Before his retirement, Rainer Petto was in charge of the regional (Saarländischer Rundfunk) television program Kulturspiegel. In the 60s, we both attended the same all-boys school in Saarbrücken, the then-famous Ludwigsgymnasium, a classical grammar school founded it 1604.
Rainer and I have been friends since our days at Ludwigsgymnasium. One thing we had in common was our interest in the Beatles. Listening to music was not enough for us, though. For years, we collaborated on writing songs, in German, many of which we recorded under the most basic conditions onto reel-to-reel tape. All that’s left are three typewritten “song books.” Looking back, I believe that the process of creating the words and music, as well as the often day-long recording sessions were reassuringly productive – that’s why I have such fond memories. One year, we tried to hitch-hike together from Saarbrücken to the Mediterranean. The endeavor was not as successful as we had anticipated. We were back in Saarbrücken much sooner than we had planned and ended up doing a bicycle tour around Luxembourg. Anybody who is familiar with the topography of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg will appreciate how insane an idea this bike tour was.
After so many years, Rainer and I often remember very different things. Our brains follow their own rules for forgetting. For the two of us, it is not the same memories that are slowly floating to the bottom of the memory banks to be silted over, nor does it happen at the same rate. Rainer has the advantage here. He has written and published two autobiographical books, one about the 50s and one about the 60s, 70s, and 80s.
When you look at the title of this post you probably ask yourself why Manderscheid? When our songwriting phase was drawing to a close, we tried to come up with one last piece. For some reason, we thought that “Die Zukunft liegt in Manderscheid” would be a great title and perhaps could be worked into the chorus. (Even today, I still like the title.) But then we got stuck. We could not come up with anything else. We decided to drive to Manderscheid and look for song material. There we wandered around, visited the castle, but it was an uninspiring trip. The title is a reminder of that one last song we never completed.