When his oldest brother bought himself an acoustic guitar, Herbert was only 12, and he had the guitar in his head, and soon in his hands!
At this time rock'n roll had already passed its peak in popularity but his older brothers and sisters had all the records they could get. Elvis, Fats Domino, Johnny and the Hurricanes, Chuck Berry, Eddie Cochran, Buddy Holly, to name but a few. They were his great idols and he learned to play their songs with the help of a book - "Lexicon for the Plectrum Guitar".
Three years later he met Klaus Brunner who was just as music-crazy as himself, and who already had a "Hofner" e - guitar. A short time later Harald Zeidtler (drums), Uwe Heimann (bass), and Wolfgang Goritzka (piano/organ) joined them and they formed their first band "The Sky Rockets".
In Germany, at this time, instrumental surf music was completely unheard of, with perhaps the exceptions of "Wipeout", "Pipeline", "Church Key", and "Walk Don't Run".
In the mid 60's the influence of the Liverpool Scene (or Merseybeat as it is often called), became stronger and stronger, and rock'n roll fell out of fashion. The band changed their repertoire and also their name to "Herbie and the Trembling Trees". But the beat music wasn't so much fun as rock'n roll had been and the band split in 1966.
In 1968 Herbert started studying at the University of Mainz and contact with the other band members gradually diminished.
After the completion of his studies in 1972, he met Klaus Brunner again. Klaus told him that he was planning to form a record company together with his friend Wolfgang Peters. They planned to release in Germany, long-playing records (LPs), featuring little known, or completely unheard of, rock'n roll recordings and artists. It was at this meeting that Klaus took the opportunity to play for Herbert, the record "Baja" (pronounced bah-hah) by a band called The Astronauts.
Then it happened!
This sound hit him like a bolt of lightening and so he began, a worldwide quest for more surf music.
Soon after its foundation, their record company NPR RECORDS, published the following LPs:
In 1976 Herbert's professional commitments took him to the Middle East and North Africa, and the music had to take a back seat once again. Here he remained for eight years, stuck mostly in the Libyan Desert. And for eight years the sound of the Astronauts played in his head, and he could do nothing about it.
Upon his return, he set up a recording studio and immediately started playing surf instrumentals; but he found that his recordings lacked that "good old surfing sound" that so characterised the records he knew and loved. After testing all the current guitar effects units and recording equipment, a sound engineer tipped him off about the old tube-driven, spring reverb unit by Fender Instruments. With this in mind he contacted John Blair (Jon and the Nightriders) and Paul Johnson (The Belairs), but they were unable to help.
Some months later he found an article and photo, describing a reverb unit (of the exact same make and model) housed in a music museum in Aachen. As luck would have it, one of Herbert's musician friends knew the owner of the museum and was able to secure the following deal:
The museum was looking for a Fender Jaguar Guitar. Now the same musician friend just happened to own a Fender Jaguar and Herbert owned a guitar combo amplifier, which the musician was looking for. Well - the musician got the amp, the museum got the guitar, and Herbert got the reverb unit; so everyone was happy!
The reverb unit was soon re-equipped with a different power transformer (220V/50Hz) to enable it to run on the German mains electricity supply.
The only thing missing now was a suitable name for this new recording act. Herbert checked through his surf music collection and found the Trashmen song called "King of the Surf" which contained the lyric "I'm riding that cruncher..". And so he chose the name "The Cruncher".
In 1987 the LP "Go Surfin' With The Cruncher" was released, in 1989 the LP "Jupiter 'C'" and in 1992 the CD "Surf Guitar"
The two LPs were recorded with help from his old musician friends from the 60's, and the CD with the additional support of the drummer Berthold Walter from the band "The Comancheros", with whom Herbert toured the north-west German region from 1990 to 1995, playing dance parties. The live tracks on his CD-ROM "Schlicktao's Surfer is Back" are from this time. Some keyboard parts on the CD were played by his neighbour Katja Hardewig.
Happily, breathing space was restored in early 2005 and the CD "The Cruncher 2005" was released halfway through the year.
Due to his involvement in surf music over many years, Herbert got to know a lot of people all over the world, and he has maintained until today, a lasting friendship with many of them. This has resulted in numerous other music productions and projects.
For further information about Herbert's projects, follow the link "Discography".