The music industry is a fast moving business, making it difficult for many artists to develop long-lasting careers. A German band that has been incredibly successful at maintaining a huge popularity throughout the years, whilst remaining true to their socially subversive punk rock roots, are Die Toten Hosen. The band’s name alludes to the colloquial expression “tote Hose”, denoting boredom and apathy – yet this ironically self-deprecating epithet could of course not be further from the truth. Audiences have certainly never felt bored at Tote Hosen gigs, and over the years the band has been involved in various initiatives which have motivated people to take a stand against racism, fight the negative effects of globalisation and oppose environmental destruction.
Headed by charismatic frontman Campino (born Andreas Frege, he chose a popular sweets brand as his stage name) Die Toten Hosen first rose to fame in the early 1980s and had their big commercial break-through in 1988 with the songs written for a stage version of Anthony Burgess’ / Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange. The track “Hier kommt Alex” became an instant hit.
Nearly 25 years on and Die Hosen are still one of Germany’s most commercially successful rock groups. Yesterday they returned to Bremen where, many years ago, they had their first successful gigs away from their native Düsseldorf. In the Schlachthof (a former abbatoir cum music venue) they celebrated their 30th anniversary – and it was just like the old days.
Alles Gute zum Geburtstag, Tote Hosen!