The Scratched Vinyl Show 4, Sunday Loops – By Adrian Shephard

Writing about the previous Scratched Vinyl Show, I mentioned the emblematic book about Berlin by Alfred Döblin, Berlin Alexanderplatz. From that book, the main character, Franz Biberkopf walks into the fourth Scratched Vinyl Show, only to disappear again. Biberkopf was tossed and turned by fate, and it was fate that brought his downfall. When Biberkopf appears, here and now, in this radio show, not a single listener will be aware of this fact. But it happens right at the beginning, when Adrian travels to the far west of Berlin to find out he went there in vain. At the very moment he discovers that the appointment is cancelled, Biberkopf disappears. Adrian takes his place right there and so many years later. Instead of being pushed by fate, he is about to change the fate of innocent children: he becomes The Anti-Biberkopf.

In comes another writer, Peter Handke and with him Wings of Desire, Himmel über Berlin; the German title is so much better. The movie is full of people who stare into nothing, caught in an everyday moment of their Berlin life, and the angels can hear what they think.

On Moritzplatz Adrian buys a bunch of second hand lp’s. He talks about it. He talks about it in a stream of consciousness way of talking. And while you listen, it suddenly appears to you that this is the Anti-Biberkopf who liberates a guy on Moritzplatz from his record collection, and that you are listening to his thoughts, while he picks up the albums one by one and looks at the covers.

In comes another writer, Erich Kästner, whose book, that became a movie, deals with a gang of children who chases a thief through the streets of Berlin.

But our Anti-Biberkopf is innocent! He has no intention to do any harm to anyone. You can hear the inner voice clearly say this while he picks up the children’s presents that he finds in the entrance to his house. But what would you do to a man who goes around stealing children’s toys and Lego if you were a kid? Right, you follow him.

So when Adrian confesses how he ‘found’ the toys and the Lego, bear in mind, that at the other side of the street there’s a gang of children spying on him. They don’t want him to change their fate. But he already did! And you, dear listener, what can you do as you listen to his thoughts bubble up? Nothing. Correct. Plain sweet nothing. You don’t even know that you are caught in this loop as well.

And so it goes, and you hear stories about hair, a mother who saw the Beatles, a friend who appeared in a dream and Lepke B in Lederhosen,

and when we come to the glorious end, when Adrian plays the best song of the twentieth century, you sit back and wonder, what will happen next?

 

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