"talkin' 'bout my generation"
DASA Dortmund (German Occupational Safety Exhibition and Museum) hosted an exhibition of photos by Carl van der Walle from February 12 to April 30, 2006. For this purpose, interesting texts with cultural musicological references were created, accompanied by intriguing notes by Carl van der Walle (CvdW). We would like to thank DASA for allowing us to publish the texts.
CvdW: "Alexis Korner is one of the musicians I particularly admire, not only because he "educated" numerous musicians such as Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Brian Jones, Robert Plant, Jack Bruce or Paul Rodgers – but especially due to his distinctive appeal. I met him twice in 1972, and each time had the opportunity to talk to him. I remember when he smiled at a reporter's question, who wanted to know if Jimi Hendrix was one of his role models ..."
CvdW: "The grand times of the protest movement were actually over when Joan Baez, the icon of the movement, grabbed her guitar at the "Isle of Wight" festival. A highlight was her interpretation of the Lennon/McCartney song 'Let It Be'. The extremely capricious performer Bob Dylan was in a good mood during his gig at the Müngersdorfer Stadion. It was not surprising that his show was influenced by the sound of the Stones, as ex-Rolling Stone Mick Taylor and ex-keyboarder Ian McLagan of the Small Faces were members of Dylan's band. For me, this formation represented a successful synthesis, as both musicians, who were part of my favorite bands of the 1960s, gave the songs of Bob Dylan, whom I rather appreciate as a composer, a touch of rock music."
CvdW: "The mastermind of The Who was Pete Townshend. During the recording of this take, the band could again allow their guitarist to smash his musical instruments due to the huge commercial success of their rock opera 'Tommy'. Actually, I'm not a fan of orgies of violence on stage; however, these actions performed in the early days of The Who attained such a symbolic meaning that I definitely wanted to take a picture. Unfortunately, I did not succeed because I was operating a Super 8 camera at the same time. Keith Moon, the drummer of The Who, who unfortunately died very early in 1978, was one of the most vibrant figureheads in rock history; he embraced almost all clichés of an eccentric rock star. I saw him live at a session with Pete York, Eddie Hardin, Tony Ashton, Miller Anderson and Keef Hartley in 1971, and here he gave a good account of himself as you can see."
CvdW: "While performing in the Dortmunder Westfalenhalle in 1981, Phil Collins reacted to the hail of catcalls of some fans with this gesture long before Stefan Effenberg. He had just announced that Genesis, besides older songs, was also going to play some new tracks from the latest LP 'Abacab' which wasn't appreciated by every fan. The former front man of Genesis, Peter Gabriel, emancipated completely from earlier musical influences while this take was recorded. He played many songs of his latest album 'Peter Gabriel IV', which was strongly influenced by world music. The photo was taken while Gabriel was performing the song 'San Jacinto', one of the most impressive songs of the concert."
CvdW: "This photo of Can singer Damo Suzuki was the first close shot I took of a musician that I have really appreciated. While Can was performing its gig, I was, for the very first time, directly in front of the stage and took this picture without a telephoto lens – because I didn't possess one. The Franconian Band 'Ihre Kinder' was one of the first rock bands which dared to sing German lyrics on stage. The band was pretty successful with its socio-critical messages in times of emerging Krautrock although it has never made it to the top of the genre."
CvdW: "A beat concert with The Rolling Stones in 1967. Today, the equipment would only raise a sympathetic smile in each amateur band – a simple curtain instead of a sophisticated light show. I remember exactly that the interior was provided with seats, and the audience remained obediently seating. Nowadays, rock festivals can't be performed without strict safety measures and with a large force of security staff any longer. The close contact between musician and fan is no longer possible at such big events."
CvdW: "The poses of Mick Jagger in the 1960s took on a similar important role as playing the air guitar which was common in the 1970s. I think many poses make it easier for us to identify ourselves with these often extroverted stage personalities. You often could see little copies of the stars in the audience, and it was not only the outfit that was copied but sometimes also the poses, which has not changed down to the present day."
CvdW: "During an acoustic set, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards cantillated Robert Johnson's 'Love in Vain'. I was standing directly in front of the two of them, because the Hell's Angels, who were responsible for the security of the band and just about to shoo me, were sidetracked by a fight. The space rockers Space Ritual put on a breathtaking show in the style of Hawkwind, which was not surprising, as two of the founding members actually came from this band. The perspective of this picture is unusual because I was standing right next to the stage near the side stairs while waiting for a chummy photographer."
CvdW: "Keith Emerson was bothered about the fact that keyboard players mostly played a marginal role in terms of visual perspective, while the singer or guitarist is usually in the spotlight due to his show. Thus, Keith Emerson, in his band Emerson, Lake, & Palmer, was responsible for integrating various show elements. He devised various methods to torment his organ; he dragged it across the stage, put it down to the floor, with himself lying under it, or he stabbed the keys with a dagger. At a festival, Klaus Renft demonstrated how household items such as two spoons or scissors can be turned into musical instruments and then be misused. The Klaus Renft Combo was the most important band of the GDR in the 60s. It was expelled to West Germany in the early 70s because the band constantly refused to accept the statutory requirements of the political system. After the wall had come down, there was also a reunion of the Renft Combo."
CvdW: "The picture doesn't deceive. This hippie girl from our day was far and wide the only flower child at the Isle of Wight festival in 2002. In the midst of a rather moderate audience, she seemed almost lost. The trial of a revival of the legendary Isle-of-Wight-Festivals (1968-1970) was extremely viscous, even though later editions of atmospheric and were more successful. Dreams that were already dreamed out cannot be transported to other times."
CvdW: "Rory Gallagher performed in the Philipshalle after the Taste had split up two years before. The congenial Irish man, who is one of my favorite guitar players, was able to cast a spell over the audience like nobody else. However, it wasn't until he became a solo artist that was really successful. After his gig at the 'Aachener Festival' he explained the surprising end of the concert he just had performed. Gallagher was the headliner, and at 10 pm on the spot, the power on the stage was cut off. He had just played 30 minutes."
CvdW: "Two years after the Beatles had split up Paul McCartney presented his new band The Wings on a European tour. Many Beatles fans were disappointed, as the band only played very few Beatles songs and, on top of that, only in medley form, as far as I can remember. I remember the festival in Wiesbaden, where I saw Neil Young, with mixed feelings. Although it was a great concert, the crowd consisting of thousands of people in front of the stage was standing tightly together and developed dynamics so that I could hardly take any pictures."