The first time, if I remember correctly, I saw Herman, was in a TV program called "Bitte Umblättern".
He stood on a bridge in a park, reading" The Story About God".
Shortly after that I saw a two-part broadcast of his show . I remember being impressed with "Das sind meine Möwen" und "Der Präsident". Oh yes and of course the "Seltsamen Abenteuer", I found them ,....well, seltsam....
I met Herman for the first time in person after this show in Recklinghausen. A friend of mine, I went to school wit her,lived next to the Festspielhaus and we ended up in the concert one night, with "our gang" spontanously.
I had seen Herman before, even heard "Spetter, Pieter, Pater" before and even made some sketches of Kwak already, just for fun, but that doesn't mean anything, I made sketches of everything at that time. But this is the first time, that I go backstage to meet the guy. I am impressed with his show and how he sees the world, very close to my own way of thinking, only I am not as eloquent about it.He tells us about his recent concerts in East-Berlin, and my affection for him grows constantly.What fascinates me, is, that this guy is adressing sinister and real issues, he's living in our world, talking and singing about things that are on everybody's mind, but he's adressing them from the heart-level, without playing them down and if he does, he will, unlike so many others of his trade, counterpoint it even harder in a couple of seconds.That of course, doesn't come across on radio and TV, it's only accessable on stage, you have to watch him for 2 1/2 hours to get the full impression.
I'm in my 20's and I am making a decent living on commercials, but it is not what I want to do for the rest of my live. I'd rather do the same things with my talent, as he does with his. As he walks through the aisles during the finish, I put my hand on his shoulder and ask for a meeting after the show. "Come to my dressig-room afterwards", he says.
Well, this is basically how it all started, I had nothing with me, no portfolio of course, no pictures, this was all rather sponteneous, so we make another appointment at one of his Dutch concerts in Delft.This time I bring my stuff, Herman is a impressed,I guess, he tells me about a couple of fairytales he has been writing, fantasy/vikingstuff, the Mabinogion, and a couple of weeks later i get some pages with the first draft of the stories. I make some first sketches and we start meeting , not often, but regularly....