Click here for Uli Neumann's homepage!!
I first listened to
the music of SAILOR in 1976, when I was at a school excursion in
the city of Schleswig in class 7. This excursion was lead by our
teachers Mrs. Anke Heller and Mr. Hans-Jürgen Harder, who had
lived in Schleswig and had went to school together with singer
Jürgen Drews who just had a big hit with the song "Ein Bett
im Kornfeld" in this year.
In the evening there was a party for our class in the youth-hostel. The DJ was Klaus Bornemann, who was later known as "Mausi Klausi" at lots of discos and festivals in Northern Germany.
At that time my favourite songs were Nico Haak's "Schmidtchen Schleicher" (Foxi Foxtrott) and the song which failed to enter the Grand Prix d'Eurovision de la Chanson, "Sing Sang Song" from the Les Humphris Singers. But suddenly I heard this happy song that was totally different from the usual guitar-band-sound and the progressive rock that my school mates liked. "Girls Girls Girls" and "A Glass Of Champagne" were the hits of this evening. Of course, Klaus could tell me the name of this band. After our school excursion I heard those two songs on the radio several times, and I also managed to record them.
I wanted to listen to more songs of this nice group that I could also see on television in the meantime. I couldn't help asking my parents for a record player as a Christmas present and my aunt and uncle for the latest LP of SAILOR, although I didn't know the name of the LP yet. Christmas was there, but the record player I wanted was not available anymore. Instead there was another record player under the Christmas tree which turned out to be broken. So I could only look at the LP "The Third Step" over Christmas. It also included the new hit-single "Stiletto Heels" which I knew from the radio. After Christmas the broken record player was returned to the woman where we had ordered it (another aunt) and we looked for a better record player. I got a record player with the features I wanted including real loudspeakers. Now I could listen to the LP which is still my favourite SAILOR album. The money I had got from other relatives and my pocket money was used to look for other SAILOR records. At first I got "Sailor" at a shopping centres, then "Trouble" at a radio and TV shop.
1977, the shock. a friend showed me a magazine: Phil Pickett left SAILOR, will the other three guys continue or is this the end of SAILOR? Today we know that Georg, Henry and Grant did not give up. The first result of their work could be heard at the "Internationalen Hitparade" at NDR 2, hosted by Wolf-Dieter Stubel. It was "Down By The Docks", SAILOR in disco sound, as the host said at that time. At "Radio Andresen" I managed to buy the single, but what was that? The songs somehow sounded different than the one I had recorded from the radio, and it also was much shorter. My inquiry at the music store for a new album was denied during the next weeks, and on the radio they only played the version which I had on my single.
During the music
lessons at school with Mrs. Renate Kippenberg each pupil had the
opportunity to introduce his favourite band with a biography,
songs, translations and all everything. Of course, my choice was
SAILOR. The others preferred listening to "Deep Purple",
"Pink Floyd", "Birth Control", "Tone,
Steine, Scherben", the music had to have a message and it
had to be social-critical, in any case it was not enough just to
be entertaining. So SAILOR failed to impress the school mates as
well as the music teacher, who wasn't very popular because of the
long hours of rehearsals on those nasty plastic flutes. At least
she described "Melancholy" as "nearly
classical", so that the musicians of SAILOR had at least a
small success in her case. But she also said that the lyrics of
the songs sounded like "Heino" (quote:) "Liebe,
Triebe, Herz und Schmerz". I didn't care, and SAILOR are one
of the few band who still exist today.
A short time after my presentation I discovered the album "Checkpoint" at "Radio Woschnial" and could finally listen to it. The sound of SAILOR had changed noticeable, not bad, but something of the old sound was missing. In 1978 the album "Greatest Hits Vol. 1" joined my collection. I discovered the album at "Radio Andresen" in the shop window. The seller said that it was just an empty wrapper because the LP was sold out, but I insisted on having a closer look at the cover of the album. The seller couldn't help fetching the key for the shop window in order to get me the LP, and it turned out that it was not only an empty wrapper. So I got this LP for my collection. After a quite a long while I went to the music section of the "Quelle" store in Heide, where they had also placed some TVs. On one of the screens there was a preview for the ZDF show "Drehscheibe", which was broadcast early in the evening. SAILOR were announced to perform a new song. I rushed to "Peters Laden" on the other side of the street in order to ask for a new record of SAILOR there. Without knowing the song, I bought the single and then went back to "Quelle" because I didn't want to miss their performance. But what was that? No Nickelodeon, no "Bonzo", SAILOR performed as a guitar-band! A short time later I bought the album "Hideaway" at the same shop. This album was very varied, SAILOR once again proved the variety of their sound.
Then it became silent around SAILOR, the 80s had started, except for the "Neue Deutsche Welle" a terrible decade for the music, the decay of musical quality. The equal-sounding music that is still dominating nowadays (with exceptions, of course), boring and exchangeable, jumping around on the stage is more important than a nice musical performance.
At that time I used to spend my afternoons with working in the "Musikladen", a music store that was now in concurrence to "Peters Laden". There were still the previously mentioned opportunities to buy records in Heide, but the radio and TV sellers soon got rid of their music sections or closed completely. Instead, supermarkets became the new offers for music. The advantage of this job was to be up-to-date with the current music, which was good because I had meanwhile started to work as a DJ at disco, school parties and other small events. I especially watched the CBS-promoter and waited for him to present something new from SAILOR. But in the end it was a promoter of another label who told me that a new LP had been released by SAILOR, two of those LPs should be available at a shop in Meldorf, 15 kilometres away. I neither had a driving license nor a car, so that I went to this town by bike and bought the two LPs, one for my brother who is a SAILOR fan too. The fact that there were a woman and a man on the cover who were unknown to me irritated me, but Phil and Henry were there as well, so that everything seemed to be okay, even though the "SAILOR" logo on the album looked different from the one on the albums before. The only thing that reminded of the SAILOR I had known was "The Runaway", which had also been in the repertoire on their hit-album. The album is not bad, but it was not what I had expected at that time.
Then came the ten years without SAILOR, but at the beginning of the 90s a song was played on the private radio channel R.SH which was sounded just like SAILOR or somebody who produced a similar sound. The inquiry at the radio channel ensured that "The Secretary" really was a new song from SAILOR. I soon bought the Maxi-CD at "Marktkauf". The other songs on this CD made me curious for the album, which I bought a few weeks later at "Karstadt" in Kiel. A short time later I could experience SAILOR "live" for the first time in my life at an Oldie concert from NDR 2 in the "Alsterdorfer Sporthalle" in Hamburg. Unfortunately Henry was ill that night, so that the other three boys had to perform alone.
In Northern Germany SAILOR were promoted a lot by R.SH, their songs were played were quite often, which probably helped them with their comeback. Today I can reveal that I manipulated at least a little bit. In the "Musikladen" they asked for the best-selling singles and CDs via telephone every week. When I was at work SAILOR were always the "number one"!
In 1992 they released the album "Street Lamp", which did not include any new recordings of famous hits, but only new material. Of course I also tried not to miss any of the frequent TV appearances of SAILOR and to record them as well. After a while it became quiet around SAILOR again. Then there was an Oldie show on NRD television: OPA. SAILOR were there with their hits. They were also announced a second time, but the lead-singer was not Georg. After the first song Peter was introduced by the host of the show Uwe Bahn, and there was a long interview with the four guys during which their new CD was introduced. My research at the music shops I knew was not successful, so that the NRD faxed the front and back of the new CD, which was obviously only available in Denmark. Fortunately Heide was only about 100 kilometres away from the Danish border. In Denmark they ironically told me to go to a Danish music store on the German side of the border, where I bought two CDs for only 7 . The album included new versions of famous hits again, unfortunately only a few new songs, but all in all finally something new from SAILOR.
Thanks to the internet I managed to get to know other SAILOR fans, especially the Wagners, whose work for SAILOR is very special. Naturally my wife and I have been to some SAILOR concerts and enjoyed every one of them. Now we plan to go to the great show with SAILOR in England, although some organizational problems have to be solved at first, especially problems concerning travel and accommodation. But that's what we have got the internet for...
(originally written by Hans-Ulrich Neumann, 29 May 2002 - translated by Katrin Wagner, May 2002)
Review: SAILOR in High Wycombe (UK) 16 November 2002:
This unique SAILOR weekend started
late Friday afternoon, when the Wagners, Karsten and Katrin,
arrived at our home, who manage the MARINERO website, which is
the home harbour for all SAILOR fans and even for the SAILOR
This evening we started to listen to SAILOR songs and related recordings, which the Wagners brought along for us, thank you for that again.
On Saturday, November 16th we started our trip to High Wycombe by getting to Hanover Airport by car. Unfortunately our flight had a delay of three hours, caused by the famous London fog, time to get even more nervous. But then we had a smooth flight and finally arrived at London Heathrow, and it was a fine, sunny day. Due to the circumstance that our flight was delayed, we decided to go to High Wycombe by Taxi, not by tube and train as it had been planned. We went to the nice little "Abbey Lodge Hotel" and dressed up for the great event. On the way to the town hall, my wife Manuela and me entered the "American Embassy", we didn't eat anything since breakfast. (We call that fast food restaurant with the big "M" the American Embassy).
Having done something against our hunger, the two of us proceeded our way to the town hall, where the Wagners were already listening to the soundcheck. But then there was ist, the official entry and after a time that seemed to be endless, the show started. Chip Hawkes, former frontman of the Tremeloes and special guest started to perform his part of the show in front of a black background hiding the stage prepared for SAILOR. Most of the songs he performed without the background tape only with his guitars. He did a really great job.
But then the great moment was there, the start of the most amazing SAILOR show I have ever seen in my whole life. The stage was decorated as a harbour town, with a hotel sign, anchor, life belt, palm trees, a net, everything like in the unforgettable Seventies when SAILOR performed their great concerts. The sound was marvellous, crystal clear an not too loud, they played so many songs, as never before, but the time was too short to play all the great hits an even perform some of the songs released only on the albums. The real highlight of that night was the performance of "Josephine Baker" by Rob Alderton. He does such a really great job, at the treble side of the nickelodeon, playing the accordion an as a singer and organizer. But each of the four guys, Rob Alderton, Peter Lincoln, Phil Picket and Grant Serpell (in alphabetic order) did a really great performance and made this night a night to remember. I'm really sorry for every SAILOR fan who missed it, I will never forget this show. I was looking forward to it for months, and I haven't been disappointed. It was not easy to get to
High Wycombe and it took a lot of efforts (Thank you to the Wagners again) and much more money, but I'm not sorry for any cent we spent on this trip an that unforgettable night.
Video an audio recordings were prohibited this evening, even using flash lights for taking photographs was forbidden. Fortunately I could take some pictures without that. Some of those pictures have already been published on the MARINERO website, less than 24 hours after the show. I hope that the x-rays of the airport security check didn't damage the photos Katrin and Karsten have taken.
After the show we talked to many SAILOR fans from all over Europe, they were so friendly and gave us a very warm welcome to the UK. We also met a lot relatives of the four SAILOR guys, parents, children and wives. It was a great night, but we had to leave on Sunday to go to work again on Monday. But now we are looking forward to the release of the DVD recorded that event of year, so we can remember every time we want.
copyright by Uli Neumann, 17 November 2002
...And here's yet another concert review from Uli Neumann, taken from the "Düsenbert" magazine in January 2003:
A SAILOR's night on the town
Hans-Ulrich Neumann from the settling Tapenbeck was at the headline show in England - Backstage tickets included
SAILOR belonged to
the rather eccentric bands of the 70s that have truly been
strange and colourful. With hits like "A Glass Of
Champagne" and "Girls Girls Girls" the four guys
in the sailor-outfits entered the charts not only in Germany with
their Nickelodeon (music-machine) that reminds you of two pianos
back to back. After the separation of SAILOR in the late 70s they
had a comeback in the 90s with "The Secretary" and
"La Cumbia". Since that time they could unfortunately
only be seen on Oldie Nights. This was to change in November
2002. SAILOR invited the fans to a real headline show in High
Wycombe near London, and as a true SAILOR-fan it was my duty to
see this concert.
Our flight from Hannover to London had a three-hour delay because of the famous London fog. But this didn't stop our enthusiasm. We were four people who went to this event, brother and sister Wagner from Kassel (Katrin Wagner maintains a fantastic website about the band at www.sailor-marinero.com), my wife and myself.
When we arrived we had the privilege to go into the Town Hall before the show, look at the stage set and listen to the soundcheck. Chip Hawkes (Tremeloes) performed as Special Guest. Then the great moment had come: two hours of SAILOR live at their very best. It was a unique event. Not only the fans, but also SAILOR, who had been really nervous before the show, enjoyed this concert very much. This concert was also filmed for a DVD which will be released this spring.
After the concert there was an After-Show-Party with SAILOR and many family-members that lasted until late in the night.
There's a second chance for everybody who missed this great event: on 18 May 2003 there will be another concert at the "Musiktheater" in Kassel. Further information about this and the DVD can be found at the homepage that is mentioned above.
Last updated: 21 January 2003