Andreas Banaski is dead – Obituary: Pop as Existence

Andreas Banaski is dead - Obituary: Pop as Existence

There are times of cultural stagnation and there are times of cultural explosion. Blooming time in which something unique happens in a very short time. Times like the early eighties, when after punk, the new wave exploded. Music changed, fashion changed, and finally the way I wrote about music changed. And so also music journalism experienced a brief, violent heyday in the early 1980s. A new note took hold. New wave journalism was in many ways the opposite of what characterizes today’s cultural journalism: fickle left-wing, lively, edgy, passionate, always ready to offend readers in an intelligent way.

The Hamburg music magazine “Sounds” quickly became the West German central organ of this new tone – and one of the most important authors of “Sounds” was a young man who came to the city not long ago from the province of Schleswig-Holstein. . Actually, the name of this person was Andreas Bansky. But he came to be known under a pseudonym: Kidd P.

while Diedrich DiderichsenHis colleague Andreas Bansky, who was in charge of the “sound” at the time and had rapidly eroded himself in the academic world, flirted with his petty-bourgeois background. His songs were personal, edgy, bold, full of provocations in all directions: against ruling Social Democratic philanthropists, against hippies, against everyone who heard the wrong record, anyway. Bansky’s particular love was the surface, the great, gleaming show tradition, pure pop. One of his favorite bands, to which he would remain loyal for years, was The Human League. Their biggest hit, “Don’t You Want Me”, was released in the fall of 1981.

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grand gesture of return

“Sounds” was discontinued in 1983. There is a black and white photo on the last page of the previous issue. In all previous editions, pop stars were featured here – in previews for an upcoming issue. Parts of the now outgoing editorial team appeared here. Below was a small anecdote about Andreas Bansky. This was the moment when the pop journalist himself became a star. At least in the small world of those reading this.

But pop culture is fascinating—and just as the Human League could never relive its golden age in the early eighties, Kid P.

From now on Bansky wrote under his real name, mostly in the music magazine »Specs«, which administered the »Sounds« legacy. At some point, perhaps in the early 1990s, he gave up writing altogether. He said everything, Bansky himself later explained. Grand gesture of retreat, public silence.

But what later, in autobiographies – or obituaries of the kind – gives the impression of glamour, in Bansky’s case only led the engine room of cultural journalism. Now he worked as an archivist and documentary specialist, first in “Tempo” and later on his own account.

Anyone who met Banaski in Hamburg’s nightlife at the time saw a man in his middle years, who was always a little neatly dressed, his hair parted, nickel glasses and a knee-length coat. He stood up straight, beer in hand. Somehow he didn’t fit here. And yet he was one of the first to raise pop as an existence in his songs. One of the greats, an almost forgotten hero – for whom any praise would have been appropriate. The German-language New Journalism, which Bansky helped shape, had come to the large editorial offices long ago. Also in Spiegel.

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Andreas Banaski had a large office near the Reeperbahn in which he kept countless music magazines. Anyone who came here from him experienced a man who was still aware of almost everything in pop culture and had a passionate opinion on it all – but rarely expressed it in writing. Only occasionally did he write another text.

Then, after breaking up physically, he fell silent as a writer. He spent the last few years in a nursing home in the province of Schleswig-Holstein, from where he once came.

Andreas Bansky died on Wednesday. He was 63 years old.

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