Hello and welcome to The Headquarters!

On this page you can find out something about the fan club that my friend Gaby and I ran for Thunderhead back then in the 90s

Unfortunately, back then there were still far too many people who had strong prejudices against fan clubs, especially when they were led by women. How many times did Gaby and me have to let ourselves be insulted as “groupies” during our active fan club time and also had to accept the accusation that we were only after the musicians and free tickets to concerts anyway!?! Of course, nobody was interested in the fact that neither the one nor the other was ever an option for us, especially since we were chosen for this job by the management itself at that time.

However, our fan club work and our commitment were of course not dominated by all these ignorant envious people, but rather by all the true Thunderhead fans who gradually registered as members of the fan club. In the end there were around 120 members from “all over the world” that The Headquarters could count, which may seem very small, but for us it was great because we took care of each one personally.

Our goal was always to keep the fan club as informal and unconventional as possible so that everyone would feel at home right away. We always answered letters by hand, even if it was just to get an autograph card from the band. Everyone who wrote to us always received mail back from us within a week, no matter what it was about. It was very important to us that every fan and every fan club member knew how important personal contact with everyone was to us, or rather how important every single person was to us.

But let’s start from the beginning: Our “story” began on November 6th, 1991, in my hometown Berlin, Germany…

Thunderhead was currently on tour through Germany with Gamma Ray and was supposed to play in Berlin’s “Quartier” on November 6th, 1991, when their manager at the time “Beaker Pox” brought me (Tina) together with Gaby shortly before the concert. While Gaby had been tormenting Beaker over the phone for some time with requests to run a fan club, the same had been happening by myself for several months already, whenever I was in Hanover again.

I first got to know about Thunderhead in October 1990 through “Dirty Harry”, a good friend of mine that time, with whom I often went to concerts in Germany at the time. Back then we often drove to Hamburg and Hanover, as these cities are not too far away from our hometown Berlin. And since Thunderhead lived in Hanover, we always combined our short trips with a visit to the band.

At that time Thunderhead was busy producing “Crime Pays”, so Dirty Harry and me gained an insight into the music business for the very first time and were also able to experience how a record is made and how much work really goes into it!

Since the band already had an idea for the front cover, but not yet for the back cover,  I sat down at home and thought about what would fit the album and the title. In the end, I drew my idea down (picture bottom left) on paper and took it with me to Hanover on my next visit. The band was thrilled with the idea, also with the fact that it was a drawing. But Intercord didn’t want that. Although they later accepted my idea of the back cover, only a photo was taken on my back cover concept (picture bottom right).

Shortly before “Crime Pays” was released, I tried again to convince Beaker to let me run the fan club. That was also the time when he first told me about Gaby from Berlin with the same interest. But Beaker still didn’t really want to hand over this leadership, as he had already had bad experiences with the fan club leaders before three times in a row. It was only shortly before the end of 1991, when T-Head went on a promotional tour in Japan for the first time, that Beaker considered his situation very carefully again and then came to the conclusion that he was no longer in a position to manage the fan club himself, but to hand it over to someone he had trust in and knew that it would work properly this time. And so finally he handed it over to Gaby and me… ;D

Since Gaby and I didn’t know each other at all, we first discussed this in person at the bar of the “Quartier” and a day later during a four-hour telephone conversation in which we discovered a lot of similarities. It was clear to us that we wanted to run the fan club together.

However, Beaker couldn’t provide us with any fan club material at the time because he was still on the road with T-Head and Gamma Ray. So, we used this time to first think about how we wanted to approach the fan club best. After all, it was the first time for us. Of course, the most important thing were the fans, so we just had to put ourselves into the shoes of the fans to find out what would be expected from a fan club. Basically, it was very easy for us since we were both fans of Thunderhead ourselves. In any case, we collected all these points and wrote them down, and by doing so we slowly formed our fan club concept, which we were then able to discuss with Beaker in person for the first time in mid/late November 1991. And while we were in Hanover, we also received some fan mail from Beaker as well as very few FC material.

While Beaker went on a 10-day promotional tour to Japan with Henny and Ted on December 3rd, 1991, Gaby and I started with the very first information about the fan club “The Headquarters”. Since Beaker was very happy with our concept, it was relatively easy for us to create this first information. However, it was much more difficult to enter or type this information somewhere, preferably on a computer. But at the time, neither Gaby nor I had a home computer. For the time being, all that was left was my previous job, because as a technical drafts(wo)man, in addition to all the drawings on the drawing board, I also worked on the computer every day. I then simply used it during my breaks for our first HQ information.

Shortly after Beaker returned from Japan with Henny and Ted, including the very good news that the band had a one-week tour there in March 1992, it was very clear to Gaby and me: we have to join them!!!

Of course, at first, we were worried, mainly because of the money, but after careful consideration we concluded that we would somehow find the necessary money for this trip and that it would also be a good opportunity for us to pass our very first test in terms of fan club work. Finally, we could provide first-hand information and report the entire tour in detail to all T-Head fans “worldwide”! And because Beaker and the band themselves were totally enthusiastic about our idea, we flew after the band to Japan on March 23, 1992, but stayed a week longer and had a wonderful time. Of course, we couldn’t afford hotels of the size that T-Head stayed in and had no intention of doing so. We were more drawn to the small, cozy, and inexpensive accommodations in Japan, which we had heard and read so many nice things about, and it was worth it! – Read about it here in the “Japan Special”.

Even during our visit to Japan, Gaby and I always maintained personal contact with the fans back home in Germany by updating them with postcards. But we also made new contacts, which wasn’t too difficult in Japan because we always met the right people who were happy to be with us at any time. Even after T-Head had long since left Japan, Gaby and I still had a great time there and were even invited home twice by very special fans. We worked hard to help make T-Head better known and more popular in Japan and were successful because when we got back home to Germany there was already a lot of mail waiting for us from Japan. It was just amazing, incredible!

But before we could answer everyone, we first had to have 8 films developed and to watch around 3 – 4 video tapes, which we later made copies of for the band and then also offered to the fans from Germany who unfortunately couldn’t take part in this tour.

Just three weeks after their successful Japanese tour, T-Head were already “on the road again” for another German tour, this time with “Crossroads” as co-headliner. Due to our lack of money, Gaby and I were only able to take part in five shows this time which were Hamburg, Wolfsburg, Berlin (of course), Munich and Hanover. In Hamburg we were able to present our eight packages of photos of the Japan tour to the band for the first time. And because the opportunity was right, because T-Head was hanging around backstage that day – like so many others – and was impatiently waiting for their performance, we had the individual band members sign around 50 autograph cards, which we finally received from Beaker shortly before the tour.

After this tour was successfully completed, T-Head went on a well-deserved vacation trip. In the meantime, Gaby and I took care of the fan mail that had come in, answered any questions, gave out information and started our first contacts with various German HM magazines in order to officially announce the fan club. While most magazines simply printed our fan club address in the next issue free of charge and without any comment, there were also magazines such as “Breakout”, which charged DM 50.00 for this type of publication in their magazine. That was crazy! However, we weren’t and simply left these magazines out.

What was also crazy was when we contacted the record company (still Intercord) and never got an answer. Might be that it was probably because T-Head was in the process of separating from this record company, but unfortunately, they had forgotten to inform us about this in good time.

The fight with Intercord continued for a long time, even when the band was no longer officially affiliated with the record company on August 1, 1992. At the time, T-Head was going through a very difficult time but was still working on new song material for their fourth album. A first demo was already finished around November/December 92. That was also the time when G.U.N. Records was very interested in T-Head and offered the band a serious record deal.

At the beginning of January 1993, Gaby and I had the opportunity to go to Hanover again to get an update on things. From Beaker we eventually learned about G.U.N. Records and their keen interest in signing T-Head as well as planning a video clip for the broadcaster MTV. We also got to hear a small sample of the highly explosive material beforehand. – Wow! Ingenious!!! 

For now, T-Head continued to work diligently on their new songs under the working title “Young & Useless”. The complete demo for the new album was already finished when the deal with G.U.N. was signed at the beginning of May 1993. Records was signed. – Hey yeah, the GUN got loaded!

Shortly before the band started their recordings of drum and bass parts at the  R.A.S.H. Studio in Gelsenkirchen, Gaby and me were asked, if we could accompany the band there to capture the whole thing on Video 8 for Japanese television. Since Gaby absolutely couldn’t take time off from her work, I drove to Gelsenkirchen alone and did my best to capture the scenes and the entire situation there as best as I could with my new video camera. I also took a lot of photos, which will later be found here in the “gallery”.

I was a little relieved when I heard that Ted’s girlfriend was there too, so at least I wasn’t completely alone in the studio with the boys. Even though the band and I had known each other for several years, I still sometimes felt a little uncomfortable when T-Head was seriously working on writing new songs or rehearsing guitar, drum or bass parts. I always had so much respect for them and just never wanted to be a bother. But the band didn’t see me as a troublemaker at all, but rather as an invitation to make the most impossible jokes in front of my cameras!

Unfortunately, the time at the R.A.S.H. studio went by far too quickly, but at least I had a lot of good and of course funny material on video. Since Japan was interested in a complete story of T-Head at the studio, I also filmed the band at the Frida Park Studio in Hanover, where all the guitar parts and vocals were recorded. Gaby was finally able to join us again, which I was very grateful for because we couldn’t miss a weekend. After all, Japan had been promised that they would get everything recorded from T-Head’s studio time! The band themselve also took it very seriously and so I left all my cameras behind in Hanover so that T-Head could continue filming until we were back in Hanover again. Yep, and you can bet that the boys had a lot of fun with the cameras!!!

When the time came for T-Head to mix at the Horus Sound Studio, I already had 4 Video 8 tapes full of material for Japan! Of course, I still had to select the best scenes from it, recorded them and still had a tape of around 180 minutes left for Japan, which I sent over via Federal Express along with a few photos as quickly as possible. – Luckily, I didn’t need to convert the recordings from the PAL color system to NTSC, but I did so with other recordings for the Japanese fans.

It didn’t take long before I suddenly received mail from Japan. It was from a fan club member who sent me a copy of the show for which I did all T-Head’s recordings at the studio! – Well, it was weird seeing your own footage on Japanese TV. Unfortunately, they couldn’t use more of my material because this show was only a 5-minute phone interview with Ted Bullet. Still, it was so strange, but also great!

The best for me – and I never expected that in my life! – came shortly afterwards when this Japanese station personally thanked me in a “handwritten letter” for my work and help and even sent along the first 3 CDs from T-Head Japanese edition!!! – Crazy, that was unique! – Thank you so much! Domo arigato!!

While T-Head was preparing for the upcoming listening party for “Killing With Style”, Gaby and I thought for the first time about designing original fan club membership cards that would not only provide special benefits for each member, but would also have special meaning. We immediately came up with an idea for this: shrink-wrapped membership cards that looked like backstage passes!

Beaker was also very enthusiastic about our idea and promised to contact a specific company that was responsible for printing concert tickets, backstage passes and VIP tickets. Maybe we would even get a special discount…!

Unfortunately, it turned out that under the circumstances the whole thing was still a bit too expensive for us, despite the special price. Although we were the leaders of T-Head’s fan club, we were never supported financially. We paid for everything the fan club incurred out of our own pockets. We couldn’t take membership fees because with the limited material for the fan club and the information about T-Head that was generally always communicated far too late, it would never have been worth it and would have been quite unfair to ask for any fees at all.

After a successful listening party for “Killing With Style” at the Horus Sound Studio in Hanover, work began on the video for the album. For this purpose, GUN hired the VIBORA film team from Berlin, who have also produced successful videos for numerous other bands. A script was prepared and later discussed with the band. After a few changes, the band and film team agreed and a date for filming was negotiated.

Shortly before the shoot was to take place, there was a meeting or general briefing for the film team, to which Gaby and I were also invited as the band’s fan club leaders. Our job was then to make sure that enough people showed up at the filming location to cheer on Thunderhead in the video or to rock out and headbang.

The very next day we wrote a newsletter asking every single fan club member not to miss this opportunity and to come to Berlin. For those who had no relatives or acquaintances in Berlin, we offered youth hostels as accommodation and, in completely hopeless cases, even our own apartments. But we also simply spoke to people on the street here in Berlin, preferably “metalheads” of course, who were very skeptical about the whole thing. – It’s your own fault!

We still managed to attract around 40 people to the video shoot. But the film team itself also brought a few people together, so that in the end we had around 50 rocking people who helped make the video perfect.

At this point, a very personal greeting and many thanks to everyone who was there! Especially the Vibora film team. You were simply amazing! – Thanx!!!

After the successful completion of all filming for the scenes with the headbangers, there was of course a celebration. Since every single fan had to given everything for 5 hours, everyone deserved a reward for their effort at the end. So Beaker surprised us with one of the shaped promotional CDs for the album “Killing With Style”, limited to 1000 copies, which the band also personally signed. That was great!


When the new album “Killing With Style” and its video were to be officially presented at the POP COMM in Cologne at the end of August, GUN and management suggested chartering a bus that would take all fan club members on the Berlin – Cologne route to agreed meeting points should collect and bring to the release party. It was supposed to be an atmospheric bus trip for everyone, so GUN also wanted to provide appropriate catering. All the preparations for this were preferably left to us, which of course made us very happy and was a lot of fun. – At first…!

Shortly before the time came, Gaby and I had a meeting in Berlin with “Wolle Funk”, the big boss of GUN-Records, in order to get to know each other personally, because so far we had only had contact with each other by telephone. Wolle had our concept for the fan club explained to him in detail and agreed to everything. There was also enthusiasm about the preparatory work we had already done for the upcoming POP COMM. We managed to rent the same Nightliner for the trip to Cologne that T-Head and Crossroads were traveling on for their tour through Germany! The whole thing was also quite cheap because the bus company himself wanted to take this Nightliner to POP COMM in Cologne and had no problems picking up people along the way and taking them with them.

The fan club members themselves were also enthusiastic about this idea, but not everyone could join in and so we only had 14 confirmed commitments, 4 of whom wanted to make their way to Cologne themselves. But that wasn’t a big deal since this Nightliner only had space for 8 – 12 people anyway.

The fan club members’ accommodation wasn’t a problem either. There was a great youth hostel near the POP COMM venue, and we were lucky to get the last 14 free places there. So everything went well!

However, we were happy too early…

Unfortunately, only one day before we were supposed to start, 10 people let us down badly. Suddenly they had no money, no desire, couldn’t or didn’t want to go along anymore. What’s worse is that they were exactly the 10 people who wanted to be picked up by the Nightliner! So of course, the Nightliner thing was over. – Excellent!

It was embarrassing enough to have to cancel with the bus company shortly before our start to Cologne. But the big deal was the bill from the youth hostel, which rightly insisted that we pay for the loss of the rooms we had reserved but not used! –This failure did cost us 430 DM!!!

  – To be continued –

Tina & Gaby 1993