Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 22 November 2019

David Hasselhoff reveals 'nothing' has ever topped iconic Berlin Wall freedom gig

Concert led to urban myth that the star was responsible for the fall of the wall

American singer and actor David Hasselhoff hovers in the cage of a hoisting crane above the Berlin Wall and sings "Looking for Freedom" during the first German-German New Year's Eve party on the 31st of December in 1989 at Brandenburg Gate. (Photo by Wöstmann/picture alliance via Getty Images)
American singer and actor David Hasselhoff hovers in the cage of a hoisting crane above the Berlin Wall and sings "Looking for Freedom" during the first German-German New Year's Eve party on the 31st of December in 1989 at Brandenburg Gate. (Photo by Wöstmann/picture alliance via Getty Images)

As the world marks the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, actor David Hasselhoff reveals his iconic role in singing for freedom.

On a freezing New Year's Eve, just a month after the fall of the wall saw east and west Germany reunited, thousands gathered as the actor sang his number one hit Looking For Freedom whilst hovering above the Iron Curtain in a crane.

Amid a hail of fireworks, one even struck his leg, the Knight Rider star became an overnight legend in Germany as he sang his "hymn for hope".

The star says "nothing" has ever topped that night.

In an interview with Time magazine he said: "I remember it like it was yesterday. There was a camera on the crane, and I wasn’t playing to the camera. Usually you play to the camera. I just kept bending over and playing to the crowd because I was so moved by the experience.

"I was with the people that night, and I didn’t care if I fell out. I was on a mission from God. The whole thing was surreal. It was the greatest celebration of all time. I knew nothing except for having children would ever top this moment. Nothing has."

He had been invited to perform after his song Looking For Freedom, an English adaptation of the 1978 German hit Auf Der Strasse Nach Süden, which had topped the charts earlier that year.

The actor says when he received the call to sing on a chat show he joking said he would only do it if he could perform on the wall.

"They called me back and they said, “You’re going to be in a crane above maybe a million people.” And I said, “Oh my God, let’s go!” Rock and roll!," he added.

More than half a million people watched his performance by Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate.

It had been an urban myth that the star was responsible for bringing down the wall due to his memorable performance.

Last month he returned to Germany on tour and wore the same jacket.

"Looking for Freedom was an anthem or a hymn of hope that they would sing," he added.

"They consider me a legend. I was just in the right place at the right time with the right song. I was just a man who sang a song about freedom."

In his recent performance on German Unity Day, he reenacted the concert at the Max-Schmeling-Halle, a basketball stadium erected near where a section of the Berlin Wall once stood, on a hydraulic platform above the crowd.

He told the crowd: “Thirty years of freedom! Ich bin ein Berliner!”

Today a giant wave art installation created from 30,000 messages marks the location by the Brandenburg Gate.

Updated: November 8, 2019 08:38 PM

SHARE

SHARE