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30 years of punk history: Die Toten Hosen

Die Toten Hosen belong to Düsseldorf like Altbier and the Rhine. The quintet around the charismatic lead singer Campino is one of the city's most important figureheads. At their very first concert on April 10, 1982, Campino, Kuddel, Vom, Andi and Breiti would certainly not have dreamed of this. Today they are record millionaires, have won countless music prizes, and are considered role models for social and sporting commitment.

Punk rocker you can touch

Charismatic frontman: Campino

On the anniversary tour, the Toten Hosen once again prove their weakness for unusual concert venues. They like to appear in their fans' living rooms, or they surprise with guest appearances in prison. Even as seasoned rock professionals, Campino & Co. cannot take this fun away. Star airs are alien to them - in their hometown of Düsseldorf they are present at football games, concerts or in the pub around the corner.

Music critic Philipp Holstein explains the phenomenon "Die Toten Hosen" as follows: "The boys actually stayed true to themselves. Their attitude is still punk rock," he says. "The longer I am in Düsseldorf, the more I notice how important they are for this city, but also for Germany."

No wonder, because the Toten Hosen take a stand. They are known for their clear messages, mobilize against nuclear power or the Nazis, or pose naked for an anti-fur campaign. The quintet has a kind of love-hate relationship with the Berlin band "Die Ärzte"; Role models like the long dissolved New York punk band "Ramones" are venerated by them like saints.

Crises, a little horror show and the charts

The breakthrough came with "A Little Bit of Horror Show"

The 1000th concert 15 years ago almost means the premature end for the punk rockers. The death of a 16-year-old in the crowd in front of the stage caused big discussions within the band. Half a year after the accident, Campino said: "It sounds stupid, but we are no longer the band we were before. A huge piece of naivety has been lost. So just jumping into the audience and so on, that doesn't work more."

But the band copes with the crisis and carries on. Musically, the record of the "Hosen" after 30 years of band history is impressive. They achieved their breakthrough in 1988 with the album "A little bit of horror show" and the hit song "Hier geht Alex".

The simple melodies and easily understandable texts are popular. With record titles like "Buy me!" and "Opium fürs Volk" they regularly storm the charts over the next few years. The Düsseldorf band casts a spell over all generations. It is not uncommon for parents to go to concerts with their children. Also unique is the Argentina phenomenon, where "the pants" have been almost as popular as in Germany for 20 years. And not only when they sing "Guantanamera" ...

Together in the grave

Friends not just on stage

With so many highlights, even the charismatic Campino is a little speechless. "I have to admit that around 90 percent of all the experiences in my life that I would describe as awesome or super are related to the Toten Hosen," the 49-year-old admits frankly.

After four years of waiting, the new CD of the Toten Hosen will be released on May 4th. It is the 13th studio album. Some say it could be the last. After all, Campino celebrates its 50th birthday in June. No matter how long the "pants" hold out, one thing is already certain: a common grave is reserved in a Düsseldorf cemetery.