CHALLENGER CREW, Start in den Tod, 1987

challenger-crew-frontchallenger-crew-backchallenger-crew-labelThis was the first record sleeve that I ever did when I was 21 years old. Michael “Moses” Arndt, the singer of  Challenger Crew was a Hardcore-Punk  activist and I had been sending him my comics and illustrations to use in Trust fanzine.

When that first issue of Trust came out in 1986, I knew I wanted to be part of that. It was printed, came out regularly (first monthly and then bi-monthly) and was all about the blooming international Hardcore scene. A German Maximum Rock`n`Roll. Great!

I sent them some illustrations and they used them. Starting with issue number two I contributed to every issue until Moses left Trust fanzine to start his own Zap fanzine in June 1988.

While a bunch of people contributed to Trust zine, Moses more or less was in charge of putting it all together in those  early years (check Tomasso´s comment in the comments section  for some more detailed and corrected info on that). He was the one that I was in contact with. Sadly I never got to see Challenger Crew live, but I enjoyed meeting Moses a couple of times. A real energetic type,  small in stature but really aggressive and passionate. (The photos are from “Trust and Maximum Rock`n`Roll presents Welcome To Cruise Country-All European Photozine”, 1987)

So we wrote back and forth just like it was back then. I used to go to the post office regularly and send out  my originals by mail. I don`t remember why, but I mostly did not sent photocopies. Probably because the quality was not as good compared to originals. In the 80`s most b/w illustrations were not scanned but shot with big repro-cameras directly at the print shop. Mostly I got my illustrations back but this one for example somehow got lost. Much different than today where I send my illustrations by e-mail and the newspaper or magazines receive them shortly after.

Of course I was happy when Moses asked me to do the sleeve for his band`s first record. I was really into  Hardcore and very enthusiastic about the European Hardcore scene back then and I enjoyed doing that first jacket immensely. Although it is kind of painful to look at today, because the proportions are so wrong and the figure in the middle looks like it is crippled. But I guess it still conveyed the spirit of the music and the time.

I was really proud when that record came out (clear vinyl with only 60 copies having some red spots or shades in them) and later read this review of  the record in the prolific Dutch Hardcore fanzine Nieuwe Koekrand (from issue 80/81, Winter 1987):


Later that year I did a logo for Peter Hoeren`s  Anti-Schelski label and contributed to the  Challenger Crew/Everything Falls Apart Split-LP with doing the label illustrations and a insert drawing.

I haven`t seen Moses in many years but I read in OX Fanzine that he is happily married, has two children and is a professional doctor. He was very focused and persistent, even back then in the 80`s when most of us seemed to be just fooling around like there was no future. Good to hear that it paid off.

This is Challenger Crew`s demo, recorded in May 1986, live to a regular tape recorder in the basement of AJZ (Autonomous Youth Center) Homburg. Great ragin` German Hardcore from a time when the European Hardcore scene was in full swing!

CHALLENGER CREW, Start in den Tod, 1987

CHALLENGER CREW, Rape Your Mother, 1987

CHALLENGER CREW, Schneller, lauter, härter, 1987

CHALLENGER CREW, Admit You`re Shit, 1987

CHALLENGER CREW, Weisst Du es, 1987

CHALLENGER CREW, Just A Jerk, 1987



4 Comments on “CHALLENGER CREW, Start in den Tod, 1987”

  1. Tomasso says:

    Oh, come on… Moses did NOT put Trust together by himself in the early days, and you know it… It really was a group effort in the beginning, with everyone chipping in equal parts, I’d say… Dolf definitely being the one holding everything together (which has not changed, I guess). If Moses really had been the one driving force behind the magazine, we never would have been able to recover once he left Trust without notice and put out our magazine in time. I’m not trying to downplay Moses’ input, which was crucial to get everything done the way we wanted it to be done, but it’s just not true that he was the only one who did the magazine. Actually, when putting the finishing touches on each and every issue, the whole crew used to meet either in Homburg or Augsburg to get it done. And btw, Challenger Crew absolutely ruled, of course.


  2. mischalke04 says:

    Dear Tomasso,

    yes, I do know that TRUST was a collective. I´didn´t mean to diminish all of your group´s efforts.

    Moses was simply the only one I communicated with. And I lived in HAmburg (Northern Germay) not HOmburg (Southern Germay). So I don´t know much about what was going on at TRUST at the time anyway. TRUST , the longest running German Hardcore and Punk fanzine, is still very cool. And if there was one group that absolutely ruled the German mid-80´s hardcore scene it was your group EVERYTHING FALLS APART! Who´s gonna re-issue that milestone of a Geman Hardcore record, your split with CHALLENGER CREW? Otherwise I might post it here and I can definitely do a better job than this guy


  3. Moses says:

    Danke für euer dickes Lob. Vor allem Andreas. Großartige Arbeit von dir!

  4. […] tape can be listened to Andreas Michalke’s website but ‘Moses’ agreed that it could use some more attention, so here you […]

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