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Falco's real name was Johann Holzel. He was born in Vienna, Austria in 1957. He was a long time established artist in German speaking territories before this was released, but it was his first song to be a huge international hit. In most countries it was also his only hit, but he continued to have success in mainland Europe after this song.
The song is about the classical composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791). Mozart was a child prodigy who performed his first musical tour at the age of five. His last three years were his most successful and he had an extremely excessive lifestyle. The basic concept is the suggestion that Mozart was the rock'n'roll rebel of his day. Some of the lyrics in "Rock Me Amadeus" reflect this. Here's an English translation:
He was the first punk ever to set foot on this earth.
He was a genius from the day of his birth.
He could play the piano like a ring and a bell
And everybody screamed: Come on, rock me Amadeus
With a bottle of wine in one hand and a woman in the other
His mind was on rock and roll and having fun
Because he lived so fast he had to die so young
But he made his mark in history
Still everybody says: Rock me Amadeus
Like Falco, Mozart was also from Austria. He teamed up with brothers Rob and Ferdi Bolland to write a song about Mozart because they felt he was Austria's son. The Bollands also wrote and recorded "In The Army Now
," later a #2 hit in the UK for Status Quo, and "Love House," a Top 40 hit in the UK and Germany for Samantha Fox.
The video for the song features Falco dressed as Mozart and wearing a rainbow colored powdered wig. He passes through an 18th Century audience in a opera house and feels more at home among 20th century leather clad bikers.
A spoof of this song was featured in an episode of The Simpsons entitled "A Fish Called Selma." The family go to see a musical production of The Planet Of The Apes called Stop The Planet Of The Apes I Want To Get Off!. The song that spoofs "Rock Me Amadeus" is called "Dr. Zaius."
Falco ended up a tax exile. He died in a car crash in February 1998 at age 40. (thanks, Adam - Dewsbury, England, for all above)
Charlie Benante of Anthrax
The drummer for Anthrax is also a key songwriter. He explains how the group puts their songs together and tells the stories behind some of their classics.
Don breaks down "Hotel California" and other songs he wrote as a member of the Eagles. Now we know where the "warm smell of colitas" came from.
The Garbage drummer/songwriter produced the Nirvana album Nevermind
, and Smashing Pumpkins' Gish
and Siamese Dream