Mark Hershberger has interviewed Paul Vincent Gunia about his involvement with Klaatu. Mr. Gunia was responsible for Klaatu’s 1988 reunion single "Woman" which was written for and used in the German TV show "Tatort". The responses from Mr. Gunia were forwarded by Mark H. to me at the start of March 1998. Enjoy!
PVG: Mark, I am sorry it took so long to answer your questions
regarding Klaatu's recording of my song "Woman", but I have
been extremely busy writing, recording and producing a
couple TV and film scores. Until now I could not spare a
minute or was simply too tired to write a letter in
Mark: Can you give us a bit of the details as to how KLAATU came
to record your song "Woman"? Were you a Klaatu fan? What
was the connection?
PVG: I had been contracted by Bavaria Atelier Film Production
Company in Munich to write the score for a 90 minute
episode of the successful TV crime series "Tatort". In
addition to the score, the producers and the director asked
me to write a theme song which should be closely connected
to one of the leading female characters of this particular
episode. So I recorded a version of "Woman" in order to
supply the film company with a demo tape that they could
present to interested record companies and artists.
Finally, Bavaria Atelier and Polydor Germany agreed to
co-operate on this TV project and the connected release of
the theme song, because Polydor Records, at this time, were
right in the middle of re-launchng Klaatu on the European
market and thought that some extra promotion for the band
via the help of a very popular TV series wouldn't be too
bad. Klaatu heard the song, liked it (because it sounded
Beatlesque, I guess) and agreed to record it as soon as
Mark: Did you have an original version of "Woman" already
recorded as a demo that Klaatu then re-worked, or did
Klaatu start from scratch?
PVG: Yes, as far as I remember, the demo I had made was quite
worked out already. I had just bought a Kurzweil 250 (one
of the very first professional sampling keyboards) and
used that device to a large extent on my own demo of
"Woman". Klaatu, too, had just fallen in love with the
Kurzweil 250 and copied, more or less, my arrangement of
Mark: Where did Klaatu record the song?
PVG: I'm not quite sure.....it was either Air Studios or
Abbey Road in London.
Mark: Did you have the opportunity to meet any of the band
PVG: No, I've never met any of the guys. I've just talked to
one of them on the telephone in order to sort a couple
of things out (lyrics and arrangements.)
Mark: Have you ever heard any/all of Klaatu's 5 albums?
PVG: No, I don't know any of their albums. All I knew were
some of their songs that had been played on German radio.
I can't even remember the titles, sorry.
Mark: "Woman" was released as a CD single, a 12 inch and a 7
inch vinyl single. Do you how many of each format were
pressed / sold?
PVG: Yes, you are right, 3 formats. I myself only own 2 vinyl
12 inch versions and 2 CD singles. I do not know any
pressing or sales figures.
Mark: Did the song chart at all in Germany?
PVG: Sadly, no.
Mark: Do any alternate versions or outakes of the recording
PVG: I only know of a vocal and an instrumental version, both
of them were featured on the record.
Mark: The "Woman" single, whether it is the CD, the 12", or the
7" inch, is a highly sought after Klaatu collectible,
impossible to find anywhere outside of Germany, let alone
in Germany itself. Do you have any clues or insights as to
where any of these formats of the song can be found?
PVG: I only have those 2 12" and 2 CD singles myself (and I am
going to send you a copy of each, leaving me with one
each.) I am still, after all these years, very happy with
Klaatu's recording of "Woman", and it is actually a shame
that no-one supplied the band with copies. I have already
asked the people at Bavaria Atelier Film for some more
copies, but sadly, no copies of the singles remain anymore.
Mark: I am interested in your work as a composer. Is there a CD
or soundtrack representative of your work that is available
that I could recommend to the Klaatu fan base?
PVG: I have released a Promo CD with some of my work for film
and TV scores in order to show interested producers and
directors the wide range of styles of film music that I
am able to write in. That CD contains music for historical
films, Sci-Fi and crime scores, conventional family
sitcoms, Rock and Pop, etc. As this Promo is not available
in your neighborhood record stores, I will be pleased to
send you a copy.
Mark: There has been talk about a possible Klaatu "Rarities" CD
and the possible inclusion of "Woman" on it. Would you be
adverse to the re-release of "Woman" under those
circumstances? Who should we contact to license the song?
PVG: I'd gladly see a re-release of "Woman" by Klaatu, but I
wonder if anyone remembers the single at all since it was
only a one-off product and, on top of it all, not
successful. Good luck!
Mark: Any other thoughts on your experience with Klaatu?
PVG: Please give my regards to the people, who have then worked
on the recording of "Woman" (I am ashamed, I still do not
know their individual names), because for me, personally,
it was one of the ( artistically speaking ) ,most
satisfying collaborations of my whole career as a film
All the best!
Paul Vincent Gunia