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Olaf, the pinball machine: »We say thank you« at Rock am Ring

Photo: Thomas Frey / dpa

Surprise guest at Rock am Ring: Olaf from the band »Die Flippers« was on stage at the Nürburgring music festival on Friday. Dressed in a red glitter jacket, the 77-year-old pop singer came to the main stage in the afternoon for a small performance. After about 15 minutes, the surprise was over. The fans, who usually rock, sang along loudly to the hits "We say thank you" and "Lotus Flower".

The trip to the festival grounds was not new territory for pinball player Olaf: He was already on stage at the Parookaville Festival in North Rhine-Westphalia in the summer of 2022. An internet hype arose around the pop star and the song »Wir sagen Dankeschön«, originally written in 2009, with a remix by the Lower Saxony DJ duo HBz. The song came back into the charts, and the original became popular again as a result.

Olaf Malolepski – his real name – told the "Kölner Express" in 2022 that he couldn't really explain the fuss about the song: "I've never experienced anything like it. When 'The Flippers' were at their peak, there was no social media," Malolepski told the tabloid. According to the singer, there was a fan petition after his performance in NRW so that he could also perform at Rock am Ring.

On the road solo for more than ten years

The Flippers were one of the most successful German pop bands, sold millions of their 46 albums and filled large halls until the end before the dissolution more than ten years ago. Since then, Malolepski has been on the road solo. Rock am Ring is one of the largest music events in Germany with the Rock am Park festival.