Formed in 1970, Ton Steine Scherben were one of Germany's first real homegrown rock bands (as opposed to bands covering American and British rock songs), and although they weren't commercially successful in the normal sense, the group's influence in Germany has been long-lasting.
With a lineup of vocalist Rio Reiser, guitarist R.P.S. Lanrue, drummer Funky Götzner, bassist Kai Sichtermann, and keyboardist Martin Paul, Ton Steine Scherben (or TSS, as they came to be known) released several independent records on their own dime, recordings that were frequently highly political and controversial. In time, Ton Steine Scherben shifted ground just slightly and explored more personal territory in their lyrics, but they never abandoned a sort of renegade stance, what in later years would be dubbed "punk." The first incarnation of TSS disbanded in 1985, but Reiser's death in 1996 reunited the surviving members for a farewell concert that same year, and they came together again in 2005 for a successful reunion tour. ~ Steve Leggett, Rovi