Welcome to Rockpalast
We are dedicated to music and the music only!
Mig Music is an independent record label based in Hannover, Germany, since 2009. We are dedicated to music and the music only!
In memory of Peter Rüchel – 1937 – 2019
Rockpalast – A magical journey through the world of rock music
For many generations, the “Rockpalast” series of concerts is associated with a unique magic. Of the many formats produced by TV stations throughout the world for rock concerts none has shaped generations of listeners as intense as “Rockpalast”, not only in Germany but, thanks to Eurovision, also in the majority of Europe from Portugal to Finland.
The concept of creating own events especially for TV and radio was already introduced in 1974 with Peter Rüchel, editor in charge at the WDR in Cologne, responsible.
The first shows took place in the TV studio of WDR in Cologne in front of a small and partly overwhelmed audience, and the atmosphere sometimes was quite odd. Therefore, the Rockpalast crew very soon left the studio going to clubs and venues throughout Germany where rock concerts were taking place regularly: Zeche Bochum, Markthalle Hamburg, Metropol Berlin, Sartory-Säle Köln.
The first night to build the legend was July 23 in 1977 – this rock night from the Grugahalle in Essen being broadcast all over Europe for the very first time. Until the last one in 1986 there were 17 such shows in total – many of which presenting a fancy mixture of artists from all genres of rock music. Because of these surprising line-ups, over the years the shows gained a cult status widely going beyond the mere transmission of a concert.
“Rockpalast” became the philosophy of a generation tuning in to these events with quantities of Lambrusco wine and marihuana, all of us being brothers in the spirit of rock and roll. Those so-called “rock nights” were not to be missed by the music community, mostly celebrated with kindred spirits when and wherever possible. For the perfect stereo sound the radio receiver was tuned in to the live broadcasting station, then one had to endure the news, weather, a couple of minutes of devotion – and then there was rock music until the early morning hours.
“Rockpalast” brought great names like The Police, Peter Gabriel or The Who as well as unknown national and international artists on German stages and into our living or party rooms. Many of these new discoveries had their European breakthrough with their “Rockpalast” performance and were able to change their club bookings for bigger halls afterwards. The list contains a variety of artists like Joe Jackson or Ian Hunter, Mother’s Finest, Kid Creole and The Coconuts, Johnny Winter, Patti Smith, Gianna Nannini and Rory Gallagher. The effect was so massive that record dealers always took care to have a large stock of product on hand before a “Rockpalast” night, especially in the case of unknown artists.
“Rockpalast” created careers and presented a great platform for artists nearly all of which made good use of it. “Rockpalast” developed its own spirit, and without exception, the artists performed their very best. Managements and record companies also saw to that by aligning their artists properly upfront to the importance of these events.
To conserve this “spirit” and to make it available again today is the goal of the work of MIG-Music. We implement that consequently and invest all our competence to present these cultural documents in a valuable manner. That is not always a simple task because the original material is no studio production but recordings from TV and radio. Partially the technical possibilities are of great help. Sometimes we get tape reels with 24 tracks which we can carefully work with like we already succeed with Joe Jackson and Kid Creole. But the fan and the customer must not forget that the recordings are partially older than 30 years. They may have been recorded with the latest equipment at the time but when a TV camera with tubes drove along blasting loudspeakers, the tubes began to vibrate which resulted in distorted bars on the screen. During the first tunes, it was also often necessary to re-adjust the sound. Hence, one must take a loss here and there with the “Rockpalast” and there is nothing to be done about it. What it does not change is the spirit of the whole series.
Fantastic and partially enthusiastic reviews from all over the world (some of which are to be seen below) confirm us in our efforts and make us a little bit proud.
“Rockpalast” presented big names as well as a lot of new stuff to discover. That is the reason why we have also released lesser-known artists in the series. It was this special mixture that made “Rockpalast” what it was, and that is why a concert by Terry and The Pirates or Steve Gibbons Band is equally important as one by The Who or ZZ Top. That’s MIG’s philosophy on “Rockpalast” – other companies often have a different view.
The series’ artwork is designed to always present original photos from the concert and has a uniform appearance. Authenticity means a great deal to us.
With this in mind, we will continue our work; there is a lot to do still.
Now “Rockpalast” is under the guidance of Peter Sommer who not simply continued to keep the heir in force but consequently accompanied it into our present day. We music lovers are happy about the competent selection and the professional implementation of rock music for TV to this day.
Shown here on the screening night of the Rockpalast jubilee are the three makers of the production who answered inquiries from the auditorium.
photos: Thomas von der Heiden
The WDR multi media features
For those who understand the German language: The WDR has produced superb multimedia features about the history of Rockpalast. Simply follow the links below.
4. The 90’s
5. To date