"That was so awesome!"

By Pascal SteinwachsMike Zenari Switch to German for original article

There are boring interlocutors, there are interlocutors who are so-so, there are interesting interlocutors, and there is Gast Waltzing. Waltzing is mainly at home in jazz, but his life is sometimes quite rock'n'roll.

What's the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Gast Waltzing? The man with the trumpet? The man with the hat? The man with the Grammy? The man behind Park Café? Maggie Parke’s husband? The answers are bound to vary, but since his Grammy win, at least in Luxembourg, he's probably known to almost everyone.

As for us, the first thing that still comes to mind when Waltzing is mentioned is the melancholic soundtrack from Andy Bausch's film A Wopbopaloobop A Lopbamboom, which incidentally was also Waltzing's and Maggie Parke's first film score, from which the unputdownable hit Twist à Luxembourg with Thierry van Werveke also comes. Memorably, it is closely followed by the Park Café classic My Song For You, in which singer Maggie Parke looks like a direct relative of Eurythmics singer Annie Lennox in Sweet Dreams with her 80s hairstyle.

"As payment there was a beer"

When we visited Gast Waltzing and his wife Maggie Parke a few days ago in their house on the outskirts of the capital, we actually had a kind of double portrait in mind about the artist couple, but when Waltzing began to talk, he set off such a fireworks display of anecdotes that one could almost speak of name-dropping, if one didn't know that Waltzing has actually met all these famous people in his long career, which has now lasted about half a century ‒ at eye level. He may not have had them all, but he had quite a few.

Waltzing, on the other hand, feels bored by the usual questions à la "How did you get into music?" ("I've already answered such questions a hundred times"), but we, who had wisely not prepared any questions at all, didn't want to know anything like that, although he did of course reveal in the course of the conversation how he came to music, namely through the Useldinger music.

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