Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Today we sing with Heino, tomorrow we conquer the world*

I first heard about the Teutonic troubador known as Heino from an interview with Jello Biafra in one of the "Incredibly Strange Music" books from Re/Search publications. (These books went a long way towards seriously effing up my musical sensibility.) Heino's considered something of a national treasure by older Germans and ironic hipster Americans. Heino is certainly a visually arresting figure, what with his tall, oddly shaped platinum blonde hair and his omnipresent dark sunglasses. (Heino suffers from Graves-Basedow disease, which makes his eyes buggy and sensitive to light.)

The most noticeable thing about Heino's music is that it is waaaaay fucking German. I mean we are talking Kraut-To-The-Infinite-Power. Even when Heino is singing one of his many songs about Central and Southern America, there is no doubt of his Deutschland-ness. Seriously, this Octoberfest music could make Utah Mormons drink beer. Heino's baritone will not be denied.

I have a certain affection for Heino, having once made him a guest star in an early comic. Below are a couple of tastes of the HEINO EXPERIENCE.

The men in this first video who are "Singing Mit Heino" have got to be the most dead butch em-effers ever...even the guy with the neck kerchief.


*The menacing quote used as the title for this post is from the David Letterman Show, on which Heino made an appearance.


Susskins said...

I've seen that album cover buzzing about the internet for years, but never heard him sing. Not at all what I expected.

The bass singer at the picnic table looks like Frankie Muniz, or more appropriately like The Gump from the movie Legend.

Roman said...

Hitler... Sergeant Schultz... Heino...

The world just cannot handle any more charismatic Germans.

Dawn Haley Morton said...

Heino is also a major player in WFMU's "That's Irritainment" series, which highlights musicians who obviously capture the moniker. Others gems the shows feature are Shatner doing "Rocket Man", that kind of visual and auditory train wreck. Seeing a slew of Heino videos definitely make you appreciate him as the young singer back in the 60's (as WFMU says "singing with a voice as deep as Hitler's bunker") to his present day popularity and cult status.