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 English!

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 possible.

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 the song.

Mark: Where did Klaatu record the song?

PVG: I'm not quite was either Air Studios or Abbey Road in London.

Mark: Did you have the opportunity to meet any of the band members?

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 exist?

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 composer, honestly!

All the best!

Paul Vincent Gunia