Klaus Selmke is dead - DER SPIEGEL

Klaus Selmke is dead – DER SPIEGEL

He was always in the background – but without him the band would never have existed. City's Klaus Selmke is dead.

The musician died on Friday in a Berlin hospital, reported Bild.de. Dieter Birr, former singer of the Puhdys who are friends with City, said to the German press agency: "Of course the news totally shocked me". According to Birr, he himself received the sad news from city guitarist Fritz Puppel.

The City website – the band was one of the most successful rock groups in the GDR ("Am Fenster") and is still active – was completely black on Friday. On the Facebook page it was written in white on a black background: "Klaus Selmke – April 21, 1950 – May 22, 2020". The drummer, who liked to sit barefoot on the stage, died about a month after his 70th birthday.

Selmke founded City 48 years ago with Puppel in Prenzlauer Berg in Berlin. It all started in a culture house in Köpenick in the spring of 1972: there the City Rock Band, as it was originally called, stood on a stage for the first time – and Selmke played the drums.

The band was supposed to provide a musical accompaniment for a five-hour youth dance evening. She played songs by Santana, the Rolling Stones and Jimi Hendrix. Ten years later, 10,000 fans made a pilgrimage to the open-air concert in the Plänterwald in Berlin.

"Without bass and without hair – with city through the 80s!"

The five bald heads, which once had the slogan "Without bass and without hair – with city through the 80s!" advertise for themselves were often on the edge of the permitted with their critical texts in the socialist state. Two years before the fall of the Berlin Wall, they discussed the division of Germany in "Wall to Wall" and "Half and Half". Singer Toni Krahl was arrested as a high school graduate in 1968 for protesting the crushing of Prague spring.

Krahl was unavailable for comment on Friday. "We are still speechless at the moment," quotes "Bild". Dieter Birr said: "I already knew that Klaus was sick. But he always kept a low profile about it." According to the newspaper report, Selmke died of complications from cancer.

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