Kommune1Tensions arose between K1 over the direction it should take, and eventually Langhans came more to the fore and was surrounding himself with beautiful people, most notably the model Uschi Obermaier. The rest of the original communards became ostracised and there was a lot of jealousy, especially after Langhans declared the intention was to make a lot of money by doing very little – being famous for just being famous – a very 21st Century concept, more Simon Cowell than Che Guevara. It worked too, for a while – Langhans and Obermaier became a kind of German John and Yoko.

But the circumstances leading up to their leaving Berlin for Munich – in order to make that mythical meeting with Peter Green a few months later – are incredibly shocking, and a pivotal part of my book, so I’ll say no more here.

Today, Langhans is probably as famous now as he’s ever been, having last year appeared in the German version of I’m a Celebrity, Get me out of Here! – spending a night in a coffin filled with maggots at the grand old age of 71. Nothing much fazes him.

Q. How much research was involved with the book and how did you approach it?

It’s interesting, but I don’t think this book could have been written pre-internet. Some of the channels just weren’t open. The ability to source what’s there in a click, and connect with people who may know other things in two clicks and a sentence. This is of course, a fairly recent method of gathering information.

And my German language skills are rudimentary. I understand much more than I’d be confident to attempt speaking – the typical British paralysis, probably. I can do taxis and hotels, and bond after a pint or two. But with Google Translate, for instance, I can manage much more. Although it’s a different sort of reading – not in a straight line at all – like you’re pulling the key words you don’t quite get out of a sentence and then imposing an order on the sentences. Another very internet type of activity. So the truth you’re going to arrive at will be different to that in the past, but probably no less relevant. The New Currency of Communication.

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