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Belfort (France) RustFest
(July 6, 1997)

Your Host - Rainer Baron Rouge Buhleier

Pre-Fest Notice

The Fest Call was put out by Rainer Baron Rouge Buhleier

Bonjour, mes amis,

Just wanted to say that in the FUN-Radio jingels about the Eurockeennes festival (5-6 July at Belfort) they have taken Neil from the previously announced line-up.

So, let's head for Smashing Pumpkins, Silverchair, Henry Rollins Band, Nada Surf and NOIR DESIR.

We're going to do the Belfort RustFest anyway. Attendancies so far: Ray Moon, MoMo and me. MoMo will also take the camcorder with him to record our speeches for the IRF and the JTTF.

Possible dates: Saturday and/or Sunday. Anyone else is going, get in touch...

A plus,

Baron Rouge. (buhleier@laas.fr)

The Rustfest in Belfort will take place:
    Sunday, 6 July in Belfort, Alsace, France in the
    "Modern Hotel",
    9 avenue Wilson
    Belfort Centre.
Attendants: Ray Moon, MoMo, Baron Rouge, Dr. Nusskopf with assistants.

We meet somewhat before noon in one of the hotel rooms of either MoMo (Serge Gironnay) or Ray. Ask at the reception for one of them. MoMo will record the gathering on video for the JTTF film. So please be prepared to do some speech. Look up some lame jokes, if you re not funny by nature.

After the aperitif we will head for lunch together and then after the digestif we'll crawl to the Eurockeennes Festival (Silverchair, Henry Rollins, Simple Minds?).

So, feel free to join us!

Fest Report

Hi Rustinettes and Rusted Barns,

BELFORT RUSTFEST, The Real Encounter
as seen by Rainer, Baron Rouge.


  1. Ray Moon,...
  2. ...Patrice...
  3. ...and Stephane
  4. Catherine...
  5. ...and MoMo
  6. Patricia
  7. ...and Bruno
  8. Baron Rouge
Missing: Dr. Nusskopf

After a hard survival-training-like Saturday at the open air venue outside Belfort, where I lost Dr. Nusskopf in the mud, as it was almost always heavily raining and ice-cold, I woke up round 10:00 in the morning in the car somewhere at the vast parking place - basically a wide meadow, now covered 3 cm deep with mud.

As I let Saturday pass by, I recalled that Nusskopf and I attended:

  • STEREOPHONICS: not too bad, but can't remember much.
  • BABY BIRD: awful, really awful, four pompous pretentious wankers.
  • NO ONE IS INNOCENT: at the grand theatre (there where three stages: a small one, a medium size one with a tent cover, and the big arena, with a video panel and a bombastic stage), when the really ice-cold heavy rainshowers from some thunderstorm set in. But NOII were great. Good sound, good show, good vibrations.
  • MARCEL & ORCHESTRA: awful, stupid football-chants, something for the drunks, which were already numerous, to sing along.
  • NENEH CHERRY: in the medium tent - average performance, I don't like that kind of music much. Pompous girlie "funk soul rock" or whatever you name it. She can't dance either, but plays with her sex-appeal, doing some virtual sexual intercourse gestures, like playing air-guitar, which of course drove the 15-year old boys crowd nuts.
  • NOIR DESIR: the absolute highlight of course. Lots of songs from their new album, sometimes hard and grungy, sometimes mellow acoustic versions. Old classics as well and some with very Arabic influence. Unfortunately the singers voice is in a bad state, when he screamed it didn't matter, but in the quite tender passages the voice almost broke many times.
NB: right then the mud was ankle-deep and everywhere. About 50,000 people sliding along the hillsides of the festival site. A bit like Woodstock II. Clouds of Marijuana wavered so thick in the air that it made me almost sick (don't get me wrong, to everybody his own drug, but too much is too much - 1000s of people completely stoned and/or boozed, covered totally with mud and out of control).

OK, back to Sunday and the upcoming Rustfest at Belfort. I was supposed to meet the girls and boys at the Modern Hotel down in the village at the train station at 10:00, but didn't manage to get into gears again until around 11:00 as it was cozy in the car but again icy outside and I had to get rid a bit of the mud on my boots to be able to enter a hotel lounge in proper style, which turned out to be unnecessary as down in the Belfort village half of the people staggered around with trousers bathed knee-deep in mud.

Drove down the hill into Belfort, found the hotel and asked at the reception for the RustFest crew, but they where already gone, as I was too late. As always... Bummer. But they left a note saying that they'll be back in some minutes. So I waited outside a bar right next to the hotel for them to show up and wondered if I might recognize them.

After one of these watery French beers, a group showed up heading for the hotel entrance, looking at me with some slight view of recognization, but first entered the hotel to come back immediately as they got the note that I was waiting outside.

Big Bonjours and hugs and kisses, as Ray Moon, Catherine, MoMo and Patrice sat down, then we hit the table for a couple of more of that watery beer stuff. Exchanging stories of our voyage up to here, my stories from last night's festival events, and presentation of the individual Neil Young shirts. First time that I saw the new Rust-Shirt with the logo and the tree on it. Catherine started to film the first sequences for the JTTF video and we chatted about Neil Young and other groups.

Then we decided to have lunch and went into a bizarre French restaurant of the old style, which was even called Le Paris 1900. We installed us there comfortably, and continued to make more-or-less funny video sketches. We discussed of course Neil Young a bit, and Rust. Unfortunately none of us had a guitar, so we weren't able to sing any Neil stuff. Then Patricia and Bruno arrived on their bike. Though not connected to the Internet, for sure bigger "Real Rusties" than me.

We took more video-shots, and MoMo even had confidence to hand me the camera sometimes. Tried to get interviews with Ray Moon, which turned out to be a real challenge as she was somewhat "hectique" about it. Good girl Ray Moon, a really Stupid Girl.

Stephane, who likes Metallica more than Neil Young, did a video sequence on Pelforth-Beer (which is better than most of the French beer, IMHO) and then we did a wide shot of Francise, the middle aged waitress, who was somewhat impressed to meet a Baron, but insisted strangely enough that her name was FranciNe.

Joked along and had a good good time.

Finally we split to meet again at the festival site. The others were first going to the hotel to dress properly for the inconveniencies of ankle-deep mud (meanwhile the sun was shining once in a while). I rode up to the mud-parking and took the shuttle bus up to the venue. First remarkable group I listened to was the ROLLINS BAND. Henry just dressed in shorts. Bare chest, naked feet jumping around like a madman, tatoos all over his musculous body. Good ol Rollins punk with attitude. One of the best performances I saw at the festival.

After cruising around the area for a while I met the RustFest crew again at the grand theatre to wait for PAUL PERSONNE, a French Blues guitarist, the ex-guitarist of Johnny Haliday (if that means anything for those outside France). I have to admit I really didn't like him, almosted hated his style. One of those lightspeed blues-wankers, very much Gary Moore style. The old Blues scheme up and down, so much in love with his own noodling at the guitar that it made me vomit. "I'm a Blues wanker, I woke up the morning with a wine glass in my hand, the girl was gone because I don' t know what else to do than noodling my Blues. I'm a Blues wanker."

Ray Moon, Patrice, Stephane and me made an appointment to meet again in August at their vacation lot in the beautiful area of the Perigord, with MoMo we discussed what will happen to the JTTF video, we had some more watery beer and after Paul P. the others decided to leave the site. It was sad: just like good friends leave each other for some time. It's really bizarre - you build up a relationship via a computer screen and then you meet in reality and it works, like you've known each other for a long time and you immediately get into good vibrations with each other.

After they were gone I sobbed a little while over a too cold beer, listened a bit to SUEDE, and waited for the final top act, the ones to replace Neil and The Horse: SIMPLE MINDS. Bought a collectors item: A festival T-shirt with the line-up printed on the back, and it said "Neil Young" on top of the list.

Simple Minds short and sweet: I liked them, due to memories of my adolescence with some of their songs. And they did a really good show, lots of bombastic lights and Jim Kerr, the singer, in good form. He knows how to sing, even if it's often just "La la la". They did a good portion of their now 10-years old hits, but it didn't matter, because the whole arena could sing along. Long encore and then they were gone with the first BOOOOOOOM of a firecracker that started the final fireworks over the lake of Belfort accompanied by the Tom Petty hymn Free Falling.

That was it, I thought. Turned around to make my way down the hill, when suddendly a helicopter came through the firework blossoms, landing just on top of the main stage roof and out jumped Neil Young and the Horse, guitars already strapped on. Big surprise! I thought it's a pity that Ray Moon and the others can't see this, so I decided to keep solidary with them and leave the place as well. It was fucking cold anyway and the other 60000 people were leaving also.

Found my car but not Dr. Nusskopf after some searching in the dark of the muddy parking lot, and pulled out around 2 o clock the morning. Last remarkable event happened at the first pay toll station when the usual French police troops pulled me over to look for drugs in the car. Although the car's interior was covered knee-deep with empty non-Michelob bottles, they were only interested in "Hashish" and went almost crazy as they were digging through some hundreds of also empty cigarette-packets Dr. Nusskopf has smoken along the road, and dirty muddy laundry, but they didn't find anything suspicious.

I did ask them for a drug sniffing dog to speed up the process, but that remark made them angry, so I waited stoically in face of two Heckler&Koch assault rifles for them to finish their ridiculous procedure. This is the united free Europe, I giggled, the famous "Schengener Contract" - no more frontiers, free moving for the people...

I drove down South under constant rain for the next 12 hours and that was it - the first Belfort RustFest. I'm really happy to have met the Rusties in persona and I think we made friends. Great life, Big Fun, this way.


    Baron Rouge

MoMo's PostScript

Thanks Baron Rouge, that was really as you described it, even if we never met before, the spirit was there and it's really GREAT...

I have prepared a Belfort RustFest Web page. Take a look.

From the depth of my heart I urge you US rusties to enjoy the Neil shows, I had a dream... these shows will be terrific...


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