Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Six Degrees of Sauerkraut -- Part I: Flammende Herzen

This is the first post in a series that will document the life and times of many of your favorite Krautrock stars. Those days and nights in Düsseldorf, and beyond, were full of fun and drama, and I thought it might be nice to share some of my memories. Many of these damen und herren were interconnected in many ways, and I hope to document some of that during the Six Degrees of Sauerkraut saga.

I thought I'd begin with Michael Rother, or as he liked to think of himself "Flammende Herzen." In English that means "Blazing Heart." As you may have guessed, Michael was Krautrock's ladies man. He thought quite highly of himself, as did the ladies (and a number of men as fate would have it). Indeed, I remember one night in 1977; we were all out, dancing in the glimmerlight of a club on Düsseldorf's eastside. That night, Michael basically stole Dorothea Raukes from Wolfgang Riechmann. Dorothea and Wolfgang were members of Streetmark, West Germany's Fleetwood Mac. Plenty of interband hook-ups and what not. Anyway, Dorothea took one look at Blazing Heart and that was the end of her and Wolfgang. 

Wolfgang took to wearing icy makeup, dressing in tight suits, and acting like he was a robot. Indeed, Blade Runner was influenced by this new style Wolfgang developed in response to his heartbreak over losing Dorothea. This would happen to Dorothea as well when she and Blazing Heart broke up, and she subsequently formed the legendary Krautrock band, Deutsche Wertarbeit. But, these are tales for another time.

Anyway, Rother made my favorite music of the whole Krautrock era. Excellent for experimenting with JJ-180, Can-D and what have you. And it is always easier to commune with the Vast Active Living Intelligence System ("Valis") while listening to Rother's Katzenmusik, which every true Krautrocker should own.

Try some Blazing Heart for yourself, Rother's "KM 12" from Katzenmusikby clicking on the title of this post! This song quite literally took me to the stars one night. 

Krautrock für immer!

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