The Real BANDANA Story





1992

Andreas Matthes comes across an old reel-to-reel tape from his parents which contains a recording of "I Walk The Line", broadcast by the 'Deutschlandfunk'.

1997


8th April
Andreas Matthes attends a Johnny-Cash-concert at the "Kulturpalast Dresden" and starts practicing afterwards.

2000

19th September
Andreas Matthes is invited for lunch at the 'Olive Garden' in Madison/Nashville by Kathy Cash Tittle, Johnny Cashes second oldest daughter, while Dad is working in the studio. The 'new band' with which John and Waylon (Jennings) recorded on that day was the trio "Trick Pony", as it was found out later.

2001

February   
Andreas Matthes appears together with Heiko Heeg on electric guitar for an audition at the musical school in Chemnitz.

April       
Foundation of "BANDANA - Sound of Johnny Cash" after an instrumental by Johnny Cash and a first public appearance in Chemnitz

December  
Appearance with Steffen (friend of Heiko's) on Bass, no further cooperation.

2002

February   
Concert with Michael John on bass at the musical school in Chemnitz

July       
Heiko leaves the band for a job in Bavaria, Michael moves to Leipzig

2003

March       
New lineup with Mathias Hofmann (bass) and Björn Bochmann (electric guitar)

April       
First appearance of the band with the new lineup together with "Jo & Co." at the inn "Zur Sonne", Röllingshain. "Jo" is considered the discoverer of the young talent.

May        
The appearance for the 9. Burgstädter Kulturwoche at the hotel "Alte Spinnerei" is witnessed by a certain Bodo Martin as cameraman, he plays drum for "The Wildwoodboys" in real life, since this evening he is with BANDANA.

2004

February   
"Johnny Cash Birthday Memorial" in a packed "Kaßca" in Chemnitz as sextet. Subsequently the band appears in variing lineups - similarly as Cash did.

June       
Supporting act for "Truck Stop" at the Stadthalle Limbach-Oberfrohna. "Frau B." has never before in her life worked on a mixing desk and fills in for the present soundman Klaus M. doing an outstanding job. Since then she does the mix up to this day. "Besides" she takes care of our tour management as we're on the road going far and often.
    
"June-Carter-Birthday-Memorial" at the "Theater im Hof" Cologne together with "Texas Heat" (Bernd Wolf aka "Marty Wolfe")

September   
First concert with Julia at the Burgstädter Altstadtfest, initially as harmony singer, later also as duet-partner and solist. Besides Julia plays acoustic guitar and autoharp.

October   
Frank, guitar player of the "Wildwoodboys", gets to hear the band at the "Tipi" in Chemnitz and instantly becomes an additional guitarist (he is to marry Julia in 2006).

November   
At the concert "Gunter Gabriel sings Cash" at the Kulturhaus Zwickau Andy gets called on the stage as guest singer.

December   
Guitarist Björn Bochmann leaves the band

"Country-Christmas-Time" at the Stadthalle Chemnitz,  support for Tom Astor and Gudrun Lange & Kactus

2005

January   
First gig abroad at the "CI-5" club in Prague

March       
First appearance in Switzerland at the saloon "BONANZA" in Bissegg

May       
An audience of thousands at the "Trucker & Countryfestival" at the "Erlebnisrasthof Strohofer" Geiselwind, countless cameras.

June       
Open-air-concert at the penitentiary of Waldheim

July       
Julia and Frank leave the band. From then on Andy plays the electric guitar himself as a guitarist for the distinctive "boom-chicka-boom" sound of Luther Perkins can not be found. Bodo takes over on acoustic guitar.

A newspaper ad appears in the magazine "Stadtstreicher": People (guitar, bass, organ or whatever you play) wanted by drummer for a garage-country-desertrock-americana-soul-blues(or something like that)-band. Und And here we are again with a new drummer: Oli.

When on tour only as trio, a lot of guest musicians spontanously take a seat at our snare drum which we always set up since then.

August   
First appearance with boogie pianist Andreas Werner, who instantly becomes a regular member of the band and who actually has always wanted to play snare drum.

September   
Country-Festival at the "Balver Höhle" (that's where the "Fantastische Vier" produced their live-unplugged-album as well as the appurtenant video clip)

2006

January   
Gig with the "Schwarzwasserperlen" at the pub "Gerücht" ( = "Hoax" / "Rumor") Dresden, a place where 1 - 2 musicians play every Sunday.
As previously arranged they were to sing harmony a little for 3 songs. The ladies showed up with 12 songs rehearsed completely for three voices. That's no hoax!

Conncert at the penitentiary Chemnitz

February   
Debut for the homemade "Luther Perkins Signature Amp".   
   
Interview and introduction of the band at the country music program on radio "MDR 1 Radio Sachsen" hosted by Frank Michael Bauer. We play 3 songs live and listen to the "homestation" every now and then ever since, because these recordings get some airplay sometimes.

Interview and introduction of the band on saxon TV ("Drehscheibe Chemnitz")

"Johnny-Cash-Memorial-Concert" & "Trash reads Cash" feat.
Roger Trash as speaker / guest singer at the "Kaßberg Gewölbekeller" Chemnitz (sold out, about 30 are sent back home). Sorry.

"Bluegrass & Countryfestival" on the Karl-May-Fest at the westerntown "Little Tombstone" in Radebeul (people hold out until after midnight despite the heavy rain)

May       
Our bus comes to a stop at the freeway exit "Dresden - Wilder Mann" while on the way to a gig at the "Oderspeicher" in Frankfurt/O. Severe damage of the engine. A real roadmovie ...

June       
"Donauinselfest" in Vienna, Europe's biggest open-air-festival with 23 stages and approx. 2.3 mil. guests in 3 days. The band is liked so much that we get booked for the next year again right on the spot.

August   
"Freakstock" Festival at Gotha. Young folks of other countries also take notice of us and the press writes "great american Johnny Cash cover band" since we do the "English Show" - without a word in German.

September   
"Johnny-Cash-Memorial-Concert" at the sold out "Chemnitzer Kabarett" feat. Cliff Häußler as speaker / guest singer.

The "Country & Western Friends Kötz 1982" e.V. invite to the "Cash Memorial Day II" at the Schützenhaus in Leipheim feat. "Mandy Strobel", "Marty Wolfe & Texas Heat" and us.

2007

January  
We play in northwestern Germany at the sold out "Heimathaus" Twist
   
First show in Holland at the sold out "EKKO" in Utrecht

February   
The legendary "Johnny-Cash-Memorial-Concert" at the "Theaters Plauen", feat. Thomas Bille (MDR Figaro, MDR artour) as speaker. Production of the live-DVD.

March        
Andy asks the attending Gunter Gabriel to come on stage as guest singer for 5 songs during the concert at the punk-rock club "King Calavera" in Hamburg St. Pauli.

April       
For the first time we play on a charity concert which fetches € 1,000 for the "Zwickauer Tafel".

May       
Sun-Records-Tribute at Kiel together with Elvis double und Jerry-Lee-Lewis coverband. Without any rehearsal we play with a bass player that we only know from the telephone: Ray Madison from Lübeck. And we did rock! Great show.

June       
TV production at Kiel after a 9 hour drive.

July       
Our new man on acoustic guitar is Markus "Uncle" Lang, Bodo takes over on upright bass. Mathi moves to Dresden to study there. Best wishes!

August    
Charity gala for the parents of children with cancer association "Sonnenstrahl e.V." Dresden at Waldheim within sight of the penitentiary. We play mostly prison songs - maybe somebody is listening "inside".

September   
Live on Air on the "Ali Khan LateNightShow" on Radio Charivari Munich.
Ali is kind of a blend of Harald Schmidt and Stefan Raab. Hope to see you again.

Box office record at the hotel "Herzog Georg" Bad Liebenstein: 2 (two)

November   
Bands with self-penned songs are wanted for soundtrack for the road-movie "Mitfahrgelegenheit". We produce Andy's 10 year old song "Dreams of you" and are chosen via online voting.

Concert with the new female singer Mandy Römer, who plays the part of June Carter at smaller gigs as an alternative to our "Carter Family".

2008

February   
"CountryMusicMesse" Berlin. The same old story: We and the Country Music scene - or the Country Music scene and us? Or BANDANA vs. The Country Music scene? Anyway, we are there with our own stand and playing concerts in Berlin on all of the 3 evenings.
That is probably called positive stress.

March       
3 days on tour in Austria crossing 3 states. About 1,400 miles on the VW bus.

Saxon TV films a clip about us at the "Villa Markersdorf".

May
For the first time we play before and after the movie "Walk the Line".

The band plays live on air on "Radio Euroherz" for 2 hours.

July

We play on the"AMCA European Chapter International Meet" at Dinkelsbühl for days in a row. Big thing!

Talking about big things: As we sit at the Thalia cinema of Dresden watching "Mitfahrgelegenheit" - the movie with our first published song for the soundtrack we really get to read our names in the closing credits on the big screen. What a thrill!

August
We play at the legendary LOGO club in Hamburg while 150 people around the world are watching us live on LIGX.DE.

September
JOHNNY CASH MEMORIAL CONCERT marking the 5th anniversary of John's death at the sold out Chemnitzer Kabarett. Thomas Bille reads from the biography and Saxon TV records everthing with their brand new OB van.
Standing ovations after the last song. The audience remains standing for a minute of silence for John. We close the evening with the song "Hurt" for which the cabaret especially provided us with their grand piano. What a night.

November
Erdgasarena Riesa.
There they have a series of events called „Live vom Balkon" („Live from the balcony") where distinguished bands play in the VIP area of the big hall. Real nice with comfortable seats and leather sofas and candles and special heating and a neat bar and everything. Show time at 7.30 p.m. At 3 p.m. we learn that the fill in for our June (who is down with the flue) is not able to perform either. Spontanously we give Julia (see July 2005) a call who is having coffee with guests. But "the show must go on" and the guests are sent home, the folder with the lyrics comes unearthed and she gets on the way to Riesa. Hats off to her! P.S. The place was sold out with over 200 tickets. Only Dresden's highly esteemed boogie-piano player Thomas Stelzer had a slightly bigger audience of 230 people. We can live with that. :-)

2009

February
We've found our new "June": Miriam Spranger, singer/songwriter from Chemnitz. And yet the first concerts with her turned out great. Terrific!

On this year's Country Music Fair in Berlin we had our booth, numbered 226 (Feb. 26th ...), again as well as our 30 minute time slot on the CountryMusic24-stage at the Fritz-Club (our thanks to the crew there!). BTW: The Lennerockers at the joining booth next to us had brought along fresh draft beer while we had some egg nog, as always.

March
We could have sold out the house of 'Wasserschloss Klaffenbach' two days in a row, but the second date would have been on Friday the 13th and that's what the executive board didn't want. So we play there again on November 27th. But the concert on March 14th was also a very special one and will have its own place in our band history. Mr. Murphy is a fan of BANDANA - that's for sure!

April
While other folks are supposedly on the egg hunt, we are on a 3 days Easter tour in Paderborn, Lübeck and Weimar, driving 800 miles. On the concert in Weimar Mr. CrazyHair's health breaks down due to overindulgence of Lübecker Marzipan. Good fortune had it that Weimar's Rocka-Billy band "The Bedrock Five" bawled out along the Cash-songs in front of the stage - so replacement on bass was provided for quickly. A drummer was also found on this occasion. The show must go on - hats off to the boys there!

May
On the way to a gig in the Blackforrest we witness a severe motorbike accident ahead of us and apply first aid. Get well soon, buddy! No matter that you had passed us on the right making probably 175mph just seconds before. Our road manager distributes band cards to the injured biker an the helpers around. Spaetzle and soundcheck are skipped and the show starts on time at 8:30 p.m.

Talking of touring: our bus made its 400,000th kilometer and passed the TÜV+ASU without a glitch. Way to go!

We play a short dated gig in Thedinghausen (near Bremen) featuring "Roxanna Red" as female singer and "Jack" on drums - both coming from CARTER CASH TRIBUTE. Incredible!

June
20-minute-set on the "Welcome Mr. President Party" in Dresden in front of a really big crowd. Never seen so much police, camera teams and OBI-vans before. Thomas Stelzer (see Nov. 2008) plays ahead of us, alas he's got no time to join us onstage.

Charity concert for the association for battered or abused women and children "Wildwasser Zwickau Land e.V." at the Old Gasometer of Zwickau. An audience of 180 donates €431.

We play on the Trucker & Country Festival Interlaken (Switzerland). 48,000 attendees, 1,400 trucks, 4,000 bikes, bright sunshine and a breathtaking scenery.

July | August
17 shows and 3,600 miles across 6 european countries. The highlight, of course, was the closing concert on the main stage at the Béthune Retro Festival.

Another special experience was our, meanwhile traditional Open-air-concert at the penitentiary of Waldheim. Right in the middle of 'Bonanza' the back drop behind us falls over after a gust of wind. Literally at the last second Mr. Crazy Hair sees the disaster coming and catches the other half, which didn't land on Andy's neck, with his head and elbow - not forgetting to get the already somewhat damaged bass out of the danger zone. Cons and wardens go to our rescue, nobody comes to grief. The prison tv channel keep their cameras rolling and so a remarkable live video came into existence. And as every year there, we had rain.

September
JOHNNY CASH MEMORIAL CONCERT marking the 6th anniversary of John’s death at the Chemnitzer Kabarett. The 4th year in a row we sold out the place.

October
Great concert at the 'König Albert Theater' of Bad Elster.

November
Showcase gig with an outstanding trumpet player at the 'Meistersingerhalle' of Nuremberg during the Country Music Fair

Once again a sold out concert at the Wasserschloss Klaffenbach.

Launch of our own record label BoomChickaBoomRecords.

December
New Year's eve at and with the residents of the rooming house for handicapped ('LukasHaus') at Zwickau. Also some fans had had some tickets and dropped by. A very touching concert - we have never been hugged, embraced and cuddled before. Great.

2010

February
A sold out JOHNNY CASH MEMORIAL CONCERT marking John's 78th birthday with Thomas Bille as narrator/speaker at Dresden's "Club Passage".

April
Charity concert at the juventile shelter in Burgstädt celebrating the first year of the "mother-child-group".

Gunter Gabriel gives Andy a call to ask if we'd like to play for him as his band in the musical "Hello, I'm Johnny Cash" at the Renaissance-Theater in Berlin - Helen Schneider plays June Carter's part.

May
At the concert in Potsdam's "Club Charlotte" fellow musician Gunter Gabriel strolls backstage with stage director, author and intendant in tow and since he's there also joins us on stage fo a couple of songs. But the big audience there reacted differently. For this as well as musical and scheduling reasons we agreed not to do the project together.

Never had we thought that our (female) sound engineer would fall head over heels in love with a mixing console - such was the case on the 15th International BBQ Championship in Gotha: a DiGiCo SD8.

October
Markus leaves the band. Our female singer Miriam takes over acoustic guitar now.

Welcome to the Land of Shtis. 3 concerts in 3 days in Northern France, 1350 miles on the tour bus, 1 hour of traffic jam on the highway at Lille, chamagne for breakfast, mysterious meat dishes, fantastically p.a. systems, protest march against pension at age 62 (we spontaneously participated), 2 gigs together with the sensational 'The Red Cabs', side trip to St. Quentin and the beach of Dunkerque, THANKS to Hervé (Blue Devils, Arras) & Nels (Nels Tattoo, Douai)! No Problem.



2011

February
Our showcase gig at the Country Music Fair in Berlin is coincidentally the opening concert of the 10th Anniversary Tour - this year the the band turns 10. The band bus passed the MOT - so we're ready to go.

May
Martin Schmitt makes his first appearance on the anniversary concert at the Brauclub Chemnitz. He plays acoustic guitar, trumpet and piano, which he likes to climb on all the time.

June
The BANDANA iPhone App for free is realeased.

November
Miriam and Oli leave the band. From now on Mandy Römer, Chrissy Gerth or Marlene Reuter appear as 'June Carter'. After helping out as stand-in for 2 years, Nino Richter becomes the new drummer.

December
Our iPhone/Adroid-App is installed on more than 1,000 smart phones by now.

2012

February/March
4 out of 8 concerts sold out, among them the greatest Johnny Cash Memorial Concert of the band's history commemorating his 80th birthday at the Stadthalle Chemnitz, feat. Peter Tschernig as reader/guest singer, the Schwarzwasserperlen as the 'Carter Family', Micky Romero as 'Carl Perkins' and a glittering after-show party at the 'FlowerPower' next door. King of Milage is Morten Christian Rødsgaard Sindalsen who travelled 640 miles from Frederikshavn (North Jutlandic Island, Denmark) just to see the show. Saxon TV has recorded the entire concert.

May
The concert at the Water Fest Thekla is broadcast live by Leipzig-TV.

The BANDANA-iPhone/Android-App is installed on more than 2,300 smart phones by now and the odometer hits 312500 miles (500,000 km) - took a picture and went on.

June
Broadcast of the complete concert at the Stadthalle Chemnitz in February on Saxon-TV at prime time on two Saturdays.

Acclaimed concert in Italy within a 3 day tour of 1100 miles through Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Italy.

And once again a request for autographs from the US. That fits well since we got new bilingual ones.

August
3 concerts in Czech casinos - not quite Las Vegas, but what wouldn't you do trailing CASH's tracks.

October
Mandy expects her 3rd child and leaves the band. The new female singer's name is Isabelle Gerwig, who comes only for the song 'Jackson' all the way from Berlin to play her first concert at the prison of Tonna (Thuringia) in front of a cheering crowd. She had been an actress so far and never sang for an audience before. A special moment for all those present.

2 great concerts in Belgium and France, now with the new man on guitar: Johannes Hautop, also from Berlin - our first musician with a music college degree.

2013

February
Gig at a Carnival Monday party in front of more than 1,000 people dressed up as cowgirls & cowboys.

For the JOHNNY CASH MEMORIAL CONCERT at the Stadthalle Chemnitz, we had Tony Carey as guest musician on keyboard and guitar - no rehearsal, just like that. We met him the day before on the MondayJamSession at the nearby music pub 'FlowerPower'. Wonderful. Recording and broadcasting by Saxon-TV.

April
1,300 miles across Germany and Belgium, from Erkner (near Berlin) via Lingen (Emsland) to Waardamme (English Channel) and back to Chemnitz within 3 days.