___KLAUS HARMONY b.1941, BADEN, GERMANY. d.1984, LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM
Klaus Harmony was a pop musician and celebrated composer of scores for erotic films. His childhood in Berlin was spent accompanying his mother, Lotte Schmitt, a cabaret performer, on accordion at street corners. This gave the young Klaus early experience of show business and an uncommon ambition. Moving to the Soho district of London in 1959, Klaus studied composition at Acton with Henry Bysshe and worked as a cabaret performer at Club Nefertiti. In 1962 Klaus left the club to form pop group Accordion Pete & the Accordion Boys, the success of which was hampered by a style the music industry considered too theatrical. Undeterred, Klaus formed another group, The Accordion Boy & His Pop Beat Combo Chums which soon became popular in London's coffee bars and was managed by pop music impresario, Peter Wilde.
A succession of hits followed including Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me, a UK number one single. The group found success in America and became an international phenomenon. In 1965, however, bassist, Stan Hamlyn, died unsettling the group's stability. The Pop Beat Combo Chums assumed the new incarnation of Kinky Roosevelt in 1967. Roosevelt's sound was more progressive and experimental than that of its predecessor, and their consummate release, Soft Jesus, Heavy Judas, made a significant impression on the world of rock music. Further tragedy struck in 1968 with the death of manager, Peter Wilde, and the disintegration of the band followed.
Klaus moved to Utrecht where he met fledgling film director, Friedrich Wohlfäht. Wohlfäht belonged to the new Erotik expressionist movement and wished to hire Harmony as composer for his films. The two became friends and collaborated on nine films including the highly controversial Die Sins des Apostles (1972), a depiction of Christ's disciples pursuing knowledge of god through sexual union, and The Ladies Man (1977), which enjoyed both box office success and critical acclaim. The style of both director and composer developed in tandem and Harmony became renowned for his fusion of classical contrapuntal textures, numerological references, electronic timbres and funky grooves.
Throughout the decade Klaus was married five times to, Nerys Stokes, Claudia Piffenhöle (with whom he had a son, Helmut), Theda Wetzel, Lola Schlipp and Suzanne Watkins-Robb, the only spouse to survive him. The most striking moment of his career came with Gefährliche Brüste (1979), which, in Wohlfäht's uncompromising style, depicted the death of Harmony’s fourth wife, Lola Schlipp, in a plane crash. Suzanne Watkins-Robb played the role of Lola, marrying the composer a year later in 1980.
Following Friedrich Wohlfäht's death in 1981, Klaus Harmony's career saw a decline, working for the less sophisticated director, Chip Jenssen. Rumpenmeister (1982) was Harmony's final film. The composer returned to London with Suzanne and Helmut and taught composition to a handful of pupils. In 1984 Klaus went missing following an unexplained explosion at a used record store in London's east end. Lack of evidence led the police to assume he had died in the blast whilst others claim that the composer did not perish and is still living.
Since then his son, Helmut, and long time sound engineer and collaborator, Jan Sink, have guarded his body of work carefully, re-releasing a comprehensive set of his works through their own record label and publishing company.