Name: The Busters
It seldom happens that a birthday present has led to ten or twelve young men being employed full-time. You rub your eyes in disbelief at the unforeseeable consequences that birthday surprises can have.
Thomas Scholz, a ska aficionado, wanted to be able to perform the beloved off-beat sounds least once in the youth center in Wiesloch. Without further ado, friends from high school graduates, civil servants and military service providers set up a combo to do him this favor.
And so on May 23, 1987 the first Busters concert took place in the Wiesloch youth center.
After the successful debut concert, the second concert took place in October of the same year in the swimming pool club in Heidelberg, one of the most renowned clubs in the area, and still today. With nothing but a single concert in their luggage, the Busters transformed the jam-packed club into a steam bath in no time at all.
The great success of these two concerts encouraged the band to organize a concert themselves under the agide of Franz Beutler. A festival grew out of the planned concert. Under the motto “Off Beat Offensive”, over 600 fans from all over Germany and neighboring countries met on December 4th, 1987 in the old Wiesloch town hall.
In addition to the ska bands, “No Sports” and “Skaos”, the Busters played as well.
Immediately after the festival, an idea was realized that had been floating around in the minds of the musicians for several months. Encouraged by the great stage successes and the national feedback, the Busters dared to produce a single. After the band was content with covers of well-known and popular Ska standards, the “busters sound” should now be manifested with two tracks of their own.
The city youth welfare organization once again helped with the financing and waived its share of the proceeds from the Ska festival in favor of the single. A small Bremen record company, the Weser Label (more specialized in punk), label of Mimmi’s singer Claus “Fabsi” Fabian could be won for the production . Two Busters live recordings of extremely dubious recording quality (JUZ Wiesloch and Heidelberg Swimming Pool) were enough to get the head of the Bremen label to sign the first record deal. The tapes with the tracks “Keen on games” and “No respect” recorded in the Ohrenschmaus-Studio in St. Leon were then personally carted by drummer Gunther Hecker and singer Thomas Scholz to the handover of the band in mum’s old Beetle in Bremen !!!!
While the single was released in April 1988, the Busters were already on their first tour across Germany. Cities like Stuttgart, Nuremberg, Wuppertal and Bielefeld witnessed the birth of a German ska legend.
Already in the first year structures took shape in the band, which should be decisive for the further advancement. Booking and promotion was done by Thomas Scholz (Uncle Bräsig). A wide range of fan articles, such as T-shirts, stickers and buttons, whose positive promotional effect was recognized early on, was offered for sale to the public by a merchandiser accompanying the concerts. A graphic designer, Rolf Rinklin, with whom the band still works today, was brought in for the artwork of records, posters and merchandise items.
The great Germany-wide demand for the first published single did not make Fabsi from the Weser label hesitate. At the end of June 1988 he, who had never seen the band live before, commissioned an LP that was to be recorded at the beginning of August, a good month later. The band’s joy was accompanied by a great creative urge, because the task was to compose an LP-filling repertoire of their own songs within a month. The usual evening trips to the nearby quarry pond during this time of year gave way to a strict practice discipline. In the recording studio – which, by the way, belongs to Herbert Grönemeyer’s band – the time situation tightened again: Fabsi only allowed 13 (!) Days for recording and mixing 13 tracks, recorded by 14 musicians. A fact that Christoph Matlock, the sound engineer, had his hands over his head to greet. Fabsi paid the recording studio bill for the LP “Ruder than rude” in a fit of carelessness typical of his personality, without even having heard a single note from the production.
Due to the extremely strict time planning in this first big studio event and in the preceding composition phase, a decisive character trait of the band developed: the close cohesion in extreme situations. When it comes down to it, everyone pulls together.
Parallel to the development in Germany, there was great interest abroad. As early as the beginning of 1988, the Busters were represented with a title on the “License to Skank” sampler, distributed by the English record company “Link-Records”. Just a few weeks after the first LP “Ruder than rude” was recorded, the English record label “Unicorn Records” received the license for the worldwide distribution of the LP.
Towards the end of 1988, when the whole world whistled “Don’t worry, be happy”, the Busters used the popularity of this song for a spontaneous action: the piece was immediately produced in an up-time Ska version in the studio and as a single with ” Mickey Mouse in Moscow “published as B-side. As a result, the band managed to attract the attention of various radio stations nationwide for the first time. The release of the LP “Ruder than rude” and the two singles “No respect” and “Don’t worry, be happy” not only resulted in a considerable increase in the band’s popularity within Germany. The album in particular caught the attention of the whole world and marked the beginning of a second ska revival. This was not only proven by a large, positive response from the press. Rising sales of records and merchandise, the LP’s placement in the EFA indie charts (15th place) and finally the rush of fan mail from all continents confirmed the band and their work and laid the foundation for the first concerts in Europe Foreign countries.
November 1st, 1988 ushered in the international breakthrough of the BUSTERS. First contacts to the English ska scene were made through the already legendary joint tour with the English two-tone band “Bad Manners”, which started that day in the old Wiesloch town hall.
The invitation to the 2nd International Ska Festival in London was promptly received in the early summer of ’89, when they were just about to build up their reputation on national stages.
For the first time in the band’s history, they got on a plane to conquer what was then the center of the scene. As the headliner of the second festival evening, the BUSTERS astonished with a sensation!
Through spontaneous arrangements, they were able to present three generations of Ska and Rocksteady music on stage at the same time. Buddy Fatty (Ska icon and heavyweight front man of the “Bad Manners”) and the then 62-year-old “Godfather of Ska” Laurel Aitken offered the audience a unique SKA night together with the BUSTERS.
From now on things happened in quick succession: For the studio sessions for the second album “Couch Potatoes” planned for July, they agreed to work with Laurel. The native Cuban, who made Jamaican music world famous in the 1960s together with Desmond Dekker, Jimmy Cliff, but also with Bob Marley and Peter Tosh, suddenly found himself in the Rauenberg trick studio. The result was the traditionally influenced number “Boogie with the bartender” on the one hand, and the dub-ska title “She was my girl” on the other.
But even without Laurel, standards were set on the album. The band has developed its own profile to this day. Pieces such as “Space Patrol Orion” or “Broken dreams” showed the openness towards other styles of music, “Summertime” became an “all-time favorite” for all fans.
Following the release on the LP / CD in October ’89, the band completed a much-acclaimed tour of Germany with Laurel Aitken, including trips to Holland.
1988 – The Busters – Ruder Than Rude LP
1988 April – The Busters – No Respect 7″
1989 – The Busters – Couch Potatoes LP
1989 – The Busters – Rude Girl 7″ / 12″
1989 – The Busters – Don’t Worry, Be Happy 7″ / 12″
1989 – The Busters & Laurel Aitken – She Was My Girl 7″ / 12″
1989 – The Busters – Summertime 7″
23/05/1987 – Wiesloch – JUZ
??/10/1987 – Heidelberg – Schwimmbad
04/12/1987 – Wiesloch – Alte Stadthalle – With No Sports and Skaos
14/05/1988 – Nürnberg – Komm – With Skaos
23/05/1988 – Koblenz – Logo
29/05/1988 – Stuttgart – Röhre
10/06/1988 – Wuppertal – Die Börse – With Mr. Review
16/06/1988 – Heidelberg – Schwimmbad Club
18/06/1988 – Hemsbach – Zehnt
01/11/1988 – Heidelberg – With Bad Manners
02/11/1988 – Aachen – With Bad Manners
03/11/1988 – Bremen – With Bad Manners
21/11/1988 – Frankfurt – Cooky’s
23/12/1988 – Ellwangen – JUZ
27/02/1989 – Übach-Palenberg – Rockfabrik – With The Braces
12/10/1989 – München
13/10/1989 – Heidelberg – Aula im Klausenpfad – With Laurel Aitken + Casino Royale
14/10/1989 – Fulda – Kreuzsaal – With Laurel Aitken + Casino Royale
15/10/1989 – Berlin – TU – With Blechreiz + Casion Royale + Laurel Aitken
17/10/1989 – Köln – Luxor – With Laurel Aitken
18/10/1989 – Aachen – Rockfabrik – With Laurel Aitken
19/10/1989 – Hamburg – Fabrik
20/10/1989 – Bielefeld – HdJ Sennestedt – With Laurel Aitken
21/10/1989 – Düsseldorf – HdJ – With Laurel Aitken
22/10/1989 – Stuttgart – Röhre – With Laurel Aitken
23/10/1989 – Frankfurt – Cooky’s – With Laurel Aitken
29/12/1989 – Übach-Palenberg – Stadthalle – With Judge Dread + The Frits + Laurel Aitken + Skaos + Skaboom
Komm in Nürnberg 1988
Komm in Nürnberg 1988