Category Archives: Events

Berlin Wall 1986

tower at berlin wall

A typical part of the Berlin Wall, including a guard tower and “death strip.”

berlin wall

“Destroy the wall.” The wall had already been crumbling from within as more and more people from East Berlin and the former East Bloc fled to the West through neighboring countries and past the Iron Curtain.

berlin brandenburger gate

In West Berlin the Brandenburg Gate could only be seen from the back.

berlin wall
It was one ugly wall…

I went to see the wall in West Berlin with a few friends in 1986 – three years before it came down. It was built in 1961 by the East German Government to keep their residents in East Germany because people were defecting to the West. Much of the Wall was constructed with barbed wire, landmines and other ways to secure it and actively guarded 24/7. The East German government claimed it was built to ‘protect’ its citizens from the fascistic neighbor.

When it came down on November 9, 1989, I couldn’t believe it. It just shows you that things can and will change – eventually. The politicians may get the credit for bringing the wall down, but it was the people that were locked in that wore it down over the years with protest and steadfast resolve.

Happy 25th Fall of the Wall Anniversary, Germany!

For an interesting viewpoint on what exactly ended the Cold War and brought down the Wall, including an examination of four contradictory explanations from the U.S., China, Europe and Russia, read here.


you are leaving west berlin - sign

“Attention – You are now leaving West Berlin”

you are leaving the american sector - sign

“You are leaving the American Sector”


Ray Charles on ‘Every Sunday’ 1981

ray charles

This is a picture of my friend Lucy with Ray Charles on a TV show in Bulgaria. She used to work as a journalist for Bulgarian TV and someone caught this snapshot of them. I remember watching him on TV when I was just a kid. There was a weekly black and white show on German TV that showed him and other famous artists of that era, but Ray Charles was always my favorite.

Isla Vista Memorial Paddle-Out for Shooting Victims

Isla Vista Memorial paddle out - Pacific Ocean

A beautiful paddle-out memorial was held for the victims of the Isla Vista shooting last Friday next to the UCSB campus. These images were taken by my daughter who is a student at UCSB. Our hearts go out to all the families affected by this tragedy. We are so sad that this happened. Rest in peace, Chris, Katie, Veronika, George, James and David. You will always be remembered. ♡


Isla Vista memorial paddle out


More about the event here, here and here.

Update: The shooting is triggering a call for stricter gun control laws in California. Read here, here.

Update 2: New gun control law in California. Read here and here.


The CalArts Capitol Sessions: The First 25 Years

jazz band at calarts

According to the brochure they were playing Pancha Tattva – it was a beautiful piece! Played by from left: Eric Heep, Amir Oosman, Dylan Rodrigue, Vineet Vyas, James Waterman.

jazz band

Jazz artists from the first CalArts CD in 1990 (from left) James Carney, Darek Oles, Peter Epstein, Ravi Coltrane, Mark Ferber, Ralph Alessi reunited for this special concert to mark the 25th anniversary of the annual CalArts Jazz Program recordings made at Capital Studios in Hollywood.

We were late and unfortunately only caught the second half of this small, but fun gathering featuring CalArts Jazz students on this wonderful afternoon on April 19 (2014). Great music and company, and in the end awards were given to all involved in these past 25 years of the CalArts Capitol collaboration. (Note to event planners: refreshments would have been great :))

The Wild Beast Music Pavilion was just the right venue for this concert which is part of the Spring Concert Series at CalArts. For more info and to download the CDs from the past 25 years visit

If you have any more details, feel free to add them in the comments.


See who’s just walking in 🙂

ravi coltrane, tenor sax

Ravi Coltrane

joe smith

Joe Smith, former President of Capitol/EMI and CalArts Board member is receiving an award.


Monsters of Rock 1984 Karlsruhe Germany

Monsters of Rock 1984 Karlsruhe - Motley Crüe
This was at the beginning of the concert at 11am – Motley Crüe were the first to go on.

Monsters of Rock 1984 Karlsruhe -  Ronnie James Dio

I stood in the very front of the pit what seemed like forever when Ronnie James Dio finally turned around and pointed at me! I almost dropped the camera!

Somehow these pictures from MOR in 1984 in Karlsruhe survived my moving about a dozen times and eventually moving to another continent. I went with a few friends and I remember the concert started at 11 in the morning and lasted till about 10 at night. Bands there were Motley Crüe, Accept, Gary Moore, Ozzy Osbourne, Dio, Van Halen and ACDC. I think it was Motley Crüe’s first concert in Germany; I always loved Gary Moore’s guitar playing; Dio was a blast like all his concerts and so was ACDC – they had to be the best party band around!

Accept and Ozzy also rocked it but everyone complained about Van Halen who totally screwed up that day: Roth was so drunk (or whatever), he left after half a song, the band played for a bit longer and then also left.

We were in the very front pretty much the whole time and the crowd behind us was pushing so hard that sometimes my feet lost touch with the ground and I was ‘carried’ from the front to a few rows back. It was a constant fight to stay in front. It was also very hot that day and we were periodically hosed down by Ozzy haha! After about 11 hours of rock and ACDC’s finale with the canons blasting, my ears were ringing for days … It was so worth it!!

I found a few more pictures of Monsters of Rock here.

If you’ve been to one of the Monsters of Rock back then, tell us about it in the comments! (Deutsch oder Englisch :))




A great big “thank you!” to Tad (see comments) for sending the following pics:


MOR Michael Anthony - Van Halen
Michael Anthony – Van Halen


MOR Angus Young - ACDC
The headliners: ACDC – Angus Young



German Inflation Money

german inflation money 100 Marks

This 100 Mark bill was printed in 1920 – inflation is just getting started.

german inflation money 5000 Marks front

german inflation money 5000 Marks back

The front and back of a 5,000 Mark bill in 1922. The back (bottom) states that falsifying money will get you at least two years in a labor camp.

german inflation money 100million Marks

This one was printed at the height of the hyperinflation in the Weimar Republic in Germany 1923: 100,000,000 – one hundred million Marks. The inflation was caused due to Germany financing the costs of World War I by borrowing needed funds and exacerbated later on by having to pay large sums of money for reparations. A massive deflation and depression years later is believed to have paved the way for national socialism. (More about the collapse of the currency here.)

When my grandma (dad’s side) was still alive I’d ask her about the two world wars in Germany. She had lots of stories to tell, but she would eventually always add these words “war is nothing but hunger, fear and death. I lost my husband (my grandpa I never met), my brother, my neighbors, my friends. Nobody’s life was worth a dime.” And she would always tell me “girl, pray that you will never have to experience a war. It’s hell on earth.” She had gone through two world wars, she knew what she was talking about. Actually my mom would say the same thing, she remembers not having enough food and having to run and hide from the bombs – she had nightmares about that even decades later. Thinking of it, my dad said the same thing too, he had witnessed an execution as a child when he was only five years old that has been cause for distress his whole life.

My grandma was a war widow, raising a child and taking care of her mom. She had to be self sufficient and creative to make it through: she knew how to fix just about everything, build a house (she built her own house, brick by brick), heal just about every ailment with herbs and minerals and techniques she had learned from her mother.

My grandma on my mom’s side was probably the most frugal person I knew. She would save a tiny leftover piece of tomato and cook something with the end slice of a loaf of bread. Talking about being creative! She also lived through two world wars and had five (!) kids through World War II for a total of seven children! My mom would often talk about the proverbial cabbage water they had to subsist on. My grandpa was a phone tech and didn’t have to go to the front because he was needed at home. I remember him as having a wicked sense of humor 😉

Needless to say maybe, but I learned a lot from my grandparents!

The advice I got from them and my parents: live in the moment and don’t keep all your money in savings. Words to live by!