Wolfgang Petry has left a lot behind in recent years - including his interest in big show appearances or his once legendary shaggy mess of friendship bracelets. But who was always by his side was Rosie - his wife.
The couple has been married for more than 50 years without Rosie being in the spotlight. That's changing now: Wolfgang "Wolle" Petry, the "friend rocker next door", becomes tender and suddenly dedicates an entire album to his wife. The record "Stark wie wir", which will be released on Friday (March 3rd), is more or less a big sung love letter to his wife.
What is the secret of a long marriage?
The most obvious commitment to his childhood love is the song "You belong to me and I belong to you", which was released in advance. In it, the 71-year-old, who once filled entire stadiums with catchy tunes ("Madness", "Weiss' der Geier", "Fall in love, lost, forget, forgive") and cult status (lumberjack shirt, friendship bracelet, curly mane), confesses: "I write all the songs just to be with you." Rosie even makes an appearance in the video. It is said to have been the first time that the couple stood in front of the video camera together. However, Rosie was quoted as saying that it was "the only time": "I feel much more comfortable in the background."
The time for such an album was right because he and Rosie had just celebrated their golden wedding anniversary, says Petry of the German Press Agency. "We function, complement each other, are not knitted the same way and still have one heart and one soul," he says about himself and his wife. However, the musician cannot say what the secret of such a long marriage is. He puts it in his typical Wolfgang-Petry-Malocher speech: "Probably had a lot of luck. What was the saying with pot and lid again?"
It is probably this attitude that prevents the album from slipping into bombast, which could easily have happened - but not with Wolle. The musician delivers what his fans appreciate about him: Straightforward and unembarrassing lyrics, catchy guitar hits without any clutter. And a comfortable distance to the sweet Schlager molasses that some colleagues pour into their songs. In "You belong to me and I belong to you" he sings himself that everything here is "like in kitsch novels". You can imagine him smiling mischievously.
"It was love at second sight"
Anyone who gets involved can accompany Petry through his years of marriage. Here and there he scatters musical breadcrumbs that you can read biographically without knowing it exactly - as is the case with music - in the end. So Petry sings about the year 1970 ("Freddy Quinn was number one, I felt safe with you, just free"), about a ring from a chewing gum machine and about a first small apartment in which there was lentil soup and bread.
It is known and confirmed that Petry - whose real name is Franz Hubert Wolfgang Remling and was born in Cologne - and Rosie met in a discotheque in Cologne-Rodenkirchen. "It was love at second sight," says the singer. Nevertheless, he will probably no longer become a chatterbox in interviews. About his own role he says roughly: "I think I'm a faithful husband."
One song on the album is also noticeably out of line. "Why" is a song that is directed against war - a very topical occasion. "These topics are part of my life and therefore I have to express myself in songs," Petry explains the motives.
The bottom line is that "Stark wie wir" is the second-largest musical monument erected to a Rosie in Germany. Whereby, the Rosi, which the Spider Murphy Gang sang about in "Scandal in the Restricted District" ("And if your wife doesn't love you, how good that Rosi exists!"), is written without an "e".
Website of Wolfgang Petry Wolfgang Petry on Instagram Music video for "You belong to me and I belong to you" (YouTube)