When asked to recommend his favourite song, Georg Kovac, who sells German street paper Strassenkreuzer in downtown Nuremberg, exclaims: “I don´t even need time to think about that!”
He goes on: “My absolute favourite song is ‘Pale Blue Eyes’ by the American band The Velvet Underground. The song is just so beautiful, but I especially like the rhythm guitar in the song. It´s just something special and so different from the music that is written these days. I just get relaxed when I’m listening to that song and that is, in my opinion, what music should do to you. You listen to it, you get calm and you get completely relaxed. I love to listen to music in the evening, after a long day of selling the magazine, I can’t imagine anything better than that.
“I was born in the Czech Republic. I worked there as a painter and in construction. But I got really sick and I just couldn’t do that work any longer. So, now I’m retired and I sell Strassenkreuzer in the underground station Lorenzkirche in Nuremberg. That’s the place where the picture was taken – with a banana! The people that know the band Velvet Underground, also know the famous album cover with the banana.”
Fellow vendor, Brigitte Krasnici, explains her choice: “I was born and raised in the former German Democratic Republic [East Germany], and I have lived through many hard times and moments that have changed me. Now I´m retired and I sell the street paper at Nuremberg central station. My pension is too little and so I have to make some money elsewhere.
“Despite these things I still try to see the bright and positive side of life so that I don’t lose my smile and my positive attitude. My favourite song is ‘Bora Bora’ by the German singer Tony Marshall. Every time I listen to that song I have the feeling that I’m on holiday. The theme is that you’re living free, yet everyone is friends with each other. I think that this is a wonderful way to see life.
“In my opinion real and loyal friendships don’t exist any longer and you have to be careful with people, and in the world in general, so that you don’t get hurt. That’s the reason why this song holds such a meaning for me – I just get very emotional at that topic.”
Check out the full playlist here.
Translated from German by Jessica Gert
Editing by Tony Inglis