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Interview with Fancy to celebrate the 20 years old anniversary of blogsite "Welcome to Fancy". December 26th, 2017.

WALDEMAR LUZ: Hallo, Fancy ! It is a great pleasure interview you again!

FANCY: Hallo, dear Waldemar. You are always welcome.

WL: Your father is from Spain. Your mother is German and you were born in Munich. Can you tell us a bit about your childhood?

FANCY: Yes, my father is of Spanish origin; he hails from Villa Franca de los Barros. That’s a city in Andalusia, just south of Madrid. My parents first met in Munich and were living there at the time I was born. However, my father wanted to return to Andalusia and my mother ended up staying here in Munich with me.

Even back in high school (Theresien Gymnasium) I sang and played (guitar and bass) in a rock’n’roll band called "The Mountain Shadows". Later I joined the "Starfighters". This time as a rock’n’roll band member had a lifelong impact on my musical perception as a songwriter and producer.

WL: Which musical encounters and experiences do you recall from the 1950s, 60s and 70s?

FANCY: In 1965, I saw the Beatles live at the Circus Krone. The audience was screaming so loudly that it was hard to even hear the Beatles. Nonetheless, the concert was a very impressive event in my life.

Two years later, I was fortunate enough to see Jimi Hendrix playing a club in Schwabingen called the "Big Apple". I was familiar with every one of Jimi’s hits and was amazed by the powerful sound he and his two bandmates – a drummer and a bass player were able to create on stage. The following morning I met Jimi at his hotel (Amalienstraße) for breakfast.

Peter Meisel, who ran Hansa Records in Berlin at the time, invited me to a studio recording session at the end of the 1960s. The young producer, who actually sang background on 4 of my songs, was Giorgio Moroder. I was very impressed with Giorgio’s talent. Peter Meisel offered me an opportunity to come to Berlin full-time, but I turned him down. Meanwhile, I told Giorgio time and again how great life in Munich was. In the end, Giorgio decided to give Munich a try. He moved into a building called the Arabellahaus and turned the basement into a studio, where he produced music.

He and Donna Summer had international hits, so eventually he left to go to  the United States.

What remained was his Musicland Studio, where numerous artists subsequently produced records, including the Rolling Stones and Queen.

I ended up producing cover versions at the Union Studios in Munich-Solln, which was, one could say, an alternative to Musicland. These productions appeared on international Hansa Records releases: "Pastime  Paradise", "To Love Somebody" and "The Son Of Hickory Holler‘s Tramp". I also produced the disco medley "To The Music Hit Makers" featuring Sabine Sauvant as well as Red Face and many others.

Michael Kunze also produced recordings with Silver Convention at Union Studios, including "Fly Robin Fly", which made it all the way to no. 1 on the U.S. Billboard charts.  Frank Farian worked there with  Boney M. ("Daddy Cool" and others).

We all knew each other and also Ingrid, who dated Frank Farian back then. We nicknamed her Milly.

In the 1980s, Frank created an extraordinary studio sound with the vocals of John Davis. Two dancers performed to it around the world. Frank called them “Milly Vanilly” and I think everyone knows the rest of the story...

WL: At one point you also had your own variety show. Did you like slipping into the role of a clown?

FANCY: Yes, around the mid-1970s, I invented the show “La Grande Revue” by Kess & Tess, which was packed with parody, humor and funny bits. It was inspired by the Parisian "La Grande Eugène" show, which featured 3 performers. The show enjoyed a run of several months in Munich, so I wanted to produce a stage show with 3 actors that moved along at an extreme speed because the performers changed costumes rapidly and presented comical parodies. Audiences were under the impression that a lot more than 3 actors were involved. We achieved the feat of turning the show into a nationwide hit in Germany without ever having a record hit.

No matter whether our appearances took us to town festivals or into discotheques, audiences cheered for "La Grande Revue" and gave us frantic standing ovations.

Of course I had chosen the show’s name to give it an ironic touch. But that’s what made it – with just 3 actors we managed to bring so many different individuals onto the stage in funny costumes at a breathtaking speed...

The Protestant Church, for instance, lauded our performances on our successful tour of soldiers’ retirement homes all over Germany in a written review. The University of Hamburg-Bergedorf actually converted an entire auditorium specifically for the show, etc.

Yes, I did have a lot of fun entertaining the audiences and making them laugh.
Yes, I liked being a clown.

WL: So now you are suddenly a singer who appears under the name Fancy. How did that happen?

FANCY: In the early 80s I was producing the Slip – a duo – for Hansa, the record company in Berlin. The hit songs were "Mamy Blue" and "Don't leave me this way" next I worked with Mandy B. Man on "Full Moon Night" and "Goodbye Hawaii".

The third group I produced was Red Face with "Summer in the City" and "Down on the Corner". Hansa released all of these acts’ recordings internationally.

In 1983 I was ready to create a true disco super hit. Inspired by NYC’s  Bobby Orlando whose sequencer sound -  Divine and The Flirts – had just landed him a hit that charted internationally, I began working on my own composition.

I played the melody, which I had recorded on a 4-track system and infused with some of my own la-la-la backing vocals, to U.S. jazz musician Todd Canedy and asked him to come up with humorous lyrics to go with the music. Todd did just what I asked him to do and wrote very funny, satiric lyrics - "Slice Me Nice".

Todd overdubbed the playback and I sang all of the vocal tracks. We mixed the recording at Toni’s (Anthony Monn) Transparent Studio. Toni advised me to send the song to Hamburg and not to Berlin.

So, off I went to Hamburg and the song was promptly placed with Metronome. However, they did not want to release it in the fall of 1983 and insisted on waiting until the spring of 84. Then things happened very quickly. The single was released internationally and climbed the charts in many countries right away. By the summer of 1984, "Slice me Nice" was a top hit around the globe. I’d reached my goal... or so I thought.

WL: What changed for you after your sudden global success – as a producer and pop singer?

FANCY: Everything changed in an instant and things got crazy internationally. I had to stop doing the variety show right away. The record company told me that I could no longer make appearances do parodies since I was now a pop star.

Bernhard Mikulski, the head of ZYX Records, was a huge fan of Bobby Orlando and of my Fancy Sound. He’s actually the one who came up with the name and the genre - Italo Disco! Hence, we simultaneously produced countless products for ZYX in multiple studios, using the style name Italo Disco.

As of the mid-80s, I occasionally produced more than 12 Italo Disco artists at the same time, while I was also striving to meet the objectives I had as Fancy, the pop singer: "Chinese Eyes" rose to number 2 on the U.S. Billboard Dance Charts.

The young fans in the U.S. did not just love the sound, they also had a lot of fun with Todd Canedy’s funny and satiric "Slice Me Nice" lyrics. "Bolero (Hold me in your arms again)" remained the no.1 on the Spanish charts for months.

In Germany, I had 9 of consecutive (!) singles in the top 10 or at least the top 20 of the Media Control Single Charts. The worldwide cult hit  "Flames of Love", for instance, was the no. 1 on the Bayern 3 Radio Charts (Airplay Charts Media Control) for 2 entire months in the summer of 1988 and I appeared on the ZDF Hitparade TV show countless times. Viktor Worms was the host of the show back then. After "Flames of Love" had been a top hit in all of Asia, a Cantonese language cover was released in Hong Kong.

WL: You also produced a bunch of remixes. Who were the most popular artists featured in your remixes?

FANCY: In the 80s I did in fact produce a lot of remixes. All of my single hits are also available in remixed versions.

I also did numerous remixes for other artists, e.g. "One More Chance" and "West End Girls" by the Pet Shop Boys and the remix for "Mind Is the Magic" by Michael Jackson. I’m particularly proud of those. They can be found on the CD "Fancy & Friends", Part l, released on the ZYX label.

WL: Would you like to share something with us about your humanitarian aid programs and you tiger and lion rescue work?

FANCY: I did not want to make donations or provide anonymous means to some kind of organization to advocate for humanitarian causes. That’s why most of my advocacy went to and still goes to "copil gasit" (found child) from Transylvania.

Children who are deserted and found by others usually suffer from the psychic trauma of not knowing who they are and who their parents are for the rest of their lives. In these cases, psychological support is frequently more desperately needed than financial aid.

Along with Sister Dolore, a Benedictine nun, I still accompany the development of a gypsy boy who was found in a completely neglect and traumatized state at a railway station near Medias in Transylvania.

I also support a preserve for large cats born in captivity, which is located in Slovakia. I funded the construction of a large containment area there. Currently, two lion cubs are growing up there. A circus wanted to get rid of them.

It makes me feel good to give outcasts – regardless of whether they are humans or animals – a home.

WL: You had 12 miniature goats and a contract as an instructor with the Munich Adult Education Center?

FANCY: They were African miniature goats. I was sitting in Studio Control Center 1 and saw two strange animals jump around on the patio.

Hansi (Hans Frankl), the sound engineer and builder of the studio, ran into the control room and in a highly motivated tone told us that he had been lucky to get  these miniature goats in Hellabrunn and that he would now build stalls with its own drinking water fountain.

Hansi did in fact build a fantastic pen, but I was the one who ended up caring for the animals – but I had a lot of fun doing it.  All of the artists who frequented the premises instantly fell in love with the goats and the latter were so “productive” that we had an entire herd of 12 goats after just 3 years.

These animals are extremely communicative and are considered the most intelligent of the “cloven hoofed animals”.

It is amazing to watch them give birth and grow up.

These African miniature goats inspire modesty and respect for life and also an immense amount of love for life. With their cheerful antics, these animals brought a lot of joy to us and all of our studio guests.

However, since death is an inevitable part of life, I try to forget about the tragic images of the miniature goats’ demise by thinking about the joyful memories the animals have left us with.

Given that Dr. Grasmüller, an attorney, is a friend of mine and he had an Animal Welfare Foundation that opened the Streiflach Farm as an animal sanctuary, I wanted to get involved as well. In a small group, the decision was made that I would take care of the large cats born in captivity.

These animals can be found in zoos and at the circus. However, only a few circus enterprises can even afford to keep large cats anymore, so a circus in Prague decided to give away two lion cubs as quickly as possible. I got the two lions and now they are growing up happily in a large outdoor run.

This made an impression on many of my acquaintances and apparently also on the gentlemen at Munich’s Adult Education Center (MVHS).

I felt honored by the offer to lecture at the MVHS and accepted. So I signed a lecturer’s agreement with Dr.Schlüter, MVHS.

As it turned out, the MVHS’s own location at Munich’s Gasteig Center was not large enough to accommodate even the audience that signed up for my presentation in advance, so that I gave my presentation in a Gasteig ballroom, where I showed a lot of my own photographs and videos.

The topic was “Is it possible for a Siberian tiger born in captivity to survive in the wilderness?”

Apparently, attempts to set a lion free in Africa under favorable circumstances are successful time and time again. That’s where these predators find entire herds of animals to feed on and that’s not what a tiger set free in Siberia could look forward to. Such an animal would probably get lost in the vastness of Siberia.

WL: What are you doing these days and what are your plans for the future?

FANCY: I am happy about all the international concerts we have booked – in Kazakhstan, Canada, Poland, Australia, South America and in the Baltic countries. I always look forward to performing for enthusiastic audiences all around the globe.

In the summer of 2016, I topped one of the Guinness book records set by the Scorpions, the famous rock group. The topic: The pop concert performed at the highest elevation in the world. In 2010, the Scorpions performed at the highest level ever, at an elevation of around 3600 m – in La Paz.

The Scorpions actually reported that on stage or at least backstage, oxygen tanks had been set up just in case. The air at this elevation is so thin that it provides very little oxygen for breathing. So performing artists do collapse in La Paz on occasion.

On July 16, 2016 I performed at an outdoor concert – in El Alto, elevation 4000 m – well above La Paz. I got through it without having to use any oxygen tank.

WL: Do you have any advice – or some lifetime wisdom to share with our readers?

FANCY: Use your positive dreams and desires as your lifetime objectives and direct all of your thoughts towards these goals. Do not waste a single day! Carpe diem, seize the day! Each one of us is unique! Be someone!

I also do not want to become too pathetic right now. Just remember – do not waste any of your time! Over the course of life, as we grow older, time passes ever more quickly (subjective opinion)!

WL: As I said in our first interview (March 1st, 2000), thank you very much for that new interview. Your fans are waiting for your new releases in anxiety.

Long life FANCY !!

FANCY: Get going! I wish you the very best.
Take good care!
Fancy

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Interview with Fancy, moderated by Dave de Gore.
March 1st, 2000.


WALDEMAR LUZ: Hallo, Fancy ! It is a great pleasure to talk with you, and for me it means the partial accomplishment of an old dream, that will just culminate if I will have a chance to meet you personally. And one day, I hope to meet you !

FANCY: Hallo, dear Waldemar.

WL: Let me introduce myself. My name is Waldemar Luz, I'm a writer and videomaker (*). Since I heard your music for the first time, I became your fan, and a collector of all your records. And I always had the desire to do some work that would represent a homage for you.

FANCY: I'm Tess - Ric Tess, and you know me under "FANCY". Fancy is my showname in connection with my music. I'll answer your questions.

WL: It 1998 I had the idea to create a website, because of the enormous reach of Internet - and now, a Fanclub. And my site is until now a great success. It is my tribute to you.

FANCY: First, thank you very much for your job, your website and your interest. For your "Fanclub", please get in contact with Dave and Lex from ArtClick. If you like, you can do you job for all fans in your country.

WL: Thank you. The question that is the most intriguing for your fans, and the eurodance lovers: TESS (the producer of "Grant Miller", "Linda Jo Rizzo", the one who made classic remixes of "Koto", "Pet Shop Boys") and FANCY are the same person? Do you use other pseudonyms too - like "T.I.P"., "T & T", "Fix", "ELVINE" ?

FANCY: I used all these pseudonyms - every name is for a other production.

WL: Names like "Sabrina Lorenz", "Charlie Glas", "Grant Miller" are always associated with your name. Could you please tell us some words about your team, and especially about "Grant Miller", one of your great productions.

FANCY: I did my best productions with Sabrina Lorenz, Charlie Glas and Grant Miller. The success was worldwide.

WL: Recently I heard the track from Tom Spencer called "Get Love". Was that your voice in background vocal? Have you participated in other projects as singer, with or without pseudonym ?

FANCY: Yes, it's my voice in the background. These productions are completed several productions. I didn't use other pseudonyms.

WL: As a webmaster of a site, dedicated to your work, I frequently receive e-mails with questions on how to get yours old/new albums, your videos, posters, pictures, caps, bags and other things. Maybe it is possible to create a fanshop for your fans ?

FANCY: For the fanshop please contact to ArtClick. We are producing new fanarticle. You can get different things about Dave from ArtClick.

WL: Your last album "D.I.S.C.O. was awesome! Please tell your fans about your future projects, video, the next album.

FANCY: Now, I'm working for a new album. I hope, it's coming in this year.

WL: Is there a chance to see you live here in Brazil ?

FANCY: I'm very offen in other country's. Why not in Brazil too. But for one day it's very short to come. Maybe 3 or more shows. Yes, it's possible.

WL: Do you surf on Internet? I don't know whether you've already seen my website - but if you did, did you like it? Would you like to do some alteration or comment? Do you have a message for your fans in Internet and especially in Brazil ?

FANCY: Yes, your website it's a better than our in Germany. Dave show me your website. I'm very surprise about your job and the interest over many years. I wish all my fans the best and maybe I can give a concert in your country, we all could meet us. It could be a big party !

WL: A last word: I would like to keep my website the most complete source of the information about you in Internet. I tried to collect the information about your work during many years, but a lot of things are still just doubts. I would appreciate if you could help me to complete the list of your productions and old projects.

FANCY: Waldemar, for your question, please write to Dave. He is my right hand in my business.

WL: Thank you very much for the interview. Your fans are waiting for your new releases in anxiety.

Long life FANCY !!

FANCY: Thank you once more, bye bye...

(*) Today I work in a bank and a union

Dave & Lex de Gore, 02/12/2000, Cityhall in Rostock.
Photo by © Kati Schuster, Germany