The Maiden Voyage: What? Me? Queue with the Hoi Polloi?

As the tour progresses, London was next on the itinerary, however only for a signing session this time. Hordes of Rammstein fans formed neat queues, in a very British manner, outside the Café de Paris in the heart of London. All who could queue on their own two feet, that is…
But Rammstein fans come in all different kinds of flavours, shapes and sizes, and not all venues have taken this into consideration…
But nothing is impossible, especially not when it comes to this particular band, as our Field Agent and his two wing-ladies learned.

The story really began back in 2005, when the author caught the attention of the band – and anyone else who met him! – at the London Brixton concert, dressed in a bloody chef’s outfit, complete with knife and hat. 12 years on, the impression he made is still there…

Thank you Beasty for sharing your story!

What? Me? Queue with the Hoi Polloi?

My name is Laz, but some of you would probably know me as Beasty. I’ve used a wheelchair since 2010, so I can’t do front row anymore, but other than that it doesn’t slow me down.

So, we found out that Rammstein were coming to London for a signing. My good friend Rachael, and her friend Brandy, made plans to meet up in London and meet the band. I’d just taken delivery of a brand new electric wheelchair and this was going to be its maiden voyage.
We met up fine and, after a bit of a struggle, we managed to load my wheelchair into a taxi and off we went. The traffic was truly horrific, but we eventually made it to the venue only to find it wasn’t wheelchair accessible. There was a step up and then a flight of stairs leading down into the venue. After speaking with the organisers, we were told to wait on the opposite side of the queue, along with one other wheelchair user.

While we waited, Rachael found herself becoming the un-official ‘information booth’, answering the questions of scores of passers-by who were wondering why there were so many queuing people all wearing Rammstein shirts (it wasn’t that hard to work out, people!).

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Eventually, the organisers came out and told us that they would bring us to the side entrance around the corner, where the band would be arriving, and where we would get a private meeting with the band.

So, we waited a little longer, and eventually, they came to fetch us to take us to the side entrance. Then disaster struck! My wheelchair had a meltdown and just refused to move, the display was just flashing its lights at me and I was totally deadlocked. With a desperate cry of, “Go on without me!”, I sent the girls off around the corner whilst I frantically mashed buttons, trying to get the damn chair to work! After about five minutes, it suddenly burst into life and I took off after the others, taking the corner on two wheels. Luckily, I arrived at the side door just before the band turned up.

I have this apron and chef’s hat which I first wore to the 2005 Brixton shows, where I was lucky enough to get to go to the after-party, and Richard, Paul and Flake signed it for me. I’ve run into the guys a few times since then, at various signings and after-parties, but always forgotten to get the other guys to sign it, so this was my chance.

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They arrived in two Silver SUV’s, and I saw Till get out first, and he came straight up to us, seeing to the other guy in the chair next to me first. He was extremely pleasant and soft spoken, a far cry from his stage persona. He signed all of the other guy’s stuff, then he moved on to me, signed my apron and then I handed him the two bottles of wine I’d gotten him as a present. We joked about how all this signing business was thirsty work and that they’d need some ‘light refreshment’ to get through it all. He was quite relaxed and smiling, no trace of his usual scowl, and he thanked me profusely and shook my hand before moving over to the girls.

Richard came over next but I told him it was OK, as he’d already signed my apron, and then came Schneider, who was looking quite rough around the edges, perhaps due to a little too much partying? Paul came next, really happy and smiling, as he usually is, but again I said it was OK as he too had already signed it, and then Oliver just appeared in front of me; just how such a tall guy can move so silently and quickly is beyond me. As Oliver was signing my apron Flake sort of leaned over Ollie’s shoulder and said, “Ah, I’ve signed this already”. He definitely recognised me, as I’ve made him laugh out loud more than once from wearing my Metzgermeister outfit. I got to shake all of their hands, but I didn’t pester them for any new information. Just enjoyed the moment, and then it was all over. The organisers were fantastic for arranging this for us, really nice people. Enjoy the photos!

By Laszlo (Beasty) Vass

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