Always look on the bright side of life

Ray’s Guesthouse, Hamburg, 23d of May 2012

Guests: Ein Astronaut, Triggerfinger, Pohlmann, Cäthe


Ray Cokes. What does this name mean to me? I was born in 1975, I grew up in a village in Southwestern Germany and to earn a little bit money beside my pocket money from the age of 15 on I spent a lot of evenings doing babysitting.

At home we still had a Black and White TV, the revolution with colour came around 1993 – but still we only had 3 channels plus the 3 channels of France – thanks to an extra antenna on the roof orientated to France.

Doing babysitting therefore not only meant to earn some extra money – it also opened the unknown spaces of cable or satellite TV channels. For me that was really like discovering space. I could watch whatever I wanted.

I switched from channel to channel in this new world of entertainment, looking for all I heard of but never could see on TV at home.

I watched Wrestling with Hulk Hogan and the Undertaker, I watched the naughty TV Game Show „Tutti Frutti“ and of course the films later in the evening, the exciting world of Soft Porns with funny titles like „Gaudi in der Lederhose“, „3 Schwedinnen in Oberbayern.“ and I don’t know what…

But there was also one channel I had to watch. MTV – the three magic letters. A colourful burst of music. Finally I could see the Musicians, music videos and I really was captivated. And there he was. Most Wanted. Ray Cokes.

I was fascinated. There was a guy in a studio making and having fun. First I was irritated. „Why does he come so close to the camera?!?“ but it all made sense the more you watched it. You just had to break up with your usual habits of perception. – A very important point, which I should remember several times when I studied graphic-design from 1996 – 2000. And up to today it’s one of my most important sources of inspiration: changing the view, the orientation the usual way of looking at something. – Well, back to the nineties. There was Ray, there was me, there was MTV.

A cut in our life came. We lost each other for years. I don’t know when exactly I heard the name „Ray Cokes“ again. Maybe we talked about him at studying times, maybe I read something about him. I don’t know. in 2010 I looked for him on Facebook. And found him. We became „friends“.

Much water ran down the river until I recognized this alliteration „Ray’s Reeperbahn Revue“ and I have to admit that it had been just last year. Not the year before. However. My fascination was back. I couldn’t spend the time with him live at the Schmidt’s Theatre but I could use the live-streaming. There he was. Live. In Action. I was sitting in front of my Apple and watching the show. I wanted to be a part of it.

The possibility to be a part of a new show with Ray was announced. Thanks to Facebook again I got the news immediately. The announcements of visiting Harald Schmidt’s Show, all the Interviews increasing. Isn’t it in a way funny and sad that now with planning the new Show newspapers, magazines and TV were remembering Ray? Well…

I ordered my ticket for Hamburg the first day I could get it. I didn’t want to miss Ray in Hamburg again.

The day of the days was marked. Wednesday, 23d of May 2012. In the Fabrik. A very nice location to have a show with music, talks and fun.

The Day

From late afternoon on my excitement increased. At 6.30 p.m. I left the office, posting on Facebook „On my way to Ray…“

Arriving at the Fabrik at 10 to 7 p.m. I was a little bit surprised. No long waiting line. Just a few people sitting around very relaxed, enjoying the nice weather. From 7 p.m. on the waiting line was built very German but still also very relaxed. My excitement was still increasing.

Suddenly Ray came around the corner, seeing all this people waiting made him smile. I saw him passing, fetched a smile, said „Hi Ray“. And was relaxed.

When the doors opened and we entered the „showroom“ he was still having a short chat to someone of the crew. People took a seat, went for drinks. I began to talk with my next to me seated neighbour, Andrea. The clock on the screen showed the time and a few minutes after 8 p.m. the show began.

Welcome the host of this evening: Ray Cokes.

He entered the audience in a blue nineties look with a mask of himself of that time. The first laughter filled the room. Ray was interrupted. „What?! The nineties are over?!“ he pulled his mask of and disappeared behind the stage to come back later in a quickly dressed white shirt, black trousers (très chic) and cool shoes (ankle high, slightly looking like motorbike boots). The show started introducing the musicians to appear on stage later on. The choice for the service of the bar had been made and soon the first artist entered the stage.

Ein Astronaut. A guy of Hamburg who does music with people all around the world playing together connected by youtube.

Well… what happened? Ein Astronaut tried to start, but the screening of his clips didn’t work. Immediately I remembered Ray’s last show of the Reeperbahn Revue last year. But Ray is Ray and he knows to entertain. While Ein Astronaut was still trying to fix the technical problems, Ray mentioned „This is the beginning of the show – no pressure“ but kept on making fun, talking to the audience.

Ein Astronaut played without the clips and it was really nice. He must have been that disappointed. But a talk to Ray afterwards and a beer withe the promise to come back made him happier, I guess.

Second guests on stage: Triggerfinger. Shame on me: I must admit that before I haven’t heard of these guys. But lucky me I was at Ray’s Guesthouse. „I Follow Rivers“ really caught me. Especially the „drum set“ of Mario with a glass and a mug. Great. I don’t know how the second song was called but again Mario had a great drum set. This time a big red rubbish bin. And his iPhone (which worked – just to mention the set of Ein Astronaut). The talk afterwards with Ray was dominated by Ruben and Ray but also Mr Paul said something. Yes, he can talk. – Just to mention this. It was nice because Ray had already spent two evenings with the guys and therefore he could make some jokes. Especially showing the LP was a highlight for the audience. Yes, it’s Vinyl! And we know what that is. We still have turntables at home…

Around the little gigs of the musicians there were different parts in the show which all caused one laughter after another. Looking for a couple to occupy the lounge area on stage, Ray ordering the staff to move the couches because of the sound monitors. Jumping around between all this movement.

When Ray announced the break my cheeks were already hurting because of this big smile and laughter. So much fun.

Getting a new drink, a breath of fresh air outside. Getting in back again, lending Mario my marker/pen/edding that he could sign the LPs for the fans…

The second part of Ray’s Guesthouse started with Pohlmann. A funny conversation about his song was really the red carpet for Ray to play words. I had been rocked with laughter. Tears ran down my cheeks. Awesome. But Pohlmann could even do better by asking Ray to adjust him when singing his song in no correct English. Pohlmann began and just looking on the face of Ray was great. Shortly after beginning Ray interrupted Pohlmann who soon sank down the couch laughing and playing the guitar. What enjoyment.

Not to forget „The Wheel of Death“ with naughty questions, another couple for the lounge on stage, always moving the couch on stage. Ray sweating and changing shirts. Such a great pleasure to be part of this Show.

The last act on stage was Cäthe with her Band. Powerful, loud. And nearly shy afterwards as she had to talk English. But this was solved by her guitar player who translated. Only Ray had to recognize that his research has told him other stories than Cäthe did now. But it wouldn’t have been Ray if he couldn’t make a joke of it.

Finally the show ended with the last winners of the tombola (unfortunately I forgot to which organization the half of the money went – could anybody tell me please?) and this contest had to be karaoke. And it wouldn’t be Ray’s show if there wouldn’t have been played „Angels“ by Robbie Williams. On stage but even more the audience and even so Ray sang full-throated.

Nevertheless the show had to end and it ended with another song which really completed the whole evening: „Always look on the bright side of life.“

Oh yes, at this evening I looked on a very bright side of life. Thanks to Ray’s entertainment. After being a guest at Ray’s Guesthouse the smile in my face remained for hours. And even days after the show like now by writing this text it returns again. Bright as a supernova.

Thanks to Ray and all staff of Ray’s Guesthouse having made this possible.

Only one thing left to say: Ray, if you read this up till now, feel free to correct my bad English ;)

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