Punk Revolution

Film Celebrates a Controversial Austrian Band’s Forty Years of Stirring Up Trouble

The limousine door opened and an elegant shoe stepped out onto the red carpet that led up to Gartenbaukino across from the Stadtpark in Vienna’s 1st District. Photographers were everywhere, packed in among the large crowd thronging at the theater door eager to see the band….the stars of the film.

It was the Austrian premiere of the movie Weltrevolution (World Revolution) by director Klaus Hundsbichler about Stefan Weber and his rock/punk band “Drahdiwaberl,” and their dream of worldwide revolution.

In 1969, Weber wanted to create the most vulgar and obscene band in Austria to challenge the politics and worldview at the time and he was successful. Their first studio album Psychoterror was in eighth place in the Austrian charts and sold over 20,000 copies. Austrian pop icon Falco began his career playing as bassist for the band from 1978 to 1983.

It took Hundsbichler eight years to make this movie after sorting out hundreds of footage. The movie shows clips from live concerts between 1978 and 2007, their daily life as well as Weber’s home videos, showing the many faces of the band. This film is not only for hardcore fans of the band but also for people who have never heard about it.

“This film will help everybody understand how this phenomenon “Drahdiwaberl” could only happen in Vienna,” said director Klaus Hundsbichler and explained it in an interview with The Vienna Review that he meant that “Austria was and is a very “verklemmt borniert”, uptight and narrow minded, and there must be opposition to that.”

That maybe explains the two women dressed as nuns on the side of the movie theatre, next to a man with long brown hair and beard, in brown clothes (like Jesus) and another hippy in his thirties in a tie-died shirt and loose pants chanting [some religious song] and yelling: “If you want your soul to go to heaven, stay outside.” From a group called ‘Jesus Loves You,’ they had come armed with posters and flyers that didn’t mince words.

Finally, the film crew arrived, sachet-ing down the red carpet, the only ones in tuxedos and ball gowns, as the fundamentalists threw the flyers at them, chanting and praying for their souls.

Then there was the transvestite, wearing a long black wig and purple gown, black spike heels and sunglasses. It was just the moustache that was hard to hide. With a chain around his neck, he also had a whip as a weapon, which he used later on one of the protesters, kicked a vase he was carrying and dumping yellow flowers onto the street and stepping on them.

He was not the only odd figure; there was also a woman with blue hair in a red spandex nurse’s uniform with a syringe, who was asking the guys: “Machst du spritze” (Do you like injections?).

The concerts themselves looked like every parents nightmare, like Marilyn Manson, an orgy of raunch intended to offend as many as possible. One band member was tonguing a naked woman, you know where, while another was making it with a feminine tail end. It was easy to see why ORF had refused to play them on TV.

But you couldn’t help wondering… was this all an act? After all, the band member’s previous outfits included police uniforms and nun’s habits.

“I don’t know who these people are,” commented Stefan’s Weber photographer. But at least it was getting attention. And wasn’t that the point?

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