Bob Mould on How the LGBTQ Scene In Berlin Compares to San Francisco


After over 30 years of sampling the creative fruits of Berlin whereas visiting associates, alt-rock pioneer Bob Mould took the plunge and rented a flat within the metropolis’s LGBTQ-centric Schöneberg space in 2016. Retaining his San Francisco residence “simply up the hill from the flag at Market Street in Castro,” the Hüsker Dü co-founder now calls two of the world’s premier gay-borhoods residence. But it was in Berlin that he made his visceral, decidedly optimistic new album, Sunshine Rock (Merge). The metropolis “had loads to do with the general tone of the file,” says Mould.

The History

“Berlin was very sexually progressive 100 years in the past,” says Mould. “There is a bit more historical past in a long-term sense.” He factors out that the transition of the Castro from a working-class Irish neighborhood to an LGBTQ haven occurred within the late 1960s in the course of the Summer of Love, whereas “many years earlier, that occurred on the streets that I stroll day-after-day in Berlin.” That legacy lingers in Berlin. "Businesses [are] named after individuals who made enormous contributions a century or extra in the past to what we name homosexual life," he says, pointing to locations like Magnus Pharmacy, named after doctor and homosexual rights activist Magnus Hirschfeld.

The Nightlife

Mould notes that Berlin allocates cash to assist golf equipment with noise management, whereas American builders construct condos in city hotspots that promptly choke out the scene. “As quickly as folks have their first child, they begin complaining about that membership they moved subsequent to,” he says of San Francisco. “Berlin is being very protecting of their nightlife. The metropolis acknowledges the worth of those golf equipment for tourism, tradition and id."

The Gentrification

"As with any homosexual space in a world metropolis proper now, we've all seen a variety of adjustments. [Gentrification is] hitting Berlin now, nevertheless it hit in San Francisco earlier. People my age who made it by means of the '80s left the Castro due to costs or no matter it's," Mould says. "It nonetheless feels very homosexual, however [in Berlin], folks have been there their complete lives. Rent management is a bit bit tighter. People have gotten to remain."

The People

An enormous distinction, he says, is seeing what number of representations of queer id present up on the weekends in Berlin — “younger, previous, Italian, Polish, Scottish” — which he says begins each Friday round 2:30 p.m. One factor widespread to each scene world wide? “A leather-based membership is a leather-based membership,” he says. Even so, Berlin is a contact extra fastidious. "The Germans are a bit extra exact with it. San Francisco may be very free vary, however [Berlin] appears like a conference -- everyone is completely good, head to toe."

A model of this text appeared within the Feb. 9 subject of Billboard.