performing Kernkraft 400 at BBC’s Top Of The Pops

Oh man – what a trip Top Of The Pops was.

It was my first contact with the reality of the music business.
The Ministry of Sound label rep I was dealing with really felt like he had made the song himself. He was pushing the idea that I do a ‘pretend-DJ set’ with hands in the air and some dancers.
No chance.
I remember this conversation:
X: you have to do it, you have a contract
Me: maybe I have a contract, but not with you
X: you do it my way or we’ll have to cancel your appearance on Top Of The Pops
Me: well then cancel it

I was ready to walk away and I said in no uncertain terms that if I am doing a playback performance over a remix I will do whatever I want. It was a hard fought battle. In the end they had to go along with it because they needed this to sell records.

So I got a couple of friends on board and we traveled to London.
The basic choreography: ‘let me play guitar on a mannequin-leg and we do some head-banging and in the end we destroy everything’

The TV producers shat their pants and were skeptical if they would even air the performance. Then afterwards they all said how awesome and legendary it was. Welcome to the music business.

By the way: Apparently it is not appropriate to lick a mannequin leg on UK television. When you look at the whole clip you’ll see an some shots of odd green oil lamp bubbles. That’s what they replaced the censored scenes with.