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Old Dunk's Frankfurt Slide Night

The lighter side of the Musik Messe

© 2000 Duncan R Fry


They say that one of the biggest music shows is the Frankfurt MusikMesse, held every year in sunny downtown Frankfurt. I'd never been before, but this year I did go. And you know what - they're right. It is big. It's ginormous. Nine exhibition halls, all filled to the brim with everything that can possibly make a noise, musical or otherwise, and all being demonstrated at the same time.

Have you ever fancied yourself as a speaker designer? You know, build a speaker cabinet that's just right, the perfect design, all the features anyone could possibly want, at just the right price. Sure, we all have. And at the Frankfurt show it looked like most of Europe had the same idea! In the hall we were in, every stand, without exception, was displaying a range of speakers. And naturally, each of them was convinced that theirs, and only theirs, was the best.
Companies that I had never heard of, and may never hear of again, had mortgaged the farm to lash out on huge stands displaying giant rigs of their speaker systems. One of them played Lipps Inc's 'Funky Town' non-stop, all day, every day for 5 days straight. Aagh – I can still hear it now – "..won't you take me to, dah de dah, funky town…" Crikey, if we subjected animals to this kind of torture they'd lock us up and throw away the key!

The wine barrel speaker. Just the thing for a wine bar - house wine and house sound system in the one convenient package!

As anyone who has worked at one of these shows, they're bloody hard work. They're hard enough work if you're just going to wander around looking at the exhibits, let alone work on a stand from 9 till 6 for 5 days. But there is a lighter side to them. At least twice a day two attractive young girls dressed in very skimpy attire would whizz around the show floor on those little aluminium scooters, advertising some internet portal site or something. People deep in conversation with you would slowly grind to a halt as the girls passed by, bent over their scooters with their low cut mini dresses on, singing -

"I love to go a scootering, Around ze MusikMesse
And as I go a scootering, Zey all look down my dress"

Or something like that

The day after the show finished we had some time to kill until our plane left at 10.30 pm. And, as per usual, when the going gets tough, the tough go shopping. So here is a little photo montage of interesting and amusing things seen as we attempted to rid ourselves of maximum Deutschmarks in minimum time!
So - Welcome to Old Dunk's Frankfurt Slide Night!

Winfield. Where's Paul Hogan when you need him? As you can see from this sign outside a shop, there's no ban on cigarette advertising here. Given the enormous number of smokers in Europe, the economy would collapse overnight! It's good to see that Australian culture is spreading everywhere.

Wormland. Hmm. A great name for a bait and tackle shop; unfortunately it's a department store. Bet the marketing people are sitting around scratching their heads trying to figure out why the franchising deals never worked out in English speaking countries.

Erotik Messe. Damn - just our luck to be leaving the day this show started! It would have been good to see what those scooter girls do for a day job.

Bill Wyman. Hot on the heels of the Rock Symphony comes another parade of old grogans led by the oldest Stone of all. The groovin' tour? Spare me.

Struwwelpeter. An early German movie star - Edward Von Scissorhands.

McDonalds ahead - only 88.88 metres. Now most places would average this out and say 100 metres; but not over here in the land of Teutonic accuracy. If it's 88.88 metres away, then by golly that's what the sign must say, and not a centimetre more.

For readers in non metric countries (ie. USA) 1 metre is just over a yard, and 1 centimetre is just under half an inch

Street Piano. I've often felt the urge to dance on a piano in the middle of a freezing cold busy shopping street, (I mean, who hasn't?) but unlike this couple I've so far managed to restrain myself!

Old Frankfurt. Pretty as a chocolate box. We managed to shovel down plenty of beer and sausage here. Col had some weisswurst and I appeared to have eaten fartwurst. Fartalotwurst

Pity the poor passengers sitting behind me on the flight back!

This story first appeared in Connections magazine

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