“I don’t want to excuse my way of life”

Yes. In any case, I prefer him to someone who thinks he made the right decision too quickly and then regrets it later.

You mentioned Gerhard Schröder. Do you actually think that the reputation of social democracy in this country is suffering from the former chancellor?

I wouldn’t say that now. As far as the Russian war of aggression is concerned, that is of course very problematic for the Social Democrats. It is not easy to have such a prominent SPD member as the Chancellor’s party who is so close to Putin. But we’ll have to see how things turn out. I think the SPD has another problem: its classic clientele – a large workers’ movement – no longer exists. This is one of the reasons why she keeps struggling with her positions.

You mentioned the traditional family image – and upheld it. Can you understand if some of your lines of text are criticized? According to the motto: Rolf Zuckowski only makes music from a heteronormative point of view.

No, I can’t understand that at all. I write my songs out of my circumstances. In one of my songs, and it’s a very important song, “I can do that,” there’s a single mother. I wrote that in 1983.

Rolf Zuckowski in November 2011 with his daughter Anuschka.
Rolf Zuckowski in November 2011 with his daughter Anuschka. (Source: Marco Prosch/Getty Images)

So you were always musically ready to move away from the traditional family image?

I’m very, very open to the diversity of ways of life, but I don’t want to present my way of life as an excuse. I sing my songs and other people sing other songs. I think the variety of ways of life becomes clear in the variety of songs. But I believe that many people feel deep in their hearts that our family is a very important value.

So it bothers you that the music is criticized in the form of political correctness?

There is the approach of finding and preparing a topic in order to do justice to as many people as possible. It’s the case in theatre, it’s the case in a lot of TV shows, maybe in music too. It’s not my way. Rather, I try to stay with myself. I observe and experience and try not to be too egocentric and still remain credible for myself and those around me. That’s important to me. I don’t want to take after the mouths of others to please everyone.

You celebrate your 75th birthday on May 12th. Do you feel your age in some places?

I am very fortunate to be healthy. At some point I had a hernia, and I also had to go through knee and shoulder surgery. But those are all things that got over it. This makes me grateful to some friends who are much worse off. So far, there have been no illnesses that would put a heavy strain on me in the years to come. But that can be different from one day to the next. Of course, this awareness is very strong now. Around me there are deaths, strokes, heart attacks and much more. You can count yourself lucky every day you feel good.