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Spider Murphy Gang

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The Spider Murphy Gang is a Bavarian Rock ‘n’ Roll band founded 1977 in Munich.

Spider Murphy Gang was one of the most successful bands of the “Neue Deutsche Welle” (“New German Wave”, ie songs with German lyrics). The NDW lasted for about 2 years during the early 80s. It was a huge thing in Germany, with songs in German played on the radio outnumbering those sung in English (unthinkable these days).

Initially the Spider Murphy Gang covered mostly songs by Chuck Berry and Elvis Presley in English, but their breakthrough came with Bavarian texts. Most popular are Skandal im Sperrbezirk (1981) and Schickeria (1982), both making a subject of the different handling of drugs, alcohol or hookers in local (read: Munich) law and their circumvention in the scene.

Their band name comes from the imaginery gangster Spider Murphy from Elvis Presley’s song Jailhouse Rock (which they also covered in Bavarian as Zuchthaus Rock) and is the short form of the lines “Spider Murphy played the tenor saxophone // Little Joe was blowin’ on the slide trombone // The drummer boy from Illinois went crash, boom, bang // The whole rhythm section was the Purple Gang”.

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