Take Five was founded early 1967 in Bonn, West-Germany. Original member Walter Stremmel (vocals, guitar, percussions) was 16 when he played guitar in the band “The Rockets” out of Cologne, West-Germany. In Hamburg, he was on stage with the Rockets as backing group for Tony Sheridan. After they toured through France, Stremmel stopped playing the guitar and picked up the drums. From October 1966 till February 1967 he played the drums for Big Six, Tony Sheridan’s backing group. With the Big Six Stremmel played a few concerts in Manchester, United Kingdom.
Just after he got back to Germany early 1967 he founded the Group Take Five along with original band members Walter Kettmann (bass, vocals, trombone), Hein-Dieter “Niggi” Lehmann (keyboard, vocals), Edgar Lehmann (drums, saxophone) and Ulli Beckmann (guitar). Niggi Lehmann, Edgar Lehmann and Ulli Beckmann former played together in the Band Crew 66 out of Cologne which dissolved early 1967.
In fall 1967 Holger "Männe" Zühr joined the group on the saxophone and the band’s name changed to “Take 5 + 1”. They played a lot in the Cologne/Bonn area, among others at the “Club der OT”, "Weekend”, at the "Beethovenhall" and the town hall of Bad Godesberg. An appearance at the "Weekend" became very strange: At the bus tour to the club the Lehmann brothers already had some trouble and just after they finished their first song on stage they beat the crap out of each other. After a short break of 20 minutes, the band played their gig as though nothing had happened.
In 1968 they recorded at the „Studio des Saarländischen Rundfunks” “I put a spell on you“, an original composition by Niggi Lehmann „You make me feel alright“, „Daytripper“ and „When something is wrong“. Before the single „I put a spell on you“ b/w „You make me feel alright“ had its release on the label TWR (Trans World Records), a subsidiary of Ariola, Take 5 + 1 dissolved in December 1968. Walter Stremmel and Walter Kettmann went on with the band Guards and released the single under their new band’s name in 1969.
Above: Take 5 + 1; back (left to right): Walter Stremmel, Walter Kettmann, Holger Zühr und Ulli Beckmann; front: Edgar und Niggi Lehmann
In 1970 the band reunited as Take 5 + 2. New member was Dirk Stein of the Sons of Jove who joined the group on trumpet. With this line-up the band recorded their songs “Get Your Love” and “Motherless Child” which were released on the B-side of the EP “Hans Daniels präsentiert Bonner Beat Bands”. The EP was released as promotion giveaway for the local election candidate of Germany's conservative party (CDU) Hans Daniels, who later became major of Bonn. It was limited to 500 pieces and has been handed out to young citizens of former capital Bonn by promoters in various bars and discotheques of the city. The record has never been offered for sale. At the A-side, singer of "Goin' Sad" was Wolfgang Niedecken who later became leader of million-selling Cologne-based rockgroup BAP. Actually this was his first recording ever.
Today, Walter Stremmel, Helmut „Helli“ Gattung, Walter Kettmann, Ulrich Beckmann and Hein-Dieter “Niggi” Lehmann live in Bonn. Edgar Lehmann died in the eraly 70s. Holger "Männe" Zühr lives in Flensburg, Germany. Franz Wahl moved to Niederkassel, Germany where he enjoys his retirement.
Bottom: Dr. Hans Daniels (Mayor of the former capital city of West-Germany, Bonn)
*Liner notes by Dan Dynomite