column | Alex Roca, Champion
On the day of the Ascension, I found myself briefly on top of Mount Olympus, in the book presentation of my column group at Amsterdam’s Temple of Pop Paradiso. It was a long climb, but it felt like a warm bath. I tried to enjoy it, knowing there would be plenty of cold rain before long. Nothing is as ephemeral as “success”.
Personal highlight: the arrival of Alex Roeka, the singer Huub van der Lubbe once spoke of DWDD He said he took his hat off to him. He felt himself the less successful artist who nevertheless had more success and attributed this to Roica’s inflexible personality, who would therefore be less suitable for a talk show format.
I called Alex Roeka because I think he is the best singer in the Netherlands. There was a budget for four songs.
A few minutes before the start we had just finished eating a plate of Thai food, he came to me with ‘worries’. He had studied the program for the evening and looked carefully around the corner of the curtain in the hall and was dumbfounded.
He’s done it before, and experience has shown that when lectures or lectures were on the programme, people used music to relax, talk, think, or even worse: go to the pub for a beer. For the artist who brings songs with an insulting message.
He said, “Then they spit in your face.” This is why he would sometimes get off stage with the band because he felt the need to attack “them”. It was up to me – and presenter Emma Wortlebur – to calm people down so he could sing in peace. To be on the safe side, he had already scraped a few tracks from my favorite song, The Golden Rat Trap.
“But the part of the hypocritical writer who does everything to sell his book is still there.”
I had never before experienced an audience being induced to remain quiet during a literary evening, but after half an hour, with Emma Wortelboer, I was doing it anyway.
I heard myself say “keep calm”. “Don’t buy beer either!” said Emma Wortlebur. I almost screamed not to buy the books, but I swallowed it.
Alex Roica stayed on the podium, what a champ.
Marcel van Roosmalen He writes an exchange column with Elaine Dikowitz here.
A version of this article also appeared in the May 22, 2023 Journal.
“Travel specialist. Typical social media scholar. Friend of animals everywhere. Freelance zombie ninja. Twitter buff.”