with Bob you never got away with any hackneyed phrases - he was
very direct and took you by the neck - on the spot: "What is this?
What is that supposed to mean?" etc... - and then his vivid imagination
- these phantasy-somersaults he'd do all the time - you could talk
of the remotest subject to him and he'd be able to carry it away
and paint it out in the most astounding, colourful way.
He was a poet,
a real poet. This is also refelected in the project I did with him,
that was stolen than by (Dave) Anderson (released as Die
Lösung) - it was meant to be entitled 'Weinzierl meets Calvert'
- his poetry reacting with my music.
smoked these Virginia cigarettes he rolled himself - and he always
spat a lot when he was talking - unbelievably, really. There was
this huge studio and normally I sat next to him during the mixing
- but as soon as we started to discuss something I moved over to
the opposite side of the board to be out of reach. That was real
acid! They had to thoroughly clean up and renovate the mixing desk
after the sessions as it had acid stains spread all over it.
And they had
to hire two sound-engineers working continuously in 12 hour shifts
each to keep up with Robert's creative pace.
said Calvert was mad. I never found him mad but merely consequent.
There was for instance this Hawkwind
gig. I don't know if he had split from the band before or if he
was sacked - anyway, there was this gig in London and Bob didn't
took part in it.
Instead he simply rented the hall next to Hawkwind's venue and when
they started playing he went in with his megaphone and took the
people with him into his own hall. That was just one of his legendary
stories - though, in fact he did similar things all the time.
But I don't find
this mad at all! He was in no way mad or insane. He
was really into his work - maybe manic, but not mad.
He was pleasant
company, a permanent fountain of creativity - always ready to work
in new, open processes. During the sessions (for 'Die Lösung')
as we played along you could already hear it in the background:
hack, hack, hack - Robert, hammering the
lyrics into his typewriter which he handed out to us immediately.
Today he'd probably have a laptop...
K.G.: I am sure these days Robert
would be quite busy on the internet.
Yes, for sure.
It was a real
pleasure to meet Bob - and a pity he died so early - before we could
even finish the album. But I'll definitely use Robert's original
melody lines on any forthcoming recordings that'll make use of songs
from that period - just to pay my reference to him.
He did it, like
no one else did - not just droll and strange but really different.
He built bridges and opened doors for
those who came after him and worked in similar directions. <