Influenced musically by the rock’n’roll revival in the early eighties when Matchbox, Shakin’ Stevens and the Stray Cats dominated the European charts, the 5 school friends teamed up in February 1984 to form the band called The Lennerockers. The brothers Michael Ele Koch (banjo + vocals) and Stefan Koch (piano), as well as Frank Butgereit (guitar), Michael Schott (drums) and Dieter Korth (upright bass), who all grew up in Hohenlimburg an der Lenne, were able to book the first appearance at the local riding club after just 3 weeks in the rehearsal room or children’s room.
The rock’n’roll standards were soon supplemented by the first compositions of their own and the influences of other kinds of music such as country, blues, boogie and skiffle, made the stage programme ever more versatile.
With strong logistical and financial support from parents and grandparents, it was possible to release the first LP in 1986 and an old beverages store was reconstructed as an official rehearsal room.
The bookings quickly went beyond the local, regional and national field and concerts were scheduled throughout Europe. The Lennerockers have been the livelihood of the 5 musicians since 1992 and in retrospect the assuredly risky step to turn professional has proved to be the absolutely right decision.
Over 2,200 concerts in 20 countries and the sale of more than 50,000 sound recordings are already a ballpark figure. Over the years The Lennerockers have shared stages with many international stars such as Fats Domino, Wanda Jackson, Tanya Tucker, Mark Chesnutt etc.
A world record was even set in 2003 resulting in an entry in the Guinness Book of Records (German edition, page 258). The concert at the highest altitude in music history took place at a flying altitude of 11948.16 metres in a Boeing 757-300 that had been chartered especially for The Lennerockers.
The Lennerockers amaze their fans time and again with highlights such as fan trips to Malta, Bulgaria or Majorca, Mediterranean cruises or concerts at 502 metres below ground (Merkers potash and salt mine).
Thanks to the new record on AGR Television Records things are moving towards the future rapidly and at full steam. In addition to brand new recordings, the international line dance hit of the same name is also the title song of the record "High Class Lady – Best of the Lennerockers".
Covered by many country and rock’n’roll bands, the Lennerockers’ own composition “High Class Lady” is a floor-filler in English jive clubs and, choreographed as “My new life”, is established as a line dance hit from Canada to Singapore.
The current line-up of the Lennerockers, who have been touring for nearly 30 years, consists of Michael Ele Koch (banjo and vocals), Stefan Koch (piano), Frank Butgereit (guitar), Dirk Mankel (drums) and Chuck Shoker (upright bass). The suitcases are already packed again and the instruments loaded. Even after travelling more than 1 million miles on European highways, they’re off to the next festival stage full of joy in performing.
Album "High Class Lady - Best of The Lennerockers" (2011-2013)
When the band met representatives from AGR Television Records at the first Country Music Meeting exhibition in February 2011, it was clear after just a few minutes that everyone involved was keen to join forces and to work together in the future. So, after 27 years, the Lennerockers signed their first recording contract; the album "High Class Lady - Best of The Lennerockers" followed in November 2011.
As well as brand-new recordings, the album "High Class Lady - Best of The Lennerockers" also includes the eponymous title song, an international hit in the world of line dancing. Covered by many country and rock 'n' roll bands, the self-penned Lennerockers composition "High Class Lady" is a floor-filler in English jive clubs and has established itself, choreographed as "My New Life", as a line-dancing hit everywhere from Canada to Singapore.
The album's worldwide release further raised the Lennerockers’ profile. Full-page interviews in music magazines were not unusual, and the band's songs began being included in international compilations for the first time.
"Rustin' and Rollin'" (2013-2014)
In early 2013, the Lennerockers' current line-up - Michael Ele Koch (banjo & vocals), Stefan Koch (piano), Frank Butgereit (guitar), Dirk Mankel (drums), and Chuck Shoker (double bass) - entered the studio to record songs for an album celebrating the band's 30th anniversary.
Most of the songs were penned by the band members, but a few covers also made it onto the record. Besides the well-known track "Will The Circle Be Unbroken" (traditional), the band also recorded the new songs "Rockin' My Life" (written by Mack Vickery), "Overnight Success" (written by Hanna, Malo, Miller & Trevino), and "Crazy F**kin' Rocker" (written by Cavan Grogan). As a fitting way to mark the anniversary, the Lennerockers have once again packed their suitcases and instruments. Even after travelling more than a million miles on European highways, the band cannot wait to take to the stage at forthcoming festivals, many of them at venues the band has already played in its 30-year history.