|> John Weinzierl / Chris Karrer|
|> Amon Düül 2||< Collaborators of V|
Weinzierl was one
of the earliest members
of the highly influential and innovative German Band AMON DÜÜl 2 - and together with DÜÜl's co-founder Chris Karrer the main composer and musical force behind the band.
In the early 80's, some
time after the original AMON
had disbanded, Weinzierl teamed up again with the the band's original bass-player Dave Anderson.
by now, had settled in a rural area in Wales and set up his own recording
facilities: the Foel Studios.
Weinzierl and Anderson initially started to work on some material from the early DÜÜl 2 days and recorded some new material as they got along. The first release of this line-up - labeled either as simply AMON DÜÜl or AMON DÜÜl UK - was entitled Hawk meets Penguin and released in 1981.
and Anderson kept
on working and obviously a lot of material has been recorded - more releases
followed over the years: Meetings with Menmachines
in 1984, Airs on a Shoestring in 1987 and Fool
Moon in 1989.
The two met Calvert around late 1986, after he had recorded his last solo album Test Tube Conceived at Foel studios.
knew each other for a long time - since the earliest Hawkwind
days, as Anderson, after leaving AMON DÜÜl
2 joined Hawkwind to become their bass player for their X
- In Search of Space album.
In 1986, after Calvert had recorded Test Tube Conceived at his studio, Dave Anderson joined Calvert's backing - band KRANKSCHAFT for the following tour.
It was around 1987 that Weinzierl and Anderson once again met in the Foel Studios when Calvert was also around. At the time, he was in quite a low, depressed mood, due to the recent death of his eldest son. Alex Calvert, who was only 17 at the time, had died of a mysterious incurable infection.
as well for a long time, as Amon
DÜÜl 2 and Hawkwind
(Calvert's main band throughout the 70's - besides his solo-projects)
had always been in close contact - and for a long time aiming into similar
accepted - and obviously, he was more than willing to use the opportunity
to pull himself out of this bad period and to take the chance to collaborate
again with a very gifted composer.
Chris Karrer had also been flown in for some of the sessions. He remembers some good times as well. Calvert, who was always fascinatated by German language and culuture amused Karrer with his fantasy of becoming a double agent in East Germany....
nothing of the material that Karrer recorded at the time found its way
on the release - he felt a bit like being payed for NOT appearing on the
album - but that's yet another story....
Finally, it was TOO late: Calvert died of a heart attack in August 1988 - leaving behind numerous unfinished projects - the recordings with Weinzierl being just one of them.
Luckily the recordings had reached a state which made it possible to keep on working on them. That's what Dave Anderson did and 1989 saw the release of the Amon Düül UK album Die Lösung - featuring as "special guest" Robert Calvert.
John Weinzierl claims that these recordings are unfinished versions and that he never approved their release in this form. However, they are the last real studio recordings of Calvert - and it's hard to say how the album might have sounded if he and Weinzierl would have had the chance to complete it themselves.
As it is, the album features a number of well-crafted guitar dominated rock-songs with some definite psychedelic flavour - the best track, entitled Urban Indian is a splendid combination of Calvert's distinctive vocal style with Weinzierl's forceful and driving riffs - and reminds me a bit of an elegant version of the proto-punk Hawkwind / Calvert classic Urban Guerilla.
The other circumstances of this release are as well quite mysterious - the sleeve notes give nothing away but the names of the other participating musicians: Tony Mcphee, Guy Evans (from Van der Graaf Generator), Julie Waring, Ed and Joey Ozric (yes, the ones from the Tentacles by the same name) a.o. -
An even more interesting
and quite obscure track featuring Robert
on the fourth Amon
This long track, entitled Hauptmotor (Main-motor) - features Calvert's lyrics and vocals IN GERMAN!
Over a a rough and catchy riff Calvert delievers his German lyrics - at times in almost spoken manner, then again with a touching poetical edge - espcecially in the chorus sections. The lyrics seem to be almost prophetic - taking into account that this must have been one of his last recordings.
The song is about the connection between the ability to love - as a part or rather the result of the use of all human senses of perception and one's own lifespan. The connection between them being the ENERGY that keeps one alive, the "HAUPTMOTOR" - that is again fed by our own perception, by the "Eindrücke" we are constantly gathering through all our senses.
As if German was his mother tongue, he develops some clever and subtle wordplays to show these connections - without turning this into a pathetic esoteric love-song lyric.
The track is quite
catchy and touching as it is - but knowing, that Calvert was struck down
shortly afterwards makes it at times almost painful to listen to his vocals
The death of Calvert
also became a landmark in the history of the other Amon
I am certainly hoping
for some more undiscovered treasures....
Amon Düül 2 today...
John Weinzierl and the Düül's original drummer Peter Leopold are actually working on some new recordings that shall be out sooner or later...
The other members, incl. Chris
Karrer, Renate Knaup, Lothar Meid, Peter Leopold - and associated - Falk
U. Rogner have
recently reformed and in 1995 released the new album
Be POSITIVELY warned: if you think: 'Oh no, not another boring-old-hippie-reunion...', you couldn't be more wrong -- the band is not after imitating a long gone sound and period. In fact you'll find a highly interesting blend of different influences: some tribal/jungle beats from Lothar Meid, virtuoso oriental sounds by Chris Karrer - all held together by the outstanding distinctive vocals of Renate Knaup.
More and bigger plans are under way - and hopefully, the future will see a reunion of ALL Amon Düül 2 members - including John Weinzierl.