Die Ärzte spearheaded the German punk rock revolution. While never achieving the international renown of rivals Die Toten Hosen, their impact on Central European music and culture is profound, and their satirical and often political songs are even taught in German schools. Die Ärzte (German for "the Physicians") formed in Berlin in 1982. Singer/guitarist Farin Urlaub (born Jan Vetter, the alias a play on the German expression "Fahr in urlaub!" or "Go on vacation!") and drummer Bela B. (born Dirk Felsenheimer) previously teamed in the short-lived Soilent Grün. After adding bassist Hans Runge, 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.