Berlin (dpa) - Klaus Selmke, drummer of the Berlin band City ("Am Fenster"), is dead. «The" General "Klaus Selmke put down the drumsticks forever at 2pm today. We are sad and speechless, »wrote the singer of the band, Toni Krahl.

Selmke died of cancer in a Berlin hospital, reports «Bild» (online). City's website - the band was one of the most successful rock groups in the GDR and is still active - was completely black on Friday. On the Facebook page it was written in white on a black background: «Klaus Selmke - April 21, 1950 - May 22, 2020»; including two red drumsticks. The drummer, who liked to sit barefoot on the stage, died about a month after his 70th birthday.

Selmke founded City 48 years ago with Puppel in Prenzlauer Berg in Berlin. It all started in a culture house in Köpenick in the spring of 1972: the City Rock Band, as it was originally called, stood on a stage for the first time - and Klaus Selmke was on the drums. The band was supposed to provide a musical accompaniment for a five-hour youth dance evening. She played songs by Santana, the Rolling Stones and Jimi Hendrix. Ten years later, 10,000 fans made a pilgrimage to the open-air concert in the Plänterwald in Berlin.

The five bald heads that once had the slogan "Without bass and without hair - with city through the 80s!" advertise for themselves were often on the edge of the permitted with their critical texts in the socialist state. Two years before the fall of the Berlin Wall, they discussed the division of Germany in “Wall to Wall” and “Half and Half”. Singer Toni Krahl was arrested as a high school graduate in 1968 for protesting the crushing of Prague spring.

Dieter Birr, former singer of the Puhdys who are friends with City, told the German Press Agency about the drummer's death: «Of course the news totally shocked me. I already knew that Klaus was sick. But he always kept himself covered. »

BILD report

City's Facebook page