During the last weeks I have presented bands which are forgotten or and obscure or which never succeeded the way they should have earned. Today I will introduce maybe the most popular German punk band today – Die Toten Hosen (or The Dead Pants/DTH). Most of the members hung around with the punk scene at the famous Ratinger Hof in Dusseldorf – a well known place for punks in the late 1970s. They founded the band in 1982 as succession group of a local band called ZK what means nothing less than sickening. These young kids who just could serve their instruments played a weired mixture of punk, rockabilly and German schlager. I remember one of their concerts in the late 1970s in Stuttgart when they played in a little club called mousetrap. It was in the first floor on the left side. We stood in a row to get into the club and a lot of men have passed embarrassed us, because on the right side was a brothel. The concert was so amazing although there were just 100 visitors there. But this kids did a very good job. At this time it was possible to have a drink with the band and talking about music, football and everything else. ZK released only one regular record and vanished after a live recording.
Campino, von Holst and A. Meurer founded later DTH. They released several singles on various labels and I got me the single Bommerlunder (ice-coled Bommerlunder – a German schnapps). It was delivered with a small bottle of real Bommerlunder and for that I signed the first and last time ever in a fan club. Still got the member number DTH0074. They released their first full record called Opelgang in 1983 which was much based on the punk background. All the members of the band are self-thought musicians and for that they developed her own unmistakeable sound over the last 30 years. What was also important for me that the band, especially Campino, had a political activities. They support different social and political organizations without being a member of any political party. I remember very well when they played in Frankfurt on a benefit concert against ultra right wing racism when they played their song Sascha about a stupid nazi who doesn’t realize that foreigners are still a part of our life. What also impressed me much that they were so close to their hometown Dusseldorf and their local football team. They donated about 100.000 Euro to sign a striker and they sponsored Fortuna Düsseldorf over several years when they had financial difficulties.
After all – it is a band I grew up for long long years, have seen them more than ten times over all the years and I will miss when they will be gone one day.