Peter Maffay Biography
Peter Maffay (Peter Alexander Makkay) is a Romanian-born German musician born on 30th August 1949 in Brașov, Romania. He is popularly known for creating a string of fairy tales about a little green dragon named Tabaluga. The tales spanned across five albums and was turned into a musical. He holds the German record for the most number one ranked album sales charts, including 16 albums.
Peter Maffay Age
- Maffay was born on 30th August 1949 in Brașov, Romania (68 years as at 2017)
Peter Maffay Height
- Peter is 1.68 m/ 5ft 5 inches tall
Peter Maffay Family
He was born in Romania but his parents moved back to Germany when he was 14 years. His father is Transylvanian Saxon
Peter Maffay Spouses
Maffay has been married four times; divorced thrice.
- 1975 – 1979: Petra Küfner
- 1981 – 1986: Chris Heinze
- 1990 – 2000: Michaela Herzeg
- Since 2003: Tanja Spengler
Peter Maffay Children
- He has a son with his fourth wife Tanja Spengler and they live on a farm on Majorca.
Peter Maffay Band
In 1963 he started his first band, The Dukes. After completing his education and working for Chemigraphics, an art manufacturer, Maffay worked in clubs, where he distributed his music.
In 1976 together with Johny Tame, a German singer-songwriter, they formed a Country Rock Duo called ‘Tame & Maffay’. They released two albums and continued a close cooperation until 1985.
Peter Maffay Albums
In 1979 he released ‘Steppenwolf’, the album sold 1.6 million copies, making it the best selling LP at that time. In 1980, the album Revanche (Revenge) broke his previous record, selling 2.1 million copies.
Maffay holds the German record for the most number one ranked album sales charts, including 16 albums. In addition, each of his studio albums since 1979 reached the top ten. He also holds a German record for most albums to have sold over one million copies, with 14. His 2005 album, Laut und Leise (Loud and Quiet), became the fourteenth.
- 1976: And it was summer
- 1985: Sun in the night
- 1983: Tabaluga or the journey to reason
- 2011: Tabaluga and the signs of the times
- 2017: MTV Unplugged
- 1986: Tabaluga and the glowing silence
- 1980: Revenge
- 1993: Tabaluga and Lilli Live!
- 2002: Tabaluga and the luck given away
- 2005: Loud and quiet
- 1984: Carambolage
- 1988: Long shadows
- 1979: Steppenwolf
- 1975: My freedom
- 1979: Be Free
- 1981: Love Songs
- 2010: Tattoos
- 2015: Long live the friendship!
- 2000: x
- 2008: Forever
- 1989: No way too far
- 1970: For the girl i love
Peter Maffay Career
Maffay’s career started with the publication of his first single, “Du” (You in German). It was the biggest German hit in 1970 and brought Maffay instant fame. With the 1979 album Steppenwolf in 1979, Maffay became a major music star in Germany. The album sold 1.6 million copies, making it the best selling LP at that time. In 1980, the album Revanche (Revenge) broke his previous record, selling 2.1 million copies.
Maffay holds the German record for the most number one ranked album sales charts, including 16 albums.In addition, each of his studio albums since 1979 reached the top ten. He also holds a German record for most albums to have sold over one million copies, with 14. His 2005 album, Laut und Leise (Loud and Quiet), became the fourteenth. Altogether, Maffay has sold over 40 million records, which makes him one of the top selling artists in Germany. Since 1980, each of his 13 tours (roughly every 2 years) has ranked among the three most visited attractions each season in Germany, with nine of them ranked first in that category. The first leg of his 2015 Tour (19 Arena shows) sold out nearly a year in advance.
Maffay also created a string of fairy tales about a little green dragon named Tabaluga. The tales, which spanned across five albums, were also turned into a musical. Maffay went on tour individually with Tabaluga & Lilli in Germany; he later released a live album, DVD, and live TV broadcast. The tour included Peter Maffay, Alexis, Nino de Angelo, Rufus Beck, and Carl Carlton, among others.
In 1998, Maffay created an album in collaboration with global artists, including Aboriginal singers and musicians from Israel, called “Begegnungen”. Julia Neigel, another famous German artist, is one of the musicians he usually works with in lyrics and singing in duets. She wrote two of his top singles – “Freiheit die ich meine” and “Siehst Du die Sonne”, a cover of Michel Polnareff’s “La poupeé qui fait non”.He also starred in two movies directed by Peter Patzak: Lethal Obsession in 1987, and Gefangen im Jemen in 1999, for which Tony Carey provided the soundtrack. In addition, Maffay played a supporting role in the feature The Polar Bear.On 12 March 2011, Maffay received the Steiger Award (Germany).
Peter Maffay Band/ Peter Maffay members
Carl Carlton has played guitar on many projects. Likewise, for many years, Bertram Engel (drums), Ken Taylor (bass), and Jean-Jacques Kravetz (piano) have worked with Maffay as well. Some time later, Jean-Jaques Kravetz brought his son Pascal Kravetz (guitar) with him into the fold. Frank Diez, member of “Peter Maffay Band” since 1974 and a remarkable pillar and sideman, left the group in 2004. Also did Andreas Becker and some of Maffay’s friends from the band, in order to pursue other projects. The American keyboard player Tony Carey, who produced many of his records, also took part in his live band for many years. The newest addition to the band is guitarist Peter Keller, from Hamburg.
Peter Maffay Songs
- Ich wollte nie erwachsen sein
- Über sieben Brücken musst du geh’n
- Sonne in der Nacht
- Ich fühl’ wie Du
- Weil es Dich gibt
- Du hattest keine Tränen mehr
- Wenn der Himmel weint
- So bist Du
- Gelobtes Land
- Wenn das so ist
- Auf dem Weg zu mir
- Niemals war es besser
- Die wilden Jahre
- Siehst Du die Sonne
- Die Liebe bleibt
- Du bist anders
- Tabalugas Lied
- Die Zeit hält nur in Träumen an
- Arbeit ist das halbe Leben
- Schatten in die Haut tätowiert
- Liebe wird verboten
- Gib die Liebe nicht auf
- Alter Mann
- Nah bei mir
- Ein Bild kann nicht lachen so wie du
- Halt Dich an mir fest
- Das verschenkte Glück
- Der Mensch auf den Du wartest
Peter Maffay Video
Peter Maffay Interview
Interviewer: At the MTV gig, you play in the audience room, while the audience also take a seat on the actual stage. How did that happen?
Peter Maffay: The idea had director Hans Pannecoucke – Hans Pfannekuchen – a very innovative type. He asked me, ‘How do you play in the studio when you’re under you?’ We are sitting in a circle. So he asked why we do not play the concert the same way – after all, we can look at each other. My counterargument was: how do you then make a long shot? How do you get us all into the picture? He replied, ‘I do not need that. I show your back and the face of your counterpart – then I know what to do. ‘ This dialogue was the interesting thing about the filmic design. When I look at the result today, I discover in it a cinematic quality that we did not have before.
Interviewer: You get a nice panoramic view.
Peter Maffay: You can see what the duet partner is doing, how he gets on it. And if you turn that 180 degrees, that’s no less interesting. In the end, that’s a good idea.
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Interviewer: Is there a reason you recorded an unplugged album just now – after over 40 years in the business?
Peter Maffay: No, not really. Last year we were on the road with Tabaluga production. A completely different topic, very elaborate. We were traveling with over 200 people, played 63 concerts. The entire Tabaluga phase with album and tour took two and a half years. Everyone had the urge to do something else afterwards. I do not remember who brought MTV Unplugged into the game first, but when that came, everyone screamed Yes! It made sense and was at the same time a step in a new direction.
Interviewer: Was it also a kind of reconciliation with yourself, since you had announced: “I put the rock guitar in the corner for a while now?”
Peter Maffay: No, that has nothing to do with reconciliation at all. I like to play on my electric guitar, no topic at all! Playing with an acoustic guitar basically goes way back to the beginning. When I wrote my first own songs with 14, 15, that happened in some corner with the acoustic. That’s still like that. I pull myself back, am alone and struggling to myself. That’s just the sexy thing. You have nothing but your hands, your vocal cords and your emotions. This creates what you hear. The sum of all who feel that way is the concert.
Interviewer: How do you stand today to your Schlager past – “you” and consorts?
Peter Maffay: Well, we played “you” yes.
Peter Maffay: Of course, that sounds very different today. (laughs) I started it, I do not hide from that. There are many songs from that time that I would not necessarily play today, but I’m not afraid of the touch. There are also a few that can be played very well today. Sometimes it takes a bit of humor to do that. Then we laugh at ourselves and look forward to the reaction of the people on it, who then take a bit of fun. You see what they do with “you”. At the same time, I think they are grateful that this is not a no-go area. Of course, we have all undergone a development and accordingly, other songs are in the foreground today.
Interviewer: It really sounds different than it used to be.
Peter Maffay: Total.
Interviewer: You recorded the concert in Halle. To the city you have a private connection. So, was the choice of location perhaps a statement to the public to show where you are in life?
Peter Maffay: No, that would have scratched his left ear with his right hand, haha. It could have been just as good in Berlin. But I like to admit that Halle is an interesting city. She is young, musically a lot happens. There are good clubs. The city is not so in focus, is not crowded with events. But it is very transparent and people are not bored. Not everything happens in Munich, Hamburg or Cologne.
Interviewer: An essential element of the concert are your guests: Johannes Oerding , Ilse Delange , Katie Melua , Philipp Poisel , Tony Carey and Jennifer Weist . You’ve worked with a lot more artists in your career. Why did you choose exactly those six?
Peter Maffay: First of all, I made the decision together with the band. I do not want to get this over the heads of the others. We finally go out together and play together. So everybody has to support the decision – better he is for it than against it. So you sit back in a circle and ask who you want. Who is even time-sensitive? Some would have liked to participate, but were traveling or working in the studio. This is how certain names slowly filter out. This is less complicated than you think.
Even people from supposedly very different musical positions watch each other and try to follow what the other is doing. For example, I’m not an expert on Jennifer Rostock. But of course I know a few things. Peter Keller asked me what I think about it and I said: “Okay, let’s take a closer look.” Of course he knew the music much better than me. It was the same with Philipp Poisel. I know a few of his things, but I did not get into the depths. It was not until I did it that I realized what horny music is. I knew Johannes Oerding a bit better. Conversely, of course, this also applies: I do not assume that Jennifer Weist has all my records in the closet.
Interviewer: How did you work with her? After all, you have decoupled the duet “Leuchtturm” as a single.
Peter Maffay: Very easy. We met in Berlin, got together and thought about which songs are suitable. The others were similar. I made suggestions and got a few.
Interviewer: A few years ago there was a collaboration with Bushido and Sido , which ended up ugly. Now would have been a good time to get back in touch. Was there any thought or are all bridges broken off?
Peter Maffay: I never had any problems with the musical attitude – neither of Sido nor Bushido. Musically, I think that’s absolutely okay. And Sido is not a problem for me. What was a problem and I deliberately say ‘was’ because I have not pursued this since then is Bushido’s attitude. Back then, when I decided not to continue the collaboration, I noticed that there was a big gap between what he had promised and what he had done. The prerequisite for getting into conversation with each other at all was that they wanted to make a statement together: against violence, against violence glorifying things and and and. That’s why I joined in there. I liked that.
Bushido has an interesting audience. If he turns 180 degrees and people are listening and watching what he says, that’s great. That did not happen to me, however, which is why I could no longer represent this myself. I’m against violence, I’m against violent videos, because I do not think that’s the way to go. I am not behind a foundation for traumatized children, some of whom have experience of violence, and then put on a shovel. That’s why I had to say, “Sorry, I can not join.” No idea how this has developed with him. Can it be that he has completely renounced such positions. I think that would be good, but it is beyond my knowledge.
Interviewer: In case of doubt, would you work with him again? When you see something has changed?
Peter Maffay: I would study this very closely this time. But suppose it were so, then that would be a reason to start talking again. No question at all. He got a prize at the time. In my opinion – and I was not alone in that – he did not get the prize for what he did before, but for what he promised. The decisive factor was: does he solve this or not?
Interviewer: At the time, you also spoke a lot for him.
Peter Maffay: Absolute. I have held the eulogy on him, out of this reasoning. A lot of people approached me and said, “How can you do that? Check out the videos!” I thought that if he stops doing it and goes on with it, that’s an opportunity! I’m not sitting on such a high horse that I would not talk to him today. But it would have to be very believable. And the second time, of course, you look closer. He would also question whether that made sense or not.
Interviewer: Since we are already on the subject of responsibility: How do you see your responsibility as an artist today? Has it changed over the years? Especially against the background of the current political situation …
Peter Maffay: Well, let me put it this way: If you are in favor of traumatized children and not just recently, it’s a bit political. Our foundation has existed since 2000, so we have been doing this job for 17 years. Every year about 1200 children come, many come from war zones, have lost their parents. For a year, until the winter of this year, we had twenty Afghan refugees with us. With that you are very clearly in position. I have articulated to xenophobia and immigration policy, supported Udo Lindenberg in “Rock Against Right”. We started playing in the GDR in 1986 because we thought it was better to keep up the dialogue than to threaten each other further.
To take a position as an artist is a duty. Everyone has to interpret for themselves how far they are going, but I think people need to know where they are. In this respect, there is also a responsibility to behave accordingly. It will stay that way and the longer we get there, the more consistent it must be. This is not a story that starts one day and stops the next. The circumstances will not change radically and very fast for us. The foundation will continue to exist next year and next, we will continue to work on it and move into this position.