All You Need Is Klaus - On DemandOctober 07, 2010

All You Need Is Klaus - On Demand

Smithsonian Channel

On Demand Weekly provides new movie reviews of hot movies on demand from the POV of watching from the comfort of your home. Today’s review: "All You Need Is Klaus.”
Email Cynthia Kane

“All You Need Is Klaus” airs on Smithsonian Channel as part of the August series Inside the Music, profiling music and musicians who’ve made great impact on our society and the world.

If you don’t know Klaus Voormann, you are wrong. You just think you don’t know Klaus. Well, you may not know the name, but you do know the music.

Klaus Voormann was on of the most in-demand bass players from the mid-60’s till the ‘80’s. Everyone wanted him. The Beatles, Manfred Mann, Harry Nilsson, the Plastic Ono Band, Carly Simon, Cat Stevens, the BeeGees, the list goes on endlessly. A funky, inventive musician.

To make a hit record, all you needed was Klaus.


Klaus Voormann

Discovering the Beatles in a Hamburg bar, a mere youth, these Liverpudlian lads likewise discovered Klaus. These ‘kids’ became lifelong friends; to this day Klaus considers George Harrison his closest friend. He misses him dearly.

An artist, a budding musician, who played the classical guitar, Klaus followed the Fab Four back to the UK, where he embarked on an art career in graphic design, but soon found himself as the most-wanted bass player in the business.


Klaus Voormann

Klaus never gave up his art though; in fact, another reason, you do know Klaus is for the Beatles’ Revolver album cover. Shamanistic artist? Maybe more of a rock ‘n’ roll Renaissance Man. This subdued, reflective guy could do it all.

After an extraordinary career and a hell of a lot of fun, he went back to Germany and now resides near Munich, an artist, keeping in touch with old friends, but never looking back.

Until now. To celebrate his 70th birthday, Klaus decided to make that journey back, to Nashville, to Los Angeles, to New York, to London, to make an album with old friends and some new, to revisit the best of times with great musicians, featuring Ringo Starr, Paul McCartney, Carly Simon, Joe Walsh, Randy Newman, Van Dyke Parks and many more – the music’s great and everyone’s having a fantastically good time.

Two things here worth noting: at 70, Klaus Voormann is a charismatic, contagious man – sensitive, intelligent and wise – while he’s not the gorgeous, young man we view in the extraordinary archival footage, he’s now the stunning and ageless septuagenarian. Klaus is just down-right likeable.

The other thing is the Smithsonian Channel, still relatively new and not available in every market across the US. Demand it – it’s worth it. They’re making some very palatable original programming. Entertaining and top quality.

Klaus Voormann’s first ever solo-album is entitled A Sideman’s Journey: Voormann and Friends.

Other titles in this series, “The Accordion Kings”, “Electrified: The Guitar Revolution”, “The Sweet Lady with the Nasty Voice”, “Play on John: A Life in Music”, “Making the Monkees” (yes, I still have a thing for the Monkees), “Sound Revolution and Worlds of Sound: The Ballads of Folkways.” For more information and schedule, go to

- Cynthia Kane

Cynthia Kane
Cynthia Kane reviews documentaries for On Demand Weekly. She is a writer and Sr Programming Manager for [ ITVS], overseeing the International Initiative for funding in their SF office. Prior she’s had many incarnations from actor to writer to producer. She co-created DOCday on Sundance Channel.


Read Other Reviews By Cynthia Kane:


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