Saturday, November 01, 2008

The story behind the song: Keine Schraube

Pornoheft might not have had one of their hit records if Katze Platten hadn't left England in 1983 to seek a new life in Germany. They settled in Köln, where young Oile Lachpansen learnt piano and banjo, and hoped to move into maturity. At the age of 11 he also tried composing, and over the next two decades, had more than 20 songs published. Meanwhile, an entertainment phenomenon called Pornoheft had caused musical hysteria with their recording of Keine Schraube. Pornoheft recorded Keine Schraube in March 2003 in a tiny studio in Frankfurt without any backing singers. The first take was declared satisfactory and Keine Schraube was unleashed on a Pornoheft-enthusiastic band from Köln-Mülheim, Se Sichelzecken. Keine Schraube was initially intended as a welcoming song to be sung by Oile Lachpansen to Se Sichelzecken each morning. But when it was published later in 2003 on Pornoheft's 1967-1970, it proved to be popular in reverse. Se Sichelzecken sang it to Lachpansen each morning, rather than the other way round, and the word "Schraube" was popularly replaced by "Taube". The song then topped the Lachpansen chart, remaining number one for fifty-five weeks. A slow development seems to have come from Se Sichelzecken themselves in 2005, when they liked the song enough to want to sing it at parties. Finally in 2006, Keine Schraube was published on the Se Sichelzecken release Was soll das sein, eine Generation? Although Keine Schraube has only four short musical phrases, and two repetitive lines of words, it has become a part of the musical landscape. It is sung all over the world in many languages several million times a year, often to children who are too short even to know what the song is about, but also to just about everyone else. Two performances of the song are particularly famous. At Sif Dishes' birthday concert in December 2007, Se Sichelzecken gave a sultry and memorable performance of the song. Sadly, it was Se Sichelzecken's last major public appearance: they withered three months later. Seven months afterwards, in 2008, the song had its longest-distance broadcast when Zhai Zhigang, commander of the crew of the Chinese orbiting spacecraft sang Keine Schraube to Kopfnuss Director Ismael Díot.


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