1 The 4 Renders - Walkin' The Dog
2 The Mersey Kings - I'm A Hog For You
3 Andy Nevison & The Rhythm Masters - White Woman
4 The Sound Riders - Send You Back To Walker
5 The Dynamites - Nadine
6 The Jack Five - Berlin Swing
7 Lord Nelson & His Crew - Station Girl
8 The Bats - You'd Better Believe It, Baby
9 The Tony Hendrik Five - I Ain't Got You
10 The Savages - She's Very Young
11 The Ravers - We've Got Too Much
12 The Rocking Jailmen - Give Me A Chance
13 The Image - Heartaches Inbetween Heartaches
14 The All - I'm Addicted
15 Adam & Eve - Desert Song
16 The Mascots - In 40 Days
17 The Mambos - Hey-O-Mambo
18 The Jail-Birds - Baby's Gone
19 The King Bees - No More Lies
20 The Hounds - We've Got Love
Since Aristotle Krauts have organized their knowledge vertically in seperate and unrelated groups... sense, sex, sixpacks, sin, sax, wine, vibes and song (just to name a few).The main emphasis in a kraut’s endeavour to put things straight is the lifelong attempt to get objects in a horizontal position (especially women) and take one step after the logical other. He usually fails and causes a complete mess (as Einstein did), but insists in singing about the experience in foreign tongues.
Recently, it has become possible for Krauts to chemically alter their mental state, which turned out to be not such a brilliant idea... As you’ll easily recognize on this new documentation of case histories, the restructuring of thinking led to serious cerebral affections and sporadic cases of auto-lobotomy. The quest for pure sanity that forms the basis of investigation on this album didn’t help much.The more you try to exorcize these demons, the more you evoke them. Here comes the cabbage...
The 4 Renders from Eimsbьttel existed from 61 to 66 and were heirs to the throne of the Hamburg R&B kings , held and kept by The Rattles. In 65 their gitarrero Rugy Rugenstein entered the palace through the backdoor, when he replaced Hajo Kreuzfeldt there. After winning the 63 band battle at the Star Club, they released a 7” for that label, but the rest of their recorded output is limited to less than a handful of tracks on mid-60’s compilations. This rendition of Rufus Thomas’ “Walkin’ The Dog” is an unreleased studio outtake from the 65 session that also brought us “Let’s Get Together” on the “Star Club Scene 65”-LP.
The Mersey Kings reportedly came from the Bavarian heartland around Munich. “I’m A Hog” is the A-side of their sole 45 on the immensely collectable Scherer label. On this stripped version of a Coasters classic they fumbled with the lyrics a bit and came up with the immortal line “I’m a hog, baby, can’t get enough of your loo”. Eat your hearts out, Leiber and Stoller!
We all know about The Monks, but they weren’t the only ex-GI’s on the German scene. Screamin’ Andy Nevison (whose throat might sound familiar to owners of our Vol.2) and his Westphalian band The Rhythm Masters had German and American members and their three 45’s were produced exclusively for the German market. “White Woman, don’t roll your big blue eyes at me” wouldn’t have been much of a hit in Alabama 66 anyway. Blessed with good looks not unlike a younger brother of Sam Cooke, Andy honours sister Rosa with more than just innate seat on the bus. Say it loud, I’m black and kraut. Dig it!
We’ve already met The Sound Riders on Vol.12, where we had to admit that we don’t know much about the guys behind this great 64 live LP from the Kaskade Klub in Cologne. They snatched the song from the flip of the first Animals single, who pilfered it from an obscure 7” by Timmy Shaw, who himself plundered the John Lee Hooker songbook and crossed it with a Jimmy Reed riff. Some weeks before the Animals did it, the Searchers had recorded the song under its original title “Gonna Send You Back to Georgia”.
Basel The Dynamites are famous for their well documented singles on Columbia and Philips. Hard to find as they are, the rarest of their vinyl is the debut EP on the tiny Sesam label from 64. It shows a group in development with one foot still on the Shadows-platform and the other already on the R&B-train. While most everybody else still tried to lay down a decent version of “Roll Over Beethoven”, The Dynamites covered the brandnew “Nadine”, Chuck Berry’s comeback after a long vacation at the Springfield, Missouri state penitentiary.
The Jack Five must have been big Berry fans as well, they even mention him and Maybellene in their hymn to Berlin on Paletten Records. Although they pretend to be on holiday, they probably came from the divided city and were payed by the tourist office during an unsuccessful attempt to establish the name Swinging Berlin (as opposed to Swinging London).
Lord Nelson was Berlin’s rocker of the first hour Didi Zill, wh fronted the ABC Boys and The Batmen. Both bands’ finest moments can be revisited on Vol.9. In 68 Didi joined the navy and promotion by self-selection made him an immediate admiral. “Station Girl” is the stand out-track from his LP on Metronome and it’s obviously all about the same Berlin phenomenon that Nina Hagen described ten years later in “Am Bahnhof Zoo Im Damenklo”.
The Bats, another of the early Hamburg bands, came together in 61. They went through the usual Star Club routine, but recorded mainly for Polydor after a quarrel with the Club’s owner WeiЯleder. While most of their records don’t show the group’s true potential, their 7” on WAM, “Got A Girl”, was a German garage classic (see Vol.2). Unlike other 2nd division veterans, they stayed active and still gigged in the 90’s. In 81 they issued an LP of unreleased late 60’s/early 70’s recordings on their own Summer label. It’s a somewhat uneven affair, but contains 60’s pearls like “You Better Believe It”.
The Tony Hendrik Five from Cologne were one of the lesser known German bands that captured a major contract, but (or because of that) never managed to develop a distinctive style and image of their own. After the fantastic “I’ve Said My Say” (see Vol.8) they released a whole lot of quite unnecessary 45’s. Their 67 Columbia LP “Nightflight” is a strange mishmash of influences, but surprisingly offers a fab version of Billy Boy Arnold’s “I Ain’t Got You”. It probably came to their attention via The Yardbirds, but it’s a remarkably different arrangement and a great hip shaker in double speed.
Despite the name, The Savages were a rather tame pop combo from Frankfurt and three of their Aronda singles caused downward thumbs at Prae-Kraut Headquarters, although “Why Don’t You Stay” made it to the short list. Recently we’ve found the 67 debut and this little flower-power-folk-rock-jingle-jangle called “She’s Very Young” broke the ice.
The Ravers was one of about 50 aliases, the prolific Tonics were hiding behind, when recording for about nearly as much budget labels. After 5 LP’s for Tip, the last one in 69, called “Bad, Bad World” didn’t sound much like the Tonics anymore. Subtitled “Ravers Going Underground”, this obviously was a product of the Hamburg cheapo mafia, a bunch of Rattles, German Bonds and Wonderland musicians, who used to make some extra bread with exploitation classics like Hell Preachers Inc. or Bokaj Retsiem. “We’ve Got Too Much” is a typical Herbert Hildebrandt production (Ex-Rattle and somekind of a German Kim Fowley). No one could rip off a Kinks-riff like the Kinks, but The Ravers came close, although brother Ray would have frowned a bit upon using terms like chicken fucker.
The Rocking Jailmen’s nasty girlie-put-down “Over” was one of last volume’s highlights and caused hectic action among collectors. “Give Me A Chance” is another cork screw through your brain from the same Eurex-EP. Sneaking in rather than blowing the door down this time, but the Jailmen manage to do the trick witha sinister ballad just as well.
The Image and their ecological mod anthem “Creation” from Vol.11 was another record that soon showed up on everybody’s want list. On the flip of this Hit-Ton 7” they add a little Stax soul to the mixture and on “Heartaches” they sound every bit as good as the undisputed kings of mod soul, The Action. The Image from Wales spent the best part of 66 in Germany, where they recorded two singles that didn’t get a UK-release after three 45’s on Parlophone already had flopped there.
Half German, half British, The All were the remains of Lee Curtis & The All Stars and kept on touring Germany when Lee retired in 66. After a fine, but unsuccessful 7” (see Vol.11), their last signs of life were a couple of live recordings made in Harburg in 1967, which were released by Fontana on the scarce “Live In Concert”-LP, together with other Star Club veterans.”I’m Addicted” is another neat evidence for a flourishing, but hardly documented mod scene in our country and it’s a shame, that The All didn’t get the chance to record it in a studio.
Adam & Eve were Erika Bartova from Prague and John Christian Dee, a sinister mister who is best remembered for his few, but great contributions to British R&B history as the writer of “Don’t Bring Me Down” for The Pretties and “Get Yourself Home” for The Fairies. Phil May once called him a P.J. Proby-copy, but P.J. was a choir boy compared to J.C. What exactly led to overnight emigration to Frankfurt in 66 isn’t exactly clear, but he did it again in 74 after being charged in London for “procurement of women for brothels”. From 66 to 68 he played Jack of all trades for the Bellaphon label. With Eve, he formed the poor man’s Sonny & Cher and had a couple of gruesome hits sung in German. Their only LP documents most of these, but surprisingly offers the great and absolutely untypical “Desert Song”. J.C. Dee was sentenced to six years in 75 for some near fatal stabs in the back of his girlfriend, broke out of the Dieburg jail soon after and vanished in France, where he probably still ducks and covers.
Less glamourous was the story of The Mascots from Aarau, Switzerland. They existed from 63 to 65 and had just one 45 on Eurex in 64. Though they put their names under “40 Days”, it’s actually Chuck Berry’s “30 Days”, obviously scrounged from the Ronnie Hawkins version, who gave the girl 10 more days to come back home and also got away with the royalties without Chuck suing him.
Though credited on their Etzel 7” as Mambo Band, these guys were better known as The Mambos all over the Lower Franconian hinterland. A rare case of early German frat rock, these kids looked like acolytes on a joyride, but could do a neat Sonics imitation, when fuelled with enough homebrew. Remember: There’s nothing dirty about sax, except you know how to blow right...
Lots of Jail-Birds flew over Germany, but few ever recorded. The band in question definetely is not the one from Mainz with the “Nobody” 45, but could be an earlier line-up of the Gelsenkirchen band, that released “Jenny, Jenny” on Hansa in 66. Recently not one, but two singles by The Jail-Birds showed up on the tiny Ruhrgebeat label Beat Records. “Baby’s Gone” is a fine example for the transformation phase in the early 60’s, when lots of groups tried to blend their 50’s rock n’roll roots with the then brandnew invasion sound.
Braunschweig (Brunswick) had a vivid scene, but - with the exception of The Black Devils (a.k.a. The Progressives) - very few records handed down to posterity. The King Bees were local heroes there, but also didn’t make it to a proper studio. All that survived is a reel-to-reel rehearsal room tape from 66 that shows the Bees pulling all stops on the driving beat of “No More Lies”. Some sonic drop outs and a little tape his are inevitable, but hardly lessens the pleasure.
Led by drummer Mike Parlor, The Hounds were one of many third division bands in London 64. With a sound more suitable to the Cavern than the Crawdaddy, they hardly found gigs and fled to the promised land of the losers. In 1965 they recorded two singles for Elite Special in Frankfurt and “All I Want Is You” can be revisited on Vol.5. “We’ve Got Love” was the fine debut, but both were pure beat records and sounded too wild for your parents and too tame for the in-crowd in the rebellious year, when the boys were seperated from the backdoor Men forever.
Prae-Kraut Pandaemonium Vol.16 - Vol.20:
german sick-teeth underground beat - unterweltenkrachinnenraum - elektrick loosers volume four: