Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Dschinghis Khan sings and dances

Yes, this is old news, but my son Zed and I got goosebumps of delight watching the promotional video of a German band, "Dschinghis Khan," singing Moskau in satin garb, with sequined cheeks and striking facial hair, channeling the best of The Village People and Austin Powers. The dance moves can be mastered in a very few minutes, and I recommend that you work on them, as we did.

See Wikipedia for background on the band, which has enjoyed a second period of notoriety owing to this very video.

Zed googled the band and found a few fan sites. Gladkov writes:
Dschinghis Khan's first LP united an enormous variety of historical themes including Far East Culture ("Samurai", "China Boy") and geopolitical problem areas ("Sahara", "Puszta") with humoristic ("Rocking Son of Dschinghis Khan") and anthropological issues ("Der Verr├Ąter" - "The Traitor" (Judas)). Their message was simple as well as enlightening. In every possible corner of the earth, at every possible time, there was more going on than in the dreary and gray Germany.
We need the Go Fug Yourself crew to do this band justice; lacking their skill, I can only humbly indicate a few miraculous high points.

Sahara. From the left, bottom row: scimitar-shaped sideburns; hands-on-kidneys stance; white antenna with red ribbon topping white caveman outfit; grey satin bathrobe, exceptional moustache, eye shadow, big hair; my favorite accessory, the green ostrich feather lapel pin; beige rug loincloth and feather boa with gypsy vest.

In the back row above we see Louis Potgeiter, presumably the lead singer. He is a latter-day Ming the Merciless, or rather (since Ming is from the far future), an early prototype of Ming the Merciless.

Louis has a Ming Hat, Ming Makeup, a Ming Beard, and a Ming Standing Collar. He has Ming Minions. Far below, as this post draws to a close, you will see Louis also has a Ming Finger.

Loreley. Sergeant Pepper goes to heaven? From left, singer missing right hand; another singer missing right hand below billowing sleeve; glittering shoes, cuffs, collar and belt; accordion???; peasant in high heels; milque-toast Parisian Apache gangster-dancer with a mullet instead of a beret.

Rom (means gypsy). Ming-the-merciless look developed further; flaming chariot; naked eunuch; watch where you swing that battle axe and don't poke my eye out with your bow and arrow.

Hadschi Halef Omar, komm doch heim. Please explain who Hadschi is. On the ground, from left: very big medieval hat; very small fluffy white pony; ringmaster with no shirt between the blue ribbon around his neck and glittering vest; silver phylactery-type thing going on with the damsels being embraced by the eunuch. Up above: well, Zed thinks the camel is a cardboard cutout and points to the lips as proof; I myself think it's an upholstered armature of some kind. The lead singer, his ringlets better than ever, has a truly incomprehensible hat and is probably standing on a stool while slinging one leg over the Bactrianoid.

He has one finger thrust up into the air in the Ming the Merciless sign of great satisfaction (left).

The band is evidently hugely popular in Japan. Maybe we can form an homage or revival band. If you would like to join, study the video, start learning the moves, and then drop me a line and we will set up a dance practice.

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At 1:01 AM, Blogger kenju said...

In my younger days, I might have signed on to be the big-haired girl with the green ostrich feather strategically placed over her left breast, but it's too late for that (the feather would have to go a lot lower). If you revive the band, I'd love to attend your rehearsals - any chance for open ones?

At 8:16 AM, Blogger Mirty said...

What a riot! Thanks for the laugh. People really knew how to wear a bathroom rug in those days!

At 5:13 PM, Anonymous rb said...


santa khan is pretty agile

At 12:50 AM, Blogger orfeo said...

OMG, memories!

"Moscow" was a huge hit when it first came out in exactly one country: Australia.

I had no idea until now that all copies hadn't been burned...

At 1:15 AM, Blogger Isabella said...

We stumbled across the musical stylings of Dschinghis Khan, memorably "China Boy," just this past Christmas, and we were moved to dance. Thanks for the memory. I'm glad to see the band and its fashion history preserved here.

At 10:07 AM, Anonymous McKaskle said...

"Rom" doesn't mean Gypsy, it means Rome. Rom is about the city's history.

At 10:12 AM, Anonymous M┬ęKaskle said...

Also, He's not the lead singer, He's the writer/dancer. Wierd combo I know.

Hadschi Halef Omar is the arab compatriot of Karl May's character "Kara ben Nemsi" in May's Arabian travel books.

Knowing his full name, Hacschi Halef Omar Ben Hadschi Abul Abbas Ibn Hadschi Dawhud Al Gossora, is supposed to be the sign of a true Karl May fan.

At 7:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

First time after 25 jears Dschinghis Khan will be on a TV show in Moskow November 2005


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