Thursday, 10 September 2015

Live Can

Reading another Q magazine from the late 90's this morning over breakfast yielded a two page spread on Can's 1997 CD re-issue program. And a reminder of that obligatory Can factoid that David Niven was once spotted at an early Can show. Back in the pre-Net days, such things were taken on face-value but this morning it gave me cause to roll up my sleeves and get to the bottom of this most unlikely story. Google requires a little finessing when it comes to looking for Can related items but eventually I wound up at Holger Czukay's website which mentions the Niven story in an interview Czukay conducted in 1997, recalling Niven's appearance and furthermore revealing that this particular concert was Damo Suzuki's first show with the band, seemingly plucked off the streets of Munich earlier that day. I'll have to take Holger at his word on this, but one happy outcome of all this was finding an 85min Can performance filmed for German TV in 1970 and from the 30-odd minutes I've seen so far, it's truly fantastic stuff, the band in great exploratory, telepathic form propelled by the clockwork time of Jaki Liebezeit, and playing before an audience of hipsters and squares (and the occasional middle-aged cad). Nice to imagine that some pretty young Fräulein from the Schulmädchen Report series might have ended up a Can concert with her pipe-smoking philosophy student boyfriend...

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