“I don’t want to go to heaven!” is the title of Hans Scheibner’s autobiography, which he presented in late summer 2016 for his 80th birthday. In the volume, the son of a small Hamburg freight forwarding entrepreneur vividly tells how it came about that after an apprenticeship in a publishing company and steps as a theater actor, he celebrated nationwide success as a satirist, cabaret artist and songwriter for decades.
And again and again politically offended. Now the lyricist of oldie hits like “Schmidtchen Schleicher” and “Hamburg 75”, the author of the satirical series “scheibnweise” (ARD) and “Walther und Willy” (NDR) and author of numerous books is possibly on cloud nine.
As his family announced on Wednesday evening in Hamburg, Scheibner died on Monday at the age of 85 after a short, serious illness. The blasphemous poet had his greatest time in the legendary “Hamburg Scene” of the 1970s. In the environment of the music bar “Onkel Pö” he wrote songs for Meyer’s Dampfkapelle, caused a sensation with his song “I like to stand on the assembly line” and published volumes of poetry (“Spott zum Gruße”, 1974). In 1976 Nico Haak landed a top ten success with Scheibner’s text for the hit song “Schmidtchen Schleicher”. Two years earlier, the author had already written the anthem “Hamburg 75” for Gottfried and Lonzo, two protagonists of the “Retiree Band”.
Scheibner’s LP “Achterndiek” was released a little later, the title song of which became an anti-nuclear hit not only in Brokdorf. A hit in 1979 was the mockery ballad “That doesn’t matter, nobody notices!”, which the author expanded over time to include new, politically topical verses. But Scheibner also repeatedly caused career breaks himself – for example when he compared soldiers with murderers on the NDR talk show in 1985. Whereupon his ARD program was “scheibnwise” canceled for the time being.
He had only developed his political awareness relatively late. “After the war, it was initially about material things. I only noticed what was behind it politically in the 1960s – also in discussions with my father, who had been a soldier under the Nazis,” Scheibner recalled in an interview with the German Press Agency on the 80th.
When he was young, he radically searched for the meaning of life and death. “I read Socrates, Plato, Aristophanes, Lessing, Nietzsche, Kierkegaard. I couldn’t study for lack of money, so I educated myself and started with antiquity,” said the privately friendly and obliging Scheibner. And summed it up: “The humanistic image of man inspired me – the authors were actually always concerned with humanity.”