Week of September 7, 2003

Tyburn Tall


Werner Gallo - Guitar 
Reinhard Magin - Keyboards, Vocals
Klaus Fresenius - Vocals
Stefan Kowa - Bass, Vocals 
Hanns Dechant - Drums 


same (Lutz Kern) 1972 
Reissued on CD in 1994 featuring 2 bonus tracks, CD011, Garden Of Delights

Tyburn Tall was formed in 1969 in Speyer by Werner Gallo (g, born 1951), Hanns Dechant (dr, born 1948), Stefan Kowa (b, born 1950) and Gunther Göttsche (k, born 1954), all of whom made their musical experience playing in the beat band The Screamers since 1965, with the exception of Gunther Göttsche. Tyburn Tall planned to explore new musical paths by adding Gunther to their original line-up, thus switching from the 60s beat imitation (a-la the Stones and the Beatles) to their own unique mixture of rock, classical and jazz.

The band chose their name the same way the Grateful Dead did. They glanced through a history book discovering an English town called Tyburn. Legends tell of a tall tree in Tyburn on which, in the era of Oliver Cromwell, unwanted persons were hung. The band changed 'Tyburn tree' to Tyburn Tall for no other reason than because it just sounded better. In the spring of 1970, the band had their first big success in the Speyer area with their new show mainly consisting of self-written titles. In June, flute player Hermann Damiantschitsch, born in 1951, strengthened the band which, during the summer, finalised an instrumental piece in three movements called "Autagonia", a Greek word meaning "fight with yourself". It was written by the brilliant organ player Gunther Göttsche, son of the musical director of the regional church at the time, and Stefan Kowa who had had classical piano training, supported by the family tradition, as his mother and grandmother gave piano lessons and his grandfather was a violinist himself. In September 1970, "Autagonia" was premiered with huge success, also due to titles like Bach's Third Brandenburg concert which was made famous in the rock music world by Keith Emerson and The Nice, and themes from Dvorak's performance "Aus der Neuen Welt". A recording of this concert still exists and may be released on CD one day if the sound quality can be technically improved. Until May 1971, Tyburn Tall successfully toured supporting Golden Earring (in Speyer, Zweibrücken and Landau), Space Odetty (who changed to Frumpy later on) and Renaissance (in Landau and Ludwigshafen). At the end of May 1971, Göttsche and Damiantschitsch left the band for private reasons, and in June were replaced by Reinhard Magin (born 1948) on keyboards and singer/percussionist Klaus Fresenius (born 1952). Tyburn Tall went back to the rehearsal room revising their program towards a sound influenced more by jazz-rock elements than classical patterns and following idols like John Hiseman's Colosseum. First gigs in the beginning of 1972 proved that the band had not lost an inch of popularity with their new line-up. In the spring of 1972, they decided to record four self-written tracks for a new album in a small private recording studio in Bellheim in the Vorderpfalz under the name of Tyburn Tall. The gatefold sleeve shows the inside of a copper plate by Merian, deliberately including details, which Merian could not know of in his time. It is reproduced inside the CD reissue booklet. The album was released in a limited edition of privately manufactured 200 copies, half of which was destroyed in a fire in a music shop called Markus in Speyer. Rarity and artistic value are the reasons why this album is the most expensive collectors item in Germany, dealt for 5000 DM. Unfortunately, the master tapes are not available anymore. That's why for producing this CD, a mint copy of the album had to be recorded onto a DAT, and the sound - processed with Cedar's NoNoise system in studio Pfanz in Hamburg, thus eliminating all surface noise, so that master tape quality is achieved. The heavy tape noise could already be heard on the album and could only be partially eliminated. Additional tracks on this CD are "Lost Angeles" and "Bring Out Your Dead", both cover versions of Colosseum tracks.

In 1972, Pino Cirillo (g) replaced Werner Gallo who had to leave the band. Tyburn Tall split up in late 1975, when Stefan Kowa moved to Belgium for professional reasons. They had played 40 to 50 gigs since 1969, supporting, besides Golden Earring, Space Odetty and Renaissance, Amon Düül II, Frumpy, Taste, East of Eden, Ekseption, Kin Ping Meh, Nine Days Wonder, Bitch, Hardin & York, the Rainbows and the Petards, a.o. Again and again they proved to be as good as more well-known bands - at least newspaper reviews were full of praise.

Nowadays only Klaus Fresenius and Hanns Dechant remain musically active, playing in a local band called Blues und Bloedel. Stefan Kowa continues writing his own material in his home studio; the first CD is on its way. In time for their 25th anniversary, the band plans to gig once more, in the fall of 1995 in Speyer. Time and venue to be announced…

Taken from the CD reissue of the self-titled album, 1994, CD011, Garden Of Delights

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