Total Pageviews

Sunday, September 18, 2016

The Other Side (of the Arctic Circle) or Mykel's Journey to the North Part 6

Mykel's Northern Exposure
Sixth Entry:
Nuuk & Seamen
by Mykel Board

] start this sitting in the SEAMAN'S HOUSE in Nuuk, Greenland. I feel a bit strange, spending time in Seamen's House... especially after my exciting visit to the Penis Museum in Rekyavik. Nuuk, Penis, Seamen, it's a bit much, don't you think?

Luckily, I have no internet connection here. I could pay 200DKR ($33) for half an hour... like I'm gonna do that and betray my race. Besides, having no internet encourages me to write, rather than spew about Hillary Clinton on facebook.

I look out the window and see stacks of shipping containers, a rather large ship (the one I'm going to take?), a half circle of snow-dusted mountains, a small road that leads to the end of the port. In the cafe here, a few glass fish hang from the ceiling, a few employees: (one of them Greenlandic, I think), several with Danish accents. One girl I said hello to in Thai...turns out she's Filipina, lots of smiles, and the Orientals who look Japanese... but are the natives here. They converse in Greenlandic which... as it should... sounds a bit like Mongolian.

It's cold outside. (Waddaya expect, this is Green-fuckin'-land!) I had an interesting day in Nuuk yesterday... Mostly hung out at ATLANTIC RECORDS... Met Marianne, the Danish proprietress. (What is it with the name Marianne? Does just having that name make people into Super-nice Superstars?)

And I also met the bass player from one of the most popular Rock bands in Greenland, called (what else?) NANOOK.

The store is a combination instrument, CD, and music supply store. Right now, there's this big bearded Danish-looking guy and his girlfriend looking at basses. He buys a fender. Marianne helps lug it to the counter. The guy comes up to me... He's even bigger than I thought. He stands directly in front of me. If I walked forward... without leaning... I could bite one of his nipples. I don't.

I heard you speaking English before,” he says to me with a perfect American accent. “Where are you from?”

“New York,” I tell him. “And you...”

Virginia,” he says. “I grew up in Richmond.”

Do you know GWAR?” I ask.

He laughs. “I used to live right next to 'em. One of 'em stole a guitar from me.”

I knit my eyebrows in a huh?

“Well, not exactly stole,” he says. “But borrowed, and then repainted the body... oil paint over water color. Wrecked it completely. So sticky I couldn't play it.”

For me, sticky is an invitation to play,” I don't say.

I'm sorry to hear that,” I tell him. “I stayed with Gwar once... in Richmond in the 80s. There were body parts hanging all the place. I loved it.”

I hope it wasn't sticky,” he said.

There's plenty more to tell about my first day in Greenland. Maybe I'll get back to it. But now I want to...


I've just left Copenhagen... great time there. My last night was spent eating pizza. Yeah, I know... I go to Denmark to eat pizza. But this is hoity toidy pizza... $20+ personal pizza in all kinds of exotic tastes... No, they don't have Rødgrød med Fløde flavor, but they do have chocolate and some other stuff I can't remember. They were things that would get those anything-but-anchovies pizza wimps to whistle a different tune.

I ate with two pals-- Simon & Peter-- I've known since last century! (I've known ALL my Copenhagen friends since last century.) We waxed (or waned, I'm not sure which is more appropriate) nostalgic about people we knew... who've since gone to that great wienerbrod in the sky.

FLASH AHEAD: I'm riding on Eurolines, the Megabus of Denmark. (I'm not sure if they operate in other countries.) It cost 100Dkr (about $15) to get to Aarhus from Copenhagen. The train is 4 times that. Unlike the real Megabus, Eurolines does not require masochism for transportation. They have more legroom than a train's first class and wifi that actually works. They travel even if a seat... or twenty seats... are empty. You get electrical sockets... everything you need... except toilet paper. That's their singular fault. BYOT

Oh yeah, another fault with Danish long-distance buses... whatever the company: there's no bus station in Copenhagen. Is there another capital city in the world with no bus station? There's a bus station in Banjul!

Here, you just walk up to a bus-waiting street and run around... checking all the buses until you see the LINE you want going to the PLACE you want. It's the same in NYC, but in NYC there is a bus station.... only the cheap buses just don't use it. In Copenhagen... there's no station at all.

I find my bus, and get in... it's 2/3 empty. Oh yeah!

I'm going to Aarhus to meet some old friends and make some new ones. First there's the notorious JOHNNY CONCRETE. I still remember meeting him in the 80s. A big guy... met in a club where I went to see his band... DREAM POLICE (though maybe it had a different name then).

ETHNOGRAPHIC NOTE: The Danes-- like the Japanese-- are delicate in their eating and drinking habits. They'll use a fork and knife to eat a hamburger. When drinking from a bottle, they'll put just the lower edge into their mouth and gently pour the contents in. They are not like Americans who suck down to the neck and guzzle it out.

So it's 1983 or so. I'm in an Aarhus club, guzzling a beer in the American way. A loud, already raspy voice comes from somewhere close-by... in English.

That's not how you drink a beer,” it says. “It isn't a penis.”

Too bad,” I answer.

Johnny Concrete and I have had our first conversation.

Then, there's Steen, singer/guitar player for THE ZERO BOYS. I liked his band so much I put them on the WORLD CLASS PUNK cassette (later CD) I produced for ROIR in 1984. A big guy, he's joined us at DRINK CLUB in New York a couple times. He's got a great laugh and is friendlier than a Thai prostitute.

Now, I hear, he's in an old-punks band called the SNOTTY PUNK BAND, with Johnny Concrete. Oh yeah!

Finally, there is Pedro and friends... THE CLEAN BOYS. We haven't met in person, but thanks to facebook, SID YIDDISH... and GG ALLIN, we have a history.

Here's the story:

Pedro discovers GG Allin in some German record store. It's the split LP with ARTLESS. He falls in love with GG. Unable to contact him due to his (GG's, not Pedro's) being dead... he searches YouTube for me. What he finds is Sid's version of Mykel Board Weasel Squeezer. So he contacts Sid. It's all facebook hill from there.

The bus arrives in Aarhus (pronounce OR-HOOS by the Copenhageners and AH-HOOS by the locals). I'm supposed to meet Pedro at the bus station. (Yes, there is one in Aarhus.) The bus is as punctual as a Japanese businessman. Pedro is not....

Not that I know it right off. I only know him from his facebook picture... and a few shots that Sid took. He could be anybody... I'll have to guess. I go into a cafe by the bus station, get a hotdog and message Pedro on facebook.... no answer. I sit down and write a bit... connect to facebook, text again. No answer.

Outside is 30-ish, slightly chubby, clean-shaven guy with chipmunk cheeks. He's looking around-- for me, I guess. I leave my computer... run to the door... wave,,,,jump up and down... point to myself... make faces. The guy frowns. His eyes widen... like all 5' 3” of me is going to attack him and... I dunno... bite his leg... I guess this isn't Pedro.

I see another guy, bearded, around the same age as the first guy... scruffy in the best sense of the word... reminds me of Harris of Letch Patrol. I go to the cafe door in a more subtle way this time. I lean against the doorjamb... sort of slinky... like James Dean without a cigarette. I'm trying to look like Lou Reed... before he died. I cough loudly once or twice. The guy looks up at me.

Mykel?” he asks.

Yeah,” I tell him. “I've been trying to facebook you forever.”

I don't have a smartphone,” he says. “I can't get facebook messages.”

I give him a big hug... like we've known each other for years... And the Aarhus adventure begins. Here's a picture of Pedro and me on our quest to satisfy the OTHER Danish food must.. WIENDERBROD. In America, we call it a DANISH.

I get in his car and he drives out of town... down a country road... past a sign with an arrow that says NOWHERE: CENTER... THIS WAY. We take a small dirt road off the little road. We're not headed for the middle of Nowhere. We're going to the Nowhere suburbs.

A few old farmhouses cluster around a courtyard.

Home,” says Pedro.

I take my bags out of the trunk. Pedro helps me bring them inside. I settle in Pedro's girlfriend, Camilla's, room.

I guess she's going to stay in your room,” I say with a wink in my voice.

She's in the hospital... in Copenhagen... having a pancreas transplant,” he answers.

Boy, do I feel like shit. Pedro... doesn't even notice it.

More on the wild times with Pedro in a later blog

TEASER: Somewhere there exists a recording of IT'S PUNK ROCK by The Bend Over Boys. It may eventually see light as a 7”. I'll keep you informed. In the meantime, check out The Clean Boys on YouTube and on facebook.

In the future, you'll read more about my Aarhus adventures. I'll leave you with a picture of me with THE SNOTTY PUNK BAND... featuring both Steen and Johnny Concrete... Pretty sexy, huh? You know what you have in store.

--To Be Continued

[Extra note: In order to catch up, from now on I'm working haphazardly in time, trying to get in as much as I can before my ever-more senile mind loses.... er... what was I going to say?

If, for some odd reason, you like my writing and want to see more (opinionated, political, punkrock), you can check out my other blog here.

No comments: