on UK's 'Ready Steady Go' Germany's 'BEAT CLUB' has
gone down in folklore as classic youth tv.
The legendary West German rock series Beat-Club was broadcast
from September 1965 through December 1972. It was broadcast from Bremen , Germany
and produced by the regional TV network Radio Bremen , which at that time was
part of the German Government radio chain ARD. Radio Bremen was the sole producer
for episodes 1 – 34. Episodes 35 through 74 were produced jointly by Radio Bremen
and the WDR network.
Beat-Club was co-created by Gerhard Augustin and Mike Leckebusch.
|Play Theme Tune
Gerhard ("Gerd") Augustin was a well-known disc jockey in Bremen and
northern Germany. In 1963 he was the first DJ to spin records at local clubs.
He was a moderator (co-host) of the first seven Beat-Club shows.
Michael Leckebusch, a former trumpet player in a theatre band in Hamburg, came
to work for Radio Bremen's TV station in 1965. He became the director of Beat-Club .
Uschi Nerke joined Augustin as co-host of Beat-Club . She started
with the first show and remained with the series through the end of its run.
(She was not, however, involved in the concept or creation of the show.)
|America's Canned Heat
On The Road Again in 1968
|Over 95% of the music was
by UK or US acts with the odd Aussie act such as The
Bee Gees & The Easybeats thrown in, but all were in English.
September 25, 1965. While this premiere episode may
appear tame, the TV network at the time feared complaints
by parents and other adults who didn't like rock music.
This show, in fact, began with a plea by German TV
personality William Wieben for tolerance. Rough translation: "Good
day, dear Beat friends. The time has come. In few seconds
we will begin the first show on German television made
especially for you. As for you Ladies and Gentlemen
who do not like Beat (rock) music, we ask for your
understanding: this is a live show for young people.
And now we're taking off..."
Beat-Club is believed to have been Germany's first rock music
series. Beat-Club should not be confused with another German
TV series, Beat! Beat! Beat! , which premiered in 1967. Beat!
Beat! Beat! was produced in a different city (Frankfurt am Main), by
the regional network Hessischer Rundfunk.
Meanwhile legendary the
radio become Bremen Beat club started. Which had not
considered anybody possible, reality became - the English-language
music did not hold introduction in the German living
rooms and the youth was for no more to be held.
The show's earlier episodes featured live performances, and was set in front
of a plain brick wall. It underwent a revamp in 1967, when a more professional
look was adapted with large cards in the background displaying the names
of the performers, and lip-synched performances. Around this time, a troupe
of young women billed the "Go-Go-Girls," were introduced to dance
to songs when their performers couldn't appear.
The show was aired monthly
and each episode varied between 30 & 45 minutes.
The run of 83 episodes ran between September 25 1965- December 1972
Simon Dupree Toll The Bells
Mothers Of Invention
series went through many format changes in its 7 years
on the air. At first the show took on a (sort of) Cavern
Club look. The walls behind the stage were brick - no
fancy sets. The bands performed live while audience members
were shown dancing.
Sometime after show #8, UK's very own Dave Lee Travis became a co-host. Travis
had been a D.J. with "Radio Caroline," a pirate radio station that
broadcasted into Britain from an offshore ship. Eddie Vickers, a soldier with
the British Forces Broadcasting Service (BFBS), appeared sporadically as host
Dave Lee Travis' last appearance as host was on episode #45. His replacement
was Dave Dee, of "Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich." Dave Dee
appeared on episodes 46 through 53.
"Beat Club" switched from black & white to color on December 31,
1969 (episode #50). Also around this time, the music guests started performing
The final Beat-Club program aired in December 1972. The series
was replaced by Musikladen, which lasted until 1984. Uschi Nerke was a co-host
on Musikladen from 1972-1980.
performance clips from the shows occasionally shown
in the UK on VH1 CLASSICS
UK's Ten Years After
with a Beat Club special
Trailer for a Beat Club Special