39 CLOCKS

It was a long time ago when I first heard of the 39 CLOCKS. In those days they called themselves THE KILLING RATS and they played in a youth center near a forest only 300 meters away from my home. In those days I was too scared to go to a punk rock concert so I missed them. Then I read in a well known fanzine called NO FUN from a student who wrote under the name Hollow Skai (I guess he still does) that they changed their name to THE AUTOMATS and they were usually destroying shopping windows (you would not have believed this if you had the chance to see in those days - therefore you had to make the day to night because darkness was their lifestyle). The first time I saw them on stage was in 1979 in a small rock club midtown in Hannover where they were supported by a real punk rock band who called themselves BLITZKRIEG and those had a bass player who couldn't play bass and who had left jail just two days ago (for vandalising a kindergarten) so the real punk rock band played without him. The club was full and it was a good concert. Some chairs were smashed. Then the 39 CLOCKS entered the stage. The two guitar players were thin and wore black clothes. They never seemed to recognize that they were not alone in the room - they cared about nobody (today you would call them arrogant assholes but in those days you had to act like an arrogant asshole if you wanted to be a punk). Their bass player was a hippie always swinging with his head and he had long red hair. Their drummer was an all-american sunny-boy (Claudius Hempelmann was also a painter, but committed suicide some 10 years later). More chairs were destroyed (yeah in those days you have to destroy something to be recognised as a punk - this was long before having stupid haircuts and drinking cheap beer and being a beggar if you wanted to be recognized as a punk) and most of the audience left the club (okay they wanted to hear punk rock not garage punk). But I stayed. I can't remember any songs they played but I knew they were great. No, they didn't sound like The Velvet Underground - they only were skinny and pale like those Warhol puppets and wore black clothes, they sounded more like classic American punk from the Sixties but with a psychotic edge instead of sitars, blues and flowers. Since then I saw the 39 CLOCKS 5 more times. Most gigs were horrible but the others were magic (they made the mistake to open a show for THIS HEAT, but in fact every other band supporting THIS HEAT would have sunk like the Titanic). They were good with just a drummer (like the mighty Rüdiger Klose!) but with other musicians their music lost most of its rawness. I don't remember exactly when I first met J.G39 and C.H.39 personally. I guess it was when I heard of them compiling a compilation album for their own Psychotic Promtion Records label with other psycho bands. So I made a song but they lost the cassette and the record was never released.

"Schräg ist englisch und englisch ist modern" - C.H.39 and J.G.39 at the BeBop in Hildesheim/Germany as support act to THIS HEAT

I don't know when C.H.39 (then "Zero Jack") and J.G.39 (then "Genius Nr.17") started to play music but their first public appearance was in 1976 at the DadaNova, a house full of artists midtown in Hannover. They were thrown out when members of Otto Mühls AAO took the commune over. The next year they had various drummers and were thrown out at shows in Kassel at the documenta (they disturbed Joseph Beuys with their music) and at a local Country & Western club (who made that booking!?). Rumour says that at one show in the Glocksee youth center they played vacuum cleaner and circular saw instead of guitars. 1978 they entered a studio for the first time but those tapes are lost. After listening to the first punk rock band from Hannover ROTZKOTZ they decided to quit the punk image, invented Psycho-Beat and called themselves 39 CLOCKS (still they were liked by the punks in Hannover and had regular stories in the fanzine GEGENDARSTELLUNG who were enemies of the students and hippies from the Nordstadt quartier, home of NO FUN and Hollow Skai). They played at the Altstadtfest Hannover with drummer "Eternity No One" and a singes who called himself "Chaotic Czak & The Shizophrenic Monster". Strangely that guy was also a member of the youth organisation Junge Union of the German tories CDU. He even arranged a show with the 39 CLOCKS at a party meeting but that was the end of his political career - and his musical. In 1979 the 39 CLOCKS created an outrage at the Filmtage Hannover with their avant-gardistic Super8-movies under the disguise of director Zachius Lipschitz. Then they sacked their drummers and bought a drum machine. 1980 saw the release of their first single on No Fun Records and they started to play regular concerts at the Werkstatt Odem. The next year No Fun Records even released an LP and C.H.39 and J.G.39 started to wear bandages around their heads during shows. Talk about "Art Minus Idiots"! Also J.G.39 released his comic magazine "Illustrierte Story Sam Ray". In summer the 39 CLOCKS took part in the Jubel 81-tour with 5 other bands from No Fun Records through Germany but the audiences didn't like them and threw stuff and even knives at them. But BÄRCHEN UND DIE MILCHUBIS - that band was the absolute opposite to the 39 CLOCKS: they had a girl singer, german lyrics and played punky pop with a childish, but not silly attitude - liked the 39 CLOCKS and together they started the idea of making a split-single with each band covering a song from the other one. Sadly the 39 CLOCKS fucked up the recording of "Muskeln" but BÄRCHEN UND DIE MILCHUBIS released their version of "DNS" anyway. Director Beate Klöckner asked the 39 CLOCKS to contribute to the soundtrack of the movie "Nightfall" (a typical german "Autorenfilm") but No Fun Records didn't wanted to release the second LP on time so the band spilt with these bunch of students and hippies and started their own record label Psychotic Promotion. Consequently the album took even longer time to be released but they attracted interest even in Great Britain and Flickknife Records from London released a compilation LP.

Illustrierte Story Sam Ray Nr.1 (published by Jürgen Gleue 1981, contains comics by Jürgen Gleue, Gabi Gleue and Olaf Albers)Comics Curiosa - Werbecomics Teil 2 (published by Jürgen Gleue, 2003 - a third is announced but not yet released?)Comics Curiosa - Werbecomics Teil 2 (published by Jürgen Gleue, 2003 - a third is announced but not yet released?)
StumpfS 30/85 (Fanzine by Martin Fuchs, first issue completely dedicated to 39 CLOCKS)StumpfS 36/86 (Fanzine by Martin Fuchs, second issue completely dedicated to 39 CLOCKS)StumpfS 39/90 (Fanzine by Martin Fuchs, third issue completely dedicated to 39 CLOCKS)

In 1983 the 39 CLOCKS split and C.H.39 went to Hamburg and formed THE BEAUTY CONTEST with Lee Self from SILENT RITE, who had previously played a fantastic show at the Psychotic Promotion Festival in Hannover in 1983. I saw THE BEAUTY CONTEST live in 1984 but I had difficulties with their noisy psychotic sound. That band didn't last long and C.H.39 choose a career in graphics. But in 1985 he compiled together with J.G.39 a posthumous album with studio outtakes and rehearsal tapes (and funny liner notes written by the guy who made the GEGENDARSTELLUNG fanzine but is now a press officer for the local government, so I don't mention his name to protect the innocent) and in 1987 they even recorded a new album at the Wahrendorfschen Anstalten, a famous lunatic asylum in Ilten near Hannover, but I can't remember any concerts from that time. They had a wonderful appearance at the local private radio station FFN where they told Ecki Stieg (who called himself in 1979 Bob Blitzkrieg but turned into a goth nowadays) that they were investigating the life and music of ants. J.G.39 stayed in Hannover all the time and formed EXIT OUT in 1984 with the mighty Rüdiger Klose and a keyboard player. They sounded great, sometimes like an updated version of The Doors. J.G.39 had guest spots with KASTRIERTE PHILOSPOHEN who released their first records at Psychotic Promotion and together they formed a band with the legendary jazz musician GUNTER HAMPEL and released 2 records as THE COCOON. Then J.G.39 discovered LIEBFRIED LOCH and made records with him which I don't own but I was told they were the most depressing stuff you could imagine. At that time I took part in a session with LL and J.G.39 at the Nordmannpassage which was not too bad but again the tape was lost. J.G.39 went solo in 1990 and started home recording. There were always admirers who paid for his record releases like the guys from Glitterhouse Records and Emilio Winschetti, another Nordstadt Nigger, but the records didn't sell well so in 2000 J.G.39 quit playing music and concentrated on collecting east-german comics.

If you really dig Psycho-Beat you might be interested to know, that J.G.39 played guitar on 2 records by KASTRIERTE PHILOSOPHEN: in 1984 on "Call Yourself A Liar", "Scars Of Dancing", "Trip Down (To Violent Circles Of Time And Resignation)" and "Love Factory" on the album "Love Factory" and in 1986 on "Skin And Pain" on the album "Insomnia", and C.H.39 designed the cover for the "Tyrants & Poolsharks"-LP in 1988. In 1990 Rüdiger Klose recorded the "Plastic Minds"/"Islands Of The Univers"-7" for 3 SPIRAL STAIRCASES where Gabi and Nemo Gleue were members - and yes, they are sister and nephew of J.G.39.


All known release from Psychotic Promotion Records:
PSI-A - 39 CLOCKS "Aspetando Godo"/"New Crime Appeal"-7" (1982) details
PSI-B - 39 CLOCKS "Subnarcotic"-LP (1982) details
PSI-C - ?
PSI-D - DIE KASTRIERTEN PHILOSOPHEN-12" (1983)
ouverture/endzeitliebe//
eskimo summer/hardbreak hotel
PSI-E - KASTRIERTE PHILOSOPHEN "Lens Reflects Fear"-12" (1984)
in the dark/decadent café/pale mirror//
lens reflects fear/faceless fuckparade
PSI-F - 39 CLOCKS "Cold Steel to the heart"-LP (1985) details
PSI-G - ?
PSI-H - 39 CLOCKS "13 More protest Songs"-LP (1987) details
further releases?

 

HANNOVER FUN FUN FUN (erster Non Fun-Sampler), LP, No Fun Records 1980
enthält:
39 Explosion Heats
DNS/Twisted and Shouts, 7", No Fun Records 1980
DNS
Twisted and Shouts
"Pain it Dark", LP, No Fun Records 1981
Shake The Hippie
DNS
78 Soldier Dead
Out Of Sight
Stupid Art
Test The Beat
Psycho Beat
Twisted & Shouts
Radical Student Mob In Satin Boots
39 Explosion Beat
A Look Into You
Aspetando Godo/New Crime Appeal, 7", Psychotic Promotion 1982
Aspetando Godo
New Crime Appeal
"Subnarcotic", LP, Psychotic Promotion 1982
Heat Of Violence
Dom (Electricity Elects The Rain)
Psychotic Louie Louie
Past Tense Hope & Instant Fears On 42nd Street
Virtous Girl
Three Floors Down
Rainy Night Insanities
A Touch Of Rot
Aspetando Godo
KLAR UND WAHR (Sounds rettet Deutschland), MC, Das Büro 1982
enthält:
Art Minus Idiots
"Blades In Your Masquerade", LP, Flickknife Records 1983
Dom (Electricity Elects The Rain)
Heat Of Violence
New Crime Appeal
78 Soldier Dead
Virtous Girl
Psychotic Louie Louie
Psycho Beat
Twisted & Shouts
Past Tense Hope & Instant Fears On 42nd Street
"Cold Steel to the heart", LP, Psychotic Promotion/What's So Funny About 1985
P.L.O.
Cold Steel To The Heart (And It Beats No More)
39 Progress Of A Psychotic
Shadow Or A Man
The Great Chomeini
Fast Cars
Your Prick Makes Me Sick
Art Minus Idiots
Signs & Toys
Psycho Beat
Beat Your Brain Out
"13 More protest Songs", LP, Psychotic Promotion/What's So Funny About 1987
Eternal Yesterdays
What Never Happened
Eve Of Destruction
You Can't Count The Bombs (It's Zero)
But You Know
Mr. Diamond
My Tears Will Drown The World
Il Ne Porte Pas Ses Nylons Négligés
Shake Ghaddafi's Blues
I'm Not Alone Without You (Ce N'est Pas Pervers)
(They Don't Dance Much) The Violent Ones
EINE EIGENE GESELLSCHAFT MIT EIGENER MORAL, CD, What's So Funny About 1992
enthält:
New Crime Appeal
"The Original Psycho Beat", CD, What's So Funny About 1993
Heat Of Violence
Radical Students In Satin Boots
Past Tense Hope & Instant Fears On 42nd Street
My Tears Will Drown The World
Virtous Girl
Stupid Art
A Look Into You
Three Floors Down
Cold Steel To The Heart (And It Beats No More)
Mr. Diamond
Signs & Toys
Rainy Night Insanities
78 Soldier Dead
Il Ne Porte Pas Ses Nylons Négligés
Beat Your Brain Out
23 (Original Movie Soundtrack), CD Virgin/EMI 1999

enthält:
DNS

39 CLOCKS / C.H.39 und J.G.39 solo
© 2005 Martin Fuchs - Alle Rechte vorbehalten!
also have a look at http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/39_Clocks
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