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MY YEAR IN NORTHERN GERMANY

1963-1964, Travis becomes "Teddy, die Twistsensation aus USA."
Vampiros
While in Germany, Pike spent a lot of time in the little town of Lütjenburg, visiting with the youngsters who frequented the Ice Cream Parlor after school. They were studying English and he provided them someone upon whom they could practice their skills. One day, he brought along an American Hot Rod magazine and Frank Dieter Andres, a young auto mechanic joined them. He was particularly excited about the dragsters, but spoke little English. Fortunately, with the help of the schoolchildren, and resorting to Travis' fmaily nickname, "Teddy,"" they managed to communicate rather well.
Everything went on hold when President Kennedy was assassinated, but in time, as Christmas approached, Frank invited Travis to stay with him and his grandparents over the holidays. He was a huge rock 'n' roll fan, and when he learned Teddy used to sing rock 'n' roll in American clubs, he began introducing Teddy at all the local dance hallss. Teddy would sing a few songs with the house band and it would be free drinks for the rest of the night. It wasn't long before Teddy was being publicized for his guest appearances.
In April, 1964, Teddy attended the Kinderfest held at the German Army base on the outskirts of Lütjenburg, where Frank made sure he sang a few songs for the townsfolk and troops. When Teddy stepped down, he was briefly mobbed by the excited crowd of parents and their kids, some of whom proudly claimed him as their American friend from the Ice Cream Parlor.
The poster above shows the date Teddy was double-booked, but the poster from the Koralle on the next page refers to performances on "beiden Pfingstagen" (the Whitsun religious holidays). Travis knew he'd been booked at the Koralle in Plön, but was unaware that it was on the same day he was booked with the Vampiros in Behrensdorf until Ernst-Gunther Schröder, son of the owner of Gasthaus Schröder, came to him in a panic. Ernst-Gunter had already sent out publicity posters announcing Teddy Pike Die Twistsensation aus USA would appear that Satuday night with the Vampiros--and the posters were going up as far away as Hamburg! He said Teddy had agreed to it at the Kinderfest (and perhaps he had, but however good his German language skills were becoming, surrounded by a crowd, all talking at once, and with no idea what Pfingstagen were or when they took place), he may have agreed, or led someone to believe he'd agreed to something, without knowing what. He apologized, but said he had to honor his commitment with The Nightstars. Ernst-Gunther asked if he could come to an agreement with the Koralle, would Travis be willing to work both locations on the same night, and that's what they did. Ernst-Gunther drove, accompanied by rock promoter Werner Hingst, delivering Teddy to and fro, making it possible for him to sing alternate sets at both locations.

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