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Beat-Club was a German music program that ran from September 1965 to December 1972. It was broadcast from Bremen, West Germany on Erstes Deutsches Fernsehen, the national public TV channel of the ARD, and produced by one of its members, Radio Bremen, later co-produced by WDR following the 38th episode.

Beat-Club
GenreMusic
Created byGerhard Augustin and Mike Leckebusch
Presented byUschi Nerke
Dave Lee Travis (1966–1969)
Dave Dee (1969–1970)
Gerhard Augustin (1965)
Eddie Vickers (1965–1966)
Opening themeMood Mosaic: "A Touch of Velvet - A Sting of Brass"J
Composer(s)Mark Wirtz (theme)
Country of originGermany
Original language(s)German, English
No. of episodes83
Production
Producer(s)Radio Bremen, WDR (1969–1972)
Production location(s)Bremen, Germany (unless stated below)
Tiles Club, London (episode 11)
Hamburg, Germany (episode 16)
Marquee Club, London (episode 18)
Berlin, Germany (episode 24)
Camera setupStudio Hamburg
Running time30–60 minutes
Release
Original networkARD (Radio Bremen)
Picture formatPAL B&W (1965-1970); Color (1970-1972)
Audio formatMonaural
Original release25 September 1965 –
9 December 1972
Chronology
Followed byMusikladen
External links
Website
Production website

HistoryEdit

Beat-Club was co-created by Gerhard Augustin and Mike Leckebusch. The show premiered on 25 September 1965 with Augustin and Uschi Nerke hosting. German TV personality Wilhelm Wieben opened the first show with a short speech. After eight episodes, Augustin stepped down from his hosting role and was replaced by DJ Dave Lee Travis.

 
Uschi Nerke

The show's earlier episodes featured live performances, and was set in front of a plain brick wall. It underwent a revamp in 1967, when a more professional look was adapted with large cards in the background displaying the names of the performers. Around this time, a troupe of young women billed the "Go-Go-Girls," were introduced to dance to songs when their performers couldn't appear.

In early 1969, Travis was replaced by Dave Dee, of Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich. On 31 December 1969, Beat-Club switched to color and again featured live performances. Dee departed in 1970, leaving Nerke as the lone host.

In the later years of its run, the series was known for incorporating psychedelic visual effects during many performances, especially following the switch to colour.

The Grateful Dead performed on the show on 21 April 1972, halfway through their European Tour (selections of which would make up the live album Europe '72). The band played a shorter set than usual, but still included crowd favourites such as "Truckin'".[1] The set is believed to be the last professionally filmed appearance of Ron "Pigpen" McKernan, who retired from the band following his final gig at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles shortly after the end of the tour owing to medical reasons and he later died in March 1973. In 2014, the footage had its first theatrical screening in theatres across the US.[2]

Acts on the showEdit

RelaunchEdit

Beat Club is now broadcast on Sunday afternoons between 1 and 3 pm as a weekly radio programme on Radio Bremen 1 and on a web channel offered by the radio station. The radio show is still hosted, rather nostalgically, by Nerke, reprising her role as presenter for the series.

The 2008 Video on demand web portal launched for Beat-Club and Musikladen was replaced by a YouTube channel in 2010.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Europe '72 : Beat Club, Bremen, West Germany". dead.net. Archived from the original on 28 October 2016. Retrieved 28 October 2016.
  2. ^ Grow, Kory (June 9, 2014). "Grateful Dead's 1972 German Concert to Hit Movie Theaters This Summer". Rolling Stone. Retrieved October 28, 2016.

External linksEdit