Chris Cosmo Denia -autobiography
His friends used to tell him: “Chris, you should keep your mouth shut when you sing”, but that never stopped him.
“By the time I reach 80, I want to be a good singer. My dream is to become a street busker, but I haven´t got the courage for it yet” says the man with the white beard. Hardly anyone knows his real name, nowadays he just calls himself Cosmo because he considers himself a cosmopolitan. He realized that early, at the age of 18, that´s when he started discovering the world and its adventures. “Even at that age I didn´t want to be belonging to just one country”, he says.
He takes his auto-harp and plays a few accords, singing along in his baritone voice, a love song, full of emotions. “Without emotions its nothing. When I sing, I want to get into people´s hearts”. And even though he´s uncomfortable singing in front of a big audience, he certainly has the looks, the charisma, the voice and the instrument to mesmerize people.
Auto-harp…you´ve never heard of it? It´s a hillbilly instrument, common in the Appalachian mountains in North America. He explains that the hard workers with their massive hands couldn´t play the normal fragile harp, so they changed it to become an auto-harp. He is currently waiting for his latest order from America, a parcel with a new auto-harp, because his old one doesn´t sound so good anymore.
Chris Cosmo can´t sit still, he´s forever moving around, so while he´s chatting about his adventurous life he´s also chopping garlic and herbs for his soup, and he´s walking around in the garden of his rented property, right on the beach in Denia. He´s got so many stories to tell, he has written three books, of which the first one has been published, the other two are still in his computer.
Cosmo, entitled “The Craziest artist of Hamburg” by the Bild Zeitung, and “The Weir
do of Krautsand” by the Hamburger Abendblatt, was a star, once upon a time. “The girls went crazy when they saw me”, he remembers. The tall man with the sun-bleached hair used to play the character of George Berger in the Musical Hair from 1968-1973, the main man in one of the most famous musicals of all times. The success of the long-haired hippies rebelling against the Establishment was unstoppable. Chris Cosmo celebrated massive success with his troupe in Munich, Vienna, Berlin and Hamburg. “Donna Summer used to be our background singer. Many of our crew became famous later”.
He´s always wanted to become an actor, but his mother didn´t allow it and convince
d him to get educated as a decorator instead. Later on she changed her mind, namely when she saw her son play in “Madame sans Gene”, a film where he played by the side of Sophia Loren. “I ran away from home when I was 17, ended up at the Cote d´Azur where I literally lived on the beach, just needed the air to breathe, and love. The rich and beautiful were very fond of me and kept inviting me to their parties. Sophia Loren was filming at the time in a town called Tirrenia, and that´s how I got a small part.” He remembers how he sat next to her in her Rolls Royce as soon as they had a spare minute, and how she was dreaming of Frank Sinatra. “And a little bit she dreamt of me too”, he says with a cheeky smile.
For Chris, the 60´s and 70´s were the best years: marihuana, free love, the whole hippie movement with the motto “love & peace”, and he enjoyed it to the fullest. And somehow he got stuck in those days. On his terrace there is one single plant…and when we both look at it he says, grinning: “One is legal”.
“Then AIDS came along, and the freedom was over,” he continues his story. He never made it as a big movie star. He did later play some other parts in TV-productions, and in the meantime he lived in Morocco “to waste some money”, he says.
Los Angeles in California was another one of his stop-overs. “Whenever something drastic happens in my life, I need a radical move”, explains the lover of liberty. His girlfriend died in the mid 70´s and he just wanted to escape. When he got to LA, what do you expect, the German sunnyboy mixed in well and nicely with the party people and actors of California. He shared a house with Tina Turner´s son, and took part in a sandcastle-competition with Sylvester Stallone, who was still unknown to the world at the time.
Back in Hamburg in the 80´s and 90´s, Chris made a lot of money as a voice over, synchronizing. His voice was his capital. “Nobody knew my face, but everybody knew my voice”. He spoke promotional slogans for Audi, Sony Erikson, Microsoft, various political parties used his voice for their speeches.
HOUSE ON KRAUTSAND-ISLAND
In 1996, the extravagant cosmopolitan settled on an island in the German river Elbe, where he built his dream house, not once, but twice. The first one, an old rustic farmhouse, burned down to its walls. The second one was the way he really wanted it: huge rooms, hardly any walls, pure luxury inside and out, in the middle of nature on an enormous plot of land including a pond and a hiking path.
There have also been dark times in his wild life. Tongue cancer nearly took his voice, he survived some tough operations. After that, he couldn´t work as a speaker anymore, so he expressed his creativity in art. His house on the island is full of little and large wonders, mirror-glass masterpieces. It was in this house where he took care of his mother for six years, who was ill after a stroke.
TRUTH AND FANTASY
In those times, his friends told him to write down his life story. “I can´t write, I´m dyslexic”, but eventually he did it and completed his first autobiography. “The second and third part are a mixture of truth and fantasy”, explains Chris Cosmo, who tells his stories so well you can´t ever be sure if they are true or made up.
LIKE A NOMAD
Two years ago his mother died, aged 94. A time for Chris Cosmo to change his life yet again. “I realized I´m a nomad, and I want to live like one”. He sold his house and everything with it. “I don´t want any more material objects, I want to be as light as possible for the wind to blow me away”, says the life artist. He´s sufficient for himself, and totally useless as a husband, so he says. “Nobody will be happy on my side, I eventually always pull the brake wh
en I feel a relationship is becoming too complex. I want to be free in all my decisions”. He burnt his all photos from the past…too heavy for the wind.
He packed his auto-harp, his lap-top and a few clothes into his Mercedes Sprinter,
which he can also sleep in, and once again was on the way into the unknown. After France and Morocco, he has now stopped in Denia. “I am such a lucky man. Isn´t this a beautiful house I´m currently renting?” He is happy in Denia. Recently he took oil paints and brushes and started painting. “Lightexplosions” he calls his colourful paintings and portraits. “One painting I sold when it was still wet. A lady walked past my house, saw it and really wanted to buy it then and there”, he says.
In the morning he plays his music for two hours, then he cooks, and then he paints. Cooking is another passion of his, on his oven there is a herbal soup brewing slowly: “Try this, it´s gorgeous”.
Where the wind takes him from there he isn´t sure of yet. Maybe the autumn winds will take him back to Denia…In the late afternoons the lonely wolf becomes more communicative and seeks social contacts in coffee shops and bars. He doesn´t like the summer months in Denia much, it´s too crowded for him because of the many tourists. And also, he still needs to sort out a few issues in Morocco: “I have built a small house on the Atlantic, 30km from Agadir, in the desolate, stony desert. I can only reach it by my quad. But I don´t want this house anymore. I am finished with Morocco”.
If you´d like to know more about this unusual life artist you can read his autobiography, .