Friday, March 29, 2013


When I was ten my family moved to Stuttgart. Listening to the radio after school, I soon found out that there was a local station playing a kind of music I had never heard before. That was the American Forces Network. I didn't understand a word of what the DJ's said, and I had no idea what the songs were about. The sound, the rhythm and the voices were enough to electrify me. It's no exaggeration to say that those nocturnal hours at the radio set changed my life. From then on music was much more than music to me.  The boy glued to the radio became infected, and he felt the Rock'n Roll virus run through his veins ever since. The names of the singers and the titles of the hits became written in his heart: Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee Lewis, Bill Haley and, of course, Elvis Presley. Back then our German stations did not play any Rock'n Roll, the record stores were hiding the few imported 45's downstairs in their jazz collection. Without the AFN I wouldn't have been exposed to that influence in my early teenage years. It has often been said that Rock'n Roll was not just a new style of music, but a revolution. For me it certainly was like a strike of lightning changing my life. I will be ever grateful to the AFN.

1 comment:

  1. Oh, my - I do remember us youngsters listen to AFN, and then our amateur band went and played those songs in NCO Clubs around town (Munich). We didn't really know English, either - but we sang loud and the soldiers were drunk. Worked out well.