Georg Danzer (1946 – 2007)

Georg Danzer died on 21st of June. He was supposed to appear on the Donauinselfestival but then lung cancer got him first. I intended to write about him as soon as I heard the news but then some things always seem to be faster, more important or more urgend – which of course is not at all true, if you think about it.

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Growing up in Vienna somewhere between 1965 and 1985 you just knew Georg Danzer. He was a Viennese status quo musician. Almost every year he released a new album, though in the last ten years they went mostly unnoticed, except for the last one which was pr-technically linked to him “surviving” his cancer.

In his songs he personified Viennese people, mindets and life-styles. Especially famous are the songs “Jö Schau” (a Nackerter im Havelka – look, a nude man in the Cafe Havelka) and “Hupf in Gatsch” (Jump in the mud – does anybody have a real good translation for that?). He also sang our secret youth-anthem “A Gulasch und a Seidl Bier” together with Wolfgang Ambros.

I always like to remember how Danzer started his carerr: with tramping through half of Europe, discovering “Sgt. Pepper”, then writing songs for almost every singer in Vienna in the late Sixties. Then a single covered in a plastic bag instead of a proper cover appears in Austria called “Der Tschick” (slang for a cigarette-stub) – a song allegedly by and about homeless people. (If you have that 7″ you’ll probably get a few hundred Euros for it!).

That Danzer emigrated to Germany in the late Seventies to early Nineties and now is being re-discovered again by Austrian media is just the way things always work in this country. He just became too much of a political songwriter than the poet of underdogs and Vienna streetlife that he started off as. Too serious and too much fingerpointing. Anyway, we like to remember people the way we preferred them.

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