Der Funke sprang über

MAINZ - Freitage zur Erðffnung und montags zum Finale Regen - dazwischen Friede, Freude, Sonnenschien: das 18. Open Ohr-Festival war wieder einmal ein voller Erfolg. Rund 6000 Besucherinnen und Besucher fanden den Weg auf die Mainzer Zitadelle und nahmen mit großen Interesse an den inagesamt: 72 Einzelveranstaltungen teil.

The Shufflin' Grand Dads brought back a copy of a Mainz newspaper with that lead concerning the Open Air Festival where they played for 6,000 festival goers. The band, plus Mom's recording engineer Howie Gano, made the trip at the invitation of the Sister Cities Organization. Mainz, Deutschland, is a Sister City of Louisville.

Louisville Music News asked Wayne Young to make notes on the trip. Below are a few excerpts from his notes:

Tuesday, June 2 We meet at Standiford and fly to Chicago. There are eleven people in the group: Cosmo (Tom Cosdon) and his lady Jacque Boblett; Marvin and Beverly Maxwell; Howie and Jo Gano; Gary Meeks; Ron Payne; Pete Peterson and me and my wife Tracy. In Chicago, we change to Lufthansa, a.k.a. Open Bar Airlines. All the way to Germany!

Wednesday, June 3, 9 a.m. Landed in Frankfurt. Met Werner Acker and lovely assistant Christina King, plus Thomas and Matthew. At the hotel, Werner gave us 300 Deutschmarks for meals and a yellow card that got us on busses, in museums and other places free!

We did a 7 p.m. sound check and an 8 p.m. show. On no sleep. Back to the hotel and to bed.

Thursday, June 4 We get the city tour. 2,000-year-old city founded by Romans. We saw the foundation of one Roman home that had a water system that heated the house. 2,000-year-old geothermal heating?

Christina walked us through the Old Quarter. We wound up at a microbrewery that had a pub. Drinking members of the band consumed over 70 beers. On the city's tab.

Friday, June 5 Open day. We get the tour of the Rhine. Lots of old castles, villages and vineyards. Plus Rhine wine.

Saturday, June 6 Morning off. More city monuments, then a tour of Rüdesheim, ending up at the Rhinegau Inn for dinner and more wine. Party!

Sunday, June 6 Festival Day! Sound check at 1:00 p.m. Show time is 1:45. Marvin talked the group preceeding us into leaving their stage equipment onstage so we could just walk on. The plan worked. By the time Cosmo came on, the crowd was really rocking. After three encores, we knew they liked what we were doing!

After our set, we went down to the festival office for a great spread and MORE GOOD GERMAN BEER.

That afternoon, Marvin and I were in a music business discussion with a panel of German music professionals. It would have been great but they all spoke in German! We did get to plug MERF (Musicians Emergency Relief Fund) and they were interested, but since Germany has socialized medicine, there is not as great a need for MERF as we have. After the panel, there was dinner and MORE BEER.

Monday, June 7 More hanging out and dinner with Klaus Schmidt, a ZDF televison producer I met at the festival. His daughter Evalyn is coming to Fern Creek as an exchange student in July. More food and wine!

Tuesday, June 8 Werner, Christina, Thomas and Matthew get us back to the Frankfort airport and it's time for the long trip home.