Gert “Kralle” Krawinkel

Guitarist and songwriter with the German band Trio who had a worldwide hit in 1982 with ‘Da Da Da’

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However irritating it may have sounded to some ears, in 1982 Trio’s “Da Da Da” became a huge hit, selling 13 million copies round the world. Kralle Krawinkel was Trio’s guitarist and wrote the music for the song, with his colleague Stephan Remmler writing the lyrics.

The track – full name “Da Da Da I don’t love you you don’t love me” – was a product of the Neue Deutsche Welle, or German New Wave, though Trio preferred the name Neue Deutsche Fröhlichkeit –“New German Cheerfulness” – to describe their music. They eschewed ornamentation and polish and used simple structures.

Krawinkel’s career began in the mid-1960s when he played guitar in The Vampyr; he then teamed up with singer Remmler in a Rolling Stones-influenced band, MacBeats, later Just Us. He played with several other bands before leaving the music business to teach.

In 1979 he got back together with Remmler, and they were joined by drummer Peter Behrens to form Trio. The band broke up in 1985, and in 1993 Krawinkel worked on a solo album, Kralle. He had written the lyrics entirely in English, but allowed another friend, Rio Reiser, to translate them into German. He also sang a duet with Nena of “99 Red Ballooons” fame on the single “N Zentimeter Liebe”.

In 1998 Krawinkel got into the Guinness Book of Records for the longest horse ride, from Seville to Hamburg. He later ran a studio in his adopted home near Seville. He is survived by his wife, the television producer Monika Kölling, who he met in 1985 during the shooting of the Trio feature film Drei gegen Drei (Three Against Three).


Gert “Kralle” Krawinkel, musician: born Wilhelmshaven, West Germany 21 April 1947; married Monika Kölling (one son); died 16 February 2014.