The Cream Cheese, © Creamcheese e.V. Sammlung Achim Reinert


Mu­sic­al art bar

While the Rat­inger Hof, as Jür­gen En­gler says, was the ?CBGB? of Düs­sel­dorf, a dec­ade pri­or, the Cream­cheese in the old city was the reg­u­lar place to go for Düs­sel­dorf?s mu­si­cians and artists. Here, sculptors met with film-makers, who met with mu­si­cians at a long bar with a rear wall made up of mir­rors, sur­roun­ded by works cre­ated by loc­al artists. Tele­vi­sions run­ning 24 hours a day were moun­ted on shelves, and trans­mit­ted live im­ages from the ?ac­tion room? next door. That?s why today, the name Cream­cheese is strongly as­so­ci­ated with Düs­sel­dorf?s fam­ous artists, with Joseph Beuys, Anatol Herzfeld and Gün­ther Ueck­er, who were among the reg­u­lar vis­it­ors. It should­n't be for­got­ten that at the end of the 1960s, these were largely un­known artists from the Kunstakademie, who among oth­ers were able to try out the ideas and works in the Cream­cheese that would later make them world fam­ous. On the long bar of the Cream­cheese, the con­cepts of the Flux­us move­ment, so­cial sculp­ture and the defin­i­tion of an ?ex­ten­ded art concept? could be dis­cussed and formed. Oth­ers, like pho­to­graph­er Kath­ar­ina Siev­erd­ing, who is now world fam­ous, worked be­hind the bar. Also, there was un­usu­al mu­sic in the back­ground. Here, pro­gress­ive rock re­cords were played, which could not be heard any­where else in the city, from Pink Floyd to Gen­es­is to Frank Zappa. The Cream­cheese, which ex­is­ted from 1967 to 1976, was not just an art loc­a­tion where art hap­pen­ings, theatre per­form­ances and even fash­ion shows were held, how­ever. It was also a con­cert stage on which im­port­ant Kraut rock bands of the time, such as Can, could per­form. Today, if you stand in front of the res­id­en­tial and of­fice build­ing on Neubrück­strasse, you're there­fore also in a place at which one of the most un­usu­al Kraft­werk con­certs was held. On Box­ing Day 1970, the band which would later be­come a Düs­sel­dorf le­gend played with an un­usu­al line-up. While Ralf Hüt­ter had left the band for a few months, Flori­an Schneider-Esleben (flute), Eber­hard Krane­mann (bass, cello, Hawaii­an gui­tar) and the un­for­got­ten drum­mer Charly Weiss per­formed on stage. It was Charly Weiss? only ap­pear­ance with Kraft­werk. When he left, he was fol­lowed by gui­tar­ist Mi­chael Roth­er and the ex­uber­ant drum­mer Klaus Dinger. Ralf Hüt­ter and Flori­an Schneider re-es­tab­lished their re­la­tion­ship and shif­ted their im­pro­vised Kraut rock mu­sic to­wards struc­tured elec­tron­ic pop mu­sic. Roth­er and Dinger left Kraft­werk to form NEU! While you walk down the Neubrück­strasse and through the Kay-und-Lore-Lorentz-Platz to Grabbe­platz, ?Hal­logallo?, the first track on NEU!?s self-man­aged début al­bum from 1972, is the per­fect soundtrack. Ten hyp­not­ising minutes that are a hand-made, raw coun­ter­product to Kraft­werk. Hap­less journ­al­ists called this sound ?Mo­torik?, thereby re­du­cing it to the mono­ton­ous beat. You can hear how the wild tem­pera­ment of auto­dic­tat Klaus Dinger sharply meets the well-bal­anced per­son­al­ity of Roth­er and his del­ic­ate gui­tar work, held to­geth­er and com­bined through Conny Plank?s pro­duc­tion. With this sound, NEU! in­flu­enced not only the Eng­lish punks, but also Dav­id Bowie. In his mas­ter­work ?Her­oes?, he bows down be­fore the Düs­sel­dorf band. ?V-2 Schneider? was a ref­er­ence to Flori­an Schneider. However, with the al­bum title, he paid trib­ute to Roth­er and Dinger. It is a ref­er­ence to Hero from the al­bum Neu! ?75.

Fur­ther In­form­a­tion:
Neubrück­str. 12, 40213 Düs­sel­dorf

Images and videos

Be inspired: images of your NRW

Kraftwerk - Creamcheese, © Creamcheese e.V. Sammlung Achim Reinert
The Cream Cheese, © Creamcheese e.V. Sammlung Achim Reinert
A token coin for the Cream Cheese, © Creamcheese e.V. Sammlung Achim Reinert
A historic photograph of Cream Cheese, © Creamcheese e.V. Sammlung Achim Reinert