Georg Danzer


7 October 1946, Vienna – 21 June 2007

Georg Danzer was the son of a communist Viennese magistrate. After his high school he left for a long hitchhiking trip through Germany, the Netherlands and Italy. In autumn 1966 he applied for admission to Vienna's Akademie für Darstellende Künste (Drama Academy), but was not accepted; so instead he started studying Philosophy and Psychology in Vienna. In a 1968 ORF-Interview he stated his intention to study Journalism, to which moderator Gerhard Bronner replied: "Shift to music soon, young man“. In 1967 Danzer had started to write and play music after he returned from a longer hitchhiking tour of Crete, Hamburg, and Sweden. The next year he released his first single, ‘Vera’, and appeared on Austrian broadcast, but did not get a contract. Hitradio Ö3 editor Eva-Maria Kaiser took notice of him in 1970, and suggested that he could make a living by writing lyrics for "almost everybody in Vienna". During the next three years he wrote texts for Marianne Mendt, Margot Werner, Erika Pluhar, André Heller, Wolfgang Ambros and Wilfried. With Heller, Mendt and other young musicians, building Austrian pop music for the following decades.

For a while, Danzer was a member of the band The Madcaps and wrote a couple of their songs, among them Schneemensch, Sommer is, John Wayne. In 1972, the single ‘Tschik’ (a slang word for cigarette) attracted public attention and was perceived as "scandalous": a homeless man talks and sings about his life! Today the first edition of the single is in great demand as a collector's item; it was housed in a simple paper bag, and no author or singer was credited. Next, in 1973, the album ‘Honigmond’ appeared, which Danzer partially financed himself, and which flopped. In 1974, the concept album ‘Der Tätowierer und die Mondprinzessin’ was released together with a book illustrated by the singer. Finally in 1975 ‘Jö schau’, a comic song about a streaker at the Café Hawelka, became a No 1 in the Austrian charts and stayed there for 20 weeks. In the same year the album ‘Ollas leiwand’ (Slang for "Everything's all right") was released. On October 14 he married Dagmara, with whom he had been in a relationship since 1968.

In 1976 Danzer got a contract with a major label Polydor and delivered five songs for the soundtrack for the first ‘Kottan ermittelt’ TV series. The series, a parody criminal series set in 1970 Vienna, achieved cult status. Danzer moved to Berlin where the album ‘Unter die Haut’ was produced in 1977. It was a busy year for Danzer when at the end of the year he also released a German (Ein wenig Hoffnung) and an Austrian album (Narrenhaus). In 1981 Danzer was a name that was being taken serious. The ORF produced a 45-minutes feature, Danzer Direkt. ‘Die gnädige Frau und das rote Reptil’, a book with lyrics and prose, appeared in 1982. In 1983, Danzer was among the first German-language musicians who created a CD-album (…und so weiter).

In the summer of 1984, Danzer dissolved his successful band and went to Munich to produce ‘Weiße Pferde’. During the production of its video clip (by Rudi Dolezal), he had a serious bike accident in Andalusia, and had to be flown back to Vienna because of heavy injuries. In 1985, his wife Dagmara filed for divorce, his former manager disappeared, he got in trouble with the financial revenue services, and his contract with Polydor came to an end. In 1986, he was signed by Teldec and went to Spain to study Spanish, among other reasons. In 1988, he moved to Hamburg, travelled to Egypt and Kenia and became infected by malaria.

From 1990, Back in Austria, Danzer kept releasing albums. In 1997 he joined Rainhard Fendrich for a single charity event for homeless people (Austria3). In 2000, Danzer became president of the human rights organization "SOS Mitmensch". In September 2006, Danzer informed the public that he was suffering from lung cancer. He became one of the supporters of activities alerting to the dangers of smoking (Österreichische Lungenunion). On April 16, 2007, his friends, Ambros and Fendrich, joined Danzer for a few songs to rekindle the spirit of former days. Danzer died at home on June 21, 2007, and was cremated the next day.

On the web:

- Georg's official website: http://www.georgdanzer.at/

If you like this, you probably like.. / european counterparts:

Herbert Grönemeyer (Germany)

Guus Meeuwis (Netherlands)

What do we think:

DB: Don't mistake Danzer for a German singing artist. Georg is one of the leading singer songwriters in Austria and they are proud of it. Reading about his person I doubt somehow if Georg himself was as proud of his country as they were of him. Most of his life he was on the move away from Austria. Still he kept the Austrian dialect and wrote some great stuff. The man was a musicmaking machine in the 70/80's with a new album each year. Pleasant voice, good songwriter and steelblue eyes.


Der Tätowierer und die Mondprinzessin – 1974;

♪♪♪ - Feine Leute – 1979

♪♪ - Tournee 1979 - 1980

♪♪♪♪♪ - Traurig aber wahr – 1980

♪♪♪♪ - Ruhe vor dem Sturm – 1981

♪♪- Jetzt oder nie – 1982

♪♪♪ - Menschliche Wärme – 1984

♪♪♪♪ - Persönlich – 2004

Further listening:

Der Tschik – 1972; Honigmond – 1973; Danzer, Dean & Dracula – 1975; Ollas leiwaund – 1975; Du mi a – 1976; Unter die Haut – 1977; Ein wenig Hoffnung – 1978; Narrenhaus – 1978; Notausgang – 1979; … und so weiter – 1983; Weiße Pferde – 1984; Alles aus Gold – 1985; Danzer – 1986; Liebes Leben – 1987; Rufze!chen – 1989; Wieder in Wien – 1990; Keine Angst – 1991; Kreise – 1992; Nahaufnahme – 1993; Große Dinge – 1995; $ex im Internet – 1997; Atemzüge – 1999; AUSTRIA 3 – Die Dritte – 2000; 13 schmutzige Lieder – 2001; Von Scheibbs bis Nebraska – 2005; Träumer - 2006
♪♪♪♪♪ = outstanding album, an absolute must-have
♪♪♪♪ = great album, highly recomended
♪♪♪ = nice album
♪♪ = be careful, requires listening before buying
♪ = best to be avoided





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