A mystery record from Russia that I bought yesterday at a flea-market for 50 cents. The band is singing two nice beat songs in Romanian on this flexi disc. They sound like other Romanian beat groups of the period: Sincron, Mondial…
I would like to know more. Who can help?
NOROC, De ce plang Chitarele, 1969
NOROC, Canta un artist, 1969
Update April 5. 2008:
With the help of a reader of this blog, Andrei from Russia, I was finally able to find some information. Andrei translated the text on the back-cover and slowly the pieces of the puzzle came together. Thank you very much, Andrei!
The name of the band Noroc means Happiness in Romanian, but the band is actually from the small country of Moldova. Moldova is located right next to Romania and Ukraine and has about 4 million inhabitants. The Moldovan language is in fact Romanian. The band started in the capital Chisinau in 1967 and had played together for two years at the time of this release in 1969. The lead singer is Mihai Dolgan. When I checked Google, here`s what I found:
Billy Vaughn was one of the most famous American orchestra leaders of the 50s and 60s and was especially successful in Germany. I still see his 1961 hit-record “Wheels” in every Thrift-store that i go to.
Ole Jensen was born October 9th 1924 in Berlin. The introduction to his 1965 book “Kopf des Tages, Kopf der Woche, Köpfe der Zeit” was written by his friend and Colleague H.J.Stenzel (see my second post ). Just like Stenzel, Jensen is pretty much forgotten today, even among contemporary Berlin cartoonists, but was fairly popular in the late 50s to mid-60s. He appeared regularly on local Berlin TV doing high-speed sketches.
Just like me today, these guys were in their late 30s to early 40s, but had been raised in Nazi Germany, had been to war and were now shaping or echoing the German sense of humour of the post war time. ( Ein kleiner Text von mir über Billy Vaughn und Ole Jensen, erschien am 23. Juli 2009 in der Wochenzeitung Jungle World, zu lesen hier. )
BILLY VAUGHN,Humoresque Boogie
Not a German record but one that i found in a nearby thrift store. I don`t know anything about Pino Guerra . The only information i could find, was a Guitar-learning Instruction-book on ebay. From the sound of this, he was the Italian Jorgen Ingman. Not exactly Jimmy Bryant, but playing “Trick-guitar”, European style.
“Guitar Twist” is a pretty standard instrumental-twist song, but I just like this guitar style very much.
I will post stuff by Miroslav Kefurt and Dieter Resch (the Czechoslovak and East-German exponents of that style) in the future. No information whatsoever about the “artist” who did the cover-drawing.
Rocky der Irokese (Rocky the Mohawk) was a Rocker/Biker from Hamburg, St.Pauli. That`s where he met Udo Lindenberg, one of Germany’s biggest rock stars. Lindenberg made him part of the Panikorchester, a Sideshow-like group of freaks, that appeared with him on stage from 1975 to 1984.
(Photograph by Chris Wroblewski, taken from the book “Tattoo- Pigments Of Imagination”,Virgin Books 1987)
Apart from the cover, the record is not Punk, it`s not really rockin` and Rocky is not really “singing”. It´s REALLY charming though WHAT he is saying in the song. And how he is saying it. When i heard his voice for the first time, i was surprised how soft it was. From his appearance, you expect something much rougher . The lyrics are all about personal freedom and attacking the prejudice of the average people against minorities. The chorus is:”So, Stop the prejudice and a little more tolerance, if you please!”(Also, Schluß mit den Vorurteilen und ein bißchen mehr Toleranz, wenn ich bitten darf!”
The people from the record company felt the need to point out that :”Rocky is in reality much more peaceful, than his appearance might suggest and already appeared on German TV talk-shows”, on the back cover. Then again, i don`t think record company people today, would give a guy like Rocky a chance at all.
Rocky’s real name was Gerhard Bauer and he was born in Berlin on Nov. 26. 1926. He got his first tattoos in a east German prison, where he was detained for 8 years for espionage. The tattoos on his face were done by Tattoo-Theo, a local Hamburg tattooed man. Not a proper tattoo-artist but a friend of his who was willing to do it. Actually, from what you can see on the photo they were cover-ups for swastikas. Also one his right hand he is wearing a glove to cover up another swastika. Oh man, those bikers…
In 1985 he found Jesus and was baptized in a small free church. I remember that some girls from the punk scene in Hamburg befriended him when he was in hospital with cancer. Rocky died April 12. 1987.
More Pseudo-Beat from a mystery band. When I moved to Berlin 10 years ago, this was a record I played every time I DJ`d. It`s fake Beat but what I like about it, is that it is very much a record from and about Berlin. This flexible-record advertised for the local Berlin supermarket chain “Bolle”. Originally a milk-factory, they worked the bell of the milk wagon into the song “Bolle Bietet Bestes” (“Bolle offers the best”). The “Bolle Beat Band Ball” is a version of a traditional local folk song. Bolle got famous all over Germany, when on May 1, 1987 a Kreuzberg Store was looted, set on fire and burned to the ground during what was to become the traditional Mayday rioting.
This is rounding up the political theme for now. Another Pläne records ( Nr.8 in the Peng-Series) and i have no idea why this has not been re-released yet. It´s one of my favorite German political songs ever!
This song manages so many things in one: it´s poetic, sarcastic, psychoanalytical, anti-police, anti-capital and SEXIST! Well, that`s probably the reason why it has not been re-released. Whenever i play it, when i DJ, it`s an absolute showstopper. I mean, people stop dancing. Not because they don`t like the music, but because they are disturbed. In a bar or club most people miss the intro to the song: “This song is the Rubber-stick-song dedicated to the Frankfurt Chief of Police Arich PeniTZ”-(“Das ist der Gummiknüppelsong, gewidmet dem Frankfurter Polizistenführer Arich PeniTZ”) and only hear the chorus that sounds like: “I’m the the rubber-stick PENIS!”-(“Ich bin der Gummiknüppel-PENIS”) and “the electrical rubber-stick PENIS!” and “with the hard rubber-stick PENIS!!!”. So there is a lot of PENIS in there. But, you see, it`s only for a good political cause…
Actually the lyrics are much more intelligent, than what you hear on the first listen. At first it`s a song against police violence. But by linking the rubber-stick ( truncheon, baton, the billy club that the cops use to beat up people) to the penis, it also brands it as a symbol of male dominance and capitalistic power. Actually the song is full of sexual metaphors. Of course, apart from being a very political song, it`s also a pretty funky, progressive, Krautrockin`song!
Lines like: “All of the authority of the state comes from the penis” and “All terror comes from the willie” still make this song stand out today. Finally the song suggests that the cops should put their frustrations aside and their “sticks” to a better use. Ironically it ends with the lines: “If we, the millions of people, were ever to be united, we would beat the tuxedo-wearing mob with that stick”
Lerryn, who wrote that song, was a folksinger and recorded at least one full-lenght LP for Pläne records. I saw a documentary on German television once, where he was playing that song, just him and his guitar. So i suppose the “Gummiknüppelsong” and the A-Side “Lehrlinksmachtgebeat” are rock- versions of his acoustic folk songs. The band was certainly very competent and i wish there were more than these two rockin`Lerryn songs. Somebody told me Lerryn is in political administration now. I would certainly like to know more…
The drawing on the cover was done by Arno Ploog, a stalwart cartoonist of Pardon Magazine, the foremost German satire magazine of the 60s and 70s.
(Ein kleiner, von mir auf deutsch geschriebener, Artikel erschien am 24. September 2009 in der Jungle World. Zu finden ist er hier.)
Just in time for Christmas i found something fitting. A Marxist X-Mas record and it´s a mean record! In fact that`s what it says on the cover: Dieter Süverkrüp sings horrid Christmas songs. Changing the title of “Es ist ein Ros ensprungen” from “rose” to “rot”(red) makes this pretty much an ode to communism. You know, like “the people rising up again” and “chasing the godfearing parasites off the table”. Fun stuff. Süverkrüp, born 1934, was one of the most well known German folk singers of the 60s and 70s. Politically he was probably the most hardcore Marxist of them all. In 1961 he co-founded the leftist record label Pläne. He was also a graphic artist and did the design on this record cover. Süverkrüp has not performed in 10 jears, but still works as a graphic artist. Apart from most of his stuff this 4-song EP is pretty funky. A while back Conträr records re-released most of his early stuff on a 4-CD box. They left out this song.
DIETER SÜVERKRÜP, Es ist ein Rot entsprungen, 1970
Another political record . Well, as political as a instrumental Rock`n`Roll record gets. This one was a promotional flexible record for the FDP party ( Freie Demokratische Partei- the Liberals) and came out on the small, local Budget-Label “Rondo”. It was targeted at young Berliners who were called to vote on March 12th 1967. At the time the FDP were ruling together with the Social-Democrats, the SPD. I don`t know anything about the “Band” who played on the record or who did the cover. It`s highly unlikely that this piece of Ersatz-Beat convinced anybody, let alone real Beat Fans to vote for the FDP. After all, it was 1967 and this is not Street Fighting Man. Still, 40 years later i enjoy the nice, sloppy instrumental Rock`n`Roll of this mystery group. “The Quartermaster” is of course a cover of the Shadows “Quartermaster`s Stores”.
BEAT FOR YOU, Quartermaster, 1967
BEAT FOR YOU, Bavarian Style , 1967