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Biography

Best known for featuring keyboard player Barbara Schenker - sister of UFO and MICHAEL SCHENKER GROUP guitar hero Michael Schenker and SCORPIONS rhythm guitarist Rudy Schenker - VIVA formed in 1980 in Hannover, but were unable to achieve much success with their traditional based Hard Rock. Vocals on the debut album, 1980's 'Born To Rock', are handled by Frank Algermissen alongside a band comprising guitarists Kai Reuter and Ralph Murthy, bassist Andreas Kawaldt and drummer Shaban Yavaz.

Algermissen was superseded for the harder hitting Riff Rock of 'What The Hell Is Going On', issued by CBS Records, by Swiss Italian frontman Marco Paganini. The new frontman had been fronting British NWoBHM band TYGERS OF PAN TANG on German support gigs to the SCORPIONS when he was poached by Schenker. More changes saw Reuter departing to join JANE and guitarist Andy Fach took his position. Paganini recorded one more album with VIVA, 1982's 'Dealers In The Night', before departing. This album, which featured a cover version of GRAND FUNK RAILROAD's 'Some Kind Of Wonderful', sold over a quarter of a million copies across Europe. It hit the Swedish charts at number 34.

The frontman would re-emerge in 1985 with his own band PAGANINI, debuting with 'Weapon Of Love' in 1985 on the Vertigo label. Ex-VIVA guitarist Ralph Murthy followed the singer into the ranks of PAGANINI.

VIVA re-grouped in 1984 and returned with The 'Apocalypse' album, which featured new vocalist Chris Thow. Michael Lauer was also added to the ranks on keyboards, replacing Barbara Schenker. Towards the group's eventual demise, British ex DETROIT vocalist Andy Pyke joined before he opted to form MARSHALL LAW. Bizarrely Schenker was rumoured to be joining the 1985 reformation of UFO but although rehearsals did take place this came to nothing. Schenker briefly joined all female Rockers ROSY VISTA. VIVA guitarist Henrik Woltar later formed THUNDERHEAD.

VIVA made an unexpected and low key return in 1996 with the independently released 'Cream Cake Box' album. Based around guitarist Andy Fach, VIVA now comprised of VELVET VIPER bassist Lars Ratz, vocalist Eddy Peterson, keyboard player Ronald Hensel and drummer R.R. Oddly the accompanying press biography with this release gives a somewhat distorted history of VIVA that makes absolutely no mention of Schenker whatsoever! Meantime, 1996 found ex-VIVA singer Marco Paganini singing on demo tracks for former SCORPIONS drummer HERMAN RAREBELL. Quite surreally, a Paganini / VIC VERGAT composition scored the duo a major hit in Germany - sung by 'Baywatch' star David Hasselhoff for the 'Pingu' kids television cartoon series!

Kai Reuter re-emeged in 2000 joining FAIR WARNING. Ratz founded the chart Heavy Metal band METALIUM. 'Dealers In The Night' would see a September 2001 re-release courtesy of French label Axe Killer Records.

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