The Solo Traveller's View


David Garrett’s Monkey Year

By now you will be aware that David Garrett is having a tough time in this Year of the Monkey. As he was born in the sign of the monkey himself, one might suppose that things would go his way, all the way, this year. But far from it! Chinese tradition notes that your worst troubles will usually befall you in those very years that correspond to your birth sign.

Therefore, Monkeys, beware! This year is likely to spring unpleasant surprises on you. In the recurring animal year of their birth, people are said to “suffer a lot of misfortunes, such as sickness, economic loss, physical injuries and obstacles in their career.” Or, as in David’s case, defamation and blackmail. His current troubles could be seen as corresponding to a universal cosmic pattern that underlies our lives – as ancient tradition has it – based on a cycle of twelve years. As David turns 36, this circle completes itself for the third time and brings with it a set of personal tests.

Now his carefully guarded private life has come under public scrutiny at last. How vastly unpleasant this must be. For once, it just isn’t about the MUSIC, and speculation is rife. “Why hasn’t David Garrett ever had a normal, happy, long-term relationship?” journalists and commenters have asked the world at large, and then were quick to opine that it must be because of his presumably narcissistic nature and supposedly deprived childhood: “He never learnt to love,” some stated with conviction.

How so? What is so striking upon seeing footage of David Garrett for the first time (and the second, and the third time …) is the sheer love, the kindness and affection expressed in his words, in looks, gestures and attitude. It isn’t easy to define or describe, but it is overwhelmingly visible. It is the reason why so many sit up and take note, because this quality certainly isn’t a common one. To quote a Chinese proverb: “Kindness is the best quality of the soul.”

And isn’t there plenty of evidence out there that he was loved as a child, and still is? That he grew up at the heart of a caring family? Look at the published pictures of their albums. His parents were not prone to marshmallow-parenting (sweet, soft and fluffy); they were ambitious for their gifted boy and, we are told, often harsh in their expectations and their discipline. But they clearly did care a lot.

It is too facile to trace David Garrett’s relationship problems back to his early years and to portray him as somehow damaged. Seen from a wider perspective, there are many with similar problems, and we find that eastern tradition summarily states: “The Monkey-Year man’s relationships with women will not be good.”

Wham! There you have it. Centuries of careful observation in one of the world’s most populous nations led the ancient sages to this conclusion. It is a broad generalization, to be sure; a lowest common denominator that allows for a wide range of individual troubles. Yet it isn’t all their own fault, for the same careful and age-old observation describes the manners of Monkey-Year men as follows:

“Male Monkey in Love: gentle, considerate, responsible, romantic. They usually win high popularity among the opposite sex because of their charming characteristics.”

“They can fully understand and respect others. If there is any conflict or quarrel, they will behave calmly and try their best to make up the relationship, so they always bring light-hearted love experiences.”

“How to get along with Monkeys? An everlasting relationship with them needs much patience and understanding. In daily life, they are sometimes impetuous and irritable. They need more space and freedom; restricted love will make them feel pressured. Enough trust is needed when getting along with them.”

“In relationships, Monkeys are not very quick in settling down, as they tend to be promiscuous and are easily bored. However, once Monkeys get a perfect partner, they commit to him/her in every possible way. Since Monkeys love to talk and are sociable, they can be communicated with easily.”

“Before confirming a stable love relationship, they are accustomed to considering all aspects, including future marriage life, children and family conditions. Excess consideration often leaves an irresolute and half-hearted impression.”


The Japanese Fortune Calendar features this description:

“People born in the Year of the Monkey are the erratic geniuses of the cycle. Clever and skilful in grand-scale operations, they are adroit when making financial deals. They are surprisingly inventive and original and are able to solve the most difficult problems with astonishing ease.”

“Monkey people have a poor opinion of other people and tend to hold them in contempt. Yet monkey people are prized for their skills, talents and flexibility. They are good at making decisions and have common-sense practicality. They are fired with a deep desire for knowledge, and they read, see, and know a great deal. They have good memories and can recall fine points and details with ease. They are also passionate and strong-natured, but they tend to cool off quickly. They become famous if they are allowed to pursue their own course.”

Now, I’m no expert on the subject, but I have found the Chinese Zodiac a useful and remarkably accurate tool whenever a general picture of someone’s character was needed. And doesn’t it seem a fitting description of David Garrett’s nature? Highly talented, hard-working, pragmatic, of magnetic personality, skilled, smart, nimble-fingered, lively, playful, entertaining, creative, restless and inquisitive; at times aloof, impetuous and irritable, at others charming, witty and mischievous … What other animal but the monkey could symbolise a union of these traits?

To differentiate this classification of human nature further, ancient Chinese wisdom associated each year in turn with the characteristics of one of their five elements: earth, water, metal, wood and fire. By their reckoning, 1980 was a Metal Monkey year, which adds a more pragmatic touch to its children. They are seen as more intense in their focus, more disciplined, more confident and ambitious, as well as inventive, demonstrative, strong, sophisticated and independent.

“The Metal Monkey becomes the most focused and determined of the Monkey signs. Those born under the Metal Monkey sign are known to display independence and a willpower in all of their pursuits, which is appropriate because the Metal Monkey has high aspirations. While the Metal Monkey shares in the clever mind of its sign, they have the added benefit of wisdom and practicality. In all matters of life, the Metal Monkey is passionate and uncompromising. In this sense, they may be the most concerned with their material standing.”

None of this was written about David Garrett, yet all of it seems to fit, including this warning:

Monkeys should not show off their wealth, or they will be persecuted by others. (…) They should guard against untrustworthy people and discipline themselves in order to avoid trouble.”

2016-06 DG and Monkey on Twitter

His very apposite Twitter post

You cannot prevent the birds of sorrow from flying over your head, but you can prevent them from nesting in your hair. – Chinese proverb

Moving on to other projects, I decided not to keep this domain going; and so it is goodbye, dear readers – this blog and all its content will soon disappear.




David Garrett and the Girls

An attempted Analysis of a Musical Phenomenon – Part 9

As a comparative latecomer to the dating-and-mating game, David Garrett will probably have thrown himself eagerly into that particular pursuit. It must have done wonders for his self-confidence. Unimaginable that he may have met with resistance or rejection. And yet, interestingly, David’s own words in various interviews bear witness to the fact that it is not any easier for him to find true love than for the rest of us.

He makes quite a case study for all those who think that they would surely find love if they were only more good-looking, more talented, famous or rich. Especially the very young are often under the impression that these are the necessary ingredients for being happy in love, and they may torture themselves with self-loathing because they do not match this ideal profile. Well, David surely does, yet he has found it no less of a knotty problem.

So you dream of being the girl by his side? Consider this: By his right side you’ll get in the way of his bowing arm. On his left side you’ll get your eye poked out. You can’t stand before him, for then you’d come between him and his audience, and he’d never allow that. The only possible place for you is behind him. In the background, touched by the spotlight, yes, but with a semi-permanent view of his back. Girls, understand this in a metaphorical as well as a spatial sense to realise why that place by his side is so often unoccupied.

Because it certainly is not for a lack of candidates, and assuredly not for a lack of love. There are enough lovely and loving girls – so many, many more than the average man can hope to meet in a lifetime – who are instantly ready and desperately willing to go to the ends of the earth for David and have his babies, given even the slightest encouragement. How could he not be aware of it? In his own words: “Being adored is part of the job – but it is about the MUSIC.” 

And yet, as seen in all that YouTube footage, David Garrett has such a loving nature, it permeates all he says and does. His quiet, patient kindness carries through every situation recorded by the camera’s eye. Whether he is telling a funny story on stage or answering interview questions; whether he is signing autographs or giving a tour of his home: there is a great affection apparent in David, a diffusion of love that seems to stream from him impartially as summer rain from drifting clouds.

Would my impression that this is in fact his default setting hold up in real life, removed from the cameras and away from promotional situations? Only those who know him can tell. But, interviewed by Spiegel TV, David himself made the following comment in German: “I love [so many things] … I am filled with love. But does love have to be channelled [towards one person]? … Is it not essentially our ego that makes us think, I don’t want to be alone? … Because actually we are not alone …” 

These are wise words, but there remains the indisputable fact that he never needs to be alone. Uncounted numbers of lovesick girls around the world take their unrequited passion to the David Garrett fan pages and cover them in messages of devotion, in hearts and moans, in adorned photographs and sighs, and in strings of ditzy stickers that must surely be the visual equivalent of white noise. Some even like to add David’s semi-nude model pictures and words that suggest, as a YouTube commenter acidly remarked, “way too much pussy juice.” Indeed. But they cannot help themselves; or, rather, helping themselves is all they can do.

To quote a marvellous line from the film Playing by Heart: “Whenever was having sex or not having sex not a problem?” Since Adam’s ill-advised fruit intake, this problem continues to bedevil adult life from puberty to the brink of the grave. The most elegant solution, as recommended by Buddha, who was not called The Enlightened One for nothing … the most elegant solution is and will always be celibacy, for it brings peace and true freedom to those able to embrace it: “There is pleasure when a sore is scratched, but to be without sores is more pleasant still. Just so, there are pleasures in worldly desires, but to be without desires is more pleasant still.”

However, celibacy isn’t for everyone, and the next best solution is said to be marriage. But its parameter of lifelong monogamy adds another tricky dimension to the problem, and so marriage isn’t for everyone either, though most people are inclined to give it a go at least once. “Marriage is like a fortress under siege: Those outside want to get in, while those inside want to get out.”

Compulsive matchmakers with big plans must have their eyes trained on David Garrett, who has so far remained tantalizingly unattached. There has been talk that he has several girlfriends on the go, simultaneously, all around the world. Any man’s dream, in fact. But is it true? Maybe, and maybe not. It cannot be our business. Why should it be surprising if he were not strictly monogamous at this stage of his life, and with his unusual lifestyle? It is surely more surprising that he should be expected to be so. It may not suit common notions of propriety, but the sailor’s solution is in fact the only workable one for any man who spends his life on the road, should he find himself unwilling or unable to take Buddha’s advice.

Where relationships are concerned, it is fair to assume that David Garrett has to navigate the same choppy waters most of us experience in the course of our lives. Calm seas never made skilful mariners. And, in the likely case of shipwreck, it is the danger of sinking that teaches us to swim; hoping against hope, telling ourselves “it’s not as hard, hard, hard as it seems …”

Here we have the eternal relationship problem outlined by the sharp wit of the inimitable Dorothy Parker:

Woman wants monogamy;
Man delights in novelty.
Love is woman’s moon and sun;
Man has other forms of fun.
Woman lives but in her lord;
Count to ten, and man is bored.
With this the gist and sum of it,
What earthly good can come of it?

Well, no prizes for guessing the answer to that one! Shakespeare, who knew much about love and more about men, put it like this:

Sigh no more, ladies, sigh no more.
Men were deceivers ever,
One foot in sea, and one on shore,
To one thing constant never.
Then sigh not so, but let them go,
And be you blithe and bonny,
Converting all your sounds of woe
Into hey nonny-nonny.

Meaning, a happy little song. “Hey nonny-nonny translates from middle English as shooby-dooby-doo-wop” … and a sounder piece of relationship advice we have yet to find.

Journalists like to come up with tags and labels for David Garrett, such as “every mother-in-law’s dream”. – Seriously? Only a man could take this view, for women surely know better. We know what it is to stumble through days blinded by tears, with a heart ripped to bloody shreds by the inconstancy of men. Wouldn’t you advise your daughter to stay well away from such a bouncy love magnet? Not that she’d listen, of course.

Girls, take a break from your daydreaming to study, if you will, the situation of Priscilla Presley: Aching with loneliness and longing while her man Elvis was away on tour, which was often; consumed by jealousy, with good reason; paralysed by unhappiness, and addicted to the drugs she took to cope … No, it is not a pretty tale, but it may help you to understand why the position by the side of a star is likely to make you deeply unhappy. Knowing that every other girl out there wants a piece of your pie and may stop at nothing to get it; knowing also that the man able to resist this temptation – if such a man can be imagined – is most likely not your man.

Considering all of this, it would certainly take a pretty exceptional girl to cope with the challenges of that place by David Garrett’s side while still managing to thrive in her personal life. But one should always make allowance for the exceptional. Such a girl may well exist. So let us hope that, one happy day, she and David will find each other.


Moving on to other projects, I decided not to keep this domain going; and so it is goodbye, dear readers – this blog and all its content will soon disappear.