Sixty-Nine was a German hard-rock/psych duo that released the album Circle of the Crayfish on Philips in 1972, followed by a live double-LP of all-new material on the label in 1974.

Members: Armin Stöwe (organ, piano, synthesizer, guitar, vocals), Roland Schupp (drums, percussion)


Sixty-Nine formed in 1969 when multi-instrumentalist Armin Stöwe teamed with drummer and percussionist Roland Schupp. Stöwe (b. 1950) handled an arsenal of organs and synthesizers in addition to piano, guitar, bass pedals, and occasional vocals.

In July 1972, Sixty-Nine played the Wurzburg Giant Pop-Festival, a two-day event that also featured performances by King Crimson, Jeff Beck Group, Joe Cocker, Odin, Tucky Buzzard, Jackson Heights, Status Quo, Home, Hardin & York, Juicy Lucy, Nazareth, Golden Earring, Franz K, and Kin Ping Meh. That same year, Sixty-Nine recorded their debut album at Rhein-Main Tonstudio.

1972: Circle of the Crayfish

Circle of the Crayfish appeared in 1972 on Philips. Side A features four songs in the 5–6-minute range: “Ballast,” “Kolibri,” “Becoming Older,” and “Journey.” The 15-minute “Paradise Lost” consumes the bulk of side B, followed by “Crayfish.” Stöwe composed everything. The album was produced by Peter Strecker and Wolfgang Sandner and engineered by Friedrich Paulsen, the same team that handled the 1973 release From the New World by symphonic-rockers Pell Mell.

Circle of the Crayfish came in a single sleeve with a poster of the duo. The cover shows a watery vortex with a crayfish in the middle. At the bottom right is a circular stamp with a duck mascot and the words “Deutsch Rock.”

1974: Live!

During 1973, Sixty-Nine played more than 100 shows, including dates with Golden Earring and West, Bruce & Laing. They eventually amassed two album’s worth of new Stöwe originals, as documented at live events in Mainz and Hamburg. Connie Plank edited these recordings for the 1974 double-album Live!, issued on Philips.

Live! has 10 tracks: four on side A (incl. “Just Right Here and Now” and “Seven Steps to Hell”) and two per-side on the rest. Three of the jam-oriented numbers pass the 10-minute mark: “Get Up” (12:18), “Bach’s Broken Trumpet” (10:22), and “7 Trouthers Walter” (12:42). Original vinyl copies are housed in a gatefold cover with an overhead concert photo of Stöwe and his stacked keyboard setup. The back shows Schupp behind his double-bass drum set.

Later Activity

Stöwe became a music software developer and effects maker. As a studio hand, his name appears on 1980/81 albums by jazz percussionist Christoph Haberer (Drümmele Maa) and electronic musician Bernd Scholl (Tales of Fantasy). After Germany’s reunification, Stöwe converted an old NVA barracks into a museum of vintage keyboards and computer models. He took his own life in 2005.

Schupp is one of two drummers credited on the 1980 release Spieglein, Spieglein by the NDW act Stop.

The two Sixty-Nine albums were first issued on CD by bootleggers Germanofon (1994) and again by James & Smith (2008). In 2018, both titles were reissued on vinyl by French archivists Long Hair.



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