Inspired: Funky Fräuleins
Just when I thought inspiration would elude me this week, the Funky Fräuleins arrived on the scene direct from Hamburg’s Indra Club circa 1968. I can’t quite fathom my good fortune and, now, yours.
Inspiration should be serendipitous – something stumbled upon ideally in an unexpected venue or context. So, I dropped by a popup over the weekend at one the wineries in the neighborhood to catch up with Danette Scheib, the proprietress of San Francisco-based Lemon Twist. While hanging out and sampling Sutton Cellars’ latest vintage, Carl Sutton, the proprietor, threw a Funky Fräuleins compilation on the turntable to provide some period atmospherics for the fashion on hand. I’m not exagerating when I say that Danette has definitely outfitted her fair share of funky fräuleins (and fräus) about town.
The meinschaft at Grosse Freiheit have obviously been doing the rounds of flea markets and bin diving at suitably obscure vinyl shops in Hamburg to deliver no less than three compilations featuring German female beat, groove, disco, and funk spanning 1964 to 1981: Funky Fräuleins 1 and 2 plus Beat Fräuleins.
Nope, I’m not making this up. Where else will you, or anyone else for that matter, find Joy and the Hit Kids, Caterina Valente, and Monique and the Lions all on one round piece of plastic? That’s right, nowhere! We’re talking about how “the beat forced its way into the innocent world of German schlager” dressed as a Lazenby-era Bond girl with hot rhythms, sharp lyrics, kicking drums, and distorted guitar licks to shake things up a bit. I can only image Ulrike Meinhof rocking out to Hildegard Knef in between blowing up stuff and shootouts with the Polizei.
So, with that in mind, there’s absolutely no reason not to buy them all right now. Why not go all the way and treat yourself to some vinyl and a new Burmester HiFi system while you’re at it. After all, you have to ask yourself “What would Dennis Hopper have done?” I think you know the answer.