Guenter Langer Reviews Red Army Faction Blues

Ada Wilson traces the deeds of secret service informer and agent provocateur Peter Urbach, a historic figure of the Sixties, and Fleetwood Mac founder Peter Green’s unusual decision to retreat from his music career. Urbach infiltrated the radical communes in Berlin. The communards, mostly of bourgeois background, saw in him a rare species of the proletariat who helped them to repair things in their dwellings. Additionally Urbach provided them with Molotov cocktails, pistols, and fire bombs. One of those fire bombs found its way into the Jewish Center of Berlin, however without exploding.

After the arrest of Horst Mahler, the founder of the Red Army Faction, Germany’s infamous guerilla group, Urbach had to make a statement in court, finally revealing his true identity as a secret service agent. After his court appearance he feared for his life and his employer, the secret service, sent him into retirement, secretly to California where he died 30 years later.

Peter Green visited the most famous communards, Rainer Langhans and super model Uschi Obermaier, in Munich where the two were in the process of creating a pop company, the Highfish Commune. It is said that Green went on an LSD trip while with them which triggered his retreat from Fleetwood Mac and from the music business altogether.

Wilson lets the reader see the 68 radicals through the eyes of the secret service informer. Urbach, however, was not only effective in observing the left-wing scene in Berlin and pushing them into violent acts, but he was also somehow impressed by the lifestyle of his targets. He developed a crush on Uschi Obermaier and he learned to like the music he heard in the communes, in particular he became obsessed with Peter Green. He even found a way to get an interview with Green in order to find out why Green had disappeared in obscurity…

This review by Guenter Langer of Red Army Faction Blues was posted on

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