Die Toten Hosen

Wednesday, 20 June 2007

My love is from Dusseldorf, Germany. Her brother introduced me to some geile German bands, like the punk band Die Toten Hosen. “Tote Hose” literally means “dead pants”, an expression used when something is langweilig. Although 100% a punk band, Die Toten Hosen had their first hit (well, at least in Dusseldorf) with a sprechgesang record, Hip-Hop-Bommi-Bop.

It was released under the name The Incredible Toten Hosen Scratchers and featured Freddy Love as the rapper. It is not clear what the band contributed to the record, apart from some mumbling and vague noises in the background, but the record was a hit in Dusseldorf in 1983.
Die Toten Hosen are still alive and kicking, but I haven’t seen them in years, and I don’t buy their CD’s anymore either. As I said before, punk music is not really my cup of tea. But Die Toten Hosen have also made some Schallplatten that are not really punk. Like a fake hit LP with songs by fake bands, all Toten Hosen in disguise: a Mexican hotel band, a Schwermetall band, etcetera.
My favourite LP is a side project of the band, for which they called themselves Die Roten Rosen. They played punk versions of some of the most famous German schlagers of the 60’s and 70’s. I have many of the original 45’s, which already liked, but I like the punk versions much better. Especially because it is all done in the Sex Pistols style, which sounds more rock’n’roll than punk to me.
One of the band members used to imitate Heino, who is a well known Schlagersanger, with a repertoire about Edelweiss, Beer, hübsche Mädels und Schuhplatteln. The guy also dressed like the real Heino, who was an albino, always wearing the same kind of suits, sunglasses and hairdo. The real Heino went to court to try and stop his imitator from abusing his image. When Heino entered the court room he saw to his surprise that the whole audience was dressed up as him.
Here is a track from Die Roten Rosen LP, a sixties hit of Gert Böttcher, “Fur Gabi tu ich alles”.