Thirsty Moon

Thirsty Moon was a German jazz-rock band that released four albums on Brain between 1972 and 1976, followed by a standalone single on Boccaccio in 1977 and a final album on Sky in 1981.

Members: Norbert Drogies (drums, percussion), Michael Kobs (electric piano, organ), Erwin Noack (congas, percussion), Willi Pape (soprano saxophone, tenor saxophone, clarinet, flute, percussion), Harald Konietzko (bass, 12-string guitar, percussion, vocals, cello), Jürgen Drogies (guitar, percussion), Hans-Werner Ranwig (organ, percussion, vocals), Siegfried Pisalla (vocals, guitar, percussion), Rainer Neumann (saxophone, clavinet), Serge Weber (electric piano, clavinet, synthesizer), Junior Weerasinghe (drums, congas, vocals)


Thirsty Moon formed around the Bremen-based Drogies brothers, Jürgen (guitar) and Norbert (drums). They first performed in a mid-’60s beat group, The Outcasts. During the psychedelic era, they formed the theater-music combo DRP (Drogies-Ranwig-Pickert) with organist Hans-Werner Ranwig.

In 1970, Ranwig and the Drogies teamed with bassist Harald Konietzko, keyboardist Michael Kobs, reedist Willi Pape, and percussionist Erwin Noack. They took the name Thirsty Moon from an export beer brand, which Pape knew from his recent job at an advertising agency.

After months of gigs and rehearsals, the Drogies took a liking to the self-titled album by Ikarus. They found the address of the album’s producer, Jochen Petersen, and sent him their demo. The ensuing meetup led to a contract with the newly formed Krautrock label Brain with Petersen in the producer’s chair.

1972: Thirsty Moon

Thirsty Moon released their self-titled debut album on Brain in 1972 (cat# brain 1021). It features five group-written numbers; four on side A: “Morning Sun,” “Love Me,” “Rooms Behind Your Mind,” and the nine-minute “Big City.” The 21-minute “Yellow Sunshine” consumes all of side B.

Thirsty Moon was recorded at Studio Maschen and engineered by Conny Plank, who also did technical work on 1972 albums by Achim Reichel & Machines, Association P.C., Cluster, Creative Rock, Frankie Dymon, Guru Guru, Grobschnitt, Ibliss, Jane, Kin Ping Meh, Kraftwerk, Lucifer’s Friend, Neu, and Night Sun.

Original copies of Thirsty Moon are housed in a gatefold sleeve illustrated by Gil Funccius. It shows a glacial water mass, frozen and wound into the shape of a hand, which holds a flaming comet under night sky. The inner-spread shows the seven members standing apart on an icy flat plain. Funccius also illustrated covers for Witthüser + Westrupp (Trips + Träume), Annexus Quam (Osmose), Wallenstein (Blitzkrieg), Mythos (Mythos), Embryo (Rocksession), and Emergency (No Compromise). He would also illustrate the second and third albums by Thirsty Moon.

In early 1973, Ranwig left the band. Thirsty Moon hired singer/guitarist Siegfried Pisalla as their new seventh member. Pisalla worked previously with Konietzko in the unrecorded psych band Tomorrow Too. That June, Thirsty Moon made its singular TV appearance on the ARD program Diskus. Konietzko laid low in the weeks that followed to avoid recognition from conscription officers.

1973: You’ll Never Come Back

In July 1973, Thirsty Moon returned with Petersen to Studio Maschen and recorded their second album, You’ll Never Come Back, released later that year on Brain. It too features five group-composed numbers, including two lengthy cuts (“Trash Man,” “You’ll Never Come Back”) and the shorter tracks “I See You,” “Tune In,” and “Das Fest der Völker.”

You’ll Never Come Back was mixed by Volker Heintzen (Randy Pie, To Be) and released as cat# brain 1041, between albums by Curly Curve and Greenslade (Bedside Manners Are Extra). The Funccius gatefold depicts another glacial water setting, this time luminous and flanked with radiation towers. It shows a woman, half-emerged from the water, in the act of sky-writing the album title. The inner-spread has a blue-tinted group photo, seen waist-up on the streets of Bremen.



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