The Berlin Years - 1 (Billie and the Deep live at KOB 1986)

by Billie Ray Martin

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1.
Intro 02:23
2.
Walk On By 02:57
I look outside Doesn’t it rain all night There is no light inside In this rain all night Rain inside Rain outside Feeling like a reilroad station Always waiting Then for a sigh I saw you passing through And then you just walked on by You didn’t stop and try No you walked on by For just one sigh Go on then: walk on by Stop and try Try to reach your destination Walk on by Oh walk on by Oh walk on by Oh walk on by Yeah yeah yeah I look inside Doesn’t it rain all night There is no light in sight In this rain all right Dripping down Dripping down Drowning in this sweet frustration dedication Then for a drop in my wine there was you And then you just walked on by You didn’t stop and try No you walked on by For just one sigh Go on then: walk on by Stop and try Try to reach your destination Walk on by Oh walk on by Oh walk on by Oh walk on by Yeah yeah yeah Could have been so good to take a walk down the lane Or take a walk down anywhere square But I really know I must be dreaming again And dreams never seem to care No, they walk on by They don’t stop and try No they walk on by For just one sigh Go on then: walk on by Stop and try Try to reach your destination Walk on by Oh walk on by Oh walk on by Oh walk on by Yeah yeah yeah Walk on by Oh walk on by now Stop and try now Baby baby Walk on by Stop and try Try to reach your destination Walk on by Oh walk on by Oh walk on by Oh walk on by Yeah yeah yeah
3.
If you want some lovin’ That I can give to you And I f you want some huggin', yeah Well I can hug some too Cause all I want, baby now Is some parts of you And just a little of your attention You know, will see me through Cause you know, that your’e my kind And I want you to forever be mine I idolize you, you know I idolize you I would like to make love to you When the lights are low I would like to scream to you baby Just to let you know Cayse all I want, baby now Is some parts of you And just a little of your attention You know, will see me through Cause you know, your’e my kind And I want you to forever be mine I idolize you, you know I idolize you
4.
Don’t fool me now I’ve been waiting for your call for so long And again and again and again and again I’ve been staring at the wall Don’t you phone me No more It’s over Cause the deadline for my memories was set a while ago While I was waiting, my head was full of: Baby baby don’t go But there had to be a limit boy There had to be a deadline for my memories Since you’re gone things are not quite the same (no more) But then why should they be When it’s too late now anyway Deadline for memories Since you’re gone things are not quite the same (no more) But then why should they be, baby When it’s too late now anyway, yeah Deadline for memories If you should fall in love again And someone puts you down There’ll be a time when you’ll be sich and tired of feeling like the clown Then try it my way, baby Make up a deadline for your memories Yeah yeah make up a deadline for your memories Baby Etc.
5.
Get Better 03:55
Just another motherless heart is so hard to be Stop brother! Out in the dark, my heart skips a beat Dark brother, out in the dark, don’t get taught for free Get better, and in a while, you can talk with me Get better, lalalala Get better, lalalala Get better, lalalala Oh The doctor looked at my heart, and he said to me: You don’t feel well, no not at all That’s what he said to me And I said: My mother’s pushing too hard My mother’s pushing too hard My mother’s pushing too hard on me Get better, lalalala Get better, lalalala Get better, lalalala Oh Just another motherless heart Just another motherless heart Just another motherless heart Just another motherless heart My mother In the kitchen, baby Cleaning so hard Oh, dark brother
6.
Groovin 03:57
Groovin’ I know a game that we can play And we can play it all night long, oh Groovin’ And it’s really moving Groovin’ I know some words that we can say And we can say it all night long, yeah Groovin’ , oh And it’s erally moving And when the moon comes out And we believe all the words that we say I won’t be foolin’ We’ve got the whole night to spare Groovin’ I know some words that we can say And we can say them in the dark, yeah Groovin’ Honey, you know And when the moon comes out And we believe all the words that we say I won’t be foolin’ We’ve got the whole night to spare Groovin’ Groovin’ I know some words that we can say And we can say them in the dark, yeah Groovin’ Oh it’s really moving Oh it’s really moving And it’s really moving Oh it’s really moving And it’s really moving And it’s really moving
7.
There is trouble And it’s all inside the radio They are down down down Down under their ceilings, talking, you know They’re talking ‘bout myself again Talking like it really mattered to me They’re talking ‘bout my reputation They’re talking about you and me now, ha When the sun goes down tonight Oh, they sure would like to go All the way up moving downtown Ha! Now….. I say: This world Ain’t it just going down down down Gloriously grinning presidents And it rains all day (yes it does) And the bars with their mouths open Swallow all the little sounds they make Oh, their conversatoins about the weather Conversations about the work they do And the little lady in the elevator Oh, and they’re talking about me and you and me and you and me and you and me and you And they’re talking about their little reputations I said: they’re talking about their reputations Don’t you hear me saying: I said: They’re talking about their reputation Oh, and they think they’re takling about my generation When the sun goes down tonight They sure would like to go All the way And when the sun lights up the sky They sure would like to go All the way back movin’ updown
8.
Ain’t no time for good and evil believin’ Just the sound of dogs and heavy breathin’ When feeling down can be the main attraction Doesn’t seem the place for satsifaction Baby, let me light your candle Firearms are hard to handle Stop! It’s two steps down to boredom And it’s dragging me down Stop! It’s two steps down to boredom What the hell became of the broken hearted (They went two steps down) Couldn’t stand the strain of getting started Went to join the suntan lotion army (bang bang shoot shoot) Telling you that cancer makes your charming - - Stop! It’s two steps down to boredom And it’s dragging me down Stop! It’s two steps down to boredom Stop! It’s two steps down to boredom And it’s dragging me down Stop! It’s two steps down to boredom Etc.
9.
I don’t ever seem to know about what’s going on in any way - But somehow I can’t seem to keep from cryin’ Oh, there’s lots of little funny things that nseem to make me feel ok (ok) But they never ever ever ever ever help me though the day (never) Oh, I’ve got to find a better way of leaving all the trouble behind But somehow I can’t seem to save my time I seem to have an understanding of the little silly things that you do I’ve been telling you - - - - - somebody like you I’ve got - - -to save my time I don’t ever seem to know about what’s going on in any way (I don’t know what’s going on) - - - - - - - - (I can’t break this heartache) Oh, I’ve got to find a better way of leaving all the trouble behind But somehow, baby, I can’t seem to save my time Etc.
10.
Vision 03:25
What can I do when all the hope is gong When I don’t fall in love anymore now I used to dream but now reaslity won I’ve no more tears to cry now So I’m fighting the vision The vision in my head To forget all the things Things you said Vision I’ve got this vision It was the fifth drink That made me jump into the big world The pain All aching bodies in the night tide So I’m fighting the vision The vision in my head To forget all the things Things you said Vision I’ve got this vision I can hardly believe What time did to me But just look at me now boy Ain’t it plain to see And it’s killing me But it was good luck You got my out of this madhouse This party began to be too much for my nightmare mind So I’m fighting the vision The vision in my head To forget all the things Things you said Vision I’ve got this vision Etc.
11.
As I wake In the darkness And I look around There is no sound It's so tranquil It's so calm like you But now I hear a noise Is there any way to out of this nightmare I'm alone now And you're laughing at me But I take life In a way that you could never see So if you're leaving You better let me know Cause I've already started my plan And I'm never gonna let you go! I've lived on the dark side of the moon And I've been to the heart of the sun I've had my time with many ladies And I've killed many men Before my sixteenth year was done So you be forewarned I'm coming after you About the time I catch up to you I'll never No I'll never I'll never let you go Some say I'm an advocate of Lucifer And some say I'm a child of god - yes they do Some people think I've got the nine lives of a cat And others say I'm filthy as a dog So you be forewarned I'm coming after you I’ll come howlin’ after you When I catch you No, I’m never gonna let you go So you be forewarned I'm coming right up on your trail When I catch you No, I’m never gonna let you go
12.
The sound of useless words always gets you where it wants you The sight of her eyes makes you wanna break down and cry But you don’t min,d you don’t mind It always used to please the way you’re feeling The way you’re acting always makes me wonder If I could be part of the things you do But I won’t cry, I won’t cry I never touched the blankets of desire Tell me darling Tell me please About the heartbeat misery Tell me darling Tell me dear Would you come with me Or stay here It’s one stone for each and every tragedy Inside you there’s a lot of people trying ot get out So you don’t depend on the ones who are trying to get in you With a lot to think, and a lot to say And a lack of things to do but acting tragic Tell me darling Tell me please About the heartbeat misery Tell me darling Tell me dear Would you come with me Or stay here It’s one stone for each and every tragedy (In each and every town) When a sign sais: ‘This way out’ it’s time to go home But home is where the dirt is Never to be found So kill it with a silver bullet And put it in the ground Scatter the - Across the land - right here That’s where I stand Scatter the – Across the land - right here Right where I stand It’s one stone For each and every tragedy In each and every town Etc.
13.
14.
No Escape 02:01
Nowhere to run and nowhere to hide I can't kill this pain inside What can I do when your love’s gone All I can do is just live on No Escape from your heart No Escape from your Lips No Escape from you baby oh your finger tips No Escape from you darling all the night and day No Escape from you baby what else can I say No Escape No Escape No Escape What can I do without you (?) loss I need your love whatever the cost How can I hide this tears inside What can I do when your love dies No Escape from your heart No Escape from your Lips No Escape from you baby yeah you bring the tears No Escape from you darlin all the night and day No Escape from you baby no place to stay No Escape No Escape No Escape Nowhere to run and nowhere to hide I can't kill this pain inside What can I do when your love’s gone All I can do is just live on No Escape from your heart No Escape from your Lips No Escape from you baby oh your finger tips No Escape from you darling all the night and day No Escape from you baby no place to stay No Escape No Escape No Escape No Escape No Escape No Escape
15.
Pick It Up 04:53
Pick it up 24 hours a day you better you pick it up You gotta - Take it and use it Pick it up So you can chose it Round the block and up the road There’s a shark creature roamin’ And it’s down in the subway train Lock the door and burn the house And give daddy that knife back And please put that gun away Pick it up Oh, you’ve got to have it Why don’t you pick it up 24 hours a day why don’t you, why don’t you…etc. Oh I’m gonna tell you, what I’m gonna do I’m gonna piss in the ocean - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Pick it up Take and use it Pick it up Oh, you’ve got to have it Why don’t you pick it up 24 hours a day Why don’t you, why don’t you etc. Oh I’m gonna tell you, what I’m gonna do -------- -------- -------- -------- -------- Pick it up Oh, you’ve gotta have it Why don’t you pick it up 24 hours a day Why don’t you, why don’t you…etc. Ooh.Pick. It.Up ----- I don’t like your party dress Cause this ain’t no party And grandma ain’t no christmas tree And don’t you - me With your wallpaper backdrop I don’t belong to the family Ooh.Pick. It.Up ---- Ooh.Pick. It.Up ----
16.
Trucking 06:41
Walking down this highway Never look back - - nightmare Just follow your tracks Right in the dead ends of the city streets I’ll be lifting my feet now Come on baby take a walk with me If you’re looking for me I’ll be trucking Down ----- Doin’ the train ------ water ------ Right in the dead ends of the city streets I’ll be lifting my feet now Come on baby take a chance with me If you’re looking for me I’ll be trucking ---- ---- ---- ---- Walking down this highway Never look back - - nightmare Just follow your tracks Right in the dead ends of the city streets I’ll be lifting my feet now Come on baby take a chance with me If you’re looking for me I’ll be trucking Etc.
17.
….. that once more makes you wanna stay We could have been the next big thing There wasn’t really much else to do But you turned out to be Just another nightmare In that everlasting daydream of - You played the part Of the bad guy Tearing out a page of the shrinking cheque book of my heart Big tears of laughter Can save an evening But they can never save your time In the long run of the races Never believed a word you said But I agreed for a start There was ten cents imagination For a million dollar heart Now they show bad comedies on TV And the funniest part Is that they go on and on and on When you never really felt it was time to start Big tears of laughter Can save an evening But they can never save your time In the long run of the races Big tears of laughter Can save an evening But they can never save your time In the long run of the races Big tears of laughter Can save an evening But they can never save your time In the long run of the races

about

Billie and the Deep live at KOB, Berlin.
Date of concert: March 86
Spex Magazin reports on the show on the 3rd March 86.

About this recording.
This is an archive recording. A cassette walkman recording to be precise, so it won’t be perfect. But it’s remarkably good.
The song entitled ‘Intro’ wobbles in a couple of places (bandsalat as we say in Germany), but only this song.
On ‘Walk on By’ the vocals are still not loud enough but towards the middle of the song they find their places and stay nice and loud throughout. ‘Build our allows high’ and ‘Big Tears of Laughter’ have got the front missing. Otherwise it’s all go go!
Mastered by Steve Honest at Hackney Road Studios.
Digitised by Philip Marshall at Tapeworm.


The story of my first success with the band Billie and the Deep is a powerful memory for me. I was in Berlin, the year was...let's see, 1984 (I think) i formed one of the many bands i experimented with, trying different variations of 60's soul and the american garage style of the 60’s. I had been a guest vocalist with the Subtones around the same time, who were enjoying considerable success in Germany with their 60's revival sound but my mind was set on forming a modern day revivalist Supremes or Martha Reeves and the Vandellas style group. I met the bassplayer Guenther and he brought in a friend (Juergen) on drums and we all knew Gerd (so he initially played guitar). AND I HAD to find two backing vocalist. Enter Bettina Allamoda who had responded to my ad in local Tip magazine. Her look: somewhat Dolly Parton’esque with long, dark brown hair. As an audition song she brought 'Midnight train to Georgia' and thus she stepped into my flat in Berlin Schoeneberg. She had not yet sat down when i knew: Whether she could sing or not, she was hired. She could. We became best friends instantly. We went through different backing vocalist to find the perfect third person to join us. The one we finally found was Ramona Haven (sadly there is no photograph of her) and it is her you can hear on this recording, alongside Tina. The lower voice is Tina, the higher one Ramona. The band were an assortment of friends, friends of friends, and people who had responded to ads. Details further down in this text. We had performed one sold out show at a university only at that point, and had been surprised at the more than enthusiastic responses both from the audience and the press. From that point on: No matter what we did, the local press (and soon even the German Spex mag) enthused in the most glowing terms. When we arrived at KOB for our second ever show, it was packed, and queues of people who couldn't get it stood outside. People were already hollering and whilstling and generall having a great time while we were getting dressed in our 60's attire, consisting at that point, of orange cordroy suits; matching of course.
Generally, Ramona would sew the girls outfits whenever we weren’t found in vintage stores buying sequinned mini-dresses.
The girls had spent weeks in front of a mirror at Tina’s flat, choreorgaphing something resembling the Supremes on acid. Tina Turner however, was the great inspiration we modelled everything on. Her dancing, to this day, in unsurpassed, underrated and groundbreaking, so is her choreography and styling, so it was her energy and breathtaking style we looked towards mostly. It was truly a manic dance routine to each song. It’s a shame there is no footage. It was ‘utterly mental’ and I’m surprised any voices came out of us, with all the manic dancing and waving our arms about.

The show was one of the most unbelievable experiences i ever had. You can hear the audience shouting out names and applauding, whistling. They seemed to find it most funny to shout out the girls names in different ways and then laughing their heads off about it. Some threw a bunch of plastic flowers at me and I’d duck, much to the delight of the throwers. I kept the flowers for 20 years. You can hear hollers of ‘Billie!!’, and then some funny voice shouting: ‘Tinaaa!’ at various times in the show, and you can hear the laughter from the audience as well as myself onstage.

Why had the news spread like this? God knows. Headlines were: ‘Billie and the Deep clean up’, and similar raves were published by other papers and magazines. One paper reported on me being ‘white as a wall but sounding as black as 3 buckets of coal’. This is cute, but struck me as unusual as my singing idols at that time were Julie Driscoll and Bobbie Gentry and I was simply singing what was coming out of me, not trying to sound ‘black’. I had not developed my true sound yet, which is apparent from this recording. My voice simply did not have the debth yet that I later achieved, and now have, which is a warmer, richer sound, and using more phrasing. Funny thing is, one of the papers reports that ‘Billie does not need to bother to engage in the usual elaborate soul type phrasing usually entertained by singers in this genre of music’. Funny thing was, I didn’t know how to…i just wanted to get the message out. I guess I succeeded.

Tina and myself collaborated writing lyrics on a few of the songs, such as ‘Walk on by’ and ‘Trucking’. We had fun sitting and writing the lyrics, as we shared the same idols and ideas.There are cover versions of ‘I Idolize you’ by Ike and Tina Turner, ‘No escape’ by the Seeds, and ‘Be forwarned’, a late 60’s cult record.
What most of you will find interesting is the fact that a lot of songs, that later became my key songs, can be found here in their first versions.
Dealine of my memories, Pick up the Pace (Here entitled: Pick it up), Big tears and Make up (here entitled Big Tears of Laughter) and even the lyric: ‘Sometimes the way you act makes me wonder, if I could be part of the things you do’ (Heartbeat Misery), from ‘you know which’ song, all make an early appearance. Which now makes me think…. maybe I have a ‘vision’ like I claim in the song of the same name.

Listening to this recording I realise how much of a vision I really had and how urgent it was for me to let it be heard by people. I have developed respect, since I’ve listened to this recording again, for my efforts to share my thoughts with the world, a respect I must have had at the time, but which got lost in the maze of music industry buillshit, hurt and pain I’ve had to deal with in years to come after this event. I also have love and respect for the band members, but more about this below.

We did a few more gigs but then broke up as I joined my duo the Idiot Cards. At that point there were too many new people in the group all wanting shares, input, egos...... The feeling was no longer positive. As unfortunate as the short lifespan of the group may seem, maybe it was not meant to last longer.
There was also some pressure on me from the owners of Hansa Studios to sing exclusively with the Idiot Cards and leave Billie and the Deep, something i refused to do , but the discussion of which created a further rift in The Deep.

I also feel warm feelings for the members of the group, who, as I can now appreciate even more, with so much distance between us, excelled at what they did, all for the good of this one group. What a bass and basslines!!! Drums more powerful and faster than a Duracell Rabbit (Juergen had spent nights alone in the rehearsal room practising and practising), great 60’s keyboards, and the girls……..i can hear the love puring out of every line. Thank you Tina and Ramona. We had fun. As I write this I’m looking forward to seeing Tina on her birthday this Saturday, so I guess some things last in life.
The three brass players, who had only joined the group shortly before the gig, created something fierce and furious, and needless to say, they moved in unison onstage, which added greatly to the whole experience.

And the compositions? Some of them moved me to tears, listening now. Not only the lyrics, which in places are hard hitting for a young girl. It seems almost like a shouting out of all my problems, urging them to go elsewhere and asking for a better understanding of my role here. But also I feel gratitude for the help of the band members in writing the music. It was them who would start playing in the rehearsal room in Kreuzberg in the months preceding the gig, allowing me to come up with my first song ideas. It was them who started it all for me. Some of my words really do sound like first naïve attempts, but other songs, like ‘Pick it up’ and ‘Heatbeat Misery’ are pretty hardcore lyrically.

Billie and the Deep:
Billie Ray Martin – vocals
Bettina Allamoda – backing vocals
Ramona Haven -backing vocals
Guenther Auerhammer – bass
Juergen kratzer – drums
Marcus Meyer - keyboards
Guitar - initially gerd Krueger but on this recording the guest guitarrist is a girl called Susanne ( I do not know her last name, and I guess it figures, since she didn’t bother speaking to me and the girls as a rule, when she was brought into the group, other than announcing that she had no intention of wearing skirts or dresses, let alone sequins. Well, child, your loss.)
I do not remember the names of the 3 brass players. (shameful really…sorry). I will update the names when I can get the info.
And I will update this description a bit more at a later stage with more thoughts, info etc.

credits

released August 22, 2014

please see band line up in album description.

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Billie Ray Martin Berlin, Germany

"Billie Ray Martin is one of the living legends in modern music history and one of the best voices on planet earth."
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Billie Ray Martin: "I'm a kid from Hamburg’s red-light district, who wanted to be a soul singer, but ended up playing repetitive machine music, while still trying to be a soul singer"
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