Gerhard Bolt is 80 years old. We accompanied him on a walk through the old university district of Schwabing. A comic philosophical journey through time.
Munich – Gerhard Bolt on schedule. ahead of its time Academy of Art meeting point near Siegestor in Schwabing. But he has to go again – to the parking machine. As he was turning towards the car, he picked up a 2 euro coin and suddenly an evil smile formed on his face. “The city is starving,” he says.
Is this person still Bolt or really one of his stage characters? It’s hard to say, because the brilliant cabaret artist, who is able to inspire the entire audience with the song “Oh Ha” thrown into silence and celebrate his 80th birthday on Saturday, keeps his private life carefully covered. Today, after all, Bolt—who is also a philosopher, preacher, and comedian—gives insight into a phase in his life, albeit a long one, back in time.
Munich: Gerhard Bolt turns 80 – on a journey back in time in Schwabing
So on that beautiful spring day, Gerhard Bolt took a special trip from Schliersee to town. In the university quarter, where, as a pupil from Altötting, he once spent his vacation with his grandmother. It is a journey through time. Search for clues in the original locations of a turbulent post-war childhood. And that’s not all: he also found here the inspiration for his radio play As If One Were a Badger in His Lair, published in 1976. He studied improvement long before the term even existed (article below).
“Everything is new here,” Bolt says over and over again. From the Akademiestrasse, he points to a front of houses on Türkenstrasse: “Over there, there were Turks. That was the enemy. If you got caught, it was bad. Then you were tortured.” On this march, Bolt alternates between subtle and earnest sarcasm. The post-war ruins were a dangerous playground.
He recalls: “One day a wall of a house fell. I was a little further away. Then there is the dust – and suddenly two children are gone. They were never there. That was it.” However: “I must say, this world was very attractive to me,” Bolt admits. . “Altoting, on the other hand, was a lame thing. I grew up there in a butcher shop, and that was cool. But this scene of ruin was unbeatable.”
80th birthday: Gerhard Bolt talks about the first children’s carnival on the corner on Adalbertstrasse
Today, images of the ruins of Ukraine tear the glorified veil of childhood images. Bolt says he can’t look at the reports for long. “Otherwise I would never be able to sleep. It compresses my airways. It is so awful.”
Bolt directs his steps to Amalienstrasse, his childhood home. He talks about the first children’s carnival in the corner building on Adalbertstraße, where “Bar Tapas an der Uni” is located today, about the first pizzeria in Munich, about a laundromat, coal merchant, and the Lichtblau carpenter’s workshop. Yes, all history. Just like the money he got as “Kegelbua”. Bolt often doesn’t come here anymore. He says he feels most at home in the area between Kammerspiele, the valley and the Viktualienmarkt market. But his memories are still alive. He can think of an anecdote for almost every building.
The house where Grandma lives, in a backyard behind the university, has long since been replaced by a new building. And right next to it, “This is where the girl from Schneeberger lives.” Gisela Schneeberger, his partner in the TV series “Fast wia im Echte Leben” and in several of his films.
Munich: One begins to doubt where Gerhard Bolt draws his characters
Bolt stopped again shortly before Schellingstraße. Schneller’s Café was already in existence at that time. Ms. Schneller was in the confectionery business, he says. “One day, I wanted to have ice cream with my friend, the shutters were closed and a woman said: Oh my God, right, poor woman Schneller! Now she is dead.” Another woman answered: “Yes, terrible, and just before Easter, when it was so connected with the Easter business.”
One begins to doubt where the talented observer and meticulous collector draw inspiration for his characters and stories. Taken from real life, she’s returned to a new life with a seemingly infinitely changing voice. The dialect, in which Bolt can paint these numbers in far more detail than written language, makes them original. You might think they are nice neighbors. Their repression increases when they suddenly reveal themselves as parochial, narrow-minded philanderers, unscrupulous profiteers or irredeemable racists.
Gerhard Bolt: “The stench of fish swept the Prinzregenturte”
Café Schneller has survived over the years but it wasn’t easy back then because there was a fish shop nearby. “The stench of fish spread on the Prince Regent’s cake. Schneller suffered from it,” Bolt recalls. However, one day, the fish shop went and a bank moved, at which point his grandmother said: “Money does not stink.” At Schneller, on the other hand, there was a screen cat between Prince Regent’s cake and cream cheese frosting: “Warm smelt. That’s how it was,” Bolt says with a smile.
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The cabaret artist stopped him several times: Are you allowed to take a selfie with him? Bolt smiles: ‘Go here! “How often does that happen to him? Again, that sinister grin on the face steals: ‘Am Schliersee ned so vui.’ It’s not that fans will be a nuisance—on the contrary. He just doesn’t pride himself on his notoriety. And so, When Bolt was asked about his many awards and prizes, Gerhard Bolt quoted: “Every award strives relentlessly for its winner.”
It is better to give credit to others. This becomes evident when he turns into what was once a hostile country, Türkenstrasse. Georg-Elser-Platz is where the Türkendolch Cinema (now the Zeitgeist Café) used to be, where visitors had to get up in the middle of a Tarzan movie so the cinematic woman could put more charcoal briquettes into the oven. “Had Elser succeeded in the attempt on Hitler’s life, it would have certainly made a difference in world history,” Bolt says. He certainly sees himself as a politician, and not as a politician at the regulars table. He leaves the regulars table for his theatrical characters.
He owes Gerhard Bolt’s career to many coincidences and encounters
He and his fans owe Bolt’s theatrical career to many coincidences and encounters. In the seventies – he was over thirty at the time – the course was set. The husband of one of his wife’s classmates, who later became Munich’s cultural consultant Jürgen Kolbe, discovered Bolt’s talent for storytelling and encouraged him to write his first radio play, “Badger”. The great Jörg Hube brought him to the Kammerspiele theater and bravely endured that a “stage audience monster,” eating roast pork, had stolen the show.
Neighbor Gisela Schneeberger and her husband at the time, director Hans Christian Müller, paved the way for television, and brought the world of Bolt’s ideas into a form suitable for television. After all, it was a coincidence that brought the Bolt and Will brothers together in 1979. “I loved what they did and they loved me too, and we’ve given each other our hearts ever since,” Bolt recalls. Bolt hasn’t counted how many appearances they’ve made together since then. “But Stoffrl Well claims we drove about three million kilometers in the car.”
About 50 CDs and DVDs, dozens of movies and TV shows, 21 books, and five major stage shows, but above all countless appearances in which Bolt shows his greatest strength: a presence second to none. All this turned out to be more than planned. But what Bolt made of it inspires a young and mature audience to this day. “I can only thank you for the fact that I was able and allowed to do all of this,” Bolt says humbly. It is possible that success will be similar to awards and prizes: he is relentlessly searching for his genius. Written by Peter T. Schmidt and Klaus Fick
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