VON G.I. BLUES ZU G.I. DISCO/ FROM G.I.BLUES TO G.I.DISCO
The “American Way of Music” in Germany
A newly opened temporary exhibition at the Alliiertenmuseum, situated in the former American military headquarters in Berlin-Dahlem, shows how the American soldiers stationed in Germany acted as ambassadors of American popular culture, and influenced German youth and local culture through their music and lifestyles from 1945 tot 1990, in between the end of World War II and the fall of the wall, while musical genres such as rock ’n’ roll und hip-hop helped to shape a whole new attitude towards life of many young people in Germany. Americans and Germans mainly met in soldiers’ clubs and later in discos as well, and over the decades the German music and club scene drew important inspiration from the G.I.’s. – short for Government Issue, but nicknamed as Amis by the Berliners. Starting with the jazz on the military radio station AFN and Elvis Presley, his film G.I. Blues and remake of the local traditional Muss I Denn, over the jukebox of the 1960s to hip-hop – the exhibition shows things as varied as Run DMC signed Adidas-gymps, and the first golden record of Silver Convention, a trio whose lead singer, Ramona Wulf, was a product of a German mother and an American soldier. For this exhibition, the Allied Museum quite appropriately collaborated with the Berlin DJ duo G.I. Disco, aka Daniel W. Best and Karsten Grossmann – the main element of display being a giant “wave of sound”, that plays music of six decades simultaneously. Eyewitnesses such as club legend Rolf Eden, entertainer Ron Williams or rapper and DJ Michi Beck present their personal recollections of the G.I.s, clubs, and music, while the exhibition also gives visitors the opportunity to demonstrate their own DJing skills or to dance. But the it also looks back at the bombing of the Berlin disco La Belle in 1986, while the cd that comes with the whole does not only include Glenn Glenn Miller, Terence Trent D’Arby, and Snap!, but also Paul Hardcastle’s 19, the title referring to the average age American soldiers died in Vietnam. (mb)
Von G.I. Blues zu G.I.Disco
Through 27 April 2014
Alliiertenmuseum, Clayallee 135, Berlin.