"East German stars come up in the East and go down in the West." That was a catch phrase with quite a bit of truth to it among musicians in the German Democratic Republic.
No matter how popular and acclaimed you were in East, very few of the musicians who fled to the West maintained any kind of star status there.
When the Wall had fallen, top singer Tamara Danz stated that the GDR had no freedom of speech, but in the West, instead, there was the dictatorship of commercialism. There was no room for creating art unless nobody was willing to buy.
Veronika Fischer already knew this. After four top-selling albums to her name, she left for the West in 1981 and tried to maintain the same level of artistry in her new country. It proved to be not too easy.
She had always been a wild child - humourous and whimsical at one moment, deeply sincere the next, then experimental, then jazzy. Far too irregular to be a perfect record label product, in other words.
In 1983, she entered the German selection for Eurovision (to be held on home ground in Munich) with a song rather reminiscent of some of the ballads on her albums back East.
Veronika Fischer - Unendlich weit (Germany 1983 national final)
Slow, demanding and better suited to be an almost six minutes long album track, this song was strongly applauded in the studio but stood no chance in the voting and ended second last.
Veronika Fischer - Unendlich weit (album version)
Oddly enough, when released as a single (in its pre-selection format), its B-side was Veronika's version if "Wir beide gegen den Wind", the song Wenche Myhre performed at the same national final.
Veronika's material turned more schlager and less experimental, and she managed to keep her career alive and is still an active and loved performer today.
I think Veronika is a unique talent and can't help but wonder how different the outcome might have been, had she been able to bring some of her older material to Eurovision instead. Would the West have understood?
Veronika Fischer und Band - He, wir fahr'n mit dem Zug
Veronika Fischer und Band - Hans im Glück
Veronika Fischer und Band - Blues von den letzte Gelegenheit