I will never forget how we started this band.
It was on Monday, November 4, 1985, when my friends and me were hanging around.
With two of them, Rütze and Mad, I had played in a band before.
We came from different styles of Rock music, but meanwhile we all listened to Punk, too.
Claus, who was there, too, had recorded a sampler of German punk music from different bands on a tape, which we all listened to at this time, and Claus even knew all lyrics and often sang to it.
Later our friend Berndi arrived and told us that on the following weekend there should be a party of a rocker club, the "Lost Sons" from Mannheim, at a location where sometimes live concerts took place, the "Leif Eriksson" in Weinheim. E.g. once the famous German Punk band "Die Toten Hosen" played there, and we were there and we survived (it was fucking loud, I still had humming in ears 2 days afterwards).
Berndi knew some of the rockers who would make this party and told us that there is a stage and equipment available for life bands, and asked us if we would like to play there.
I remember it was not easy for him to convince us, we have never played this kind of music together, Claus never sang in a band before, there was so little time left for rehearsal, and so we thought it would be a disaster.
But at the end he could convince us by explaining us a rule of the rockers' Codex: If there is a band which plays for them for free, the band has free rein, which means the musicians can do what they want, play as bad as they want, even talk bad to the rocker audience, and they never would be beaten for it.
And we should have beer for free.
So we decided to play there, and from Tuesday to Thursday we had three rehearsals, in which we played many of these German punk songs from the tape, tried so often that at the and all of us were completely hoarse, so on Friday we could only suck throat drops but not do any rehearsal, and singing sounded terrible.
We had to decide for a name, and after some discussion we decided for "HTLV-III". In these times it was the name for the virus which was suspected of causing Aids, discovered by a French scientist, later then American scientists found out it was a different virus which they named "HIV". The naming of our band maybe was not nice regarding the victims of Aids, but it was Punk and we young and wanted to attract attention with it, and we were convinced that we could make clear that we have no reservations or prejudices about anybody.
On Saturday, November 9, 1985, we played then our first concert.
To be honest we were completely drunk, we played terrible, but it was lots of fun, especially our pumpkin show, which means we chopped a pumpkin with a big ax, and the blasting of a McDonald's hamburger with explosives.
The blasting of the burger we did at the end of our first own song, which was dealing with a true story of our lives related to the destruction of a McDonald's store in Heidelberg.
After this gig we were happy that the rockers had not killed us because we played so bad.
But it was so much fun that we continued with this band.
We wrote lots of own songs, partly together in team work, partly each of use brought some songs, and so we did the next concert, I think it was in our youth club in Großsachsen, completely with own songs.
The band became more and more known in the region, and they even played us in the radio near Lyon (France, Claus knew somebody there) and Ljubljana (in this time still Yugoslavia, today Slovenia, was Rütze's connection).
And our gigs were always fun. I will never forget how we, I think it was again in our youth club in Großsachsen, in addition to our meanwhile famous pumpkin show, destroyed a water melon using a drilling machine with a wood bits, adjusted to impact drilling, so the melon parts were splattering in all directions, and later our mate H. Trunk bathed in the fountain across the street, with half a melon on his head, singing loud, naked.
But our lives went different ways, like it happens so often with bands of people in this age, Rütze and Claus moved away for studying on University, and so we stopped with this band.
I later came back to my roots, Blues and Blues Rock and Soul, and I've stopped drinking meanwhile, so I had times when I looked back and thought: Oh, was it bad.
But if I look back today, I think it is a bit a pity that we stopped with this band.
It was really a good and hot band after this first concert, it was the time for this music in Germany, we had good own songs with good lyrics ... "the future was wide open", Tom Petty would say (in his song "Into the Great Wide Open).
Well, we do not meet often, but we still have contact, and so maybe one day there will be a revival.
Hard to imagine, but who knows?
Nothing is impossible.