39 Clocks - 39 Clocks

The 39 Clocks were an underground band from Hanover . Together with Nova Express , The Beauty Contest , Shiny Gnomes , Multicolored Shades , the Castrated Philosophers and Yellow Sunshine Explosion , they are counted among the neo-psychedelic bands of the German 1980s underground.


In 1980 her 7-Inch DNS was released on the independent record label No Fun Records , and in 1981 her LP Pain It Dark was also released there . 39 Clocks records were later released on their own label "Psychotic Promotion" and on the Hamburg indie label What's So Funny About .

Characteristic of the band was her visually from Velvet Underground , but musically by American garage rock of the 1960s -years-influenced psychedelic directness that relatively simple production technology used (4-track machine u. Ä.), As well as some "weird" use of English , partly similar to the so-called Denglish . Visually, they always appeared in black and with sunglasses and coined sentences like "Black and white televisions show better films than color televisions". In contrast to the more melodic psychedelic rockthey called their music "Psycho-Beat". In retrospect, some people today speak of the 39 Clocks as “German Velvet Underground” - a comparison that the duo always rejected. The 39 Clocks never had a Rockpalast appearance like the Hanoverian colleagues from Hans-A-Plast , but they were not completely forgotten. 1998 found z. B. a title of 39 Clocks on the soundtrack of movie 23 - Nothing is as it seems use. In addition, the pioneer of the German “Psychedelic Renaissance” is remembered as part of the attempt to stylize Hanover into the coming pop and rock metropolis. The 39 clocks are used together with mainstream products such as scooters and mousse T., called, at least a strange mixture.


In 1976 the Hanoverians Jürgen "JG39" Gleue (guitar, bass, vocals) and Christian "CH39" Henjes (guitar, organ, vocals) came together under the band name "Killing Rats", later "The Automats". The core duo was occasionally expanded to include musicians such as the drummer Claudius Hempelmann (he later switched to the labelmates and Neue Welle representatives of Der moderne Man ) and Rüdiger Klose, who is also known for his work with the castrated philosophers . In the studio they were among others by Süsskind von Kosmonautentraum at Melodika and Emilio Winschetti, singer of the labelmates Mythen in Tüten , later at Mint andThe Perc Meets the Hidden Gentleman , accompanied on the synthesizer . For their second LP, Gleue and Henjes founded their own record company "Psychotic Promotion", where the castrated philosophers also released their first records.

The duo separated in 1983 and Henjes founded The Beauty Contest , which released several records at What's So Funny About in Hamburg. In 1987 there was a one-time reunion and LP release with What's So Funny About, which, however, had no further consequences. Gleue subsequently founded the label "Swamp Room", played in projects such as "Exit Out" and "The Cocoon" (with Gunter Hampel ) and released solo recordings as "Phantom Payn", where he repeatedly met Rüdiger Klose. In 2000 he left the active music business.


  • “Melancholic and atmospheric, a chugging rhythm machine often has something depressive about it. Simple, constantly repeated figures on a distorted guitar ('DNS'). Almost even better a sinister version of 'Twist & Shout' called 'Twisted & Shouts', the elegiac melody slowly changes to a sharp screeching sound. Convincing. Unfortunately in English. "(Hans Keller, Sounds No. 9/80)
  • "... sounds like Velvet Underground are trying to re- enact the Beatles ." (Bobby Blitzkrieg)

Discography (excerpt)

  • 1980: DNS / Twisted And Shouts (7"-Single, No Fun Records)
  • 1981: Pain It Dark (LP, No Fun Records)
  • 1982: Aspetando Godo / New Crime Appeal (7"-Single, Psychotic Promotion)
  • 1982: Subnarcotic (LP, Psychotic Promotion, 1988 bei What’s So Funny About)
  • 1983: Blades in your Masquerade (Kompilation, LP, Flicknife Sharp)
  • 1985: Cold Steel to the Heart (Rarities-Kompilation, LP, What’s So Funny About)
  • 1987: 13 More Protest Songs (LP, What’s So Funny About)
  • 1993: The Original Psycho Beat (Kompilation, CD, What’s So Funny About)
  • 2009: Zoned (Compilation) (CD, De Stijl)
  • 2009: Pain It Dark (CD, Bureau B)

Discography Christian Henjes (excerpt)

  • 1984: The Beauty Contest – Feel Fault (LP, What’s So Funny About)
  • 1984: The Beauty Contest – City Lights (12"-Single, What’s So Funny About)
  • 1985: The Beauty Contest – No. 6 (12"-Single, What’s So Funny About)

Discography Jürgen Gleue (excerpt)

  • 1985: Exit Out – Peruse Prankster (LP, What’s So Funny About)
  • 1987: The Cocoon – While The Recording Engineer Sleeps (LP, Wilhelm Reich Schallspeicher)
  • 1992: The Cocoon – Stretching Things (LP/CD, What’s So Funny About)
  • 1991: The Phantom Payn – Vol. 1 Dig The Squares – They’re Ugly (LP+EP, GB 45)
  • 1992: The Phantom Payn Act – Trouble with Ghosts (CD, Glitterhouse Records)
  • 1993: The Phantom Payn Act – Trouble with Ghosts (Revised Version, LP, Hidden Records)
  • 1994: The Phantom Payn Act – Bad Vibes Anyone ?? (LP/CD, Hidden Records)
  • 1995: A Phantom Payn Seance – Telegraphic Grooves From A Dead Mailbox (LP, Hidden Records)
  • 1997: The Phantom Payns – More Phantom Than Ever (LP, Toaster in Test)
  • 2000: J.G.39 – Afternoon Non-Happenings (CD, No Label Records)


  • Matthias Blazek: The Lower Saxony Band Compendium 1963-2003 - Data and facts from 100 rock groups from Lower Saxony. Celle 2006, ISBN 978-3-00-018947-0 , p. 204