Georg Danzer

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Georg Danzer (2003)

Georg Franz " Schurli " Danzer (born October 7, 1946 in Vienna , † June 21, 2007 in Asperhofen , Lower Austria ) was an Austrian songwriter and a pioneer of Austropop - an assignment that he himself tried to avoid throughout his life. He had success as a solo artist, initially with his band The Madcaps and later in the formation Austria 3 with Wolfgang Ambros and Rainhard Fendrich .


2006, with Austria 3
Last appearance, Wiener Stadthalle, in the formation of Austria 3. (in the foreground Wolfgang Ambros )

Georg Danzer was born as the son of an official of the City of Vienna and an employee of a gold and silver refinery . He grew up in the Gaudenzdorf district . After passing his Matura at the grammar school in Diefenbachgasse, he first toured Germany, the Netherlands and Italy by hitchhiking . In autumn 1966 his application to the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna was rejected. Instead, he began studying philosophy and psychology at the University of Vienna . In an interview on ORF around 1968 he stated: “I'm studying newspaper science”, to which the moderator Gerhard Bronner countered: “Young man, […], saddle up to music in good time”.

Career start

After another long trip, which took him hitchhiking first to Crete (processed in the piece Greece ), then to Hamburg and Sweden , Danzer turned to music in 1967. He brought out his first single Vera the following year and made his first appearances on Austrian radio . Although he did not get a record deal, the Ö3 editor Evamaria Kaiser noticed him in 1970. He then wrote lyrics for many singers and bands performing in Vienna for three years - in addition to long-forgotten ones , also for Marianne Mendt , Margot Werner , Erika Pluhar , André Heller , Wolfgang Ambros and Wilfried . Together with Heller and Mendt, “der Schurli” belonged to a group of young musicians who often met in Bronner's Cabaret Fledermaus and who were to shape the Austrian music scene in the coming decades.

During these years, the Viennese dialect was established in the country's pop music through songs such as Wia a Glock'n by Marianne Mendt and Da Hofa by Wolfgang Ambros, and Danzer also increasingly wrote his lyrics in this style. In 1971 he was briefly a member of the dialect band The Madcaps and wrote some of their songs. In 1972 the single Tschik (Eastern coll. Cigarette , but also cigarette butts) was released. In the post-war years it was not uncommon for people in need - called Tschikarretierer - to pick up such stubs with a pointed stick in order to turn several of them into a new Tschik . The song plays with the term, which was still well known in the 1960s, without reference to the author and singer: a sandler (eastern colloquial homeless ) tells about his life in broken chants . The first edition of the single was packed in a garbage bag-like paper bag. Tschik , who seemed "downright scandalous" to some contemporaries, was first identified as Georg Danzer by Ö3 editor Peter Barwitz on the basis of a voice analysis. After Karl Schranz's exclusion from the 1972 Olympic Games, he published with André Heller under the pseudonym Die Österreicher i. V. the hymn-like Landler Karli should live (the Brundage stands next to it) . The single was sold 9,000 times overnight and reached number 9 on the Austro charts.


The commercial flop of the LP Honigmond (1973), which was partly produced with own funds, was followed in 1974 by the concept album Der Tattooierer und die Mondprinzessin including an accompanying book illustrated by the author. The breakthrough came in 1975 with the single Jö schau (parody of a speedster , the "Nackerten im Hawelka ") and the LP Ollas leiwand (coll .: everything is great ). On October 14th he married Dagmara, whom he had met in April 1968.

1976 was a good year for Danzer: daughter Daniela, who he called Püppi , was born, he signed a contract with the major label Polydor , the English magazine Music Week named him “Star of the Year” and five of his songs made up the Soundtrack for the first episode of the satirical crime series Kottan determined . It caricatured the atmosphere in Vienna in the 1970s. From then on, Danzer spent most of his time in Germany. The LP Unter die Haut was made in Berlin in 1977 and he found it with the musicians Michael Gechter (electric guitar), Earl Bostic (bass), Frank Lüdeke (saxophone), Eberhard "Bär" Wieland (keyboard) and Olav Gustafson (drums) Band with which he would record some of his most successful albums in the following years. In Germany, too, he received consistently good reviews, but his song Was that hashish? on blacklists of several radio stations. At the end of 1977 the LP A Little Hope was released in Germany , almost simultaneously in Austria Narrenhaus with song lyrics written in dialect.

Popularity and crisis

The "Georg Danzer Tour 79" with 32 sold out concerts and the live double album of the same name released in the following year formed a milestone in his career. In the next few years, one work followed the other ( sad but true 1980, calm before the storm 1981). In Austria, too, Danzer became known to a wider public as a singer-songwriter with an oeuvre beyond the fun of Jö schau . ORF produced a 45-minute portrait of Danzer Direkt . In 1981 son Andreas was born, and Danzer first went on tour solo and played 47 concerts (live album Direkt ), later followed by a joint open-air tour with Ludwig Hirsch , Konstantin Wecker , Chris de Burgh and Georges Moustaki . The madam and the red reptile , a book with lyrics and stories from Danzer, was published in 1982. In 1983 Danzer was one of the first German-speaking musicians to release an album (... and so on) on CD .

In the summer of 1984 Danzer broke up his band and recorded the album White Horses with new musicians in Munich . While filming in Andalusia for a video for the title song produced under the direction of Rudi Dolezal , he had a serious motorcycle accident and was brought to Vienna by the air ambulance due to life-threatening injuries. In 1985 he was divorced from Dagmara, his father died by suicide and his ex-manager went into hiding, whereupon the tax office made additional demands and Polydor did not renew his contract.

In 1986 he signed a new record deal with Teldec and relocated the center of his life to Spain, also to learn the language. In 1988 he moved to Hamburg and fell ill with malaria during a trip to Egypt and Kenya . In the following year he and his partner Bettina moved to a farm in Werl-Holtum ( Westphalia ), which he lived in with interruptions until 1994 and where he also translated two novels by the Spaniard Manuel Vicent : My name is Cain and the flight of extinct beauty .

Back in Vienna

From 1990 Danzer again spent more time in Vienna and recorded the album Wieder in Wien with the help of Peter Cornelius (guitar), Marianne Mendt (vocals) and Wilfried (vocals) . The following Austrian tour was a success. Georg Danzer and Bettina married in 1992, and son Jonas was born a little later.

In 1993 Danzer went on a three-month tour through Austria, Germany and Switzerland to release the CD Close-up (with Hans Theessink and Dorretta Carter, among others ). In 1994 their son Jakob was born and the family moved to Austria. In 1995 Große Dinge appeared with Ulli Bäer , Gary Lux , Thomas Morá and Peter Barborik . In the same year he played with Adi Hirschal and Lukas Goldschmidt Liada for no reason , a program of Viennese songs .

Georg Danzer with Austria 3 (2006)

On December 10, 1997, Danzer appeared for the first time in the Theater an der Wien with Wolfgang Ambros and Rainhard Fendrich as Austria 3 . Originally “drummed up” for a single benefit concert for the benefit of the homeless, the group became one of the most successful in Austropop. In the same year Danzer was the first European musician to publish a CD-Extra (for $ ex on the Internet ) with multimedia content for various computer platforms . During these years, while he successfully released 3 albums with Austria, always gave sold-out concerts and became known to a new audience, he continued to produce numerous solo albums.

In April 2000 Danzer took over the chairmanship of the human rights organization SOS Mitmensch, founded in 1992, for two years , where he was committed to combating xenophobia and racism. To mark his 30th stage anniversary, the DVD Sun, Moon & Stars was released in 2003 with a review of his career. In 2004 the album Personally with Wolfgang Puschnig (saxophone), Achim Tang (bass) and Christian Eigner (drums) was released, as well as guest appearances by Zabine and Katja Riemann . He was managed until the end by his friend and former PR man at Polydor Austria, Franz Christian "Blacky" Schwarz.

Sickness and death

In early July 2006, the former chain smoker Danzer announced in an interview for the news magazine Profil that he had lung cancer . He was involved in an event organized by the Austrian Lung Union. His last appearance, the “Friends” concert in the Wiener Stadthalle , originally planned for his 60th birthday in October of the previous year , took place there on April 16, 2007.

Georg Danzer died on June 21, 2007 in the care of his family in Asperhofen , where he last lived. The next day, according to his wishes, he was cremated in St. Pölten away from any public. Danzer had decided not to have an honorary grave for the city of Vienna, as is usually offered to artists of his rank. Although he had also ordered that his death be officially announced only after the cremation, two Austrian media outlets had already reported this on the day of his death. The ashes were handed over to the sea on July 20, 2007, according to his wishes, off the coast of Mallorca .

Rainhard Fendrich dedicated the song Abschied , which appeared on his album Meine Zeit , to him. It describes how Fendrich dealt with the situation of Danzer's imminent death.



Jö look , Hupf 'in Gatsch , Fett wie ein Eraser , Ruaf mi net an , White Horses or The legendary Wixerblues of October 7, 1976 are just some of the songs that the songwriter published during his 400-song career. In the last years of his life he made a name for himself through his participation in Austria 3 and his controversial album 13 dirty songs .

Danzer's musical style was initially heavily based on Schlager , similar to that of Udo Jürgens , including the songs Vera and Wenn du sagststen, es ist über (both 1968) , which were released as single . In 1972 he brought out the single Tschik , in which he tells from the point of view of a " Sandler ". The song shows influences from the field of blues and folk , which he only recalled in later publications such as Wieder in Wien (1990) or Träumer (2006). His commercially most successful single, Jö Schau (1975), is indicative of Danzer's musical phase in the 1970s and, along with Wolfgang Ambros' Da Hofa, is one of the genre-creating songs of the dialect wave . A change in style is noticeable in his concept album Ruhe vor dem Sturm (1981). Danzer was particularly inspired by synth pop music on this album - as it did later on the memorial long player . With the LP White Horses (1984) Danzer entered the area of ​​the Neue Deutsche Welle . This attempt met with a rather negative response from both music critics and listeners. On the follow-up album Menschliche Wärme (1984) Danzer honored the British singer-songwriter Donovan with a German cover version of his classic Atlantis . Similar rock-heavy patterns can be seen both in the rest of the album and in his subsequent work Alles aus Gold (1985).


Danzer's texts are written both in Standard German and in the Viennese dialect . In addition to musical influences, his first works also have thematic similarities with contemporary hits . Humoristic and ironic texts in dialect followed in his publications in the early 1970s. Tschik describes everyday life from the perspective of a homeless person. With a rather harsh voice, he also underlines his addiction to the Tschik , the cigarette . From the start, Danzer's oeuvre encompasses the profound, the romantic, the comical and the offensive. On the album Fine People (1979) can be found just about next to the satirical title song still long afterwards popular Freedom , which in the wake of the aftermath of the German Autumn resulting We are all monitored , the ballad Ten small Fixer and honest sexual morality satirizing Title Pornography and Sexi Exi . In the further course of his career, Danzer's texts become more socially critical, such as the song Peace (1981), in which he underlines his demand for peace and his contempt for the Cold War . In it he sings about the "four billion deaths" that the next war could cost, that is, the entire world population. (In contrast, Hannes Wader fixes the fate of mankind in a single soldier in It's Time .) With the song Graue Herren , inspired by Michael Ende's novel Momo , Danzer deals with the suicide of his father. On the subject of death , it goes largely in dreams , his last studio album.

Influence and reception

Georg Danzer was considered a poet and poet in Austrian popular music . He is also seen as a pioneer of the Viennese songwriting scene (see Austrian songwriters ). Especially Wolfgang Ambros ' style was heavily influenced by Danzer. With this he also appeared several times. They gave a concert that was acclaimed by the youth of that time at the cast of the Vienna Youth Center Arena .

Danzer was one of the first artists to sing in the Austrian dialect to gain a commercial foothold in Germany. After sold-out concerts on the 1979 tour, his album Ruhe vor dem Sturm sold almost 250,000 units.


Awards and commemorations

In 1993 he was the second singer / songwriter to receive the Swiss radio spot award " Golden Ear ". In 1995 the Belgian Broadcasting Corporation honored him with the "Silver Antenna" for the world's most text publications in school books. On the occasion of his 50th birthday in 1996 he received the “ Golden Town Hall Man ” from Vienna's Vice Mayor Grete Laska and Harry Kopietz, member of the state parliament . In 1999 Danzer, Ambros and Fendrich received the "BASF Master Award" for Austria 3. For the best album of 2004 in the Pop Album National category, Georg Danzer received the Amadeus Austrian Music Award in 2005 for the album Personally produced by Dieter Kolbeck and Stephan Maass . In 2007 Danzer was honored with another Amadeus Austrian Music Award for his life's work, but was unable to attend the award ceremony because of his illness and instead sent a video message. At the end of 2008 Danzer was posthumously awarded the gold record for his live album And sometimes it can also rain . On March 30, 2009, the albums Von Scheibbs bis Nebraska and Träumer were awarded gold and the live double CD And Sometimes It Can Also Rain With Platinum . In 2009, an underground bridge over the Danube was named Georg-Danzer-Steg .

A house for unaccompanied minor refugees opened in 2015 on the initiative of Marianne Engelmann and the Escape Route Association in Vienna- Döbling bears his name. Two more Georg Danzer stores were opened in Vienna- Oberlaa and Stockerau .

On October 7, 2016, on Danzer's 70th birthday, ORF broadcast the documentary Nur a klana Bua im Winter, commented on by Thomas Stipsits .



  • Georg Danzer: The madam and the red reptile. Stories, songs, thoughts, reflections. Heyne 6083, Munich 1982 (1985 4th expanded edition), ISBN 3-453-01585-1 .
  • Georg Danzer: Up and away. Edition Tau, Bad Sauerbrunn 1993, ISBN 3-900977-43-7 .

Portraits, interviews

Translation work by Georg Danzers

  • Manuel Vicent: My name is Cain. Residenz Verlag, Salzburg 1991, ISBN 3-7017-0695-6 .
  • Manuel Vicent: The Flight of Extinct Beauty. Residenz Verlag, Salzburg 1992, ISBN 3-7017-0739-1 .


  • Austropop legends. Georg Danzer. Documentary, Austria, 2012, 49:20 min., Script and direction: Rudi Dolezal , production: DoRo , ServusTV , series: Austropop-Legenden, first broadcast: November 30, 2012 on ServusTV, summary by

Web links

Commons : Georg Danzer  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. The media first mentioned Vienna, then Pamhagen . Asperhofen was only reported later from a private source. This media uncertainty arose from the artist's wish to protect his family from feared media hype. For this he also left his burial place unknown by order.
  2. Samir H. Köck: Georg Danzer is dead: awake dreamer from Vienna. Die Presse , June 22, 2007, accessed July 17, 2008 .
  3. Georg Danzer. (No longer available online.) In: Chanson - The online magazine for songs, chansons and fine nuances., archived from the original on December 11, 2008 ; Retrieved September 1, 2008 . Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  4. Franz Schuh in the coffee house: "Waiting for nothing". The standard of October 21, 2017.
  5. ORF production The show window .
  6. ^ "Schurl": dialect for Georg in the "lower" Viennese milieu ; Schurli is the pet form that Danzer stuck to for decades.
  7. a b Georg Danzer. MTV , archived from the original on December 11, 2008 ; accessed on February 13, 2017 .
  8. "stands beside" means "has no chance, is wrong"
  9. Georg Friesenbichler: Our wild years: the seventies in Austria. Böhlau Verlag, Vienna 2008, ISBN 978-3-205-78151-6 , p. 92. ( limited preview in the Google book search, for 1972 there is no rating at, for Heller see Die Österreicher i. V . - The Karli Shall Leb'n at
  10. ^ A b The eventful life of Georg Danzer., archived from the original on December 8, 2011 ; Retrieved July 17, 2008 .
  11. ^ Kottan determined: Music. (No longer available online.) Archived from the original on July 2, 2007 ; Retrieved July 17, 2008 . Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  12. Georg Danzer. January 18, 2006, accessed July 17, 2008 .
  13. a b c Georg Danzer's biography. (No longer available online.), archived from the original on December 11, 2008 ; Retrieved July 17, 2008 . Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  14. a b Georg Danzer. (No longer available online.) Sony BMG, archived from the original on December 11, 2008 ; Retrieved July 17, 2008 . Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  15. Georg Danzer ( Memento from December 11, 2008 in the Internet Archive )
  16. a b c d danzer biography 1980 to 1989 ( Memento from January 6, 2010 in the Internet Archive )
  17. a b c danzer biography 1990 to 1999 ( Memento from August 12, 2010 in the Internet Archive )
  18. ^ Elementary forces: Georg Danzer
  19. Songwriter: Georg Danzer has lung cancer. Focus Online, September 4, 2006, accessed July 17, 2008 .
  20. Smoker or "Seicherl". The February 6, 2007 standard .
  21. ^ Ulrich Weinzierl: Farewell: Georg Danzer (1946–2007). Welt Online, June 25, 2007, accessed July 17, 2008 .
  22. Georg Danzer did not want a grave of honor ., article dated June 26, 2007, accessed August 22, 2015.
  23. Georg Danzer - biography. (No longer available online.) (no direct link), archived from the original on March 25, 2012 ; Retrieved July 17, 2008 . Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  24. Manfred Horak: Danzer, Georg - Raritäten II. (No longer available online.) Culture week, archived from the original on December 11, 2008 ; Retrieved July 17, 2008 . Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  25. ^ A b Holger Stürenburg: Forever Young . Books on Demand GmbH, 2001, ISBN 3-8311-1616-4 , pp. 126 .
  26. a b c Holger Stürenburg: Forever Young . Books on Demand GmbH, 2001, ISBN 3-8311-1616-4 , pp. 127 .
  27. a b Wolfgang Kralicek: Nur a klana Bua in winter. Falter , June 27, 2007, archived from the original on January 3, 2009 ; accessed on February 13, 2017 .
  28. cf. World famous in Austria - 50 years of Austropop / 6
  29. ^ Christian Schachinger: Georg Danzer 1946-2007: An obituary. Der Standard , June 25, 2007, accessed July 17, 2008 .
  30. a b cf. Film documentary World famous in Austria - 50 years of Austropop
  31. Kopietz is the initiator of the Vienna Danube Island Festival
  32. ^ - New street names, March 31, 2009, Georg-Danzer-Steg
  33. Young refugees: The stony path to a new life: "A bed alone is not enough"., July 21, 2015, accessed on July 21, 2015.
  34. ^ Georg Danzer on his 70th birthday on the ORF website
This version was added to the list of articles worth reading on September 8, 2008 .