From: elana@netcom.com (Elana who?)
Subject: Why Chris Franke left Tangerine Dream (LONG POST)  
Date: Sun, 21 Aug 1994 18:07:59 GMT

Ah, cool!   Someone asked a question I'd LOVE to answer!   :-)
 
Here's a relatively small excerpt from the HUGE Chris Franke interview (29
pages in ASCII) that I completed last year and published in DREAMS WORD.

Here goes...

- - - - - - - - - - - - - 

DW:  How long were you thinking of going solo before you actually
left? 
 
CF:  In the beginning, there was never a plan for me to leave
Tangerine Dream.  What we had was a plan for the whole band to do
a long creative break to improve the whole system and organism
known as Tangerine Dream.  This included restoring my own
organism mentally and physically.   
 
DW:  Did TD seem like a production line to you in the later
years? 
 
CF:  Production line, yes, and I didn't see that the production
line was IMPROVING at all.  To continue at this level was not
worth all this stress for me.  During my last years in Tangerine
Dream, I had lost my self-respect by delivering tracks that
weren't ready, creating film music that could have been done
better and by giving concerts that were poorly rehearsed. 
Towards the end, there came a time when I didn't get back
anything from the audience when they applauded.  There were no
warm feelings anymore, because I didn't think my music was as
good as it could have been.  It was not always this way.  There
were times in the past when the music was such a kick for me,
when everything just flooded out of my fingers.  I didn't have to
force it out of me in the earlier years.  I needed to experience
this state again.  I wanted that feeling back again.  I
personally needed a long break because I knew that after it was
over I would have enough inner energy again to do anything. 
In 1988, I recommended to the group that this would be a perfect
time for us to take a break.  We would have enough financial
funds to survive a very long rest.  No record company would sue
us because we had finalized all the contracts.  1988 was the
first time this kind of break was possible since my early
childhood. 
 
The idea of a group break was pretty popular in Edgar's mind.  He
was seriously considering it.  But with so many business
possibilities striking his office every day, he changed his mind
at the last moment.   
 
Tangerine Dream is more like a company than a band in some ways. 
The problems at that time were just between me - as more of
musician - and Edgar - who was more like a manager.  Of course,
our roles often overlapped, but by percentage, I did more music
and he did more of the organizational stuff.  To be honest, TD
was like a car with three wheels and each wheel had its own
STEERING wheel.  That makes it difficult to accomplish anything. 
The decision to do a creative pause however, would only be made
by Edgar and me.  Paul had to accept whatever decision we would
make.  Young Paul, of course, was never exhausted.  He was always
ready for anything.   
 
Edgar kept going with his daily routine, which in my opinion
meant he had not learned anything.  The chaos - which was
supposed to improve - started happening again.  Certain personal
problems happened again, equipment problems happened again, tour
chaos happened again... (thoughtful pause)  I was just tired of
seeing the same mistakes repeated over and over again.  For me,
the cycle had to end.  This is called "learning it the hard way".
I was tired of learning it the hard way.  Now I was ready to
learn it the SOFT way.   
 
Ultimately my idea of the whole group taking a long break did not
get enough votes.  So I started the break myself by just quietly
backing off and not being much involved in the daily routine. 
Once I started, I became very much in love with my decision to
take this break.  As a result, I just started planning what I
would do with it on my own.
 
The ultimate decision about my departure came at the point when
Edgar decided to tour again.  He came to me and said, "We can NOT
just talk about this internally anymore".  We had to say
officially whether I was in or out.  I said, "OK, I am out".  I
must say that by then, I wanted to be free.  I wanted to be out,
take a year off, then to go to America and to do it my way
because I saw no improvement in the Tangerine Dream system. 
 
DW:  You once said that at the time of the actual split Edgar was
like a father to you right at that moment. 
 
CF:  Yes.  He always has a certain gentle, father-like way of
being.  I am not the only one who has experienced that.  It just
happens in his nature from time to time.  In that moment, he
really tried to give me advice in order to do the right decision. 
That means not to get influenced by anybody.  Not by him, not by
my wife Doerte or anyone.  So he really gave me some really good
advice.  He said "Think it over, and do what's right for
yourself." 
 
DW:  Does the nine-year age difference between you and Edgar have
anything to do with that? 
 
CF:  Probably that was one factor, but mainly it's because it's
just part of his general character.  Anyway when I made the
decision to really split, he was surprised.  He was not pleased
about it, at least at first.  He expected me to be more practical
and not be so risk-taking.  Leaving the group, I would be leaving
all the security of income and that sort of thing.  Edgar did not
calculate that my wish to improve the life and music quality
within TD was so important that I would take the risk of flying
away.  He did not think that my internal pressure was so big...
(pauses; makes a popping sound).  He was probably already
counting on my being back with him again to do our routine job.  
TD had changed so many times, I felt it would not be a disaster
changing my influence within the group.  My role was not so
important anymore.  Tangerine Dream could go any direction.  The
name was established.  There were many people who would buy the
albums because of the name no matter what.  
 
DW:  The split seems basically to be a natural part of the
evolution.   
 
CF:  Oh, yes!  It WAS a part of the evolution.  Now neither Edgar
nor I have any regrets.  It was a natural process.  Everything
was talked over and thought over.  It was a grown-up decision. 
It was nothing out of the blue and definitely not like a fight. 
In some groups there is a split because there is a girlfriend
involved. Or maybe there's a personal element or a financial fight or
whatever.  But in this case, two organisms who are nine years of
age apart just evolved and grew apart to seek their own separate
futures.  Edgar has found his future more and more.  I have too. 
Edgar and I still see each other and help each other.  I mean,
it's so very BORING because there was no spectacular event or a
huge reason! 
 
DW:  (laughing)  Maybe we can make up a nice, big, dramatic
reason for you!  

- - - - - - - - - - - - - -

This interview (the whole version) is published in back issues #14 and 15 
of DREAMS WORD.

-Elana

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