“Yes, Krautrock. Can. Jaki Liebezeit. Rock without the radio god telling it to bow down and behave.”


I was reading a piece about classic “prog rock” albums, and there among the references to Yes, early Genesis, Rush and King Crimson was a reference to Can, and an album called Future Days.

There was a dim awareness … hadn’t a band member only recently passed away?

Can Drummer Jaki Liebezeit Was Everything American Music Should’ve Been

 … West Germany in the 1960s and ‘70s, where there was virtually no radio venue for indigenous electric pop rock, was a wildly and beautifully different story. Music that incorporated avant-garde, avant-rock and avant-jazz flourished without being disconnected from the visceral, muscular, and romantic intent of pre-Beatles rock.

Tim Sommer’s obituary for Liebezeit tells the band’s story, and it’s almost entirely new to me.

I recall someone coming into the Public House back in the early days and loaning me a few Can discs. Probably the only reason this even remains in the memory bank is because the band was German, and the music made no sense to me. He eventually collected the discs, and now I can’t remember who he was was.

Now, two decades later, after listening to Can recordings on YouTube and watching Can: The Documentary (1999), it is dawning on me just how much I’ve missed.

However, that’s okay. There’s always time to catch up, and the Internet is actually useful when used correctly.