VanVan announces the arrival of VanVan Walter


VanVan is more than proud to announce the arrival of VanVan Walter, the van of Walter Schreifels to its fleet. Walter writes:

"Hi, my name is Walter Schreifels and I love to travel, particularly in vans … 

I was blessed to grow up in New York City where the cultures of the world truly come together, and it gave me a hunger to go out to meet them all at the source. When I was at school my mind would drift off as I stared at the map of Europe on the wall, imagining what all those little countries with such big histories were like, each with their own languages, unique landscapes, people and traditions. I didn’t know it then but my parallel interest in music would end up taking me around the world as a touring musician, seeing the sights and meeting the people I was daydreaming about back at school. 

My first band was called Gorilla Biscuits and we were in the punk scene in New York in the late 80s. CBGB’s was the name of the club that we’d play every chance we got. The shows there were incredible with hundreds of kids lined up around the corner of the Bowery trying to get inside. Eventually we were offered a record deal by an independent record label called Revelation Records. Revelation was run by kids just like us and with the response to the records they were putting out they were helping to create a music scene that would soon spread across the globe. Next thing I knew we were in a 1974 Dodge Ram van that we had bought with $800 from our band fund, touring the United States, playing amazing shows, making new friends and drinking up all the natural beauty this country has in abundance and wasn’t long after that we were invited for a tour of Europe! I couldn’t believe my luck.

Our flight landed in Luxembourg, one of the smallest of those little European countries that I was so curious about. The tour promoters picked us up in a Mercedes van for the drive to Bremen, Germany where the tour would begin. We were all impressed by the Mercedes that would be our home for most of the next two months, not because it was particularly nice but only because Mercedes is synonymous with luxury in the United States. The tour took us through some 14 European countries that I can remember, including Soviet Bloc countries like East Germany, Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia. It was an experience that would shape me as a person and help set the course of my life. 

It was through music and touring in a van that I met Thomas Rütti of VanVan. We met for the first time at a Gorilla Biscuits show in Zurich Switzerland, some 20 years after my first tour of Europe. Besides my music Thomas and I share many interests in art, design, travel and culture at large. When Thomas told me about his idea for VanVan some years ago I thought it was the perfect way of bringing all of those interests together and share them with like-minded people. The experiences I’ve had traveling with my bandmates and more often these days with my family are my most treasured experiences and memories. 

With a life in music and travel I’m most honored to have my name on this VanVan. Thomas and I had a lot of fun with the design, it’s inspired by the colorful 70s vans I wish I could’ve toured in back in the day.

The idea that you’re driving around Europe in my awesome VanVan, having the time of your life, listening to music together, the cool conversations you’ll have, stopping along the way, camping out, the adventures you’ll have, you’re just gonna have the best time and I guess I just want you to know that I’m psyched for you, drive safe and gute Reise!"

Walter Schreifels