Riverboat: The iconic CITY band is falling apart – “I can’t stand the view anymore”

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The iconic CITY band is falling apart: “I can’t stand the sight anymore”

Author: Juliane Bonkowski

Leipzig – They are a true legend in the GDR: the CITY band from Ostróda has been delighting people with their music for 50 years music. Now her final tour will begin just before her retirement. in MDR “Riverboat” tell Fritz Puppel (77) and Toni Krahl (72) why they are breaking up now and what their late teammate Klaus Selmke († 72) has to do with it.

The cult band CITY embarks on their last tour in Germany this year – then it’s all over. © Jens Kalaene / dpa-Zentralbild / dpa

Together with Puppel, he was one of the founders of the band founded in Berlin in 1972. Fans still know and celebrate their 1977 hit “Am Fenster”, even far beyond Germany.

“I think I speak from the heart of many people at home and abroad when I say CITY came up with the most beautiful, greatest, best and greatest song for me. I always thought that it couldn’t get any better, ”marvels the moderator Jörg. Kachelmann on Friday night talk show.

“We’re here today with a laughing and a crying eye as you make the last lap. Why? Why? Why would it end for us?

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“That’s enough, we’re just sick of this,” says Krahl, who joined the team in 1975. “We want to remember ourselves as we are now, not with a walker on stage.” In addition, viewers should remember them in the same way. There are simply too many “who forget to stop”.

But the end of the iconic Berlin band also has a sad background: drummer Klaus Selmke died of cancer almost two years ago. “In that sense, he made the decision for us,” says guitarist Puppel.

He had been fighting for his life for five years, but there were always times when he felt a little better. “So we said, ‘Klaus, whatever happens, we’re gonna cross the finish line together for 50 years.’

By 2020, the team had five more (left to right): Manfred Hennig (70), Fritz Puppel (77), Georgi Gogow (73), Toni Krahl (72) and Klaus Selmke († 72).

By 2020, the team had five more (left to right): Manfred Hennig (70), Fritz Puppel (77), Georgi Gogow (73), Toni Krahl (72) and Klaus Selmke († 72). © Jens Büttner / dpa-Zentralbild / dpa

Klaus Selmke will always be remembered by his CITY colleagues

Selmke, here in a 2017 performance, died of cancer in May 2020, and now CITY is coming to an end in its anniversary year - but only after

Selmke, here in a 2017 performance, died of cancer in May 2020, and now CITY is also ending its anniversary year – but only after the “The Last Round” tour. © Britta Pedersen / dpa-Zentralbild / dpa

This overrun was not the end. But one day it was suddenly over. He was such an important part of this team that “we told ourselves it was a duty for him.” After all, the team wouldn’t be where they are today if it wasn’t for Klaus.

But his friend Puppel also has to admit, “I can’t stand to see him on stage without him anymore.” Then there was a 16 month hiatus due to Corona, so the decision was finally made.

Despite all the sadness, good memories of that time outweigh the negative ones. “He’s so present when we’re sitting together that at some point the subject of Klaus comes up,” says Krahl.

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For example, he was constantly “lost” in things, including a drum stool.

So what, Selmke was drumming while sitting on the floor. He decided overnight that he just wanted to go barefoot – and play the drums.

“He could just ignore things including pain. Nothing is impossible – if you can, with your head against the wall ”. And Puppel adds, “He was just a special person.”

It’s sad that Klaus Selmke can no longer watch The Final Round. If you want to learn more about him and the history of the band, you can watch the documentary “Great City Evening” in MDR media library look at.

Cover photo: Editing: Jens Kalaene / dpa-Zentralbild / dpa, Britta Pedersen / dpa-Zentralbild / dpa

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