One of the highlites of my career, but unfortunately on short term! Having found people at your age can be of great importance! You have seen it all and you don’t have to talk about it all! That can make your life easier, with less egos etc.

It all seemed that way and by the time we all sat at the round table and shook hands at the legendary “Backstage” in Hamburg on my Birthday August 2nd in 2001, (which unfortunately closed down a year later), noone in the world knew that I was chosen to be the new guy in Helloween.

That night I was actually celebrating with the guys from Kamelot at the Downunder bar in Hamburg supping beers, when the phone rang around 2am. "Hello Weiki, what's up?" A month later it all went official and the black clouds upon us started rising!

Helloween had just finished their Dark Ride Tour and all the backline had just been brought back to their storage, all nicely packed and was stolen a few days after! Just a day before I wanted to move my drum kit and equipment there, I guess I was lucky I didn’t! Although we all spread the news that all the vintage equipment, amps and guitars of Markus, Roland and Michael had been stolen!!

Months later when we started writing and rehearsing for the album in Hamburg, heavy rains flooded the Studio, luckily I had been at the Studio lifting all gear up on sofas, tables and chairs to save the good amps and drums from drowning and found myself locked in a cellar with half a meter water pressing against the door!! Remembering Northern Germany summer floods in 2002.

Soon we found another place to set up our gear! Now we were all set on a first floor and water safe and started working on new songs, recorded the pre production on remaining hot summer nights in Hamburg and were all in best moods, forgot about past sorrows and made the “Zwick” our second home, the so called ”Office” and made plans for the great pumpkin future to come!

In September we all flew to Spain to lay down drum tracks at Andi’s Studio in Teneriffe, but the black clouds were still tracking my ass! On my second recording day I felt a bit weak and my first thought was, that Teneriffe’s climate affected me although I was used to hot climates since living in Greece. And it got worse on the following day not being able to co ordinate in any way, losing sticks and falling off my seat. Charly said, “Take a day off, you’ll be better in the morning!” and that was it.

I felt something was terribly wrong with me! Yes, I am a stubborn guy knowing what he wants and always felt invincible and always fighting hard, but this one I couldn’t beat! Andi begged me to go and see a doctor!

The following day I literally crawled into the docs office being diagnosed with Mononucleosis. And that was the beginning of the end, we interrupted the recordings for nearly 2 months and I tried 2 more times to lay down my drum tracks, but it was hopeless. The decision was made to call Mikkey Dee to finish the drums on the album.

I recovered 10 months later, while Helloween had casted another drummer and the “Rabbit….” had been released with me playing only on two tracks on the album, “Listen to the flies” and “Don’t stop being crazy”!

What a bitch!