Saturday, November 20, 2010

Dschinghis Khan: How They Live...: Louis Potgieter

(BRAVO Magazine, circa 1980-1981)

I apologize for the size of the images; I wanted to stitch them together in photoshop and then isolate Louis' section, but as it turns out, I don't know how to do that.

A couple things are interesting about Louis' part of the article.

First off, this Madlein Davis business. Who was she? Why is there almost no other references to her in any other DK press-articles? (I can think of exactly two others, besides this one, in which she appears or is mentioned.)

Secondly, I guess we finally learn the reason why he cut his hair short. There's no date on the magazine, but clearly it's after Steve left, and around the time of "Wir Sitzen Alle im Selben Boot"

Translation is as follows, to the best of my ability:

Louis Potgieter: For Madlein, He Sacrificed his Mane.

Louis Potgieter, long the long-haired "Mongol-lord" poster-child of the group, is barely recognizable: he wears his hair newly short.

"My girlfriend Madlein wanted it so. Otherwise, she wouldn't move into my apartment. I've just come from the hairdresser."

Louis was the first in Dschinghis Khan. The producer and mental father of the groupe, Ralph Siegel, searched namely for the Dschinghis-Khan-concept first a dancer. When he was at a ballet-evening at the Gartnerplatz at Munich's State Theatre, he discovered a young Louis Potgieter in the [ballet] troupe, and had found his type.

Louis: "At 190 cm, I was almost too tall, and therefore could not wear on stage any shoes with a high heel."

After two and a half years with the group, his life has completely changed for him:

"Earlier, I was only the poster-child of the group. Today, I sing the songs with them. I also do the choreography for our performances."

Louis lives in an apartment on Viktualienmarkt [farmer's market] in Munich. If you want to visit during the day, you must go through a flower shop in the backyard:

"I love flowers, and I look forward every morning, when I first go through a sea of flowers before I get to the street."

He has lived here together with his dark-skinned girlfriend, Madlein, since March, in this three-room apartment. He has even set up and assembled the furniture from all over Europe. An Italian mirror is an art object with volute-mounted neon tubes in the hallway. Louis is proud of the zebra skin under his Plexi-glass coffee table in his living room. His father, a passionate hunter, shot it for him on his 18th birthday, in his homeland of South Africa.

Louis has always had a penchant for the unusual. He does not drive a car. Every day he runs more than ten kilometers through the English Gardens to keep fit, listening with headphones to hot Funk music on the radio.


  1. Congratulations on the launch! I'm breaking a metaphorical bottle of wine over my laptop to christen your blog!!

    What a great resource this will be- I now know why Louis cut his hair, that he handled the choreography, and that he didn't have a car. Can't WAIT for more!

    By the way- You WILL translate the Henriette stuff also, right?? *wink wink* I HAVE to know why she's holding a cow......

  2. Why thank you! *bows*

    Of course I'll translate Henriette's part -- in fact, I'll do her's next :)

  3. Replies
    1. Hahaha o cara põe em português a pergunta, aí aí cacete

    2. Hahaha o cara põe em português a pergunta, aí aí cacete

  4. RIP Louis Potgieter 1993 and Steve Bender 2006

  5. This article is not based on the facts. Louis was gay so his girlfriend definitely didn't make him cut his hair and my grandfather (Louis' father) wasn't a passionate hunter nor did he shoot a zebra for Louis on his 18th birthday.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. I am way late to the party, I only recently discovered the band. I totally fell in love with Louis only to find out he passed away 24 years before I discovered him. Was there ever a real biography done of him, if so was it translated to English? I would love to read more about him!

  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

  7. I recently discovered the band while surfing you-tube and it immediatly became one of my favorites. Then the blow, finding out that Louis is long gone. I do believe that he had the capability to be a great, big-time entertainer. Since my discovery any one who enters my home is made to watch the "Moscau" vid and his fan base is now constantly expanding. My you rest in peace Louis and my only regret is that I didn't discover you and "Khan" sooner!