Achim Reichel has been in the music business for six decades. In his autobiography "Ich hab das Paradies gesehen" the unrecognized superstar now tells of his eventful life between beat, psychedelic dream journeys and poetry set to music.
If Achim Reichel had had a comparable career in Great Britain, the press would have described him with metaphors, honorary titles and superlatives such as "musical chameleon", "revolutionary" or "impulse generator for generations". In Germany, on the other hand, one usually only knows certain phases of his creative work. And perhaps the native of Hamburg is simply too nice and "volxnah" to demand the recognition he deserves. But perhaps this may now be made up for by his highly exciting life story, which has been published by Rowohlt.
eclipsed: You've broken new ground in writing your autobiography...
Achim Reichel: Yes, and it wasn't so easy. For years I have heard again and again: "Hey, Achim, you have experienced so much. Write it down!" At first I thought, that you can do that in between. And then the years went by and I was still writing. Frank Schätzing, author of "The Swarm", said to me: "To write you need peace and solitude." It was only on a cruise that I realized the deeper meaning of that statement
eclipsed: You made German beat history with the Rattles and even toured the UK with Little Richard and the Rolling Stones.
Reichel: When I heard Little Richard for the first time I felt it almost like a lightning bolt. There was something magical, it grabbed you and shook you up. When I experienced him personally, I was not only thrilled by his "craziness", but especially by this incredible energy. It was a kind of gospel, had something spiritual
eclipsed: And then there was the legendary Bravo Blitz tour in 1966 with The Beatles..
Reichel: We still knew the Beatles from the earliest days in Hamburg. They were normal guys who were happy if someone wanted to talk to them. We often visited them at their performances and let them show us something. Something like: "Can you play it, but please play it with half speed, and show me the riff." On tour they were already world stars, and it was more distant. It's still nice
eclipsed: After the involuntary time in the German Armed Forces, Wonderland went on, with which you recorded the hit "Moscow", which was especially popular in East Germany.
Reichel: That was actually a daring thing, because the song is rather complicated and the album slightly psychedelic. James Last, whom everybody called "Hansi", helped us with it. He was still one of the old kind and saw himself as a service provider of the record company, which is not meant negatively at all. Since musical experiments were rather permitted and in demand at that time, he went through this with us. I have an immense respect for his performance. Hansi wrote down everything with his orchestra by hand - every single voice, every single note. Awesome.