In this weeks heap of bad taste and utter nonsense, a advertisement record fits right in. This Flexi-disc was made for the German chain store company and travel agency “Neckermann” by seminal Krautrockers Excalibur who released a Sabbath-inspired LP in 1971. It advertises for the travel offer Club 28 Reisen that was geared towards young people.
Right now somebody is trying to sell this flexi-disc on eBay for 50 Euros because of those Krautrock credentials. Hopefully nobody will fall for it.
“Club Twenty Eight” is a pretty lame Reggae-Pop song, not nearly as entertaining as the advertisement record that Joy Unlimited did for the Deutsche Bahn.They needed the money and this was a job that hopefully paid well.
I shouldn`t make it all sound too bad. The song is kinda catchy and I still like the little cartoon on the back of the sleeve with the angel and the devil dancing together. Cute.
But don`t pay more than 50 Cents…
Almost two weeks ago our Internet and our telephone at home were suddenly gone. They went dead at the same time that a film-crew from ARTE came to our apartment. Lurker from Klang & Kleid had brought them to interview him about a new “Tiki”-book in my room. It was nice meeting Lurker and the film people were really nice too, but for two weeks I thought that ARTE had killed my Internet. I felt bad but Julia was furious and kept bugging me to call ARTE and charge them.
I imagined that by putting their big stage lights into the same socket that the Internet box uses, they had somehow broken it. Now today almost as suddenly it was working again. Okay, we had to call the company a thousand times and reaching them was not that easy. Each time you call them they put you on hold and let you navigate through a tricky combination of numbers and words. And when you finally get to talk to a real person, they tell you to check this and check that and basically tell you that you need to be an expert yourself. Anything but send somebody to fix it. But now miraculously it works again. Apparently they had somehow disconnected our telephone number with another number. It was the Internet-company`s fault all along!
Anyway the Internet was gone for two weeks. At first I felt like I was on vacation and went to a Internet cafè. But I missed having the Internet at home and after a while I really felt the addiction. I didn`t have Internet for the longest time in my life but this involuntary break was irritating. After a week I got over it, but it opened my eyes about how much the Internet occupies my time. It shouldn`t be like that. It was even worse for Julia because she is quite addicted to the telephone. I didn`t really miss that…
While I was writing my last post at the Jungle World headquarters, I got the news that Lux Interior had died. Now, I`ve never been a big fan of the Cramps, but I`m not a big fan of anybody really. I`m pretty fanatical about Rock`n`Roll, but not about any artist or group in particular. I know that`s a contradiction, because I should acknowledge the people that are making the stuff that I love so much. And I do. I just don`t like to call myself a fan.
But of course I really love the Cramps. I`ve seen them three times: back in 1986, again in the late 90`s and then the last time in 2003. That`s two more times than I`ve seen most bands. The Cramps also inspired my collecting habits. Lux and Ivy are collectors themselves, dedicated to the most obscure and wild popular culture.
Maybe it`s not fair to blame the Cramps for collecting the kinda garbage that I present here, but they did lead me further off the beaten path…
That show in 2003 at the SO36 in Berlin, Kreuzberg was side-lined by a group-exhibition of Cramps-inspired artwork curated by the Knoth & Krüger gallery: “Things The Cramps Taught Us”. I took part in that exhibition but two days from the show I had still not finished my last painting. Like most participants I had done portraits of Ivy and Lux and I had four more detailed paintings but one piece was still not finished. The characters I had painted on that canvas were boring and clichè and not worth to be hanging in a exhibition dedicated to the Cramps! But then it hit me: I took a copy of the German pressing of the Trashmen`s “Surfin` Bird” 45 that I had and nailed it onto the canvas! That looked better.
The next day after we had set up the show Ivy and Lux arrived and took a quick look around. They were dressed very casually and inspected the artwork closely. Lux even took some photos with his 3-D camera. They seemed very humble and honored by the pieces that were dedicated to them. I asked to have a photo taken with them but they declined, because they were worn-out from the long trip and didn`t think they looked presentable. Then they went off, but returned shortly after with the rest of the group for a autograph-signing . This time dressed in their stage outfits. They all sat at a table and a line built outside the gallery. Meanwhile I was spinning records but when fellow Berlin cartoonist Reinhart Kleist stood in line to have his painting signed, I followed suit.
When it was my turn Lux looked at the piece and seemed appalled. As a record collector he must`ve thought it was a shame to destroy that beautiful old record. But then he got in the mood and signed it and even wrote Pa-Pa-Pa-Pa-Pa-Pa-Pa-Pa-Pa-Pa , the chorus of “Surfin`Bird”, all around the record. All of the band members signed it and I was happy, because with all the magic-marker on the painting the piece was now finally finished. The most personal Cramps souvenir I could wish for.
(The photos and illustrations first appeared in 2003 in the Berlin music-magazine Wahrschauer.)
For no other reason than that I really like this song, here`s Billy Sanders doing “Ich bin kein schöner Mann” ( I`m not a handsome man ) from 1958. Billy Sanders 50`s Rock`n`Roll sides have been compiled in the late 70`s by Bear Family Records and later re-issued on Cd.
One of the finest German Rock`n`Roll songs ever recorded…
I know, “Potpourris” are kinda lame and I really can`t explain why I like these, but I do.
My Internet at home is kaputt and I`m writing this on the computer at the Jungle World office, the paper that is publishing my comic-strip BIGBEATLAND (Thank you, comrades!). I hope our Internet will be fixed quickly, but I`m afraid that the posts will be rather short this week.
As promised last week here are some records by Werner Müller. In the early 60`s Werner Müller was one of the most well-known German orchestra leaders.
Werner Müller, born in Berlin in 1920, started the RIAS-Tanzorchester in 1948. RIAS (Radio im amerikanischen Sektor – Radio in the American Sector) was a radio station in the American Sector of Berlin (1946 to 1993). He backed many German pop-singers and recorded music of a wide variety. I will focus mainly on some of his rockinorchestra stuff that somehow has never been re-released.
WERNER MÜLLER UND SEIN ORCHESTER, Guitar Boogie Shuffle, 1959
WERNER MÜLLER UND SEIN ORCHESTER, Boola, 1959
WERNER MÜLLER UND DAS RIAS-TANZ ORCHESTER, Monkey Cha Cha, 1959
WERNER MÜLLER UND DAS RIAS-TANZORCHESTER, Rocky Violins, 1959
In 1961 every orchestra on the planet had to record some twist stuff. Werner Müller`s Twist-Potpourri mixes the Waikikis´ hit record Hawaii Tattoo with Let`s Twist Again.
This is Werner Müller`s version of the Rock-A-Teens instrumental hit-record from 1959. In 2003 the 188.8.131.52.`s played “Woo Hoo” in Quentin Tarantino`s “Kill Bill”.
Werner Müllers idea of a a Teenagers Rock Party was that of a grown man of 30. I like these grown-up`s versions of Rock`n`Roll, because while failing at being Rock`n`Roll at least they freshed-up the boring dance music of the time. And sometimes created something new by coincidence…