Amon Düül II

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Amon Düül II
Amon Düül II, c. 1972
Amon Düül II, c. 1972
Background information
OriginMunich, Bavaria, Germany
Years active1968–1981, 1995, 2010–present[1][2]
LabelsLiberty, Repertoire, United Artists, Atlantic

Amon Düül II (or Amon Düül 2, Pronunciation: Amon Düül) is a German rock band formed in 1968.[3] The group is generally considered to be one of the pioneers of the West German krautrock scene. Their 1970 album Yeti was described by British magazine The Wire as "one of the cornerstones of ... the entire Krautrock movement".[4]

Amon Düül II emerged from the radical West German Amon Düül art commune in Munich. The band's first album, Phallus Dei, was released in 1969. Amon Düül II received offers to write music for films and won a German film award, the Deutscher Filmpreis, for their contribution to the 1970 film San Domingo.


The band emerged from the radical West German commune scene of the late 1960s, with others in the same commune including some of the future founders of the Red Army Faction.[5][6] Founding members are Chris Karrer, Dieter Serfas, Falk Rogner (born 14 September 1943), John Weinzierl (born 4 April 1949), and Renate Knaup-Krötenschwanz (born Renate Aschauer-Knaup, 1 July 1948) who, thus far, is the only woman in the band.

The band was founded after Weinzierl and the others met at the Amon Düül 'art commune' in Munich. The commune consisted mainly of university students, who formed a music group initially to fund the commune, with everyone who lived there joining in to play music whether or not they had any experience or ability. The commune split when they were offered an opportunity to record, which was boycotted by the more musically proficient members of the commune (who went on to form Amon Düül II). Recordings were made by the other members but were of very poor quality and were only released later (under the name Amon Düül) to capitalise on the success of Amon Düül II's albums. As Amon Düül II grew and personnel changed, they still remained a commune, living together as a band.[7]

Their first album Phallus Dei ('God's Phallus'), released in 1969, consisted of pieces drawn from the group's live set at the time. By this time the line-up was built around a core of Karrer (mainly violin and guitar), Weinzierl (guitar, bass, piano), Rogner on keyboards, bass player Dave Anderson, and two drummers (Peter Leopold (born 15 August 1945) who had joined the group from Berlin, and Dieter Serfas. Renate Knaup at this point was only contributing minimal vocals but was very much part of the group. According to Weinzierl by this time "The band played almost every day. We played universities, academies, underground clubs, and every hall with a power socket and an audience".[7] Releasing an album brought the group greater prominence and they began to tour more widely in Germany and abroad, playing alongside groups such as Tangerine Dream, and in Germany staying in other communes including the pioneering Kommune 1 in Berlin.

Their second album Yeti (1970) saw them introducing arranged compositions along with the bluesy violin and guitar jams such as the long improvised title track. The next album Tanz der Lemminge (1971) was based on four extended progressive rock suites. By this time bassist Anderson had returned to England and joined Hawkwind, to be replaced by Lothar Meid (born 28 August 1942), and the group was augmented by synthman Karl-Heinz Hausmann (Karrer had formed a short-lived group in 1966 – supposedly named 'Amon Düül O' – with future Embryo founders Lothar Meid and drummer Christian Burchard).[8]

Still touring widely, they recorded their Live in London album in late 1972 and in 1975 signed with Atlantic Records in the US, and United Artists Records Germany and initially disbanded in 1981.[2]

As well as their albums and live shows ADII received offers to write music for films, winning a German film award, the Deutscher Filmpreis, for their contribution to the film San Domingo.[9]

Amon Düül II's drummer, Peter Leopold, died on 8 November 2006. A memorial service was held for Leopold in Munich, where the remaining members of Amon Düül II sang a song for him. Leopold was replaced by multi-instrumentalist Daniel Fichelscher, for many years guitarist and drummer of Krautrock group Popol Vuh.[10] Fichelscher is not new to the group, and in fact has had a long affiliation with Amon Düül II, having played with them as early as 1972 on Carnival in Babylon.[2]

Bass player Lothar Meid died on 3 November 2015.[11]

Band members[edit]

  • Chris Karrer – violin, guitars, saxophone, vocals (1969–1981)
  • John Weinzierl – guitar, bass, vocals (1969–1977)
  • Falk Rogner – organ, synthesizer, electronics (1969–1971, 1972–1975, 1981)
  • Renate Knaup – vocals, tambourine (1969–1970, 1972–1975, 1981)
  • Dieter Serfas – drums (1969)
  • Peter Leopold – drums, percussion (1969–1972, 1973–1979, died 2006)
  • Christian "Shrat" Thiele – bongos, vocals, violin (1969–1970)[12]
  • Dave Anderson – bass (1969–1970)
  • Lothar Meid – bass, vocals (1971–1973, 1974, died 2015)
  • Karl-Heinz Hausmann – keyboards, organ, electronics (1971–1972)
  • Danny Fichelscher – drums, percussion, guitar (1972, 1981)
  • Robby Heibl – bass, guitar, violin, vocals (1973, 1975)
  • Nando Tischer – guitar, vocals (1975)
  • Klaus Ebert – guitar, bass, vocals (1976–1979)
  • Stefan Zauner – keyboards, synthesizer, vocals (1976–1979)
  • Jörg Evers – bass, guitar, synthesizer (1981)


Amon Düül II discography
Studio albums15
Live albums4
Compilation albums14

Studio albums[edit]

Release year Title Notes
1969 Phallus Dei
1970 Yeti Double LP
1971 Tanz der Lemminge Double LP
Also known as Dance of the Lemmings and in Italy as Journey into a Dream (Viaggio In Un Sogno)
1972 Carnival in Babylon
1972 Wolf City
1973 Utopia Originally released as a Utopia album; being a side project by Amon Düül II producer Olaf Kübler; only re-releases credit the band as Amon Düül II. Renate Knaup, Falk-U. Rogner and Chris Karrer are featured in one song of the album each, John Weinzierl in two songs and Danny Fichelscher on four songs. Only Lothar Meid is featured on all eight songs of the album.
1973 Vive La Trance
1974 Hijack Also written Hi-Jack
1975 Made in Germany Released as a double LP in Germany and a single LP outside Germany
1976 Pyragony X
1977 Almost Alive ...
1979 Only Human
1981 Vortex
1995 Nada Moonshine #
2010 Düülirium Originally released online as Bee as Such
First released on CD and vinyl in 2014

Live albums[edit]

Release year Title Notes
1973 Live in London
1992 Live in Concert BBC recording from 1973
1996 Live in Tokyo


Release year Title Notes
1974 Lemmingmania
1978 Rock in Deutschland Vol. 1
1989 Milestones
1993 Surrounded by the Bars
1994 The Greatest Hits
1996 Kobe (Reconstructions)
1996 Eternal Flashback
1997 Flawless
1997 The Best of 1969–1974
1997 Drei Jahrzehnte (1968–1998)
1999 The UA Years: 1969–1974
2000 Manana
2001 Once Upon a Time – Best of 1969–1999
2005 Anthology A complete Amon Düül II career retrospective


Release year Title Notes Album
1970 "Archangels Thunderbird" b/w "Soap Shop Rock" Yeti
1970 "Rattlesnakeplumcake" b/w "Between the Eyes" Non-album single
1971 "Light" b/w "Lemmingmania" Non-album single
1972 "All the Years Round" b/w "The Tables Are Turned" Carnival in Babylon
1974 "Pigman" b/w "Mozambique" Vive La Trance
1974 "Mirror" b/w "Liquid Whisper" Hijack
1979 "Don't Turn Too Stone" b/w "Spaniards & Spacemen" Only Human


Amon Düül II influenced such bands in late 70s like Hungarian psychedelic hardcore 'shaman punk' band Galloping Coroners.[13]


  1. ^ "Amon Düül II". May 2023. Retrieved 5 May 2023.
  2. ^ a b c Strong, Martin C. (2000). The Great Rock Discography (5th ed.). Edinburgh: Mojo Books. pp. 20–21. ISBN 1-84195-017-3.
  3. ^ "Biography & History". AllMusic. Retrieved 30 April 2023.
  4. ^ Pouncey, Edwin (February 1996) "Communing With Chaos" The Wire 144
  5. ^ "Krautrock: The Rebirth of Germany". BBC4. October 2009.
  6. ^ Griffiths, Mark (30 December 2014). "Germanic street preachers: The psychology of Krautrock". drmarkgriffiths. Retrieved 22 May 2017.
  7. ^ a b Gross, Jason (August 2008). "Interview with John Weinzierl". Perfect Sound Forever. Retrieved 13 May 2009.
  8. ^ Pouncey, Edwin (February 1996). "Communing With Chaos". The Wire. No. 144. Archived from the original on 29 May 2012.
  9. ^ "Amon Düül II". Gibraltar Encyclopedia of Progressive Rock. Archived from the original on 5 February 2012. Retrieved 12 February 2008.
  10. ^ "Band History". Amon Duul II. Archived from the original on 21 March 2009. Retrieved 14 March 2008.
  11. ^ Davis, Jon (10 November 2015). "Lothar Meid, Amon Düül II bassist, RIP".
  12. ^ Shrat – Christian Thiele discography at Discogs
  13. ^ Patterson, Archie. "Atilla Grandpierre Interview". Retrieved 9 June 2015.

External links[edit]