pandora project - final contribution
lLayout by Tobias
Prohl (former release at www.alphaville.de)
this final contribution is presented
by the german fanclub 'faithful and true' (www.faithfulandtrue.de) written
by ilwa drößler, except * written by stephan glanemann and melanie
b. translation: ilwa drößler and yvonne herrmann proof-reading:
- faithful & true - fanclub
history [show article]
- the fanzine [show
- our fan meetings
- special events [show
- alphaville's status in germany
- welcome to alphaville
- cooperation with other fanclubs
- what does the internet mean to
our fanclub? [show article]
- what does alphaville mean (to
me)? [show article]
& true - fanclub information
really glad to look back on a long fanclub history, for it has been in
existence since 1986. at that time the fanclub was called 'fantastic dream'
and it was just one of the local fanclubs in east germany. i (ilwa) was
involved right from the very beginning and i'm really the heart of our
a hardcore-fan and i always wanted to commit myself alphaville and their
fans. in 1986 via radio i learnt about a fanclub in east germany and soon
i became a member of it. later on, i and 5 friends of mine founded the
fanclub 'fantastic dream', but none of these friends is still a member
today. in contrast to me, they didn't take the fanclub seriously. in fact,
they only joined it on a whim. i got in touch with numerous fans all over
september 1991 we celebrated the 5th anniversary of the existence of our
fanclub and i used this fact as an opportunity to write a poem - or better
an ode - to the fanclub and alphaville. i sent this ode to various radio
stations and it was read out on air together with the fanclub's address.
uwe, also a fan, listened to it and so we got to know each other ... we've
been married since 1993 and work for the fanclub together now. on the new
year's eve of 1991/1992 the international fanclub 'moon office' was founded
and, of course, we became a member. all local fanclubs were useless from
then on, i.e. their existence was superfluous. the moon office offered
everything a fan needed and we became involved in this fanclub. we wrote
articles for several issues of the moonpaper, the fanclub's fanzine. but
then difficulties arose, which in 1997 led to the closing of the international
fanclub. because of the above mentioned difficulties, fans from abroad
successfully started to found new fanclubs again and the germans followed
this idea - so german fanclubs were re-born.
march 1996 we re-opened our fanclub. we chose a new name, because things
had been developing during all those years and we tried to express these
changes in our new name 'faithful and true'. in comparison with other fanclubs,
we aren't that conspicuously active, i.e. we aren't that present at concerts,
as is typical of other fanclubs, for instance. the reason is that a lot
of our members are still apprentices and therefore they can't afford to
go to concerts regularly. another reason is that our fanclub consists of
lots of quiet members. to be a fan doesn't necessarily mean attacking radio
stations and newspapers. it also mean simply loving the music, listening
to it and being well informed. to our mind, these fans aren't 'worse fans'
and it might be the reason for our members' feeling 'at home' at us. so
it's quite easy to deduce that our main aim is to offer our members a good
service, including news about the band and interesting topics and to help
our members find records and so on. and, of course, we welcome the fact,
that our members get to know each other to create a big fan-familiy. everybody
can become a member, but since our fanzine is written in german, it would
be advantageous to understand german.
have 70 members at present, i.e., we aren't the biggest fanclub, but this
isn't our aim. we prefer a certain personal atmosphere and this is only
feasible if the number of members isn't that high. we therefore don't mind
that there is more than one fanclub in germany.
can a member expect? our fanzine comes out three times a year (april, august,
december) and in between our ics-newsletter informs our members about latest
news. these newsletters don't come out regularly but when required. we
also inform our members about how and where they can get merchandising
or alphaville's releases and we help them to obtain these things. the personal
contact to our members is very important to us and if somebody wants to
know something concerning alphaville, we are pleased to help. we organize
fanclub meetings, as well, and we invite everybody to join us.
fanzine 'ivorycityside' is lovingly called ics. the first issue was published
in the summer of '88. it was only a5-sized and in comparison with today
not that thick. but at that time it was difficult to create a gorgeous
fanzine and particularly to copy it. i still remember clearly using my
typewriter and blueprint-paper to produce 2 or 3 issues at the same time.
this was possible because there were only 15 issues necessary. the fanzine
didn't come out regularly but - because of a lack of material - sporadically.
since 1996 our ics has been published in an a4-size; it's quite thick (approximately
25 to 30 pages) and partly coloured. during the years 1996-1999, the ics
came out four times a year and from 2000 on it will be published three
times a year.
fanzine's concept hasn't changed since 1988. besides current material we
use old one, too, of course. it's a huge advantage of a fanclub to open
the material to everybody. if a fan finds something interesting, we are
able to provide all other fans with this material. in our fanzine you can
find important news as well as concert reports, interviews, reviews, odd
things and lots more about alphaville.
our opinion, it's important not only to report on alphaville in germany
but also to offer our members an overall view of what alphaville and their
fans are doing in the whole world. through a fanzine of an international
fanclub -such as the moonoffice - it's possible to bring fans from the
whole world together, but a local fanclub mostly concentrates on its own
country, thus running the risk of isolation.
try to counteract this tendency, and attach particular importance to international
articles and our fans' creativity, because many of them are really talented.
some make music, others write poems or stories.
we also use our fanclub to make our members' creations public. since alphaville
call themselves big film and music fans and in their songs often draw our
attention to interesting films, records and books, we also use our fanzine
to present things that are not directly connected with alphaville, but
nevertheless very interesting.
first fan meeting took place in berlin at a weekend in october 1997. we
came together in a comfortable youth hostel in berlin tegel, i.e. it was
situated out of the city centre. besides 14 german fans, alessandra montrucchio
from italy joined us. we spent two wonderful and funny days together, we
talked a lot about alphaville (particularly at night) and we danced. the
video recorder didn't work, otherwise we would have watched videos, we
interchanged old newspaper cuttings about our favourite band and knocked
about the district. but above all, we very much enjoyed the two days.
september 1998 we met again in berlin. this time more fans took part and
it was a kind of final rehearsal for the international fan meeting, because
such an idea had already been in our mind for a long time. the scandinavian
fanclub planned to go to berlin by minibus, but in the end hervè
was the only fan from abroad. and now you might wonder why, but the explanation
is following: shortly before our fan meeting it became known that a 'dreamscapes'
release party would take place just one week after our fan meeting. it's
understandable that the scandinavians changed their plans and preferred
to go to germany one week later. i think, everybody would certainly have
made this decision. but we all know alphaville - and their tendency to
change appointments... the release party took place, indeed, but not in
september 1998 but in january 1999. in marian's opinion, alphaville caused
a lot of trouble with their spontaneous change regarding their party plans
and wanted to apologize to their fans. in order to compensate the 18 fans,
who nevertheless had come to the youth hostel in the centre of berlin,
there was a big surprise: alphaville invited us for dinner to a greek restaurant
and, as an absolute highlight, marian himself appeared in the course of
the evening. it was wonderful, but we want to emphasize, that the presence
of a member of the band isn't that important in comparison with a fantastic
time spent with fans.
1999 there was no fan meeting, since we (ilwa & uwe) couldn't join
it for private reasons. our member decided not to plan a fan meeting without
official fanclub meetings there are spontaneous tiny fan-meetings, as well,
but it's impossible to list them all. nevertheless, we want to tell you
about the most special ones.
february 1994 ilwa and rosa (one of our members) met in salzgitter. the
special thing about it was, that on rosa's initiative the two girls recorded
a german version of 'romeos', which was not particularly professional,
but it was later performed during an aids benefit event in salzgitter.
the summer of 1994, for the very first time, we (ilwa & uwe) met both
italian alessandras , who have been among our closest friends for years.
from that time on we met them regularly in germany or italy at least once
august 1997 another spontaneous fan meeting took place in hamburg. the
italians alessandra m., silvia e., alessandra b. and susanna b. were on
their way to a scandinavian fanclub meeting and stopped in hamburg. this
fact was reason enough for us, tobi, monika, burkhard and michael to meet
year both german fan clubs met in thale, a small town in the harz, on the
third weekend in june. the wonderful landscape invited us to connect the
fan meeting with a short family holiday, as other fans did, as well. our
plan for the future is to include our family more and more in all the following
fan meetings. as an absolute highlight marian and martin also went to thale
to perform a few songs live.
if you are interested in this report, you can take a look at our homepage.
the regular fanclub work, including the ics, newletters and fanclub meetings,
we organize other things. recently we carried out our plans of producing
a fanbook. the intension behind the fanbook is the following: we want our
members to get to know each other and create a kind of family, but this
is quite complicated, since it's impossible for all the members to meet
at a fixed place and time. that's why the idea of a collection of portraits
of our members came into our mind. to realize this idea, everybody had
to fill in a questionnaire and almost every fan added a picture. now every
member has got one issue of this fanbook and is able to get to know the
other fans. hopefully, it's a good support to become friends, for instance
if there are fans, who live near your own town or who share similar interests
or at least to recognize other fans at a concert. the next project is a
collection of translated alphaville texts, but we are still working on
it. we devote a lot of time to the translation to be sure to get a result
with a high quality. there are a lot of fans, who are supporting us, i.e.
lots of different ideas intermingle. the translations are particularly
intended for fans, who are uncertain regarding their english, but there
is more to it. the translations will be followed by interpretations, but
it will take a while for everything to be finished. but we are sure that
it's going to be really good.
there are a lot of small things:
time to time one member of our fanclub is able to obtain rarities, which
we can offer to everybody. we also help our members (especially those who
don't have an internet access) to get alphaville releases and other things
that are connected with alphaville. either we acquire these things for
our fans or we let them know, where they can get the things they are looking
for. we always helped our members to find their way to alphaville parties
or concerts, as well. sometimes we were happy to offer our members special
conditions which were very often initiated by the fanclub 'golden feeling'.
from time to time we were able to organize locations, where an alphaville
concert took place in the end. this is what we are constantly trying, but
it doesn't always work as you can imagine. and it's worth mentioning that
we reported on alphaville in the german synthi-pop-magazine re.flexion
and we are going to do so in the future.
status in germany
popularity in germany depends on the region. we don't know exactly the
reasons, but alphaville are more popular in the eastern part of germany.
we think is has to do with the life in east germany, that wasn't that fast-moving.
people from east germany were therefore still able to remember alphaville,
whereas in west germany alphaville had long since ceased to be popular.
but even in the eastern part of germany alphaville's popularity differs
from region to region.
saxony, situated in the south of germany, alphaville enjoy widespread popularity
and this fact is confirmed in the high number of concerts alphaville have
already given there.
the north of germany and in the surroundings of berlin alphaville have
a difficult job, because of the cool mentality of the nordic people. it's
difficult to bring them out of their shell; they mostly stand motionless
in front of the stage with a glass of beer in their hand and it's difficult
to recognize whether they enjoy the concert or not - in comparison with
saxony, where the people are enthusiastic from the very first beginning
of the concert.
popularity also depends on the local media. german media mostly ignores
alphaville, but sometimes there is a presenter or an editor who likes their
music and then you can hear alphaville on the radio. unfortunately only
the well-known hits of the stars from the 80's, who aren't forever young
anymore... not more and not less.
we think the media is prejudiced against alphaville. we don't know why
such a good music, which is partly really up to date and steadfast is ignored.
sometimes we wish that we could send a tape by alphaville to radio stations,
without telling them the name of the band. we are convinced that the music
would be well received by the radio stations. we think the name alphaville
deters many people and would like to know why.
are promoters from the western part of germany afraid to organize an alphaville
concert? the answer to that question is just speculative. we think it's
because of the prejudices and promoters are simply afraid of being in the
red after an alphaville concert, for the band hasn't been able to produce
a real hit for years. alphaville have more or less disappeared from the
media landscape and lots of people don't even know that alphaville are
still alive. this is what we had to learn again and again during several
concerts. it's a vicious circle: without being present in the media, you
can't have a hit and without a hit it's quite difficult to give a concert
where it would be important and so the media doesn't take an interest in
current status of alphaville illustrated by a medium-sized german town:
the inhabitants of hildesheim don't take an interest in alphaville. the
main problem is that they are quite easy to influence, i.e. the selling
of records is generally going well, but it just concerns bands, that hold
high chart positions or that are often on tv. this is probably where the
real alphaville problem starts:
are very active, but nobody recognizes this fact. from time to time i talk
to people on the train and i am often astonished, because the people's
reaction to alphaville isn't bad at all. older people still know alphaville
from their youth and the younger ones know the band at least from their
parents. sometimes i hear things like: 'i liked alphaville very much, but
i haven't heard anything from them anymore.' or 'they are still alive?'
or 'are they still active?'
worst reaction was, after i had told someone that i listen to alphaville's
music, that this person made a face and exclaimed: 'how can you listen
to such rubbish?' and he added, that he was glad that that kind of music
(i think, he meant synthie-pop) had died out. but i'm sure that people
would change their mind if alphaville had another hit. in my opinion, the
real problem is the insufficient promotion, i think. in hildesheim people
mainly listen to a radio station called hit radio antenne. there they seldom
play alphaville and if so, only the hits.
hildesheim there is a kind of pub, where almost the whole town - from young
people to the older generation - meets at the weekend. it's a huge pub
with a dj. fortunately some friends of mine and i know the dj quite well
and he's often willing to play the music we want to hear. as i approached
him for 'big in japan' for the first time, he surprisingly answered that
he liked this song and the band, but he didn't own the song. the next weekend,
i gave him the maxi from the year 92. he played it, but the audience didn't
show any reaction at all. of course, hardly anybody listens to the music
in a pub at the weekend, but on the other hand ... it would have been great.
it's the same at parties, where lots of different kinds of music is played.
but nobody hits on the idea of playing 'dance with me' or 'romeos'. you
can mainly listen to deine lakaien or depeche mode. i hope things will
change one day, because that's what alphaville deserve, for they have been
active for 15 years and they are - besides kraftwerk - the german pioneers
in the synthie-pop-area - and whoever is able to be in the music business
over that long time, can't possibly have done so much wrong.
can one become a fan of alphaville, an unique band, whose heyday is already
over? how can one get information about alphaville at all if not by the
skin of one's teeth? how can one possibly become a member of a fanclub
and how do things continue then... ?
are a lot more questions like this, but i just want to tell you, how in
my case things developed:
was a typical winter's day without snow. i should really have gone to school,
but i was lying on the couch instead, with a hot-water bottle on my stomach
and an ice-pack on my head, because i wasn't well at all. the day was quite
terrible and i hoped for better times. at any rate at such moments music
is the best medicine not to become completely mad. it was one of those
days where i wasn't able to listen to the music i usually like. that's
why i was desperately looking for a record on my father's shelves and suddenly
i discovered an album called 'forever young'. as i read the track list
on the reverse, which included 'big in japan', the penny finally dropped,
since i knew that song from the radio. i inserted the record and what happened
afterwards astonished me. it was the first record that i had discovered
and i grew more and more delighted the more songs i listened to. i started
asking myself then, whether the band was from germany or not. the pronunciation
of the band's name is up to everybody...
listened to that record for weeks. besides 'forever young' i was listening
to other tapes that belonged to my father. one day he said that the two
songs, which i was listening to at full volume, were also from alphaville.
dear, i was thunderstruck! after 'romeos' and 'for a million', there was
'forever young' and i didn't recognize that i was listening to one and
the same voice. the songs just sounded different. at any rate, from that
time on i knew that i needed more alphaville records and a long and desperate
search for the album that included 'romeos' started.
father only remembered the golden cover, but in every music store in and
around munich i only found 'forever young'. i thought: well, maybe the
rest of alphaville is not good enough and 'forever young' is the one and
only splendid album. for weeks i was only looking for a golden cover and
suddenly, among a pile of very cheap records, it caught my eye. there it
was: it was called 'the breathtaking blue'! my passion for alphaville increased
rapidly and my father couldn't escape listening to their music, for he
heard it through the wall of my room and could not but regonize that i
really liked the music. and it was true.
everything proceeded fast: from time to time i used the internet at work
to find some information, but there wasn't anything special ... just one
thing aroused my attention: the introduction of ilwa and uwe from the fan
club 'faithful and true'. it was just funny and i was pleased to see that,
more or less through alphaville, two people had got to know each other
and had fallen in love. i wrote down their address and later on i sent
a nice letter to them. very soon i received a lovely reply, even with a
lot of information beforehand. it just took a while, but finally i, too,
was one of the inhabitants of alphaville. this was in june 1999 and time
passed by. meanwhile, i got a lot of information; either from ilwa and
uwe or from the ics or from the alphaville homepage, which i can't access
at work anymore, because it's blocked. you can take a wild guess why. all
in all, the fan club gave me an understanding of alphaville and i am able
to keep up to date. if you don't want to become a member of a fan club,
i advise you to have a look at the alphaville homepage. i like the structure
and i think, it shows clearly, that alphaville are still alive! but in
my opinion, it's nicer to be a member of a fan club, because you don't
feel lonely. you can be sure that there are lots of people, who have something
in common and it's really exciting to get to know them. and you recognize
the people who are busily working for alphaville and their fans.
i just want to add, that because of the fanclub and its community spirit
i don't feel as if i fight alone in the whole wide world anymore. this
is certainly the way lots of fans have felt before and i was one of them...
but how does one become aware of alphaville? this is a story that differs
individually. this was in short my version...
with other fanclubs
there wasn't an international fan club, but only local ones, fans would
run the risk of isolation. from the beginning on, we tried to avoid this
and so we created the section 'fanclub galaxy' in our fanzine. this is
a section where we inform our members about alphaville fan clubs and their
and the wonderful thing about it is that other fanclubs provide this section
now, as well. that means that we are in contact with lots of fanclubs,
we interchange our experience and try to help each other, of course. since
1999 all the fan club leaders have been meeting in a chat and interchange
news and problems. we go so far as to claim that the idea of an alphaville
tribut album would have been impossible without the co-operation. the dreamscapes
interview was also collective work. every fan club collected the fans'
questions about dreamscape which were given to marian. we hope for an interview
which all the fanclubs will publish in their fanzines in the respective
national languages to move a bit closer again.
the meaning of the internet to the fanclub?
course the internet is a real gold-mine. for example, such a close co-operation
between the fan clubs would be impossible without the internet. we find
a lot of things in the net that we can use for our fanzine. and also those
who don't have an access of their own get a glimpse into the online- world.
furthermore we can spread information via email to our members who have
an account very fast and cheaply.
day - exactly in the summer of 1996 - we decided to create our own homepage.
but what should we to publish there? should we to do another page with
the usual news, concert dates and all the other information that was already
available on so many other pages? we thought that would be very boring
and silly. so we decided to translate the most important and most interesting
content from our fanzine into english and put it on our page. why this
in english? well, first, there is still the incentive for german fans to
become a member of our club in order to be able to get the fanzine written
in german. and second, it's the language of the internet. and once more
we saw the opportunity to build a bridge to other fans to show them what
we were doing in the fan club. everybody could have a share in our work
and we moved a bit closer again. by the way: you can find detailed reports
on our fan club meetings or some creative work done by our members on our
homepage at www.faithfulandtrue.de
we wonder if the internet renders fan clubs superfluous some day. to be
honest for a long time we were absolutely sure that this would be the inevitable
consequence. how can one get faster and cheaper information about one's
favourite band than downloading everything from the internet? soon nearly
everyone will have his/her own internet account and who will be willing
to pay an extra- member fee for a fanclub then?
then some fans that were already online told us they would miss a fanclub
though. their arguments were that it was completely different to hold a
printed magazine in one's hands and to be able to take it along to every
place you like instead of sitting in front of the screen of the computer.
besides the personal contact with one another, meetings and sharing one's
experience and emotions are very important to them and they told us it
was absolutely different in a fan club and not replaceable by mailinglists
or chats, for instance.
does alphaville mean (to me)?
by ilwa drößler)
1989 a book came out in germany. a girl (c. from f.) described in it how
in 1985 she fell in love with marian gold, singer of the famous band alphaville,
and how she did everything in her power to meet him and to make him interested
in her. not many fans own this book. that's why we are publishing it in
parts for the members of our fanzine with the friendly agreement of the
author. after we've released the first part of this book we got much more
feedback as usual. on the one hand it surprised us, but on the other hand
not so much. i recalled my own reaction.
i once planned to write down my own alphaville- story just for myself.
i had already made some notes but finally i never finished this idea. not
long ago a tv show with alphaville from the year 1986 was repeated on tv.
this tv show is connected with a lot of emotions for me. so i decided to
write down at least this part of the whole story.
what's behind this tv show? there are really mainly negative memories,
namely that i didn't watch the original show in 1986. i saw it only later
on a video- tape. the day after the original show my classmates (oh it's
so long ago...) asked me if i had seen it. of course they knew about my
weakness for alphaville and for marian in particular. it was such a shock-
was in 1986 and east germany, where i lived, still existed. i must admit
my parents didn't allow me to watch west german tv channels. being teachers
they were so scared of getting into trouble. but that's another longer
can certainly imagine how bad it was for me to know alphaville were on
tv and i missed it. at that time i felt as if the end of the world was
near. after all my chances to see alphaville on tv were very low anyway.
and at that time alphaville returned after a longer break (we're quite
familiar with these breaks, you know...). so it wasn't a tv show among
many others. it was the very first one after months! besides, i was a teenager
and my emotions reacted immediately. it was a severe blow to me. to top
it all my dear classmates told bad jokes about marian in order to tease
me. they all knew how much it hurt me and they enjoyed it.
nowadays i can smile about it. but who would have thought at the time that
things would turn out as they finally did. who would have thought that
we would ever be able to stand in the first row of an alphaville concert?
obstacle: i lived in east germany and alphaville were a band from west
obstacle: alphaville didn't play live
obstacle: they were so famous and had so many fans, that if they would
play live one day, why should i of all fans be in the first row?
i thought about meeting marian personally at that time i thought i would
have to die. i would lie if i insisted that i was never in love with marian.
but was it really love? well, as a teenager i was constantly searching
for the love of my life. it often happens that teenagers fall in love with
their idols. these idols can't help it and they can't break someone's heart.
the picture of how the star must be in real life, is created by many (never
completely correct) reports from magazines, lyrics of the songs and a big
portion of one's own fantasy, one's own dreams. probably it has not so
much to do with the real marian (probably it's a distorted picture or the
real marian). but finally that's not so important.
spite of this marian has influenced me a lot in a positive way. during
that time i learnt a lot about myself. it enabled me to shape my own life
the way i dreamt it in my deepest inside. through marian and alphaville
my general knowledge has increased and is still increasing, because the
lyrics of the songs refer to so many other books, movies or music of which
one would probably be unaware otherwise. furthermore so many long lasting
and close friendships of mine are based on alphaville. well, meanwhile,
it hasn't so much to do with alphaville anymore. now there are so many
other things that stick us together. but everything once started because
of alphaville. i also dare saying alphaville are the reason for my being
open-minded. probably i wouldn't have so many good friends abroad without
alphaville and i wouldn't have heard so much about the culture of these
countries. in general, alphaville always made me think about the environment
and other things. i'm extraordinarily thankful for that. okay, mostly it
came from myself and i should thank myself. but i'm aware at any rate that
alphaville always played a significant role in my life.
was often asked how i was able to drive marian out of my mind again. i
for my part i can only say it happened automatically when i met the love
of my life, uwe. oh yes, that was also because of alphaville... but that's
again another story...
special emotion for marian is still there. i still go weak at the knees
when i meet him and every time i'm angry that i suddenly stop thinking
and i get the impression that i am only talking nonsense. grrr...
it's really incredible, today we talk about our children...i never dreamt
of such things...
in contact with only a few of my earlier classmates now. but they couldn't
believe that i'm still a fan of alphaville (that the band still exists
as well) and what i'm doing with the fan club and so on. the former needling
has turned into respect.
accepted that somehow alphaville are part of my life. as well as the fan
club. even if it's a lot of work, i need it to be satisfied. i love to
thing about alphaville is that the world we fans created breaks free. only
the matter that comes into being is really alphaville. and we are all right
in the middle of it!
by ilwa drößler in dec.1997)
says:'girl be home at 10 tonight'
grumbles:'don't preach i'm still a child'
laughts about her
the dangerous place?
you feel he controls you
an angel's whispering
his words she can't hear
set the fools free
never come near
are places we hate
big bosses dictate
we believe to be free
magic paradise to be
the years we forgot
deep into dark
are the outcasts
came and gone fast
call them fools
have seen unwritten rules
denials, continues her way
what can you do if you hate grey?
the angels are singing
their songs no one hears
fools have their freedom
stop any dance
we are talking
close our eyes
don't see the main things
but what is the price