Actually the whole story began back in 1967. As a 13-year old boy I was sitting in the kitchen of our one-room appartment, one finger on the recording button of my little reel-to-reel tape recorder, listening to AFN, BFBS, and the very few local radio stations playing beat, mod, or rock'n'roll music, while my mum was washing the dishes. Every weekend I used to compile my own charts, and I wrote them down into a small note book, which unfortunately got lost in the meantime. I started to collect records, 7" 45s at first, and later albums as well. Pop and rock music always used to be more than a mere hobby for me. Though I never really played in a band myself, I got involved with the local music scene in the mid Seventies. I started writing for fanzines and local newspapers, and I worked as a DJ occasionally. With punk, new wave and a developing independent scene in the late Seventies my aim to run a record label of my own was born.
The first chance came in 1983. The younger brother of my wife Päivi was playing in a punkpop combo Intressi in Finland. So I decided to release two of their recordings on vinyl as a 12" single. Almost everything about this release went wrong for obvious reasons. The band used to play only locally in North-West Finland, the record label operated in Berlin, Germany. Also the 12" format wasn't a good idea to introduce these young hopefuls, who were singing in their native tongue (to make things even more complicated). The record sank almost without notice, of course. My second try fared much better. The debut 7" EP "The Grace Of Mystery" by Berlin's The Beatitudes, one of the first neo-Sixties bands in Germany, sold its initial pressing of 1000 within a few weeks. So one came to another, and soon TWANG! records was the home of electrically amplified beat music in Berlin and elsewhere!
In October 1987 the vinyl temple Twang-Tone opened in Berlin Schöneberg. In this record shop my part-time colleague Lutz and me sold rare and second hand stuff as well as imports from Australia, the USA and Scandinavia. Beat, mod, garage punk, power pop and alternative rock were the main interest of our customers and ours as well. If you know Nick Hornby's High Fidelity you can imagine what was going on at the Twang-Tone shop. My belated thanks go to the three guys who used to work in the shop: Matsch, Siggi, and Axel. The latter two used to run the shop alone during its last year, before the landlord kicked them out in the summer of 1992. This was the end of all our dreams of an oasis for record collectors and vinyl junkies.
Most of the shop's earnings were put into the record label. This was probably a mistake not only for the shop's survival. Despite a little bit of success TWANG! Records never made much money. The label always used to be an expensive hobby for me. I started to organise concerts and even tours for some of the bands on the label. And I accompanied several of these tours as a tour manager. For the girlgroup The Lemonbabies I worked as a personal manager and band daddy from 1991-96. Until the new millennium 60 different records were released on TWANG!, the sub-label MAGIC TOE NAIL and the associated label ROSEBUD. It started with vinyl, mostly 7" 45s. But there were CDs as well. In the future there will be more vinyl, if anything at all.
Meanwhile I am working at Radio Eins, a radio station in Potsdam near Berlin. I am responsible for the music archives. And from time to time I am host of a radio show there or at Berlin's college radio Uniradio. My opinion about old and new records, bands, gigs, and trends and gossip from the music biz can be read in Guitars Galore. This is all written in German. I have to apologize to all you non-German speakers, but I simply don't have the time and facilities to translate everything into English. More about me can be found on the Radio Eins website, only in German though. My fave raves of 2001 are here: singles / albums, and here are 2002's best singles / albums.
All releases on TWANG!, MAGIC TOE NAIL, and ROSEBUD are listed here in chronological order. A larger but also older story of TWANG! Records in English can be found at http://www.hiljaiset.sci.fi/twang/twang.htm.If you have further questions get in touch firstname.lastname@example.org
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