Among incredibly strange records, outsider records or whatever you want to call them, religious records have a special place. First because they are not made for commercial reasons, they are the most “hardcore” independent releases. And second because very few of them are good. I buy these kind of records out of curiosity. If I don`t know an artist or label my interest is sparked and for 50 cents I can give a record a chance. Of course a lot of these records are “bad”. That´s why the serious collectors of any genre, who picked through everything before I did, left these records behind. Defining what is “good” or “bad” is a scientific question but the fact is, most religious records are dead boring.
I picked up this record by Günter Tesch before I found his book “Hinter den Kulissen”(Behind the Scenes). On the record you can hear is some slight rocking backing the preaching, but nothing that reveals, that Tesch actually played in a Beat band before he started singing religious songs.
That´s basically the story of the book. He doesn´t say what his group was called ( I guess he played in the Tonics) but he describes the beat scene in Hamburg, the Reeperbahn, the Star Club and the Top Ten in the 60´s quite vividly.
Of course he focuses on the highlights: “Rhythm! Beat! Ecstasy! Colourful impressions of the world of the stage. Swinging and full of suspense. In the language of our times. Free of Illusions and realistic. Meeting celebrated idols, loose girls, tough guys and drug dealers. And then he meets Jesus Christ…”
In the end he sells his Beat outfit, cuts his hair short and destroys all of his records to be free for god. Following Cliff Richard and Little Richard this was a German rocker who converted to god. The result is rather tame but compared to the majority of German religious music of the time this was way ahead.
GÜNTER TESCH, Meinst du wirklich?, 1970