Jump to content


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Logo for the 1960s and 1970s German Music TV Programme Beat-Club, with a style similar to the logo of London Underground.
Created byGerhard Augustin and Mike Leckebusch
Presented byGerhard Augustin (1965)
Eddie Vickers (1965–1966)
Uschi Nerke
Dave Lee Travis (1966–1969)
Dave Dee (1969–1970)
Opening themeMood Mosaic: "A Touch of Velvet - A Sting of Brass"
ComposerMark Wirtz (theme)
Country of originWest Germany
Original languageGerman
No. of episodes83
ProducersRadio Bremen, WDR (1969–1972)
Production locationsBremen, West Germany (unless stated below)
Tiles Club, London (episode 11)
Hamburg, West Germany (episode 16)
Marquee Club, London (episode 18)
West Berlin, West Germany (episode 24)
Camera setupStudio Hamburg
Running time30–60 minutes
Original release
NetworkARD (Radio Bremen)
Release25 September 1965 (1965-09-25) –
9 December 1972 (1972-12-09)

Beat-Club is a West German music programme that ran from September 1965 to December 1972. It was broadcast from Bremen, West Germany on Erstes Deutsches Fernsehen, the national public TV channel of the ARD, and produced by one of its members, Radio Bremen, later co-produced by WDR following the 38th episode.



Beat-Club was co-created by Gerhard Augustin and Mike Leckebusch. The show premiered on 25 September 1965 with Augustin and Uschi Nerke hosting. German TV personality Wilhelm Wieben opened the first show with a short speech. After eight episodes, Augustin stepped down from his hosting role and was replaced by British DJ Dave Lee Travis.

The show immediately caused a sensation and achieved cult status throughout West Germany among the youth, while the older generation hated it.[1] The show's earlier episodes featured live performances, and was set in front of a plain brick wall. It underwent a revamp in 1966, when a more professional look was adopted with large cards in the background displaying the names of the performers, who now mimed to their hit records (the standard practice on most music shows from the era) in front of the studio audience. (A companion series, Beat Beat Beat, continued to run live performances.) Around this time, a troupe of young women billed the "Go-Go-Girls," were introduced to dance to songs when their performers could not appear.[citation needed]

In early 1969, Travis was replaced by Dave Dee, of Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich. On 31 December 1969, Beat-Club switched to colour and again featured live performances, but without an audience. Dee departed in 1970, leaving Nerke as the lone host.

In the later years of its run, the series was known for incorporating psychedelic visual effects during many performances, many concentrating on images of the performers in the background. When the show switched to colour, the effects became much more vivid.

The Grateful Dead performed on the show on 21 April 1972, halfway through their European Tour (selections of which would make up the live album Europe '72). The band played a shorter set than usual, but still included crowd favourites such as "Truckin'".[2] The set is believed to be the last professionally filmed appearance of Ron "Pigpen" McKernan, who retired from the band following his final gig at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles shortly after the end of the tour owing to medical reasons and he later died in March 1973. In 2014, the footage had its first theatrical screening in theatres across the US.[3]

Acts on the show


In its seven-year run before being replaced by Musikladen the show featured artists such as the following:

Performances from the show were seen on VH1 Classic, and reruns air in several European countries. Several DVD collections have also been released.



Beat-Club is now broadcast on Sunday afternoons between 1 and 3 pm as a weekly radio programme on Radio Bremen 1 and on a web channel offered by the radio station. The radio show is still hosted, rather nostalgically, by Nerke, reprising her role as presenter for the series.

The 2008 Video on demand web portal launched for Beat-Club and Musikladen was replaced by a YouTube channel in 2010.


  1. ^ "Gerhard Augustin Interview: The Godfather of Deutsch Rock". www.eurock.com.
  2. ^ "Europe '72 : Beat Club, Bremen, West Germany". dead.net. Archived from the original on 28 October 2016. Retrieved 28 October 2016.
  3. ^ Grow, Kory (June 9, 2014). "Grateful Dead's 1972 German Concert to Hit Movie Theaters This Summer". Rolling Stone. Retrieved October 28, 2016.