The Foreign Correspondent – Stories About German Rock Music # 28

Robert Görl, Gabi Delgado-López, Kurt Dahlke, Michael Kemner and Wolfgang Spelmanns formed in 1979 a band that made history. Deutsch Amerikanische Freundschaft (or only DAF) was known as the pioneers and inspiration of electro-punk, electronic body music and house music. Their synthesizer bass-lines were also a kind of blueprint of the later acid house music. Deeply based in the late 1970s Düsseldorf punk scene they created their on do-it-yourself thing. Very new was that they used mainly synthesizers instead of classical instruments. Also their songs are very different to the ones that played in this scene. Based on a constant rhythm they put a bass-line to push the song forward.

They are till this day probably the only ones which accommodated not only dictators, but also the Messiah in a pop song: They sang in her biggest hit about 1981 the lines “dance Mussolini, and then the communism, and now Adolf Hitler, and now Jesus Christ”. The republic stood on the head: Two musicians gave concerts on which one was hidden behind a technology and keyboard tower and the other in the stage edge German slogans nagged in the mike whose provocation degree reached his high point with the hit single “Mussolini“.

They pull their interest in musical energy and the joy in provoking from the punk movement. When Robert Görl and Gabi Delgado become acquainted in 1978 in Dusseldorf, the music bacillus has struck them already both. Though the Görl born in 1955 is not yet a member of a volume, however, can look back at a classical education in the inhabitant on the jazz college of music in Graz. Delgado, three years younger, is Spaniard by birth and also eager follower of the growing English punk wave. The meeting place of the hour for the new punk scene of Düsseldorf is the Ratinger Hof. There some of the first German punk groups already appear like Charley’s Girls, Male, ZK and Mittagspause, from which to itself later among other things the Fehlfarben which form of croup and Die Toten Hosen. After a short time Dahlke was substituted by Chrislo Haas on keyboards when he moved to Der Plan. 

The quintet also wants to break out spatially and, hence, decides to move in the punk metropolis London. There is a risqué step for five impecunious Jung’s musicians who know the English scene up to now only from magazines. However, already after few club shows Daniel Miller discovers the gang and binds them as the second Act to Fad Gadget to his young courage label. There appears in March, 1980 the single “Kebab dreams” and in August with the “little ones And The bad persons” the second DAF album which is at the same time the first courage album publication. A successful starting signal for during the following years as a pointing the way setting up electronics label.

Although on the “Die Kleinen und die Bösen” still guitar and bass are for hearing and the tape attains her pioneer’s status only with the following album, the electronic store which soon characterises the tape becomes evident already here. There comes a cover which provides with his Soviet propaganda motives just in England for some sensation, particularly as it comes of a German volume. However, DAF still sound organic enough to go as a pregroup with The case on tour. After bassist Kemner who leaves the troop already before the album admission and joins in Germany to the false colours Haas also has enough of the wild life on the island and founds with Beate Bartel (Ex-Mania D.) the Liaisons Dangereuses.

Some of the songs Which Mussolini („dance Mussolini“), for example, the homoerotic piece of Der Räuber und der Prinz (the robber and the prince), Greif nach den Sternen (grabbing after the stars), die Götter sind weiß (the gods are white) or Ein bischen Krieg (a little war) were textually provoking. Suitably to the songs was also her image. Just Mussolini and her appearance in the leather outfit and short, shaven haircut as a kind „Germanic counterpart of Grace Jones“ introduced reproaches in them over and over again to be fascists. Also the texts didn’t shrink back which before worn vocabulary from hit kitsch, home films and NS mythology , did not strengthen this reproach. DAF have never defined her political position in the media clearly. They mentioned merely that her stylistic range reached „at least, from the Anarcho-Skin to disco Nazi“ and that they are „simply too with relish for fascists“.

It’s a band you ought to listen to – real pioneers in their genre.

Enjoy and have a good weekend people.

DAF – Verschwende Deine Jugend (Waste your youth)
DAF – Die Götter Sind Weiss (The gods are white)
DAF – Der Räuber und der Prinz (the robber and the prince)
DAF – Kebabträume
DAF – Der Mussolini


What Happened To Pub Rock # 14

Todays band hasn’t reached to the big names in the pub rock scene but they were quiet good at these times. This is what Wikipedia knows about them:

Roogalator played their first live show in November 1972, at a talent night staged at the Marquee Club in London to muted response. Adler, killing time between the Irish C&W circuit and jam sessions with Ginger Baker‘s African drummers, spent time in Paris studying jazz theory. He returned to London to form the second line-up of Roogalator with drummer Bobby Irwin, pianist Steve Beresford, and keyboardist Nick Plytas.
The band recorded a demo which resulted in a booking agency deal. Neither Beresford nor Irwin wanted to proceed. With their first live shows ahead, Adler and Plytas rebuilt the line-up. Drummer Dave Solomon, a bandmate of both Plytas and Beresford in a Motown cover band, replaced Irwin. Irwin, noting the band was still minus a bassist, gave a copy of the demo to Paul Riley, a member of the successful pub scene band Chilli Willi and the Red Hot Peppers. Riley joined Roogalator just before their September 1975 debut, and, for a time, it was his fame that attracted the band’s first press notices.
They became one of the fixtures on the mid-’70s London pub rock scene, establishing themselves as unique on the pub circuit. Drawing from Adler’s experience on theCincinnati club circuit of the late ’60s, Roogalator offered an angular, minimalist funk sound which was at odds with the standard country, blues, and early rock sounds and created a distinctive blueprint for what would become the Britfunk explosion of the early ’80s.
In November 1975, the band recorded demos for United Artists Records and met Robin Scott, who would become their manager, producer and record label chief. In January 1976 they supported Dr. Feelgood at the Hammersmith Odeon in London. The show was by their own consensus a disaster and marked the end of the classic line-up. Within weeks, Solomon quit, to be replaced by the returning Bobby Irwin. Riley also departed. Adding bassist Jeff Watts, Roogalator recorded a John Peelsession on 13 May 1976 and embarked on a European tour. The tour was marred by the theft of all their possessions from their van. Watts and Irwin departed to reunite with Riley in The Sinceros, which he was now managing.
Encouraged by Scott, Adler recruited a new rhythm section; bass guitarist Julian Scott (brother of Robin) and drummer Justin Hildreth. In early summer ’76, Roogalator signed a one-off single deal with Stiff Records and released “All Aboard” / “Cincinnati Fatback”. The band continued gigging returning to the BBC for a second Peel session on 28 October 1976.
I always tried to get their Cincinati Fatback album but the price I have to pay now is too high. So enjoy these little gems of these era.
The Roogalators – Cincinnati Fatback
The Roogalators – I Feel Good

Songs The Lord Told Us # 7

In the early days when I begun to run this blog I started a series about songs they were fantastic and mean a lot to me. I don’t know why I stopped it but I think it’s worth to continue this series during the next months. There will be no default concerning temporal classification or music style in this series. Load to you surprise what will soon appear.

Back in 1979 is was for a lot of month in the army. I remember very well what’s new at this year. Dire Straits released their first record and Pink Floyd released their double record The Wall. But I fell in love with Ska and Two Tone when I saw the first time The Specials on German TV. A bunch of black and white boys dressed up like 60s mods made a performance with some reggae influenced music. I didn’t knew much about this music than it’s origin was in Jamaica. And A Message to you, Rudy was my song of the summer and I will always love it. But if anyone would ask me for my favorite Specials song I would say: Listen to the song below.

To understand this song you’ve got to go back in history:
On the 4th of May, 1979 a woman assumes with Margaret Thatcher for the first time in the history of Great Britain the office of the prime minister. She stands for a hard conservative course friendly to economy: She wants no social state, hates the trade unions and attacks migrants. Before the parliamentary elections she stated: »It is no question from the left or on the right, but an objective statement that we too a few do not separate rather too many foreigners have.«

Hardly in the government the »iron lady prescribes« for the social system a rigid shortening programme and makes worse the stay rights for migrants. In the course of her reign she privatises virtually all state enterprises – from the dockyards and ironworks about the coal pits and airports up to the local drinking water care and the public local traffic. After not even two years in the office the Thatcher’s government is one of the unmost popular in the British history. No wonder: In Thatcher’s Great Britain the empires celebrate, the arms become poorer. In 1981 more than twice as many people are without job like with Thatcher’s assumption of office: All together there are 2.7 million unemployed people. The economic crisis meets the British cities in the heart. The formerly flourishing commercial towns of London, Glasgow, Liverpool and Manchester shrink: Empty warehouses, neglected docks, neglected railway area, boarded up stores and unoccupied houses.

The Specials these impressions process in “Ghost Town” musically. The song starts with howling sirens, jangling wind whistle and a dim organ sound: Welcome to the ghost town. The transverse flute breathes the song subject by the boxes. At the latest now everybody thinks of desolate streets, collapsed houses and clattering shutters. However, then charged blowers interrupt crashing the scene as if the Specials wanted to say: »Awake on! Here this is no dream. You are not in any desolate Wild-West-tourist-ghost tows: Here this is the reality.«
The band plays a classical reggae dub: The bright guitar counters the dark bass. The unmistakeable basic rhythm of the reggae originates from the stress of the second and fourth tact part. The percussion, the blowers and the organ come, however, the sound remains minimalist. The Specials work with contrasts. About the “good-mood-riddim” the singers propagate her serious message: »In this country there are no jobs« and »The government leaves the youngsters« in the sting a voice shouts. »The people become furious«, another roars.

The Specials – Ghost Town (12 inch)

Twanging Tuesdsay # 28

In this series I featured many artists from the Rock ‘n’ Roll era but I never mentioned Elvis Presley. I was never a big fan of him and his music and when I remember him I have still the picture in my head when he appeared in Las Vegas as a clown. If you maybe remind these pictures it was often forgotten what he made when he recorded his first songs for the Sun label. These songs are still great and sometimes very raw. They were very new for these times and showed us all a new way music could be. Based on simple country music and added the spirit of black peoples blues he made something great. I can remember when I was a young kid my parents watched Elvis’ comeback. Dressed in black leather he played an acoustic set with his well known songs. This was very new for my kids ears but I saw the first concert – even as it was only on TV.

Elvis Presley – That’s Alright Mama

Blue Caravan

I was always a huge fan of the Hull based band Red Guitars. They made some great records and I enjoyed there mixture of punk, blues, reggae and African rhythms. This is from their 1986 12-inch single and it makes still fun to listen to it again.

Enjoy and have a good week people.

Blue Caravan (Acoustic)

That’s What I Watched On TV Years Ago # 1

When I have worked my last series and have investigated the single years I am up so many series pushed with which I have become big. Some weeks ago I have sat with my brother together and we have come with some beers on this subject. We have enumerated ourselves mutually the series which we could remember and with which we are connected in a way at all. Presumably this was the occasion that slowly the thought has matured in me to bring to life over here a series.

Let’s start with one of my favorite – The Rockford Files. It is an US-American crime film series from the 1970s. Central figure is the detective Jim Rockford who is played by James Garner. James Scott Rockford, mostly briefly Jim, spent five years innocently in the prison of San Quentin. After his rehabilitation he sits down as a private detective. He lives on the beach of Malibu, Paradise Cove Road 29, in a caravan which serves him at the same time also as an office. In the solution of his cases often help him his father Rocky, his friend and lawyer Beth and his former co-prisoner Hinge. Access to police acts gets him his friend who procures policeman Dennis Becker, which – although always reworks irritated and around his job – however, over and over again explains suitable “services” for Jim Rockford. Rockfords fee amounts to 200 dollars per day plus expenses which remain his clients, however, often guilty to him. As a detective Jim Rockford distinguishes his ingenuity, empathy and speech talent. With the help of a small, mobile printing press he can get fast a calling card and therefore a suitable camouflage for his activities and receives with it as a rule the desired information. He seldom bears arms (for which he anyway no permission owns). He keeps this in a coffee tin in his kitchen. The coffee would protect the weapon well against the salty sea air as Rockford often told jokingly.

I like to see James Garner playing a detective that was far ahead from the ones that was shown us before. Not too many action or shooting in the story it was the blueprint of many series that followed. In addition, I have always loved his humor with those he his cases has solved. What should also not remain unmentioned one is the soundtrack of Mike Post which has also improved other series.

And additionally a song from 1976 while this series was running successful:

Patti Smith – Because The Night

40 Records In 40 Years (40/40 – 2013)

Every series has an end. So also this. Thanks to all of you who have accompanied me during the last months on my trip by the last 40 years. It has given big pleasure to me to let pass these years once again me and to remind me of things which have stamped my life. Looking back I must say that I just made everything again. Without heights and depths I had I would not be the personality I am now. So what happened last year: Christiane’s falling in love with Sri Lanka and trying to based to touch. As some of you know I traveled to this country several times and I can understand why she loves this country. I met there a few people that I call really friends now and I fell in love with Sri Lanka as well. But my future will be in Germany as long as I have to work. For how long I must still work still I can not finally say. It depends on how the basic conditions will be around in in a few years to get retired. But I am sure that I don’t work until I am 67. My basic plan is to get retired in seven years and then spent some time of the year anywhere else than in Germany. But this is far ahead – because I got my 55th birthday last Thursday.

So enjoy your time mates and follow me as you did since that time.

The records that impressed me much this year I’ve listed here.

And for the last time – some songs that I listened to last year:

On many long-distance flights during the last years had I could watch at many new movies

  • 12 Years As A Slave: Seems like the history of slavery is the main theme in Hollywood
  • Gravity: Wonderful pictures with a great soundtrack
  • Dallas Buyers Club: Another drama about being HIV positiv
  • World War Z: One more movie about zombies ruling the world
  • The Butler: Much better than 12 years as a slave
  • Nebraska: Nice and funny road movie
  • Mandela –  Long Walk To Freedom: Good bio-pic
  • The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty: Great story about finding out yourself

It was a year that brought us a lot of fantastic records. In my opinion the best one came from Andrew Weatherall and the Ashpodels. A lot of words were spoken about this record and therefore I only would like to say: It still is a record that I listen often right now. If you don’t know it – give yourself a favor and get it.

The Ashpodells – Beglammered
The Ashpodels – Never There
The Ashpodels – Late Flowering Lust
The Ashpodels – A Love From Outer Space