Die Toten Hosen Biography
Die Toten Hosen is a punk band from Düsseldorf, Germany. They are one of very few German-language acts who have enjoyed decades-long mass appeal in Germany. The members of Die Toten Hosen (literally "The Dead Trousers" in English; "tote Hose" is a German expression meaning "lifeless", "boring", or "nothing going on") are Campino (Andreas Frege), Kuddel (Andreas von Holst), Vom (Stephen George Ritchie), Andi (Andreas Meurer) and Breiti (Michael Breitkopf). Vom replaced Wölli as the drummer in 1999 (Wölli's untimely departure from the band was due to injuries caused by a car accident), who himself had replaced Trini in 1985 and is still an honorary member of the band; Trini became the band's manager. The band has existed for over 20 years, and their songs' focus gradually shifted from funny and nonsensical to serious; the songs from their first LP were mostly about having fun, but by the end of the 1980s they were focusing more on political and social issues such as racism. Part of the folklore surounding the band is the story that in their early days they played for free on private birthday parties or similar events. However only under the conditions that the host provided for unlimited beer supply and paid for all damages caused by the band. The debut single "Wir sind bereit" ("We are ready") was released in 1982, and was followed by their first album, "Opel-Gang", the next year. In 1988, Die Toten Hosen released the LP "Ein kleines bisschen Horrorschau". It refers to the movie A Clockwork Orange based on the book by Anthony Burgess. In 1993, Frank Castorf produced a German theater version of the book, in which Die Toten Hosen performed as actors and musicians. Their 1000th concert was on 28th June 1997, in the Düsseldorfer Rheinstadium, and was attended by more than 60,000 fans. A Dutch girl died in the crowd; after various talks with security and police, the band decided to play soft songs until the end, in order not to panic the crowd. Later the band produced the song "Alles ist eins" in memoriam for the Dutch girl. Die Toten Hosen have collaborated with numerous other musicians (like Bad Religion, AC/DC, U2, Rolling Stones); they are also one of the few German punk bands popular outside of Germany (esp. in South America, Australia, eastern Europe) other notable bands being Die Ärzte and Rammstein. As longtime fans of the their local soccer team Fortuna Düsseldorf they have been sponsoring the club from 2001 to 2003. After their Unplugged concert in the end of 2005 they've taken a time-out. But they disclaimed rumors, that this is the end of the band.