Monday, September 16, 2013

"Mein Leben"

Rasende Stümper
(Clarita Gomez Tapes, 1989? 1990?)

Jan and Kai Damkowski were a couple of really cool brothers from West Germany with whom I was pen pals in the late '80s/early '90s. Jan put a song from one of my old bands on a compilation tape he released and Kai took some pictures of my band that we ended up using on the back cover of one of our records. Kai also sent me tapes of a few bands in which he and/or his brother Jan played. One of those bands was Stümper, a loose-knit band composed of a bunch of energetic German teenagers.

Kai sent me a couple of Stümper tapes and they are a big mess of chaotic fun. I can't find the booklet he sent that went with this tape, so I have nothing at the moment but the song titles and a note in English that he stuck in the tape box. I don't throw stuff away, generally, so I'm sure I have the booklet somewhere, but I've been searching for days to no avail. Anyhow, per Kai's note:

We rotate on instruments. We use no distortion or effects mechanisms and no fuzzbox apart from one guitar on 'Gitarrenkampf'. . . . We never played a song twice and we are not planning to do it.

The song I've chosen for today is Mein Leben, and Kai had this to say about it in his note:

Translates as 'My Life' and has everything in it. Love, Pain, GG Allin, Highway-deaths, Oliver North, Freezer, Horst Hrubesch, money, sex, HSV, Genscher, Aussiedler, and more. A song about life that offers you absolutely everything. This is the ultimate tragedy.

Tragically, one of the founding members of Stümper, Flassoff, drowned in the Elbe River in the early '90s.

I stupidly lost contact with Kai and Jan ages ago, but I did some research this weekend and discovered that Kai was later in a band called Hrubesch Youth, named for the apparently famous footballer Horst Hrubesch. They released at least a few records and a CD, so I'm hoping I can find copies. Also, Kai is a published author!

No biased opinions . . . yet