Photo of the Day 2009-08-10: Emily Remler live 1985

Emily Remler live at the Hamburg Fabrik 1985, photo by Moni KellermannEmily Remler
live Fabrik Hamburg, 1985-06-11

When I asked my favourite German jazz guitar player Ali Claudi back in 1981 why there are no great women guitar players, he told me to check out Emily Remler. So I did. Which at that time did not mean firing up YouTube or checking torrents but walking to a record store, begging to have an album being imported which you had no chance to pre-listen to and which then was totally overpriced.

I bought all her 80's albums and still listen to two of them, Transitions (1983) and Catwalk (1984). Both albums are great to listen to from start to finish but are sadly out of print (Hello, Concord? Stop being so ignorant and re-issue those albums and shove those stupid compilations). I prefer Catwalk over any other Remler album simply for the fact that it showcases her own compositions. You can easily find out whether you will like her and her music: Here is a very short YT video of her playing "Mocha Spice" (from Catwalk). To me that is everything I like about Remler condensed in two minutes. If you like that, chances are you will like a whole album.

In the summer of 1985, Remler had teamed up with fellow jazz guitar legend Larry Coryell and was touring the European Jazz Festival circuit. As often in this case, they performed at the Hamburg Fabrik. I am not a big fan of too many jazz guitar players, Coryell being no exception, but of course I had to see Emily Remler perform. The audience consisted of the usual suspects, i.e. jazz enthusiasts and amateur fretboard molesters, male, of course. I spent the concert right at the left front of the stage and took some nice pics. Halfway through the performance, I kind of had it with the dudes worshipping that dude on stage and between two songs shouted "Catwalk". Remler heard it and turned to Coryell, beaming like a schoolgirl and whispering "She knows my song!". That was so cute!

After the show, I went backstage and chatted with the duo and took one photo of them. I never printed it but today, while preparing this blog post, decided to add it here as a "bonus photo", just like you would add a bonus track to a digital release of an album. I planned to display it in smaller format to not distract any attention from the live photo. Then I saw the writing on the wall (literally). I really discovered it today, 24 years later and didn't pay any attention to it when I was taking the photo. See for yourself:

Emily Remler backstage at the Hamburg Fabrik 1985, photo by Moni KellermannEmily Remler and Larry Coryell
backstage Fabrik Hamburg, 1985-06-11

"Drugs will kill you" - Emily Remler died of an accidental heroin overdose while being on tour in Australia five years later. Spooky, eh?


Doreen said...

Soooooo weird!! and a really great story!!

C. Rickmond said...

Aw, that's sad.

Anonymous said...

thanks for posting the pics, sad loss, she was beautiful and tlaented.

Ricky said...

great article

the "writing on the wall" is indeed spooky...

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