'Dreamt in German'  written by Charlie McGovern  
Performed by Amy Correia
Recorded across the 101 from the Western Exterminator
sign,
East Hollywood. 2000
click here to listen
from Philippe Garnier's book,
'Les Coins Coupés'
Bernard Grasset Publishing Paris
2001

translation by Julia Dorner

Chapter V, page 84 :

Once he had set the pipes, Stretch went to see Eddie at the end of his cul-de-sac, just down the road.
Eddie was living in an incredibly small shack in the shadow of an avocado tree, behind a house whose
subsided porch reminded more of Austin and Oklahoma City than of the borders of East Hollywood.
The din of the highway where the road ended was staggering, even if the noise seemed not to exist
for the residents. Thai chilies were growing in a bathtub in front of the house, and an odd bronze
coffin, in the rear yard, seemed to wait for the same horticultural fate.
When working, Eddie was a sound engineer. In Salinas, where he was from, he used to be a supply
postman, but when he got bitten once too much, he became a technician in a post production
company in Burbank, where he nearly lost his reason among the zombies ; as his girlfriend demanded
him to find a bigger place to live, the separation happened before long. There was something
horrible, he would say, to be turned down for jobs that you don¹t even want to do anymore. Only
recently had he come back to the world of the living. Now he played bass here and there and helped
out all the hobo bands from Silver Lake and Echo Park, an area that had recently become a real hive
of home recording. Stretch liked Eddie, his square bearing, his long hair plastered down on the top
that made him vaguely look like a werewolf, and the tattoo on his forearm. The conversations stayed
simple, nobody tried to impress the other one. Hardly if they had astonished each other when Stretch
mentioned Louie & the Lovers while speaking about Salinas. He still had that Epic record, bought in
the times of his craze for Doug Sahm. Stretch couldn't remember when or where he had found this
record, probably for 50 cents. Eddie wasn't born when the record came out but, amazingly, he knew
Louie, still a local celebrity in Salinas who played on weekends under the name Louie and the Wild
Ones. Louie must have been in his sixties by now.
They didn¹t see each other much, but for Stretch Eddie was another link to his revived hobby : he
again showed interest in the music of the time and since two or three years, he had found a new
thing, a kind of parallel national scene enabled by the Net and magazines such as No Depression.
When he discovered this magazine, it was still printed on toilet paper. But he loved it : eight pages
articles on Dock Boogs or reviews of shows of the Jayhawks or the Bad Livers in places like the
Horseshoe Tavern in Toronto, the 400 Bar at Minneapolis, or Babe¹s Oasis in Iowa City. Eddie
happened to just have come back from three months spent in Joshua Tree, where he had lived at the
place of a well-known singer, at her disposal when she wanted to record stuff there. Suffering from MS
her energy was changing too much for it to be worth renting a studio. This arrangement fitted Eddie, it
saved him three month rent. She was part of the No depression pantheon, lived with Mark Olson, the
former Jayhawk and in this godforsaken place in the desert (where Gram Parsons died in a motel
room), she received strange calls from Lou Reed or Leonard Cohen. For Stretch though, she was
above all the first wife of Peter Case, whom he had met at the times of the Nerves and the Plimsouls,
when they were living in a the small red hut in Laurel Canyon. That what the reason for his
benevolence : people like No Depression were cultural antique-hunters, just like himself. Except that
they would put Dr Ralph Stanley or Buddy Miller on the cover instead of the Trashmen.



Page 118, chapter 6 :

All these stories about Stretch searching for and buying vinyl filled Eddie the sound man with
enthusiasm. He hardly knew any of the bands, and it was hard for him to believe that such a business
even existed, but he loved those stories. He was smiling while listening, nodding every once in a while.
He himself had an instinctive attachment to old-fashioned things : lamp amplifiers, analogical sound,
live recordings, spontaneity instead of perfection. He was working in a field that someone who doesn¹t
know would think about as the zero level of the music scene, but even today, Stretch was able to
recognize talent when he saw signs of it. Eddie had some sort of innate taste. Maybe also an innate
talent.

Eddie, with his calm and retiring ways, put a lot of touch in the things he was doing, and the more
Stretch knew him, the more he seemed to know how to handle everything. He played bass when
needed (he refused to talk about the hard rock band in Salinas that led him to learn about sound,
wires and plugs), he recorded a lot of stuff for lots of people, he seemed to be gifted with graphics, he
created CD covers that were as original as economical. Most of all, and that was what his new friend
liked best, he felt a kind of reverence for the home-made, the odd, the real thing. Besides that, he
also what incredibly innocent in business matters. Eddie was slightly drawn to the Band and his
derivatives, like a singer produced by Rick Danko in 1972 in Woodstock called Bobby Charles.
Eddie was regularly recording a singer who had a micro-success in three European countries
(including Scotland), at a fellow bass player’s place, a small house painted white, near to Stretch’s
place, and out of affection more than derision, he called it the White House. There, he recorded one
day a Tex-Mex singer and the next day a Czech with a band that is very keen on keyboards. All
together, there was a link between Stretch’s vinyl safaris and a project that Eddie and his singer friend
vaguely looked forward to : traveling through the South and the Appalachians, and playing with all the
old musicians they could find, and recording them. This project was a widely static project, as neither
he nor his fellow knew where to get the money to finance it, but to Eddie, it seemed to be sufficient. It
is this state of weightlessness, this tacit refusal to step back or forwards, that gathered them. Eddie
was listening, delighted, when the other one was talking about San Fransisco. At some point, Bobby
Charles and Rock Danko had worked on various songs with Emmett Grogan. Eddie had never heard
this name before, neither of the Diggers, he didn’t know what Ringolevio meant, but he was eager to
listen.
End of chapter 6


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