Trotsky Burger: Guarantee New

The One & Only

So my friend Jon sent me a video the other day and I was expecting it to be some played out meme that has been passed around the digital space more times than a digital prosty, however this particular video had only been viewed ten thousand times, thus making it pretty unheard-of in today’s world of web sensations.

Jon has pretty good taste, so I didn’t just send an obligatory ‘crazy’ or ‘cool!’ without actually watching like I do most times when people send me web vids, I actually watched this web vid.  Now you have a chance to as well.

Now please read the lyrics.

Before the Russian revolution a man from downtown Vladivostok

Made the n°1 Worldwide hamburger multinational holding

Here it is all for you – Trotsky Burger

Babe when the sun comes down

You’ve got to meet me in town

Love let the children cry

Just leave your mother sigh

Fresh meat, all vitamins now

Coming from Siberia straight in your blood

French fries, Caucase Cola, Wow !

Snowpies vodka flavour, Vladivostok

Trotsky Burger garanty new

Trotsky Burger, gonna brainwash you too !

Trotsky Burger take it away

Trotsky Burger 24 hours a day

Dad can’t you see my hand

You’ve got to understand

Red doesn’t  mean you’re dead

The waitress is good in bed

Fresh meat, all vitamins now

Coming from Siberia straight in your blood

French fries, Caucase Cola, Wow !

Snowpies vodka flavour, Vladivostok

Trotsky Burger garanty new

Trotsky Burger, gonna brainwash you too !

Trotsky Burger take it away

Trotsky Burger 24 hours a day

Okay good.  By now you’ve realized a couple things.   First, the chap in this web vid goes by the name Gazebo.   Second, he is singing a song about a communist burger joint.  Third, he is wearing a gorgeous turtleneck underneath the most awesome oversized double-breasted suit that has ever caressed two human breasts.  Four, he doesn’t have a great handle on the English language (something we will experience first hand later).

After listening to it on repeat for an hour, Jon and I downloaded what appeared to be Gazebo’s greatest hits album (Portrait ’94) and learned that there were way more awesome hits to be had.  Songs like I Like Chopin or Telephone Mama. We were both shocked and almost at the same time declared to on another that America must know Gazebo.  If not only for the musical revolution he would inspire, but for the dollars we would make promoting this comeback tour.    Jon and I discussed it further and decided this was a bulletproof idea.

Here is the email that we sent to his manager:

Hello,

Do you ever do performances in New York City?

What is your guarantee?  I promote and produce dance concerts in NYC and would love to have you as a headliner/guest

It was short and to the point which was our goal – a testing of the waters so-to-speak.  We weren’t sure what kind of business people we were dealing with, and since Jon and I are concert promotion vets, we new we had to be on our guard.  Also I work with an Italian guy named Anthony Mazzei and know that he can be pretty shifty, so I of course assume that’s how all Italians operate.

Well we didn’t have to wait long for our first response.

Hello

No, Paul (Gazebo) has never perfomed in NY yet (a few times in LA) he would of course be delighted.

His normal fee for clubs in Europe is 3.000 Euros plus expenses. A little more for further distances but I’m quite sure we can stay around this amount for this “premiere”.

Let me know what your proposals are and we can freely discuss.

Best Regards
Maria Conte

A “PREMIERE”!!!  Jon and I were simply floored.  How could New York City sleep on a talent like Gazebo for these past three decades?  It just didn’t make sense.  I could already hear my checking account coming out of the red.  We discussed it further and decided that although we weren’t able to afford 3,000 euro, we would have to pull out all the stops and make an offer that would surely tickle his fancy.

We put our cards on the table and crossed our fingers.

Hello Mario,

Thank you for your timely and professional response.

Unfortunately the sort of events that we produce do not allow us budgets of that size.

We do, however, believe that Gazebo is a stunning talent and we have no doubt that his premier performance would be a smashing success among the 20-something demographic here in New York City.

What I am willing to offer is $500 in cold-hard American greenbacks and a ticket in the cargo bay of the prestigious and luxurious Canadian Pacific Steamship Line. We would love nothing more to host this performance and would be happy to oblige any rider requests to make Paul’s New York City experience unforgettable (or as forgettable as possible, if you now what I mean).

The possibilities for the sort of performance that I am envisioning are endless, and I truly believe, if we start small, we could spearhead the resurgence of Italo-disco in the most bustling metropolis in the United States.

Please do get back to me at your earliest convenience, I also have some creative ideas about opening a Gazebo-themed burger chain to go by the name of Trotsky Burger and would love to further discuss yours and Paul’s opinion on the matter.

Boom.  With the exception of referring to his manager Maria as Mario, it was pure entrepreneurship.  Charles Bronson (the guy who invented virgin airlines) would be super proud of us.   Here’s why:  we made him a great deal and then left a little something (burger chain) to be discussed.  My brother is in business school in China right now and learning all kinds of important stuff, but it’s clear that I was just born with incredible business acumen.  Also we let him know that we were down to party (see note regarding “forgettable” experiences).

As we waited for a response, I started to daydream about how I would spend all of my money.  I’d probably re-invest in something awesome and indispensable to human culture.  Something like jeggings.  Jon started to brainstorm venues, but every time he offered one up, I kept thinking no…bigger.

What happened next was a little confusing.   Ok, a LOT confusing.  Read the response and I will explain afterward.

I’m afraid all we can send you for this amount and for these conditions are a couple of my cooperators from the 70/80

A nutcase keyboard player and a bruised drummer .. They are particularly cute with fashionable 80 wigs on .. You can even use them as janitors on your Trotsky Burger chain, the drummer is very good at cleaning toilets cause that’s where he’s lived most of his life.

Please be so kind as to handle this message to the drummer when you see him:

A Massimo, alla prima mi hai fatto ridere anche se i toni erano eccessivamente offensivi e di cattivo gusto, a questa sorrido ma alla terza vado dai Carabinieri e alla Polizia Postale .. Ricordati solo che in Italia per questo tipo di reato c’è il penale. Il tuo compagno di merendine (perché da te da solo non sarebbe mai nata una cretinata del genere) avrà i soldi per diffendersi in aula, tu .. Non so … Pensaci bene.

Cheers !

Gazebo

Our negotiations had hit a snag.  Basically, Gazebo was saying that the only thing we could afford was a duo comprised of a crazy person who plays the keys and a drummer who may or may not have some kind of iron deficiency (see: bruising).  And was he giving us the go ahead with the burger joint licensing?  I was fairly certain this approval would hold up in court, so I was excited about that, but then he went on about the drummer cleaning toilets which seems a couple steps ahead of the game because we weren’t anywhere near hiring for ANY position, let alone custodial staff… Also not to be overlooked, was that Gazebo had answered this email HIMSELF!!!! Clearly he saw the merit in our vision at least a little bit.  Anywho, he ended with a note in Italian which was SUPER confusing because neither Jon nor I speak a lick of Italian AND he asked us to hand the note to the drummer.   We hadn’t agreed to any formal terms just yet so I sure hopped the drummer wasn’t already on his way to the US.

After scouring the web and asking friends with Italian last names, we were able to make out a rough translation of his note to the drummer.

Massimo, the first time you made me laugh nonetheless your tone of voice and attitude were offensive and of bad taste. This time I smile, but the third time I will go to local police. Remember that in Italy for this type of crime you can be prosecuted. Your good mate (because from you alone something like that would never start) will have the money to defend himself from a lawsuit? I don’t know. You’d better think twice

I'm too pretty for jail!

Where to start… So it is clear that Gazebo has been wronged by this dastardly “Massimo”, which leaves me feeling two very strong emotions.  The first was shock.  How could he think that we were working with Massimo?  Us!  The two people trying to breathe life into his performing career!  Why did he think this?!  This mix-up would no doubt stall our negotiating.  The second emotion I felt was hunger – a hunger to prove to Gazebo that we were indeed on his side.  Jon and I know that harsh or threatening language is never a good idea to put into a business email, but we wanted to let Gazebo know – we would never work with this Massimo character!

We thought long and hard and after consulting a trusted legal opinion formulated the following response:

Gazebo –

It is truly an honor to hear from you personally, I am aware that a performer of your magnitude is probably very busy and has little time to respond to emails from promoters across the ocean!  However, it appears that there has been some confusion.

We are not, in any way shape or for, suggesting some sort of ruse; quite the contrary.  Our proposed deal still stands – we have yet to select a venue, but it is important to keep in mind that we are trying to offer your talents to a younger audience, an audience that has yet to EVER hear such hits as I Like Chopin or Telephone Mama.  We are trying to introduce them for the first time, so we are trying to be fiscally prudent in our investment, hence our inability to offer you 3,000 euro.

I do not speak Italian, but the translation I was able to find suggested that you think that we may be in cahoots with a gentleman named Massimo.  I assure you, Gazebo, I am not Massimo, and do not even know any Massimos (it is an uncommon name here in the United States).  But if I do ever see him, I will remind him that no matter how good he is at cleaning toilets, he will never be good enough to clean Gazebo’s toilet bowl.

If you truly do not believe me or consider this harassment, I will rescind me offer and not email you again.

Thank you and much respect

My mind raced.  Who was this Massimo?  Perhaps the bruised drummer?  Perhaps an old manager?  Perhaps a member of the Italo-Disco mafia?  And this confusion – what if we were unable to convince Gazebo that we were indeed NOT associated with this Massimo?  Would we find ourselves in the way of bodily harm?  I’ve seen Goodfellas  and several episodes of the Sopranos – I know how dangerous a vengeful Italian can be.

Jon and I watched our inboxes, hoping to avoid a digital horse’s head appearing in our digital bed sheets.

Finally, a note arrived.

Well this person happened to be mailing puerile idiocies in the same time frame when your mail came in .. Sorry.

I don’t know why you’re using this language form and send in humorous (or sarcastic) add ons which I’m not in the mood of interpretating.

You remind me of my Charles Dickens’ reading .. Are you in our century ?

I’d love to come to NY but cannot consider coming for 500 USD in a Canadian cargo Boat, it’ s very romantic but I don’t have the time.

I will however offer you a SnowPie vodka flavor next time i come to NY.

Pleasure talking with thee.

All the best !

Gazebo

This response was bittersweet.  We had convinced him that we were not associated with Massimo which was a great success.  Also, he compared our style of writing to Dickens, which for us both was flattery upon flattery.   Through all the good news though,  shone the undeniable truth of it all.  He had balked at our offer.  I called Jon not knowing whether to laugh or cry.  After a long and super deep bro chat, we realized that perhaps this was for the best.  Maybe the world wasn’t ready for Gazebo.  After all, he was no spring chicken anymore.  He was in his 60’s at this point and perhaps we had disillusioned ourselves into thinking that we would be paying 500 American dollars for the same Italian hunk we saw in the Trotsky Burger video from ’84.   Still, it stung.  This man – this Gazebo – was never fully realized.  I had more questions, one more at least, that I needed answered.  We authored another email:

I understand completely, Gazebo.  It was a long shot at best and I thank you for comparing me to Dickens as he has been a writer I’ve looked up to since my days in university.  I do want to thank you for taking the time to respond, especially doing so in such a timely fashion.  You are not only a great musician and performer, but a gentleman as well.

I do have one last question though, as a fan of your music i have to ask: what creative inspiration did you use to fuel the fire that is Trotsky Burger?  I simply must know – it is one of my most favorite songs of all time!

As Charles Dickens once said, “Electric communication will never be a substitute for the face of someone who with their soul encourages another person to be brave and true” – i hope we can share that drink of snowpie flavored vodka one day!

In the blink of an eye, another response:

No offense I was just surprised by your dialetics, promoters normally don’t speak or write that way and your humour sounded sarcastic here and there ..

Anyway, I’m glad you like Trotsky Burger, it’s one of my biggest if not THE biggest flop …:-)))

The idea came from nowhere like most of my ideas, memories from the Russian revolution and the reality of those countries 25 years ago .. These people had to queue for hours for some bread and wait for decades to have a Trabant (a cardboard car) .. I saw these things and couldn’t stay careless …

Many say the song was the first or among the first techno tracks ever …

If you want to promote a NY gig you should try more within the Asian and European comunities, they like euro dance and new wave .. I’m not sure about the NY youth … Maybe that’s more R’n’B and rock ..

So honest.  So vulnerable.  So poignant.  So… Gazebo!

In the end, Jon and I were not able to orchestrate the greatest concert ever promoted, but we were both changed.  We had seen something great and gotten so close we could almost touch it.  His digital cologne hung in our digital nostrils – a digital smell we would not soon forget.

I guess at the end of the day this story is about heroes – what it means to have a hero, what it means when that hero confuses you for a bruised up guy named Massimo, what it means when that hero realizes the error of his ways and then claims to write the first ever techno track.  It’s a tale as old as time… true to say the least.

Yours,

PS Fairman

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