| Born 1947 in Germany to refugee mother fleeing Russian Army to English sector at end of WW II.
Birthplace, Bergen/Belsen; a former Deathcamp, turned into refugee camp. (I include this as relevant to a lifetime of pacifism). My mother remarried an English soldier and in 1950 we moved to England and I became the English
schoolboy with the German name.|
Started playing guitar when 17, became real good. A couple of years later the divorce, and the move back to Germany. I became the "English" kid, learned German, was drafted, and in the middle of basic training my status as a conscientious objector was accepted, hence my "farewell" concert in the barracks, which included of course, to the delight of all, anti-war songs. Music can open the heart in some unknown way.
University followed, in Freiburg , linguistics dept., but the music started to take over. Became founding member of Freiburg Folk & Blues Club, and on sabbatical in England, with my then partner Ute Gaertner, who later became my manager, co-built the guitar that I play to this day. Called the Dadou I, after the eccentric Frenchman Dadou Rosenberg, who`s initial idea, energy and kitchen were the key.
Thank-you Kati, for letting your house be transformed into a mayhem of wood-shavings, water and tools for 3 months, in exchange for the only guitar I have ever needed, it's the best!
Fresh back from England, I was introduced to a hero of mine Hannes Wader, who is regarded as the German equivalent of Bob Dylan, though personally I feel he is far more than that. On that same evening, though, I was more taken by Werner Laemmerhirt, his back-up guitarist at the time, whom I call the "Father of the German Groove". Friendships were formed that night which not only yanked me out of my apparent university career and into music, resulting in a number of CDs with both, but have lasted to this day.
Hannes took me under his wing, introducing me to most of the top artists of the then blossoming German Folk scene, and I was off and flying. In fact, the very first festival I ever attended, I was one of the headliners, "Hannes Wader meets Tom Paxton" very scary .
After 3 CDs backing up Hannes, and a CD collaboration with Werner, which pretty much established me as one of the first-generation acoustic guitarists in Germany, the whirlwind of concerts, TV, radio interviews and festivals, managers and promoters, journalists and general hangers-on, was great for the ego, but less so for the character. Good friends were telling me I had changed, much to my indignation. In retrospect, alone the pretentious Dadaism of the name "the Hole in the Banana", should have been a clue. So I fell in love and set out overland for India, ( see Adventures) leaving behind studio recordings of my songs with main-founder of FFBC , Ray Austin, and the puzzlement of friends like Werner and subsequently, like all who disappear, became a legend. It was that easy.
To this day, I feel my real life started there and then, everything prior was just leading up to that point. Which eventually, after many voyages and travels in Asia, the U.S. and Central America, (see Adventures) led to, believe it or not, Texas. So here I am, the father of a grown daughter, still playing music, still wondering why I have been so fortunate.
|Klaus Weiland Main|