Bernd Weidung
1 March 1963
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Achim and Bernd



Modern Talking

 


Bernd, 17 years old

 


Thomas Anders

 

 

 

 

 

 

2001 © WW!

 

"Not the one who falls is a loser, but the one who doesn't stand up again."

Biography written by Sofia Carlsson

 

Once upon a time a boy was born in a little town near Münstermaifeld in the Eifel district in Germany. The parents were Peter and Helga Weidung, and they named their first-born child Achim. He turned out to be quite a handful! He was loud and lively, like young boys tend to be. His mother dreamed of a girl... Seven years later, just after six on a Thursday evening, 1 March 1963, Helga gave birth to the second child - another boy. Her prayers were answered - the little boy was of no trouble at all. He just ate and slept, and was otherwise quiet, apart from waking up at 2am every night requiring a bottle of milk.

This calm behaviour didn't change when he got older. Bernd, as the boy was called, was peaceful and was of no trouble to anyone. He played with his toys, particulary enjoyed playing with Barbie-dolls (!), and he could occupy himself with combing their hair and changing their clothes for hours on end. Funnily enough, the two women who were to become his future wifes are both blonde with blue eyes, even though their bodies are more naturally and normally proportioned.

At the age of six, Bernd was famous in the little town for having a wonderful angelic voice. His mother had a little shop in Münstermaifeld at the time, and young Bernd would sing Christmas carols and lullabies both there and at home. The residents of the small town really loved this little artiste! He even got a guitar for Christmas one year, and started to play it. He also sang along to records sung in French and English, even though he didn't know these languages at such a young age, and he would pretend to play the guitar at the same time. There was always music around this little boy, and sometimes his mother had to tell him to turn down the volume, so that the neighbours wouldn't be disturbed.

When Bernd started school, he sang in the school's choir and also a church choir for boys. His first official appearance was made at the age of seven, when his father let him take a part in the local Christmas celebrations. Bernd played the part of Santa Claus in a Christmas play, standing on a chair, so that everyone could see him, and sang a song called "Aba Heidschi Bumbeidschi". For this, he got a chocolate bar and a packet of chips/crisps. Around this time, Helga and Peter were parents for the third time, this time to a baby girl - Tanja-Catrin was born.

At one time, a photographer from the local newspaper was in town, and young Bernd sang to him for hours. The photographer was impressed, obviously, because he talked to the manager for a large dance-hall in Koblenz, who invited the boy to come and sing on a New Year's gala. Little Bernd happily told his friends "I will become a singer one day!"

He took both singing lessons and piano lessons, and both parents and neighbours encouraged him, even though the sound level was far too high far too often. He was also very kind and helpful, opening doors for adults, and helping his mother with the housework. In fact, at the age of ten, he baked his first pie all by himself, when he was home alone!

Becoming a teenager he started getting curious in things that teenagers tend to get curious in (in case you don't get my subtle hints, I'm talking about sex here!). His parents didn't bring him up strictly, but definitely a little conservative... Bernd had to read the magazine BRAVO for all his questions about life and biology to be answered.

At the age of 14, he started taking dance lessons, which his parents were happy about. After a few years, however, he discovered that foxtrot, walz, and tango wasn't his "thing" to do. Neither was school. He was a little bit too lazy, and didn't like sports. Music was all he could think of, it was his life.

Bernd realised he wouldn't get anywhere unless he started to do something about it, so he entered a number of competitions, and won some awards and prizes for it. In 1979, Radio Luxemburg had a competition for new aspiring artists, and this was when Bernd met Peter Crab, who would become his manager. 15 January 1980, at the age of 17, he went to this contest and sang a song called "Judy", with which he won. He signed a contract (with his father's help - Bernd wasn't 18 yet) with CBS, who thought the name Bernd Weidung was too forgettable. No one would remember it. They suggested he would call himself something different... thus came the name Thomas Anders. "Anders" is the German word for "differently", so the name was a sort of joke (well they told him he should get a different name! ;) ).

Peter Crab introduced Thomas (formerly Bernd) to the Frankfurter producer Daniel David, and together they recorded and produced the song "Judy", and released it as a 7" single on the market. Even though his early songs were all about love, Thomas didn't have time for girls, and he was also a little bit shy. The reason he didn't have time, was that he was on tour, starting in September that year, visiting "Thommy's Teen Rock Show", and later sang his second single's title song "Du weinst um ihn" in the big TV-show "Hätten Sie heute Zeit für uns?" ("Do you have time for us today?"). In the end of 1980, the first article about Thomas Anders was printed - in BRAVO. They made a mistake, though, writing that his real name was "Thomas Weigund" (note the mis-spelling).

His father wanted his son to have a good education, so Bernd went to Eichendorf Gymnasium in Koblenz, where he met Guido Karp, who was a photographer and the editor of the music page in the school paper "Schnurps". Bernd and Guido, who were the same age, got along great, and have been friends ever since. After graduating, Bernd went to Meinz University to study musicology, journalism, and German philology.

Today, Guido is most famous for being a concert photographer, and the founder of the FAN-Association, but he's also a part of KA.G.B. Music GmbH. In fact, he is the "K" in the name, like Thomas is the "A"! (the "G" is for Christian Geller, and the "B" for Mattias Brückner - the men who released a few singles using the name "Two4Good").

Bernd's first love was three years older than himself: a blonde, blue-eyed girl called Stephanie, who was about 6 cm's taller than Thomas, so she felt "like a monster" beside her much shorter boyfriend (he is 172 cm's tall). She was the first girl he kissed, but he was very shy, and only told her "I love you" in songs and in letters. Eventually, Stephanie met an older, more experienced man and left Bernd. He admitts that his first kiss was not perfect: "...Yes, it was a little bit clumsy...".

A friend of Bernd's, Stephan, wanted Bernd to go with him on a date. Stephan thought that the girl he was interested in would be impressed if he knew the singer Thomas Anders. The plan went wrong, though, because Stephan's date, a blonde young woman called Nora-Isabel, wasn't impressed by Stephan at all. She fell in love with Bernd, and Bernd fell in love with her. In 1984, they got married, but I will write more about this on the page with Nora's biography instead.

In the beginning of 1983, Intersong called, and wanted Thomas to sing in a German version of F.R. David's hit "Pick Up The Phone". Since Thomas, Bernd Dietrich and G.G. Anderson were just starting to plan the next single, they thought it was a good idea. The German version of the F.R. David song was "Was macht das schon", and it had been written by a 29-year-old composer by the name Dieter Bohlen. Thomas flew to Hamburg, and Dieter was very pleased with this new singer.

The very same year, Dieter wrote the song "Wovon träumst du denn (in seinen Armen)" which sold 30,000 copies, and made the charts. Dieter also wrote a German version, "Heisskalter Engel", of Real Life's hit "Send Me An Angel". The title was originally supposed to be "Eiskalter Engel" (ice-cold angel), but Dieter wanted Thomas to sing it with so much emotion, that it sounded like "Heisskalter Engel" (hot-cold angel), so the title was changed altogether. They recorded a cover of another Real Life song as well, "Catch Me I'm Falling", in English. This was only for fun, and it was released with the artist name Headliner. However, Dieter realised that Thomas' voice would sound even better if he sang in English...

Thomas was on a holiday with Nora on Gran Canaria in 1984, and Dieter was on a holiday on Mallorca. There, he wrote a song that would change their lives forever: "You're My Heart, You're My Soul". At first, Dieter didn't want to play this for the people at Hansa (former Intersong, future BMG), but they talked him over that, and after they had heard the song, the entire office was applauding. Thomas and Dieter took the name Modern Talking, and the single was released in the end of 1984. It wasn't successful until they performed it on a TV-show called "Formel 1" on 17th January 1985, and after that, they had number one hits all over the world for another three years. Please see the history of Modern Talking on the page entitled "Modern Talking".

After the break-up of Modern Talking, Thomas and Nora moved to Los Angeles and his first solo album, "Different", was released in 1989. Five albums would follow that, including one in Spanish ("Barcos de cristal", it contains 10 Spanish covers of the songs on the previous 4 albums). None of his solo albums were very successful, however, because the record companies were a bit uncertain. After all, he was the Thomas Anders of Modern Talking... "and we all know how that went!". Thomas also wrote some songs for other artists, like the Three Degrees Man-X, and Engelbert Humperdinck, and was the singer of some other projects - Phantomas and Chain Reaction.

In 1993, Thomas and Nora were no longer living together, but they were still married. Three years later, he was at his favourite restaurant in Koblenz, the brasserie Faustus on Elzerhofstrasse, and that's where he saw a blonde woman (am I the only one who's beginning to see a pattern here??) together with some friends. Her name was Claudia Hess, and there's more about her and how they met and everything on the page entitled "Claudia Hess". Let me just first add that the two got married on a sunny Saturday, 15th of July 2000 (a day, my 18th birthday actually, when I was running around in London desperatly trying to find a German magazine that would write something about it! :) ).

Chain Reaction had recorded a single, "Every Word You Said", in 1997, and it was printed and ready to be released in early 1998, but something came up. Chain Reacion was put to a quick end, but there were still all those singles printed... The best way to get a hold of it, is to attend the Fanclubparty, where you can buy it.

The thing that came up did so in the end of March 1998. The world was in total shock and surprise. From a press conference at the Frankfurter Marriot Hotel, it was revealed that Thomas and Dieter were reuniting Modern Talking. The former enemies were in fact no longer enemies. Their friendship begain again in 1994, when Dieter was curious about what Thomas was doing, so he called him, and they talked for a long time, and forgave each other everything that had been said over the years. The reason Modern Talking reunited was that the TV-show "Wetten dass...?" wanted them to come and perform some old hits. Dieter and Thomas said OK, but they wanted to "update" their music for the modern audience, and give it a new sound. This resulted in the release of the comeback CD "Back For Good - The 7th Album", that contained 4 new tracks as well. And now I'm just repeating what is said on the "Modern Talking" page, so I will cut it short now! The end!

The reunion of Modern Talking turned the quiet life of Thomas Anders, and Bernd Weidung also for that matter, upside-down, and it still hasn't calmed down. Today, Thomas is the singer of Modern Talking, and he also composes some of the songs, and when he's not doing that, he works as a producer at KA.G.B. Music GmbH, that I mentioned earlier in the text. The artists they work with include Zlatko & Jürgen (two of the "Big Brother" contestants), T-Seven (the former singer of the group Mr. President), the all-girl's group No Angels (from the documentary-soap "POPSTARS"), and the itG!RLS - two young girls who are trying to make it on the music market, just like Thomas once did.

Bernd/Thomas enjoys coooking and playing golf, even though he says he's not very good at it: "I'm a poor player". He also likes to read, play the piano, and listen to the latest CDs. If you were to invite him to dinner, you should serve something Italian or Asian, preferably salads and steamed fish in lemonsauce (if it's the one from Faustus then I do NOT blame him! *njammm!*), and to that, you should serve a dry, white wine (Italian or French Chablis), champagne (or sparkling wine, such as Prosecco), or water.

His favourite book is "The Colour Purple", and when it comes to movies, he likes to see Maryl Streep and Jack Nicholson. His favourite movies are "The Prince of Tides" and "Out of Africa". His favourite music artists are Elton John, Céline Dion, and Barbara Streisand - "overall quiet, timeless and melodic pop music", and he likes film music.

His favourite places to be are Koblenz, where you might find him driving in his Jaguar or Mercedes SL, Ibiza and Los Angeles. He loves convertible cars, and when replying to the question of what his favourite car is, he simply says: "Doesn't matter, main thing Cabrio" (Cabrio is short for "Cabriolet" = convertible). Like Claudia, he has a problem with the Catholic church, but he believes in God, and a life after death.

Bernd/Thomas doesn't like "intolerance coupled with stupidity", and he does "the most harmless drug in the world: Music". He admires "People who forget their own desires while they sacrifice their selves to help other people", and always take a quick look at the Internet before he goes to bed at night.

The couple are currently residing in a penthouse flat in central Koblenz, together with their super-cute Malteser dog Quischi. And if he was the King of Germany? "Claudia would be my Queen!"

(Quotations from the OFFICIAL THOMAS ANDERS WEBSITE)