I did it. I’m off the Frankfurt bill-payer chain. My one year holiday is coming to an end. Bummer, I know. Suddenly, I felt like an unemployed drag queen who is going to live off of welfare soon. Do they have food stamps in this country? (In Germany, I would have applied for Hartz20 immediately. Hartz4 wouldn’t be enough, I need lots of money, maybe even Hartz30).
It could be a new beginning or the end.
The other day, I found a vintage Romanthony record called Da’ Change.
He sings: Love is Power. Love is Change. Make a Change in Your Life.
I bet you think that song is about me.
The song was released on his own label, Black Male Records. Da’ Change hasn’t appeared on his albums or re-issues. The flip side has Hold On, which was re-released on Roulé in 1999. Roulé was the label of Thomas Bangalter, one half of Daft Punk. Two years later, Romanthony sang lead vocals on their international club hit, One More Time.
I have been a Romanthony fan since the early 90ties. I think it all started when I ordered Roman’s records via phone from a record store in Hamburg. It was so cute, they played the tracks over the phone and I was jumping for joy on the other end. I was instantly blown away. His sound had a nastyness that made me happy. And weird noises and samples, spoken parts. Of course the Prince influence was a big plus, too.
The first records I got were Testify #1 and Make This Love Right / Now You Want Me. I still treasure both of them. I couldn’t get enough of Romanthony. One of the records on Black Male had his phone number on the label. One day, I gave it a try and called him. This must have been around ’94 or ’95. Left a message on his machine and never thought I would hear from him.
Then, just a couple of days later, he left a message on mine. I was super nervous and called him right back. He was very friendly and I ordered a bunch of records. The guys from the record store in Hamburg had told me that Romanthony samples U96, a trashy german techno project. I asked him about it and his simple NO gave me relief. Although, it would have been funny.
When the records arrived, they came with a cute hand written note by Romanthony and I was in heaven.