Gila – Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee (1973)

FrontCover1Founded in Stuttgart, Germany in 1969 (as Gila Füchs) – Hiatus from 1972-1973 – Disbanded in 1974

This band managed just two studio albums before splitting. Their guitarist leader Conny Veit will be known latter as collaborator of both POPOL VUH and GURU GURU, but this is another story.

Their first highly ambitious album – and one of the more important albums to come out of Western Germany – had a very odd concept to reflect the group’s progression from aggression to communication. Quite a bloody program and I can assure you that they succeed quite well.


The music on their debut runs continuously through the tracks is very trippy and atmospheric but not space rock either, In that regard , one thinks of PINK FLOYD. Their second album is very different and depicts the last and worst Indian massacre (native Americans) back in the early 70’s.. The live album is posthumous but worthy of them.

In spite of their short discography, GILA is a very important group in the history of Krautrock and highly recommended to anyone looking for adventurous music. (Hugues Chantraine)


And here´s ther second album:
Depending on your mood, krautrock can sound either dated or absolutely infectious. GILA falls somewhere between the two. “Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee” was released in 1973. The biggest problem that I had with the album, at first, was that it sounded too psychedelic, and thus dated, for a 1973 release. The music seemed to have more in common with early AMON DÜÜL II than what was going on with rock music at the time. Once I got over that fact, I was soon treated to some of the prettiest psychedelic ever made. The music here emphasizes 12-string acoustic guitar, but the vocal harmonies really makes this band stand out. I’m reminded of vocal harmonies used by many of San Francisco’s psychedelic bands during the late 60s; but GILA sound much more European (although they sing in English).

Sabine Merbach

The vocals are done using a combination of male and female vocals. Once in a while, I’m even reminded of the Dutch band EATH AND FIRE. The album talks about the abuse of American-Indians by white settlers, yet never comes off as a political statement. So those of you who might be turned-off by political albums have nothing to worry about. Along with the lush guitar and vocals, the listener is also treated to piano by Florian Fricke. In all it’s a recipe for dream-like psychedelic music. For those of you looking for prog/psych with American-Indian influences, several songs feature native American rhythms, and chanting. Overall, if you’re looking for lovely psychedelic music from continental Europe, you found it. (Steve Hegede)


Daniel Fichelscher (drums, percussion, bass)
Florian Fricke (keyboards)
Sabine Merbach (vocals)
Conny Veit (guitar, vocals, flute, synthesizer)



01. This Morning 5.40
02. In A Sacred Manner 4.42
03. Sundance Chant 4.09
04. Young Coyote 3.18
05. Black Kettle’s Ballad 4.24
06.Little Smoke 5.06
07. The Buffalo Are Coming 7.20

All songs written by Conny Veit




Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West is a 1970 non-fiction book by American writer Dee Brown that covers the history of Native Americans in the American West in the late nineteenth century. The book expresses details of the history of American expansionism from a point of view that is critical of its effects on the Native Americans. Brown describes Native Americans’ displacement through forced relocations and years of warfare waged by the United States federal government. The government’s dealings are portrayed as a continuing effort to destroy the culture, religion, and way of life of Native American peoples. Helen Hunt Jackson’s 1881 book A Century of Dishonor is often considered a nineteenth-century precursor to Dee Brown’s book.

Dee Brown

Before the publication of Bury My Heart…, Brown had become well-versed in the history of the American frontier. Having grown up in Arkansas, he developed a keen interest in the American West, and during his graduate education at George Washington University and his career as a librarian for both the US Department of Agriculture and the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign, he wrote numerous books on the subject. Brown’s works maintained a focus on the American West, but ranged anywhere from western fiction to histories to children’s books. Many of Brown’s books revolved around similar Native American topics, including his Showdown at Little Bighorn (1964) and The Fetterman Massacre (1974).

Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee was first published in 1970 to generally strong reviews. Published at a time of increasing American Indian activism, the book has never gone out of print and has been translated into 17 languages. The title is taken from the final phrase of a twentieth-century poem titled “American Names” by Stephen Vincent Benét. The full quotation, “I shall not be there. I shall rise and pass. Bury my heart at Wounded Knee”, appears at the beginning of Brown’s book.[6] Although Benet’s poem is not about the plight of Native Americans, Wounded Knee was the site of the last major attack by the US Army on Native Americans. It is also one of several potential locations for the site of Crazy Horse’s buria.


Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee received ultimately positive reviews upon its publication. Time magazine reviewed the book:

In the last decade or so, after almost a century of saloon art and horse operas that romanticized Indian fighters and white settlers, Americans have been developing a reasonably acute sense of the injustices and humiliations suffered by the Indians. But the details of how the West was won are not really part of the American consciousness. … Dee Brown, Western historian and head librarian at the University of Illinois, now attempts to balance the account. With the zeal of an IRS investigator, he audits US history’s forgotten set of books. Compiled from old but rarely exploited sources plus a fresh look at dusty Government documents, Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee tallies the broken promises and treaties, the provocations, massacres, discriminatory policies and condescending diplomacy.

The Native American author N. Scott Momaday, who won the Pulitzer Prize, noted that the book contains strong documentation of original sources, such as council records and first-hand descriptions. He stated that “it is, in fact, extraordinary on several accounts” and further complimented Brown’s writing by saying that “the book is a story, whole narrative of singular integrity and precise continuity; that is what makes the book so hard to put aside, even when one has come to the end.”


Peter Farb reviewed the book in 1971 in The New York Review of Books: “The Indian wars were shown to be the dirty murders they were.” Other critics could not believe that the book was not written by a Native American and that Dee Brown was a white man, as the book’s Native perspective felt so real. Remaining on bestseller lists for over a year following its release in hardback, the book remains in print 40 years later. Translated into at least 17 languages, it has sold nearly four million copies and remains popular today.

Despite the book’s widespread acceptance by journalists and the general public, scholars such as Francis Paul Prucha criticized it for lacking sources for much of the material, except for direct quotations. He also said that content was selected to present a particular point of view, rather than to be balanced, and that the narrative of government–Indian relations suffered from not being placed within the perspective of what else occurred in the government and the country at the time.

Brown was candid about his intention to present the history of the settlement of the West from the point of view of the Indians—”its victims,” as he wrote. He noted, “Americans who have always looked westward when reading about this period should read this book facing eastward.”[