This is hard to explain to American audiences because “The Hoff” as he’s pegged with tongue, firmly in cheek, is best known for being the old dad lifeguard on Baywatch. Not so in Germany, where he’s perhaps one of their more lauded musical artists (not a sentence one would normally associate with Hasslhoff. The former Baywatch star also has an ardent supporter in Dirk Nowitki, the best German basketball player of all time. Dirk recently went on entertainer Stefan Raab‘s show in his native Germany where the pair had an acoustic guitar duel with Dirk singing The Hoff’s version of “Looking For Freedom.”
As noted by Pro Basketball Talk’s Kurt Helin, the Hasselhoff’s version of the song — it was originally released in 1978 by German singer Marc Seaberg — came out during a time when the Berlin wall separating East and West Germany was getting torn down after the Soviet Union’s shackles over Eastern Europe were cast off in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
Yes, David Hasselhoff’s “Looking for Freedom,” is considered an anthem of unification to those in Germany. It’s also one of the more seminal protest songs at the end of the bifurcated time in the European country’s history.
Dirk does a surprisingly good rendition of the song Hasselhoff actually performed at the Berlin Wall when their country’s reunification drive demolished the figurative and literal manifestation of separation the Wall symbolized.
Here’s the Hoff:
And here’s Dirk doing an apt comparison:
Dirk’s not half bad. Remember Hoff’s place in German history the next time you hear Dirk praising the musical talents of a man many American’s in our generation still think of as the hair-chested Mitch Buchannon.
What do you think?
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