The origin of Mhdb & the autobiography (extract 1 from Mozart had the Blues) German
The origin of Mhdb, session bands & amateur musicians. Prior to establishing 'Mozart has the blues' in 1991, I - my name is Wolfgang Billmann - had played on countless sessions, in addition to my regular bands. For example, I drummed on a jazz session where a classical female vocalist sang with a tight vibrato in the smoky jazz piece "Blue Monk", or on a rock session, where a Heavy Metal guitarist and a piano student rocked Mozart's arias. I see 'Mozart has the blues' and myself as an amateur to semi-professional. And by this, I don't mean the musical standard, but rather as Mr. Ziegenruecker expressed it (1): "An amateur musician..." is someone, "...who plays with joy and enthusiasm, ...but not as a main profession...," and further, that "many innovations up to stylistic inventions" come from amateur musicians. I still experiment with stylistic innovations, just as I am now doing with 'Mozart has the blues'. This band first took shape, when, from 1991 on, I subsumed the ever-changing session groups, that had continuously existed in addition to my main music groups, under the name 'Mozart has the blues'. In 1994 a relatively stable trio emerged from this and then a duo, after the guitarist ran away due to the band's experimental sound. In 1997, on my fiftieth birthday, I decided to restrict myself to my own bands such as 'Mozart has the blues'.
Wolfgang Billmann (voc, steeld, d), Kulmbach, June 2003.
Thanks to Dr. Thorolf Linke (2)
The autobiography as a piece of history. Everyone is part of history. In 1997 I presented my autobiography to a small, also formerly familiar circle, to take stock on my 50th birthday (3). You will find an update of it here, which also analyzes the pre-history of 'Mozart has the blues', above all from the viewpoint of the history of drums. This biography reflects some stages of the history of the Federal Republic of Germany and deals with the approximately fifty global and epochal centers or metropolises in the context of globalization. For example, important milestones are: occupation troops and AFN influence around 1960; protests and scepticism of the movement of 1968, ascent of beat and rock music in the 60s; nostalgia of the 1970s-80s, the rediscovery of modern jazz, the back-to-the-roots rock or the radicalism from punk rock on, mass unemployment again; the Berlin Wall before, then German reunification in the 90s, loss of the niche existence of the Federal Republic of Germany; '9/11', 'Charlie Hebdo', 'Bataclan', meanwhile countless attacks; globalization, internet, computer-related change. Today bands are no longer pure live bands, but a mixture of live performance and computer-generated playback. Some are even entirely virtual bands. Both real and virtual bands have songs on the internet charts. And musicians from all kinds of globally far-flung places can now simultaneously play together over the internet and thus virtually form bands, for example, at Ejamming.com (4). 'Mozart has the blues' have taken all this into account and perform as a live, virtual and nascent e-jam band. But from the outset, this has been only a means to an end, i. e. to analyze the approximately fifty global and epochal centers or metropolises: where the history of mankind has concentrated up to now; or where the majority of people have globally and traditionally lived; and to analyze how live music, percussion or even jazz have come about; and thus giving rise to Ethno and experiments, experimental jazz and rock, Mozart and Blues.
Genealogy. The quality of the information available on the internet is not guaranteed. For example, it cannot be said with any certainty that the musicians on the internet by the name of Billmann are related to one another (5). And it would be too costly to carry out a genealogical investigation into this. For me personally (born & raised in Berlin) investigation into the paternal line (Billmann) yields the following results. In the Nuremberg-Fuerth region, the name Billmann appears first in the 16th century (Andreas Billmann, 1587-?, Reuth/Forchheim, north of Nuremberg-Fuerth) and is concentrated there around Siedelbach/Market Erlbach (west of Nuremberg-Fuerth, Johann/Hans Billmann, 1612-93, the name Billmann occurs over the approx. period 1610-1950), Gunzendorf/Emskirchen (north of Siedelbach/Market Erlbach, the name Billmann occurs over the approx. period 1740-1830) and Hellmitzheim (north west of Nuremberg-Fuerth, the name Billmann occurs over the approx. period 1790-1880). The Billmanns of Hellmitzheim were certainly related to me, both in the genealogical and the musical sense (6). Before that, until about 1800, maybe three Wolfgang Billmanns lived in the Nuremberg-Fuerth region. It is not certain that these were related to me. The frequency of the first name can be explained by the fact that only a few first names were familiar at the time (Johann = John, Georg = George, Andreas = Andrew, Leonhard, Wolfgang, ...). Regardless of this, the name Billmann previously existed in the region of Switzerland/Alsace/Rhineland-Palatinate (... Elizabeth Billmann, 1700 ? ...), and this may have been derived from Switzerland and the name Buehlman/Biehlmann found there, while in the Nuremberg-Fuerth region (Franconia/Bavaria) Billmann possibly came from Puhilmann and maybe Poehlmann. Whether the name Billmann developed by migration to the other main regions (Mannheim-Heidelberg, Aachen-Recklinghausen) or in each region independently from one another, such as social or professional tasks, is unclear. So Billman (with one 'n') could have evolved by immigration and adaptation to the English spelling - frequently in the U.S. -, but also as a socio-professional designation, possibly transferred from the English military.
- Peter Wicke, Kai-Erik und Wieland Ziegenruecker, Handbuch der populaeren Musik, 4. Aufl., 6.-8. Tausend, 2001, p. 29, Amateurmusiker
- Or: "Musik kann ich nicht beurteilen, ... ich kann nur von der Wirkung sprechen, die sie auf mich macht ..." (Goethe to Mrs. Unger, in: Claus Canisius, Goethe und die Musik, 1998, p. 121) and how I use it
Dr. Thorolf Linke, www.thlinke.de, July 2015
- Wolfgang Billmann, 'Mozart hatte den Blues', past internet versions, for example, March 31, 2001...
German - Mozart has the blues - A-Z