Melo´s Band Directory > Tangerine Dream (Germany)

Tangerine Dream - Biography

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TD´s Bio, written by Melo the Prog Goddess on the old bazaar, only containing the list of those musicians who were involved in the compositional process of a TD album at some point in time - even if their contribution was only one song or a part of a song.

The historical overview of Tangerine Dream:

When Edgar Froese founded Tangerine Dream, the group consisted of five musicians:

Kurt Herkenberg - bass guitar - he used to be an art student

Volker Hombach - violin, saxophone - he was a student at the film academy in Berlin

Lanse Hapshash - drums - he was a painter

Charly Prince - vocals - he was a writer

Edgar Froese - guitar, harmonica - he just finished studies at the Berlin academy for the arts

This group mainly played at student parties and was well known in the experimental art scene. They played many gigs in galeries, at openings and accompanied art happenings for various national and international artists e.g. Joseph Beuys, Bernhard Hoeke, John Cage, Salvador Dali and many more.

After the band broke up, Edgar played for approx. four months with 16 different musicians from around the world, such as Paul Wheeler, a drummer from Liverpool, Sven Ake Johnson, a very good jazz drummer from Sweden, Al Akhbar, a young drummer from Ghana, Steve Leuwen, a bass guitar player from Holland and Nick Turner, who later became the sax player for Hawkwind - to name but a few. At that time, Edgar scored his first feature film for the German director, Jurgen Polland: »Never shoot the Bathroom Man«, a strange black and white movie.

In the late autumn of 1969 Edgar met a drummer in the »Zwiebelfisch«, a small art bar in Berlin, who formed a duo with an organist, known as PSY. Although their music was still on an amateur level, Edgar noticed that the drummer could hold a fairly steady tempo for over 10 minutes and seemed to be in good shape. Back then, this was a rather rare trait in German drummers. Edgar asked him if he wanted to join TD and they proceeded straight to the rehearsal

room from the bar. This drummer was:

Klaus Schulze

A month later, Edgar met a performance artist and student of Beuys at a Joseph Beuys exhibition in Berlin, who made a living from unsettling his colleagues with strange art happenings. Edgar invited him to a recording session to play cello and a cash register - which sounded crazy enough - so the arist accepted the offer. The result of this session, with Klaus Schulze on drums, was the first TD album »Electronic Meditation«. The artist was:

Konrad Schnitzler

Klaus Schulze got married in 1970 and shortly left TD shortly after. Then Edgar met a drummer who had just turned 17 and who mastered an exceptional variety of drumming styles during a recording session in Berlin. Edgar hired him for various studio jobs before asking him to partake in TD - the still very young drummer was:

Christoph Franke

The line-up Froese, Franke and Schnitzler gave many concerts and TV appearances, as their music was considered very excotic at that time. TD gave a TV-concert for 12 pinball machines, guitar, cello and drums - it was a live broadcast and initiated a wave of public protest. Nevertheless, TD was a very wanted act at home and abroad. After Schnitzler started shifting his interest towards happening performances only, Edgar and Christoph decided to part ways with him. There were no LP releases with the line-up Froese, Franke, Schnitzler. The replacement for Schnitzler was:

Steve Schroyder

Steve played keyboards and integrated himself very quickly into the musical concept. For the second TD album, »Alpha Centauri«, TD experimented for over three weeks to create their own trademark organ sound - that was pure luxury in those days. "Alpha Centaury" was the album that started the association of TD´s music with space. Unfortunately, after a few months, Steve was starting to lose control over his drug consumption and Edgar and Christoph had no other choice than to part ways with him. Later, Steve - after a period of drug rehab - played the organ as a guest musician on the album »Zeit«.

One day, a young fellow showed up in TD´s rehearsal room in Berlin, who, although not being the biggest keyboard virtuoso of all times, had a talent for conjuring up very unusual sounds on a regular Farfisa organ. He had just turned 19. His name:

Peter Baumann

At first, Edgar and Christoph were not sure whether a collaboration would prove to be fruitful, but after Peter created amazing effects while jamming for 20 minutes with a reverb effect coupled with the organ, they were convinced that he was the right man for them. An interesting era began for TD in the mid-Seventies: they created the albums »Phaedrea«, »Rubicon«, »Ricochet«, »Stratosfear«. The collaboration of Froese/Franke/Baumann lasted until 1977 - with brief interruptions. After a concert in Denver, Colorado, during the second half of an USA tour, Peter informed Edgar and Christoph that his private obligations no longer allowed him a fulltime collaboration with TD. Peter left TD and started working as a solo artist and producer. He built his own studio in Berlin, before finally moving to New York. Another musician, who Edgar knew from the early Berlin underground days, joined TD for a a brief intermezzo. The saxophone player:

Steve Jolliffe

Edgar and Christoph recorded the most controversial TD album »Cyclone« with Steve Jolliffe and were joined by another drummer, whose principle was to always build his own drum sets:

Klaus Krueger

His drum set was made from polyester and other artificial elements which gave it an incredibly voluptuous live sound. The album »Cyclone« with Jolliffe's vocals was a detour from the otherwise purely instrumental music of TD. Although Jolliffe was also a skilled wind instrumentalist, most TD fans found his vocals reason to attack the band for changing their style This wasn't unjustified - but in the studio the band had consciously allowed themselves to embark on this adventure. The European tour that followed - supported with a laser show from Los Angeles - had sold out venues, but nevertheless, Edgar was not too satisfied with the musical direction. Thus, immediately after the end of the tour in London, in the spring of 1978, he and Christoph parted ways with Steve Jolliffe. They recorded the album »Force Majeure« on their own in Berlin, with Klaus Krueger on drums again. Krueger then joined Iggy Pop´s band.

At the end of 1979, Edgar first came accross the theatrical director Robert Wilson. His play »Death, Destruction and Detroit« was performed at the Schaubühne in Berlin. After watching a performance, Edgar met the person responsible for the sound and stage music in the theater:

Johannes Schmoelling

Johannes had studied music and was an excellent piano player. After he and Edgar met on various occasions, he decided quit his theater job and join TD. Three months later, Edgar, Christoph and Johannes played the first live concert behind in East Berlin, as one of the first Western acts to cross the Iron Curtain. This collaboration lasted five years and involved numerous live performances,

studio albums and soundtrack music for major Hollywood productions. The band was often working 16 hours a day, ceaselessly composing and recording and they were often pushed to their limits. The 80´s were to become one of the most productive decades in the band´s history. In 1986, Johannes wanted to start a solo career and left TD on good terms.

Shortly after Johannes´departure a young keyboard player who was earning his daily bread in the Vienna jazz club scene:

Paul Haslinger

was pointed out to Edgar. Paul was only 21 when Edgar invited him to join a studio session in Vienna alongside Christoph Franke. At first it didn't appear likely that Paul - who was mainly a funk-jazz-pianist - would be able to replace Johannes. TD was a completely different musical concept for Paul and it meant a lot of hard work to make him fit into the band´s line up for the Spring 1986 tours of England and the USA. But, as Paul was used to working hard and Edgar and Christoph were patient with him, both tours were successfully completed. What proved to be a much bigger problem for Edgar and Christoph was their differing opinions about their philosophy of contributing to the group as well as several basic changes that Edgar deemed necessary for TD. As a result, Edgar and Christoph appeared together on stage for the final time on August 1, 1987 at a concert in front of the Reichstag in Berlin and they afterwards, they parted ways. Christoph moved to L.A. 3 years later and now mainly creates music for TV series. Edgar and Christoph have only met briefly twice since then and they have never collaborated again. Christoph does not have any ties to TD since his departure from the band in 1987. All contrary reports are mere speculation and do not reflect the truth.

Edgar recorded the next two studio productions with Paul Haslinger. In preparation for a USA tour, as well as co-composing a title for the album »Optical Race«, Edgar and Paul were joined by a studio musician from Berlin:

Ralf Wadephul

Ralf was to complement Edgar and Paul on keyboards. In the studio, this worked well. Unfortunately, the live collaboration on the USA tour did not go as smoothly, thus forcing Edgar to part ways with Ralf again. Wadephul now works as a sound engineer in a studio in Berlin.

After this, Edgar and Paul met a saxophonist and pianist, who was financing her studies at the Vienna Musical Academy by working as a model:

Linda Spa

Linda was invited to join TD as a second saxophonist for a live concert in Berlin in 1990. The musical collaboration worked out much better than expected - and has lasted for over five years as a result of this single concert. As Linda is almost always capable of creating a positive, relaxed atmosphere, she was on the same wavelength with her positive attitude as another young musician, who performed live for the first time with TD in January 1990 as well:

Jerome Froese

Contrary to what people might expect, Edgar and Jerome do not have a problem with the father-son relationship. They agreed on one basic principle that they have stuck with to this day: when it comes to musical opinions, family does not matter. In their musical relationship, they see each other as musicians, not as father and son. Those who have experienced them in the studio know how hard they can often argue even over a few notes - but both holding a great respect for each other as artists.

After a lenghty stay in the USA in the summer of 1990 accompanying the release of the album »Melrose«, Edgar noticed that Paul wished to leave Europe to live and work in L.A.. Thus, after a tour of England in the Fall of 1990, Paul Haslinger left the band to work as a solo artist and composer of soundtrack music for movies and TV series in Los Angeles.


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