Reinhard lakomy is dead: the enchanting fairy tale uncle

Reinhard Lakomy was a seasoned GDR musician, but he became really famous through his children’s radio play "Traumzauberbaum". Now he has died of cancer.

Fairy tale inventor with inventions: Reinhard Lakomy (M) and his ensemble. Image: imago/STAR-MEDIA

In his later years, Reinhard Lakomy really looked like a fairy tale uncle. His look was actually always the same: long hair, glasses and a neat mustache to go with it. In his old age, however, his hair turned a gleaming white, which suited him well. Although he was a seasoned musician and composer, his most successful production was a children’s radio play: "Der Traumzauberbaum" ("The Dream Magic Tree").

In the GDR, every child knew the stories about the forest spirits Waldwuffel and Moosmutzel, who have to guard the Dream Magic Tree, in whose colorful leaves dreams are hidden. The radio play, which he created together with his wife Monika Erhardt, went into series production, 14 CDs have been released over the years, and currently Lakomy was back on the big "Traumzauberbaum" (Dream Magic Tree) tour, which runs until the end of 2014. And it continues as long, although Lakomy has now succumbed to the consequences of his cancer at the age of 67, his management announced.

Reinhard Lakomy is a true legend of the East, whose children’s radio plays were also well-known in the West. But the fact that Lakomy was also a versatile musician, whose career had begun as a pianist with jazz musicians Klaus Lenz and Gunther Fischer, was less well known. He wrote over 200 film and ballet scores, as well as songs for GDR stars such as Thomas Luck and Andreas Holm, and was himself quite successful as a singer of pop-rock ballads, especially in the seventies.

Lakomy was a star in the GDR, certainly with privileges, but he was not a follower, but unruly in all respects. His jazz friends didn’t like the fact that he devoted himself to Schlager, and the state superiors didn’t like the fact that he protested against the expatriation of Wolf Biermann. And when he began to produce only electronic music in the early eighties, this in turn caused irritation among his fans. After the fall of the Berlin Wall, his fame faded, and he complained about it, which earned him the accusation that he was an Ostalgic. But he was not. He supported the Left Party, but he certainly didn’t want the Wall back.

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