Who was/is Wolfgang Neuss ? - CDs, Vinyl LPs, DVD and more
When yesterday was today, he was anything but yesterday. On the contrary. He lived fully in his time, rubbed himself against her, was often enough even some lengths ahead of her.
He had his own head; like everyone who wants to get something moving, he was impatient and always on the go, wide awake and full of plans. He underwent radical changes, broke new ground, tore off many bridges behind him and yet remained true to himself like one who could not get out of his skin. He was and remained the unadjusted, cross-headed man who, even in difficult times, claimed the right to make his own head and live his own story for himself and others. This has often enough brought him into conflict with society, which did not want it as he wished: In the fifties, when he was pursuing a different policy, in the sixties, when he was pursuing a different republic, in the seventies, when he was pursuing a different life, in the eighties, when he was pursuing a different consciousness.
When he was a kid, he wanted to be a clown - but that didn't work out. But in a special way, which is unique to him, he never really lost sight of this childhood dream. He started his career as a front comedian and conferencier, as a joker in the military hospital, as a self-proclaimed joker and farce, who fell in love with the punch line in the dark times when he was working, and who thought of hammering it into people wherever and under whatever circumstances. No wonder that one day he used the timpani, which was actually a big drum, as his prop. It became his trademark - Neuss, the man with the timpani.
On the boards that mean time, he romped around like no other: as a casino clumsy animal and troop advisor of the Second World War, as a manege comedian and self-made writer, as a one-man cabaret artist and playwright, as a Shakespearean actor and commercial uncle, as a musical star and screen favorite, as a newspaper editor and screenwriter, as a filmmaker and record chatterer, chanson singer and conferencier, as an election campaign drummer and protest preacher - Neuss, that was an actionistic multi-purpose weapon in the media, an all-rounder and jack-of-all-trades, a professional dilettante. Known from film, radio, television, stage, record, headline and cabaret cellar.
The all-round talent had already been at the zenith of his career, little relied on. I guess he wanted t
oo much for that. Over the years, the joker turned into a satirist, and the mind joined the snout with the heart. Wolfgang Neues covered the distance from cabaret to cabaret, from tingeltangel to political theatre on his own. He got to grips with it, he hit his head, knocked his fingers and stepped on his toes - no taboo that was safe from him, no hot iron that he wouldn't have taken into the satirical forceps.
The way up had been arduous, Neuss walked him persistently and unflinchingly, he used his elbows and some tricks to achieve what he had set himself. When he finally made it, when he was at the top - in the sixties he was Germany's hottest and at the same time most popular cabaret artist, the absolute number one - he suddenly didn't want any more. How it came about is a long story that will be traced on this double CD.
For the film I made in the seventies about his withdrawal, he gave me the following for the record: "It took me a long time to finally get to the top: career, popularity - it took time. It was hard work. Now I'm working on the opposite: How to become unknown. I'm sure I can do it."
He did it, almost, anyway. Since the dreaded snout of shame, which one loved so much, made use of its right to refuse to testify, Neuss has always been present without actually being present. Press, radio and television, to whom he was always good for a sensation, often enough for a tangible scandal, practised themselves in a new freestyle specially developed for Neuss: obituary for a living person. Usually it became a boulevard touchpiece - the morality of the evil cellar child who does not want to hear and is now punished by the pillory of bourgeois compassion. Sometimes the hermit from Berlin-Charlottenburg's Lohmeyerstraße took revenge with one or the other of the stoner clothes smuggled into the 'scene', with some sharp sayings. And drew attention to himself with smoke signals, lived something that wasn't everyone's cup of tea.
In the last years of his life the young people discovered him, felt attracted by the smart sayings of a sixty-year-old who could have been their grandfather and whom they had never seen on stage.