In the past Diversity of Classic Rock posts, we were talking about different walks of life of various musicians. Now, we’re going to focus on Classic Rock in Europe. Continental Europe that is! Music from Continental Europe doesn’t get nearly the visibility that music from the UK gets. In some cases there is xenophobia, such as critics associating Kraftwerk with Nazi Germany. The sad part is many musicians are forced to play music in English in order to get to an international audience, and to get success in America. And many of these musicians if they get famous are just known as one hit wonders. Few foreign language songs make it into the top 40. The US is a big country and musicians therefore consider it an achievement for their music to chart in America and to tour America. To reiterate from an American perspective, when you’re hearing about musicians from the other side of the Atlantic, you’re mostly hearing about British musicians. Musicians from every continent (okay, maybe not Antarctica) have contributed to rock and roll, and European musicians have made many contributions. Come and join me on the Diversity of Classic Rock European Tour where we explore classic rock bands from different European countries.
Germany has an interesting history of rock and there is a big following there of rock music, especially progressive rock, experimental music, and new wave. Rock music in Germany was a bit of a late bloomer compared to other countries in Europe because of the Nazis suppressing popular music in the 40s like jazz and swing music. However, there were many musicians from the UK and Ireland who lived in Germany and played gigs there for a time. The Beatles, Rory Storm and the Hurricanes, John O’Brien-Docker, and Rory Gallagher all at one point were in Hamburg. Now why Hamburg? According to Ministry of Rock, Hamburg was the place to go because it was a port city with lots of sailors who wanted to go to clubs to hear energetic rock music. Many of these musicians came from cities and towns with a lack of a club scene, so Hamburg gave them what they wanted, an audience, a change of scenery, and a place to practise and become better performers.
Austria on the other hand did not have as much of a rock music scene, but there are a few famous musicians who are from there.
Let’s explore classic rock in Germany and Austria!