German punk rocker Campino was both touched and horrified to receive an apology from German Chancellor Angela Merkel last year, after one of his songs was butchered during what amounted to an election night jam session.
On Sunday, Der Spiegel magazine published an excerpt of a book about Campino's band, Die Toten Hosen, and in it the singer recounts how the most powerful woman in the world called him in the fall of 2013 to address the incident, where a member of her Christian Democratic Union party sang the Die Toten Hosen classic "Tage wie diese" during a televised victory party.
"Dear Mr. Campino, I'm calling because we trampled all over your song on election night," he recalls Merkel saying. "Don’t worry: It's not going to be the next C.D.U. anthem. But it's a beautiful song that you've written."
In the run-up to the election, the CDU had taken to playing the anthemic (and very un-punk sounding) "Tage wie diese" at campaign events, which led to an angry statement by the Düsseldorf-based group, whose name translates to The Dead Pants. "The danger that people might get the idea that there is a connection between the band and the content promoted at these events makes us furious," they said.
Merkel's party agreed to ban the song during the campaign, but exploited a loophole in order to rock (the f**k) out at the victory bash. "You said that, generally, you had nothing against its use at victory celebrations," she said, according to Campino.
According to reports, Campino felt a "mixture of shock and horror" that Merkel had "nothing better to do than call me," but also "moved" that she reached out "in such and easygoing, humorous way."
Merkel had been burned before after a 2005 dust-up with the Rolling Stones, who objected to her use of their song "Angie" at official campaign events.