John Lennon liked melodic music


This page is followed by texts, contributions, articles that have been published somewhere or that have just been written by me out of whim.

"It's always worse" or: "Basstscho!" - a short story about mine
Experiences in an accident clinic in Austria (February 2019)

Impressions from the concert of the jazz choir SOUNDSATION on November 4th, 2017 in Neu-Isenburg

Fats Domino's obituary - and reminder of a great tribute album

Where was I when Elvis died? - Contribution to the Frankfurter Neue Presse on the 40th anniversary of Elvis Presley's death on August 16, 2017 (long, unabridged version)

Leonard Cohen obituary

Prince obituary

Laudation to Thomas Langer

Sing hallelujah! It made us really Christmas - on December 25th, 2013

"Jocco Abendroth" - for the 60th birthday

"Indorock" - contribution to a magazine publication

Interview on the WDR TV documentary "The Beatles are coming" (excerpts broadcast on November 2nd, 2012)

"Hundertwasser", introductory words for the vernissage on November 24th, 2011 in the Galerie am Dom, Wetzlar

"Mani Neumeier", foreword to the mediabook "Werkausgabe"

"IMAGINE John Lennon", interview on the tour of the same name

"Faszinosum Open Air", contribution to Deutsche Welle

"Frank Zappa", excerpt from rock session 1

"Diamonds - an orchestral tribute to the Beatles" - liner notes for the DVD / CD of the Beatles Revival Band

"Mother Mary's wise words" - notes on the song "Let It Be" (article for eclipsed)

"The walrus, ancestor of Artrock?" - Article for the rock magazine eclipsed

"The Musical White Paper of the Sixties" - Notes on the Beatles' White Album (article for rock magazine eclipsed)

"Variations on Love"


"It's always worse" or: "Basstscho!"

Experiences in an accident clinic in Austria - by Volker Rebell

"You stupid dog, why couldn't you be more careful? You damn fool! Now you have the debacle! "The self-reproaches circle in an endless loop through the back of my head. I have been lying awake again for two hours, like every night, and cannot stop the reproach, turn off the loudly snoring roommate, do not influence the pain in my broken leg and Do not reduce the uncomfortable feeling of pressure in my back because of the permanent supine position. If something falls down, it lies on the floor and I can't reach it anymore. I can hardly move, I can't and can't get up yet. I feel pathetic. This total helplessness has to you can cope with it first. - Don't make a fuss, I tell myself. I have to think of my mother, who fell ill with multiple sclerosis when I was born and who was bedridden for many, many years because of the progressive paralysis. Poor mother. How brave she was - Take an example from her and stop complaining in self-pity.

On Saturday I was admitted to the trauma surgery at around 2 p.m. and was supposed to have an operation at 5 p.m. It then became clear after 10 p.m. When I was driven back to the ward by a nurse around midnight - still foggy from the anesthesia - I heard him say cheerfully: "Everything went well, yo, basstscho," which unfortunately was premature, as it turned out the next morning What I understand during the rounds is that one of the four bone screws that were anchored in my broken hip to put what belongs together again is obviously too long and protrudes a bit on the other side, so to speak, so I have to go under general anesthesia again Knife to replace that cheeky bone screw with a shorter one.

“Yeah, it can be played, there's nothing in it. But now hams dös survived, un yo, dös basstscho ". The nurse who drives me back into the room with my bed is of the friendly and talkative kind. There are other" dumb servants ", so to speak, also slightly annoyed grumblers and above all there is Toni, the top entertainer among the carers. The nurses, of whom there are obviously very many because of the shift work, are all, almost without exception, extremely friendly, patient and courteous.

My roommate, an older man, is truly not an easy-care patient. He always keeps the nurses on their toes. At home, where he lives alone, he fell three times in a row within two days and was admitted to trauma surgery for observation and examination. No recognizable broken bones or other serious injuries were found. But he has bruises and bruises and suffers from severe pain - and: from the "icicles", as he calls his feet.

He also lets me, his roommates, participate in his unfortunate situation. At four o'clock in the night he turns on the roaring radio, hopefully unintentionally, and can't find the switch-off button. Only the hurrying night nurse ends the horror volume. Gloria Gaynor's hit "I Will Survive" was on the radio. Thank you.

The old man has an astonishingly diverse and varied repertoire of sounds, both day and night. With every exhalation he groans deeply with a rattling undertone, which sometimes sounds like the agonized hum of a wounded bear, sometimes like a fistula-sounding wail. Again and again you hear from him babbling to himself-wailing: "Ohwehohwehohweh" in constant repetition, but every now and then interrupted by a loud, energetic exclamation: "What a shit!", Which is followed by the wretched aria. On the one hand, he speaks to the nurses in a relatively normal tone, but changes to a pitiful supplicant howl when he needs something: a new pillow, no, another pillow, no, a special pillow; a jug of hot water, no, not this lukewarm water; Remedy for the "icicles" on his feet and painkillers and more painkillers again and again. If someone from the family calls, he immediately falls into a whimpering lament, as if his end is imminent. When the phone call is over, he immediately switches back to his Jammerarie about: "Ohwehohwehohweh".

Enter Toni.

The day care worker Toni, who unfortunately rarely shows up in our room, is a bizarre guy. He reacts to the old gentleman's never-ending "Ohwehohweh" with an encouraging voice: "Jojo, just keep on moaning, dös helps." When the old gentleman continued to complain in a broken voice: "It will never get better with me", Toni replies: "You know what, you have to see it differently, more positively. It always gets worse." And with that, Toni hurries away with a broad grin and his typical wiggling waddling gait. Later Toni comes to me: "Do get some pain pills and a stomach relief tablet, if you please." When I thank you that I no longer need pain tablets and that you can therefore do without the stomach protection tablet, Toni looks at me with wide eyes, grimaces and says: "soso". He looks at my name tag on the edge of the bed, takes a deep breath, puts on a poker face and continues: "So you're a rebel." Breath. "Hero" would have been a nice name for you, "he mischievously pushes afterwards Then his voice tips into the highest fistula register and he talks to me in rapid torrent of words and in strange singsong. Only in which language? I say: "Sorry, I don't understand anything". On which he builds himself up like a senior teacher in front of me and speaks the following words in reasonably clear German: “We can expect our German ski accident patients to familiarize themselves with our beautiful Vorarlberg dialect. Otherwise I can't work here. "Toni floats away with a broad grin, giggling in front of himself and lightly flailing his arms (reminiscent of Frau Merkel). What a performance. In my mind I give thunderous applause.

An entertainer has truly been lost in Toni. When he's on duty, there's always a laugh somewhere in the hallway. Unfortunately, in the room you don't notice what jokes Toni is having out there. Toni is a bit squat, pushes a comfortable tummy in front of him, is completely bald and has an idiosyncratic gait: not only upright, but even slightly leaning back and waddling with his arms. When he leaves the room, he turns his head astonishingly far back in the direction of his patient - without moving his upper body or shoulders - and grins with his mouth wide open. A strong guy. An original.

"Why did that have to be? Now you have the mess, you idiot ". The endless plate of self-reproaches is noodling again in constant rotation, and I lie awake again in the middle of the night, also because of the uncomfortable, eternal supine position and because my roommate can only sleep with full lighting." How could you overlook this sheet of ice, you blind hen? And why does an almost 72-year-old have to cucumber down steep sultry snow slopes at all? " - "Because a little thrill is fun, you joke!" In the back of my head the reluctant inner voices rattle against each other. Of course, the accusatory voice has the upper hand. "Why couldn't you end your last day of vacation easily with a few kilometers of cross-country skiing beautiful valley, as planned, and with the visit to the museum that you had promised your loved one? Why did you have to go alpine again and rush down this problematic, rushing Sulzhang of all things, you fool? " - “First of all, because there was no other way. There is no alternative slope on the valley run. You have to go through there. And secondly, because I can! "-" Haha, Herr Großkotz is in trauma surgery with a broken leg and claims he can handle this slope. Very funny. And very unrealistic! " - "The days before I came down the slope without any problems." - "That I don't laugh! On the very first day you went down like a beginner on a similarly rutted Sulz slope. That should have been a warning, you super idiot. Now you have you completely ruined yourself for the next few months because of a stupid fall, with all the consequences. You are totally stupid! " The merciless accusatory voice cannot be stopped. But it's also true: this one brief moment, this one driving mistake on the ice plate, which led to the only fall in the whole vacation, will turn my near and medium-term life upside down and hinder me massively in every way.

I also lie awake the whole time because my new roommate is anything but a whimper like his predecessor, but he, too, turns out to be a diverse noise producer. I lie there in amazement and am not quite voluntarily aware of the modulations that a trained snorer can do.

Here in the trauma surgery department he lies, a massive 130 kg, because he slipped on the "stairs" at home and pounded down the last steps on his buttocks: ratatatata. No, it's not funny, is painful and had consequences. Per step a fracture spread across both legs: shin, fibula, ankle and metatarsus. He has left nothing out. Now at night the man groans when he is not snoring. And extremely astonishing how it sounds when a human mass of 130 kg live weight tries to roll over from the left to the right side in a narrow hospital bed. In any case, I envy him the side position, albeit hard-won. Because I can and must only lie on my back and nothing else. In the long run, this is like torture. I'm slowly getting to know every single pressure point on my back and buttocks personally by name.

When the man coughs loudly with a cracking cough, always to the rhythm of "äch / ächhaa", then you involuntarily think that the dairymen must have communicated something like that across lonely alpine valleys in the distant past. When he farts, which he often has to do because he does that Not allowed to leave bed, then it sounds like either a muzzle-loading shotgun, a cannon shot or the rumble of thunder from an artificial farther. Really impressive. Applause doesn't seem appropriate to me. I don't want to wake the man either. It's enough if I lie awake.

After the various volleys of different caliber, the room can smell like a predator cage. The night nurse comes in and says, "Oh", and first looks at her electronic display next to the door to see if a leak in any of the many supply lines could be responsible, which is not the case, which is why she immediately Open the window. Perhaps there was a risk of suffocation, you never know ... The fresh coolness of the Vorarlberg immediately fills the room wonderfully refreshing.

The first sentence that my new roommate - just arrived - said, by the way, was: "Does it have WLAN here?" No, it doesn't. No problem for the businessman Leopold, as he immediately imagined; an hour later he was out Have a WLAN box brought to his office. Leopold turns out to be a smart, friendly contemporary who likes to talk and chat about god and the world - especially about his electric car with a range of 400 kilometers. He is here in the rural area of ​​Bregenz Waldes is a pioneer. His standing phrase is: "basstscho". Whether a nurse asks whether breakfast can be cleared away, whether a nurse offers help to adjust the television for him, whether the senior doctor asks about your health during the rounds, the answer always comes: “yo, basstscho! "He's not at all good on the physiotherapist in the house, however. Shortly after the operation, he asked him to put weight on his legs quickly, which he did. Result: now he also has a cast. The physiotherapist must have overlook (which you really can not overlook) that the patient does not have a normal weight, but loads the freshly operated knuckle with an impressive 130 kg. "Is he totally stupid?" No, in this case it's basst net.

On the eve of my discharge after a one-week stay, I received a "hand-aut" from the physiotherapist that I had already been promised for day 3. It doesn't matter. The paper that formulates rules of conduct for dealing with the broken leg also includes an expression of one X-ray image of the medial fracture of my broken femoral neck head. The four bone screws that are supposed to fix the broken femoral neck are clearly visible. And I can recognize the bone screw thread HB 7.3 according to DIN 58810 by the screw shape. My God, I think now there are screws in there my hip, which I was involved in developing a long time ago, because it's hard to believe: about 30 years ago, my Johann Rebell threading tool factory, inherited from my father, ground the first prototypes of these bone screws - at that time still made of high-alloy chrome-nickel steel (V4A). " Today these screws are made of titanium, "says the physiotherapist. I really know better in this case. Pure titanium would be far too soft. Today the bone screws are made of high-strength titanium alloy TiAl6V4. But of course I shut up and think to myself: basstscho !.

The next day, shortly before I was released, Toni rushed in again. "All the best," he wishes me and adds with a grin. "And that I won't see you here again anytime soon!" He hurries, giggling in front of him, of course not without turning back to me, grinning broadly and nodding his head vigorously.

Toni had his part in the fact that the week in the hospital was reasonably bearable - but above all, of course, the wonderful encouragement from emails, the comforting encouragement from phone calls, the psychologically so important daily support from my distant home: from my loved ones, my dear relatives and close friends. You guys have really helped me a lot and still do. I thank you from the bottom of my heart. People.

more, photos, video, see: gehts-immer-oder-basstscho/


Jazz choir SOUNDSATION from Neu-Isenburg | Concert on November 4th, 2017, Marktplatzkirche, Neu Isenburg

Praise: it was a great choir concert last night in the market square church in Neu-Isenburg. The performance of the jazz choir SOUNDSATION was convincing in every way: - the quality of the voice guidance and intonation, - the fine-tuning between the individual choir parts, - the expressive and absolutely coherent implementation of even the most complex arrangement parts, - the excellent solo parts of the time and again protruding "lead singers" that were equally homogeneously embedded in the overall structure - the sense of rhythm of the choir as a unit, which also made groove and swing audible in nuances - above all thanks to the human, "mouth-painted" beatbox, which is not just one sound enrichment, but above all it gave solidity and liveliness to the entire rhythmic body of sound.

You don't even know which of the wonderful arrangements should be given special praise.Perhaps the well-tempered mood of the Lennon / McCartney song "A Day In The Life", the intense, highly emotional tone colors in the Peter Gabriel song "Don't Give Up", the "polytonality" (Matthias Becker) of the wonderfully smooth intervals in the difficult piece "Iridis" by the renowned composer and choir arranger Erik Bosio, or the fiery arrangement of the seal hit "Kiss From A Rose", for which the choir director Dr. Matthias Becker is responsible.

Also worth mentioning is the superbly sung, traditional Northern Irish choir piece "Dobbins Flowery Vail", which, as choirmaster Matthias Becker (who also contributed to the special effect of the piece as co-arranger) noted in his introduction, all the feelings and atmospheric moods of the grandiose Irish landscape to the melancholy of the Irish mist and rain.

Towards the end of the two-hour concert, the concentration of some of the actors, understandably, seemed to decrease a bit, which, especially with the Duke Ellington classic "It Don't Mean A Thing If It Ain't Got That Swing", brought the swing a little bit into a swim for a while But these are just petty foods and absolutely negligible marginal notes.

Because the evening was altogether a festival for every music lover. And anyone who loves choral music simply couldn't spend these two and a half hours better than enjoying the splendid choir concert by SOUNDSATION while listening, entranced and enthusiastic. Hours later, the voices and sounds of the choir were buzzing through the back of the mind of the participating listener. (Volker Rebell)


He hates the depressing Monday. And the next few days can be stolen from him - just work and stress. But on Friday there is coal and on Saturday one is made on it. That's why he has a hangover on Sunday, but it was worth it to him. Because on Monday the mess starts all over again. The pop mocker Randy Newman sang that 10 years ago as if it were a piece of himself and / or as if it were the morality of a construction worker today. In fact, the song "Blue Monday" was 50 years old at the time and went down in pop history as a top five hit by Fats Domino. Long before Elvis and Bill Haley, the overweight boogie pianist and singer Antoine Domino, known as Fats New Orleans developed the rolling rhythm'n'blues, the last stage before the beginning of the rock'n'roll age.

In 2007, in honor of the boogie'n'rock pioneer Fats Domino, who died on Tuesday (October 24th, 2017) at the age of 89 in his beloved hometown of New Orleans, a collection of 30 of his great song classics in the new version of stars and superstars was released - Including Sir Elton John with "Blueberry Hill" from 1956 and Sir Paul McCartney with "I Want To Walk You Home" (1959), where he also sings the original line "I Want To Hold Your Hand", which sounds somehow familiar (Incidentally, Paul McCartney's 1968 Beatles single "Lady Madonna" was a tribute to Fats Domino).

John Lennon crows "Ain't That A Shame". And that is the only historical recording (from Lennon's album "Rock'n'Roll") on this tribute double album. All other new interpretations were re-recorded especially for the album "Going Home - A Tribute To Fats Domino". Taj Mahal & The New Orleans Social Club made "Hello Josephine" sound decades younger. Joss Stone with Buddy Guy and band, or Lenny Kravitz with Maceo Parker and band fueled the five decades old song classics with modern soul, funk and blues energy. And what Led Zep's Robert Plant and The Band's Robbie Robertson tickled out of lesser-known Fats Domino songs and staged them in a contemporary way is simply stunning. Other greats like Neil Young, Tom Petty, B.B. King, Norah Jones and Herbie Hancock contributed to the special quality of the tribute sampler. And Los Lobos let the boogie song "The Fat Man" from 1949, with which Fats' career began, rock out as merrily as if it were a current track by a young indie rock band. This great all-star tribute album is sure to be on which also involved Dr. John, Willie Nelson, Ben Harper, Art Neville, Bonnie Raitt, Lucinda Williams, Bruce Hornsby and others, are now being re-released in honor of the deceased, style-defining Boogie'n'Rock pianist

In August 2005, Fats Domino almost died in the devastating hurricane disaster in New Orleans. His house was completely destroyed. The proceeds from the album sale went to the rebuilding of a community center in the still not fully redeveloped area of ​​New Orleans "Lower 9th Ward", where Fats Domino was at home all his life.

Even if Fats Domino has finally left the stage after Chuck Berry, Rock'n'Roll will never die out.


I will never forget that. On Wednesday, August 17, 1977, I was driving home at lunchtime and had just heard on the radio news that Elvis had died the day before. Heart failure at the age of 42. It seemed completely unreal to me. A plane crash or a serious car accident seemed explainable to me, but heart failure in a 42-year-old top star who should be optimally medically cared for? Maybe drugs were involved, I thought, an overdose of cocaine or medication? Be that as it may: The King was terribly dead. And the corpse collectors of the entertainment industry would know how to enrich themselves with his estate - respectfully, of course.

I was completely lost in thought when I approached the Frankfurt Miquelknoten and saw myself suddenly torn from my "In Memoriam Elvis" film, which had unwound in my mind's eye. I suddenly saw myself again in a completely unreal scene, like this as if I got lost in an action thriller, but one of the cheap kind. Anyway, shortly after the news of Elvis' death I was shocked again. I ended up in a roadblock.

Armed uniformed men with submachine guns at the ready motioned me to pull to the side and stop. I was greeted with the words: "Police control, switch off the ignition, vehicle documents, driver's license and vehicle registration." The uniformed man with the rude barracks tone stretched out his hand demanding. In the same manner, the barking request followed: "Identity card"! But I only had a bad copy of my ID with me. Then I was snapped at harshly: “Get out. Open the trunk! "I got out, had to lean on my car with my back to the policeman, legs apart, and was knocked from top to bottom. Two officers inspected the trunk and the interior of the car and seemed disappointed. Of course I had no weapons Or what was they looking for? Then I asked, and why of all things my car was being searched while other drivers were able to continue driving immediately after the driver's license check. The answer came again in the Sergeant's tone: "It's purely routine!" With that I got my papers back, and with a hand signal and a corresponding movement of the submachine gun I was told to continue.

Those were bad times back in the German autumn. You only need to have long hair and be called a rebel to be suspected of being a potential terrorist.

Leonard Cohen - on the death of the great song poet, singing novelist and dark romantic

"I'm ready, sir." "Everyone has their story. And it changes every day. Like the furrows on our face." These quotes come from him, of course, the grand master of cultivated melancholy, the cult poet and lead singer of a not hopeless dreariness. His personal history as a writer and songwriter is impressive and marked by a number of changes. And the furrows in his face tell of his long and eventful biography. Leonard Cohen died on November 10th at the age of 82. His last album, his musical testament, was released only a few weeks earlier: "You Want It Darker". In the song "Almost Like The Blues" from his album "Popular Problems" from 2014, he sang in a grave voice of death and ruin, war and despair. But in the closing lines the gaze turns from the dramas and catastrophes to an ambivalent, but nevertheless hopeful perspective: he was invited to a deeper knowledge, "which a sinner cannot reject. It is almost like a redemption, it is almost like the blues. " His last album draws - according to the title - even darker pictures, while the music indulges in melancholy rather than gloomy timbres.

His first poems appeared in the mid-1950s. This was soon followed by prose texts and novels and the realization that he couldn't make a living from his writing. So the musically inexperienced author began to write songs and sing himself. In December 1967 his debut album "The Songs of Leonard Cohen" was released. It is considered a milestone in pop music. At that time, he was immediately put on a par with Bob Dylan. Cohen's songs were poetic power, the deliberately chosen musical monotony and the restrained spoken chant was a novelty in the pop scene of those days. Influenced by blues, folk and country, the simple music was entirely at the service of the atmospheric interpretations of the text's metaphors. On ten other albums it cultivated its unmistakable lyrical urgency and a melancholy, multi-layered one In 1994 he renounced the pop business, announced that he did not want to write any more songs and retired to a Zen monastery.After several years of ascetic life as a monk, he began again to write poetry for new songs The anxiety that had accompanied him for most of his pop life was through medit ations in the Buddhist monastery gave way to an inner calm. From the depths of this inner peace, "Ten New Songs" emerged, which was released in 2001 after an almost 10-year record break. The album "Dear Heather" followed in 2004, and the following year the documentary and the soundtrack album "Leonard Cohen - I'm Your Man ". In 2008 he was inducted into the and went on successful world tours in the following years - which restored his financial health after his ex-manager had previously robbed him of his fortune. In January 2012 his 12. Studio album "Old Ideas", which received mostly positive reviews and reached top five placements in the USA, England, Germany and other countries. The follow-up album "Popular Problems" continued seamlessly from these successes. And you don't need to be a prophet to predict even greater attention and recognition for his last album, "You Want It Darker", which was released on October 21, 2016.

With increasing age, Leonard Cohen's limited vocal technical possibilities had not increased, but his fragile sounding, more speaking than singing voice was still alive, even during the recordings for his last album - and perhaps even more strongly - from that uncommonly intense, melancholy-romantic charisma that has always cast a spell on his female listeners in particular. Now this soul-deep voice, which is often felt to be almost magical, has fallen silent.

Appendix - to individual songs and albums

His personal history as a writer and songwriter is impressive and marked by a number of changes. He has released 14 studio albums. There are also 6 live albums by him and just as many compilations. (There are sure to be more to come.) That's not exactly a lot of releases for an artist whose career as a singer began in 1967. But on the one hand he takes a long time for his lyrics and songs, on the other hand he doesn't believe in the laws of exploitation and the music industry and has kept a lot of skepticism and distance to "Babylon", as he calls the consumer world with its performance constraints Business withdrew to a Buddhist Zen monastery and, after several years of life as a monk, reflected in the song "By The Rivers Dark" why he had to give up life in the consumer world. The text says: “I wandered along the dark rivers. I lived my life in Babylon. And I forgot my sacred song And I had no strength in Babylon, on the dark rivers, where I couldn't see who was waiting for me and who was chasing me. "

His first appearance as a singer took place 49 years ago. On April 30, 1967, he was on stage for the first time at a benefit concert in New York's Townhall, presented at the time by Judy Collins, who had already interpreted two Cohen songs on her album "In My Life" from 1966. Now he was in charge to the audience of a concert against the Vietnam War and among other things sang a rather private break-up song. He had spent some time with his then partner Marianne on the Greek island of Hydra, the house on Hydra that he had been able to buy in 1960 with a small inheritance , Incidentally, remained in his possession all his life. The song "So long Marianne" was one of the most beautiful farewell letters in song form that has ever been written. Quote: “There was no bitter and bitter arguing. Their time was just over. The two had grown apart, "wrote Cohen biographer Anthony Reynolds of the song" So Long Marianne "from Cohen's debut album. “Come over here by the window, my darling. I will try to read from your hand. I always thought I was some kind of gypsy boy before I let you take me home. You know how much I love living with you. But you make me forget so much I forget to pray for the angels. And then the angels forget to pray for us. We met when we were almost young there in the heart of the green lilac park. You held on to me like a crucifix as we walked on our knees through the darkness. All of your letters say that you are with me now, but then why do I feel lonely? I'm standing on a cliff and your fine spider web chains my foot to a stone. See you soon Marianne, it's time for us to start laughing and crying and laughing at everything again ", so it says in the lyrics of the famous Cohen song" So Long Marianne "from his debut album" Songs Of Leonard Cohen " , which was to appear in mid-1967, but was only published shortly before Christmas 1967 in a limited edition and finally officially in February 1968. At that time Cohen was "the counterpoint to the freedom fury of young political activists, to the self-intoxication of the flower children. With Cohen, distinctive facial features, darker Suit, sprung from a guy like a film noir, any hope of a reasonable existence came to an end, "wrote the critic Mark Obert. Women in particular fell for the romantic aura of the dark song poet's mysterious songs, and this interest was mutual. Five of the ten songs on his debut album were about women. On his follow-up album "Songs From A Room" from 1969, women were his main theme alongside life, the search for meaning, passion and self. "Like a bird on the telephone wire, like a drunk drunkard in a midnight choir I try to be free my way. Like a worm on a fishhook, like a knight from an old book, I picked up my last scraps for you. If I've ever been unkind I hope you'll forgive me. If I ever was dishonest, you know I never was to you. "

This is a song for both women and men. Who didn't feel addressed by the chorus line: "I tried to be free in my own way" and by the wonderful song as a whole, "Bird On The Wire" from Leonard Cohen's second album "Songs From A Room", which was released in April 1969 "Bird On The Wire", which is considered a signature song by Leonard Cohen, was later often covered by Jennifer Warnes, Joe Cocker, Soul Asylum, Johnny Cash, etc. The album "Songs Of Love And Hate", which followed in 1971, the third and last of the so-called "Songs trilogy", followed the basic mood of the two previous albums with its dark visions and bitter moods. But the notorious one experienced the notorious one on two songs on the album Melancholy almost exhilarated. In the song "Diamonds In The Mine" he almost seemed to freak out, screamed like a street boy and let it be known that a volcano also seems to be seething in this suspected "sensibility" With the ska rhythm he sings and yells lines like this: “The woman in blue wants revenge. The man in white, that's you, says he has no friends. The river is swollen with rusty cans and the trees are burning in your promised land. And there are no letters in the mailbox. And there are no grapes on the vine. And there are no more chocolates in the box. And there are no more diamonds in the mine. "And Cohen was suddenly, but only briefly, no longer a wistfully singing troubadour.

Leonard Cohen sounds almost crazy or stoned in the song "Diamonds In The Mine" from his third album "Songs Of Love And Hate", which was released in March 1971 and ended the song trilogy. These three albums were re-released in 2007 with a digital revision and fine-tuning of the sound.In renewed digital processing for the download, not only these, but all 12 Cohen studio albums from that time have become available for his 80th birthday. In October 2006, a tribute album for and with Leonard Cohen was released: the soundtrack album "Leonard Cohen: Iam Your Man", the music for the documentary of the same name that recorded two tribute concerts on the occasion of the 70th birthday of Leonard Cohen shows and contains several interviews, of course also with the master himself. The music, however, is a kind of independent folk bow to Cohen. The entire environment of the Wainwright family is involved, so Martha and Rufus Wainwright as well as their mother and aunt Kate and Anna McGarrigle, as well as Rufus friends Teddy Thompson and Antony, also, among others, Nick Cave, Beth Orton and Jarvis Cocker. Cohen himself can only be heard on the final track of the album "Tower Of Song" - in a duet with Bono. "Tower Of Song" is another signature song by Leonard Cohen, the message of which could be understood as follows: Life is not only reflected in songs, it is also given a kind of abode in the tower of a song. Here the songwriter feels protected Including. The lyrics to “Tower Of Song” read: “I said to Hank Williams, how lonely can you get? Hank Williams has not responded yet. But I hear him coughing all night, a hundred floors above me in the tower of a song. I see you on the other side I don't know how the river could get so wide. I loved you a long time ago And burn all the bridges we've crossed But I feel so connected to what we've lost that we never have to lose it again. Now I say goodbye to you. I don't know when I'll be back. Tomorrow they'll move us to the tower below. But you'll hear from me long after I'm gone. I will say sweet words to you from a window in the tower of a song. "Cohen sings these sweet words in a voice as deep as a grave, like an old blues singer who has almost lost his voice, but who mobilizes all his strength again for one last To sing about his great love.

The live recording of "Tower Of Song" ends with cautious applause, which could have been much more enthusiastic. This is the name of this famous song by Leonard Cohen, which originally comes from the album "I'm Your Man" from 1988. The closing lines read: “Yes, my friends are gone and my hair is gray. And I long for love, but I'm not getting anywhere I only pay my rent, every day in the tower of a song. "As I said, this live recording comes from the tribute and soundtrack album" Leonard Cohen I'm Your Man ", which is also the title of the 2006 documentary. The film not only shows excerpts from two tribute concerts, but also dedicates biographical sequences to the life and work of Leonard Cohen. Wim Wenders is said to have enthusiastically praised the film as one of the greatest music films of all time.

In 1987 a Cohen tribute album entitled "Famous Blue Raincoat" by Jennifer Warnes was released, followed in 1991 by the tribute compilation "I'm Your Fan" - the Pixies, Geoffrey Oryema (albeit with a terrible version of "Suzanne"), as well as REM, Lloyd Cole, Nick Cave, John Cale and many others, all of whom covered songs from their role model. Four years later, the third tribute album was released under the title "Tower of Song", this time were represented among others: Billy Joel, Elton John, Sting, Bono, Martin Gore from Depeche Mode and others.

For Leonard Cohen's 80th birthday, a German-language tribute album was released with the title: "Poem - Leonard Cohen in German Language", translated by Mischa G. Schoeneberg, interpreted by 17 German musicians, singers and bands of all kinds, including Nina Hagen , Peter Maffay, Reinhard Mey, Max Prosa, Madsen, Anna Loos, Tim Bendzko, Manfred Maurenbrecher, Fehlfarben and others. The quality of these German-language Cohen interpretations has turned out to be quite different.

Did Leonard Cohen have reason to thank you very much for these German-language cover versions, as was rumored in the album booklet? Well, he was a polite person and shouldn't have objected to the royalties. He was sorely in need of money at the beginning and middle of the last decade. While he was engaged in ZEN meditations, his manager at the time cleared his accounts and knocked him out for millions. That was the real drive for his comeback, for new albums and major tours. But to tackle the shortage of money and against it with songs and performances, that was nothing new to him.

In the final stanza of his 1974 song “Field Commander Cohen” there is a lot of self-irony and self-reflection when he sings in dialogue with himself: “I never asked, but I heard you sought your salvation in poverty But then I overheard your prayer that you don't want to be anything but a grateful, faithful, singing favorite woman millionaire, the patron saint of envy and dealer of despair, working for the Yankee dollar. " In order to earn dollars for his work as a poet, Leonard Cohen took the risk of singing his poems for the first time in 1967. At first he really only wanted to supplement his meager income as a writer. Later, when he had long been the celebrated singer-poet, he repeatedly withdrew from the pop business, sometimes for several years and twice with the announcement that it was forever. But every time he came back to "Boogie Street", as he called the pop business. When asked why he was releasing another comeback record, he always answered frankly that he had to work for the dollar, he had to feed himself and his two children Adam and Lorca. In the only album that he released in the 90s, he castigated the dependence on the Golden Calf, painted gloomy images of the future and sang irritating lines like this to an almost lively arrangement: “Give me the Berlin Wall back, give me Stalin and Saint Paul, give me Christ or give me Hiroshima. Destroy another unborn life, we don't like children very much anyway. I've seen the future, it's murderous. " The title track of his 1992 album "The Future" says, in which he formulates his pessimistic view of the future almost apocalyptically: "Things are starting to slide. Nothing will remain that you can hold onto. The storm wind of this world has the balance of Soul collapsed. The devil makes you feel his whip. Get ready for the future, it is murderous. " - If you think of the current horror of terror and the many wars, then you can see this 24-year-old text "The Future" as a kind of warning sign and a vision of the future that has occurred.

The great success with the public did not really want to set in for many years, but the "Lord Byron of Rock", as the New York Times called Leonard Cohen, had a loyal crowd of followers. Since he went on regular world tours again in 2008, the curve of success has shown again steeply upwards. His album "Old Ideas" from 2012 reached, as already mentioned, top positions in the album charts worldwide. And although he had far more possibilities of expression as a poet than as a musician and singer, he is downright revered by a large number of musicians. The fact that he had rather modest abilities as a guitarist, that he had only a narrow range of techniques and skills as a composer and singer, apparently does not matter. He is still admired, perhaps precisely because of the reduced inventory of forms that he uses. And that he also has qualities as a composer is proven by the instrumental piece "Tacoma Trailer" written by him. Regarding the actually limited number of different chords in his song compositions, Cohen once said with a smile: "People think I would only be 3 Mastering chords, the truth is I know five. " His monotonous singing, wrote one critic, sounds like an old blues singer who has already lost the high notes. But he did not need a three-octave voice and no sophisticated phrasing technique, his chanting, performed in a deep and warm voice, was intense enough. He didn't need complex compositions and sophisticated sounds and arrangements, his simple chord progressions and melodies - together with his singing and with the aura of his lyric poetry, had enough charisma to be fascinating. The recognition he is currently enjoying among colleagues is great.

We have already spoken of the various tribute albums in which well-known colleagues paid reference to the master of subtle song dramaturgy. Nick Cave came out as an ardent admirer of Leonard Cohen, as did Michael Stipe from R.E.M .. Bono from U2 and Wolfgang Niedecken from BAP spoke of him as a benchmark. Elton John asked him to do a duet, Peter Gabriel, Sting and Tori Amos not only interpreted his songs, but made them their own. The bands "Sisters of Mercy" and "Midnight Choir" were named after a song or a line of text from him and even Bob Dylan often had Cohen's song "Halleluja" in his repertoire on tours. Joe Cocker also covered various Leonard Cohen songs. Cocker's interpretation of the successful Leonard Cohen song "First We Take Manhattan", released in 1999, is one of well over 1000 cover versions of Cohen songs that are now available worldwide. The song "First We Take Manhattan" was heard for the first time in 1987 from the mouth of Jennifer Warnes. She, the former tour guide and background singer of Leonard Cohen, used one of Cohen's many longer record breaks to release a solo album entitled "Famous Blue Raincoat", which only contained cover versions of Cohen songs, was astonishingly successful and the almost forgotten The lyrics to the song "First We Take Manhattan", which Leonard Cohen also sang himself a year after Jennifer Warnes on his album "I'm Your Man" from 1988; and then in 2001, especially after the terrorist attacks on New York. The text says: "You condemned me to 20 years of boredom for wanting to change the system from within. I come now, I come and leave they atone. First we conquer Manhattan, then we conquer Berlin. I am guided by a heavenly signal. I am guided by this mole on my skin. Me be guided by the beauty of our weapons. First we conquer Manhattan and then Berlin. "In a later interview he admitted that these and other lines of the song seemed terrifying today, but they shouldn't be misinterpreted. In their entirety, these lines could help, not just before To fear terrorism, or even to bow to it, but to face it with intelligence. The album "Iam Your Man" was not only celebrated for this song, it received several awards and was even nominated as the best album of the year. The musical mixture of disco basses, jazz sounds of mainstream pop was, however, hard fare or more than got used to for the folk rock faction among the Cohen supporters.

In the text of another typical Cohen song - typical in text and music, it is the final song of his 2001 album "Ten New Songs" "The Land of Plenty" - it says: "I don't know who makes me do it." to raise my voice and say: in the land of plenty, may one day the truth come to light. For the decision that comes from within and that we can only obey, for what is left of our religion, I raise my voice and pray: that in the land of plenty one day the truth will come to light. "That is a nice closing words for this obituary, for Leonard Cohen's life's work and his "Tower of Song".



The eternal prince at the court of black music died at the age of 57 - on April 21, 2016

"What you putting in your nose? Is that where all your money goes? "This cocaine allusion can be found in his song" Pop Life "from the great album" Around The World In A Day "from 1986. And in 1992 he sang:" My name is Prince and I am funky / When it come to funk I am a junky ". There was often speculation about whether he was only dependent on the radio. In his lyrics there are several more or less encrypted references to drug use. Should his early and surprising death be related to substance abuse? Shortly after news that he had been found lifeless in an elevator at his property near Minneapolis on Thursday morning, news circulated that he had been treated for an overdose at the Moline, Illinois hospital a few days earlier.

The autopsy result, however, did not confirm the drug suspicion, the use of violence or suicide was excluded. The coroner said on June 2, 2016 on Twitter that Prince had died of an "accidental overdose of the pain reliever fentanyl." His death was declared an accident in the message. "The synthetic opioid fentanyl is used as a pain reliever and is considered to be particularly risky . The risk of overdosing is very high, "said a dpa report v. 06/02/2016. Prince is said to have suffered from pain caused by hip and knee problems, but the question remains why he had resorted to particularly high doses of the opioid pain reliever for a long time.

("Opioids are natural drugs obtained from opium or (semi) synthetically produced drugs with pain-relieving, depressant, calming and psychotropic properties. Opioids can be misused as intoxicants and lead to dependence and addiction." - quoted from Pharma-Wiki)

From Prince's personal circle, a well-known addiction specialist from California was asked on April 20, the day before Prince was found dead, to help the star, who was suffering from health problems. The California doctor's urgent recommendation was to treat Prince with the drug buprenorphine, a drug that is used in withdrawal from opioid addiction.

Whatever he died of, pop culture has lost a "creative icon" (Obama) and a "revolutionary artist with infinite talent" (Mick Jagger). Prince was indeed an exceptional songwriter, great guitarist and multi-instrumentalist - he is said to have mastered about 15 instruments - and he was unique as a singer. No other musician has created such a harmonious and unmistakable mixture of funk, soul, R&B, hard rock, psychedelia, electro-pop, gospel, jazz and dance floor elements as Prince.

With 13 million copies of his album "Purple Rain" (1984) sold, Prince Roger Nelson, born on June 7, 1958 in Minneapolis as the son of a jazz pianist and a jazz singer, became not only the most successful but also the most innovative black musician in the second half of the 80s. Other milestone albums such as "Sign O 'the Times" and "Lovesexy" promoted his fame as a creative superstar.

But at the end of the 80s there was an artistic lull. Prince only made headlines with the confusion about his name (The Artist Formerly Known As Prince, TAFKAP, Symbol), with the dubious slavery accusation against his record company, from which he had previously wrested the most valuable record deal of all time and with dramatic declining record sales and musical ideas.

But then he fought his way back to innovative terrain. His triple CD "Crystal Ball" from 1998 completely refused to use conventional marketing and sales channels and was initially only propagated and distributed via the Internet.

With his album "Planet Earth" from July 2007 he made headlines with an unusual distribution highlight. In England he distributed the album as a free supplement to a daily newspaper. On his subsequent tour, every concert-goer received the album as a bonus with the concert ticket. At his record company he made no friends with such actions, but he was sure to get the attention of the media and fans. Such PR actions also seemed necessary, because the pop public was still very interested in him, in the concerts Incidentally, more than on his albums in recent years, but he could no longer build on the mega successes of the 80s.

In his 2004 album "Musicology" he unintentionally sang about his own fate: it is history - but still worth listening to.

In terms of his creative potential, he could have assumed the status of Michael Jackson after his affairs and thus inherit the King. But he remained the eternal prince at the court of black pop.

Prince left the blue planet."Planet Earth" is the name of the strong title track of the Prince album, which was released in July 2007 and made headlines, not so much because of the music, but first of all because of an unusual and controversial sales gimmick.

In Great Britain, he delighted his fans with a slightly weird idea. He brought the album "Planet Earth" to the public in an unfamiliar to strange way - as a free supplement to a daily newspaper. Just like that. When you get the newspaper out of your mailbox, the new Prince album lies between advertising brochures for household appliances, baby diapers and On his subsequent tour, every concert-goer received the album as a bonus with his concert ticket. He made no friends with his record company with such generous free promotions. But he was sure to get the attention of the media and fans. Such PR campaigns also seemed necessary Because in the recent past the pop public was still very interested in Prince, more in the concerts than in his albums of recent years, but he could no longer build on the mega successes of the 80s. Everyone waited on a repetition of his phenomenal world success "Purple Rain" from 1984. Critics wanted his song "The Holy River" v on 1996 as a counterpart to "Purple Rain", especially since the triple album "Emancipation", from which the song "The Holy River" originates, celebrates the emancipation, the liberation from his old record company, which allegedly kneaded him for so long On the other hand, the album also showed the emotional crisis that Prince was in at the time because his son had died shortly after he was born. Prince had woven the heartbeat of his deceased child into the basic rhythm of his songs, so to speak, not only spiritually, but also specifically sampled. All the more one could hear particularly intense expression from songs on the album "Emancipation", for example also with "The Holy River", a song from the triple album "Emancipation", released in November 1996 - and ranked 18th in the British charts rather disappointing for a top star like Prince. "Three CDs with rare moments of inspiration and a sheer overabundance of material with a tendency to get out of hand" - this is how one critic, not inaccurately, judged the triple album "Emancipation", about the Prince even then, a bit cocky proclaimed that he was born for this work. Many critics saw it differently and the common fan base did not really want to appreciate or buy this work. People were already talking about the sunken star and not just about the "sinking .." "But Prince fought his way back into the gladiatorial arena.

In his album "Musicology" from 2004 he unintentionally sang about his own fate: it is history and yet remains in the present - because it is still worth listening to. There it joins the history of black music, in which Prince is sure to join opened an important chapter and continued to write it back then

In the text as in the music of the title track "Musicology", the little prince of black pop bows, takes off his hat to the historical stars of funky music such as Earth Wind and Fire, James Brown and Sly Stone, whom he names in the text and immortalized in his "Musicology". The basic knowledge, the main tenet of his funky science "Musicology" is: "Don't Stop Dancing" - and: "Music is a gift from God" - and: He undoubtedly mastered this gift. All instruments and voices that were played in 4.1 / 2 minutes "Musicology" can be heard without exception from the hand and mouth work of him, the artist, who has been called Prince again since 2000.

At the end of the title track of his 2004 album "Musicology", the Narcissus Prince turned the station search button on his radio and found his classics like "Kiss", "Little Red Corvette" or "Sign Of The Times" on every wave. His big hits from the good old successful times were repeatedly tapped as a source. Okay, self-quotes are common, as almost everyone does. But Prince used his own box, which contained the musical elements of his great hits, rather unabashedly. You can also hear self-quotes on the album "Planet Earth" from 2008. Well-meaning people called it that he had cultivated his own style or that he had returned to his roots, which is not entirely wrong. Past, is certainly not really innovative in the musical cross sum, but presents itself as a continuation, partly also a refinement of the style mix of funk, soul and pop known from Prince, partly also quite enjoyable to listen to, for example in the melody of the song "Guitar" meets old, familiar friends again, that is, familiar, familiar melodies that are well known from hits such as those quoted by himself. The song "Guitar" offers not only the recognition of melodies from "Kiss" etc., but also the reminder of the attitude of the monomaniac narcissus and ego type when he cannot understand his baby without irony in the chorus gives: i love you baby but not as much as my guitar.

For the workaholic and maniac Prince, who wanted to sell 4 CDs at once in one box over the Internet, this project could also have been a disaster, because who buys 4 CDs at once for a lot of money blindly and for good luck and that also via a then unknown sales channel Internet ordering. But it worked. Only after 85 thousand pre-orders had been received without any major advertising, Prince had 100 thousand CD boxes produced and delivered through his own company. With this CD box, which was created entirely under his own direction and distributed under his own direction, Prince wanted to prove that it is the artist who has the creative power and who brings success. And not the record industry, as many corporate bosses would like to have you believe. Prince was now completely on his own two feet, no one could talk him into it, except perhaps his wife Myte, who had introduced him to the realm of esotericism, so you could read. He and Mayte dealt with Egyptology and above all with the pyramids while working on the triple album "Emancipation" in 96. In an interview in 96, the hobby researcher Prince said that the Egyptians had made an astronomical science out of building pyramids. Just from the constellation The pyramids can be read off when they were built. His album "Emancipation" contains various hidden messages on this subject. That is why he took the trouble, for example, to produce each of the three CDs with a running time of exactly 60 minutes. He built in various time indications. He also sampled the heart rate of his deceased baby and used it as a rhythm for his song "Sex In The Summer".

Prince rocked his cracking metal guitar in the song "So Far So Pleased" from his album "Rave Un2 The Joy Fantastic", which was released in November 1999. At that time he was still called "The Artist", which was the short form of his previously naturalized name The Artist Formerly Known As Prince ", abbreviated to TAFKAP, followed by the nameless symbol, an own creation from the Mars and Venus symbols - that is For a while he was called "Symbol", which sounded like Simbel from a Hessian dialect. That was a somewhat strange process. First Prince had negotiated the most highly endowed record deal at the time with his record company, namely 100 million dollars for six music albums, then When he realized that he had sold himself and the rights to his songs, he rebelled against the golden cage, protested against enslavement, wrote the word "slave" on his cheek and refused to use his name Prince in the From 1993 to 2000, until the end of his contract with the record company. In addition to the 6 contract albums for his alleged slave-owner record company, which were either inconsequential proforma records to punish his record company or mainly contained old material in various compilations, he also released 5 other new, so to speak serious albums on independent labels, but the were not particularly successful or would have completely convinced the critics. Only his 4-fold album "Crystal Ball", which was still released under "Symbol" in March 1998, was able to convince the critics again, but did not appear in the charts because Prince alias Symbol was the then still innovative and daring sales channel Internet had chosen. You couldn't hear anything about it on the radio, and at first you couldn't read anything about it in the German music press. The reason for this was that there were no free copies for the media and journalists, there was no normal record company and therefore no normal distribution channel. Most record stores shrugged their shoulders that you could only and exclusively order the album over the Internet. Costs 50 dollars plus 25 dollars freight to Germany due in advance. But then the box was quickly available from importers and large record stores for 139 DM, back in 1998. So I bought a box back then and to this day I still believe that the investment would pay off was worth it. The very first track, the title track "Crystal Ball", is a creative masterpiece full of original arrangement ideas. With the exception of the skillfully used strings and the female voice, the multi-instrumentalist Prince once again did everything on his own.

The arc of suspense of this title has a long breath for pop conditions in 1998. The title track of the 4-way box "Crystal Ball" by Prince extends over an exciting 10 minutes. The internet distribution channel, which Prince successfully tried out with this box, came along At the time it was like a small revolution, as this example opened up the prospect of thousands and thousands of musicians to find an audience without the record industry and to distribute music on their own. Prince has always had a feeling for the signs of the times, as his legendary album “Sign Of The Times "from 1987 testified

As a keen observer, he has also recognized the signs of the times in which we have been living since the beginning of the 21st century. In his album "Musicology" he attacked the US government head-on and in the lyrics of the song "Cinammon Girl" accused it of using the terror of September 11th as an alibi for an absolutely wanted war. "The drums of war are beating in Babylon, the blood-red sky shines brightly. Children are dying on both sides," the lyrics say. Pop and politics, funk and accusation are not only found in this song on the album "Musicology", which is of course not a decidedly political album, but in the tradition of Marvin Gaye, who exemplarily reflected the political and social reality of 1971 in his famous song "What's Going On". And this is exactly the question Prince asks in the relaxed yet funky rhythmic and cleverly arranged song "Dear Mr. Man". In this song, Prince addresses the authorities directly, writes an open letter to the ruling power holder, be it the mayor, governor or president. What is going wrong in this world today is the opening question, followed by the finding that leaders do not give the correct answers. Who but who says that killing is a sin and that every war starts at the same time? Who said that water is the most precious resource of life and that it is responsible for huge pools of oil in the oceans? Who would tell you that you should only work well around the clock, then you could afford a house with a view of the cigarette posters on the wall of the next-door skyscraper? There is no point in voting, the old song remains, there is just a new name. Blacks don't have to stand in the back of the bus anymore, but the feeling is still the same. Nothing is fair when it comes to welfare. There is no support for AIDS. "Mister Man", we want to end this letter with four words: we are tired of you.

He is politely addressed: "Dear Mr. Man", but the criticism of the ruling power, Mister Man, is insubordinate and unmistakable. The criticism may remain general and the criticized anonymous, but Prince definitely opens his mouth and criticizes the ruling system which wasn't very popular in 2004 American pop.

His first album "For You" was released in October 1978, followed by 30 more studio albums, not counting the live albums, compilations etc. His last two albums "HITnRUN Phase One" (released September 7, 2015) and "HITnRUN Phase Two "(Released January 21st, 2016) made it clearly audible that after a long period of creative drought, a creatively re-energized Prince has reported back, which nurtured the hope that he can be expected again in the future. This future will not exist Prince died on Thursday, April 21, 2016 under circumstances that have not yet been clarified at the age of 57. This loss weighs heavily.

Nothing compares to Prince.


Culture award ceremony of the city of Rodgau

Laudation for Thomas Langer, March 26th, 2014, 7 p.m., Bürgerhaus Nieder-Roden, 63110 Rodgau, Römerstraße 15 - Laudator: VR

Ladies and Gentlemen, Mayor, Head of Cultural Affairs, dear award winners,

There are still supposed to be people, including those with an expert nimbus and specialist understanding, who cannot stop thinking in terms of pigeons and putting them into boxes. Are you a jazz connoisseur or rock fan, or jazz-rock fan or lounge-jazz-rock-pop-soul-ambient-groove-worldbeat-mix-crossover-fusion-fuzzy. Confess: Which side are you on? For many contemporaries this is still a question of faith.

I think our culture award winner, who is to be celebrated here, can only smile mildly about that. After all, the word "blinkers" is a foreign word for him and in fact he constantly plays with musicians from all possible, if possible impossible, genres.

And damn well and skillfully. A sovereign guitarist that crosses borders like Thomas Langer plays with jazz greats like the German Hammond organ virtuoso Barbara Dennerlein, the American fusion musician Bob Mintzer from the band Yellowjackets, the Dutch trumpeter Ack van Royen and the Hungarian saxophonist Tony Lakatos and is terrified Not even before Deep Purple's "Smoke On The Water", but on the contrary finds undreamt-of, sparkling clay particles in the well-known billows of smoke above the water and reveals clear lines and new contours behind the veils of haze and smoke. And of course this remains of innumerable Muckern and oldie bands battered original riff from the stone age of hard and heavy rock - Dab.Dap-Daa, dapdap-da-daa, of course this prototype of the crashing rock riff remains under the creative hands and the playful fingers of Thomas Langer is not unchanged, but is transformed into other musical worlds. Quote "The idea of" Smoke On The Water "as Bos Playing sa Nova is not only fun, but also works musically ", wrote the reviewer Angela Ballhorn in her review of the album" The Beat Goes On "by the trio Thomas Langer, Wolfgang Schmid and Daniel Messina.

And another telling quote, this time by Wolfgang Spindler, written for the Frankfurter Rundschau:

“Langer not only has an enviable technique, but also a sense of melody of individual rank, and as a soloist he almost easily manages jazz classics that were not written for his instrument, with surprising harmonic turns, with sparkling arpeggios and Wrapping unusual voicings in new clothes. Langer plays as wonderfully unencumbered as Volker Kriegel, Attila Zoller or Pat Metheny used to be. "End of quote. If that's not like being awarded a title of nobility. But we're here at the presentation of the Rodgau Culture Prize for 2013 to Thomas Langer. And there A journalist colleague wrote with a slightly indignant tone, quote: "That the well-known jazz guitarist and composer is only now receiving the culture award may surprise some. Because connoisseurs have long associated not only fine jazz, blues and rock music with Langer's name With the support of many volunteers, musician, composer and lecturer is also the driving force behind the regular jazz concerts in Jügesheimer Maximal. " End of quote - The astonishment that the journalist Andreas Hartmann expressed here, we leave it here in the room and should also slowly sit down. In January, the Jazz Night curated by Thomas Langer celebrated its 100th edition. For this proud anniversary, Thomas Langer, the former Passport bassist Wolfgang Schmid, the Argentine drummer Daniel Messina, the saxophonist of the Frankfurt Radio Big Band Tony Lakatos and the singer Annika Klar, a noble music group for the anniversary of this noble concert series, were on the Maximal stage which of course will be continued. Where will it lead Thomas Langer? Musically, certainly far, possibly unlimited in spaces that have not yet been developed. He is down-to-earth from where he lives.Born in Frankfurt and raised in Rodgau, he went to the USA as a young musician to study with world-famous jazz musicians. He was successful there and was honored among 600 fellow students with the "outstanding stylist award" of the "Guitar Institute of Technology, Los Angeles". He might have made a career there, but he returned home, some snobbish snob could say: "In the provinces". But for an artist it is not the geographical location in which he is decisive that is decisive, only that Space in which he moves creatively. But for the down-to-earth Thomas Langer this home environment in Rodgau could be the hub, the linchpin for his work as a creative musician. He lives here with his wife and two daughters. - And from here he takes off again and again.

His guitar playing sometimes sounds like paragliding, you just listen to his composition "Laminar". He knows what laminar air currents are - and he knows that too. He practices paragliding as another passion, playing with the updraft and turning his laps sometimes in the Alps, sometimes in France, or in the German low mountain ranges, even over the Dutch Mountains, the dunes of Holland. And that's not enough, he swims, runs and cycles many competitors in the ground is a triathlon athlete. At the last Olympic triathlon in Rodgau, he finished 10th in his age group with 2 hours and 18 minutes. And at the Rödermark run over 10 kilometers last April, he finished 9th in the overall ranking and 2nd with a running time of 41 minutes in his age group: 10 kilometers in 41 minutes !! And how fast the man is on his guitar fretboard and how many kilometers he likes there n have graduated? This triathlon endurance and tenacity naturally also benefits him at the Jazz Nights, which he organizes every month for the cultural initiative Maximal. The already mentioned impressive number of 100 Jazz Nights has long been exceeded. On Friday April 4th follows Jazz Night number 102 with a Pat Metheny tribute concert. The Maximal people, the whole Rodgau and half the jazz world, they can all be prepared for something. This man has stamina, he is triathlon-tempered. He easily manages the thousandth Jazz Night.

And his tireless work as a lecturer, guitar teacher and mentor will ensure that it is teeming with young talents and aspiring guitarists everywhere. You can only read two of the many thank-you letters in his guest book: “Hello Thomas, I am super happy to be your student. In addition, I am always amazed at how big your musical vocabulary is and how good your feeling for melodies and rhythms is. Your lessons open doors ", writes Jansen from Oldenburg. -" Hello Thomas, your virtuoso skills on the guitar and your knowledge of harmony are impressive. Your pedagogical and didactic skills in guitar lessons are at least as excellent. It is always amazing how precise and quickly you analyze the mistakes of your students and give them the right help. Greetings from your student Gerhard. "

And maybe a very recent entry in Thomas Langer's guest book: “Hi Thomas, I really do appreciate your fusion-style playing and how you build up varied soundscapes on electric and acoustic guitar. I really learned a lot from your interesting wah wah-technics. Thanks and all the best, yours sincerely Jimi Hendrix. "

Oh sorry; I must have made some mistake while researching. This guest book entry is not up-to-date, but from the beginning of 1970. Tschulligung.

Thomas Langer is undoubtedly an exceptional guitarist and a composer of stature. One only remembers his second album "Kalalak" from 1999. The very first piece, a melodic pop jazz track, knows how to convince musically and is entitled "Alpenhauptkamm", after the high alpine touring route that runs along the highest peaks in the Alps. And he has certainly already mastered this alpine climbing path in record time. In any case, the music on the main Alpine ridge conveys great views and wonderful perspectives. "Kalalak" is a great album full of nuances, with a lot of sound fantasy and musically staged with beautiful, sometimes narrative, sometimes atmospheric mood images. Sometimes you can hear the choir singing of children in a school class on a Cape Verde island, framed by a cautious, chamber music-sounding arrangement Sometimes he describes an exciting bus ride in the hustle and bustle of the asphalt jungle of a southern European metropolis, musically illustrated with a dynamic rush hour of nimble guitar lines, pulsating bass sounds and tango tones of the accordion. He lets the listener travel to the southernmost tip of the island of La Palma, around there To visit the warm springs between extinct volcanoes in Fuencaliente. And the Mediterranean melody and rhythm of the composition takes on a dark color, as if to suggest that the volcanoes San Antonio and Teneguia of Fuencaliente can erupt again at any time. Then he rocks w ie the devil, or like the guitar god Clapton, with striking riffs in the style of Cream, as powerful as they are clever in the title "John Bürgerhaus", in which he lets his electric guitar with wah-wah pedal and distortion perform all the tricks and licks that would do credit to any famous rock guitarist. He then allows the listener to relax in the friendly, elegiac and calm piece, which is also called: "The rest" - open brackets: "Go to bed with me" close the brackets. And then he performs a kind of muesett waltz - in an intense dialogical waltz dance between guitar and bandoneon with the funny title "Snow noise". His humorous streak was already evident with the title title "John Bürgerhaus", which is a typical musician joke be on the road on tour, where someone asks: "Where are we playing today?", to which the answer comes: "already en Bürgerhaus", which then became "John Bürgerhaus". Upward, smiling corners of the mouth are also shown in the title track "Kalalak" is the name of a sacred mythical creature from the Madagascar jungle, which the locals believe in because it has magical powers. It is said to have human features, which is especially evident in the feet of the mythical creature, which are very similar to human feet, with the difference that its toes are pointed backwards and the heels in the running direction. It also goes with this, he says with a smile, that Kalalak can be read both forwards and backwards. He told me all of this yesterday when he visited me because we recorded an interview with him, excerpts of which will be heard tomorrow evening from 11 p.m. within a one-hour Thomas Langer portrait on the Byte.FM web radio (repetition next Saturday at 3 p.m.)

At the end of this very interesting, amusing and, for me, enjoyable conversation, I asked him which music he would play today on the occasion of the awarding of the culture prize, so he grabbed my old guitar, said: "probably that" and then played a gorgeous version of the Beatles classic "Here There and Everywhere. And my Beatles heart rejoiced.

Ladies and gentlemen. Thomas Langer be praised: here, there and everywhere.


Sing hallelujah! It turns us around a lot

Even if the snow is not trickling softly at the moment, the sound of bell bells, shawms and trumpets sprinkles us. The inner sensor, which quickly reports itself, is quietly in crisis and quietly sends warning signals as to whether the Christmas hysteria is spreading loudly and blaring. Or is the inner child happy about the many lights and the red costumed men with the white beards?

Ring bell Humba perpetrator. What does the Christmas season have to do with the carnival season? Both are limited periods of the year in which you allow yourself seasonal feelings and behaviors that tend not to occur during the rest of the year. You hear and sing, for example, songs that would be completely inappropriate at other times and you leave yourself to certain feelings, which are then mothballed again and hung in the closet like the Santa Claus coat and Indian costume. And every year they reappear. Are these rituals, collective human needs? Do you just take part because everyone is doing it, or because it is contagious when others have a certain fever? Is it the recurring, insatiable longing for an ideal, peaceful world when every year the scratched Christmas record of the Vienna Boys' Choir is dug out of the depths of the phono cabinet? Or is it fed by a collective guilty conscience, which is also expressed in the Christmas donations for the SOS Children's Villages, for Caritas and Bot für die Welt, you should actually do a lot more, you should actually be a peaceful contemporary yourself and be a loving fellow human being. So now for a few days I am trying to do my bit, and for this limited time I am convinced that it would be important if brotherhood, mercy, love and peace finally came to earth. And then, when the guilty conscience has been calmed down, the Sunday speeches have been held, when these holiday thoughts of peace and love fade again, then you go back to the everyday stabbing and hitting, cheating and lying, tricking and pulling over the table - So again cultivates the virtues of the world of work. Is that so? Or maybe quite different?

Maybe you need very specific feelings from time to time, which you cannot always have, but which you have to reassure yourself time and again that they still exist and that you can activate them if you miss them. After the daytime noise you need the Silent Night - just as you need the sky high after being sad to death and after the heavy earth and the bad news of everyday life you need the good news of "Heaven up".

The good news of peace and love is getting quieter and quieter, more and more drowned out by the barkers, false prophets and soul sellers. And yet this message cannot be completely shouted down, it reappears again and again with beautiful regularity at least once a year from the thicket of opinions, concepts and worldviews. The message may change, but at its core it remains the same: "Happy Xmas - War is over if you want it" - Peace and love are possible, Mr. Neighbor, if you want it and start today. The old songs are changing , are reinterpreted, are definitely taken up again and again, because in fact many of the old Christmas carols have beautiful melodies. And one is a little surprised that even power-neck-rock-tubes suddenly sing "Silent Night", metal bands Let the snow trickle softly, dark goths intone "Let's be happy and cheerful" and hip-hop disciples rap and chat "Your little ones are coming".

Suddenly the ox and donkey in Bethlehem's stable are super cool and the shepherds are good buddies and part of the community. If you shepherds come, let's make one. Come, you shepherds, you good sheep, and do not be afraid. Why should we be afraid and of what, of whom? In front of Knecht Ruprecht with the rod, in front of the socks under the tree, given by Aunt Ute, or in front of the fact that the Christmas goose might have had bird flu? Come, you shepherds, you men and women, come to see what and how you want to see it.

During the Christmas season, not only the shepherds come, there also regularly arises the longing for great feelings, for deep emotion, for childlike naivety and the naive belief in humanity, for a better world in which people stretch out a helping hand and not that extend your pointed elbows.

At other times it would be dismissed as stupid, as crazy denial of reality, as sentimental aberration. But now the time has come and the willingness to embrace feelings that you otherwise tend to keep at a distance. For whatever reason, right now at this time, the desire to see the sparkling lights again with amazed children's eyes despite all the gloom. And despite all the unbeatable counter-evidence in everyday life, one would like to believe for a while that it might be so easy after all, if everyone just wants it to be possible with united forces: Peace on earth and goodwill for people.

And suddenly you discover Christmas moods in songs that have no Christmas background at all, for example in lullabies, cuddly ballads and children's songs that you know. But it is precisely this recognition and emotional confirmation of the known, of re-remembering, that makes the child's heart feel at home. You are so comfortably familiar with this beautiful song that you might turn up your nose at in a different mood because you would have to reject it with a clear head as too sentimental and cheesy. But here and now, when the cold mind swims in the warm broth of the happiness hormone serotonin, it touches, it touches deep inside the pit of the heart and triggers a beautiful, childlike innocent feeling that is simply good - and what should be said about it be.

What kind of Christmas it would be if she were his Maria and he were her Joseph and the child in the manger is their mutual love. And in the quiet night they would prepare their bed and the angels would sing hallelujah and the two join in, give each other the hallelujah word and sing: yes yes hallelujah. Let us be happy and cheerful and let us rejoice from the bottom of our hearts. Oh you happy, oh you blessed wonderful time of love. Now you children there will be something, now we want to enjoy each other, what a jubilation, what a life will be in our veins. Your feelings of well-being come, oh come on everyone.

The lights are on on the Christmas tree and he is kindled by her and she is blazing for him. They are fire and flame for one another. The Polish jazz diseuse Anna Maria Jopek sings "I Burn For You" in a way that is not completely Christmas-correct, after all, only the lights should be on on the Christmas tree and not the love-hungry people under the tree.

What is the best way to celebrate Christmas? On a ski hut, in front of the fireplace, in church, in front of the telly or in the cinema, at a festive banquet or in bed - or you celebrate a big party with many friends or like-minded people: "Merry Christmas Baby" - nothing lasts forever, nothing lasts as it was, "Merry Christmas Baby" both still say today, but now to someone else. But actually everyone is meant when you wish a Merry Christmas, including the unsteady, driven souls, the wandering day laborers and vagabonds, even the poor eater - in the double sense of the word - who also likes to pour a good sip behind the bandage, who despite of his misery, knows how to arm himself against Father Frost and, in all cases, especially the cold ones, always carries a homemade fussel with him in his jacket pocket - and laughs every now and then treats himself to a warm sip of this, his "noble" drop , called "Ragman's Dream". And when he has filled up with too much warmth, he almost takes off, then flies over the roofs of the city like Santa Claus, stops at a house, looks through the window and watches a family at the Christmas party. The children have shining eyes. The family is sitting at the table, there is turkey with gravy and ice cream for dessert. And then they all get their presents and sing "Oh you happy". Perhaps he will be invited. He sees and experiences all of this in his "Dream of the Ragman."

"The Ragpicker's Dream" is a different kind of Christmas story by Mark Knopfler. The demons can be appeased for a short time. A truce for a limited time. For precious moments, one agrees with oneself and others, is coherent and content, and knows the moment Enjoy. For a short time you let so-called "unrealistic" feelings get to you, talk yourself into it, even believe that peace on earth and happiness are possible for everyone. You can enjoy old melodies for a while and indulge in their beauty and beautiful message for a while. But then the misery of everyday life falls on you again. The fight begins all over again, one is again in a struggle with oneself and everything. And yet at the same time longs for inner and outer peace. "War is over if you want it - Merry Xmas and A Happy New Year, perhaps it's a good one, without any fear", sang John and Yoko 42 years ago, we should remind you of that again. (The text is based on the manuscript of my "hr3-rebell" broadcast from December 18, 2005)