I just got back from seeing the Turkish band THE RAWS at Berlin`s Wild at Heart last night . I had stopped going there since a certain international racist biker club started to hang out there and supply them with bouncers. This time I made an exception for the great RAWS from Istanbul. When I arrived they were already into their third song: Erkin Koray`s “Sana Bir Seyler Olmus”. YEAH!!!
They played a great set of their brand of Istanbul garage punk. I hope it`s not the last time I`ve seen them, although Turkish bands have a real hard time getting visas for other countries. I made this little video of them performing “Geri Döndüler” a song about zombies, sung in Turkish. At 0:50, without a word I gave the camera to my buddy A.C. , to have my hands free to rock out a bit. Let`s say, he tried to make it a little more interesting…
Next up was DEAD ELVIS AND HIS ONE MAN GRAVE. Check out his stuff! Awesome!
I also met Ronald from SQUOOGE RECORDS for the first time who has the craziest garage label at the time. Find his stuff if you can, but you have to be quick because he has very small press runs of most of his releases. THE RAWS had already sold out their share of records the second day into their tour. I hope he sends me their 45. I think I really need it…
These photos were done by Franz von Bodelschwingh who I got to know at the show. Thanks Franz!
He is a professional photographer from my hometown Hamburg, who lives in Istanbul right now and that`s where he got to be friends with THE RAWS. Check out his cool website
As I`ve written last week I have been to Istanbul 4 times in the last 3 years and have always been searching for records. I didn`t know a lot about Turkish rock or pop music so a lot of names were unfamiliar and it was hard to pick the right ones. Only the last time I found some good stuff.
Sometime last year I remembered that I had a whole box full of Turkish 45s in my basement. When my girlfriend and I moved into our apartment ten years ago, we needed some furniture and bought two very cheap 50s cocktail-armchairs in a nearby thrift-store. On the way out I spotted this box of records and asked how much they were. The owner said: “Just take them for free”. They were dusty and without sleeves but I took them all. When I got home I gave them a quick listen and was disappointed that they appeared to be just boring traditional folk music. So they went to the basement.
Last year I remembered this box and with my new knowledge about Turkish music I saw them through, cleaned them and gave them all a spin again. That`s when I discovered this great Erkin Koray 45 that I`ve had all these years and didn`t know about it!
Anybody who knows anything about Turkish rock music knows that Erkin Koray is the king of Turkish rock`n`roll. So this record is not a rarity or obscure, but a Turkish hit record. “Sana Bir Seyler Olmus” is a great cover version of “The land of a 1000 dances”, written and first recorded by Chris Kenner in 1962.
The record has a sticker from a shop in Izmir and two stamps from, I guess, the former owner, who lived just a block away from me. I went there just the other day to see if he was still living there but he must`ve moved. It`s still nice to think that some 39 years ago some Turkish people from my neighborhood rocked out to this stuff…
ERKIN KORAY, Sana Bir Seyler Olmus, 1969
ERKIN KORAY, Seni Her Gördügümde, 1969
This was hidden in the same box. “Ersen ve Dadaslar” are one of the most popular Turkish rock groups and the inventors of the “Anatolian Rock” sound, mixing traditional Turkish and rock music. Normally I don`t like so-called “World-Music” but this is still heavy on the progressive side with some psychedelic moments…
This one I bought on my first visit to Istanbul. The owner of a used-record store played it and I knew I wanted to have it. It was quite expensive, maybe 10 euros. I`m still happy that I bought it, because I know I would have regretted it if I hadn`t. Okay Temiz is a leading fusion-jazz musician who has worked with a lot of international jazz musicians in the last 40 years. His recorded output is huge.
This record on the other hand, sounds like it was made for all the freaks from western countries who hung around Istanbul at the time. Two really weird songs that only bring drugs to mind. Psychedelic…
A while ago I promised to post some more Turkish rock`n`roll. This record I bought last summer in Istanbul. I had been looking for records at previous times in Istanbul but found very little. Both songs are on a Dutch bootleg Cd that came out a while back. Great Turkish beat music that actually sounds very Turkish. Unlike, for example a lot of German beat stuff that simply imitated the British bands, this has a distinctly oriental touch, but still ROCKS!
Another “Altin Mikrofon” (the golden microphone) release. As far as I know “Altin Mikrofon” was a talent show that got the winners a record deal. “Siluetler” were obviously heavily inspired by the “Shadows”, like most European instrumental bands of the early 60s. Again “Siluetler” managed to give their version of that sound a special Turkish twist. Great rock`n`roll!
This is a Turkish beat record with a great guitar. It didn`t have the original sleeve so I`ll add a cartoon that I found in a Turkish satire magazine from 1966. Actually I looked through whole stacks of magazines in a used book store in Istanbul to find some rock`n`roll related cartoons. This is from the “Akbaba” magazine. By the mid-60s rock`n`roll had reached not only Turkey but also Eastern Europe, even Russia. Below the cartoon it says: ” The Beatles fashion has reached the iron curtain.”
“Marx has lost!”
Ferdi Özbegen was a well known Turkish pop singer. Here he tries his hand on some twist songs with great results. Turkey has a rich history of pop culture and they tend to make everything their own. They have a really crazy movie industry and their cartoons have always been exceptional. Here`s another example from “Akbaba” magazine no. 28 from 1966. As more and more hippie tourists came to Turkey in search of high life and hashish, even the papers took note. And of course the border police…
…who led them directly to the hamam, the hairdresser and the tailor!