Friday, December 31, 2010

Boney M Frontman Dead / My German Music '77

When I was 12 and went to Germany in the summer of '77 to visit my mother's family (with my father's send-off: "I hope your plane crashes"), I was allowed to take home, aside from the German versions of the Bay City Rollers and Shaun Cassidy albums that I already owned, 3 single records, hot off the German charts: Boney M's "Ma Baker" was one of the three that I chose. (The others: "Lay Back in the Arms of Someone" by Smokie and "Yes Sir, I Can Boogie" by Baccara.)

Boney M frontman Farrell dies in Russia
Reuters, Dec 30, 2010 7:52 am PST

Boney M frontman Bobby Farrell was found dead in his hotel room in St. Petersburg on Thursday, the day after a performance in the city where the band rose to stardom in the Soviet era, his agent said on Thursday.

"He did a show last night as part of Bobby Farrell's Boney M and they found him this morning dead in his hotel room," agent John Seine told Reuters by telephone from the Netherlands. Farrell was 61.

"He did not feel well last night, and was having problems with his breathing, but he did the show anyway," he added.

The cause of his death was not immediately clear, said Sergei Kapitanov, representative of St. Petersburg's branch of Russia's investigative committee.

Farrell was famous for dancing and lip synching for the disco band that rose to prominence in Europe, the United States and the Soviet Union with songs like "Ma Baker," "Rivers of Babylon" and "Rasputin."

Boney M was put together by German singer-songwriter Frank Farian who also produced most of the vocals for the group, which stormed to the top of the charts in the late 1970s with a string of disco hits.

(Reporting by Thomas Grove and Mike Collett-White in London, editing by Paul Casciato)


My mother's family home in Vorsfelde, by 1977, sat across the street from a pub. One afternoon, a group of happily drunken college students poured out onto the sidewalk, singing the chorus of this song. I still get goosebumps listening to it.


And this one I just loved 'cause it was sexy:

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