Across the US with LEVI’S “Station to Station”

Big American jeans company LEVI’S invited about 100 international artists to travel across the US on a train. I am one of them, even though I usually rather champion the art of staying away from any kind of arts.

My travel companion is Tobi, who doesn’t only have pink hair, out-of-bed style, but is also the lead singer and creator of the feel-good punk band BONAPARTE. So the two of us basically represent Germany in this train and draw attention mainly with our, well, artsy haircuts. That’s sort of embarrassing – but shaving all hair off doesn’t seem like an appropriate measure either.

While celebrating the kick-off of the train ride and listening to such fantastic musicians such as ARIEL PINK’S HAUNTED GRAFFITI, SUICIDE, NO AGE, or post-apocalyptic and jazzy Yoshimio, Hisham Akira Bharoocha & Ryan Sawyer trio (what a band name), we learned a few essential facts about the best-known jeans brand in the world, that I can not keep to myself under any circumstances.

1. In full awareness, the LEVI’S boss is being megalomaniac and insists on being called J.C., he’s best friends with Barack Obama and starts singing Rock’n’Roll or gospel songs during one of his motivational speeches. The absolute highlight though: He looks like Nicolas Cage. You can’t beat that.

2. LEVI’S is called LEVI’S because it was founded by pants-pioneer Levi Strauß who once emigrated from Germany to the U.S. You would therefore assume that LEVI’S is pronounced in a German way. However, that is not the case (important learning!). Levi Strauß was originally called Loeb Strauß and only took on the name Levi in the U.S. – the English version of the name. The reason: hie new fellow countrymen could simply pronounce Levi better than Loeb. We thus learn, that it’s called: “Lieweiss”

3. Jeans are the coolest piece of clothing in the world. Especially those by LEVI’S. Goes without saying.

Since everyone enjoyed the kick-off event so much we continued on to Pittsburgh, after two days of NYC where the insane “Station-to-Station” train was waiting for us and the New York event was just repeated. This time the guests were a lot more real and a lot less hip. This was the real America – and really liked the noisy sounds of the bands that had come. It was a so called culture clash in the most American way: Eastcoast hip meets honest down to earth Americans. It worked perfectly.

Pittsburgh, you might get why, turned quite boring after 24 hours though. We thus left the proud city of steel – westbound – and finally, finally with the train. The artsy artist train.


Von: Carl Jakob Haupt

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