I was only 10 years old, it must
have been around 1974/75, when I first saw SAILOR in the
"Talentschuppen". The first thing that attracted my
attention was their extraordinary outfit. - "A Glass Of
Champagne", "Girls Girls Girls" - Songs that I
still couldn't get out of my head one year later. At that time I
did not even know whether these two songs were played by the same
band or not. I kept on thinking about this all day long.
I grew up in Neckarbischofsheim, a small town near Heidelberg (Germany). My parents did not like this kind of music and did not give me any support. In Neckarbischofsheim was a shop which sometimes sold LPs and also placed them in their shop window.
That' s where I first saw the
SAILOR album "Trouble".
I went to the shop each day because I needed to have this LP. Unfortunately I did not get any pocket money at that time. In spite of this I was somehow able to buy the LP. I was enthousiastic!
A very old record player that I had repaired was soon fetched, so that I could listen to "Trouble", and now I was even more enthousiastic. I could not get rid of this sound. But I also knew that this old record player was not very good, because I soon noticed some strange noises that got louder and louder. That's why I decided to ask someone to make a tape of this LP for me. My sister's husband who also lived in Neckarbischofsheim had a the possibility to put the songs on a tape, so that I could listen to them with the tape recorder that had been a present from my parents. I kept on playing this tape all day long and I did not have anything in my head except spending my time with this music.
My favourite occupation was to write and translate the lyrics of the songs. The paper with the lyrics inside the "Trouble" album was a "holy" thing for me. I did not even dare to touch it with my fingers because something could have happened to it. Later I bought "Trouble" again at the "Bertelsmann Verlag". I had to become a member just to be able to get the album. My father later helped me to get rid of this memebrship again, but of course he did not understand me. I knew that, but I really needed to buy this LP again because the old one was completely worn-out. Later, when I walked through the city of Heidelberg together with my sister Ingrid, I saw this LP in every shop window.
"The Third Step".
My sister promised to give me this LP as a Christmas-present. She already had the topical hit of this LP at home: "Stiletto Heels". I was even allowed to listen to it on her new record player - great! After this day Christmas seemed to be ages away. On Christmas eve I did not have anything to do than listening to this LP. The next day it was the same and so on.....
I was completely out of my mind when anybody mentioned the word SAILOR or anything that had to do with them. I wrote "SAILOR" on every exercise-book etc. in all variations and fonts you can imagine.
One day there was a TV documentation about SAILOR in the first channel of the "Hessische Rundfunk". It was really hard work to be able to see this TV show because it was broadcast quite late in the evening. I placed my tape recorder next to our TV in order to record the sound of the show. I was almost unable to move and I remember that I kept on checking the clock because I wanted the time to stop.
I was very astonished about the story of SAILOR; Georg was asked how he writes the lyrics for his songs and he answered that he only writes about things that he experiences by himself. Henry was asked what he would like to do in 10 years and he answered that he is then going to have his last great comeback with SAILOR. Unfortunately I can't remember the interviews with Grant and Phil any more.
My tape of this show has already been broken for quite a long time, and the quality of the recording was not very good either. What would I give to see this show again and to be able to record if with the technical possibilities of today!
After this TV-documentation I had a great problem because it included songs that I did not know yet. That terribly got on my nerves because I was sure that there must be another LP that had been recorded before "Trouble" and that I did not know.
All my friends and relatives were not interested in SAILOR as much as I was, so that I became a real "lonely fighter".
On the back of one of the my sister's singles (I think it was Stiletto Heels / Out of money) I saw a picture of three LPs: "Sailor", "Trouble", "The Third Step". I tried to order the LP "Sailor", the tape "Sailor" and the tapes "Trouble" and "The Third Step" at the record shop in Neckarbischofsheim, because my LPs were really worn-out at that time. Now I finally owned the three LPs and the three tapes.
The fact that none of my friends were interested in SAILOR did not make me very happy and so I started to isolate myself from them concerning music. Of course I was also interested in other music for example The Beatles. But my favourite band was SAILOR, although my enthousiasm was restricted to my own room where I was alone.
Everytime I heard a song of SAILOR I wrote it into my calendar, I wrote down when and what was played on the radio. I did not talk to anybody about my great love for SAILOR because the others couldn't understand me anyway.
I was not very surprised when I heard this album for the first time. I had seen the boys on television a short time before it was released, Georg excused Phil because he was ill. The magazine "Bravo" wrote an article about Phil's decission to leave SAILOR a short time later. Of course I still have all these old "Bravo"-articles that I could get in the 70s. I also had the single pictures of them, only the picture of Georg was missing. At school I promised each person 5 DM who was able to get me this picture, quite a high amount of money for me at that time. Then I really got this picture for 5 DM and I was more than happy. Later my father almost destroyed the picture, not knowing how much it meant to me. He could not understand my anger, but who could understand me at that time?
But now back to "Checkpoint": the new sound surprised me, but in spite of this I was really content with the production. Naturally I also bought a tape of this album, but I kept on missing Phil during the whole time.
My absolute favourite album, again in the old line-up, so that I thought that everything was going to be better soon and that Phil had obviously not enjoyed his solo work very much.
Meanwhile I had quite a huge collection of self-made SAILOR tapes that I could finally record by myself:
- The very best of SAILOR
- SAILOR (the old)
- SAILOR (the new)
- The best of SAILOR
"Dressed For Drowning"
At the beginning I did not like this album very much, but then it became a real treasure which I am now enjoying on many occasions and that is probably the most played album in our house after "Hideaway".
The fact that Georg and Grant had left the band made me very sad, because Georg used to be the heart of the band and I really couldn't imagine a SAILOR-product without him. The sound was of course completely changed. The voice of a woman did not fit into my imagination. But I think that this production shows that Phil and Henry can also do good things without Georg, very good things indeed!
It's a shame that the two of them did not get the possibility to write songs earlier. I think that this was also one of the reasons for Phil's solo projects in the "Checkpoint" time.
After "Dressed For
Drowning" I kept on waiting for a new SAILOR album,
unfortunately without success. On the radio I heard that Georg
had formed a band named "Data". Unfortunately I never
heard a song of this band. I did not have any possibility to get
an LP of Data, and I did not really want to buy it either because
it seemed to be not what it used to be for me.
Today I would really like to get all the productions of Georg and Phil, which they have produced on their own, but unfortunately I have not been able to get any of these recordings yet.
Of course I was also interested in what the others did at that time, but I could not get any information about them. My SAILOR records had now become history, a history that I dreamt as a teeny and I kept this dream inside me, or let's say I am still keeping it everytime I listen to the tapes and records which remind me of the time, a time that will never come back again and that was very nice.
I only use my LPs in order to copy them on tapes because they used to break quite often, although their quality used to be very good.
1990 I listened to the radio in my
car and I suddenly heard my old familiar sound. Was this really a
new song? Could this really be true or did I just think that? I
was unsure, but I thought to have recognized the band. The same
day I drove to the city of Heilbronn and searched for a new
production and then I really saw it: SAILOR "The
Secretary". Marvellous - the comeback that Henry talked
about in the old TV show had finally come true.
My old fever had suddenly returned. Of course I had become older, but my heart was still with my band, like in the old days. I did not have to wait for the new CD very long and then I realised that it was named like their first album "Sailor", but now in a new brightness.
Naturally the older albums "Sailor" (1974), "Trouble", "The Third Step" and "Greatest Hits" were now available as CDs too. This encourraged my enthousiasm because the music was now there for eternity. And there it was again: my enthousiasm. Now I had all the albums in CD quality and my own mixes on tapes.
Nowaddays there are all the technical possibilities that were missing in the 70s. I was able to record TV performances and to make tapes in a marvellous quality.
I looked in all TV magazines because I did not want to miss any performance of SAILOR. In spite of this I missed enough shows.
I also kept on watching out for
new SAILOR CDs, and finally it was there: "Street
This CD reminded me of the early days of SAILOR, of course with the newest technics, the music innovative, although they had meanwhile become older.
At that time me and my wife Inge also started dancing. We had to try a lot until we understood it all. I had much difficulties with the samba - but what could be better than the "Street Lamp" with its marvellous sambarhythms, - completely great! - With the help of this music I fortunately understood the samba quite quickly.
Meanwhile I tried to get the CDs
that are still missing in my collection: "Checkpoint",
"Hideaway" and "Dressed For Drowning". A guy
who worked in a record shop in Heidelberg even tried to get these
CDs for me. I don't know how hard he really tried, but he never
succeeded in getting these CDs for me. My own tries to get them
were not successful either.
Other people who I got to know in a newspaper also tried to help me, but unfortunately nobody could get these CDs for me. Maybe these three LPs have never been released as CDs or they have been sold out very quickly.
Now I gave up my hope for a complete CD-collection of SAILOR.
One day I read a newspaper article about a one-man company that records LPs on CDs. This guy had the possibility to work on the sounds of the songs, so that all these disturbing noises of the worn-out LPs would disappear. This offer interested me, and so I phoned this guy, let him work on the old records and put them on CDs. For each minute of restauration I had to pay 4 DM plus the empty CDs. I knew that this would become pretty expensive, and so I first talked to my wife about this idea.She knew how important this was for me and agreed to it.
The result was unfortunately not very satisfying. I have got the CDs that I wanted, but the quality is not as good as expected because the original recordings were very worn-out.
As soon as I own a scanner I am going to scan the LPs, so that I can get the original covers.
Of course I kept on searching for
new SAILOR CDs, every four weeks I had to look whether there was
One day I suddenly discovered a CD which really shocked me because it wasn't the real SAILOR althought the cover showed my four boys. The music on this CD was terrible and did not fit to the sounds I was used to. I started to worry about this and complained about this CD in the record shop, but they did not care about it at all. Did the boys sell the rights of their songs to these "wannabe sailors" or what had happened?
In Mannheim I discovered a similar CD with a different cover a short time later, but it included the same rubbish as the first one. This was not funny anymore. That's why I lost the interest in the search for new CDs because the only things that were available were all rubbish.
In May 1999 I made a sailing trip near the coast of Croatia. A whole week on the sea. When I was on deck and felt the wind in my face I suddenly wanted to listen to SAILOR again (I had some tapes with me, as ever). The music reminded me of the past and seemed more lively than ever. I could not see any land, and so the music became a real adventure inside my head. I suddenly felt a new relation to this music that had accompanied me for so many years.
At that time I did not yet think
about what the boys might be doing because I had been
disappointed by these fake CDs. Or was that a mistake?
In September I saw a new CD in the "Mediamarkt" with a new picture of SAILOR. Well, again "The Very Best" with the terrible sound of this "wannabe sailor"..... But I was curious and listened to the album in the shop, because I had already been cheated two times. Fortunately the music on this CD had found back to the old form of the band. Georg was not there any longer, but the songs were from SAILOR, no doubt about it. I only wondered what all this trouble with the fake CDs was about.
I think that this was like a new start for me and I started to get interested in SAILOR again. The inside of the CD showed an address of a SAILOR club in Berlin. I was full of joy and the expectation to get to know other fans, and there were also so many questions that I wanted to be answered. So I decided to write a letter to this club in order to ask for some addresses of other fans and for more material about SAILOR.
Unfortunately I never received an answer until today.
The step into the Internet was a
great success for me. The informationen about SAILOR are
overwhelming, and I now discover many possibilities that I did
not know of before.
Here I also got to know that these fake CDs have not got anything to do with SAILOR and that the fight against them is not over yet. I have also noticed that I did not get some albums like the "Live In Berlin" CD just because of this confusion.
I did not even know that SAILOR are still existing in their old style, but now I know it.
There are probably a lot of
memories and experiences that are not mentioned here yet. But
they will come out of me one day, as soon as there is a
possibility for it.
I already asked for autographs of SAILOR very early. During their performances at Ilja Richter's show "Disco" they used to show an autograph-address. Unfortunately they never sent anything back to me.
I have asked myself why I never tried to see one of their concerts in order to see them live many times. Maybe I just want to keep SAILOR in my head as I have always dreamt about them.
(originally written by Horst Götz, December 1999 - translated by Katrin Wagner, December 1999)
Horst together with other SAILOR fans at the SAILOR concert in Mannheim (Germany) 10 November 2001
(left to right:) Gabi, Katrin, Christel, Horst, Astrid, Karsten
Last updated: 25 November 2001