Back To The Past (18):

The Back To The Past column is usually the last item, we write for every new issue. First, you gather info about a certain band from old bios and magazines. Then you have a listen to all their records and you try to find out some additional news through the Internet. Put that all together and you will have a story. It means a lot of research and sometimes it's very hard to come up with anything. Usually because the band was big, but only in the underground scene. And most of the time the magazines simply ignore bands that don't make it to the top. Try to find a good story about ROSY VISTA and you'll almost definately fail. Now is your change to read the full detailed history of a very promising band from Germany, with a short career. But the facts are interesting enough to be put on paper. MM digged into the archives of ROSY VISTA and made them the subject in this Back To The Past story. You better believe it!

It is 1983 when we start this story. ROSY VISTA was founded in Hannover, Germany. Anca Graterol can be seen as the leading lady behind the band. When she was sixteen years old, she started to play the guitar. Anca was born in Rumania, a land that already had a rich underground scene the late seventies. She comes to Germany to spread her wings and starts an all female hard rock band. The first lady she bumped into was Guiness Hellmann. She started to play the guitar, when she was fourteen years old. But while Anca followed musical classes for three years and had some experience working as a studio musician for a few years, Guiness was someone who taught herself how to play the guitar. She already had some stage experience before she met Anca. She played in a raunchy punkband, but that was just for fun, she recalls. She changed from guitar to bass when she was sixteen years old. Gerda Maus was the first drummer of the band. The most difficult part however was to find a suitable singer. Anca had already contacted Andrea Schwartz if she was interested in singing, but Andrea was more like a dancer in the discos of Hannover. She had nothing in common with hard rock and heavy metal. But when the two met each other over and over again, Andrea decided to give it a try. She was hired immediately. Maybe not only for her great looks, but also for her surprisingly good voice. And so ROSY VISTA was born.

It's January 1984 then and the world is full of upcoming (hard)rock bands. But ROSY VISTA, which means 'having a good time' approaches the whole thing in a different way than most of the other bands. They definately don't want to gain popularity through their looks, but they want to let the music do the talking. All the girls still go to school back in those days and after school, they do their homework. But after their homework they come together and rehearse day after day. No one can possibly go on like this for a long period of time. And so decisions had to be made. School or a career as a rockstar. Most people will decide to finish their school, but not these four girls. They quit school and start to rehearse even more. Andrea's parents were not too happy with this decision. But later on, when they saw that their daughter was a real talented singer, they changed their opinion. Gerda Maus however, was the first member who dropped her drum sticks into the dustbin. Marina Hlubeck, from Berlin, became the new drummer of ROSY VISTA. She was experienced also. She had already played in a band called BERLINER RING. And with this band she played in countries like Germany (the Western part), Holland and Austria. She kinda knew what was going on in the scene. From the day that Marina came in the band things started to move a bit faster. Four heads were pointing in one direction now. And that direction was called success. The band started to write their first songs and went on the road with them. Trying to find a suitable record label, that would find them interesting enough to sign a record deal. And so they met the people of Noise Records. They thought ROSY VISTA needed a fair chance to show what they were worth. Noise was already known for their work with true heavy metal bands as HELLOWEEN, GRAVE DIGGER, SINNER, KREATOR, WARRANT, RUNNING WILD, OVERKILL, CELTIC FROST and VOI VOD. Impressive names that made a lot of noise in those days. ROSY VISTA however, wanted to play more melodic than the aforementioned bands. Five songs came on their first mini album, which got the title "You Better Believe It!". Opener "The Tables Are Turning" is a solid uptempo rock song with a fast guitar solo in it. A lot of rockbands in the 80's sounded like this. Heavy but still melodic. "Sadistic Lover" is the second song on this mini LP. It's a slower track with a good beat. The guitars still scream however. Another eyecatcher is the great voice of Andrea. "Sound Of Your Love" is the ballad on this five track EP. Here and there it shows some resem-blance with HEART. It's a sweet song which gets a little bit faster when the guitar solo appears, to slow down after-wards. The speed goes up again with the great rocker "Rocking Through The Night" which is by far the best track on this debut. And although this song is very heavy, it might have been ready for radio airplay. The last song, "Until I'm Satisfied", completes the first twenty minutes of music on vinyl for these girls. Again we can talk about some resemblance to a band like HEART, crossed with the heavier tunes of TINA TURNER. Nonetheless, the band knows to impress the media with this first, let's say, melodic release on Noise Records.

It's January 1985 now and the girls will have to prepare themselves to go on stage for their first tour experience. Eleven dates are set, starting in their hometown Hannover at a club, called Bel Air (No not from the Fresh Prince, you maniacs!). Together with CITRON from Czechoslovakia and SWEETHARD. The openers had a hard time because everybody came to see ROSY VISTA's debut on stage. People from Noise of course and the entire Schenker family. Michael Schenker, Rudolph Schenker from THE SCORPIONS and Barbara Schenker from VIVA. The band kicked some serious ass that night and made a good impression. Three days later they played with Eric Burden of THE ANIMALS. The international press started to show interest in the band as well. In England (mainly through her looks) Andrea made it to the Top Ten of sex symbols after the mini album came out. In the meantime, the reactions on tour were either very possitive or very negative. Nothing inbetween seemed to come in mind. The band release a 7" as well. It contains "Tables Are Turned" c/w the ballad "Sound Of Your Love". And the band starts rehearsing again for new shows and new songs. They rehearse in an old factory in the neighbourhood of Hannover.

In the beginning of 1986, the band gets the opportunity to do a photo shoot for the English version of Metal Hammer together with Vince Neil, the singer of MOTLEY CRUE. The album came out in 1986 in England and France! 1986 is also the year that everything seems to go very smoothly for the four ladies. They team up with Barbara Schenker. Barbara is about to leave VIVA and she later becomes the fifth member of ROSY VISTA. She plays the keyboards of course. And they also plan a tour in Czechoslovakia. We already saw that CITRON played at ROSY's tour in 1985. It was ROSY VISTA's idea to bring over this popular band from Czechoslovakia. And so CITRON thought it was a nice idea to invite the girls back to their country for a tour. The two most heavy songs of the mini album were released on a limited edition 7". It was sold out in no time and also the halls where they played were jam packed. The gigs were organised by the State, including presentations for the press. CITRON opened the shows and then ROSY VISTA was on. They only played for an half an hour. The finale was a jam in which they played the JOHN LENNON classic "Give Peace A Chance". After the gig the crowd went home and within ten minutes the place was empty like nothing had happened there that evening. No time to chat with the fans. After the show everything was over and out. Accept for the girls, they had a great time with the people from CITRON. After Prague, they played in Moldau and Pilzen, both shows with CITRON of course. The band also starts to work on their second LP.

But the strangest thing of all is, this was never released. Because in the beginning of 1988, the band quits and nobody has heard anything about the ladies again! For five long years they tried to be successful in a certain way. And everybody was very possitive about what they heard and saw. It all ended so suddenly, while everything looked so good for these four ladies from Hannover. This is not the end of our story, however. Reason for that is ROSY VISTA wasn't like a full time job for all the ladies. Two members decided to join another band, too. Fact is both Anca and Andrea played in MOULIN ROUGE, which can be seen as the number one live band from Hannover. They've released two albums and both ladies were singing in this band. In 1993 they released "Moulin Rouge Live!" and a year after that they released "Old Time Rock 'N Roll". But Andrea is also to be found back in bands like SISTER CRIME, a hardrock band in which she was the lead singer from 1991 to 1992. From 1993 to 1994 she played in an unplugged coverband called CAT BALOU.

Nowadays she is still active in the music scene. But it seems that she is more and more fading away from the hard rock and heavy metal scene. Besides MOULIN ROUGE, in which she still sings, she is also to be found as background singer for people like Jochen Roth-Sino. And she also sings in the WESTFALIA BIG BAND and is a member of THE FLEXIG SINGERS. Why it all ended so suddenly for ROSY VISTA is something we'll never know I guess. But the band really had the potential to become big in what they were doing! You better believe it!!!!!

written by: Toine van Poorten/copyright Metal Maidens 1999)

Discography ROSY VISTA:
*YOU BETTER BELIEVE IT! (Noise records '85)

*TABLES ARE TURNED b/w ROCKING TROUGH THE NIGHT ('85 Suphaphon; Czechoslovakia)
[Note: The mistakes in spelling are printed this way on the sleeve!!]