20 YEARS AGO: The More Fiends Vs. The Berlin Wall


EDITOR’S NOTE: The Philly punk band More Fiends was founded by Allen and Elizabeth Fiend (host of BiG TeA PaRtY Sustainable Living) .

BY ELIZABETH FIEND It was November 9th 1989 and More Fiends had been on tour already for a grueling seven weeks. I was lying on an old mattress on the floor of a narrow bedroom watching Happy Days which had turned incredibly funny because in the German dubbed version The Fonz had a whiney, high pitched voice. Plus, come on, Fonzie was speaking German. The program was interrupted by what seemed like some sort of special news report. Instantly — voices, screaming, intensity, astonishment, from the kitchen down the slender hallway of my band’s home base in Hamburg. And more cries from outside, down the block, next door.

Before our back to back 1989 and 1990 European tours were over we would record a Peel Session for the BBC in London; and in Germany a single in a studio that was a  former meat packing plant and before that a Nazi bunker. We would stand on a fortified rooftop in Sweden littered with Heineken bottles tricked-up into Molotov cocktails laying in wait of a raid by the cops; and in the Netherlands would be advised not to smoke in certain rooms because it was were the inhabitants made their bombs. We would be told we couldn’t crash as planned at Hamburg’s famous Hafenstrasse squat because the polizei were on their way to search for Allen_and_Elizabeth_Poland_visa_photo_1990.jpgmembers of the Red Army Faction, formerly the Baader-Meinhof Gang, who might be responsible for the recent car bombing death of the head of the Deutsche Bank.

We would ask why a yard-wide swastika was allowed to remain graffitied on the side of a public building in Tampere, Finland; would participate in a march lead by the Autonomen, the role models for the American anarchist black block, kicking off  from the Rote Flora community center; and would have slept next to a room where mounds of asphalt chunks awaited attacks by the police. The chunks were to be lobbed by radicals donning the protective helmets and hunter grade sling-shots that lined the wall, hanging in very neat rows. We would gain firsthand knowledge of one such confrontation at the Ungdomshuset in Copenhagen, Denmark one of Europe’s most important occupied youth centers. We would actually be on stage when it was raided by an army of riot-gear laden politiet. As practiced, defensive positions were instantly taken by the locals, doors slammed shut and barricaded, tense minutes passed. MORE

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