Ed Hill (footyfoot) wrote in delta_belune,
Ed Hill

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Here's a horse-choker of an essay!

The Amon Düül Connection; or “F. U. Rogner doesn’t mean what you think it does.”

Warning- I will preface this by saying that I do not claim to be the biggest expert in the world, and there may be other valid interpretations. But I'm pretty sure that I have something concrete here- otherwise, I'd not even have bothered to write it, much less post it. So there.

Here’s a little something I threw together after some digging through heaps of old records and FSS stuff. Specifically, after a few years of reading Nagano’s stuff, I began to notice that certain names kept popping up. One of these was that of Falk U Rogner- he shows up in Fool For The City, a manga he did in 1985 (as near as I can tell, inbetween L-Gaim and FSS- it was collected in a book in 1987 by Newtype) as a main character, and again in FSS. And along with Rogner, there was this thing he kept mentioning called “Amon Düül”- it showed up in L-Gaim as the alternate name of the L-Gaim Mk 2, and then it showed up in FSS on the timeline a few years ago. It was sort of a side distraction from the whole Poseidal/Ladios Sopp thing (it eventually became clear that if he’d maybe once planned to continue L-Gaim with FSS, he ditched that plan very early on, but that is another story…) but it still bugged me every time I’d dig out FSS and re-read it.
Sometime in the early 90’s, I ran into a friend who was a bit of a stoner and the meaning of “Amon Düül” was made clear- it was a German space rock band! Obviously, Nagano was fond of them, and took the name. Considering that he dropped the names of bands all the time, it seemed pretty obvious. I didn’t think anything more of it. And then I went and bought some Amon Düül (specifically- Amon Düül 2; the band split in two early in its birth and the first part faded out of existence shortly afterwards) and saw this list of the personnel:

• Peter Leopold - drums/percussion
• Chris Karrer- guitar/sax/vocals
John Wienzierl - guitar/bass/sax/vocals
• Lothar Meid - keyboards/vocals
• Shrat - violin/percussion/vocals
Falk U. Rogner - bass/keyboards
• Dave Anderson - bass
Renate Knaup-Kroetenschwanz - drums/percussion/tambourine/vocals
• Dieter Serfas - drums/percussion
• Danny Secundus Fichelscher - drums

It hit me that there was something pretty cool in that list. Of this bag of German space-rockers, three of the names are of interest. Let’s start with…

Falk U. Rogner: The most obvious of them all. Except for the fact that the “U” in his name stands for “Ulrich” and it stands for “Ugentrig” in Nagano’s work, I’m not sure how it could be said to be anything but a direct tribute. As far as I can tell, the katakana sequence is not otherwise a loanword and has no meaning in and of itself. He makes his appearance first in Fool For The City, the “machine child” of the supercomputer “Daughter” (sound familiar, anyone?)

John Wienzierl: sounds a bit like “Jhon Weinziel”, doesn’t it?

Renate Knaup-Kroetenschwanz: That last bit of the name reminds me of another Mirage Knight, namely Sharie Landers Krotenschwanz. I’ll admit I’m not the biggest expert- but I do know there’s room in the katakana to argue that it is supposed to sound like the last name of name of the Amon Düül singer…

The other names don’t seem to have any real relation to anything I’ve yet seen in FFTC or FSS, so I won’t stick to this point any further.

Other connections- for starters, there’s the fact that the mysterious “AD era” in the timeline was revealed at least once to be the “Amon Düül Century”, complete with umlauts! Specifically, the timeline in the Japanese volume 6, entry for 5000 AD. This isn’t the first time he’s used the name outright, either; the L-Gaim Mk 2 is referred to in at least one of the show’s “bibles” as the “Amon Düül Stack” (again, umlauts included.) But it doesn’t stop there- based on this, the kana reading of name for the Super Empire itself sounds a lot (to me, anyway) like “Phallus Dei” and “Kannan” combined. “Phallus Dei” is the name of an album, and “Kannan” is one of their songs. It might be a bit of a stretch- but it makes a lot more sense to me than the other readings/interpretations I’ve seen.

However, as a general note to those who think the idea that he’d name his characters after members of an obscure space-rock band is crazy… this is the same guy who named a God’s Knight “Panhead Minneapolis” (“Panhead” is a type of Harley Davidson cylinder head) and named an entire manga “Fool For The City” after a Foghat song (he even included the lyrics and pictures of the album cover in case there were any doubts in the audience as to what he was referring to! And as another bit of name trivia- one of the little technical asides in FFTC explains what a Harley “Knucklehead” is. ) Not to mention the occasional Utah Saints poster/graffito that pops up on various walls in “Traffics” and the “Wax Trax” bar where some of the action occurred… I know I haven’t exhausted the music references in Nagano’s works- but I wasn’t really trying to. The point I’m trying to make here is that Nagano has a long precedent of being an incurable fanboy for his favorite groups, and thus the “Amon Düül Connection” makes a lot of sense in the light of this.
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