which will prevent me from going to the Cure’s concert in Orange. I know it will be an historical event, but I think we’ll have traces of it; and I don’t want to compromise on this moment in Italy that I can finally afford after all these years.

I liked what you wrote about Subculture, and the fact that you’re attached to keep Barney’s voice and inflexions on the first plan. Well, it’s an old story for me, maybe comparable to the epiphany you had in this fitting room by listening to “Shake The Disease” for the first time.

I was almost 15 when “Movement” was released. I had been playing guitar for two years with older guys from La Pallice who were absolutely devoted to Joy Division. They logically listened to the first New Order’s LP with great mistrust; it sounded very Joy Division like ( except for a visionary song like “Senses”) .
It really emerged on “Truth” , oh what a jewel, spread over the port landscape, with the cranes silhouetted against the stormy sky, with , between the slate clouds,  these treacherous sunshines at sea. The mesmerizing deep bass, the plaintive melodica; and of course the words Oh it’s a strange day
The guys looked at each other with suspicion, and curiously I was afraid of their judgement, I was afraid they would talk about a too obvious sham, because I was so convinced, or even conquered. He was struggling. He was truth.
He was hesitation, fear, misunderstanding ,claustrophobia.

I don’t give the slightest fuck about what people might say about Barney’s voice. What is the unanimous voice anyway ? It is the only one which in my opinion suits to the constant instrumental research of the band and production, which has perpetually broadened its sound spectrum, and which has imposed itself all the time the difficulty of live performances.
This voice that speaks to me is forged in the most arid industrial world; and it fumbles, uncertain and genuine in the eternal darkness of human feelings.

Well, that’s it Epo, and very personal as always… We may cross the most animated season , let’s cherish our elegiac mood however , after we’ve laughed and danced.
I may write my next letter from Lucca; so have the most beautiful Black Celebration live until then …

All my kisses,

Palmones & Love

Algesiras, July 1986

My dear Alb,

I guess this letter will be quite long, since this trip was a surprise for Colin as well as for me. Because he’s leaving for Berlin, and that he will settle there at the end of the summer; parents decided to give us a holiday in the sun, maybe the last that we’ll spend together all four.
It was done by an exchange of houses, this is the way we can afford travels abroad for several years. They found this family of Andalusian teachers, and this house near the beach of Palmones from where we see the rock of Gibraltar all lit up when evening falls and where we met the group of revelers Colin has been hanging out with for three days.

I don’t think I have ever been so hot as on this car ride, when some cars have a thing called air conditioning… we spent our first night in a hotel north of Madrid taking showers in turn with Colin. So we all got up a little late, and we couldn’t do otherwise than to picnic in the middle of Mancha.
You know, when people say the air trembles with eat, well, there it was not even on the horizon, but just around us; we felt like hearing the stones crack and split , and I found it wonderful. While the parents were a little further away, Colin and I settled in the approximate shade of two olive trees. And we spoke really well at that time, he told me his fears about next year; about his roommate with people from his school that he hardly knows. He says things would have been so much easier with you, but also that mum told him “He’ll watch over your little sister”. Do you believe that? Despite all the maneuvers to watch me, she may have always been on our side …

We arrived very late at night on the coast, dad desperately looking for our house on the seafront where people were savagely driving; while we were upsetting him by singing “Here is the House” every time we thought we were in the right place, and even when we realized that we were wrong.
Colin quickly found a party companion in the person of the neighbor’s son; but it would have been easy anyway, young people here seem to live on another planet where speed dance and drunkenness determine without any possible dispute the tempo of existence.
It’s even strange to see all these cities which seem to have emerged on the sea only for the parties.

I didn’t like Marbella that much, it’s a nice place ; but the music played in the clubs just gives the impression of molding itself on the body of  partying people. You know it by now, I love that my body becomes the music , and not the reverse. That’s why I do not share the enthusiasm of others on some “arranged” songs.
You would be glad  here, people breathe , drink , and may be more… on New Order. But what is this remixed version of “Subculture” however? You no longer feel the youth and the stumbling, inspired intonations of Barney in it. It has become an accompaniment to fluorescent cocktails and to sequined bikinis which has lost all its charm (at least for me) . I no longer see him beating his sole in the park and almost improvising by walking this rhythm of a sweet melancholy.

I think I’m not made for this manufactured sense of rejoicing, and even less for this thirst of fun at all prize.

I just kicked Alejandro out of my room, he asked me maliciously if I wasn’t bored too much.
They’re next door with Colin and Pepita, “The girl who loves Stripped the most in the world”.
 I will stick to my role as a lookout to warn them if the parents come up. It’s funny after all.

But I just want to stand on my balcony , listening to the real
I like talking in my sleep
When people work so hard

and watching the laughing moon on sparkling sand, with the citadel of the rock which beckons to her with all its glittering lights …
Read you soon my friend…

With all my hugs !


Is Martin Gore cool ?

The mistrust that my father began to nurture against us can also find its roots in a small sequence which we watch with amusement today. But which certainly caused some generation conflicts in France.

On the 7th of May (1986) , Depeche Mode were invited on the set of the 12 o’clock news by Antenne 2 ; during the two days of the Celebration Tour in Paris Bercy. The moment our musicians came out of the mythology of our rooms to invite themselves at the family lunch table, an hour of great audience.
Only Andy and Martin were there.

The journalist who interviewed them, Hervé Claude, also an anglicist writer, had the full consideration of my parents for he represented a refined form of intellectuality which was kind of influential in the media of our country.
In front of him, two young, unkempt boys who were badly awake, and whose dazzling success, which had pushed them to fill Bercy rather than the “narrow” Zenith seemed an incongruity to the eyes of the very elitist establishment.

It was clear from the start that the interview would be conducted, through the prism of this French rationality; with simple questions that these poor guys couldn’t even answer clearly… So what ? A French name could be given to a band by pure chance , just because a magazine was lying there and that it seemed a “good idea”?
These children couldn’t therefore define their role other than by “keyboard player” ( and Colin was fuming against the translator who said “keyboard” for “keyboard” and then “clavier” while “synthesizer” would have been much more significant for those who didn’t know Depeche mode !) ; and since when the fact of having lived a “heavy night” was an excuse for Dave’s and Alan’s absence?

“ He isn’t even polite” mumbled dad between his teeth. And it made Colin laugh; it made us both laugh; discreetly of course , this disheveled Martin with his eyes still glued from the “heavy night” and who no longer considered it useful to talk about his work of composer or about the meaning of his lyrics…

“ Why is there no question about this title “Master and Servant”? asked Colin during the musical seconds
– I don’t think that Hegelian dialectics will be very popular among average French people.
– Since when do you care about average people?”

Mum hurriedly put her hand on daddy’s, what I thanked her internally; because I wanted to hear the rest.

You on the top and me underneath … charming manners, they have ! Forget all about equality ?

And those poor parents were dismayed to see us jiggle, knowing these sulfurous words by heart ! … But anyway, internet did not exist of course, and it was not every day that we could enjoy some glimpses of Alan’s profile …

“ Oh, come on,  can he stop being Franco-French for two seconds? Success in France, French public, French name, blablabla …I thought he loved Anglo-Saxon culture …
– But is it “culture”? “Daddy snapped in response to Colin.

We hadn’t reached a climax yet, before the bits of vitriolic criticism, that the presenter read, with the newspaper spread out in front of him “ Kleenex songs”,  “pathetic on stage”, “hairdresser boys looks”, “no humor at all” ; and I saw gradually the sad eyes and the sad smile of Martin who was probably wondering when it was going to end.

“They would be unhappy all these critics if they did not have the hairdressers boys. Always the same old tune !
– It is “Le Monde”, nevertheless …”

But before the Question Of Time and the Question Of Lust, Martin replied by the “Question Of Taste” , what else could he and Andy say? It still appears that this kind of talk has no other effect than to strengthen each in their position . We left the table in tension and Colin went to make up his eyes.

Much later, in the first decade of our millennium, I saw Alb come back from the bookstore with a gay thriller named “Death of a Drag Queen” by Hervé Claude …

Cherries and Joy

La Rochelle, June 1986

My dear Epo,

There are cherries in Virgile’s father’s garden. Of these big Burlats which are almost black when ripe.
Their liquor-like and warm-sunny taste when they burst in the mouth would bring anyone to the gates of orgasm.
No, no, I’m not straying; I just think you’ll taste them in June, next year. For all goes well, Lark.
All goes wonderfully well.

You’re in town next year, and that’s all we wanted; not true? So let slip this veil of sadness.

You’re not accepted in the musical section. So what ?  Name just one of the musicians you love who followed such a course … Do you really believe that they presented their conservatory curriculum when arriving in the recording studios ? Let slip this veil of sadness, you’ll make music . There’s a guitar by me which waits for you.

Colin told me they live in the city center. I would be curious to know how they will be able to constantly keep an eye on you. More, I wouldn’t be surprised that Sixtine let herself be drawn into the race for independence. I’ll even have to watch Virgile who’s got a strong taste for the first Communion girls’ genre …

Nice name, I must admit; but even nicer is the way you talk about her. I don’t seem to find the lexicon of jealousy in there; if jealousy had always this soft lyricism , how many dramas could we avoid ! What you feel about nice girls could not be jealousy. So let slip this veil of sadness.

You already didn’t let the anger stiffen you, and believe me; it’s an excellent sign. All my respects for our dear Colin, , but he doesn’t adopt the right strategy. We don’t deal with Edouard there, and even when I was in front of him , for the first time, and quite nervous to be honest; did you see me let go of my smile?
Too much resentment unfortunately closes all the locks, while fun is most often contagious. Let slip this veil of sadness; we will eventually tame them. One step at a time, and music shall help, as always.

So, you’ve joined the “ Big Mac”’s admirers team ? You would be to say the least surprised by his personality.
L’Equerre mentions his “his reserve and his almost sickly shyness” , I wonder where they went to get this; he must have had a serious and solid hangover when they saw him … Because he’s far, but really very far from the ethereal romantic who they imagine… Virgile will tell you !

Last thing, Lark; I’m sorry but I won’t be in Royan for Depeche Mode’s concert. I’m invited in Lucca for the all month of August, I’ve never been to Italy and in fact, I’ve not taken real holidays the last three years. I need sun, sweetness and idleness; which I dream about so much.
But let’s write to each other, like we did for almost a year now … if we ever get old, we’ll be able to laugh at our youth’s stupidity by taking all these letters ! But I love them so much, I feel like chatting open-heartedly with you, like on the terrace of a café, without style effects.

Have the best summer, Epo, and for this , I give you a prescription of joy.


Nocturnal Sixtine

Pontaillac, June 1986

Dear Alb,

It’s been a while since I’ve not written to you. I didn’t want you to be worried during your exams , but I thought on calling you several times.
There are some news for me , goods and bads I fear; but you’ll tell me. I need your positive state of mind.

I’m not accepted in the musical session, but I’ll be in Dautet High school next year however. I’ll be in bilingual german class which relieves me even if I’m a little disappointed. I think I’ll never be a musician.

My sadness comes from elsewhere, what to expect next year. Parents don’t want me to be full boarder, I’ll have to live by a woman and her daughter , who mum and Edouard know. I guess they don’t want me to meet you and all the friends , as dad suggested after I tried to steal the Erasure’s 45 rpm , you could have a bad influence on me.

And my sadness comes from elsewhere. I saw them, they were at home yesterday. This woman, the kind of elegant and emancipated person, divorced and self-confident. Not mean, but quite indifferent. And I saw her daughter ; Sixtine.
We’ve got the same age, but she’s been accepted in the musical section , her. A perfect girl, not that tall, blond and without roughness. A perfectly clear and pure skin, a perfect discreet air of intelligence.  And in me that whiff of shameful jealousy, Alb; this tetany of despair that I always have, I must confess ; in front of all girls. Why am I like that ?

And my sadness comes from elsewhere again.
They both came , and talked ; it was like I didn’t exist at all. Attention, it seems , was concentrated on Colin who looked at them silently during all the time they were there with an air of extremely hostile contempt. Especially when Sixtine played the piano for us all.
“ What for comes this stuck-up cooze , who allows herself to take my instrument and do the show here? “
But it is not him who will live with her, and I don’t want to be like that.
I don’t know why, but I don’t want to start this new life in constant rebellion and in constant competition.

I thought about running away last night, and then I thought of you to calm down.
And I’m writing now , and listening to my “shabby tape” taken from “High Meanders”
Nocturnal Me.
I’m in love with the voice of this guy. It seems that cords, and those inflexions who change octave with such agility dress my sadness and give it a more combative tempo.

So far, I haven’t found anything better than to melt my being in this rhythm, and write to you at the same time.

Have the best week Alban, I hope to see you at Depeche Mode’s concert in August.

Loads of kisses



Pontaillac, June 1986

How you came into my house
I thought you were an enemy
A viper’s song
A siren’s touch
And all that makes softness deadly

Don’t understand you
You said
But you’re not even trying
You’re not even trying

How your cruel dark eyes appeared
This was my last dreaming of brass
Subtile music
Fine elegy
Shivering in your heart of glass

Don’t care for you
You said
But , poet, you’re lying
You’re obviously lying

How your influence chained all mines
It happened so treacherously
O learned speeches
Mean fallacies
Under the coat of decency

Don’t fear my guard
You said
But man, I’m escaping
Today, I’m escaping

About Shame, etc …

La Rochelle, May 1986

My very dear Epo,

I wouldn’t like to know you on anxiolytics in a year or two. Really not.
So let’s give a good doc’s kick to this patriarchal and secular construction that is shame.

What is shame ? It is often justified as a necessary safeguard, an interior director of consciousness, which without recourse to the force of others keeps us on the slope of savagery. Shame would be civilization instilled into the unconscious, through centuries of education. But in all this good work, who finds him/herself wearing this antique corset most closely?
I don’t believe that it’s from young girls of fifteen that the return to barbarism should be the most to fear. So, shame, wouldn’t that be a very practical way to guarantee full and complete obedience, while preserving a good image of peaceful virtue guardian?

You see what I mean now, I guess.
I know deep in myself what shame is, for many reasons. But I know even deeper what abuse is; and that in this archaic morality which still restricts us, shame does not fight abuse; but that it is on the contrary its most precious keeper of the secret.
So , that’s without shame that I’ll write again those Edouard’s words that you feared so much to tell me :

“ If a twenty-one  year old boy is interested in a young girl of fifteen, it is surely not for her conversation.”
You see, I’ve written it; and I could write it again till the end of this page, because it makes me laugh.
I regret not being in front of this dear Edouard, to ask him how old a man ceases to be a potential predator.
Why twenty-one?

Without wanting to do pop psychoanalysis, I think we got a nice case of projection. In his novels, he often speaks of his attraction to ingenuity. But he surely thinks that I am unable to read or understand them …
We’re gonna be serious for five minutes now, and unravel the real motives for this pathetic warning. Edouard knows perfectly well what my sexuality is, and he will never accept the fact that I helped Colin run away from him; even less that I was so close to him. He may be other than the triumphant straight you all know.

But in any way, it’s not your integrity that’s at stake, in the struggle that he begins to lead again there. It is, in fact, his power. He can no longer hold Colin, who’s of age; you remain the only one by whom he can maintain his influence over your parents; but also its toxic presence in Colin’s mind , who will not stand to know that you are under surveillance in your turn.
And don’t worry Epo, I won’t let you. We won’t let you. You may count on my continued full support, and I also owe it to Colin who will no longer be there to ensure your independence.

This writer , he thinks he gets through everyone up to date; because his stories are successful.
But what does he know about the emotions that unite us, when miles away we listen to the same music, the same lyrics? And with all this beautiful confidence of a dominant male,  what does he know of the sacred anguish that makes an Ian Curtis, a real writer ?

Have a sweet week , Epo, and once more be sure of our constant support.
Oh , by the way , Colin told me that Depeche Mode will give a concert in Royan this summer ?
Holy F … , and not in La Rochelle ???
It’s incredible. Dream on it, Lark.
I like Eponine, she’s got nothing to be ashamed of, and I love her conversation.

Kisses ,


Pontaillac, April 1986

« She will be happy, your mother teacher …”
Poor pathetic asshole, if she was a garbage collector, she would be “happy” too.

When I unfairly felt the weight of kohl on my eyelids, of leather on my shoulders, of docs at my feet; they ended up bringing me back home. To cum like bastards from my parents’ shock.
A few days earlier however, I had managed to slip “Tinderbox” under my clothes. I thought I was in this New Order clip, “Temptation”; where the girl builds her universe around her, her feminity ; in a movie going from black and white to colors; with all the things she stole on the way home.
The annoyment is that a thing named “reality” always ends up grabbing you badly by the shoulder. And the reality was that acrid breath of a supermarket security guard.

And there we were, an endless evening of disappointment’s sighs , with its procession of speeches about betrayed family honor, and the need for atoning shame. I said nothing, I went to my room, to hide “Tinderbox”and listen to “Black Celebration”. I liked getting lost in this ice tower; imagine the depths of it, push the door of his cellars; which opened at the back on one of these thin woods of city. And feel the anemic grass under my back, where  the loss of so much innocences had been probably played.

Greta came to France in her turn, Colin succeeded his interview for Berlin’s translation school; Virgil and Alb met us by car one day on the beach on Easter break, and they all found an Eponine in contradiction with the clarity of spring.

Diane was there also, and a group of german pals, who had taken it into their head to bathe, when the ocean was barely 16 degrees. Virgile ran after them in the sea, Diane screaming in his arms.
Alb took me by the hand.
“ Shall we be insane too?”
We came out of the water completely blue, but laughing out loud, with the impression of being covered with new blood; while Colin called us crazy.

Alb and Virgile would have dinner at home, on the terrace, before driving south to Maubuisson near Bordeaux.
Dear mum had prepared many mixed salads and we sat where we could at different tables, because there were many of us, and among all these people; Edouard and his doll, who automatically seated themselves at Diane’s, Greta’s and the pals’ table where I am also.
Colin, Capucine and Virgile found place near the house with dad and mum ; but there was no chair for Alb.

“ Come with us , otherwise Eponine will feel lonely !” Edouard shouted at him.

During all this period, I had forgotten the danger he represented. Colin had officially just escaped from the Parisian surveillance he had elaborated for him. And he couldn’t say much, parents were rather proud of his “tour de force”.
However nothing showed through Edouard’s terrible frustration; if not an unusual pallor of complexion…
“ But sure, I’m coming”

And now came cheerfully to us the boy who took Colin so easily from him, with much of the ascendancy he had over us all; and on whom no one would have bet anything on the start.
He likes to hurt himself, Edouard; because in an instant the embarrassment of his presence dissipated at our table.
Stealthily, Alb ruffled me with one hand and whispered
“It’s okay, Lark, you just won’t do it anymore.”
I blushed, noticing Edouard was looking at us, while all the others did not care; all to the joy of this shared moment.

What Edouard could well have understood? Himself took a detached tone in the conversation, stimulated and annoyed no doubt by the one who turned out to be something other than a moron from La Rochelle’s slums, with repartee, culture, a lot of spiritual traits.
Alb seemed to enjoy the trouble he caused him, I couldn’t explain it to myself otherwise; and as we shared a huge cup of ice cream, Edouard was still looking at us.

Greta’s Eyes

Stuttgart, March 1986

Dear Alban

I received your letter just before leaving, I read and read it again in the train, at night ; when everybody was sleeping in the compartment around me. I thank you for telling me things with such sincerity, and the problem is that I can understand you both in different ways but I don’t know how to help each of you.
I’ve been tired in the morning when we arrived, and people were lovely ; but all these “receptions” and all this food, when I just wanted to sleep and think …

The arrival by Greta remotivated me however. She’s living alone with her grandma since the drama of her birth. Her mother died life by giving life to her daughter, and since the dad refuses to see his girl , who’s the portrait of her. Very early wounded by life, Greta has shaped her own kind of devotion. In the little house where they live, in addition to her bedroom, she has a very small room where she devotes a real cult to A-ha.
Not a square centimeter of wall that is not covered with the languid or triumphant pictures of her three idols.
Morten , Magne and Pal, cut to life size, welcome you from the entrance, in the midst of a great jumble of themselves…

I am as impressed as my compatriot-girls who have visited the sanctuary three days later. I had never considered the adoration of my mythical band from that angle, of individuals and their potential for seduction. Or not so much.
The carnal relationship, I think I have it a lot more with vinyls.
And if you saw the record store where Greta took me… I’ve never seen anything like that in my life… Three entire floors !
I was mad, I wanted everything. I broke my piggy bank quite well … Propaganda’s maxi singles ( I don’t tell you everything) , “ In Visible Silence”  “Who’s afraid of the Art of Noise” and of course “Black Celebration”. I even talked with a very cute seller with a promontory hairstyle that you would have liked ( I guess you would have liked the all guy by the way) , but he told me that “Tinderbox” will only be on sale in April …

I realize by writing that I won’t talk to you that much about the activities and visits that we made with school, I could describe you Heidelberg with its wonderful medieval center , and its university. The place would suit Colin very well, as much as the scholarly discourse he could write you about all these historical things. I’ll never be a good relater I fear, concentrating only on what gave me emotions during this trip.
For example , this professional skater , as we had an evening party at a big ice rink in Stuttgart. When she learned that we, french girls, loved Propaganda, she improvised a choreography on “Frozen Faces” and it was simply magic!

A little anecdote to finish, and post this letter on time … We had a listening party in Greta’s “fan room” yesterday evening, with all the vinyls we’ve bought during this trip.
My “Black Celebration” record is light gray , a grenade as bright as the cover is dark. But I had to compare my acquisition with the trophy of a guy who’s known at school like a fine connoisseur of Depeche Mode. He also loves vinyls , cover’s artworks , rare extended singles, and if, in addition, the record is not black ; we are close to orgasm…

The pisslord also wants to make me swallow a privilege; that of owning two copies of “Shake The Disease” , one blowing red ; the other of marble with grey veins ( Colin found them for me !) . From his bag, he took out a “Black celebration”, also gray, but the black edges of the cover had small relief designs while mine are hopelessly smooth!

And I can guarantee you that at this moment he did not have a modest triumph …
Although it really pissed me off, already I can’t measure the importance that it may have compared to the musical discovery that awaits us …

We’ll talk about it again in ten years… I’m sure he’ll be a much shittier fan than me ( and I’m so humble …)

I kiss you with a muzzle full of beer foam ( chuuuut ! )