pop-world has finally got four new faces. They are
honourable gentlemen in their thirties, and they have
neat haircuts, just like the Beatles at the beginning of
their era. Thirteen years ago it was shocking because of
its length, but now it's amazing because of its
shortness. That's how the times change.
Hardly anything amazing is happening in the concert hall: Fans are
standing on the chairs, request half an hour of encores,
stamp, rampage, shout - then adjust their ties and go
For two years the quartet has been sailing on the waves
of success in England and also almost that long in
Western Europe- The four pop-grandpas call themselves
SAILOR, in German "Seeleute". Their songs -
original, melodic and unmistakable - come from the area of the harbours
and red streetlamps. The most successful ones:
"Girls, Girls, Girls", "A Glass Of
Champagne" and "One Drink Too Many"...
Just like Germany's show-sailor Freddy SAILOR have never
fought against wind and waves, but at most against a
constant hungry feeling for a couple of years. A with
hindsight praisable destiny brought all of them together
in the late 60s in Paris. At that time there was a Café
Le Matelot (= Sailor) at the Seine-metropolis, in which a
band used to play since the 1930s. With a changing
line-up: When someone left, a new musician was enlisted.
So the four guys came together bit by bit, and
coincidentally all of them were from Britain; some of
them not only with music but also blue-blodded.
Georg Kajanus, born in 1946, is proud to say that his
grandfather was a real Russian prince. Today's
SAILOR-boss was born in Norway, spent most of his youth
in Paris and also a few years in Canada and in Central
America. He tried several fields of study, but he
prefered his hobbies: painting, photography and
Henry Marsh is also blue-blodded, and he's the only one
who's not in his 30s yet (born in 1948). He was born as
the second son of an English lord, went to the more
dignified Oxford-school and - what shocked his family -
tramped through the whole continent after his exams. The
three others say that his first class ancestry is
obvious: Henry wears his glasses and mostly a rose in the
buttonhole, also a hat (even in the room) and a tie.
Phil Pickett was born in 1946 in Münster, where his
father was a member of the occupying forces. After school
he visited actor-schools, learned nearly all musical
instruments and took his knowledge on a big tramp-trip
though Europe and America.
Finally there is Grant Serpell, the drummer and 33 year
old "senior". He was born in France, learned
walking in Canada and the ABC in London. His father was
professor for music with international visiting
professorship, the son preferred the techical fields. He
studied chemistry, then computer-technics - and finally
the right feeling at the drums. The chemistry is still
his greatest love. "One day", he dreans full of
hope behind his drums, "the world will hear about a
huge invention. That will be from me."
Fire in the SAILOR-pub. But the Nickelodeon
For two years the four British guys played together. Then
there was a huge fire: During a night in the autumn of
1971 the café Le Matelot burnt down. Many girls lost
their favourite contact place, many guests their
favourite seat - and four musicians lost their jobs.
From then on Georg wrote songs for others, Phil became a
demanded studio musician in London, Henry worked as a
piano teacher and Grant worked on an invention that was
to make him famous.
But fame came from another direction. Steve Morris, son
of a music publisher, had herad the quartet in Paris and
liked them so much that he was planning a reformation. It
took three years until Georg had finally found his old
At the recording sessions they appeared with so much
unusual stuff that other studio musicians were left in
astonishment: a guitaron, a Charango, a Veracruziana harp
and a 12 string guitar that is complicated to play. The
most obstructive thing was an instrument that looked like
two agglutinate pianos, and that is unique in the whole
world. The SAILORs call it Nickelodeon: In the past this
was the name for an automatic piano that played music
when you put money inside. Of course, the home
constructors Kajanus and Serpell had meanwhile turned it
into a real miracle-instrument: "It consists of two
pianos, two synthesizers, an electronic glockenspiel and
some other gimmicks. We can create sound effects that
others can only create after several hours of
experimentation in the studio." The strange cupboard
can also create the sound of a barrel organ or the shrill
jingle of an out-of-tune Western-Saloon piano in addition
to "normal" piano sounds.
Composer and writer of all lyrics of the SAILOR songs is
Georg Kajanus. His favourite topics are pimps, hedonists,
globetrotters and show-offs, light girls and quick girls.
Of course the ethical forefinger is missing: "We
don't want to indoctrinate, we want to make happy songs
and happy music", says Georg Kajanus about his
successful concept, that - just like the one of the
Beatles - is an international one: In the USA SAILOR are
in the chats, in the USSR the LPs were already sold
before they got through the customs.
Incidentally, all four of them are married: Georg's wife
is from Japan, Grant's wife if from France, Henry and
Phil are married to Englishwomen.
Wishes for the future? "More success, more good
ideas for Georg, maybe a bit more calm for golf and
boating", Phil, the clown of the band, broods. How
about a "Order of the Garter", just like the
Beatles? "Of course. If she's got another one, the
Majesty may check up. The third SAILOR LP "The Third
Step" - incidentally a BUNTE-LP- has been on a
global triumphal procession for months. Two singles were
released from the album and sent to the international
charts: "Stiletto Heels" and "One Drink
Too Many". And while the German Phono-Academy has
just given the "Deutscher Schallplattenpreis"
for the best international "Schlagermusik" to
the pop-quartet, SAILOR's record company has just
announced Gold for "The Third Step".
the show, the SAILORs are honest family men
Phil married an Englishwoman - Ann. One year ago their
son Jack was born.
Grant and Michelle, a Frenchwoman, son Edmund and
For six years Henry has been married to Susan. Son Thomas
is two years old.
Georg met Christine, a nice girl from Japan, in Paris and
next to the photos:
Phil Pickett is the inventive guy in SAILOR. Before
the band was formed he had composed songs for Percy
Sledge, Georgie Fame and other popstars. He tried out
being an actor and tramped through America for a couple
of years - until he hired with Georg Kajanus.
Henry Marsh is the one with the best manners. No wonder:
As the son of an English lord he went to the rather
dignified schools of Dorset and Oxford - and he was a
schoolmate of Prince Charles. For the distress of his
family he fooled around as a tramp and musician after his
Grant Serpell's beats strike everytime - when he play
golf, which is his favourite hobby, or when he plays the
drums. The drummer of the band was born in France as the
son of a music professor, grew up in Canada and studied
chemistry in England.
Georg Kajanus, grandson of a Russian prince, is the
founder of SAILOR and the composer of almost all their
songs. His creativity is boundless even at home. There he
is a hobby-painter.
Soon the BUNTE-LP "The Third Step" (CBS 81701)
will receive Gold.