Düsseldorf, Ratinger Strasse 10, early Nineteen Eighties: The Ratinger Hof pub has been a magnet for artists and musicians from the Düsseldorf scene for years.
Artists like Joseph Beuys and Sigmar Polke have been recognized to drop by now and again. Punk bands would rehearse within the basement, whereas dialogue teams, live shows and theater stagings happened upstairs.
“Regular” guests to the previous city or vacationers not often strayed into this neon-illuminated artists’ pub — it was maybe too tough and unpolished, similar to the bands acting on the stage made out of billiard tables.
The proprietor of the bar on the time, Carmen Knoebel, recollects: “We discovered it was nice to have the invigorating vitality of bands getting on stage with out actually with the ability to play their devices,” she says in an interview on the Toten Hosen’s website.
She additionally preferred the lyrics of the early songs, including: “I feel that in German punk, the lyrics have been rather more vital than the music.”
A playground for German punk bands
The Ratinger Hof was each a playground and a springboard for completely different bands, who discovered from one another as they shared the stage.
The band Zentralkomitee, shortened to ZK, was one of many teams that banged round on their devices on the Ratinger Hof.
It was led by the younger Campino, whose actual identify is Andreas Frege and who would later change into the lead vocalist of Die Toten Hosen.
Followers would pogo dance to ZK; Campino had an entertainer’s charisma from the beginning.
One memorable gig, recollects Carmen Knoebel, was carried out for youngsters. The ZK band members have been carrying clown costumes they usually let the children be part of them on stage, the place they added their very own punk flute sounds to the jam. All of it ended with a meals battle.
Punk got here from the UK to Germany, and even to communist East Germany, on the finish of the Seventies
A pub fully destroyed
Within the guide “Die Toten Hosen: To start with was the noise,” Campino remembers the ZK years: “Each second live performance was completely shit. When the live performance was over, three males clapped, one shouted ‘asshole’ and that was it.” The punk trio nonetheless launched singles and an LP.
There have been additionally unforgettable off-stage moments. Trini Trimpop, who accompanied the band on the time and made live performance recordings, recollects one evening in a Kreuzberg pub: “Getting drunk with the bartender, we began enjoying soccer within the pub with a leather-based ball in the midst of the evening. The following morning there was nothing left undamaged however the billiard desk — no glasses, no mirrors, no bottles, no chairs,” he stated in an internet radio broadcast by Medienforum Münster. One of the best half was that the bar proprietor was passionate about the entire thing.
The useless rabbits and different pseudonyms
December 1981 was the top of ZK. A number of months later, Campino, Andreas von Holst, Andreas Meurer, Michael Breitkopf, Walter Hartung and Trini Trimpop based Die Toten Hosen.
After only one month of rehearsals, they performed their first live performance in Bremen and have been introduced as “Die Toten Hasen” (The Useless Rabbits, as an alternative of their actual identify, which accurately interprets on the Useless Pants, but it surely’s additionally German slang for “boring,” or “nothing occurring”).
The band has had many names all through their profession. As Die Roten Rosen (The Purple Roses), they coated previous German hits, together with Hildegard Knef’s “Für mich soll’s rote Rosen regnen” (For me it ought to rain pink roses).
In 1993 they carried out as Das Katastrophenkommando (The Disaster Commando); in 1998 because the Rheinpiraten (Rhine Pirates).
In 2000 they performed a number of live shows as Essen auf Rädern (Meals on Wheels).
Additionally they carried out as Die Jungs von der Opel-Gang (The Boys from the Opel Gang) — an homage to the title of the primary Hosen album, “Opel-Gang,” from 1983.
Politically lively to at the present time
The boys from Düsseldorf have repeatedly attracted media consideration with their clear political stances, that are primarily directed in opposition to the far proper.
In 1986 they performed for the primary time for a big crowd of some 100,000 individuals, with Herbert Grönemeyer and Udo Lindenberg, amongst others, on the “WAA-hnsinns Pageant,” which was organized in opposition to the nuclear reprocessing plant in Wackersdorf.
Off-stage on the WAA-hnsinnsfestival: Campino (l), Udo Lindenberg (center) and Wolfgang Niedecken from BAP
With the album “Ein kleines bisschen Horrorschau” (Somewhat little bit of horrorshow) — based mostly on the music of the stage model of “The Clockwork Orange” — they made their breakthrough in 1988.
They performed live shows in entrance of sold-out halls, which bought larger and larger — however additionally they did smaller gigs like shock appearances in prisons.
In 1992, the anti-Nazi track “Sascha, ein aufrechter Deutscher” (Sascha, an upright German) was launched as a protest in opposition to xenophobia and racism. On the time, skinheads had set fireplace to a house for asylum seekers in Rostock-Lichtenhagen with Molotov cocktails, with onlookers cheering.
To at the present time, Die Toten Hosen help campaigns in opposition to poverty, environmental destruction and xenophobia and are dedicated to varied support organizations.
One of many band’s most profitable songs is “Tage wie diese” (Days Like This, 2012). The anthem turned the soundtrack of the 2012 European Soccer Championship and embodies a form of communal ecstasy.
When the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) celebration used the track because the celebration gained the federal elections in 2013, the band was not amused — that they had already forbidden events to make use of the track throughout the election marketing campaign.
The faux-pas made such waves that the newly re-elected Chancellor Angela Merkel personally apologized to Campino over the cellphone: “Pricey Mr. Campino, I am calling as a result of we misappropriated your track on election evening. Don’t fret, it won’t change into the following CDU anthem. However that is such a pleasant track you have written there!”
“Tage wie diese” is certainly one of over 500 songs Campino wrote for the Toten Hosen, together with the record-breaking 196 cowl songs of their repertoire.
Their final studio album, “Studying English Lesson 3,” includes solely cowl variations of English hits.
However now, to mark the band’s fortieth anniversary, new songs in German have been launched on March 25. The one “Scheiss Wessis” got here together with a counterpart track by German rapper Marteria, “Scheiss Ossis.”
“Wessis” and “Ossis” are the slang phrases used for West and East Germans, and the disparaging distinctions nonetheless made 33 years after the autumn of the Berlin Wall are primarily based mostly on stereotypes. The brand new songs are due to this fact a joint marketing campaign in opposition to prejudice amongst Germans.
A brand new best-of album with seven new songs was additionally launched on Could 27.
Now the band is launching their tour, “Alles aus Liebe: 40 Jahre die Toten Hosen” (All the pieces out of affection: 40 years of Die Toten Hosen). It begins on June 10 in Cologne.
This text was initially written in German.
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