I thought the URL timlehnert.com would always be available to me, just waiting there until I was ready to use it. I'm the only Lehnert in Rhode Island, and my parents are the only ones in Montreal. The universe of Lehnerts is small, and that of Tim Lehnerts presumably much smaller. Small, but apparently larger than one. A Google search (Vanity, thy name is Google) revealed that a timlehnert.com website already existed.
No, a farsighted entrepreneur isn't sitting on the timlehnert.com name hoping that one day I'll purchase it for an inflated sum. Tim Lehnert, a 22-year-old German percussionist, is using the website to promote his musical endeavors. Now that's fine for German Tim Lehnert, but where does that leave me in promoting my endeavors?
I really can't blame the German Tim Lehnert for this. When someone beats you to a parking spot fair and square, you just have to tip your hat and move on. True, I could offer to buy the coveted URL from him, but my budget for domain name acquisition is only $75. Depending on what the exchange rate is at any time, that's about 60 euros, not even enough for a proper night on the town in Zwickau, where Tim lives. And 60 euros is certainly not enough to make it worthwhile for him to change the site to TimtheTeutonicDrummer.com or some such thing.
Not surprisingly, Tim Lehnert's site is in German. You can pretty much figure it out, however, even if you don't speak the language - the picture of Tim behind a drum kit is a dead giveaway. The home page's title is "Musik mit Hand und Fuss" or "Music With the Hands and Feet."
Much hilarity ensues if you click on "translate this" next to the timlehnert.com listing on Google. Doing so provides a fractured English version of the site. Not only can you "inform extensively about the musician, Tim Lehnert," but more important, if you seek "a trommel workshop to organize. Then you are here exactly correct!"
Now a trommel workshop might sound a bit scary, but trommel is nothing more than German for "drum."
I've exchanged e-mails with the other Tim Lehnert and find him to be a genial fellow. He lives in Saxony, a state that borders the Czech Republic and which used to be part of East Germany. Tim says that I am welcome in his home, and he has promised me tickets and backstage passes should I ever make it over to the former GDR to see him play.
Tim learned cabinetry as a trade in school, but has since become a freelance musician playing percussion in jazz, rock, funk, country, and Latin bands. He also does session work and writes that he even once played in Germany's only Joe Cocker tribute band. As a side note, I find it hard to believe that Germany would need only one such ensemble. Tim also gives music lessons to children and adults, specializing naturally in the trommel and related instruments.
The other Tim Lehnert was pleased to hear from me and was gratified to learn that he is not alone in the world. He is most curious about me and my neck of the woods. I had to supply him details on these topics via e-mail, as alas I am still without a site and its attendant "Biography" heading to click on.
If and when my virtual address is established (I'm considering TimtheRhodeIslandWritingGuy.com), I'm hoping that my German counterpart will provide a link to it from "Musik mit Hand und Fuss." I'm pretty sure he will. Us Tim Lehnerts have to stick together, whether our instrument is a computer keyboard or a trommel.