Following the release of "SWF-Sessions Vol. 1"
studio productions from Offenburg's Jud's Gallery (Long
Hair LHC 1) from the years 1972 and 1974 this is the second
CD in the series with COUPLA PROG.
COUPLA PROG were valued guests at SWF (former radio station
on Germany), whose editor and presenter Walther Krause
invited the band 4 times (more than any other band) from 1970–1972
to produce their music in studio conditions at the station's Studio
U1 in Baden-Baden. COUPLA PROG recorded 12 tracks and
a pop-opera "Edmundo Lopez" which was over 60
minutes. In hindsight the description "pop-opera" is
misleading. COUPLA PROG actually played very individual
underground or progressiv music. Heavy blues rock, blues, electronic
music, free style, occassional classical music references and echoes
of post Syd Barrett-era Pink Floyd, Vanilla Fudge but also Procol
Harum distinguished the sound of the band.
COUPLA PROG productions were extremly varied, never
commercially oriented, but always homogenous and exciting music,
which occasionally diverged from the well travelled tracks of kraut
and prog rock. Talented craftsmen, they captured the zeitgeist of
the era. "Sprite"
contains 7 tracks that were recorded at Studio U1 in Baden-Baden
on 26.02.1970 and 16.04.1971. All of the tracks have been recorded
from the original tapes and digitally re-mastered.
COUPLA PROG, originally based in the area Ratstatt/Baden-Baden
(south-west Germany) was formed in October 1969 when three members
left the 7 piece band "Wilde Reiter GmbH". The four
remaining members renamed themselves COUPLA PROG. The change
of name was accompanied by a radical change in musical direction
away from danceable cover versions of international soul and pop
hits to individual underground progressiv music. The founding
members were Hubert Donauer (19, drums), Reiner Niketta (25,
bass, piano), Rolf Peters (23, guitar, vocals), Wolfgang
Schindhelm (23, organ, guitar, vocals). This line-up completed
the sessions in addition to the pop-opera "Edmundo
Lopez" in July 1970, the release of which is also planned
on Long Hair.
Guitarist Rolf Peters died in July 1971. Due to Hubert
Donauer leaving COUPLA PROG early in 1972 the last
session from 18.02.1972 was produced with new guitarist Walter Kümmich
and a replacement drummer. The recordings will also be released.
The name COUPLA PROG came from the dead guitarist Rolf Peters
and was an abbreviated form of "A Couple of Progs".
When asked the band were also known to say it came from a witch in
the middle ages called COUPLA PROG, either way a nonsensical
COUPLA PROG's popularity within SWF's area is well documented.
The group played not only in relevant clubs and youth centres but
also to large audiences at open-air concerts in Karlsruhe and
The group's disbandment was a drawn out affair. Periods without a
practice room, various members moving out of the area, musical
differences, stagnation and eventually a lack of motivation were the
reasons for COUPLA PROG to call it a day in early 1976.
Although the group never managed to secure a record company deal
they did, thanks to SWF, leave behind an extensive and musically
valuable legacy for underground and progressive rock fans. Highly
After the disbandment of COUPLA PROG founder members Reiner
Niketta and Wolfgang Schindhelm remained in the music
business. Reiner Niketta stopped performing but in his
academic carrier he has penned many works on music psychology and
education not uninfluenced by his many years of experience. Wolfgang
Schindhelm crossed over to Jazz and remains active in this
direction to the present day.
Manfred Steinheuer, May 2000
to: Reiner Niketta, Wolfgang Schindhelm, Hubert Donauer, shapefruit
AG, SWR-Media GmbH, Roger.
I WANNA BE FREE
GOODBYE, GUNS, BE BY GONES
THE QUEEN IS SELLUNG OUT
DIE WUT ÜBER DEN VERLORENEN GROSCHEN
(THE ANGER OF THE LOST PENNY)
ODE TO THE VANILLA FUDGE
AUF DASS ER SICH IM GRABE UMDREHE
(HE WOULD TURN IN HIS GRAVE)