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“Heroes” Covered Part 5: The Spookers perform V2 Schneider

There aren’t many funny moments on the “Heroes” album, but “V2 Schneider” comes close. Mostly instrumental, the one actual lyric is, “V2 Schneider.” My understanding, which I think is the general understanding, is that this is Bowie’s nod to Florian Schneider, from the German band Kraftwerk. Bowie’s synthesizer-heavy music from that time (which, not coincidentally was his Berlin period) was influenced by Kraftwerk. “V2” was, of course, the kind of German rocket used by the Nazis against Britain in World War 2. So, there’s kind of a pun here about German music, or specifically Florian Schneider, making an impact on British music, or specifically Bowie. Maybe not a knee-slapper, but kind of wry.

I don’t know anything about the Spookers. Other than this video, I haven’t found much about the band (although I really didn’t look too hard). That said, they clearly see the humor in the song and amplify it with their image of Florian Schneider as a human rocket. You wouldn’t need to know the Spookers to get the joke, but you would have to know Florian Schneider. To be clear— I did not know what he looked like, but in watching the video I suspected that that was what I was seeing. So I looked up Florian Schneider and sure enough, that’s him.

I kind of get the sense that this is one of Bowie’s better-known instrumentals, probably because it isn’t 100% instrumental and the song’s title is its only lyric. Which Bowie instrumental is “Sense of Doubt” and which is “A New Career in Town?” Even I have trouble keeping that straight. Not an issue with “V2 Schneider.”

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