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