1973-06-09 BBC In Concert (Amon Duul II) – BBC Radio 1 –
Heading earlier into the 70s tonight with a band that has been acknowledged as the cornerstone in what became the Krautrock movement in Germany in the late 1960s/early 1970s. Amon Düül II (yes, there was an Amon Düül I) started off as a political/Art commune in Munich that took on musical overtones in 1967.
Beginning as a free-form and experimental group devoted solely to improvisation, Amon Düül II soon splintered off and achieved a considerable amount of acclaim and influence within the world of Progressive Rock, releasing four well-received albums before calling it quits.
Their first album Phallus Dei (‘God’s Phallus’), released in 1969, consisted of pieces drawn from the group’s live set at the time. By this time the line-up was built around a core of Karrer (mainly violin and guitar), Weinzierl (guitar, bass, piano), Rogner on keyboards, bass player Dave Anderson, and two drummers (Peter Leopold (born 15 August 1945) who had joined the group from Berlin, and Dieter Serfas. Renate Knaup at this point was only contributing minimal vocals but was very much part of the group. According to Weinzierl by this time “The band played almost every day. We played universities, academies, underground clubs, and every hall with a power socket and an audience”. Releasing an album brought the group greater prominence and they began to tour more widely in Germany and abroad, playing alongside groups such as Tangerine Dream, and in Germany staying in other communes including the pioneering Kommune 1 in Berlin.
Their second album Yeti (1970) saw them introducing arranged compositions along with the bluesy violin and guitar jams such as the long improvised title track. The next album Tanz der Lemminge (1971) was based on four extended progressive rock suites. By this time bassist Anderson had returned to England and joined Hawkwind, to be replaced by Lothar Meid (born 28 August 1942), and the group was augmented by synthman Karl-Heinz Hausmann (Karrer had formed a short-lived group in 1966 – supposedly named ‘Amon Düül O’ – with future Embryo founders Lothar Meid and drummer Christian Burchard).
The band lasted until the mid-1970s when they broke up, but reunited in the 1980s when they underwent something of a rediscovery by a new generation of musicians.
Tonight it’s a concert recorded by The BBC on June 9, 1973 at Golders Green Hippodrome (or Hippy-drome as the announcer called it).
Just to give you an idea that Krautrock got started somewhere – and it got started here.
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