This article examines the rise of the East German rock band the Puhdys, focusing primarily on the songs collected in their eponymous first album. Such an examination provides a long overdue reappraisal of the Puhdys’ early years, establishing not only that they benefitted from fortuitous timing, but also that their early music and lyrics conveyed sophisticated multivalent messages that helped them reach a youthful rock audience without running afoul of the authorities. This article also reveals the degree to which East German radio and the West German record industry fostered the rise of “ddrock” and later cemented its place in the East German cultural arena.
John Littlejohn earned his doctorate from the University of Kansas and is currently a visiting Assistant Professor of German at Randolph-Macon College. He has published on German hip-hop and Krautrock as well as artists such as Kraftwerk and Rammstein. He co-edited a book on the latter, Rammstein on Fire: New Perspectives on the Music and Performances (Jefferson, 2013).