Google "Billy Crash" and you'll get page after page of Billy Crash Craddock.
Our Billy Crash is the nom-de-plume for Martin Kijaszek, a local hero who writes and sings rock and blues in local dialect.
And writes musicals.
Last night was the world premiere of "Die Wäschbrigg" at the "Traube" in Armsheim, a village disco (glitter ball and all) waaaaay out in the woops.
The story line - as far as I can work it out - involves 2 washerwomen on a Wäschbrigg ( a floating laundry boat - here's a post from the early days of MDP explaining their history), one of whom finds a message in a bottle with a map, pointing to the location of the Nibelungen treasure right under the Wäschbrigg.
Hubby puts on a diving suit, lowers himself into the Rhine, never to be seen again.
Sounds like a simple plot, but given that the last scene involves
- 2 washerwomen
- a flatulent policeman whose trousers keep falling down
- a man in a deep sea diving helmet and prison garb
- a Mafiosi from Wiesbaden (of all places...) demanding payment for disappeared hubby's visit to his cat house
- an accordion player whose role involves frequent visits to the dunny
- Billy Crash himself, wearing a captain's cap (in place of his customary black stovepipe hat) and looking like a cross between Gary Glitter and one of the guys from ZZ Top....
Well, it was more involved than that.
Double entendres, not so double entendres, nod-nod, wink-winks galore, gross flatulence, frequent references to bodily functions, sly and not so sly digs at Wiesbaden, inside jokes, voices from the deep, audience interaction, all in the local dialect.
And the band played on. While all this thespian stuff was going on upfront, the 5 piece band lived behind the backdrop of the view of the sun setting behind Mainz cathedral.
Cue for a song.
Backdrop slides away, band appears on a platform which transports them - with a whiplash inducing jerk - onto centre stage where they play a mixture of blues, rock and country.
Really good music.
Great lead guitarist.
And the (supposedly widowed) washerwoman rips some wicked blues.
And - this being Germany - the Metrognomes are there in full force, of course. I'll get used to it one day.
And then - with a jerk - the platform rumbles back (the lead guitarist told me during the break that he was worried that the keyboard guy would end up on top of him...), the backdrop slides back into place, the band disappears and the acting continues.
This is great cult entertainment.
This isn't lowbrow, cheap laugh, stuff.
It's slapstick and farce at its finest, with good music, skilled musicians and put on by people who have day jobs.
And it's a true story. Sort of.
Martin's mother, Anni, used to do her washing at the Wäschbrigg in Mainz-Kastel and he used to tag along as a kiddie - he's about my age- in the 1950's.
And the show's dedicated to her.
I don't know if she found the Rheingold from the Nibelungen Saga
But this is treasure enough for me.