Merkel tells German rock star: sorry we mangled your song

Sun Nov 16, 2014 8:00am EST
 
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By Erik Kirschbaum

BERLIN (Reuters) - Chancellor Angela Merkel stunned a German rock star named Campino by calling to apologize for her conservative Christian Democrat (CDU) party's mangling of his popular rock anthem "Tage wie diese" at their victory party after her 2013 re-election.

In excerpts from his autobiography published in Der Spiegel magazine on Sunday, the front man of German punk rock band Die Toten Hosen said he had previously complained about political parties misusing his song at campaign rallies but said he had nothing against people singing the song at celebrations.

"Dear Mr Campino, I'm calling because we trampled all over your song on election night," Campino, whose real name is Andreas Frege, said Merkel told him on the phone four days after the election. "Don't worry: it's not going to be the next CDU anthem. But it's a beautiful song that you've written."

"We stopped playing your song at campaign rallies after your objections," Merkel added. "But you also said in general you had nothing against playing the song at victory celebrations."

Merkel added that she had noted Campino's Facebook friends seemed to be angry that the CDU played his song at their victory celebrations, which were broadcast on national television.

Campino said he was astonished that Merkel had called him.

"It was a mixture of surprise and horror," he said. "Horror that she didn't have anything else to do except call me. But also touched that she explained all that in such a relaxed and humorous way."

(Reporting By Erik Kirschbaum; Editing by Stephen Powell)