An Almost independent monthly mAgAzine /februAry 2010
exclusively with The Irish Independent on the first tuesday of every month
Your 2011 Playlist Music stars of the future enrol at the Red Bull Music Academy
Desert Warriors In the driverâ€™s seat at the Dakar Rally
6 Nations Rugby What the Lions will do next, plus the kit you need to watch and play
One GIAnT LeAP
Red Bull stRatos: Felix baumgartner is going to break the sound barrier on his 36km FreeFall From a balloon on the edge oF space
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HigH times According to Felix Baumgartner, Felix Baumgartner is “the greatest enemy of all that adrenaline-junkie claptrap”. And he wouldn’t “have any fun putting himself in harm’s way”. In a few weeks’ time, one April morning, this man will jump from a capsule hanging beneath a balloon 36km (22.5 miles) up in the air. If all goes well, he’ll be a legend a few minutes later: he’ll hold the world records for the highest manned balloon journey, the highest parachute jump and the longest and fastest freefall. He’ll break the sound barrier on the way down. A 10-page interview in this issue of The Red Bulletin joins the dots between the man who has no fun taking risks and the man who relentlessly exposes himself to extreme danger. We talked to Baumgartner at Red Bull’s Hangar-7 at Salzburg Airport and he was on excellent form: “Do you never go beyond the limit?” “That’s a stupid thing to say. The limit is the limit.” “Do you enjoy your jumps?” “I have never enjoyed a jump. You never know whether any jump might be your last.” Fascinating stuff, starting on page 36, and for the illustrated view there is, as always, a suitably breathtaking treat on the web thanks to Red Bulletin Print 2.0. If you haven’t experienced this multimedia bonus yet, turn to page 9 to learn all about it. There was excellent reading in our last edition too, which we can’t resist the temptation to mention. Werner Jessner’s exclusive interview with rally rookie and convert from Formula One Kimi Räikkönen has been quoted around the world: from South America to Australia and the more remote corners of Finland. Enjoy reading!
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COvER PHOTOgRAPHY: SvEn HOFFmAnn
PS: We are delighted with The Red Bulletin’s ongoing success: this issue will appear in a new record print run of three million copies in the UK, Ireland, Germany, Austria, New Zealand and – for the first time – South Africa. Red Bulletin + webcam + Internet access = a multimedia experience! In this issue: keep your balance over the Red Bull stadium with slackliner Michael Aschaber, make a big leap with daredevil Travis Pastrana, career through Munich with the Red Bull Crashed Ice gladiators, hurl yourself into the deep with Felix Baumgartner, charge through South America with Carlos Sainz and hip-hop your way to the Red Bull Music Academy.
illustration: dietmar kainrath
K a i n r at h
Your Red Bulletin comes to life Log onto en.redbulletin.com/print2.0 and follow the instructions on page 7
Turn your webcam on
PhotograPhy: Christian Pondella/red bull Photofiles (1), garth milan/red bull Photofiles (4). illustration: mandy fisCher
Watch four videos of Travis Pastranaâ€™s record-breaking car jump: see page 30
The new multi-media experience. Wherever you see the Bullseye!
welcome to the world of red Bull Inside your supersonic Red Bulletin this month…
10 Pictures of the month 16 now and next What to see and where to be in the worlds of culture and sport 21 where’s your head at? A plane crash and a job digging pools made it a tough route to fame for cinema legend Clint Eastwood 26 kit evolution DJ bags: carrying everything from Nikita Khrushchev’s 78s to DJ Hell’s vast digital music library 28 me and my body He’s broken his neck, jaw and back, and survived a coma, but Sifiso Nhlapo is still aiming for BMX gold 30 winning formula How Travis Pastrana welcomed in the New Year with a record-breaking car jump over the ocean 32 lucky numbers American Football’s biggest showdown arrives this month. We look at the vital statistics behind the 44th Super Bowl
36 felix baumgartner Is he a bird or is he a plane? The Austrian BASE-jumper and skydiver’s next project will take him to the very edge of space, yet he claims to be one of the most risk-averse people on earth
46 Jon olsson The freestyle pioneer and performance car aficionado has little left to prove in the sport of skiing, but that hasn’t stopped him making a bet that he’ll be able to qualify for the 2014 Winter Olympics 50 kris meeke We meet the Intercontinental Rally Challenge champion who got his big break by entering a magazine competition 54 robert gore Astronauts and winter sports fans still swear by this American chemical engineer’s accidental invention: the waterproof and breathable Gore-Tex fabric 08
58 daniel ricciardo The young Australian aiming for a place on the Formula One grid in 2011
PHOTOGRAPHY: MATTIAS FREDRIKSSON (1), THOMAS BuTlER (1), AlEX SCHElBERT/GlOBAl-NEWSROOM (1), GARTH MIlAN/RED Bull PHOTOFIlES (1), GETTY IMAGES (1), SVEN HOFFMANN (1), STATE HISTORICAl SOCIETY OF IOWA (1). IlluSTRATION: AlBERT EXERGIAN
64 red bull music academy and mr hudson Visiting the Academy in 2006 helped launch a career that’s taken in collaboration with Kanye West and Jay-Z, and two critically acclaimed albums
72 dakar rally Behind the wheel in the world’s toughest motor race: a 5600-mile loop through South America’s most hostile terrain
more Body & mind
80 ski orienteering Our resident off-piste junkie learns a lesson that could save his life 82 get the gear Scrum and get it while it’s hot! The best new rugby gear 84 london calling As the Red Bull Music Academy prepares to take up residence, we survey the English capital’s musical landmarks 86 listings Worldwide, day and night, our guide to the ultimate month-long weekend 90 nightlife Copenhagen’s club scene, hanging out with the Hives, a bar worth propping up, plus Ex-New Order man Peter Hook recalls the glory days of the Hacienda 96 short story Is this the ultimate waiting game? 98 stePhen bayley When things aren’t as SAD as they seem
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p u có n, c h i l e
the white stuff Eleven participants. Seventeen lost or shattered paddles. Nine kayaks broken or washed away. Eight cameras soaked or lost. Seven car breakdowns. Thirty-one involuntary baths. Seven previously unconquered descents. Sounds like a smashing time messing about on the river, doesn’t it? Pucón in southern Chile is the current hotspot for the world’s top white-water paddlers, among them – perhaps the best among them – Steve Fisher. The 33-year-old South African, who led many of the first descents on a recent expedition, has one tip for those who would dare trail in his wake: “Don’t think, or you won’t do it.”
photography: blake jorgenson/red bull photofiles
Dive into the world of white water at www.stevefisher.com
Bullevard Remarkable feats of skill and adventure from around the world
photography: johan stahlberg/red bull photofiles
b u l l e va r d Print 2.0
en.redbulletin.com/print2.0 To see why balance is vital
R e d B u l l A R e n A , SA l z B u Rg
Don’t look Down One day, the half-time entertainment at the Wals-Siezenheim stadium could be very different indeed. Michael Aschaber, a 27 year-old from the Tyrol, stretched a slackline across the stadium, at a height of 29m and about 85m long. With the wind maintaining a respectful hush, he attempted to break the world record for this style of rope-walking; 11 times the safety rope caught him, on the 12th he succeeded. “It’s not about the technology,” he says, “but the mental component that decides success or failure. If you’re stressed out, you’ll rock the slackline so much that you fall down.”
photography: greg von doersten
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Uptatie tem volore feugait inim ad mod diam alit aliquis alit iriustincing euis dolorem augait ilis autatiniat, sissi. Min vullutet, ver ing erat ing etum in veliquatie mincili sciliquat loreetue tate te modiatum zzrit iuscidunt am, quisl delit iustie consectem vent lortionsecte consed tat nim il exer sit etum iril digna commodolore dolorer cilisis dolore magnibh erostrud dolore tie et nos nullumsan euisim iril ent ullaore min erostrud tem dolor sumsan vel irit vel ercin utpate ming er acilis amet verat, vel utet, con venis nullut velendit iustrud dit laore magnisit irillandit non utat velit in volore dolore eriustrud do od ex eum venim veliquis nisisi. Se ver sumsandre magna facillutat. Nullandit atinci blamcon sectetum doluptat praessi blandre dip exercillut veliquatummy nos adionse euismolorem dolorem venit lutat wissisci tet aliquisim digna feugue min utpat ilisis adiam doleniam nostrud dolorer cilisi bla faccum quipis nulluptat ing enit la faccum dolorperate magniam, vel utet lum adio odolor incilis doluptat luptat, sismodolorer alit adip exerat. del eliquam consed exercipsum zzriusto erostrud eugait nisciliquat. it nostrud eugue magna consecte feuis nisi. Ustie feum volorti ncilit luptat alisisl exer ilis amet, quam acil dolum zzrit lutatem dolorerosto odion ercip et do et lam, commy nostinit el dipsustis augiamet etue dit laorem irilis dolore ming estin henim do et alit am venit, sed euis alismod exeros nisisl ullutat ummolorer secte dolobor illa facil er se tiniat ut iuscill ummodignibh eum quis exer sim et dolorpe ratuerit wisissisi blam dipit lametum quatummy nis alit vel iureet nonummy niam, commy nullam quam et, sis dunt ad doloreet aut utpat, conulla con hent num velit loreros el dolobortie tin essim quamcon ea faci elese modip ex ex ea facidunt velenit iuscing ea adit aliqui A n tA Rc t i c p e n i n S u l A blam in eu facincil iriure tet, consecte faccumsan velit venim accum etue faccumsandit lobore tinisit dolestrud dit velit eliquatie ea feuipsumsan vel ut vulput ero commodo euis delessisim do Chris Davenport likes to freeski on bigduissenis mountains,num and has gone consequat. Ut laorpero con utem esto odio vullam so far am as toaugiamcor make something of a career out of it. His latest trip in hent luptatum il eugiam do odolesto commodi was a month-long stay at the north-west tip of Antarctica, the onsectem enit nismolor in erostrud dolortie tat nostrud doleremotest part of the remotest continent, a place populated by strud mincipisanos ex eugiamet, volorperilla corperostin hefew el climate-change scientists and a rather greater number nim vullamc onulput luptat luptat, quisl uteand feugueratie tat ip- by of seals and penguins. Davenport team, accompanied sum et ullanadventure ut vel doluptat adignaJim feugiam documentarian Suretteconsequam and his crew, augiat. were there Ut veliquisi. to make a movie, out later this year, and also make new tracks. Credit
away from it all
Verortung Termin Weblink
“While we are filming,” says Davenport, “the goal of the trip is to explore new peaks and ski first descents.” Box ticked, Chris. Read Davenport’s blog of his trip at www.steepskiing.com
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carlos sainz jr Keep it in the family “I started karting seriously when I was 11,” says Carlos Sainz Jr, 15-year-old Spanish Formula BMW driver and son of revered rally champ Carlos Sainz. “My dream then was the same as now: work hard and become a great driver. My dad never forced me into it. I told him I loved it and he got behind me. Being my father’s son is good and bad: he helps me more than anyone, yet there’s more pressure. But the pressure helps me to go out and prove myself.”
Underage and overtalented: all things young and fast at www.redbull-juniorteam.com
Green machine: Will Ireland maintain top form to win the Six Nations
Words: ruth Morgan, dan Jones. PhotograPhy: Lee sMith/action iMages (1), Juan José La caLLe/red BuLL PhotofiLes (1)
You ReallY ought to Know Something about...
Wild at heart “I love hunting wild boars in Spain with Dad. I hunted my first aged 11. I only go about 10 days a year, but in that time I get 10.” Junior and the Juniors “Signing a contract with the Red Bull Junior team was great. I’ll give 200 per cent to make the most of it. People like Jaime Alguersuari, Sebastian Vettel... I’ve followed their progress to see how they did when they got to F1. It’s very exciting joining the team for 2010. My main priority now is having a great year in Formula BMW. I’ll be a rookie, but that doesn’t take away the urge to win. I always like to win.” Killers and Kings get him going “Half an hour before a race I listen to music to get the right mindset. The Killers are good and ‘Sex on Fire’ by Kings of Leon puts me in racing mood.” Winning formula? “If I could take on any drivers on the track, I’d love to race [the late Brazilian Formula One champ Ayrton] Senna. Imagine that. And Fernando Alonso, for sure, the Spanish champion. Vettel is also is one of my idols: all my heroes are all F1 drivers. Being involved in F1 is a dream for me, but it’s very difficult. You have to be really good, of course, and also lucky. But that just gives me a stronger urge to go and achieve it. So, in time, I may be on a track racing against Vettel. It’s a far-off dream but I’ll be putting in every effort to arrive there one day.”
PICTURES OF THE MONTH
every shOt On target Email your pics with a Red Bull flavour to email@example.com. Every one we print wins a pair of Sennheiser PMX 80 Sport II headphones. These sleek, sporty and rugged stereo ’phones feature an ergonomic neckband and vertical transducer system for optimum fit and comfort. Their sweat- and water-resistant construction also makes them ideal for all music-loving sports enthusiasts. www.sennheiser.co.uk firstname.lastname@example.org
On tour Anna F takes her sounds to the streets before her debut album hits stores on February 5. Markus Thums
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The joy of six This year’s Six Nations promises top action and surprises
ireland are the form team as the six nations tournament calls the northern hemisphere’s finest players to arms again this month. the irish won a deserved grand slam last season and rounded off a spectacular 2009 during the autumn internationals, drawing 2020 with australia and beating world champions south africa 15-10. that said, a green clean sweep may prove tougher in 2010. “it’s going to be a hotly contested six nations,” says Lee Mears, the Bath and england hooker. “there’s huge excitement and expectation among the players as well as fans.” england, still undergoing a painful rebuilding process since their World cup win in 2003, may consider third place a par score this year. Wales, despite also supplying a slew of Lions, looked fragile in 2009. the Welsh rely on momentum, so their title bid must begin with a win at twickenham. Key men Lee Byrne and adam Jones must perform. scotland v france, on february 7, could be the match of the tournament. andy robinson’s men beat australia 9-8 in the autumn and could shock the french, who lost 12-39 to new Zealand. italy, the third blueshirts, are odds-on for the wooden spoon. For all the action, see www.rbs6nations.com
auckland Give us a wave – the beach is brought to the ’burbs in true Red Bulletin style. Steve Froggatt
salzburg The Under-13 Red Bulls beat their fathers 10:6 in an inter-generational ice-hockey duel at the Ice Arena. Lukas Höflehner
hangar 7 Make mine a pint. The drink that gives you wings served in style at Hangar-7’s café. Bernhard Klestil 17
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en.redbulletin.com/print2.0 Crash in on Red Bull Crashed Ice
The battle for victory at the Red Bull Crashed Ice finals ‘Cold as Ice’ by 1970s soft-rockers Foreigner details the stone-cold witchery of a totally unrighteous lady. The band won’t be present when 64 foreigners and locals face-off in Quebec City for red Bull Crashed Ice on march 20, but the treacherous course could still mean a whole lot of heartbreak. The event, in which four ice-skaters hurtle side-by-side down a 550m-long jump-laden track, is a combination of hockey, boardercross and downhill skiing: it’s jostling elbows and pumping legs in a scrap for the finish line. races take place in city centres across the world – not solely those in snowy climes – in front of thousands of spectators.
Berg im Drautal It might by snowy, but you can still unicycle. You just need the correct tyres. Lukas Stocker 18
The climax to the latest season is, for the first time, a two-legged affair: the first was at munich’s olympiapark on January 16; then, in Canada, the champion will be crowned. This is the third consecutive year of races in Quebec City; winner in 2008 and 2009 was arttu pihlainen, a 28-year-old sports teacher from Finland. He’ll have to hope for a minor miracle after only finishing ninth in munich; germany’s martin niefnecker won, ahead of gabriel andre of Canada. “I’ve had more bruises in [two days of qualifying and finals] than in the course of my entire ice hockey career,” said niefnecker, 19. “But it was worth it.”
The Winter X Games, the apex of snowsports competition, began in the US of A, but this year is all about its new-born European cousin. The Winter X Games Europe will be a three-day showcase of skiing, snowboarding and snowmobiling beginning on March 10 in Tignes, near Val d’Isere in the French Alps. More than 100 athletes will compete for medals in eight events, including snowboarding superpipe and slopestyle, and the crowd favourite, freestyle snowmobile. “X Games is the biggest contest going,” says Norwegian skier and X Games bronze medallist PK Hunder. “It’s great. We need more stuff like this in Europe.” Also competing are freeskier Simon Dumont (below), US-born Norwegian skier Grete Eliassen and snowmobile champ Levi LaVallee, who between them have six X Games gold medals. You can find full athlete line-ups and event schedules at expn.go.com
Learn more at www.redbullcrashedice.com
Mondsee A magazine for all elements! In order to concentrate on The Red Bulletin, I needed to find a quiet place. Daniel Treiber
Salzburg Flyboy Hannes Arch’s end-of-season party attracted a good crowd – including world champion snowboarder Benjamin Karl (right). Heiko Mandl
Words: Tom Hall, ruTH morgan. pHoTograpHy: geTTy Images (1), Flo Hagena/red Bull pHoToFIles (1)
X Games goes global: first stop, France
Words: andreas Jaros. IllusTraTIon: HerI IraWan
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The FuTure OF FOOTBall 1. rEplay thE GamE A new series for World Cup year. To kick off: video evidence leading ref massimo Busacca crosses himself before every game: “I know my human shortcomings. It’s nice to know that someone will help me at difficult moments.” like their swiss employee, FIFa also believe in higher powers, and continue to ignore calls for the use of video evidence during matches. The inability to distinguish what’s what
in the maelstrom of activity that is the modern game’s penalty area, coupled with acting masterclasses from players willing to cheat, is becoming too much to bear for fans and managers alike, and has led to some hair-raising refereeing errors. most notoriously, at the end of last year, it was Thierry Henry’s hand, not his ingenious feet,
which took France through to the World Cup at the expense of the republic of Ireland. even former star man in black pierluigi Collina shook his bald head: “Things can’t go on like this.” It’s long been the case that video evidence benefits top-level sport: in america, the nFl and nHl are only enhanced by their use of instant replays. similarly, rugby and cricket have recently tweaked their rules to allow video evidence as a matter of course, and even tennis, with its fondness for tradition, uses the Hawkeye system to adjudicate on disputed line calls – and ramp up the tension. Join the World Cup countdown at www.fifa.com
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Top performers and winning ways from across the globe
Cristobal de Col (PER) An excellent start to the year for the 16-year-old: in perfect conditions and home waters, he beat five top-class surfers to win the Billabong Cabo Blanco Tube Riders title. “I’ve surfed here since I was little,” he says, “so this is a dream come true.”
Steven Wong (HK) Not even an ankle injury could prevent the BMX rider sprinting to a convincing win at the sport’s East Asian Games. The 21-year-old (centre) took just 30.2 seconds in his favourite lane six to take the gold medal in front of a cheering home crowd.
Diego González (SPA) Also known as Noult, the Spanish MC became a champion of champions when he beat seven former winners of the freestyle contest Red Bull Batalla de los Gallos in Madrid. He defeated the quirky Venezuelan rhymesman McKlopedia in the final war of words.
Andreu Lacondeguy (SPA) The 21-year-old mountain bike freestyle rider won the Global Rider of the Year trophy at the inaugural Spanish Freestyle Awards in 2009. As the first rider to land a double backflip in a slopestyle contest, Andreu most definitely earned his acclaim.
Words: ruth Morgan. PhotograPhy: Jordi Fabre (1), Jose de Col (1), sebas roMero/red bull PhotoFiles (1), getty iMages (1). illustration: dietMar kainrath
Hard & fast
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Where’s Your head at
Think you know about one of popular cinema’s most enduring talents? About the piano, the plane crash and the pool-digging? You’ve got to ask yourself a question: “Do I feel lucky?” For a Few Dollars. literally A no-name Italian director, Sergio Leone, needed a cowboy for a cheap Western to be shot in Rome and Spain in the summer of 1964. Several actors said no, but Clint said yes: top billing in a movie, and, as he saw it, the chance to get a great tan. He also got $15,000 for 11 weeks’ work, and from Leone, on the set of what would become known as A Fistful Of Dollars, schooling from a great director. Unforgiven, perhaps Clint’s masterpiece, was dedicated to “Sergio and Don”, as in Leone and Siegel, who directed Clint in five films including Dirty Harry.
Not aN acto r
Eastwood, of course, made his name as a movie star, but that was only a step on the way to his true calling, as a film director. He is currently making Hereafter, a thriller starring Matt Damon and his 31st feature film as the man in charge – that’s more than Steven Spielberg and Martin Scorsese have managed. Along the way, he’s won two Best Director Oscars, for Unforgiven and Million Dollar Baby.
the keys to succ ess
Boy Clint’s first taste of the arts was music. He loved to play the piano, and was studying music at university when he was drafted into the US Army in 1950. “As a kid, I started out playing ragtime stuff… and everybody played blues in those days,” he says. Later, he would write the scores of several of his films, and also released several singles and an album. His son Kyle is a jazz musician.
MoNkey BusiNess In 1978, following a decade as one of Hollywood’s top 10 box-office draws, Clint Eastwood made a film in which he co-starred with an orangutan. Every Which Way But Loose is the tale of a truck driver/ bareknuckle fighter and his faithful pet ape, a creature that punches and poops with some comic timing. The film did great business, so Any Which Way You Can followed in 1980.
cheer s to 80
The only son of Clinton and Margaret Eastwood was born in San Francisco on May 31, 1930 – meaning he turns 80 later this year. Not that he cares. On the occasion of his birthday last year, he said, “Once you get in the 70s, several things happen. One is, you stop celebrating birthdays. I’ve forbidden my wife… I said, ‘Don’t get me anything. We’ll just have a glass of wine.’”
Words: Paul Wilson; illustration: lie-ins and tigers
coNversioN tactics Given that he was mayor of Carmel in California from 1986-88, there was a time when you would have got better odds on Eastwood flirting with the Oval Office than with the oval ball. But now there’s Invictus, his new movie about the South African team winning the 1995 Rugby World Cup and Nelson Mandela’s influence thereon. As with all his recent films, there’s a greater, human point being made. “I know [film producer] Jack Warner used to say, ‘If you want to send a message, call Western Union.’ But I don’t believe that,” he says.
the MaN with No work For much of the 1950s, Clint’s professional life was on the brink of collapse: dropped after 18 months as a contract player at Universal Studios; a series of agents; and to pay the bills was reduced to, among other things, digging swimming pools. Then, in 1959, he got a part on TV Western Rawhide, which kept him in work for six years, but Hollywood stayed away.
Dirty olD harry
truNks calliNg While in the US Army, Clint became a lifeguard and swimming instructor. These skills would come in handy when a military plane he was in crashed off the coast of San Francisco. He attained the rank of corporal, but on screen has been a private, corporal, lieutenant, sergeant and in what he says is his final acting role, in Gran Torino, he plays a Korean war vet. (Clint didn’t go to Korea in 1951, thanks to the plane crash investigation.)
Eastwood’s most famous role is that of Dirty Harry, cinema’s original maverick cop, who he played five times from 1971 to 1988. There are film producers who would love to bankroll a sixth outing. Last time the Dirty Harry 6 rumours surfaced was 2006. “What would he be doing?” said Clint at the time. “Would he be out there fly fishing or something? Get out on his walker and chase somebody?” Harry parallels were noted by some in Gran Torino, but really there are none. Watch the trailer for Clint’s latest, Invictus, at invictusmovie.warnerbros.com
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Outside your door is a world that can give you toned arms, a trim stomach, a low resting heart rate and perhaps even a six pack.
Words: ruth Morgan. photography: Matt price/red bull photofiles
It is also world that doesn’t involve a 12-month joining fee.
global trickfest Free-to-all freestyle skate free-for-all It’s not often that going wild in a park brings you anything but trouble, but in this case it’s the name of the game. Wild in the Parks is the skatepark trick championship, run by venerable skating brand Volcom, which gives amateur skaters their chance to enter the spotlight. Entry is open to all, at no cost, and anyone can possibly go on to win cash prizes and serious bragging rights. Oh, and there’s a free lunch thrown in, too. Participants are divided into age categories, and hopefuls will take to the concrete for 15-minute rounds in a skate jam format. Judges from the world of pro skating award points for each trick landed, with no penalty for falling off, no matter how many times a skater may bail, until a winner is crowned. The top three riders over the course of the event then qualify for a larger championship final. Since area victors have already been crowned in Europe and the USA, it’s the turn of would-be pros in Australia and New Zealand. The action has already hit Perth and Queensland in Australia, and Christchurch in New Zealand, and now heads to Melbourne on February 13 and Adelaide on March 6. Winners from both countries then head for Sydney on May 1 to battle for overall Australasian honours. For an application form and more info on how you can take part, visit www.volcom.com
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Simpel the best: Skateboarders and BMXers love the contest’s atmosphere
tallinn ho! The cream of the BMX and skate worlds come together in Estonia Sport in the Baltics during the winter months isn’t limited to skiing and ice cricket (an Estonian favourite). In February, Tallinn becomes the place to be for the world’s best skateboarders and BMXers, who descend on the capital for the biggest indoor street sports contest in Europe: the Simpel Session. Away from the cold and snow, inside a 7000-seat arena, more than 200 athletes will demonstrate their considerable skills on a bespoke obstacle course devised and built by leading trick specialists. The competition, which lasts for three days and this year celebrates its 10th anniversary, has become one of the biggest gatherings on both the skate and BMX calendars. 24
The people keep coming because the Simpel Session is noted for its ample prize purse (€10,000 for 2010), testing course, and (according to the organisers, but athletes would concur) “the feeling of being at a giant, never-ending BMX and skateboard party”. The rider list reads like a who’s who of street sports. Already confirmed are European skate champion and last year’s Simpel Session victor Axel Cruysberghs and the skate legend that is Ryan Sheckler. “It’s an amazing event,” says British skater Kris Vile. “Everyone wants to be there and this year will be the biggest yet.” No need to pack the cricket bat. The action begins on February 5: get onboard via www.redbullskateboarding.com
Teenage dreams, so hard to beat. Yet Red Bull Bedroom Jam, the online show that broadcasts bands in their own homes, is back this February to give dreams a damn good shake-up. Or perhaps a swinging mic to the back of the head. It works like this: if at least one member of your band is under the age of 20, you can upload a video of a performance of an original song to the Bedroom Jam website. Over the course of 16 weeks, website users vote for a weekly favourite, and that band will have the Red Bull Bedroom Jam team come to their home to film a professional quality show to be broadcast live on the website. The first gig proper will be available online from February 15. A chart of the most popular jams will help to give sustained exposure, and eight bands from this year’s line-up will be chosen to make the leap from house and home to 2010’s major summer music festivals. Last year, breakout acts such as My Passion rocked Download and T in the Park on the Red Bull Bedroom Jam stage. The act that generates the most buzz by autumn of this year will also get a two-week stint in Red Bull’s new recording studio in London. This could be a new act’s big break – and they don’t have to break curfew to earn it. Vote for – or become – tomorrow’s new music maestros at www.redbullbedroomjam.com
WoRdS: RuTh MoRgAN, ToM hAll. PhoTogRAPhy: luKAS NAzdRACzEW/REd Bull PhoToFIlES (1), WojTEK ANToNoW/REd Bull PhoToFIlES (2),
Start your world tour without leaving home
“Nothing is as relative as the ‘impossible’.” Felix Baumgartner.
BASE jumper, helicopter pilot and Wings for Life Supporter.
Progress and ongoing development are a feature of our times. We live in an era of visionary thinking. The recent history of humankind is strewn with new milestones of technical and medical achievements. For the longest time, it was thought impossible to repair the injured spinal cord. But damaged neural cells have been regenerated in laboratory experiments. So new medical and scientific evidence shows that progress is possible even in this complex field. Doctors and scientists now agree that it will one day be possible to cure spinal cord injuries. This is what the Wings for Life Spinal Cord Research Foundation is aiming for. By selecting and supporting research projects of the highest quality, Wings for Life invest in progress – for a future in which spinal paralysis can be cured.
Your contribution makes a difference. Wings for Life. Spinal Cord Research Foundation. HSBC Bank UK. Sort Code: 40-05-30. Account Number: 83882101.
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Once upon a time, travelling disc jockeys – and goodwill-seeking Russian premiers – had to have arms as strong as their playlists. Now, the discerning digital DJ has more music but travels lighter
In September 1959, Nikita Khrushchev visited the USA. It was the Soviet leader’s first trip to America, and on his sightseeing list were trips to Disneyland and the United Nations building. He took with him a gift that musicologists call The Khrushchev Collection: a box case emblazoned with the red Soviet 26
hammer-and-sickle flag, covered in green velveteen and with blue bindings, containing 20 Russian shellac 78rpm records inside a concertina-like folder. On the discs are more than 150 tracks, including propaganda anthems, classical masterpieces such as Pictures at an Exhibition by Mussorgsky,
traditional Ukrainian songs and marches. Khrushchev wasn’t just broadening President Eisenhower’s musical horizons; he had just imported the world’s first record bag into America. You can buy a CD recording of the set from the Iowa Historical Society (www. iowahistory.org), where the originals reside.
TexT: Florian obkircher
Bag In The USSR The Khrushchev Collection, 1959
PhoTograPhy: sTaTe hisTory socieTy oF iowa (1), kurT keinraTh (1)
carry a tune Magma dIGI-Case, 2009 Now, almost no one travels around with LPs, whether they’re statesmen or DJs. Thanks to Serato Scratch and other vinyl emulator software, the modern plate-spinner can save on excess baggage costs and spinal stress by carrying only a computer bag. Inside is a laptop, a hardware interface and
two vinyl control plates so the DJ has a vast, permanent music library. Once a connection between laptop and decks is established, the DJ can manipulate the digital music on the computer in real time, using vinyl plates on the turntable and thus maintaining the physical connection with the music many
DJs consider essential. If the laptop crashes, the Magma DIGI-Case has space for oldschool CDs and 12s. Electroclash pioneer and techno don DJ Hell says, “There’s no other bag I’d trust my music with.” You can find more DJ equipment like this at www.magma-bags.com
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Me And My Body
Having battled a broken neck, jaw and back, and survived a coma before getting back in the saddle, the 22-year-old BMX rider from South Africa is aiming for Olympic gold in 2012 all in the minD
“I had my first nasty BMX injury in 2002, when I broke my jaw. I was really unlucky because our helmets protect us there, but I landed awkwardly. I was competing at a local race in South Africa; I was 15 years old, in only my second year of racing, and it was just two weeks before going to my first world championships in Brazil. I had an operation to reset the jaw, it was wired up and I went on a liquid diet. I decided to go to Brazil and give the championships a crack with a broken jaw. It went well – I reached the semi-finals.”
heaDing for a fall
“In 2008 I hit my head hard during the European championship finals in Germany and was in a coma for about a week afterwards. I was leading going into the second day, having won the first, but this Belgian guy sent me crashing at a turn and I landed on my head on a medics’ table. I had severe concussion and couldn’t remember who or where I was, so they put me in a coma to help me recover. I didn’t race for three weeks, until the world championships, which I entered against the advice of the doctors, and finished third.”
“Last year I was leading the European championships, with a record set of six straight wins. Then in June I broke my neck during training in Norway, when I skidded off the bike onto my head. I fractured vertebrae three and four, and had an emergency operation to insert a metal plate and screws to try fuse them. I’ve been off the bike ever since. I wore a neck brace for four months, and this season I’ll use a protective neck brace, one newly designed for bicycle-oriented sports, which should help keep me OK.”
the shape of things to come “I train six days a week, twice a day, to stay competition fit. Since I broke my neck I’ve picked up weights as I haven’t been able to ride, so I’m going to be working hard on my endurance to burn fat and get my fitness back this season. The most important thing is to get back on the bike – and to be confident. Often you can come back from a big injury feeling more cautious and second-guessing yourself. So I’m going to try to give myself a lot of time on the bike to get back into the zone in order to make good decisions on the track.”
“Our bikes don’t have shocks, so all the impact goes through the wrists, knees and ankles, but we can’t wear too much protection as we need to be agile. We use a helmet, gloves, knee and elbow pads, but nothing that constricts movement. It may sound strange, but we have to learn how to crash correctly, as sometimes things happen so fast you don’t realise until you’re on the floor. Breaking my wrist in early 2009 in Belgium knocked me off the top of the standings, but I won three weekends in a row when I came back, and climbed back to first… and then broke my neck. But this year I’ll be back again.” Follow Sifiso’s preparations for the world championships at www.skizo105.com
words: ruth Morgan. PhotograPhy: Craig kolesky/red bull Photofiles
Down to the wire
“I’m getting used to the mental side of recovery. Some injured riders might think, “That was too close, I’m getting out of this”, but it gave me time to realise just how much I love what I do. I’m more hungry for it now than ever. The world championships are on my home turf this year, so I want to come back stronger. After that, the 2012 Olympics is one of my big goals. I got to the finals in Beijing in 2008, but had a nasty crash in the final round. There was a four-year build up to that one event, but that kind of upset comes with the territory. Hopefully, I’ll bring a medal back from London.”
Registered charity 267444
‘No one has seen them,’ claims Peru’s oil chief. ‘They’ve been invented,’ says Peru’s president. Yet this photograph of an uncontacted tribe proves they exist. The government is giving over 70% of its Amazon forest to oil and gas exploration. It will destroy the tribes that live there. Help restore logic. www.restorelogic.org/peru
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Daredevil Travis Pastrana saw in 2010 with one of the most incredible car stunts of all-time, thanks to his hard work, his cojones and his old pal Sir Isaac Newton
The Man Behind The Wheel on new Year’s eve just past, travis pastrana rose to his toughest challenge yet: smashing the distance record for a ramp-to-ramp car jump at red Bull: new Year. no limits. “It’s a matter of getting your acceleration right on take-off,” says the 27-year old american, who leaped 82m from the harbour onto a specially constructed barge in long Beach, california “at a live event, there’s no visual confirmation of landing because you’re taking off into the lights. all you see is sky and black. so when I hit the ramp, I was going on feeling – I’d done a lot of practice. there wasn’t much wind, so I just had to hit the brakes when the front end came up, lock them and drop the front end to hit the landing. I probably hit the take-off a quarter of a mile an hour too fast, but it was about perfect.
words: ruth morgan, professor thomas schrefl
Leap Year: Travis Pastrana’s record-breaking jump looks simple, but there are so many variables. Says the man himself: “You can take off at the correct speed, but the rate of acceleration exponentially affects the distance. It felt faster than when I’d done it in practice, maybe because of the crowd, but it felt just right on take-off”
photographY: garth mIlan/red Bull photofIles. IllustratIon: mandY fIscher
en.redbulletin.com/print2.0 Turn your webcam on, and with a click of your mouse you’ll see four videos of Pastrana’s record-breaking jump
“half the crowd was watching to see me crash, the other half to see me make it. for me, it was just a matter of trying to stay alive. It couldn’t have been better. I did exactly what I set out to do and the car didn’t end up in the drink. Best new Year’s ever.” The Science Behind The JuMp “once airborne, the only forces acting on the car are gravity and drag,” says thomas schrefl, professor of functional materials at the university of sheffield. “drag force, f, is always directed opposite velocity, v, and varies with the square of the velocity, f = –Dv². the constant, D, depends on the density, , of air, the cross-section area, A, of the car and the drag coefficient, C, such that D = CA/2. In order to find the trajectory of the flying car, we need to know how its speed changes owing to
the force acting on the car. the components of the acceleration, a x and ay, follow from newton’s second law, that a force applied to a body produces a proportional acceleration. “no formula exists that gives the position, x(t) and y(t), of the body as function of time, t. But software can compute the change of position, Δx and Δy, in a short time interval, Δt. “travis pastrana’s car left the ramp at a speed of 145kph (90mph) and landed 82m away. using our formula, we can compute the total flying time and his speed on landing: 2.14 seconds and 142kph (88mph), respectively. the braking deceleration, a = v²/(2l), required to stop within a distance, l, of 65m, is 1.2 times the acceleration due to gravity, g, a value that can be reached only in optimal conditions.” See how Travis prepared for his leap at www.redbull.com
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Super Bowl XlIV You can’t ignore the sporting juggernaut that is American Football’s mega-final. Face up to it with rings, wings and things to make you go hmm
Super Bowls contested, as of February 7, since the game’s inception in 1967. The Super Bowl is American Football’s championship game, held annually every January or (in 2002 and since 2004) February, and is the culmination of the regular season from the previous year. Since 1970, the Super Bowl has been played between the champion team from each of the sport’s two conferences. The name ‘Super Bowl’ was devised in the run-up to the first game by Lamar Hunt, owner of the Kansas City Chiefs and a league bigwig, who saw one of his kids playing with a rubber bouncy ball, or Super Ball.
Shirt number of the Super Bowl’s greatest player, Joe Montana. The 49ers quarterback started four Super Bowls in the 1980s and won them all, was named Most Valuable Player three times and has thrown more touchdown passes in the big game than anyone else. Under the NFL’s passer rating system, Joe has the highest average rating in Super Bowls. But spare a thought for Gale Gilbert, the only man to play in five consecutive Super Bowls, from XXV in 1991 to XXIX in 1995: he has five losers’ rings.
Maximum number of winners’ rings paid for by the NFL each year. The league sets aside $5000 for each item of victory jewellery, which the winning team awards to its players, coaches and other staff. The rings often cost more; last year’s bling has 63 diamonds totalling 3.61 carats, and is cast in 14-carat gold. In 1981, while on a flight from Chicago to New York, former Green Bay Packer Jerry Kramer left his Super Bowl I winners’ ring in the toilet after taking it off to wash his hands. It was returned to him in 2006 when the son of a former team-mate saw it on an internet auction site.
Chicken wings eaten on Super Bowl Sunday, according to the US National Chicken Council. Some would argue that the game itself is secondary to all that has grown up around it: the week-long celebration the host city enjoys; the half-time show featuring best-selling music acts; and Super Bowl parties held in bars and homes across the USA. Indeed, in a country noted for its fondness for a bite to eat, and then a bigger bite after that, Super Bowl Sunday has become the nation’s second-greediest day. Only Thanksgiving ranks ahead of it in terms of chow scarfed and beverages quaffed.
Winning percentage of Super Bowl appearances notched by the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Pennsylvanian team have won six of the seven games they have contested, including the 2009 game against the Arizona Cardinals. The Dallas Cowboys have played in eight Super Bowls, a record, but won only five. Five is also the number of wins by the San Francisco 49ers, who have a 100 per cent Super Bowl record, along with three teams who have won the only Super Bowl in which they played. The Minnesota Vikings and the Buffalo Bills have each lost their only four Super Bowls thus far. Ouch.
26.9 Percentage of Super Bowl viewers last year, in a survey undertaken by the US’s Retail Advertising and Marketing Association, who felt that the television commercials were the most important part of the day. Since the game is often the year’s most-watched TV show, the advertising space is the most expensive in the world (the broadcast is rotated among the TV networks to ensure a fair share of ad cash) and companies launch flashy new campaigns. A 30-second spot for 2010 cost US$2.4-3m. Keep an eye on YouTube the morning after for mega-ads from Motorola, Budweiser and Honda, among others. Uncover who’s who in this year’s Super Bowl at www.nfl.com
Words: paul Wilson. photography: imago
EYEWEAR + ACCESSORIES . SAN FRANCISCO www.sutrovision.com
PhotograPhy: Mattias Fredriksson/red Bull PhotoFiles
Heroes High-flying pioneers cut from a similar winning cloth…
36 Felix Baumgartner 46 Jon olsson 50 Kris meeKe 54 roBert gore
Swedish freeskiing legend Jon Olsson is switched on 24/7. “As soon as I relax I pretty much die,” he says. Discover what makes him tick on page 46
PhotograPhy: Sven hoffmann
en.redbulletin.com/print2.0 Discover Red Bull Stratos
Felix Baumgartner The last time you saw the Austrian BASE-jumper and skydiver was on the first page of your newspaper, the day after his freefall across the English Channel. His next project will redefine the limits of human endeavour. You really will believe a man can fly... Words: Christian Seiler
“ i want to bequeath something to the world. i want to leave my mark ”
In 2003, felix Baumgartner put on a carbon wing, and used it to freefall into Calais after jumping out of a plane over the south-east coast of england. he crossed the Channel in a way that no one before or since has done. Breaking records, and smashing expectations, is what the 40-year-old austrian does. Since then, he has undertaken some spectacular BaSe-jumps: leaping from some of the world’s tallest buildings and the statue of Jesus Christ in rio de Janeiro was how he made his name. he has also graduated from helicopter school and has been working, for more than two years, on a secret project so groundbreaking that it will recalibrate our knowledge of the human body, and raise the bar for human endeavour to... well, to outer space. now, at last, his secret is out. Baumgartner’s next and most fearsome challenge is red Bull Stratos, an incredible descent from the edge of earth’s atmosphere, during which a man, by freefall alone, is going to break the sound barrier. that man is felix Baumgartner, and here is his story.
Name Felix Baumgartner Born April 20, 1969, Salzburg, Austria Profession Helicopter pilot, BASe-jumper Peaks and troughs Broke the world record for highest and lowest BASe-jumps Spaceman His next project, Red Bull Stratos, will set the bar for human endeavour. Watch the skies... Web www.felixbaumgartner. com
“ everything around me will be black. i’ll be alone in the stratosphere ”
1. The Leap From ouTer Space baumgartner has been working for years on making red bull stratos a reality. he secured the help of leading space experts to construct a helium balloon that can take him up to an altitude of around 36km (22.5 miles). his heart pounds when he thinks of the moment he makes his leap: “what to say before i Jump?”
Your latest project is called Red Bull Stratos – Mission to the Edge of Space. What’s it all about? the biggest mountains have already been climbed. the atlantic has already been crossed. man has landed on the moon. But no man has broken the speed of sound on his own. that’s what I want to do. If I can do that, I’ll also do the highest manned balloon trip, the longest freefall, the fastest freefall and the highest jump in the world. And what are the project’s basic details? In a capsule attached to a helium balloon, I will ascend to a height of around 36km (22.5 miles), at which point I will leave the capsule and accelerate in freefall to a speed of 1300kph (808mph). I’ll be wearing a spacesuit. Doing this will mean breaking the sound barrier. So you’re trying to break records held by US Air Force officer Joseph Kittinger, which he set over New Mexico on August 16, 1960? yes. Kittinger climbed to 31,322m in his helium balloon, and then jumped out of the gondola. he
was in freefall for four minutes and 36 seconds, and almost reached the speed of sound when he was clocked at 988kph (614mph; the speed of sound is 1236kph [768mph]). I want to break these records. When did you first think about surpassing Kittinger’s record? the project has been on my desk four times in one form or another. In 2004, an austrian balloonist suggested taking up a gas balloon to 50km (30 miles) and jumping. the second time I thought about it was when a company I didn’t know suggested it to me, but that didn’t pan out either. then I was approached by a former colleague of richard Branson – a man who has set a whole host of ballooning records. We sat down and went through the logistics, but we didn’t click. And so what happened next? I decided to take matters into my own hands. after painstaking research, I got a team together with enough expertise in aviation and suit technology for us to make an attempt at the records. Who’s in your team? art thompson, an aviation expert who, among other things, helped develop the famous Stealth Bomber. I’m also working with the David Clark Company, which is making my suit and is one of naSa’s most important suppliers. then there’s Joseph Kittinger, the current record-holder. and red Bull, of course. Without red Bull, I’d never have been able to get my projects off the ground. What is it you are expecting to get out of Red Bull Stratos? We will provide a huge amount of data that will allow analysis of what happens when extreme pressure is applied to the human body. after all, no one has yet gone faster than the speed of sound without a machine powering them. What do you think it’ll be like for you? everything around me will be black. I’ll be alone in the stratosphere. When I jump, I’ll be going on a journey that no one has ever done. I will be the first person to break the sound barrier alone. that will be a record for all eternity. as such, a piece of me will become immortal. What’s the appeal of going down in history? I want to bequeath something to the world. I’ve always been a fan of people like James Dean and ayrton Senna, people who live on in their fans. I’ve often thought about why we don’t forget people like them, and it’s because they left behind something worth remembering. Because they leave their mark. that’s what it is. I want to leave my mark. Are you in charge of the project, or can you defer when needs be? I am involved in every step of this project, because 36km up I am completely on my own, and I don’t want to have to pay for someone else’s mistakes. How far have you got with testing? I’ve already done preliminary tests in the pressurised suit. I performed them at a simulated height of 36km, and I coped well. So, the suit increases pressure to replace the atmospheric pressure that decreases the higher you go…
PhotograPhy: Sven hoffman
PhotograPhy: BernharD SPötteL/reD BuLL PhotofILeS
When you go higher than 18km (11 miles), your blood starts to boil. most military pilots have pressurised suits that can handle altitudes of up to 15km (9 miles). hardly anyone has been up as high as 36km, because such an extreme height is of no interest to the military. What does it feel like 36km up? the suit inflates and the pressure increases, and any movement is agony. the human body is not at home up there. So how can you do a parachute jump under such conditions? I’m learning how to from scratch. for starters, because of the helmet, you can’t see if the parachute has opened. two mirrors have to be fixed to my gloves. and then you need total oxygen supply. How much time do you spend in the suit? as much as possible. Joseph Kittinger told me, “you have to go singing and dancing in the suit. you shouldn’t even notice that you’ve got the suit on, otherwise you’ll be suddenly and hopelessly out of your depth when you get to 36km.” What does he mean by that? Imagine you’re sitting in the capsule. there’s not much room. It’s cold. you can’t feel your hands and feet. you can’t sweat, because if you do your visor will steam up. It’s not normal, so I have to prepare as much as possible. And how will you learn to jump in the suit? We’ve planned several jumps at different heights. What equipment will you have in the capsule? the most important things: navigation and emergency equipment, altimeter, radio, oxygen. And how exactly do you get out of it? there’s a sliding door that I can open, and there are two rails fixed to the outside, which I hold onto before I get going. How big is the balloon? Before lift-off it’s 145m tall. the skin is as thin as a normal plastic bag. that’s what makes getting the balloon started so hard every time. If there’s a tear in the skin, you have to pack the balloon back up again and start from scratch. What’s the toughest challenge for you as far as Red Bull Stratos is concerned? only this: returning to earth alive. Are you afraid as zero hour approaches? I have respect for what I am going to do, because never before have I had to rely so much on technology and my team. Do you have a mental image of the moment when you jump? yes I have, because I’ve gone though it a thousand times in my mind. the only question I have yet to answer is what I’ll say before I jump. You’ve got to do something as good as, “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap...” exactly. Whenever I think about it, I start to get palpitations.
“ as a child, i always wanted to fly like our superheroes ”
2. earLy yearS When did you begin parachute jumping? When I was 16. you’re not allowed to do it any younger than that. And why did you want to do it? as a child, I always wanted to fly like our superheroes. and in my way, I’ve achieved that. You served your time in the Austrian Army, where you learned to drive tanks and jump out of planes. Why did you leave the army? I was first a tank driver and instructor, then I was an athlete in the close combat school. I couldn’t follow stupid orders. So it was an acrimonious break-up? Let’s put it this way – I had problems being subordinate. It can’t all have been bad, though? not at all. much of what I learned in the military – for example being tough on yourself and coping with hardship – has helped me enormously with my life further down the line. I also learned my leadership skills in the military.
he completed a mechanic’s apprenticeship and then trained as a parachutist when in the austrian army. he decided to become a baseJumper because it was the closest thing he could find to make true his dreams of flight. the tattoo on his arm says ‘born to fly’
“ once you’re on the way, there’s no going back ”
his first trainer showed him video footage of a base-Jumper who did all sorts of crazy stuff in the air, then asked him if he liked the kind of moves he saw. baumgartner answered: “yes, it looks cool.” and his trainer replied: “but he’s dead”
After the army, you tried your hand at motocross and also at boxing. I had a lot of free time when I was serving in Wiener neustadt [south of vienna], so I signed up to a boxing club. my aim was to have a professional fight after I’d completed my training. I wanted to know what the world looks like from the ring. You fought the Croatian welterweight Dinko Porobija, who had previously won 140 fights. Couldn’t you have made things easier for yourself? the fight was only over three rounds. I got hit in the face immediately and knew that I had to fight back or it would hurt. and after 40 seconds, he was on the floor. a knockout. Why didn’t you continue with boxing? Because as an austrian boxer, I thought I had no chance of an international career.
3. The BaSe Line How did you make that leap from parachuting to BASE-jumping? In 1995, I watched a video of two guys jumping off el Capitan, a 1000m monolith in the yosemite national Park in California. not long after that, I saw rainer nowak jumping off the olympiaturm [the tower in munich’s olympic Park] on tv. I was totally fascinated by the idea that you could parachute jump without an aeroplane. It comes very close to my idea of being able to fly. So did you just give it a go? no. I had the good fortune to meet and learn from tracy ‘Space’ Walker: a fat, unshaven guy who, when I met him for the first time, opened the door in a blue-and-white striped dressing-gown, beer in one hand and a marlboro menthol in the other. I thought to myself, “this is not the man who is going to teach me something so difficult and dangerous.” 40
But he was the one who taught you? he did. to set the tone, tracy showed me videos of one guy who’d done really crazy stuff. then he asked me if I liked what I saw. I said yes, it looked cool. then he said, “But he’s dead.” he showed me how dangerous the sport can be if you’re not careful. When I say I was lucky to meet tracy, this is what I’m talking about, because if you’re with the sort of crowd who are happy to hurl themselves off anything after smoking a joint, you probably won’t live long. So your maiden jump was on Bridge Day off the New River Gorge Bridge in West Virginia, USA? on the third weekend in october every year, hundreds of BaSe-jumpers from all over the world get together to celebrate the bridge’s birthday and to hold the unofficial BaSe-jumping world championships with a combination of acrobatic and target jumps. How did the first jump feel? Just as I’d imagined it in my head thousands of times before. I was totally focused. It wasn’t stressful? no, the first time that happened was the day after, when tracy showed me a much lower bridge, one only 70m high [the new river gorge Bridge is 267m in height]. Are jumps from lower down that much more dangerous? they limit the working time you have in the air. If the parachute turns 180 degrees after the jump – which can always happen – you hardly have any time to make adjustments. And because of that, you got butterflies... It’s not butterflies, really. It’s a sudden calm. you can only vaguely hear what’s going on around you, until you finally let yourself fall, and once you’re on the way, there’s no going back. It’s a bad moment. Is ‘bad’ the right word? It is bad in a way, but it’s interesting too. I’m fascinated by how final the decision is once you’ve jumped. after that it’s all very quick. there’s juddering above you: you look up and the parachute is open. you pull the steering lines and you land. only then can you say to yourself – wonderful. So was it a while before you could enjoy BASE-jumping fully? yes, that came much later. But you’d joined the BASE-jumping world. I was energised. I would travel around, looking for places to jump from. I was always on the lookout. So where did you go? the europabrücke [in austria], and a whole host of other places. those were heady days. Were you ever wild and careless? only once, when I hadn’t taken one of tracy’s most important rules to heart: never let someone who isn’t either a BaSe-jumper or a parachutist control your parachute. What happened? my brother released the parachute much too early. I was spinning in the air and went too close to a power cable. I had to avoid it, and when I landed, I broke my leg awkwardly. I was out of action for
PhotograPhy: Jörg mItter/reD BuLL PhotofILeS
4. To The exTremeS
PhotograPhy: uLrICh grILL/reD BuLL PhotofILeS
so long that I lost my job, which at the time was with a ventilation systems company. Did that change things for you? yes, a lot, but all for the better. I did a lot of casual work as soon as I was well again, and had a lot of time to train. And what happened to you as you did more jumps? I became more cautious. When I found a bridge in the north of Salzburg that was only 50m high, I asked tracy for advice. he shook his head and said, “If you want to kill yourself, then do it on something big.” he was right. I mean, no jump is worth dying for, but if you screw up jumping off the statue of Christ the redeemer in rio, at least that has a certain glory about it. Fair point... then I took part in Bridge Day again the following year, in 1997. there, it’s a question of pulling off acrobatics in the air and then making a pinpoint landing, which is measured electronically. I won the target jumps, came second in the acrobatic jumps and the overall result was, “first, all the way from austria, felix Baumgartner”. It was crazy. Would you say that was the beginning of your BASE-jumping career? from then on I was officially a red Bull sportsman. red Bull had already supported my parachuting club and I’d made myself a helmet with their logo on it. after winning Bridge Day, though, I had a wonderful connection to the company, which made huge, spectacular events possible.
“ i always wanted to be the best, a man of ambition ”
What’s the difference between someone being good and bad at what you do? a good sportsman makes the right decisions. over the course of my career, I have had to develop the very important ability to say no. When is ‘no’ the right answer? Say, for example, you’re on the world’s tallest building. It takes huge effort to get up there, and then when you’re up there, it’s too windy. and you have to come back down and you don’t know if you’ll make it back up onto that roof. going into reverse at that point is hard. You’ve never given into the temptation to be devil-may-care about things? It’s like the great climber reinhold messner once said: the only thing that matters is who gets back down. Is BASE-jumping a sport or a show? It’s a challenge. I always wanted to be the best, even in the sack race at school. I am a man of ambition. I’ve always liked to swim against the tide, and what I do symbolises that really well. With BaSe-jumping, you’re always on the edge of the law. I do something that is forbidden. and it’s fun breaking rules. But you stick to the rules of BASE-jumping? the preparation for my jumps almost gives me more enjoyment than the jumps themselves. How much effort do you put into a project? It’s can be years’ worth. first you go scouting for a worthy location. I always look for something unique. every jump needs to strike a new image into people’s minds. Then how do you proceed? I research the rough data first: the height, the surroundings. Whether the building is public or private is a decisive factor... then I check out the location personally. once I’ve done that I go home and sort out all the information. then I get a jump team together, because the jump has to be documented professionally. Is the recording of a jump really so important to you? you’ve got to blow your own trumpet. of course I can tell people about my jump from the statue of Christ the redeemer in rio, but a picture says more than a thousand words. How do you get around the security at landmarks and buildings? I’ve learned to proceed psychologically. Security staff the world over react the same way. no one would suspect that a clergyman might want to jump off a roof, for example. or someone whose foot is in plaster. With all your adventures, are you working on the principle that it’s never too late to have a happy childhood? exactly. once the child in you dies, you’re not worth anything. Are you an adrenaline junkie? I am the greatest opponent of all that adrenalinejunkie talk. I wouldn’t have any fun putting myself
after winning the unofficial baseJumping world championship, he’s since Jumped from world’s tallest buildings and any number of bridges. but has never forgotten one important skill: when to say no. it’s why he’s still alive today
“ i wouldn’t have fun if i put myself at risk ”
Jumping from the world’s tallest buildings is, of course, a remarkable effort, but it is as difficult to get to the top of the building than to actually leap from it. in kuala lumpur, he made a fake id for the petronas towers, found the right hatch in the upper levels and duly made the world’s front pages and news bulletins
in harm’s way. I have a goal to achieve and if the goal demands me putting myself at risk, then I take the risk. But I’m not some wild dog. So what are you? a good planner. I calculate the risk until it’s as low as possible. that’s the only reason I can do the large-scale projects I’m doing at the moment. How do you weigh up the challenge that Red Bull Stratos presents? the experience I now have means that I can redefine the limits that I was confronted with a couple of years ago. Do you ever go beyond the limit? that’s a stupid thing to say. the limit is the limit. You are now sounding like you don’t enjoy what you do... that’s also just words. I have never enjoyed a jump. you never know if a particular jump might be your last, regardless of how well prepared you are.
5. peTronaS and rio
the image of baumgartner on the arm of the statue of christ the redeemer in rio de Janeiro, in the warm light of daybreak, is one of the great daredevil moments
In 1999, the project that got you noticed was your leap from the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. How difficult was it to get onto the roof? It’s a very well-guarded commercial building. I sat in front of the towers for a week to give myself an overview, checking for uniformed security staff and those who were on patrol in civvies. I had to look like a businessman so as not to arouse suspicion. no long hair. no jeans. no searching gazes. How did you get the accreditation you needed to get in? I had a small camera with me and went up to one of the security men and asked him to take a picture of me in front of the towers. and when I gave him the
camera, I’d already taken a photo of his ID. Back home I made a copy of the ID for myself using Photoshop, laminated it and that was that. And was a crude forgery good enough? yes. Back then there were only visual checks. I had my parachute in a briefcase and a small hand-held camera too. I was wearing plain glass spectacles to look a little more serious. I got to the top unchallenged, but I had to look for the right staircase to get out onto the window-cleaning crane for over an hour. Were you nervous? very. I was so close to my goal. It was my first event as a red Bull sportsman. I went out onto the crane. Below me there was a garden mosaic and that guided me in the right direction. I jumped, landed and disappeared. It was all perfect. But I wasn’t happy until I was back in the hotel and we could watch the recording together. at that point, the event had become a story and could be publicised. That same year saw you jump in the most spectacular setting: the statue of Christ the Redeemer in Rio. a Brazilian friend of mine put me onto the idea and I was enthusiastic right from the off. the main issue was how I was going to get onto the statue. there is a spiral staircase inside the statue that leads out onto Jesus’s arms, but we couldn’t do it that way. Why not? We would have had to break open three locks. I thought that would be disrespectful and so I looked for another way. I’d just seen The Rock in the cinema, in which the hero uses a crossbow and I thought, “that’s it. Why don’t I fire a rope over Jesus’s arm with a crossbow and climb up?” A bit like one of your heroes, Spider-Man... exactly. I experimented with an elaborate system of arrows with different types of rope on a crane in Siezenheim, back in austria, and it worked. I had done my homework on all aspects of Brazil – the shock came when we got to rio and went to Corcovado [the mountain on which the statue stands] by taxi. Jesus’s hand, which is where I wanted to jump from, wasn’t over a sheer drop,
PhotograPhy: WoLfgang LuIf, Lou martIn/reD BuLL PhotofILeS
“ i thought, that’s it, why don’t i fire a rope over Jesus’s arm with a crossbow? ”
PhotograPhy: uLrIChgrILL.Com/reD BuLL PhotofILeS
as it had appeared to be in photographs, but directly above the visitors’ platform. that meant it wasn’t a 700m BaSe-jump, but one of 29m. the conditions suddenly and dramatically changed. Did you think of abandoning the project? I didn’t want to give up without a fight. tracy did say he didn’t know of any BaSe-jumper who had ever jumped 29m, but I wanted to try it. What was the biggest problem? We needed a guarantee that the parachute would open straight away, which meant we had to fix it to the statue’s right arm. We did this using a rubbish bag which we knew would break at a certain point. after some test jumps from a bridge, over water, we’d solved the problem. It was all fine. How fast did your ’chute have to work? at 29m, you’ve got 2.5 seconds before you hit the ground. the parachute was open and stable after 1.5 seconds. that gave me a second to spare. What about the other factors? the weather forecast for the planned jump day was good. We hired a couple of cameramen from the ZDf studio in rio and a helicopter pilot who could film all the action. We had to get to Corcovado by 8pm the night before, because after that time there’s no way of getting there: the area is sealed off and outside the roads and so on, it’s just jungle. Did you spend the night outdoors? on tree trunks because there were so many bugs on the ground. It was hard and the time passed slowly. then it began to rain in the middle of the night – heavy Brazilian rain. We had to cancel it. that happened to us five times. How did the sixth attempt begin? With a crossbow shot in the dead of night. a couple of seconds later I heard the zing of the arrow hitting the visitor platform – on the correct side. Perfect. We attached the climbing rope, fixed it in place and I climbed up it. everything went well. You had a bird’s-eye view of one of the most beautiful cities in the world. I did, but I was only thinking about the jump. Whether we’d calculated correctly. Whether everything would go according to plan. and then I saw a security car coming up the switchback. two guys got out of the car in their uniforms and were ranting and raving. and then I heard the photographers’ helicopter approach. It was time. I was stressed. How did you calm down? I looked Jesus in the face. oddly, I suddenly felt very meek under the circumstances and thought to myself, “he won’t let me down.” And he didn’t... a step forward, and then it was as quick as lightning. Parachute up, a turn to the right to get past the visitor platform, the stone balustrade fell away underneath me and then all of a sudden I had time and space. now, with the parachute up and me in the air, I could start enjoying it for the first time. this city. the sunrise. the sea. Did you finally have the feeling that it had all been worthwhile? no. When I got back to the hotel, I just felt empty
and relieved. But the next day, the pictures had made it into the newspapers, all over the world. And didn’t anyone complain that the statue had been desecrated? on the contrary – a Brazilian church newsletter printed the picture, along with the headline, “the Lord was his witness”.
6. From jumping To FLying What have been your criteria as you’ve looked for new projects? I wanted stories that would challenge me and that a lot of people would find interesting. So you see yourself an entertainer? you could put it that way, yes. Is that what made you come up with the idea of your freefall crossing of the English Channel in 2003? I didn’t. after Brazil and malaysia, offers came flying at me. one day my telephone rang and two aerodynamics students from munich offered me a wing construction made of carbon fibre, which, supposedly, I’d be able to fly with. And did it fly? not at all. on my first attempt, I completely lost control and went into a tailspin. But I didn’t want to throw it away immediately, and when I tucked in my legs, I began flying correctly – at homicidal speed. It was clear that I was onto something huge here. How did the construction’s possibilities become more concrete? Because red Bull and I spent a lot of time and energy developing the wing further. one day, after I had covered a really remarkable distance, I realised as I was analysing the telemetry data that I’d be able to fly across the english Channel using the wing. What did you do to get the plan off the ground? We got a distinguished aerodynamicist and a carbon expert on the team and carried out endless,
a couple of aerodynamics students sent him a short carbon wing construction, with which, they alleged, he’d be able to fly. after a series of tests and modifications, he did so, across the english channel, in July 2003
“ with the parachute up and me in the air, i could start enJoying it, the city, the sea ”
sometimes extremely dangerous, jumps. one time the wing broke and shredded my parachute, so I had to use the emergency spare. another time I couldn’t bring the wing down and went into an extreme tailspin. It’s bloody dangerous testing prototypes, but after two and a half years, we were ready. We started at six o’clock in the morning in france [in July 2003] because the wind blows toward the mainland. We climbed to 10,000m and flew over to the english coast. How did you know when to jump? We had a small traffic-light system on the plane. the countdown went three, two, one, then the light turned green and I released myself via the hatch, right over the english coast. I got an almighty blast in the face from the headwind. How did you get your bearings in the air? from a plane that was flying ahead of me. And how fast were you going? I got up to 360kph (224mph), but that felt like nothing at that height. all I could see under me were clouds. I had serious doubts whether I was really getting any closer to the target. I was in freefall for six and a half minutes – it felt like an eternity. only when I passed through the clouds could I see Calais directly below me, and the observation tower that we had selected as a point of reference. I was on target. Were you worried that you might not make it? of course. It’s extremely important to be aware of your own doubts, but to know at the same time that, hey, you’ve always managed it in the past. that gives you real self-confidence. How evident is your self-confidence? It’s unassailable. That’s quite a statement! It is. But with the Channel crossing, I did make man’s age-old dream of flight come true.
“ the cave arouses primal fears. you look down into this black unknown ”
7. From up high To down BeLow The following year, 2004, you BASE-jumped into a cave 200m deep… a Croatian colleague came up with the plans for a jump in his home country, in mamet Cave in the northern velebit national Park. It looked perfect for a jump: the cave had a bottleneck and became wider further down. that sounded appealing. So how did the idea become reality? first we had to actually find the cave – which took almost a year after the jump was suggested. then I abseiled down into it with a mountaineer and we checked it out. It wasn’t perfect, but it was good. there was enough room to fly, but the landing would be difficult as the cave walls sloped considerably, and were very uneven. What was it that tempted you, then, in the face of imperfect conditions? the cave arouses primal fears. you stand at the entrance and look down into this dramatic, black unknown. What was the biggest problem? Knowing when to open the parachute. When you enter a tunnel, for example, at first you can’t see anything and you instinctively slow down. So at mamet Cave, I can’t see anything, but I’m travelling faster and faster. How did you get around it? By using an acoustic signal. I had six seconds in total, and I had to release the parachute after five seconds and land in a 50m radius; that’s how big the cave was at the bottom. How did you practise for the jump? By suspending a hot air balloon at exactly 190m [the height from which he would jump above the cave floor] and simulating the cave’s dimensions on the ground. the tests showed that I needed a special parachute made for me, one that I could land in a narrower radius with. And what about the jump proper? It was dead quiet around me. I hadn’t slept the entire night. I’ll never get used to that moment. It’s do or die. there’s no way around it. In the end, you jumped, trusting the countdown on your Walkman… I did, and the Walkman counted down bloody slowly. you can feel yourself accelerating in the darkness, sensing the wind getting louder and louder and you know you’ll run out of air beneath you eventually. But you mustn’t be conned by your own fears into opening the parachute too early, or you might not live to tell the tale. How did you feel after the landing? I’ve rarely had such an adrenaline rush after a jump. Was it your most difficult jump? yes, I think so. Would you do it again? not for love nor money.
PhotograPhy: fLohagena.Com, BernharD SPötteL/reD BuLL PhotofILeS
the one thing he would never do again? his 200m drop into the darkness of the mamet cave in croatia: “not for love nor money”
“ maybe steven spielberg will call one day and make a film about me ”
PhotograPhy: Sven hoffmann (2)
8. The Search For meaning Do you sometimes ask yourself what is the point of doing what you do? I know that I bring joy to many people. and I know that people need heroes, especially when times aren’t great. I don’t question what I do. I listen to my inner voice, which tells me I’m on the right path. I’ve calmed down as far as BaSe-jumping is concerned, because I’ve achieved a lot. But if I’m faced with a new challenge, I put everything else on the back burner and pursue my goal flat out. What makes you feel the greatest humility as you’re waiting to jump? Knowing that it is a matter of time before something happens. What’s the most exciting thing about your projects? entering virgin territory. that’s always on my mind. How important is money? It’s background noise. I haven’t been involved in a single project for the money. What’s more important to you, winning or not losing? to be honest, I’m very bad at losing. Is it important for you to be a star? I’ve planned my career around the long term. I am not the type of person who suddenly ends up in the spotlight for winning Big Brother. Aside from the superheroes from your childhood, who do you admire in real life? the naSa astronauts were my childhood heroes. So it was huge for me when Buzz aldrin, the second man on the moon after neil armstrong, took an interest in my Channel crossing. I live for that kind of encounter. Do you think that Red Bull Stratos will open other doors for you? Why not? maybe Steven Spielberg will call one day and make a film about me. Does acting appeal to you? It might. I’m a fan of Sylvester Stallone. and arnold Schwarzenegger has already smoothed the way for us austrians in hollywood. What will you do after Red Bull Stratos? It looks like it will be my final project. If everything goes off without a hitch, I’ll turn my attention to my new career as a professional helicopter pilot. For more about Baumgartner and his record-breaking project, jet over to www.redbullstratos.com
he LoveS iT when a pLan comeS TogeTher
Assembling a team of experts for Red Bull Stratos was Baumgartner’s top priority. Then he had to learn how to fly a balloon The Red Bull Stratos project is as much an exercise in scientific advancement as groundbreaking adventure. The technicians and scientists on Felix Baumgartner’s team all have space experience – some are former astronauts – and the majority of outside partners are established firms in the fields of space science and engineering. Every step of the development and construction of the capsule, the balloon, the parachute and Baumgartner’s special suit is accompanied by extensive testing. In attempting the highest manned balloon trip, the highest parachute jump and the longest and quickest freefall, Red Bull Stratos is going to provide unprecedented data, which will be used in research elsewhere. The partners of the project team will use the new information to help develop even better rescue equipment for future space flights. Baumgartner has been preparing for Red Bull Stratos for almost two years, and alongside
his physical training, which is similar to that endured by astronauts, he has also had to jump through administrative hoops. One of these was getting a balloonist’s licence in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He will spend the final weeks in advance of D-day carrying out final tests in pressure chambers and a wind-tunnel. The first manned test-trips in the balloon are planned for March, with the final launch currently scheduled for later this year. Despite all this meticulous preparation, there are still several unknowns. Most of these will be revealed when Baumgartner is hurtling back towards earth at a rate of almost 1300kph (808mph). Says the 40-year-old Austrian: “The only thing we don’t know is how the body is going to react in the supersonic area when I’m careering back down to earth. None of the experts have been able to tell me what will happen when I’m travelling faster than a bullet.”
That surname could stand for Often, Leading Skiers Seem Ordinary Nearby. Meet the hardest-working man on skis, a rare master of both alpine and freestyle, and a guy who won’t shirk a gold medal bet Words: Tobias Liljeroth Photography: Mattias Fredriksson
Name Jon Olsson Born August 17, 1982, Mora, Sweden Lives Monaco Hobbies Buying fast cars, including a BMW M3 CSL, a Lamborghini Gallardo, a Subaru Impreza WRX STi and a Chevrolet Camaro Flipping Great As well as developing his groundbreaking Kangaroo Flip, Olsson has given the world the DJ Flip, the Hexo Flip and – would you credit it – the Olsson Flip
It’s early morning, December 25, 2009. Jon Olsson sits in an almost empty lounge at a heli-ski lodge in Galena, far out in the vast wilderness of British Columbia, tapping at the keyboard of his laptop. Through the large windows, snow-covered mountains occupy the entire vista. A helicopter waits to whisk Olsson and his crew to whichever peak they wish. The scenario is any skier’s dream; for this man it’s just another day at the office. This may be an unusual location for celebrating Christmas, but then again, Olsson isn’t your average guy. He’s one of skiing’s select few superstars, and he certainly looks like one: shoulder-length blond hair tumbling past a tanned visage and a shiny white smile. He has the frame of an athlete, and the looks and charisma of a movie star. Olsson has made a name for himself as a skier who seems to contravene the laws of gravity. Upside down in remarkable manoeuvres, on jumps so big they take him 30m up in the air. Olsson, 27, was destined to become a skier from an early age. He was born in Mora, near one of Sweden’s biggest ski resorts, into a family where everything was about skiing. His younger brother, Hans, is currently one of the top 10 downhill skiers in the world and is chasing his first World Cup win. Olsson was set to do the same. As a teenager he was considered one of Sweden’s most promising alpine racing talents, likely to follow national hero Ingemar Stenmark and become Sweden’s next superstar in the FIS World Cup. But in spite of winning the 1999 national junior championships in slalom, Olsson wasn’t welcomed back to the Swedish national team the following season. The reason? He used to sneak away during training sessions to go jumping and do tricks instead of racing gates. His days as an alpine racer were over – for the time being. During the same period, a new and exciting form of skiing emerged. A kind of skiing that literally turned the ski world upside down, borrowing style
and tricks from snowboarding: freeskiing, or modern freestyle as Olsson prefers to call it. At the age of 17, he was perfectly placed in the vanguard of this new era; within a couple of years he was one of the biggest names in the sport. Since then he’s been in films from the major ski movie producers, and on top of the podium in the biggest competitions in the game: the X Games, the US Open, the World Superpipe Championships. Along the way, he has invented a number of highly advanced tricks, taking freestyle skiing to a whole new level in the process. “I guess that’s what I appreciate most in my career – to have done things no one has ever done before,” he says. Olsson views winning the gold medal in big air at the Winter X Games in 2008 as his biggest success, even though he won in the halfpipe back in 2002. To remain at the highest level after so many years in a sport that has an inexhaustible supply of talented youngsters is impressive. Rivals have come and gone, but Olsson is still up there, still the one to beat. “Jon is a phenomenon in the ski world,” says photographer Mattias Fredriksson, a veteran of the snowsports scene who has worked with Olsson since his early days as a pro skier. “He’s been one of the best freestyle skiers in the world for 10 years thanks to his extreme commitment and persistence.” In his native Sweden, Olsson is one of skiing’s biggest stars, alongside Olympic heroes such as Stenmark and Anja Pärson. He’s an icon and a role model for a generation of young skiers who have been brought up on jumps, not gates. It’s no secret that skiing has made him a wealthy man. He has contracts with the biggest companies in the ski business and a lifestyle most people can only dream of. His ‘ski car’ is probably the best example: where most pro skiers head for the slopes in something sizeable with lots of storage space, Olsson drives a Lamborghini Murciélago LP 670-4
“I’m like a fire: pour gas on me and I grow” Jon Olsson can’t turn down a challenge, however tough SV. It’s a ride that’s guaranteed to turn heads. “It’s got all-wheel drive and a custom ski box bolted to the roof, OK?” smiles Olsson. A couple of years ago he decided to settle down in Monaco, rubbing shoulders with the rich and powerful of the French Riviera. Many Swedish athletes have done the same, owing to their relatively short careers and the high income tax in their native country. Success wasn’t simply handed to Olsson on a plate; people don’t suddenly find themselves in his position purely as a result of talent. It takes motivation, a dedicated work ethic and plenty of sacrifices in order to reach the top – and Olsson has definitely worked harder than most. The best example of his extraordinary drive came during the winter of 2006. Olsson’s confidence was at an all-time low, and he was crashing, mentally and physically, with alarming regularity. “I started having doubts about myself,” he says, “and it just got worse and worse. I kept imagining myself landing on my head, which of course I then did every time. It meant that I had to come up with something radical.” Olsson made a decision that proved crucial to his career. Instead of calling it quits, he booked a ticket to Australia, where he’d scoped out an abandoned water jump in a swamp outside Melbourne. The dirty brown water was teeming with leeches. Under the supervision of a coach,
Speed matters: Olsson’s modified Lamborghini features all-wheel drive and a custom ski box on the roof
Olsson practised a trick that would amaze the ski world: two off-axis backflips with a twist at the end, landing backwards. He called it the Kangaroo Flip in honour of the swamp where he developed it. The painstaking rehearsals came to fruition a month later in competition at Åre, Sweden, when he landed the trick at the first attempt and, as a result, beat the best freestyle skiers in the world by a mile. “The other guys just stood there gazing with their mouths wide open. It was an amazing feeling – to be the absolute best of them all. It was one of those rare moments when I was completely satisfied,” says Olsson. Two weeks later, a video of a kid repeating the Kangaroo Flip surfaced on YouTube. Olsson’s immediate response was to invent even harder tricks. That’s how he operates. He’s one of those people who can never sit back and relax, never settle down. He constantly has to reinvent himself. Nor does Olsson stand still in his business dealings. He is as dynamic in his life off the slopes as on them. As well as the usual commitments that come with a slew of sponsors and suppliers, he has devised his own brand of ski goggles, Yniq. For five years now Olsson has arranged an event in his own name, the Jon Olsson Super Sessions. A week long, it’s a combined big-air competition and film festival, and it takes place annually in Åre. Olsson had become frustrated by how little influence he and his fellow athletes were having at the big freestyle events, such as the X Games, and felt that they weren’t being supplied with the tools they needed to perform at their maximum. The solution was simple: to create a new event, one which has the athletes as its focus. It’s no small task, though. Olsson, naturally, has to have input into every aspect of the event and its preparation. He negotiates with sponsors, handles media relations, and takes care of his rider colleagues– in VIP style, of course. He even lends
Double life: Winning the Nor-Am alpine race in Panorama, Canada (right). Getting away from it all in deep powder at CMH Galena, Canada (below)
a hand in building the notoriously big jumps. What with the Super Sessions, his business projects, the small matter of competing and all the travelling entailed therein, Olsson spends more than 300 days every year in the On mode. He is also a child of his time, using the internet to connect with his fans and share the happenings of his exciting lifestyle. He maintains an extremely popular video blog and has a well-tended page on Facebook. “I’ve turned the hours of the day around,” he says. “I go to bed at seven and get up before dawn. I guess people might be surprised to see emails from me sent before 5am, but that way, I get a few hours of work in before it’s time to go skiing.” On top of all that, there’s the thing about him changing his sporting life on the strength of a bet. Two years ago, a late night out with Swedish alpine skier Jens Byggmark culminated in Olsson claiming he could qualify for the giant slalom at the 2014 Winter Olympics (to be held in Sochi, on Russia’s Black Sea coast). What started as a joke ended as a €5000 wager and a challenge Olsson couldn’t refuse. Tell him something is impossible and he’ll do everything to prove you’re wrong. “I’m like a fire,” he says. “Pour gasoline on me and I just grow.” So Olsson got back on racing skis, and with his freestyle career still blooming, he now finds himself working double shifts. He disputes the claim that it’s impossible to master these diverse styles of skiing. “So many people in ski racing think that,” he says. “They think that everything has to be done a certain way: I want to prove them wrong. I want to prove that you can be successful in different ways. When I ski alpine, I just feel more like going jumping, and vice versa. The variety helps me to have more fun than ever, and fun is the best way to get really good at something.” Olsson is currently ranked among the top 100 giant slalom racers in the world, and he’s moving up fast. His first major success came in mid-December last year, when he won his first Nor-Am race in Panorama, Canada. It’s an FISsanctioned contest one step below the World Cup circuit, but still fiercely competitive. “It was almost like winning the X Games,” he says. “Even though I won, I still have so much to learn. But I know I’m on the right track.” Ten years after his exclusion from the Swedish national team, he finds himself on the brink of readmittance. It certainly looks as if the Winter Olympics in four years’ time may not be an impossible goal for a man with Olsson’s talents and desire and work rate. If he doesn’t make it, he, like his fans, will enjoy the ride regardless. Until then, another goal awaits in the mountains outside the lodge. Olsson puts his laptop away, collects his ski gear and heads out to the waiting helicopter. He looks back and smiles. “I love the fact that so many people tell me that I can’t combine the two sports, especially if I want to do well in ski racing. I’ll think about that when I’m on top of a peak later today.” See Olsson in action at www.jon-olsson.com
might just be the fastest driver you’ve never heard of. Prepare for that to change as he gets set to defend his Intercontinental Rally Championship title Words: Anthony Rowlinson Portrait: Chris Floyd
Name Kris Meeke Born July 2, 1979, Dungannon, Northern Ireland Early Years Qualified as a mechanical engineer and began his career as a CAD designer with the M-Sport rally team Big Break After a win in a competition, rally legend Colin McRae mentored him through to the Junior World Rally Championship Name of the Game Peugeot are planning a special edition of the 207 which will carry Kris’s name
It starts like this, via SMS, “Hi Kris. Hope you’re well. Odd question, I know, but do you happen to have any wellies with you?” Kris Meeke, at the moment of transmission, is in a hire car, somewhere on the M4 motorway east of Cardiff, driving through the heaviest rainstorm to have hit south Wales all year. He’s a rally driver – the recently crowned Intercontinental Rally Champion, no less – so he’s used to challenging conditions, but it is (please excuse the phrase) pissing down. The Principality is awash and all motorway traffic has been restricted to 40mph (65kph). The ground-floor windows of the Cardiff Hilton, where we’re due to meet, might as well be portholes such is the volume of water they’re being asked to repel. The Red Bulletin’s journalist and photographer are completely sodden. Meeke is delayed. Light is fading. Tempers are fraying. You get the picture. It’s right now that photographer Chris Floyd, who is on location in the Caerphilly hills a couple of miles out of town, calls to suggest that the purchase of wellies for all present might be a good move. He urges a trip to a camping store – hence the aforementioned text message (and hence, subsequently, one of the more random expenses claims to be submitted to the Bulletin’s accounts department: “Wellies x 3, Kris Meeke photoshoot”). A conversation by text follows, during which it emerges that Meeke (a) not surprisingly doesn’t have wellies with him (he resists the temptation of easy sarcasm in his reply); (b) would nevertheless quite like some wellies if they can be easily obtained and (c) will absolutely refuse to wear aforementioned wellingtons if they are pink. This last comment saves the day. Were Meeke a motorsport-prima-donna-in-the-making, production of the words and portrait you see on these pages would have been a nightmare, given the slobbering skies. As it is, the Meeke sense of humour and a notable stoicism, born of having had to slither his way up the motorsport pole by a most
unconventional route (more of which to follow), make working with him a pleasure. Some background: Meeke is a little older (30) than is the norm for one with relatively few seasons under the belt of his fireproof overalls. He came to the sport late as a competitor, as his father, a rallycar preparation specialist, insisted Meeke get an education (mechanical engineering) and a trade (same as dad’s) that would ensure a livelihood whatever the future held. But he also came to the sport early, as a result of being born into a household where “there was always rallying in the air”. Almost by osmosis the sport became, “the focal point in (his) life”, and by 2000, a 21-year-old Meeke could be found working as an apprentice engineer on Ford’s World Rally cars, a career secured with the knowledge required to fettle some of the world’s fastest machinery to the standards of finicky perfection demanded by the world’s fastest drivers. Then came the itch. The curious, nagging itch that had Meeke wondering if he, too, might be able to drive one of these wild forest racers as fast as the guys he’d watch most weekends as a fan. Spectating made the itch worse, more intense. Didn’t go away. Then came the chance to scratch it. One ordinary Wednesday morning, Meeke power-read his way through rally bible Motoring News and chanced upon a ‘find the next rally superstar’ competition. This was in British rallying’s new millennium golden age, when the 1995 world champ Colin McRae and 2001 champion-to-be Richard Burns were slugging it out every other week the world over for top honours on gravel, tarmac, ice and mud. “I simply had to enter that competition,” says Meeke, now hurrying (in new-bought wellies) from his rental Peugeot to a clearing in the Caerphilly woods, where he’ll soon be asked to sit in dirt, throw leaves over his head and smear his face with mud. “I had absolutely no idea whether I had any
Fast learner: Kris Meekeâ€™s driving style has been compared to that of his hero and mentor Colin McRae
He’s Meeke not mild: (above) At the IRC 2009, Rally Sanremo, Italy; (left) At the IRC 2009, Ypres Belgium Rally, with Paul Nagle
“I couldn’t believe you were allowed to drive like that and it was a sport and it was legal!”
have self-belief in my driving,” he says, “and to use it to find the best the car can offer. If I’m doing that then it’s up to the others to beat me.” This savvy, tactical, catch-me-if-you-can approach brought him the IRC title with a round to spare – a result that forced ‘quick-but-wild’ Meekebashers into a swift reappraisal. Some of those include team chiefs who a year ago wouldn’t take his calls – the very people now proffering lucrative contracts, whose scepticism 12 months back almost caused Meeke to jack it in. “Even this time last year I was 99 per cent on my way to giving it up,” he admits. “I couldn’t see there was any way to earn a living. But one year down the line and having won a championship, I’m sitting down with some of the same people and instead of trying to convince them to back me they’re saying, ‘You’re part of our plans’ and, ‘We need you to be with us’. And that’s when it hits home that you’ve won a championship that means something. Not that I’ll get carried away.” That much seems certain for a guy with enough class to reappear, hand on wallet, moments after our interview, to check that the bill for coffees and sandwiches has been paid. Then he’s gone again, hurrying (in trainers this time) to another interview and a tantalising future – one to which he seems reconciled, whatever it may hold: “This year? Let’s see. It doesn’t make any sense to look too far ahead. As long as I have a smile on my face and 50 quid in my pocket I’m happy. And I don’t give a shit whether or not I’m remembered, so long as I can sit back when I’m 70 and say, ‘Fuck, I had a good time.’” Keep up with every stage of Meeke’s progress on this year’s IRC at www.krismeeke.com
PHOTOgRAPHY: DPPI (2)
driving ability,” he says (an easy talker, is Meeke). “We used to mess around at home in an old Mark II Escort, but we didn’t think we were doing anything special. The first time I had any idea of my talent was at Silverstone’s rally stage when I was driving in the competition. “It was my first-ever stage in a rally car and it felt so natural. I couldn’t believe you were allowed to drive like that and it was a sport and it was legal!” Meeke won the competition and fast-tracked an entry into the mid-Wales Bulldog rally, with Peugeot. “From there the ball started rolling,” he says, with commendable composure for one being asked to grab handfuls of mulch, even as he’s delivering a biographical run-down. Didn’t it just. One of the competition’s patrons was none other than C McRae, who, having scorched a reputation throughout the 1990s as The World’s Fastest Rally Driver, decided he’d like to help develop an heir. “He was looking to try to get behind a couple of young British drivers,” says Meeke, “and I was one of the three he was interested in. He ended up managing me for five years and it became a really close relationship. I lived on the McRae farm in Lanark with the family. It was the most incredible time of my life at that stage, as Colin was my idol.” An idol, however, whose time was to be cut cruelly short in a fatal helicopter accident in 2007, not quite two years after Burns’ death, also distressingly premature, from a brain tumour. Both drivers left a memorable legacy to those who would try to emulate their feats – McRae particularly so, with the young man from Dungannon he had taken under his wing. For in Meeke he had found a willing disciple of his fabled ‘maximum-attack’ style. Meeke smiles at this comparison: “Some people have said there are similarities with our driving styles, but you know, you just drive the way you drive. Colin’s style was very distinct. You didn’t even have to see him, you could hear him: earlier on the throttle and harder. Everything was more aggressive about the way he drove.” Similar aggression (too much, said some) brought many spills for Meeke during an early career tainted by a reputation for driving rather too fast for his experience. Happily, he’s old enough and big enough (quite literally – he’s a 6ft-plus former rugby forward who looks like a giant alongside most other pro drivers) to accept this as the truth. “The trap I fell into on the Junior World Rally Championship was trying to do too much, too early on. I had to do my dirty washing in public, which meant crashes as I was trying to find the limit. I mean, my 11th rally was the Monte Carlo – the most famous rally in the world! – so a few scrapes were inevitable,” he says, eyes twinkling, all Belfast lilt and mischief. He’s motoring now, reliving his early overexuberance and alive with the knowledge that he’s learned how to temper his talent and dance on the edge without falling off. He’s still on the edge – but not of control, of the big time. “With a bit of experience I really learned this year to
RobeRt goRe We take Gore-Tex and its competitors for granted – but the invention of this waterproof wonder-fabric owes a lot more to chance than you may think
Back in October 1969, in a chemistry lab in Newark, Delaware, USA, Robert W Gore was getting very frustrated by a series of failed experiments. Then, by accident, he made a discovery that would improve the lives of everyone from astronauts and polar explorers to hikers and winter sports enthusiasts. As a college student in the 1950s, Gore had developed a method for insulating wiring with polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), better known under DuPont’s brand name Teflon. His timing couldn’t have been better. The computer age had just begun and manufacturers of mainframe computers needed miles and miles of insulated cables and wires. Gore’s technique became the first patent filed by his family’s company, founded by his father, Bill, who gave up a secure job with DuPont in 1958 to work from his house (this begs comparison with another Bill, a garage and something called the personal computer). While Bill’s wife, Genevieve, looked after their five kids, he used her kitchen utensils for experiments. Much of their savings ended up in the cash register of the local hardware store, meaning family members had a very personal stake in the risky new start-up. The Gores’ faith in a highly profitable future based on coated wiring was well placed. The IBM System/360, the first mass-produced mainframe computer, was only made possible thanks to data transmission cabling made by the Gores. Their company flourished, opening its first manufacturing plant in Arizona, expanding into Europe and recording sales of US$4.5 million by the end of the 54
Cable guy: Gore tears a piece of the material that has netted his company billions of dollars
1960s. In July 1969, the company blasted beyond the stratosphere when Apollo 11 took Gore cabling to the moon. Despite the success, Robert Gore was feeling defeated on that October day in 1969. He had been trying to stretch rods made out of his PTFE material. Why? Only he knew for sure. It was most likely a combination of scientific curiosity, an internal drive to conduct research, and a dash of playfulness. But every time he tried to manipulate the rods the way he wanted, they broke into a thousand pieces. So, were this a screenplay, the scene might go like this: another shattered rod sees Gore vent his frustration, by yanking the PTFE hard and fast and – surprise! – the material holds. Suddenly, it’s 10 times the length it had been before. Close up on Gore’s delighted face. So Gore got what he wanted, but what did his accidental discovery do for us? His elongated PTFE turned out to have
a wide variety of applications. For one, it allowed for the development of waterproof clothing that lets perspiration out. Stretching the PTFE created a surface membrane on the material dotted with holes that allow sweat to evaporate and pass through as vapour – holes small enough so that rain drops can’t get in. Initially, mountain climbers and hikers profited from the new material, since it allowed them to dump the cumbersome rubber gear they lugged around on their treks. An early beneficiary was mountaineering legend Reinhold Messner, who took a tent lined with Gore-Tex to the Himalayas. Although sporting goods suppliers were the first to use the light, waterproof material, today high-end fashion labels such as Prada and Hugo Boss are interested in it too. What works for astronauts has become de rigueur for the fashionconscious on Earth. And if they should fall off their stilettos and end up in hospital, Gore-Tex still won’t be far away. Medical components made with the material are saving lives. Music fans also benefit from Gore-Tex, as Elixir guitar strings are coated with the material to extend their longevity. Robert Gore remains chairman of the board of WL Gore and Associates, which employs 9000 associates and has annual sales of more than US$2.5 billion. Despite his success, one wonders if Gore still finds time to lock himself away with his equipment to see what might happen when he loses that last ounce of patience. There’s more on Gore’s groundbreaking invention at www.gore-tex.com
PHOTOGRAPHy: GORE (1), CORBIS (1)
Words: Uschi Korda
Name Robert Gore Born April 15, 1937, Salt Lake City, USA Still Innovating The patent on expanded PTFE has expired, but Goreâ€™s company continues to find new applications for the material. It may soon be used in the assembly of environmentally efficient fuel cell cars Nice Work If You Can Get It WL Gore & Associates was 15th in Fortune magazineâ€™s top 100 companies to work for in 2009
Action This month, driving feats and infectious beats
58 daniel ricciardo 64 mr hudson and the red bull music academy 72 dakar rally
Travelling light: the Dakar Rally sets up for an overnight stop. Its two-week journey covers 5600 miles of South Americaâ€™s toughest terrain
Photography: Theo Ribeiro/FotoArena/LatinContent/Getty Images
SPEED SCHOOL Before the glamour, the grind. F1â€™s off-season testing can be the proving ground for raw talents keen to break into the big time. In the shape of Daniel Ricciardo, it might even give birth to a superstar Words: Matt Youson Photography: Thomas Butler
erez, Spain, December 3, 2009, and the final Formula One laps of the decade. A tired but happy Australian driver hauls himself out of the Red Bull Racing RB5. There are slaps on the back from the team, who’ve come to appreciate his easy-going nature and professionalism. He’s congratulated on finishing the week at the top of the testing timesheets and for completing more laps than any other driver. It’s a job well done. He’s finished shortly before the scheduled 5pm close, technical issues retiring the car early, but it hardly matters. The garage lights are already casting shadows along the pitlane and the temperature is falling back towards zero. Mechanics have begun packing equipment, eager to catch a flight home. Tomorrow morning is the start of a holiday for some, potentially the first meaningful break since the racing season began eight months and a million years ago in Albert Park, Melbourne. All week the atmosphere in the garage has been quietly professional, but in the last hour a definite end-of-term vibe has started to creep in. It’s the same the length of the pitlane, and oddly festive – if you can ignore the belch of diesel-powered generators and sidestep the forklifts. There’s no particular reason why the driver is staying in the garage, but equally he doesn’t have any compelling reason to leave. While he talks to the engineers, the mechanics and his physio, every few seconds his eyes dart back to the car that has his name neatly printed on the cockpit surround. That name is Daniel Ricciardo, and he’s just had his first proper taste of driving one of the best racing cars in the world. Instead of a strictly defined route to the F1 cockpit, there’s an informal hierarchy of horsepower. As the newly crowned champion of British Formula 3, Ricciardo, 20, is closer to the apex than most. That series has a habit of churning out champions who go all the way to the very top, a racing seat in Formula One. Rubens Barrichello and Jaime Alguersuari, respectively the oldest and youngest drivers in the 2009 F1 field, are both previous winners of the F3 trophy, and there are other names that demand 60
attention: Jackie Stewart, Jim Clark and Emerson Fittipaldi, Nelson Piquet (Sr), Ayrton Senna and Mika Häkkinen. The logical progression for an F3 Champion is a double life: competing in one of the more powerful series (Formula Two, GP2 or the World Series by Renault) while doing the equivalent of work experience with an F1 team. Rising stars begin their acclimatisation early, recruited to sit in on briefings, learn the necessary skills of deportment and media relations and, of course, put in the thousands of testing laps that power the development cycle. Or so used to be the case. The modern, cost-conscious F1 has cut back testing to the bone, to a few short weeks of pre-season shakedown in February. It’s an excellent initiative in terms of the balance sheet, but not without problems for driver development. The pre-season preparation of the regulars won’t be disrupted to give youth its chance, but at some point a rookie will inevitably be required to step into a race seat – and nobody thinks it’s smart to ask a youngster to figure out the most complicated, powerful car on the planet under the spotlight of a race weekend. Hence the F1 Young Driver Test, a concept born out of expediency rather than romanticism. The testing embargo is lifted for three days, during which time teams can complete as many laps as they want of the Jerez circuit in Southern Spain – providing they field drivers with fewer than three Grand Prix starts. As it happens, the 20 drivers on show have a combined total of zero Grand Prix starts. The Red Bull Young Driver programme has three of its roster here this week. Regular F1 reserve Brendon Hartley and Italian hotshoe Mirko Bortolotti are sharing the duty in the Toro Rosso car, while Ricciardo has the singular distinction of three whole days with Red Bull Racing. It’s a measure of faith in his talents, but also a decision grounded in hard-headed realism. “One of the reasons we’ve elected to run the same driver for three days is because some of our work at this test is focused on next year’s car,” says team principal Christian Horner. “Rather than chopping and changing, we wanted to gain a consistency of feedback. It’s the only test between now and next February, which makes it very important.” “I think I got lucky,” adds Ricciardo. “Being a part of this programme has allowed me to have plenty of time on Red Bull Racing’s simulator. I’ve had some good results with that, but maybe getting all three days to myself is a reward for winning the F3 championship. Or a
Under examination: (top) Ricciardo, strapped in and ready to go; (below from left) A friendly chat with Christian Horner, Red Bull Racingâ€™s team principal; Aches smoothed away by trainer Roger Cleary
combination of the two, plus the luck – because that’s something you really need.” The day went well, though it nearly started very badly. Hartley, in bitterly cold conditions that rendered the grip level similar to that of an ice rink, had a spin on his fifth lap. Seconds later, Ricciardo spun at the same spot. Without the benefit of TV cameras it’s impossible to tell how close the RB5 came to hitting its sister car, but judging from the relieved expressions afterwards, it must have been close. “That would have been a pretty embarrassing start,” concluded Ricciardo that evening, practising his skills of understatement. He was speaking in the motorhome, undergoing the rite of passage that is the daily media session. Hartley and Bortolotti will follow; Bortolotti drawing the short straw by having to do it twice, once in English and then again in Italian. Around them, the two teams get on with the serious business of dinner. Testing doesn’t require the enormous hospitality units that grace the race-day paddock, but unlike the collection of gazebos and marquees further down the pitlane, Red Bull has at least brought a bespoke motorhome, complete with kitchen and room enough for the two crews to eat in comfort. The catering team, accustomed to serving guests and sponsors with 5000-plus meals during race weekend, are able to concentrate on quality rather than quantity. But the drivers don’t get to eat until they’ve dispatched the journalists. “There are a lot of new things to negotiate,” says Ricciardo, wistfully eyeing a plate of pasta. “The higher corner speeds and the enormous stopping power of an F1 car is something different, but the driving itself is the most natural thing to do. Understanding the car, on the other hand, can be a little bit more difficult.” Resumption on day two is delayed. The brutality of the high G-forces leaves the unprepared battered and bruised. Ricciardo and many of his peers are walking a little gingerly, suffering aches and pains in new and interesting places. The team are content to wait while sore muscles are massaged back to life. Ricciardo is following in famous Australian footsteps, and is cheerfully unabashed at calling Mark Webber (Red Bull Racing’s twice-winning ace) his sporting idol. Webber rang with a few choice words of advice before the test (“make sure you remember to enjoy it”) but of more practical value is the presence of Mark’s long-time trainer, Roger Cleary. “All of these guys are in good shape, but they won’t have raced anything like 62
a Formula One car before,” explains Cleary. “It loads the body in different ways, creating strains and stresses they won’t be accustomed to, and there isn’t any way to simulate it in the gym. They have to put in the time out on the track. “Because of the loading this car generates, and because the grip level is so good, Daniel will get into situations that generate greater G-forces than he’s used to. And as it’s his first time, the seat-fit might not be exact. These two things mean there might be a little more movement than usual. Experienced drivers know how to deal with it, and we’re making sure these young lads learn it too. If we can limit the load then we can reduce stress in the car. If we reduce stress, we reduce their work rate and hopefully we get a little more efficiency and quality in performance.” Any questions of stamina are soon answered when Ricciardo goes out and is immediately faster than he was the previous day. Importantly, he keeps the pace up all day, remaining at, or near, the top of the timesheets. “Everyone’s very, very happy with him,” says chief engineer Ian Morgan. “We’re all excited because he’s obviously a future talent and we’re keen to be the ones that give him his first experience of Formula One. The spin on the first day wasn’t really his fault, and he did well to keep it away from the wall. Since then he’s not put a wheel wrong; he’s done everything we asked of him perfectly, and got through the full programme on both days, which is as good as it gets.” Failure, when it did come, came not behind the wheel but under the lights. The photographer wants moody and serious. Clad in a set of David Coulthard’s race overalls, Ricciardo manages to hold a brooding pose for a millisecond, and then collapses into a fit of giggles. He composes himself, and then goes again. And again. And again. By now everyone’s laughing, which isn’t helping, and the crew have wandered across the garage to offer advice, none of which is printable in a polite magazine. “I’ll get it in a minute,” he says – but he never does. It probably isn’t a failing that’s going to hold him back. Despite another exhausting day, the grin is still firmly in place that evening. He
“he’s obviously A future tAlent… he’s not put A wheel wrong; he’s done everything we Asked”
ADDITIONAl PHOTOGRAPHY: GETTY IMAGES (1)
Clockwise, from top left: Final adjustments before Ricciardo leaves the garage; Getting up to speed; The end of successful day; “Well done, son.” Ricciardo gets a victory kiss from his father; Striking his ‘brooding’ pose for the cameras
didn’t seem overawed to begin with, but there’s definitely more swagger in the step and a little more slouch at the table after two solid days of good numbers. “It is a little bit surprising to be on the pace quite so quickly, but today was easier. Yesterday there were a lot of new things to negotiate and it took a while to get comfortable, but now I’m driving with a big smile on my face. Also, yesterday I didn’t realise how hard you can hit the brake pedal. Today I was able to lock the wheels and really get into the driving.” Coping with the car is one thing; coping with the team is another. Rookies are always taken aback by the number of people who work in an F1 garage. Used to a crew of two or three, to be pitched into an environment with 15 or 20 can be overwhelming. The team restricts communication, with usually only the race engineer talking to the driver; this isn’t a dispensation for the rookie, it’s how it works at the races too. “It’s kept simple because that’s how we work,” says Morgan. “We operate in the same fashion with experienced drivers, and it’s important Daniel gets a feel for that. He could get thrown into a race next year – if he becomes our reserve driver – and he has to be fully prepared for that.” Day three, and there’s rain in the air. The occasional shower falls, but the track stays dry long enough for all drivers to get in as much distance as they choose. With the confidence of 200 laps behind him, and content that the team has gathered the data it needs, Ricciardo cuts loose. There’s suddenly daylight between himself and the best of the rest. It isn’t a meaningful comparison. Ricciardo was driving a car set up for quick, qualifying-pace laps and other drivers were not. In that sense, the times are immaterial. Much more important is the good opinion of the team. In public they’re always generous; more telling were the handshakes and smiles, the jokes and the graduation from ‘Daniel’ on Tuesday to ‘Dan’ and ‘Danny’ by Thursday evening. A happy garage is the best indication of events working out well; impressing team management and senior engineers is hard currency for a junior driver. Ricciardo played down his achievements, suggesting the car that won the final three Grands Prix of the 2009 season made him look better than he really is. This finally was a rookie error: a real F1 driver lunges for any credit going. It’s something to work on for the future. Get in gear for Ricciardo’s 2010 season at www.danielricciardo.com
the talented mr hudson With Red Bull Music Academy taking over London this month, one former participant explains how it took him from the job centre to laying tracks in Hawaii with Kanye West Words: Tom Hall
“i was this apologetic guy on the dole just demoing songs. I’d been ignored in london, i wasn’t getting anywhere” 66
visit to the Academy in Seattle in 2005, that Mr Hudson began refining the sound, receiving the recognition and making the contacts that would smooth his entry into a merciless industry. “I was this apologetic guy on the dole just demoing songs,” he says. “I’d been ignored in London, I wasn’t getting anywhere. When I got to Seattle I met all these lovely people from places all over the world like South America, Singapore and Switzerland telling me that actually my stuff was dope!” It’s a husky-voiced, bleary-eyed Mr Hudson who greets us this morning. He was in the studio until 4am the night before working on tracks, and the strain shows during our 10am talk. But he’s no prima donna. “Give me five minutes and a coffee and I’ll be a bit more useful,” he says optimistically. “I’ve been in the studio every day for the last two weeks, apart fromjust one day off.” From his first gig aged 12, drumming for a heavy metal band above a pub in Birmingham, to sharing a stage with Kid Cudi and Kanye at a sold-out Camden Roundhouse last year, the boy who grew up stabbing at his parents’ piano doesn’t know anything different. “I just wanna have lots of cool music to play to the world,” he says. “I probably make 50 to 100 songs a year. It’s not for a new album as such. I’m just always making music.” Since appearing on the British pop landscape with his band Mr Hudson And The Library in 2007, the songwriter, producer and performer has bucked musical trend and fads in preference for pursuing the essence of a timeless pop song. He’s produced two albums, 2007’s A Tale Of Two Cities, and 2009’s Straight No Chaser. The first, with The Library, was an eclectic burst of eccentric pop underpinned by a hiphop sensibility. The latter is far more commercial, aimed at the mainstream. For a man who’s built a career by trading on merit and staying clear of ego and trendiness, it seems a bit ironic that
Photography: (Previous Page) Helen Boast/Redferns/Getty Images, (This page) Mercury Music Group
he man stopping by the beach each morning is new on the island. Oahu, Hawaii, one of the world’s most remote destinations, has long been an escape for tanned beach bums from mainland USA and they’re a part of the landscape now. But this man looks different. He’s native to another small island –Great Britain – and his pale complexion accentuated by a shock of peroxide white hair are a dead giveaway. But it’s not just the islanders and surf dudes who look at this guy funny. This man makes a habit of turning up at places he doesn’t quite belong. In fact, he’s made a career out of it. A musician, he remembers his introduction to that world like some innocent endless summer: “You go outside, play some football, do some colouring in, or you play the piano, don’t you?” Playtime is over. Ben Hudson McIldowie, aka Mr Hudson, is in Hawaii today to work on tracks with US hip-hop superstar Kanye West. Last year he appeared in a music video singing with the iconic Jay-Z. Musicians in this circle are the prize-fighters of pop. So how did a pasty-faced featherweight David Bowie obsessive from Birmingham make the weigh-in? It could have something to do with training. Mr Hudson is part of a select group of artists to have passed through the doors of the Red Bull Music Academy, a month-long music workshop that lands in a different city each year, with the objective of inspiring a batch of young talent under the tutelage of heavyweight music icons. A musician all his life, it was during his two-week
en.redbulletin.com/print2.0 To watch an interview with producer and DJ Patrick Pulsinger on Red Bull Music Academy
“i’m like, hang on, what’s the greatest thing? i’m just really into great songs sung well. i like songs and it doesn’t matter who writes them”
PHOTOGRAPHY: SHIRLAne FOReST/WIRe IMAGe/GeTTY IMAGeS (1), CAMeRA PReSS (2), ROBIn LAAnAnen/ReD BULL MUSIC ACADeMY(1), BARneY BRITTOn/ReDFeRnS/GeTTY IMAGeS
Mr Hudson is now regularly called upon for inspiration by the biggest, most brash personas in the business. “I’ve always tried to tack away from people saying ‘what’s the latest thing?’,” he says. “I’m like, ‘Hang on, what’s the greatest thing?’ I’m just really into great songs sung really well. When I was growing up, Britpop produced some really amazing songs, but I could only get so excited about bands and the gang mentality. It’s too inflexible. I like songs and it doesn’t matter who writes them.” By the early noughties, with Britpop long dead, he was pining to escape from the British guitar music scene, which he now saw as stale and trading on past victories. It was around that period that he rediscovered hip-hop and his childhood enthusiasm for beats. “I remember getting Paid In Full by eric B and Rakim when I was eight years old,” he says, “which I guess sounds a little precocious for someone that age. But nobody else was into it at the time. I think as a kid it’s very hard to get into something on your own, because you need to be able to bounce it off people. So that got left by the wayside until I was so bored to tears with the music scene that I decided I had to make it work.” Leaving traditional guitar music behind, Mr Hudson set about making pop music based around loops and beats inspired by the likes of legendary hiphop producer J Dilla. The hip-hop scene drew him down new avenues that indierock couldn’t hope to reach. It was in 2005, while frequenting a record shop off London’s Carnaby Street that Mr Hudson first heard of Red Bull Music Academy. “I was in Deal Real,” he recalls, “It wasn’t just a record shop, but a real watering hole for lots of very cool creative people. You’d go down to buy the latest Busta Rhymes album, but in fact you’d end up talking to stylists, photographers, dancers, whoever. “On Fridays they’d have PAs and you’d buy a pint from the pub opposite and watch people like Black eyed Peas, Mos Def, Kanye… It was ridiculous the amount of talent that came through there! So I was down there just hanging out and noticed the Red Bull thing in the window. The manager told me to apply.” This month, 60 new talents will descend on London to quiz established musicians on methods and techniques that might never be discussed in formal music education. In the past these have included Public enemy’s Chuck D and Afrobeat pioneer Tony Allen. By night the Red Bull Music Academy is a citywide music festival (see More Body &
Mr Music hudson highlights
OUTSIDE DEAL REAL RECORDS, 2005 Mr Hudson first learned about Red Bull Music Academy while at his favourite record shop in London.
AT RED BULL MUSIC ACADEMY, 2005 Travelling to Seattle for gave him the chance to meet fellow musicians and led to a record deal.
WITH THE LIBRARY, 2007 Mr Hudson And The Library released A Tale Of Two Cities in 2007. Kanye West was a big fan, and the two subsequently met.
WITH KAYNE WEST, 2008 A successful writing and production partnership lead to 808s and Heartbreak by West in 2008, and Mr Hudsonâ€™s Straight No Chaser in 2009.
REd BULL MUsIC ACAdEMY LoNdoN 2010
JULLIAN GoMEs SoUtH AFRicA
The pick of this year’s participants
REINhARd ‘CAMo’ RIEtsCh, AUStRiA
MYELE ‘MANZILLA’ MANZANZA new zeAlAnd Born in Wellington, 21-year-old Myele ‘Manzilla’ Manzanza is a drummer and music programmer who has talent wired into his DNA. “My dad’s a musician. He was born in the Congo and played African high-life and Afro-pop sort of stuff,” says Manzanza. “He’d take me to African drum classes from a very young age and I’d do percussion in his band. I was about 14 and playing in a club in Wellington and told my dad to get them to chant ‘Olé, Olé-Olé, Olé!’ – he did it and the crowd cheered it right back at him and that’s when I realised the power and group spirit that music can create.” Manzanza plays drums and percussion in a wealth of different projects including Olmecha Supreme and Electric Wire Hustle. The latter are an R ’n’ B/nu-soul trio featuring 70
two Red Bull Music Academy ex-participants, Mara TK and TaayNinh. That may make Wellington sound like a bubble to outsiders, but Manzanza says that collaboration is essential to making a living in the New Zealand music scene. “It’s kind of survival, because New Zealand only has a population of around four million,” says Manzanza. “So to make a living off one band is pretty hard.” Manzanza aims to hone his production skills during Red Bull Music Academy in London, an area he’s only been working in for the last year. Having applied unsuccessfully twice before, he feels it was taking the step into original compositions that highlighted his talents in this year’s application process. “I’ve done sightseeing before” he jokes. “I just wanna go in hard get and get the best out of the out of the Academy. I don’t fuck around!”
Seven years ago, a friend showed Reinhard Rietsch how to make hip-hop beats. The 26-year-old, one half of Austrian drum ’n’ bass duo Camo and Krooked, hasn’t stopped producing since. Now, the Salzburg-born Vienna resident is on the cusp of an exciting 2010. “We had releases on the biggest labels in the drum ’n’ bass game last year, labels like Breakbeat Kaos and Hospital Records,” he explains. With airplay on leading UK radio shows, the duo are one of the most successful and established acts to take part in this year’s Academy. Rietsch says the time in London will be worth the interaction and experience involved. “I’m really excited about meeting people, seeing London, working with new faces and getting new ideas and techniques,” says Rietsch. “It’s 10 days of valuable knowledge. I might try and do a little promotion, but really it’s all about the experience of being there.” Camo’s adopted home of Vienna is something of a drum ’n’ bass Mecca in Europe. The genre that surfaced in Britain during the early to mid-1990s is showing no signs of slowing in popularity in the Austrian capital, where every month, parties draw 1500 people, and the enduring Flex Club features two international acts. As for Camo, he’s fine with leaving his nest. “I applied for Red Bull Music Academy last year,” he says, “but I missed the deadline by a day. This year I made it on the last day… I’m really glad I did!”
As a child, Jullian Gomes’ most potent musical memory was walking into the bedroom of his cousin, a DJ. “You could actually smell the records and I remember falling in love with the feeling and the genre of house music itself,” says Gomes. In addition to the familial influence, it was growing up in Pretoria, Gomes’ hometown and the capital of South Africa’s house music scene, that set him on his eventual path. “The way people respond to it here is amazing,” he says. “International acts see the response they get when they play South Africa and it’s crazy.” It’s his passionate commitment in the DJ booth that Gomes says sets him apart from other house producers and DJs. “I can be this quiet guy in the corner, but as soon as the beat comes on or there’s music, I’m in a different world,” he says. Gomes is looking forward to making the most of his precious two weeks at the Academy. “It’s gonna be the two best weeks of my life,” he says. Having never DJ’d outside of South Africa, the 21-year-old sees the Academy as a springboard to gigs in other countries. Not that it would bother him if that didn’t happen. “Anything that benefits my production or DJing would still mean everything to me.”
JoAChIM ‘swEdE: ARt’ PRŰGL GeRMAnY
PHOTOGRAPHY: LIAM LYnCH (1), DAn MeDHURST (1), MR MASS/MASSCORPORATIOn (1), ReD BULL MUSIC ACADeMY (2)
GERARd ‘KIdKANEVIL’ RoBERts United KinGdoM Unlike most participants, London-based Gerard Roberts will be able to enjoy the comforts of home. Not that he’s planning to take advantage of them. “I just want to be there all the time” says Roberts, 28, “but I might go home one day to do my washing!” The turntablist turned beatmaker received his blues and jazz education from a musician father and record-collecting grandfather and uncle. A fascination with funk during his early teens – brought on by seeing the film Super Fly (soundtracked by Curtis Mayfield) – led him on to hip-hop, including the Beastie Boys and A Tribe Called Quest. But for a background rooted so firmly in hip-hop, his music is actually anything but. Kidkanevil produces dark skittering beats filled with futuristic clicks and squelches far more typical of cutting-edge dance music. “I just initially tried to make hip-hop beats but they came out a bit wrong,” he says, laughing. “All the people I respect have found their own style. Growing up, I identify with individuals rather than themes,” The Leeds-born producer has recently been incorporating Japanese motifs into his music, “I never clocked why you should only listen to music in English,” he explains. “As a kid, my favourite thing was a museum in Leeds with a big world map and you could push buttons and hear music from there.” That may explain why his MySpace lists his home county as Tokyorkshire.
Joachim Prügl, 20, known as Swede: Art, creates grime and hip-hop influenced glitch-hop, with touches of classic soul and funk thrown in. “I played saxophone and learned the piano a bit when I was young,” says the resident of Passau, a small town in Bavaria. “But I’m a producer not an instrumentalist. “It’s funny, because there is no scene where I’m from. I go through the internet to find hip-hop, wonky beats or dubstep.” Despite reeling off more genres than you can probably find in (what’s left of) your local record store, Prügl is loathe to try and categorise his music. “I like regular music too, but also house and techno,” he says. He’s excited by the prospect of meeting heroes at the Academy. “It would be amazing to meet someone like Flying Lotus,” says Prügl. “To make music with someone who you’re the biggest fan of is crazy. I can’t believe it.” The Academy’s strength, he says, is in bringing together musicians from disparate backgrounds and providing the platforms and support for their collaborations. “Like-minded people are arriving, maybe from towns like mine where they don’t have the right people to work with, so this feeling of coming together is really important,” he says. “It’s cool that people recognise you attended the Academy, but it’s the interaction between different individuals that really counts I think.” Find out more by visiting www.redbullmusicacademy.com
Now available on your iPod, a digital audio library filled with interviews, remixes and live concerts from top clubs around the world. Curated by the team behind Red Bull Music Academy Radio, the new application delivers fresh DJ remixes every morning, and music from The Roots to Róisín Murphy, Animal Collective to Richie Hawtin. Shows like On the Floor transport you directly to the dancefloor, while Headphone Highlights gets musical pioneers on the mic. Whether you want to dip into the radio archive, or just jump on the live-stream, Red Bull Music Academy Radio brings global acts to your handset. Why not tune in to the sounds of tomorrow? Download the new Red Bull Music Academy Radio app at itunes.com/ apps/rbmaradio
Mind), encouraging one-off events and collaborations in unusual venues. Mr Hudson joins a list of successful previous alumni such as Flying Lotus, and another ‘Hudson’ recently wowing critics, Hudson Mohawke. “In Seattle, I got to discuss J Dilla with Questlove from The Roots,” says Hudson, “and I met the UK hip-hop artist Sway, who was also lecturing, I was like, ‘Listen, if you ever need a bad Bowie impersonator, give me a call!’” It was Sway who passed on Mr Hudson’s demos to DJ Semtex, who in turn passed them onto Mercury Records. Hudson was signed within months. He looks back to those formative days with real fondness and seems keen to show solidarity with his London roots, spelling the place names as he talks. Mr Hudson And The Library played their first gig at a hairdressers called Flaxon Ptootch in Kentish Town in 2004. “That’s P-t-o-o-t-c-h” he says. It was during a first attempt to record a follow-up album at Gizzard Studios in Hackney Wick (“G-i-z-z-a-r-d… got it?”) that he got the call from Kanye West. The rapper’s eye for european pop eccentrics has seen him utilising the work of French dance duo Daft Punk and Swedish trio Peter Bjorn and John. A vocal fan of Hudson’s, West signed him to his GOOD Music label in early 2008 and the two have since worked together on West’s album 808s & Heartbreak and Hudson’s Straight With No Chaser in Hawaii. “Me and Kanye are similar because we both beat up the music a lot, we both want to achieve the very best,” says Hudson. “But the thing about Kanye is, he’ll be like ‘Is this amazing?’ Most people, including myself, will just say this is really good and now I’m going home. But he shows great strength of character. He’s always throwing himself back at the work.” And work is what Mr Hudson is in a tropical paradise to get done. He still sounds hoarse as he sets off for the studio. He’ll stop by a beachside café for fruit and coffee, as he does every day, to relax his head and take in the surroundings, an environment he still finds hard to accept as part of daily routine. Thinking back to the journey, he observes that, at 30, that sense of adventure still stays with him. “I feel younger now than when I was starting out.” he laughs, “that’s the rejuvenating power of music… and not having a real job,” he jokes. “But the hangovers get worse.” Check out songs, tour dates and Mr Hudson’s blog at www.mrhudson.com
dry run The Dakar Rally is one of motorsport’s great challenges, but, just like last year, it took place thousands of miles from its usual home – in the gruelling deserts of Argentina and Chile. Here are our top seven Dakar 2010 moments Words: Christian Schön
Off at a tangent: the destination’s the same, but Mark Miller (305) and Nasser Al-Attiyah (306) have different ideas on how to get there
PhotograPhy: FrEDErIC LE FLoC’h/DPPI
en.redbulletin.com/print2.0 For the rally’s wildest scenes
ideways works too
Sometimes even a tiny bit is too much. When the VW Race Touareg belonging to Nasser Al-Attiyah and Timo Gottschalk came to a halt just a couple of centimetres from a sheer drop after reaching the top of a hill, nothing else would seem like quite such a big deal. “There was certainly no going forward,” says the German co-driver. “And we couldn’t go back either, since the slope was too steep.” So he got out of the car and looked around for a way out, but his driver came up with the plan. “We go sideways, of course,” said Al-Attiyah, putting the car in first gear. “You can do it,” Gottschalk added, ignoring the potential drop. Al-Attiyah pulled off the manoeuvre, turning the wheels of their two-tonne vehicle and then forcing it to follow the slope. “Luckily I managed to use a bush or two to lean on,” says Al-Attiyah. A couple of minutes later they were racing again. “I would never have thought such a move was possible,” says Gottschalk. “To tell the truth,” adds Al-Attiyah, “neither would I.”
Top: Competitors have to make running repairs miles from civilisation. Below: It’s not all desert. Bottom: The last chance to refuel for miles
Volkswagen’s director of motorsport Kris Nissen has his own way of dealing with the pressures to perform. “Dr Ulrich Hackenberg told me I’d be looking for a new job if we didn’t win,” he said before the start of the Dakar Rally, outlining what VW’s chairman of the board had told him. The Dane also revealed how he saw his future if that’s how things worked out. “We’ve got five teams. That’s 10 men. I’m the 11th, so that would make a football team.” While the team drivers discuss who’s going in goal, Nissen goes one better. “Dr Hackenberg would be our coach. Maybe we’d qualify for this year’s World Cup in Africa.” Following Carlos Sainz’s victory, the world has been spared that scenario…
De Villiers v race truck
The race trucks are an incredible spectacle for the fans, because they are surprisingly fast for their size. This is also why they’re often the pet peeve of those driving cars. “If you have even 74
PHoToGRAPHY: MARCeLo MARAGNI (2), AFP/GeTTY IMAGeS (2), ReUTeRS (1)
Nissen’s Plan B
Just finishing the Dakar is a challenge, but he quad bikes were a good option: 14 out of 25 starters crossed the line
Above: Even on a different continent, the Dakar remains the most spectacularly stunning race. Below: Race trucks are surprisingly fast
Clockwise from top left: Don’t fall off! There may be leeches in there; Cyril Despres finished an hour ahead of the next fastest rider; Red Bull Volkswagen took a dominant one-two finish; It’s not all work, work, work; That’s one way to extend tyre life; Earplugs are essential if you plan to sleep next to a support truck
a small problem and have to stop for repairs, you end up with this monster breathing down your neck,” Dirk von Zitzewitz, co-driver of 2009 winner Giniel de Villiers, explains. “They’re actually faster than us on some terrain because they take the direct route, whereas we have to make our way around bushes and hills.” overtaking a race truck isn’t easy, so other drivers try everything they can to stop the trucks getting past them. “If a truck appears on the horizon, all you can do is run for your life,” says von Zitzewitz. After the repairs are done they throw their equipment into the cockpit in order to make a quick getaway. This year the pair developed an even greater aversion to trucks. After having an accident early on, they found themselves forced into the role of rear cover for their team-mates, which meant moving in the orbit of the race trucks more often than they’d have liked. “I’ve never heard Giniel swear so much or so loud,” admits Zitzewitz.
PHoToGRAPHY: ReUTeRS (2), AFP/GeTTY IMAGeS (3), DPPI (2), DPPI/VoLKSWAGeN (1)
Taxi with four hooves
When German biker Christina Meier came into camp one night, those who saw her had their jaws on the floor. Well, she was on a horse… “I stopped by some spectators to get water for my Camelbak,” she says, “and then my bike wouldn’t start again.” She frantically tried to trace the problem, but couldn’t get another peep out of her Yamaha. Close to tears, Meier, who races with a T-shirt for the spinal cord research foundation Wings for Life under her overalls, was facing the prospect of dropping out early for the second time in two years. A spectator explained that he lived only a short distance from bivouac and that it would be an honour for him to take the famous racer there – on his horse. This real gaucho just happened to have chosen this place to dismount and watch the race. So cattle-herder and biker mounted the wiry old nag and galloped for bivouac. Later, she returned to her stranded bike with the service crew. The engine, which had cooled down, came back to life as if nothing had been wrong. Meier went on to complete the race.
Don’t drive the wrong way down a one-way street!
Robby Gordon and co-driver Andy Grinder took a detour and nearly found themselves irretrievably stuck. “We made a wrong turn into a canyon somewhere,” Gordon says. “The track
Production World Rally Championship frontrunner Nasser Al-Attiyah (left) and co-driver Timo Gottschalk finished Dakar a close second
Former World Rally Champion Carlos Sainz (right) and Lucas Cruz made up for last year’s late-race disappointment by taking the win
debut at the other end of the rankings. Christian Califano won 72 caps for the French rugby team during a successful playing career that also took in club sides in New Zealand and england. Following his retirement in 2008 he has had a different sporting goal. “It’s long been an ambition of mine to take part in the Dakar Rally,” he explains. However, Califano was, to put it mildly, very raw on two wheels. “The clothes he had on were either too warm or not warm enough,” says Despres. “Sometimes he’d forget his sunglasses.” Not a good idea in the glaring light of the desert. Despres completed his third Dakar win, an hour ahead of the field. Califano, meanwhile, finished last. “even if I’d started four weeks ahead of Cyril, he’d still have overtaken me,” says Califano. But he has no intention of giving up. “Cyril makes such an effort with me. I can’t just let him down.” Next up: giving his rivals the same short shrift he showed the cow that dared to halt his progress at one point. “I did learn how to knock defenders out of the way in rugby, after all,” the Frenchman says, laughing.
Gache chases his own breakdown service was getting narrower and narrower. It took a while before we realised we’d come off the route.” Turning an enormous Hummer around in a narrow gully is difficult at the best of times, but it only dawned on the Americans that their problems were just beginning when they reached the first turn. “We were on a narrow track, about as wide as a single car, and couldn’t possibly know if someone else might make the same mistake as us and come at us full steam ahead. The prospect of a head-on collision wasn’t exactly comforting.” So Grinder was given the thankless task of walking ahead and giving the all-clear where necessary. It made for frustratingly slow progress. “I could hear Robby cursing over the roar of the engine,” Grinder says. only when the canyon got wider could the co-driver retake his habitual position alongside Gordon.
Cyril the coach
Cyril Despres is so dominant in motorbike racing that he had time to look out for a good friend making his Dakar
The drivers of the race trucks that double as rescue vehicles have perhaps the most thankless task. They’d really like to drive themselves into a good position. But as soon as one of the guys they’re looking after has a problem, they lose several hours carrying out repairs. “My rescue service probably doesn’t feel like doing the job any more,” Philippe Gache must have thought to himself as the SMG team race truck rolled straight past his stranded buggy. Beside himself with fury, the former sportscar driver seized the Toyota of a television crew that happened to be close by and charged after his service truck. Thomas Wallenwein was at the wheel. “From a distance we could see a whole load of vehicles stuck deep in sand, which is why we chose another route through the dunes. We didn’t realise that Philippe was in among them,” he explains. “About 20 minutes later, we stopped for a moment to get our bearings. We were pretty amazed when Philippe suddenly appeared behind us, gesticulating wildly.” The chastened service crew promptly turned back to rescue Gache’s buggy and tempers were soon back in order. Review all the Dakar action at www.dakar.com
Short changed: Italyâ€™s Luke McLean tackles Jamie Roberts of Wales during last yearâ€™s Six Nations tournament. Check out the latest rugby kit on page 82
More Body & Mind
Things to see and do, with compass, balls and music halls
PhotgraPhy: getty Images
80 ski orienteering 82 get the gear 84 travel 86 listings 90 nightlife 96 short story 98 Mindâ€™s eye
Monsters of Rock
as the legend goes, mount snowdon was home to an ogre called rhita gawr who loved to kill kings. he finally met his match in King arthur, who climbed to the top and slew the beast. however, as the sleet stings our faces and the wind howls through the car park at the bottom of miners’ track, it’s easy to believe the ogre might still be up there. there are no kings here, but in martin Chester, chief instructor of the national mountain Centre at plas y Brenin, we have a leader. he’s a fully qualified guide with the International Federation of mountain guides associations. the reason for spending the next seven hours battered by winds and stumbling into horizontal sleet is to learn the rudiments of navigation. I’m a very keen skier, and recently I’ve been bitten by the bug of ski touring. away from the crowded, over-groomed pistes, 80
Orienteering express: Relating the map details to what you can see is an essential skill
it’s been a simple joy to rediscover the exhilaration of pristine descents, wonderful views and the camaraderie of like-minded ‘adventurers’. But it is dangerous. you can trigger an avalanche or you can fall or get lost. you need to develop skills far beyond anything needed to tackle a red run. of those main dangers, our day on snowdon aims to address the ‘getting lost’ part. so, armed with compass and map, I set off. Chester stops me immediately,
puts the map and compass away, and tells me to start looking at what’s actually around us. acknowledging features and learning to assess distance by counting steps is a vital skill for beginners. I quickly learn that 60 of my steps are equal to 100m. By relating this to the distance on the map, I can immediately confirm that I’ve reached the correct rock or stream. since mount snowdon’s aesthetic make-up is basically 50:50 rock or stream, it’s easy to pick the wrong one.
words: norman howell. photography: peter guenzel (2)
Off-piste skiing is a thrill a minute, but if you want to avoid the hazards you’d better learn to find your way around the mountain first, and, happily, you don’t actually need any snow
words: usChI Korda. photography: Carlos hernandez (4)
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next Chester explains the meaning of the symbols on the map. each time he sets me the task of leading him to a point on the map by counting paces, checking features and giving a commentary. he also encourages orienting the map in the direction of travel; simple advice, but vital when the pressure is on. we’re now ready to graduate to the compass. there are three ways of using this unassuming piece of plastic: to find north; to ratify the desired direction of travel by matching map and compass; and to guide us between our starting point and our destination. a compass can also help to measure distance, which is why pacing is so important to master. For the next few hours martin sets me increasingly difficult challenges. on the grand scale of navigational excellence they are trifling, but soon I feel as if there is a new king on the mountain, ready to take on the worst snowdon can offer. we’re scrambling around crags, trudging through snow and slipping on wet rock. In the fierce winds, a couple of stumbles from what I think may be a straight line could make the difference of a few metres by the time I reach my mark. In a white-out, that could mean either finding shelter or not. By lunchtime my head is beginning to hurt. so what better time to introduce the understanding of contours? these are the squiggly lines you see on detailed maps. the closer they are to each other, the steeper the terrain. they can be hard to interpret in combination with fatigue and treacherous conditions underfoot. But as Chester explains, when skiing off-piste it’s vital to understand what’s ahead. the ability to ski around a cliff is preferable to skiing off it. as we start back down the mountain, Chester imparts one of the most crucial pieces of advice. “If you feel you’re lost, don’t sit still. If you do, nothing changes. you won’t gain more information.” Keep moving, checking everything, until something makes sense. last spring, Chester guided me in a complete white-out in the swiss alps. his care, focus and route-finding skills kept our party safe. at the time I wasn’t aware of the volume of information he was constantly processing. I’m sure I’ve barely scratched the surface of his knowledge. But now when I venture off-piste I can enjoy a day in the mountains, safer in the knowledge that I have an idea of where I’m going. To find more information on courses and accommodation, visit www.pyb.co.uk; more details on our guide at www.martinchester.com
Marcelo Tejedor discovered 12 different types of seaweed on Spain’s Costa de la Muerte. He travels out into the Atlantic with the fishermen to harvest it whenever he can
A question of taste
Marcelo Tejedor Chewing the fat – and Atlantic seaweed – with the Spanish Michelin-starred chef and owner of Casa Marcelo in Santiago de Compostela The cooking ingredient he can’t work without is… “olive oil,” says tejedor, a man who prefers to unleash his creativity in the kitchen, rather than just talking about it. olive oil is vital to him because it’s the basis of mediterranean cuisine. “you can always use it in everything. you can improve anything with it,” he enthuses. he’s also keen on cooking with fresh herbs. “Fifteen years ago we hardly used them in spanish cuisine,” he says. “But they make every dish better, which is why they’re being used more and more.”
The ingredient he’s learned tolove is… “seaweed,” tejedor reveals. previously having only come across it in its dried form, from eating sushi, four years ago he discovered it was sensational eaten fresh. For tejedor the best seaweed is found just a short distance away from his restaurant on the Costa de la muerte, and now top chefs from around the world order this delicacy from spain’s atlantic coast direct from him. The one piece of essential equipment in his kitchen is… “that’s easy: the saucepan, preferably one made of copper because that’s the metal that conducts heat the best.” Marcelo Tejedor is the guest chef at the Ikarus Restaurant at Hangar-7, Salzburg, throughout February. Find out more at www.hangar-7.com
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Get the Gear
Six Nation Army Avoid a scrum at the checkout with our pick of the very best new rugby kit
Above: Gilbert Synergie Generic Matchball, €100 (www.gilbertrugby.com) Right (from left): Puma v-Konstrukt III Rugby Boots, €111 (www.puma.com); Canterbury Pro Grip Mitt, €13 (www.canterbury.com); Canterbury AirGARD Mouthguard, €13 (www.canterbury.com)
compiled by: Tom Hall. pHoTograpHy: will THom. prices correcT aT Time of going To press
Above: Gilbert VX Cell Headguard, €28 (www.gilbertrugby.com); Gilbert Alpha Quest Shoulder Protection, €22 (www.gilbertrugby.com) Opposite page, clockwise from top: Nike France Home Replica Jersey, €56 (www.shoprugby.com); Under Armour WRU Authentic Jersey, €90 (www.underarmour.com); Canterbury Scotland Home Pro Rugby Jersey, €56 (www.canterbury.com); Nike England Rugby Replica Home Shirt, €56 (www.nike.com); Puma Ireland Rugby Jersey, €65 (www.puma.com); Kappa FIR Kombat Shirt, €56 (www.kappastore.com)
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London Calling The English capitalâ€™s formidable nightlife gets a colourful shake-up when the Red Bull Music Academy begins this month. We guide you through the musical tributes, bodyshaking club nights and a roller-skate jam (yes, really)
8 the roundhouse sCaLa
6 royaL aLbert haLL
7 e rooms renaisanCe
3 pLan b
PhotograPhy: getty Images (4), alamy (3), CorbIs (1), andy Crowe (1), malIa t (1), KeIth sCharwath (1), eInar snorrI (1), James Pearson-howes (1), lander larranga/red bull musIC aCademy (2),
royaL festivaL haLL
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3. sin City 12.02.10 Plan B, Brixton three generations of basswave pirates, from selector and dub legend david rodigan and scientist to upstarts hatcha and n-type, crowd the intimate setting of brixton’s Plan b for an unforgettable reggae and dancehall night. 4. red buLL musiC aCademy ConCert & Workshop 13.02.10 ICA, The Mall a music academy-curated selection of workshops, lectures, concerts and music showcases. expert studio tutors offer a remix workshop, while a colourful panel looks back at the evolution of pirate radio. It all ends with a raucous party headlined by techno maniacs drums of death and disco revivalist James Pants.
shoreditCh toWn haLL
Pere meIsramon/red bull musIC aCademy (1), wIll wInterCross/eyeVIne (1), traCey welCh/retna (1), KIngsley daVIs/retna (1), rex Features (1)
5. CuLture CLash
1. book sLam
10.02.10 Shoreditch Town Hall london’s first and (likely) only literary nightclub moves east to shoreditch from its usual home in west london’s notting hill. writers and underground poets, from author dreda say mitchell to comedian doc brown, trade open-mic slams with acoustic sets from london grime mCs.
2. south bank Centre 12.02.10 Royal Festival Hall at the South Bank Centre a gilded dJ lineup descends on the royal Festival hall, which will sway to the genrebusting experimental sounds of Carl Craig, moritz von oswald, matmos and other guests. In association with dance and electronic music magazine Resident Advisor, this is one not to be missed.
17.02.10 Roundhouse, Chalk Farm the first notting hill Carnival in 1959 added Jamaican flavour to london’s cultural palette. as a tribute to the ground-breaking (and shaking) sound systems that continue to influence the city’s musical legacy, host don letts brings together four of london’s sound-system pioneers to clash their sounds for the crowd’s favour. the legendary Jazzie b’s soul II soul square off against the trojan sound system, goldie’s metalheadz and dubsteppers digital mystikz.
6. 3d soundCLash
18.02.10 Royal Albert Hall loading bay First unveiled at the Venice biennale in 2007, human league founding member martyn ware’s and Vince
Clarke of depeche mode’s 3d audioscape is boundarybreaking technology that allows dJs to ‘throw’ sound at their audience. teams from warp, hyperdub and ninja tune will face off in exuberant 20-minute sets and try to (quite literally) knock the audience off their feet.
04.03.10 Renaissance Rooms, Vauxhall grab the leg warmers and lycra: roller disco is most definitely back. house renegade moodymann, whose famed detroit soul skate has kept the roller disco dream alive, brings his record collection and 10 detroit skate superstars to south london’s renaissance rooms. dJs from the horse meat disco stable play in support. 8. a taste of sonar 05.03.10 - 06.03.10 Roundhouse, Chalk Farm with a pedigree that includes Flying lotus, hudson mohawke and buraka som sistema’s J-wow, the academy is doing its bit to groom the next generation of electronic exponents. who better, then, to curate the emerging talent stage at the roundhouse’s studio room during this two-day taster event for sónar, the spanish electronic music festival held in June.
11.03.10 Scala, Kings Cross the academy presents 12 music pioneers – including Jazzie b, Zinc and a guy Called gerald – who’ll all be performing 12-minute sets as visual magicians hexstatic provide the appropriate optical cues. For ticket prices, new events and a constantly updated schedule visit www.redbullmusicacademy.com
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red Bull oPen ICe 20.02.10 Take a big international hockey tournament and hold it in its original form: on a frozen lake. Playing in teams of four, there will be no interruptions once the action begins. Lake Calhoun, Minneapolis, USA
Check out our pick of the coolest events around the globe
FIS CroSS-Country SkI World CuP 05 - 06.02.10
FIS SkI JumPIng World CuP 06 - 07.02.10
As the Cross-Country World Cup continues into the new year, the women face up to 10km race while the men fight it out over 15km, and both compete in sprint races in an action-packed weekend. Canmore, Canada
This year, Germany’s biggest winter sporting event features the added excitement of the FIS Team Tour final, in which one nation is awarded the team cup and a ¤100,000 prize. Willingen, Germany
PhotograPhy: scott heraldson/red bull usa (1), imago sPortfoto (1), gePa Pictures (1), gian Paul lozza (1)
SImPel SeSSIon 10 05 - 07.02.10 Europe’s biggest indoor trick event celebrates its 10th birthday this year. Champion skaters Ryan Sheckler and Axel Cruysberghs are among the 200 skateboard and BMX athletes descending on the Estonian capital to make the 2010 contest the toughest yet. Tallinn, Estonia
FIS SnoWBoard World CuP 06.02.10 Both male and female competitors battle it out in the parallel giant slalom in the Sudelfield event – one of the last chances for athletes to sharpen up before the Winter Olympics in Vancouver. Sudelfeld, Germany
ama SuPerCroSS 06.02.10 Qualcomm Stadium, the site for Super Bowl XXXII in 1998, is the venue for the fifth stop on the motocross series. San Diego, USA
ICe SPeedWay World CuP 06 - 07.02.10 The first of the World Cup final showdowns takes fearless Austrian rider Franky Zorn to the industrial city of Tolyatti on the Volga river. Tolyatti, Russia
red Bull drIFt n ICe 07.02.10 New Zealand drift driver ‘Mad’ Mike Whiddett travels to the country that gave birth to the sport and invites a local driver to join him in a drift session with a difference. The two will take their skills to the ice to see what they can do in a unique winter experiment. Hokkaido, Japan
WInter olymPICS 12 - 28.02.10 There’s a total of 86 gold medals to be won in 15 different disciplines of the Winter Olympics during an action-packed fortnight. Vancouver, Canada
SV rIed V FC red Bull SalzBurg 13.02.10 This match kicks off Red Bull Salzburg’s spring season. The team are currently second in the league table, two points behind Rapid Vienna. Keine Sorgen Arena, Ried, Austria
WIld In the ParkS 13.02.10 This skateboard contest gives free access to anyone wanting to show off some skills. Fifteen entrants at a time demonstrate their tricks in three areas of the park, to win points and prizes. Riverside Skate Park, Melbourne, Australia
SuPer BoWl XlIV 07.02.10 Last year 98.7 million viewers followed the US sports highlight of the year, the Super Bowl. The Pittsburgh Steelers stole the glory with a 27:23 victory over the Arizona Cardinals. Dolphin Stadium, Miami, USA
more body & mind WrC rally SWeden 12 - 14.02.10 The Swedish Rally starts the 2010 WRC after a year’s break from the calendar. And with Kimi Räikkönen trading F1 tarmac for off-road action it’s bound to be exciting. Karlstad, Sweden
naSCar SPrInt CuP SerIeS 14.02.10
auStrIan FreeSkI oPen 2010 25 - 28.02.10
The annual Daytona 500 Shootout kicks off the 62nd NASCAR season and gives drivers their first opportunity to win vital points in the Chase for the Sprint Cup. Daytona International Speedway, USA
The largest open freeskiing event in Austria is shaping up as a great showdown. Among those ready to ride are the Aussie big air specialist Russell Henshaw and rising Swedish star Oscar Scherlin. Kaprun, Austria
red Bull kIteForCe 15.02.10
FreerIde World tour 27.02.10
The Monday before the start of Lent, or Clean Monday as it’s known in Greece, is a national holiday there and also traditionally a day to fly colourful kites. The Red Bull Kiteforce team will be joining the sky party, dropping in on two locations. Athens, Greece
Sierra Nevada in California is considered the Mecca for big mountain skiing in the USA. Expect the best freestyle skiers in the world to turn up for the Freeride World Tour, featuring the legendary Tram Face route, which will be open to the pros for only the second time in the resort’s history. Squaw Valley, USA
eC moSer medICal graz 99erS V eC red Bull SalzBurg 19.02.10 This is the last regular game of the ice hockey season before the top eight teams go through to the play-offs. After a strong season, last year’s runners-up, EC Red Bull Salzburg, look a likely bet to go through. Ice Stadium Graz-Liebenau, Austria
red Bull Street Style 20.02.10
red Bull under my WIng 27 - 28.02.10 It’s not often that aspiring sports stars get one-on-one tuition from a pro, but Red Bull has arranged for paragliding professional Hernan Pitocco to share his hints and tips with the local amateurs. Lima, Peru
red Bull StraIght doWn 27 - 28.02.10
The Slovak national team has already qualified for the football world cup in South Africa. Now the best football freestylers in the country try to secure their own passage to South Africa for the Red Bull Street Style finale. Bratislava, Slovakia
This year, more than 600 participants are expected to line up at the top of the 1987m Kasprowy Wierch slope for this ski and snowboard mass-start race. Zakopane, Poland
malamute Challenge 21.02.10
The surf elite assemble for the first competition of the season. Reigning world champion Mick Fanning, Adriano Souza and Jordy Smith will start in the Quicksilver Pro, while Sally Fitzgibbons tackles the Roxy Pro contest. Gold Coast, Australia
For the fourth year running, Spanish, French and Italian snowboarders fight it out on the slopes in a freestyle contest to decided which nation takes the crown. La Molina, Lleida, Spain
Standard lIege V FC red Bull SalzBurg 18.02.10
BoSton CeltICS V CleVeland CaValIerS 25.02.10
FC Red Bull Salzburg were the only team to win all six of their group games in the UEFA Europa League. Now they face the reigning Belgian champions Standard Liege. Maurice Dufrasne Stadium, Liege, Belgium
Rajon Rondo takes his Boston Celtics to meet the leaders of the Central Division, with their star men LeBron James and Shaquille O’Neal. TD Banknorth Garden, Boston, USA
aSP World tour 27.02.10 - 10.03.10
FIS SkI World CuP 02 - 07.03.10 With the Winter Olympics over, it’s back to securing those all-important FIS World Cup points. Crans Montana hosts a weekend of women’s competition in super combined, downhill and super G. Crans Montana, Switzerland
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night spots Club nights, sporting action and gigs: we pick the best from around the world Red Bull Moonlighting 04 - 10.02.10 Dedicated surfers don’t stop when the sun goes down. Under the glare of the full moon (and with a little help from a 4m-high movie light), Auckland’s best won’t miss a single break. Auckland, New Zealand
unsound Festival 04 - 14.02.10 Hero of arty pop meets the master of pop art: Carl Craig, the liveliest of Detroit music legends, has devised a live, airy techno soundtrack to dress up an Andy Warhol silent film. And if that wasn’t enough, the organisers have thrown in the dark electronic improvisation of the Moritz von Oswald trio. Various Venues, New York, USA
PhotograPhy: air&Style (1), JePPe JenSen (1), no‘no(1), red Bull MuSic acadeMy (1)
Mud: BReakology pResents 05.02.10 Drum ’n’ bass promoters Breakology venture to Dublin from their south of England base to present a night of dubstep with rising star High Rankin, while on the venue’s upper floor, new MUD residents Hertz U present Dublin’s original drum ’n’ bass master, Zero T. Twisted Pepper, Dublin, Ireland
viRal Radio night with cinnaMan 05.02.10 Eclectic Amsterdam DJ Cinnaman is all about the bass. So there is no better home for his sounds than Viral Radio, a Dutch public station devoted to dubstep, experimental beats and electronica, which is taking over the decks at Amsterdam hotspot Trouw. Viral Radio at Trouw, Amsterdam, Netherlands
peteR hook Joy Division, New Order, The Hacienda… Peter Hook was the driving force behind the UK’s Madchester music scene, and now he’s written the definitive book, see page 90.
RasteR-noton evening 06.02.10 German electronic label RasterNoton has been a base for musical boundary testing for 10 years, or, as it was known, an ‘archive for sound and notsound’. As part of the media arts festival Transmediale, the evening showcases signings including Atom TM. WMF, Berlin, Germany
ashtRay electRic 06.02.10 Bonjour is the debut album by South African newcomers Ashtray Electric. It will resonate with everyone whose heart beats for melancholy indie rock in the Interpol vein. When André Pienaar lasciviously croons ‘the wine tastes sweeter with you’, hearts will flutter. Up the Creek, Swellendam, South Africa
Red Bull thRe3 style 06.02.10 – 14.03.10 If there was a DJ college, then this would be the final exam. Local would-be superstars are pitted against each other in a competition tour of Canada. DJs get a 15-minute slot to play three different musical styles. The national winner will be invited to the international final this autumn in Paris. Various venues, Canada
aFRo picks: siMBa 12.02.10 Radio and TV presenter Lee Kasumba is known as the mother of hip-hop to her South African fans, and there are few more connected in the African music scene. To offer young acts a chance to be heard, she’s teamed up with her respected colleague, DJ Kenzhero, to organise the series ‘Afro picks’. The first guest is Mozambican rapper Simba. OST Club, Newtown, South Africa
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thoMas tRoelsen Galleries, hotels, cool bars… the music producer gives us a tour of his favourite places in his home city of Copenhagen. Just don’t ask him about clubs, on page 93.
Mano le tough 07.02.10
night oF the JuMps 13 - 14.02.10
Red Bull Music Academy graduate Mano Le Tough has been on a disco journey that has taken him from a seaside village near Dublin to the dancefloors of Berlin. Now gearing up for his second release, an EP, he has a long musical path ahead. Twisted Pepper, Dublin, Ireland
The FMX World Championship Tour, Night of the Jumps, comes to the 02 World in Berlin and will give an audience of thousands exactly what its name promises. The world’s best freestyle motocross riders will do battle, showcasing heart-stopping tricks at great heights to win coveted championship points. In between the actionpacked rounds, a highest air competition will see riders attempting to jump a rising bar, hoping to beat the record set by Mat Rebeaud last year. Berlin, Germany
vivian giRls 08.02.10 The New York trio’s brand of catchy indie rock earned them underground hits and a cult following at home, before they headed out on a world tour. Now they’re back to spread their sounds on home soil. Crepe Place, Santa Cruz, USA
plastician 09.02.10 From East London, South London, dubstep and grime, the London-born electronics engineer draws on the most important trends of his home town and amalgamates them into a booming sound that takes no prisoners. The Tuesday Club, Sheffield, England
vaMpiRe weekend 10.02.10 With their tank tops and academic hairstyles, Vampire Weekend look like four preppy college boys. Fortunately, there’s nothing schoolboyish about their clever indie music, with New Wave and Afro-beat flavours on new album Contra. O2 Academy, Birmingham, England
Rose Ball 11.02.10 While the penguins waddle in for the Opera ball, the birds of paradise will heading to the Glam Jam-themed dancefloor of the Rose Ball with DJ Ben Klock and Patrick Pulsinger. Palais Auersperg, Vienna, Austria
glass candy & desiRe 12.02.10 the hives The high-energy Swedish group call themselves the best live band in the world. Judging by their effect on the crowds, they just might be. See how they rocked Innsbruck on page 94.
Mike Simonetti took the slogan ‘Italians Do It Better’ to create a name for his New Jersey record label. Two of his synthpop signings, Glass Candy and Desire, are touring Europe. Plano B, Porto, Portugal
MaRdi gRas 15.02.10 New Orleans is the carnival capital and each year attracts the most prestigious parades in the country. The historic celebrations bring revellers in their thousands for the finale held on Fat Tuesday, which sees colourful ‘Krewes’ parading the streets on floats in carnival colours of purple, green and gold. The riders, in past years including celebrity guests such as actors Harry Connick Jnr, Laurence Fishburne and exhobbit Dominic Monaghan from The Lord of the Rings trilogy, throw out coconuts and beads to the cheering crowds. New Orleans, USA
luciano 16.02.10 Luciano’s minimal house sounds are as sparkling as champagne, floating like gold dust from the speakers, which means the Swiss-Chilean exile’s tracks work as well in the living room and they do in the club. A spa vacation for the ears. Warung Beach Club, Itajaí, Brazil
Beach house 17.02.10 The American dream-pop duo have won some famous fans with their ethereal sounds, including MGMT, Grizzly Bear and The Strokes. Now, with a contribution to The Twilight Saga: New Moon movie soundtrack and the release of new album Teen Dream, a younger generation may bring them further into the collective consciousness in 2010. Bush Hall, London, England
Bass man: Adding his distinctive sound to New Order
PETER HOOK Manchester
On The Record
Off the Hook The ex-Joy Division and New Order bass player is opening a new club in the former offices of Manchester’s Factory Records. He tells Tom Hall how the old one taught him a lesson
Your new book is called The Haçienda: How Not To Run a Club – if it was so bad why open a new one? We’re being careful this time! I want to use the venue to help new bands. The Simon Cowells of this world seem to be trying to bury music instead of help it, so I’m actually delighted to be involved. If life was perfect we’d make mistakes and never make them again. Unfortunately life isn’t like that. I’ll either get another book out of it called ‘How Not To Run A Club 2’, or maybe ‘How To Actually Run A Club’. Hopefully the latter. In your book you talk about those mistakes. Do you look back fondly on that time? The reason this book happened was because every time I used to get drunk I’d end up having a moan about the club, that wonderful mixture of glory and cock-ups. There are so many stories to tell about the Haçienda. Absolutely nobody was thinking this is a great way to make money. We were thinking: this is a great way to have somewhere for us to go and get pissed. 90
But there was some kind of musical ideology to the club too, right? Yeah, of course. But as a musician I am born to whine. While the Haçienda was in its heyday I was doing what musicians do best and just moaning about it, not doing anything positive about it while it was there. Even so, you and your bands achieved a huge amount of success with it. There are two versions of success. There’s the one that people measure in money, and then there’s the one where people measure your reputation and your legacy. I think the interesting thing about New Order and Joy Division is that while we were very rich in the artistic and creative side, in a physically monetary sense, we still really had to work hard for a living. But you’re still doing music now? The Freebass record is now finished [Hook’s new band comprises Mani from Primal Scream, Andy Rourke of the Smiths and newcomer Gary Briggs]. I must admit that I’ve found it very difficult to find time to make it happen, what with Mani being
in Primal Scream full time and Andy Rourke now living in New York. The record sounds great though, we’re really happy with it. But it’s not out yet because we’re still figuring out how to sell it. What do you mean by that? Nobody buys music anymore. It’s just too easy to illegally download. I’ve seen New Order’s physical sales go down by something like 98 per cent. But when someone like Lily Allen speaks up and complains about it, everyone takes the piss out of her! If I was in another job like a plasterer, for example, and people said they weren’t paying me at the end of the day for my plastering, I’d be in a pretty bad mood. Joy Division are seen as the quintessential dark and moody band. Do you agree? The thing about Joy Division is that when they came together they were very serious. When we were four people trying to get gigs, write songs and trying to succeed, that was all that mattered. But as soon as you stopped being involved with the group, you
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DaviD Ryshpan 17.02.10 Bela Bartok, Radiohead and Miles Davis are three of the major influences the young Canadian’s music sounds, which are complex mix of experimental and jazzy, delicate and pompous, playful and hyper-intellectual. Boundaries, in Ryshpan’s world, were always there to be crossed. SOJO Upstairs, Montreal, Canada
iF, ivan smagghe, Chloé 18.02.10 The sampler, the electro punk and the grand dame of minimal house: a trio ready to make the best use of the decks with their collections of thumping beats and new-wave pearls, creating sounds that sparkle like an audio disco ball. Rex Club, Paris, France
DetRoit soCial Club, young Rebel set 18.02.10
photography: red bull music academy (1), getty images (2), peter j walsh / pymca (2), andy willsher / nme / ipc+ syndication (1)
Northern soul: (clockwise from top) A typical Haçienda night; Tony Wilson squeezes between Bez and Paul Ryder of Happy Mondays; Peter Hook now; New Order flank manager Rob Gretton
went back to normal. I think that’s how you define a proper diva because when they stop making music, they still keep up the act. We weren’t like that, we went back to normal, which for us was being yobbish idiots. You created your trademark high-fretted bass sound with that band. How did that come about? It was simply because I couldn’t hear it when I played low. My bass amp cost about a tenner and sounded like it. You couldn’t hear the low strings. As soon as I played high, Ian Curtis immediately went (adopts gravelly comedy voice) “That sounds good. Steve do your tribal drumming. Barney add guitar!” And lo and behold, that was Joy Division. And how did you get from that to the euphoria of the Haçienda scene? Well obviously, New Order were an enormous stepping stone. But then when the whole dance culture clicked in 1987, it was like a wonderful dawn arriving. It felt perfectly at home in the Haçienda. Unbelievably so. Tony Wilson called it the Devil’s Temple, where all these lunatics
used to congregate. The wonderful thing was that in ’87 and ’88 when that period started, there was no violence, it was purely people digging the music, digging the atmosphere, digging the freedom. Sounds like the club was doing well then. We spent somewhere between £8m and £30m on that club. A hell of a lesson, which is why I’m still out working for a living. People are very lucky in Manchester today. We’re spoiled for choice now. But I’m glad I was one of the pioneers that stood up, put his wallet where his mouth is and did something good for the people of Manchester. You won’t find many bands who can say they entertained a whole city for 15 years… at their own expense! So where did it start to go wrong? One of my head doorman said to me when he quit, “Would you like to face a cracked-up 17-year-old wandering around the club with an Uzi?” The answer was no. Peter Hook’s recollections of the Haçienda can be found in The Haçienda: How Not To Run A Club (Simon & Schuster Ltd)
The north-east of England comes to the capital when indie rockers Detroit Social Club from Newcastle share a stage with Stockton-onTees seven-piece Young Rebel Set. As part of the Shockwaves NME Awards shows, they are among bands spreading the sounds to be expected from the NME Awards proper, to be held on February 24. Cargo, London, England
playgRounD WeekenDeR 18 – 21.02.10 The Playground Weekender is an annual cool kids’ fair: there’s an outdoor cinema, cabaret stage, yoga tent, world cuisine and all against the backdrop of summer sunsets. What more could anyone want? Some great music would be nice. And the festival doesn’t fail on this front either, with Gaslamp Killer, Jamie Lidell, Ewan Pearson and Prins Thomas among those joining the party. Del Rio Riverside Resort, Wiseman’s Ferry, Webb’s Creek, Australia
6th boRough pRojeCt & soul RenegaDes 19.02.10 Scottish dance music veteran Craig Smith is leading the way in revitalising the disco genre, creating a dub-infused modern sound that is completely Gloria Gaynor-free. Mix in some soul and deep house, and you have a night with something to satisfy every dancefloor fan. Blackfriars Basement, Glasgow, Scotland
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FouR tet & nathan Fake 19.02.10 Using laptops instead of guitars, these two British advocates of digital experimentalism create abstract sounds with eclectic samples: anti-pop songs for the electronic generation. Empty Bottle, Chicago, USA
papeR biRD 19.02.10 Anna Kohlweis couldn’t have chosen a better stage name for herself than Paper Bird. Delicate, fragile, yet seemingly lofty and untouchable, her songs are recorded at her home studio with her guitar, rumbling drums, an accordion and a group of her friends as a backing chorus. ARGEkultur, Salzburg, Austria
bRuno moRais 24.02.10 The Brazilian singer, songwriter and producer has developed a new take on bossa nova. His tinkering with the legacy of legends such as Joao Gilberto has created sounds that are fresh and interesting. Bossa meets psychedelic funk and samba blends with New Orleans jazz, as Morais’ creations continue to entertain and surprise. Cinematheque, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
gRanDmasteR Flash 25.02.10 His ‘Adventures on the Wheels of Steel’ from 1981 changed DJing forever, and it was his ‘The Message’ that first put hip-hop on the musical map. So if anyone should wear the hip-hop badge of merit on their lapel, it should be none other than Grandmaster Flash. D Club, Lausanne, Switzerland
neosupeRvital 25.02.10 Happy electro-pop performed by the Dublin-based multiinstumentalist Tim O’Donovan with a catchy energy that compels the crowd to join in. While the music may not be lifechanging, a fun night out is all but guaranteed. Strange Brew, Galway, Ireland
hot Chip 26.02.10 The über nerds of electronic pop bring their clever blend of musical influences back to where they began it all: south London. Brixton Academy, London, England
World’s Best Clubs
Making it a Long Night Longroom can start or end the night. Robert Tighe investigates A man walks into the toilets of the Longroom to find a buxom blonde in a revealing halterneck dress powdering her nose in the mirror. “Oh my God, am I in the wrong toilets?” he asks anxiously. “No. They’re communal,” the lady reassures him, smiling. “I guess you’re not used to seeing this in the men’s. It’s an Ally McBeal moment in the hippest new venue on Ponsonby Road, the strip where All Blacks forward Ali Williams earned notoriety with a late-night streak. The rugby player has been one of many ‘world famous in New Zealand’ celebrities to frequent Longroom since it opened its doors in August 2009, but the beauty of Longroom is that, unlike some of its competitors, it isn’t in the least bit self-conscious. The punters don’t come here because it’s the place to be seen. They keep coming back because it consistently delivers what every venue should – good music, good food and good service in smart surroundings. The décor is inviting and stylish without being too pretentious: concrete floors, wood panelling, a soft brown and tan colour
scheme and a mix of comfy chairs and couches and steel high stools and tables. For 15 years it existed as The Safari Lounge, until three mates, Richard Bagnall, Des Hoeflich and Andy Roberts, saw the potential to do so much more with the venue. “We felt it was under-utilised,” says Bagnall. “We saw the opportunity to use the courtyard out the front during the day and to make more use of the space.” The space might have put off some potential buyers, but clever design and lateral thinking allows Longroom to adapt and change as demanded. The sun-filled courtyard, which offers great peoplewatching opportunities is shared with a neighbouring coffee shop, until 5pm when it becomes the ideal meet-and-greet space. Dining areas at the front and back of the venue are separated by leather sofas and can be transformed at short notice into dancing or drinking zones. Out the back is a terrace which offers a view of the car park, but with the bonus of afternoon sun. It is a fluid, versatile space that can be changed around very easily. “It is a place that can be heaving at 8pm on a Friday night or full of diners on a Tuesday night,” says Bagnall. Longroom is open from 12 until late, seven days a week with DJs on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights as well as Sunday afternoons. The music is of the kind that the owners grew up listening to, a mix of laidback lounge, indie favourites and funky grooves, anything as long as “it’s not too oonce, oonce,” according to Bagnall. The Italian lager Peroni is the draught beer of choice alongside a great selection of bottled beers, a varied wine list and tasty cocktails. The menu offers classics like steak and handcut fries, seared snapper and red Thai chicken curry as well as the house special, the tapas selection, an ideal accompaniment to a chilled out catch-up with friends. And then of course there are the toilets – where you never know who might drop in. Longroom, 114 Ponsonby Road, Ponsonby 1011, Auckland, New Zealand; www.longroom.co.nz
photography: steve king (3)
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THOmas TROElsEn copenhagen
Sø lvg ad e
Nø rre Vo ldg ad e
photography: die photodesigner (1), michael bothager/scanpix (1), michael barrett boesen/boesenfoto (1). illustration: andreas posselt
1 Hotel Fox, Jarmers Plads 3 2 Dänische Nationalbank, Havnegade 5 3 Aamanns, Øster Farimagsgade 10 4 The Library Bar, Bernstorffsgade 4 5 1105 Cocktail Bar, Kristen Bernikows Gade 4
1. Hotel Fox 2. Dänische Nationalban 3. Aamans 4. Library Bar 5. 1105 Cocktail Bar Resident Artist
Danish by Design From Move your Feet to Hot Summer, the chances are Thomas Troelsen has been responsible for your antics on the dancefloor at one time. The Danish producer gives Andreas Tzortzis a tour of his home city It’s fun to choose an art hotel where every room is different. If you’re here for one night, it’s the Hotel Fox (1). If you’re a luxurious animal, I would recommend another fivestar hotel, Skt Petri. They have 24-hour room service: when I travel I work, so whenever I get back I can have a nice meal. The area close to the Hotel Fox has many shops and record stores. It’s called Pisserenden, translated as pee-in thestreets, because back in the day, there were cattle in the apartments and they used to piss on the streets. Not far away is the amazing national bank (2), which Arne
Jacobsen built. It’s open to the public – obviously not the vault, because that’s where they keep the cash. But the entrance is so beautiful, it’s like a museum piece. It’s eight or seven ceilings high and just one open room. It’s just a funky place to be: it looks like the evil guy from James Bond’s crib – from Russia, or something like that. I would definitely get a local speciality for lunch. I’d go to Aamann’s (3), which is near the Botanical Garden. They serve Smørrebrød, but not the typical tourist variety. It’s really great. Everything is handmade and it’s very Danish. There’s a lot of fish, and pork and beef. An hour north of Copenhagen is the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art. They have a few Picassos as part of the main exhibition, and they’re really clever at doing exhibitions up there. There are a lot of galleries in an area called Islands Brygge in Copenhagen. Martin Asbaek, a friend of mine, owns a gallery that has a lot of small, funky modern art. Across the water is the Royal Theatre. It’s not as big as the opera house in Vienna. It’s not as grand as that, but just as amazing, because the decoration is just… you can just tell everything cost a fortune and took forever to make. I think they’re among the best in Europe in putting their programme together.
Strike a pose: Thomas Troelsen; Hotel Fox; The Library Bar
I can’t recommend any clubs because I don’t go to clubs… which is kind of funny considering I make club hits. I don’t really like going out and meeting strange people. I like secluded bars, like The Library Bar (4). It’s got wood panelling and looks like a set from a Bogart movie; all the waiters are in penguin suits. It’s a different vibe from any other place in the city. There’s also a great cocktail bar called 1105 (5), named after its postal code. The owner, who I know, is from Scotland, and I think he used to be European cocktail champion. I don’t know about the crowd, but it’s a relaxed situation. There’s a big bar in the middle of the room, and everyone just sits around and has their funky drinks. Check out more of Thomas Troelsen’s tips and musings at his new group’s blog www.weareprivate.com
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Waiting on The Hives What do the Swedish rock band and the sloth have in common? Manuel Kurzmann went to Austriaâ€™s Air & Style festival to find out
THE HivEs innsbruck
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haRmoniC 313 & gaslamp killeR 26.02.10 When these two high-calibre DJs take to the decks, bass is king. Harmonic 313 is Mark Pritchard. LA-based Gaslamp Killer adds his own blend of psychedelia and dub-step sounds. Melbourne, Australia
photography: air & style (1), thomas böhm/picturedesk.com (1), johan ståhlberg/red bull photofiles (1)
toDDla t 26.02.10
The sloth is the rock star of the animal kingdom. The peaceful mammal moves at a leisurely pace, almost in slow motion, and sleeps for up to 16 hours a day. But the sloth makes a mockery of its name because once it’s in the water, it turns out to be an excellent swimmer. What’s that got to do with musicians? We’ll come back to that. Organising a meeting with The Hives is, not surprisingly, quite difficult. The Swedes aren’t the only ones who think of themselves as the “fucking best live band”. For a good decade now, the rock band have been headlining the biggest festivals in the world. Their music isn’t just danceable; the public go supernova. If you go to one of their concerts, you should have a good think about where you position yourself. You risk any number of bruises or losing your shoes or getting marks all over your body from others who have lost theirs. It’s no joke. Just painful yet unforgotten self-awareness. So it’s hardly surprising that appointments for an interview with these guys might get delayed. Roughly 24 hours and several phone calls later and we have another go at meeting. The scene of the crime: backstage at the Air & Style snowboarding show in Innsbruck (a little recommendation: a thin leather jacket probably looks pretty cool but isn’t really fit for purpose when it’s freezing cold). Journalists place their dictaphones on the table, a few cameramen loiter in the background… everything is ready to go – only we have no band. Just as people are beginning to think about how to tell the boss that things haven’t quite worked out, a door opens and five smartly dressed guys appear. “Are we in the right place?” lead-singer Howlin’ Pelle Almqvist asks. There are lots of handshakes and introductions. One thing is obvious straight away: these are the kind of guys you could ask back to your place for a beer without worrying
High energy: The Hives rock the Billabong Air & Style event in Innsbruck, Austria; The boys chill out after their gig
that they might sneak off with any of the inventory. There’s no sign of the hyperactivity The Hives display on stage; and no arrogance either, for that matter. As we get down to some cosy small talk on the couch, bass-player Dr Matt Destruction and guitarist Vigilante Carlstroem ask if they can watch the snowboard performers at the same time. “We’re playing in Berlin tomorrow,” says drummer Chris Dangerous. “We’re going to miss the party here, but we’ll party on in our own way.” Then the ‘official’ interview begins. Their manager informs me I’ll have time for two questions. “Don’t bother with the 11 others,” says Pelle with a grin. “We’ll talk more about that after.” When we finally get round to filming, the three remaining band members do what they get paid for: they play the rock stars. They tell me what good sportsmen they are, that their new masterpiece will “probably” come out in 2010 and that if they were going to take part in a music battle they’d want opponents of at least the mettle of AC/DC. And we’re done. It feels a bit like the proverbial first time – all over a bit too son. On their way to the stage, the peaceful musicians amble in single file almost unnoticed through the throng. Guitarist Nicholaus Arson stops for a second and pulls a cigarette butt out of the sole of his shoe with a smile. Then he flops into position at a leisurely pace, almost in slow motion. Once there, as if with the flick of a switch, he and the other band-members, transformed into bundles of energy, fire up 11,500 enviably swaddled spectators. What was that we were saying about sloths again? For information on The Hives, including gig dates and merchandise, mosh over to their website at www.thehivesbroadcastingservice.com
Britain’s grime star brings his digital dancehall to Sub Club. And with an eclectic record-box collection, there’s no telling what will next receive the Toddla treatment. Sub Club, Glasgow, Scotland
souRCe on iCe 27.02.10 An outdoor festival in February? In Holland? It’s possible thanks to the Russian State Circus. But the organisers borrowing the tent for a night have provided the bar, ice skates and the finest electronic artists themselves, from Aardvarck to Lindstrom. Paperdome, Utrecht, Netherlands
alexanDeR RobotniCk 27.02.10 The godfather of Italian disco sounds is back. After major successes in the early ’80s Maurizio Dami and his alter ego, Alexander Robotnick, are riding the electroclash wave around the world. Bios, Athens, Greece
ReD bull Full moon 27.02.10 The first full moon of the year will provide the light for a mountaintop party for snowboarding locals. All that is needed is a board and a flashlight, and then a night full of surprises will begin to unfold… Angel Fire, New Mexico, USA
Fat FReDDy’s DRop 28.02.10 The Kiwi septuplet take their chilled-out big band sounds on the road, providing the perfect accompaniment to a balmy summer’s evening. Old Broadwater Farm, Busselton, Australia
nina kRaviz 26.02.10 The house beats and Detroit techno-inspired tracks of the Moscow-based DJ have won her a warm industry welcome. She takes a much-deserved spot at label Rekid’s showcase night in Berlin. Panorama Bar, Berlin, Germany
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A story by Richard Shanahan
Mostly She Sits
Who is the woman who gazes out to sea every day, what happened in her past and what is she thinking? I can’t stop thinking about her Sitting is how I most often see her in the mornings, on the same bench outside the Lanes Hotel on Marine Parade in Brighton, looking out to sea, her gaze drawn unwaveringly toward the far horizon sharply delineating sky and sea. She sits attentively with the kind of posture I wish I could achieve, her spine straight, head slightly lifted, hands folded into calm inactivity in her lap. She is there in all weathers and I have seen this sylphid woman’s dress change from light, translucent materials that swirl in the summer breeze to the heavy, slate grey woollen coat, which reaches to her ankles and is closed tightly around her, keeping the chill away on sharply cold mornings. Her silver hair is a mass of cobwebs, often blown into a wild nimbus that dances and crackles in the early morning air. But I can never bring myself to guess her age. And I have never been close enough to see if her skin has been harried by feather-fine wrinkles. Even though she comes here regularly I have never seen her engage in conversation or pass banal pleasantries with anyone. She is left undisturbed and I have no idea if she has ever noticed me. Some mornings I try to hear how her voice might sound. But it is too difficult for me to imagine and I realise that I would have to talk to her if I wanted to listen. I could never bring myself to intrude on her silence. In all this time I have never learned her name. Always she sits as though she were at school, waiting to be noticed by a questioning teacher, confident that she has the answer but too modest to put up her hand. She draws attention quietly, almost subconsciously as though her presence is felt more than seen. Her expression is always the same – a beatific half-smile of the kind that transforms a face and, to the observer, seems to cause the wearer to fall into a reverie. Her body is a radiant husk and I imagine that her mind wanders hither and thither, pulled into the past, flitting 96
about her vividly played memories. It is this apparent emptiness about her that draws me in the most. I watch others every day going through their routine, jogging, cycling or walking to work, jaunty with their morning business, intent only on going through the motions that get them to work safe, warm, but, most importantly, on time. For those of us pounding the pavements it is enough to put one step in front of the other while glancing at our watches and phones to calculate how much is left of our journey, wondering how late we will be. Is it worth a call ahead to let them know? All of us are obsessed by time and how little we have of it, how it becomes sliced into ever finer segments, each disappearing in a tightly organised rush of events collapsing in the same order every day. We hurry from one place to another, convinced that the next task is more important than the present one, our minds polluted by pointless time management. I first noticed her in early spring when, tired of my usual route to work through the hustle and bustle of the town centre, I decided to take a detour
along the seafront. I knew that it would be a longer journey but I needed the extra time and space it would give me. I was tangled up with so much daily tension and I hoped that an early morning stroll by the sea would give me a calm start. And there she was in what I would come to know as her customary spot, her mien much more appealing to me than the austere Victorian facades which are her backdrop. For me she has become as much a part of the landscape as Brighton’s skeletal West Pier, the imposing grey of the Royal Crescent or the long sweeping curve of the marina walls. She is always fixed at her place before I pass, no matter how early it is. During summer I tried to see if I could get there before her. But every time she preceded me. I never once saw her arrive and gather herself into her placidity, as I thought she must, for I couldn’t envisage anyone alive with such a capacity for serenity. My efforts to try and catch her out were short-lived though, and I quickly fell back into the tardiness I have become known for. Even then, on my latest days, she was still there, almost as if she was waiting for
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ILLuStRAtIon: jAMES tAyLoR
“For me she’s become as much a part of the landscape as the skeletal West Pier or curved marina walls” me. Still she sits, existing outside of all this, serving as a quiet reminder, a beacon of peace among the morning hubbub, a lambent example to us all that calm exists here and now, if only we knew how to look, to disengage. But when I see people so tightly wedded to their routines, scurrying along with their phones glued to their ears, giving the world a running commentary on their every movement, I realise that they are probably located more firmly in the present moment than she and I. Although, as I examine her more closely, I’m not entirely sure she belongs here, now. Physically she is present, undoubtedly, but her gaze seems to look into the past, a past somehow located or projected at the precise juncture of sea and sky. Recently I have begun to wonder what it is she sees.
Perhaps she is recently retired and trying to maintain a semblance of routine by coming to sit here at this time (surely she could find a quieter part of the day if it is peace she craves). or is she here to mock those of us shackled to our daily routine? no, I think, surely this kind of behaviour is beneath her. And anyway, she appears too detached from our comings and goings to be malevolent. So then, is she a widow coming to sit every morning where she and her husband shared their last rapidly passing months, weeks and days while he faded before her very eyes? the time she spent caring for him as precious as any and all of the good times they had shared. She knows that he is free of his long suffering but now she must bear the pain of her loneliness. Are there memories of their youthful romantic dalliances overlaid on the cerulean sky? A suggestion of that flowing dress she wore to the ball on the West Pier painted by the slight brushstrokes of stratospheric cirrus? And as the squalls blow she remembers how breathlessly they danced, the entirety of time reduced to that one night, which she can replay in her mind’s eye at will. In the life I have imagined for her, the partnership she had with her husband is blemished only by their childlessness. or maybe it is my illusion which is wrong and her daughter is on her way to work, worrying about her mother’s increasing eccentricity, convinced that the time is right to call a family conference so that they can decide how best to deal with her increasingly painful watch. And still she sits. How complete she seems, as though she needs nothing else around her. or maybe it is my vision hat is suspect and she is simply a puzzled observer trying to make sense of a world changing rapidly, unrecognisably around her. I look closer again and think that for all her peaceful poise, a sense of loss emanates from her and her sitting seems almost a vigil, an act of memorial, her everyday return keeping a past life present, vital, somehow eternal. It is this tranquillity about her that makes me slow down and take notice of the world outside myself. Is it because of her that I see the sea and sky? Perhaps she brings the sky and sea as a gift for all of us bustling around, bristling with our own self-importance. Are they then reminders issuing from her eyes that we exist in the present moment, not the ever finely shaved and rapidly disappearing future, melting away before we have had a chance to live here, now? Every morning I see her, something of her serenity stays with me and slowly,
surely, I absorb enough to know that whatever calm she exudes is attainable by all of us stumbling unsteadily through our day. And as these fine late autumn mornings extend to winter, I realise that I have become more and more reliant on her presence. I look for her from farther and farther away, some mornings trying to bend my gaze around the obstacles of the aquarium and the hill that leads to her vantage point. Have I become addicted to the slight centrifugal force that is generated around her and around which other deeper mysteries might revolve? today she is standing and everything is different. the weather is cold-grey closed-in cloud, all perspective flattened into two claustrophobic dimensions, the Palace Pier appearing as no more than an elaborate architects’ drawing laid out over a dulled, impotent sea. Every colour is drained from the view except for her new, bright-red duffle coat – a warning of danger hidden by the glowering sky. today she wears a hat and gloves too, although it has been colder on other days when she has worn none. She stands at the top of the flight of stairs which lead down to the sea, facing due east into the billowing wind, her chin lifted slightly, eyes half closed, disappearing into the feeling of the gale on her cheeks, her eyelids, her bared throat. Her fine hair is ruffled only slightly by this breeze and I think that she has no substance to stir, the wind simply passing through a loose agglomeration of atoms as though she were merely a projection against the air. And today I am compelled to stop instead of observing her coyly as I pass, to watch her at greater length. I have to know what it is that she will do next, now that something has galvanised her into movement. I sit on the bench she usually occupies and pull my coat tighter around me. And as I watch her, trying to absorb her experience for myself, trying to draw her essence to me, she steps down first one and then another stair. She descends slowly, deliberately and is lost to my sight, my gaze now drawn unwaveringly toward the far horizon sharply delineating sea and sky, sky and sea.
About the author
Richard Shanahan lives in East Sussex. He writes short stories and poetry. He is the author of the Random Book of Richard (Stripe Publishing, www.stripepublishing.co.uk). 97
ne of my favourite reference books, along with krafft-ebing’s Psychopathia Sexualis, the book most often stolen from public libraries, is the American medical profession’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV). here you can find all mankind’s antic behavioural foibles analysed, calibrated and categorised with a thoroughness that could only be achieved by the culture that gave us time-and-motion studies, The osmonds, Mckinsey, General Motors and scientific management. never mind that ‘scientific management’ has been discredited by research that shows the observational data were fiction, the DSM-IV remains a guide to behaviour of Michelin-Rouge thoroughness and repute. And one of the DSM’s preoccupations is – forgive me, but we are already into the land of abbreviations and acronyms – sAd. This is seasonal Affective disorder, one of the signs of major depressive malaise. it’s the idea, poetic or pseudoscientific (no one can yet quite decide), that winter makes us miserable. i write this as violent flurries of icy grey sleet hit my window, there’s news that the motorways have closed and heathrow Airport has become a wintry Mogadishu. no, honestly, i feel fine. do weather and the seasons have a direct effect on our mood, or are the peaks and troughs more influenced by cultural associations? The nordic countries have form here. Anyone who has visited helsinki in winter knows the existential horrors of a drive to the airport. even the fast roads have slithering, rutted snow and at midday it is still thunderously dark: finns needed to invent mobile phones as survival aids. imagine scott-of-the-Antarctic conditions on your morning’s journey to work. historians know that winter depression was first recorded in these parts in the sixth century. one solution was vodka. Another, staying indoors. The sauna and craft pottery were inventions of a culture that learned that it is life threatening to venture outside. in finland, the winter sAd level is reported to be about 10 per cent. symptoms are familiar, but nonetheless debilitating: sufferers feel sleepy, crave
sunny side down A SAD tale. Stephen Bayley on the ups and downs of Seasonal Affective Disorder carbohydrates, tend to be lazy and have difficulty in completing even simple everyday tasks. This is a condition that some experts describe as ‘normal’. pharmacology has some cures, one being the direct administration of melatonin, the naturally occurring happy hormone. But the electrical shop can also help: exposure to 2500 lux of bright light at eye level for two hours a day can mitigate the finnish effects of sAd. Turn on the amps and wipe away that tear. The idea that behaviour shifts according to the season is as old as civilisation. [excuse me while i inhale some ionised air.] our christmas is a retread of the Roman saturnalia, a festival that began on december 17, intended as relief and remedy to the gloom of the winter months. slaves were waited on by their masters and meatheads wore party hats. one reason for the existence of sAd is the curiosity of our timekeeping. since the Gregorian calendar was established in 1582, we have been told that the new year begins on January 1. To have a new year beginning in the darkest and direst month is a poor augury of the future and a certain cause of what psychiatrists call ‘seasonal stressors’. especially with
a hangover. The zoroastrians reckoned it better: with nowruz, their new year, beginning on March 20 or 21, spring is in the air and optimism seems justified. But sAd is not just determined by invented culture: it may be one of nature’s fundamentals. when the Arctic ground squirrel feels the glums coming on, he hibernates. This winter-long period of metabolic inactivity is the equivalent to half an hour in the sauna. The only primate to hibernate is the Madagascan fat-tailed dwarf lemur. if the flurries don’t stop, i might join him. But consider for a moment why we actually have seasons. it’s because, and here’s an epic metaphor of mankind’s predicament, the earth does not run true. Annually, the planet deviates by 23.5 degrees in its orbital plane as we travel around the sun, causing different seasons and altering the length of day. And here’s another human foible. The astrophysics of planetary alignment are unarguable, but cultures perceive the effects differently. The tropics only have a rainy and dry season, while the temperate zones have four. some indigenous Australians insist there are eight seasons. But there’s no correlation, globally speaking, between seasons and moods. The Aborigines do not, perhaps, have more variations of cheerfulness than the finns, just as it is a fiction that the eskimo have 60 or so words for snow. More is not (necessarily) more. certainly, sAd may be the human equivalent of a pressure drop, or what the aviation meteorologists call a deep convective weather phenomenon. perhaps we imitate the weather. we have all, like the Arctic ground squirrel and the fat-tailed dwarf lemur, known the odd pressure drop. But nature has given us a bargain. As the drifts pile up by the side of the roads, we can cheerfully anticipate RsAd, or ‘Reverse seasonal Affective disorder’. This happens in spring and is characterised by hypomania and sexual adventurism. it is related to rising sap. quite correctly, it is not considered a mental disorder. Stephen Bayley is a former director of the Design Museum in London and an award-winning writer
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the only Shot that giveS you wingS.
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Published on Feb 1, 2010