Reiser was never really able to feel at home in any of these places. Many of his friends said, when they were asked in an interview which was broadcast on the TV-channel arte in 1998, that he started playing music to create a place where he felt at home. Reiser was known by his friends as someone who had a very special mind of his own. For example he managed to persuade his mother Erika Möbius that he was allowed to stop attending school and start an apprenticeship in a studio for photography. She believed that he was an autodidact; he never learned things when he was taught by someone else.
Thus he taught himself how to play cello, guitar, the piano and other instruments. He decided to change his name from Ralph Möbius to Rio Reiser because of the autobiographical novel Anton Reiser by Karl Philipp Moritz. During his teenage years Rio Reiser was a big fan of The Beatles and later of The Rolling Stones. After he left school, Reiser started as a singer for the rock band The Beat Kings where he met his good friend R.P.S. Lanrue. Later he ended his apprenticeship at the photographic studio and left The Beat Kings, to be able to go to Berlin.
In Berlin he composed the first Beat-Opera, which wasn't successful at all. In 1970 Reiser recorded his first single with the band Ton Steine Scherben. Their original name was actually "Was ich fand, waren Ton, Steine, Scherben". In that same year the group performed their first public concert and recorded their first full length record. Ton Steine Scherben were musically successful, though not commercially. In 1985 Reiser and the band finally split because of financial reasons.
Reiser had a large debt with the group, but his solo career went so well that he was free from debt in a short time. His first solo record-album was called König Von Deutschland ("King of Germany") which was produced by his manager Georges Glueck. Many of his friends from the Ton Steine Scherben-days didn't like the fact that Reiser was suddenly a commercially successful musician. Rio Reiser was also politically active. He was member of the Die Grünen and later after the German reunification he joined the PDS. Reiser's sixth and last solo record was Himmel und Hölle (Heaven and Hell).
Reiser wrote and performed most of his songs entirely by himself, although he was sometimes accompanied by his long time friend R.P.S. Lanrue. Rio Reiser died on August 20, 1996 from a circulatory collapse after internal bleedings, probably as a result of a hepatitis C infection, at his home in Fresenhagen. Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
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