Almost every week I try to make a quick round through my neighbouring thrift stores, book stores and record stores. On Saturday I mostly go to the little flea market down the street. These shops are not necessarily the best stores for records in Berlin. And the flea market is very small. I could make trips to much bigger and better shops. But because I go to my neighborhood shops regularly it doesn`t take too long to look through the new stuff and I have a chance to get my hands on them first. That way I found a lot of great records over the years.
It was beautiful Spring weather on Tuesday when I made my weekly check-up through the stores. This record I got for 50 cents in a little thrift shop appropriately named Der kleine Flohmarkt (the little flea-market). We call the shop owner, who is old enough to be a pensioner, “the white-haired guy” but actually he`s only very gray-haired. He`s grouchy, always smokes and drinks coffee from a coffee flask. The good thing though is that he knows a lot about records and still sells his records cheaply, starting at 25 cents for a 45.
I get along fine with him mostly because I let him talk. There are so many weirdos coming in that he must enjoy not having to listen to some drunken, stupid ramblings for a change. I always leave the store with the feeling that I got a good deal. This week he even gave me a great record for free that I`ve been searching for for a while . I´ll post it soon.
Just like Sportpalast that I posted last February Naasti won a pressing of 2000 records in a band contest sponsored by the city of Berlin. This is what they made of it. They played 8 or 9 shows in 1980 and then split up. This is the Berlin New Wave Rock sound of 1980 , not Punk, not Post-Punk, not anything cool. Exactly the kind of record I like. It fell through. Hasn`t been re-released for almost 30 years. That deserves my attention and maybe yours too…
In 1980, the band Sportpalast came in first, in a band contest held by the city of Berlin, and won a record contract for this 45.
It was the first in a series, that was sponsored by various record labels. Each of the records had a press run of a 1000 and they were distributed by the bands themselves. That said, the female singer still managed to say “Scheisse” (shit), “Ficken” (fucking) and “Disco zerstört dein Gehirn” (Disco destroys your brain) on a record that was financed by the city of Berlin. Nena certainly wouldn`t have done that. I can only assume that it was this boldness that prevented the otherwise catchy song “Ich will hier raus” from being played on the radio and eventually becoming more successful.
“Sportpalast” is a well chosen name for a Berlin rock band. Built in 1910 the Sportpalast was Berlins first multi-purpose arena. Max Schmeling boxed there. Social-Democrats, Communists and Nazis held conventions there. Goebbels held his famous “Total War speech” there. After the war many rock groups played there, among them: Bill Haley, The Beach Boys, Jimi Hendrix, Pink Floyd and Deep Purple. It was torn down in 1973
I´m not sure if I would have liked this record at the time of it`s release. It`s not really sophisticated compared to what was happening in the Underground at the time. It´s not Punk, it`s not Post-Punk and a little too rock-ish for New Wave.
Strangely, today it sounds like a typical “Neue Deutsche Welle” (German New Wave) record. The weaker A-Side “Koockakoolaintschina” (Coca-Cola in China) points out that instead of drinking Coca-Cola the Chinese used to smoke Opium. The B-Side “Ich will hier raus” (I want out of here) though, is a fast saxophone-driven rocker with a touch of Poly Styrene. I really like it.
SPORTPALAST, Koockakoolaintschina, 1980
SPORTPALAST, Ich will hier raus, 1980