America in fast-forward mode: German punk band ‘Die Goldenen Zitronen‘ (The Golden Lemons) is on tour together with schizophrenic rock star Wesley Willis.
It’s fourteen days of bus, gig, bus, gig, from San Francisco via Las Vegas to the Mexican border; fourteen appearances as Wesley’s support band playing to an audience that doesn't speak any German. Every evening, the dark colossus sits at his keyboard bemoaning his fate. The audience is partly bemused, partly disturbed, by his opening number, entitled ‘Osama Bin Laden’. His songs consist of no more than three chords and are all based on the same mathematical principles, but you can guarantee that the entire will be moved by the end of the show.
For both ‘The Golden Lemons’ and Wesley, the tour is a marriage of convenience, fourteen days in close proximity. In theory, they are worlds apart. On the one side, there is the German band that has walked the thin line between music and politics for twenty years. On the other, there is Wesley, a man driven onto the stage to purge himself of the demons haunting his mind. Who knows what happened when his brother was killed and the voices in his head started speaking to him?
The monotonous wilds of America, endless hamburgers and bad cups of coffee, the looped Beatles cassette, while encounters with itinerant preachers and young groupies force them to ponder their creative activity, indeed their very existence away from bourgeois careers and savings accounts.
How long can these musicians continue to perform their punk-cum-entertainment show in a credible manner? Will their strength hold out? Nobody has come to see a German band, and yet this is precisely the challenge that spurs them on night after night to try to win the audience over. Whether in a large hall or ‘Jerry’s Pizza Hut’, the battle for recognition unites them – even with Wesley.
GOLDEN LEMONS: a documentary road movie, an assessment, a trip to the demons.

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