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March 15, 2011

Disgraced German Minister of Defense Guttenberg transfers power while military band plays "Smoke On The Water"

You couldn't make it up.

In one of the strangest events I've seen in some time, German Minister of Defence Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg, who resigned after it was discovered he'd plagiarized his 2006 doctoral thesis, handed over his office last week.

Wrote Michael Kimmelman in today's New York Times,"Mr. Guttenberg formally transferred power to a new defense minister on Thursday evening in a slightly weird torch-lit military ceremony in which the outgoing minister traditionally chooses the music.

"Mr. Guttenberg picked AC/DC.

"The head conductor of the military band said that request 'just totally breaks the mold of our music styles,' and substituted Deep Purple instead.

"The song was 'Smoke on the Water.'" 

March 15, 2011 at 01:01 PM | Permalink


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Really? The Prussia Glory march? Shows how little you know!
Guttenberg is a Bavarian, and there's a traditional antagonism between Bavaria and anything Prussia.
So of course he would NOT pick that.

Posted by: Nobody | Mar 20, 2011 1:47:41 PM

Holds up quite well in orchestral mode, kinda like Paul McCartney, "Live and let die". Great find!

Posted by: Frisky | Mar 16, 2011 9:57:56 PM

Servus Joe,

Allow me to make a correction here - zu Guttenberg was not forced to resign, he did so voluntarily as he felt that dealing with the scandal was keeping him from focusing on defense issues and that he no longer had the personal strength to defend himself in the media. Chancellor Merkel personally and publicly stated her support for zu Guttenberg and was saddened by his departure.

As to his music choice - the band hadn't practiced any AC/DC tunes. They did know Deep Purple.

How is this surreal? A younger man asking for a cool song instead of some ancient, pompous piece of music. I thought it was cool.

Posted by: Uncle Jake | Mar 16, 2011 5:30:54 AM

And it wasn't even the minister's choice? That's completely bizarre.

Posted by: Michael | Mar 15, 2011 8:19:19 PM

This is surreal, please tell me it's real.

Posted by: andrew chase | Mar 15, 2011 6:04:03 PM

He could have picked this instead, which perhaps would have been more fitting since he after all was defence minister of Germany:


Posted by: Zack | Mar 15, 2011 5:09:52 PM


Posted by: Joe Peach | Mar 15, 2011 4:47:59 PM

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