As the longtime frontman for Die Ärzte, Farin Urlaub spearheaded the German punk rock revolution. While the trio never achieved the international renown of rivals Die Toten Hosen, their impact on Central European music and culture is profound, and Urlaub's satirical and often political songs are even taught in German schools. Born Jan Ulrich Max Vetter in Berlin on October 27, 1963, he began playing guitar at age nine. At 16, he vacationed in London, discovered punk, and returned home with his hair peroxide-blonde. In 1980 he joined the short-lived punk outfit Soilent Grün alongside drummer Dirk Felsenheimer, who would adopt the alias Bela B. while Vetter renamed himself Farin Urlaub, a play on the German expression "Fahr in urlaub!," or "Go on vacation!" Urlaub and Bela B. co-founded Die Ärzte (German for "the Physicians") with bassist Hans Runge in 1982. The trio adopted the name Die Ärzte for the simple reason that no other band's moniker started with the letter Ä. Quickly emerging as a staple of the Berlin club circuit, the group soon appeared on the 20 Überschäumende Stimmungshits compilation, and after winning an amateur showcase spent their winnings on their 1983 debut EP, Uns Gehts Prima. The record brought Die Ärzte to the attention of Columbia Records, which issued the band's debut LP, Debil, in 1984. Im Schatten der Ärzte followed a year later. Creative differences forced Runge's exit prior to the release of Die Ärzte's 1986 breakthrough self-titled effort, recorded with producer Miccey Meuser on bass. The album introduced the distorted guitar sound that would emerge as the trio's signature in the years to come, while Urlaub's melodies embraced the classic rock & roll influences of his youth, in particular the Beatles.