Tunnel Nightclub – 1995
Transcribed by Geoffrey Faustman @ Planet Bearth
These interviews were taken from a New York nightclubbing and underground television show, On Patrol. I'm not sure who conducted the interviews.
? (unknown): This is your book?
NH(Nina Hagen): That's my book, exactly since three years I'm working with the author of this book, who is Dr. Buck Owen's.
NH: Yes, which is Roger's Recovery from Aids.
?: Tell me how did you become involved with this?
NH: For three years I know that people were healed from AIDS. First I learned about this book in the Hospital Station 68 where my friend Andreas died from AIDS. He was hooked on lots of Pharmaceutical devices, one Pharmaceutical product was dripping into his arm, another one dripping into his other arm. He was dying.
?: Oh, that's so sad.
NH: It was the first time actually I saw a human being dying. His mother gave me the book, she said this book came too late for him but read it. I read it and I didn't understand the world anymore because since three years and you know my position in Germany, I'm very well known there, I'm very respected, I'm working in lots of different levels, Television, you name it and I tried to get this book like a review, a critique about this book in the paper, nobody would react. They would say to me, because I do have friends who are Journalists, they say we can't do anything about this because the pharmaceutical industry doesn't want us to, so if you please do me the favor and read the book in spite of the pharmaceutical industry who want you to swallow all their products, please read Dr. Buck Owen's book published by the Health and Hope Publishing House, it's called Roger's recovery from AIDS.
(This is the end of the first interview. Interview tape is cut off at this point and returns with Nina talking about her new album, Revolution Ballroom.)
NH: Out already, but my American, uh, Polygram Record Co. is not so into me because you see the boss over there, his name is Elain Levi, hi Elain, I've known him since 1979, he was the boss of CBS, Sony and friends. Now a couple of years later, actually 3 years ago he became the boss of Polygram Records-America-oh, what a great step for a French guy to take. So, I had a dinner with him and I mentioned that I had some problems with one of his friend's colleagues who told me not to put too much make up on during a TV show…..
?: (sympathetically, with a knowing nod) Oh-
NH: – And I said to the woman listen woman I'm older than you plus I pressed twice – I have two children – and I know exactly how much makeup to put on!
NH: So the guy said, the boss of Polygram said Elain Levi – so your still as difficult as you always were. I said Elain, don't get me wrong and (indecipherable)
?: You're not difficult.
NH: So he simply doesn't put my product out in this country so people are complaining, and my friends are all complaining, "I have to pay 30 dollars for your CD, what is this?" It's because of Elain Levi. Please everybody who hears me now could you please write a little postcard to Elain saying that Nina Hagen increed uh – indeed is credible – increed is dedible and um, that actually thank you Desmond that this album cover made by Pierre et Gilles is beautiful artists from Paris.
?: I don't think there is too much makeup.
NH: It's called, "Revolution Ballroom" and it..
?: We love that!
NH: ..and it was produced by Phil Manzanera from Roxy music.
?: Now is that American Polygram, U.K. or is German?
NH: I'm signed in Germany, I'm well treated in Japan, Canada, Australia, South Africa now, I'm working with Nelson Mandela lately- I did a video where he's in and stuff it's called "So Bad", check it out on MTV Europe, can you get that here? No you can't.
?: No, girl.
NH: Well, please write Elain Levi a postcard saying that Nina Hagen is definitely credible, and not only incredible, but credible, maybe he
understands that one, I hope.
?: Nina we would love to wish you a happy new year.
NH: Please do.
?: Thank you so much for this time
NH: I love you and I thank you for giving me you know your love and your support and I'm into making movies now I'm going to audition for the role of – they're making a movie about the life of Maria Callas.
?: Oh, Casting-Casting Directors, Management, Producers, watch this girl.
(Voice off camera) Sing, Sing, Nina.
NH:Shall I sing?
(Voice) A little bit, a little bit….
NH: Well, OK, I'll sing. [Begins singing , "Right On Time"]
You can't hurry my God — He may not come when you want Him but He's right on time, yes I am.
?: Ladies and gentlemen, let's hear it for Nina Hagen! Yaay!!!
[End of second interview]
?: Tunnel nightclub. The tunnel, where this is your first engagement in New York, one of your first engagements in New York was here, yes?
NH: Yes, yes.
?: What brings you to New York?
NH: Ok, I just formed a new band and we're all girls in the band and we're called the "All New All Female Nina Hagen Polka Band", and, and "Nina Hagen Polka Band", because I just got, got married the night before I came to New York
?: No you didn't!?
NH: Yes, I did.
?: Oh, and who's the lucky man?
NH: It was my 1st and only marriage because you might have heard that I got married to a punk rocker in '89 and to Herman Brood but that was all for fun and it was just a joke, but this time it's for real and its on paper and it's my soul mate and um yeah, I'm married and I'm gonna become an American Citizen and I believe I deserve it because I love this country and I belong here.
?: Is he American?
NH: He is American my husband is a Yankee. Yeah, he's a surf punk, too, his name is Gordon.
[Editors note: Gordon is Otis' Father and the attractive long haired man in some of Nina's videos such as, "In My World". The marriage was never made as they failed to mail in the marriage license. Nina and Gordon are no longer together. If you have ever seen the Pierre et Gilles photograph of Nina and a man dressed as Mary and Joseph, Gordon is Joseph and the child is Otis.]
?: Does he do what you do?
NH: He's a singer, and he has a band, no he doesn't have a band, he's a singer in a band called Fifi
?: And tell me where did you meet him?
NH: I met him at a place called Hell's Gate, I had to go to Hell and back to get him, I found him and I got him and I'm so happy.
?: That's right, now is there children coming?
NH: (Swings her arm and someone laughs so she looks at them) People are so mean, they laugh at you when you hurt yourself. My children are fine, they're great, Cosma's 13, and she has a boyfriend, and my son Otis is 4.
?: And now will there be a child from this marriage?
NH: Well, I think so because in 1980 there was this old man from India and he said she's gonna have 2-3 children and she's going to find the man of her life at the end of her 30's, and that's very close now because on March 11, I'm going to turn four – zero.
?: OH, you're kidding! March 11, you're Pisces.
NH: I'm Pisces like Elizabeth Tay-lor.
?: And my mother, too
NH: Your mother is Pisces, really? What are you?
NH: Leo, how cool! I love Leo, my Husband is L
eo, my son, too.
NH: Holy Christ, ye-es, ye-es! You know in the American Indian horoscope, I am a Puma Mountain Lion, in the Chinese horoscope I am a Mountain Goat (bleats, bleats, bleats, bleats) and you know we're all things, so there should be no problem.
?: Let me ask you this, you performed some new material…
NH: Yes, I did, I wrote all these songs (mimics a robots voice- like the robots vocals are stuck and are repeating) lately, lately, lately.
?: You did?
NH: And normally I play with my band and it was the first time, the very first time I ever went on stage and played guitar by myself!
?: ..And along with Chris, so this is your first time with Chris Stein?
NH: Uh,yeah, we were jamming already before and writing songs, but this was the first time on stage, ye-ah!
?: how exciting!
NH: Yeah, I know.
?: Now, you did some Nirvana material, as well.
NH: Yes, I love kurty cobain.
?: Did you know him?
NH: No, it was the same with me and Jimi Hendrix and me and Janis Joplin, I never saw them live, but you know I was very connected to his art and to his music and to his spirit and when he died I was very, very hurt, and I prayed for him a lot, a lot a whole day and I would light candles for him, and everything. So he came into my dreams three times in a row and it was very very interesting what happened in the dreams, and we became REALLY good friends in the dreams, so um, I believe he's off cruising around a earthbound kind of spirit. He's not earth he's gone he's up, freedom, he's, he's liberated.
?: And what about his wife, Courtney Love?
NH: Courtney, I had a dream with Courtney, too, I have never met her yet, never saw her play live yet, hopefully I shall meet her one day. I had a very funny dream, too, and in the dream I was suggesting to her that she could be his Mother that like if she was ever planning to get another baby that maybe Kurty Cobain's spirit could you know, enter her utero -In Utero- and y'know be born on planet BEARTH! – B- -E- -A- -R- -T- -H-, planet Bearth, that's where we are right now.
?: That's where we are right now, and is this album in the works?
NH: Yes, I hope so and also I have lots of more material to choose from and it's a very good situation because you know you go into the studio and you don't fiddle around you know exactly what you want to do. Now I'm aiming for my dream Producer and if he wants to do it then I'm gonna be very happy, and my record company, RCA is gonna be very happy, my management is gonna be very happy, now if he would only do it then we all would be very happy.
?: Now you mentioned RCA, RCA Intl., RCA Europe?
NH: O.K., I'm signed with RCA Germany, but the deal is that I make an album in German language and one in English so (Looks up when signaled off camera by Chris Stein) You're going? Bye, Chris.
?: Chris! How are you? This man performed with Nina Hagen..
CS(Chris Stein): Yeah, did she say she never played guitar on the stage before?
?: It's marvelous, you did a man's job..
NH: Yeah, I think so. Chris, I'll call you, OK?
CS: OK, talking, the whole deal.
NH: I have to go too, my plane leaves in the morning at eight a.m…
?: So you're producing some new material?
NH: Yeah, I do a whole album in English and in German, so two different versions of albums, I done that before with (indecipherable what Nina refers to here) in "84 I did English and German versions, so if RCA America wants to pick up the product, they're very welcome because I'm already with RCA, so I'm free if they don't want to do it I can go with another company.
?: So there's no Polygram involved this time, no?
NH: No, I'm over with Polygram, I'm with RCA, BMG now.
?: Wonderful, now with your children, you have 2 children.
NH: Yeah, there's 13 and four.
?: Now you're planning to bring them now to the states?
NH: They are with me!
?: You wanna move to the states?
NH: I am in the states!
?: you're over here!
NH: I came before Christmas and I won't leave!
?: So are you here in New York?
NH: I'm here. I live in LA I live in Studio City in the hills and my children are here and we're a family. We're a happy family, we're a happy family, we're a happy family we have a Mom and Daddy…
?: So we're gonna see a lot more Nina Hagen?
NH: yes,yes,yes! I'm gonna be around for a long, long time to come!
?: You're not going anywhere?
NH: I'm not going anywhere, I stay right here where I belong! I will be so proud to become an American.
?: She's here. Nina Hagen in New York.