"I've never been like Happy End" - Barbara and Campino about family

Barbara Schöneberger: Campino, my childhood did not have much to do with punk rock. I grew up very sheltered. How was that for you?

Campino: Me too. In any case, according to the possibilities that exist in a large family.

Define big.

So big that it definitely would run asocial today. It was a lot of Radau in the shack, we were six children most of the time.

Most of the time?

My mother gave birth to seven children, but one died before my birth. My parents took a lot of time to plan their family. From the first to the last child there are 18 years difference.

Where are you in this chronology?

At penultimate place.

Loud big brothers and sisters? Was not that too much for you here and there?

You know what that is like: if you do not know it differently, you take things for granted. And in retrospect, it is completely inconceivable for me to have even one sibling less. One must not forget one thing: we had the power in the house, our parents had no chance against us. That was really fun. How was it with you?

Unfortunately, I was an only child.

Is there an accusation in your parents?

No! My parents plausibly assured me that they were trying to care for more children.

What was your suffering then? Overprotection?

There are pros and cons to being alone with the parents. Still, I always had that feeling in me that I was meant to be a kid of many.

Interesting feeling. What makes you think that?

Because of the importance that family has for me. For me, there is nothing better than family celebrations. All there, all in one house, all around a table. Anyway: a huge table with a lot of people around it, with space for everyone, who is brought spontaneously? that's the biggest feeling of happiness for me. I also never understood when someone made the number of chairs dependent on whether one could come.

Well, and you would have liked to see some siblings as well. I can understand. But look at the good pages.

In fact?

For example, single children are forced to have a more intense relationship with their parents. My parents had an authority function, but a familiar relationship, as I have observed with single children? no, we did not have that. My enlightenment, for example, was taken over by my older siblings.

Were they always your guides?

More than my parents, yes. Because they have sincerely tried to distribute their love and attention in equal measure. If you like, I've got one of the kind of attention you've got. Honestly, that's a difference. Even to the two that you have now.

And yet I regret that I started the childbirth so late. Actually, I would like to have four. I believe that women with four children are the better people.

In any case, they prove that they are able to retract themselves extremely. And they have to love children very much, because in times like ours, nobody has to have so many children anymore.

I admire these women. This is such a difficult, nice job of raising a lot of kids. Alone physically!

You know, I'm the father of just one kid. But that was enough to rethink the relationship with my parents and readjust it. The idea of ​​having six or seven children born after the war is incredible to me today. This is a feat that I could not appreciate as a child.

On the contrary, right? Was not there a lot of rebellion in your game?

Yes, yes. But not really targeted against my parents. I did not avoid a fight, and sometimes they got in the way. That was stupid. On the one hand. On the other hand, the generational conflict in post-war Germany already had its justification.

But look at us. We are really cool. And yet our children will someday find everything weird about us.

Because they need their own world, and that's good and healthy. I just do not think it's as confrontational as it used to be. In the 60s and 70s the youth broke with the culture of the parents, so it was more important to delineate. And the feeling of having to do that, we carry our children after. That's not the case in other countries. In Italy or Spain, the cut-off is gentler on the parents.

I find it exciting that these limits will eventually fall again. I once rebelled against any tradition. Christmas? Get away! I always wanted to do everything differently, every year anew. And do you know what happened?

N / A?

I got married, had children. And in one fell swoop, appreciating traditions. I'm even looking forward to sharing it with my children. Insane.

Not really. Families need rituals. If you come home at 40 at Christmas and your parents are leaving the tinsel for the first time, you can handle it. No matter how shit you found tinsel earlier.Memories are a help anchor, and these rituals are a kind of home.

Speaking of home: My outwardly is very bourgeois. Married, two children, a house. Would that have been an option for you?

Wait a minute: I remember my playmates earlier. I was always only second choice as a game partner?


Because with them, no matter what we played, in the end always had a happy ending. I, on the other hand, was not satisfied when I did not even crash terribly against the wall with my Matchbox cars or built a giant accident with the Märklin railway. You could say: I was not up for the happy ending.

That is, punk rock and family do not fit together?

I did not mean that. As I said, with my siblings, that was the best, like Bullerbü. And I know one who has had twelve children with his wife, only from 'my dozen'. to be able to talk. This is pure punk rock! In such a house there is chaos and anarchy, as punk rockers could not think better.

But nothing for you, right?

My priorities were different. I always wanted enough money to travel from one day to the other to the other end of the world. And a good facility for loud music. Did I do both?

But no house.

Not as a priority. I am a traveling people and feel very well in hotels. I have to, as often as we are on the road.

That makes us different. I'm also a lot on the move, but I have never had breakfast in hotels when I have to be there professionally. Let alone enter the spa.

Really? Why not?

Because at 6:15 am I take the first plane home. Or go back at night. For me, only home counts. Everything else is like standing in the bus like that all the time? maximum uncomfortable. I just can not get there.

I do not feel that way. I used to live in the hotel almost half a year when I played theater in Berlin, which was great. I can already understand Udo Lindenberg.

But in the hotel you are still Campino. When I'm at home, it just does not matter to me if I've been on stage a few hours before in front of 3000 people.

That's right, it grounds us. For me it is not different with my son. There are two units for this: I am there or I am not there. This always helps me immediately to shrink back to a normal shoe size.

If you are not there, then you are traveling with your other family.

With the dead pants? Yes, that is also a kind of family. We spend an incredible amount of time together, for more than 35 years. And it's not always funny. We had deaths, friends in distress, disputes? Yes, that's a family, no question.

And you have bought on the Duesseldorf South Cemetery a grave with 13 places, where you will all be once. Otherwise only families.

That's true. But at the moment this family is still very much alive. And I have to say that living with her over and over again arouses the need to spend a lot of time alone. I understand that you absolutely want to go home. But I also find it valuable to make an appointment with myself from time to time. We are not just part of a family. We always remain individuals.

I know what you mean. However, being alone with me means that occasionally I just stay in a side street for ten minutes by car and close my eyes again before I get home. Speaking of: Does your son share your passion for punk rock and football?

He is a hip hop and skateboarder. I tried pretty much to get him into football, and he also suffers when Fortuna Dusseldorf or Liverpool lose, but only out of sympathy for me. He himself ? No. I used to have daydreams that he runs as a professional and I'm sitting proudly in the stands. But he is happy on his skateboard. So I am too.

What did your parents wish for you?

A proper job. The wish has never been fulfilled. What was it like for you?

My parents said: you graduate from high school, then you can do what you want. And in fact they have never intervened until today.

The Abi with me was like that. In addition, my father was a judge, and my mother, who was English, studied at Oxford. Studying was a basic requirement for both of them, and the fact that I did not do any of them was of particular concern to my father.

Instead you make noise in a band!

That was okay for her. I started singing in bands at the age of 16. And suddenly I got better at school. I could let off steam somewhere else.

And when you were finished with the school?

Did my father ask more often what is studying? He stopped when we were together in the bank branch where we both had our account.

How so?

Because the store manager gave me the hand first.

But your music probably did not like your parents anyway.

They could not really do anything with it at first. My mother always thought that I am dealing with something negative.Until the two were at a concert for the first time after many years.

And then?

Did they feel the energy, the constructive. The fun. And the people there were very nice to them. A security man has asked my dad if he needs earplugs. He just answered: "Boy, I was at artillery."

Did you have the impression afterwards that he has accepted what you are doing?

Yes, yes. For one thing, during his lifetime in Düsseldorf, he often went to the zoo park, a well-known meeting place for punks, and asked the guys there how to find the Toten Hosen.

That's cute. And for another?

I tidied his desk after he died. Suddenly I noticed a shoebox with nothing but cut newspaper articles about me and the Toten Hosen. That's when I knew he was proud of me. That touched me.

© Benno Kraehahn

Queensborough Community College - 2002 Commencement Exercises (July 2020).