The Schwichtenberg family lived in Ingo's childhood and youth in a row house in a Hamburg settlement, in which Kai Hansen also lived not too far away. The father was a fireman, which could be stressful especially at Christmas, since the Christmas tree candles were still made of wax. For emergencies, a bucket of sand was always placed in the living room, which Ingo always found a little exaggerated. Fortunately, nothing serious ever happened. When Ingo was 4 years old, his sister was born. The big brother was already 10 years old. Despite the age differences, the siblings mostly got along well. The whole family spent the summer holidays mostly in Cuxhaven on the beach.
Music accompanied all siblings from an early age. This is due to the school, since they all started there very early with an instrument. The big brother always had to go to flute lessons. Since he didn't feel like it, the stupid flute was simply hurled over a fence in the neighboring garden. From then on, at least for him it was over with the music lessons. Ingo then also had to learn to play a flute and later also received lessons in playing the clarinet. That was how he first came into contact with musical notes and already inspired schoolmates and teachers with various solo performances on school drums at various school performances. His sister first received a carillon, then also recorder and alto lessons and a little later a flute, which she played with passion. Since the father was an enthusiastic judoka, Ingo also started judo and ended his judo career when he reached the yellow belt.
The big brother moved to his own apartment in 1977. Ingo and his sister continued to live in the row house with their parents. The mother died in the summer of 1981 after a serious illness. The sister found a new home, which was also a big wish of the mother, and the contact to Ingo and also the big brother and father was kept and cared for over the years. Ingo continued to live in the row house with his father. During this time, father and son lived together not always without problems. Long before the illness of his mother she had advocated that Ingo could finally realize his dream of playing the drums. Then Ingo finally got his own drums from his father, even after a long request. It was immediately set up under the roof and practiced daily. The neighbors had to suffer a lot because the row houses were very noisy. Ultimately, however, he had the full support of his father, who also had to settle some of the neighbors' complaints. That was also the time when Ingo and Kai decided to make music together in the future. The two "Best Friends" became the founding members of HELLOWEEN.
After graduating from school, Ingo began training as an office clerk. Nobody in the family could understand why Ingo wanted to learn such a boring job. It was later concluded that Ingo already knew at the time that he would earn his living as a musician in the future and would not need boring vocational training. He moved into a small apartment in Hamburg-Dulsberg together with his girlfriend.
The big brother had moved to Berlin in the meantime and still kept in touch with the family. So they always met when the time allowed it, either in Berlin, in Hamburg or on tour. And the sister always kept in touch with her two brothers and with the father and they met on various occasions.
Due to the legal dispute with noise records, Ingo stood in Hamburg because of the mandatory break. There was a lot of free time and only a few challenges. Ingo did not cope well with this situation and it was becoming increasingly difficult for him to fill his time with meaningful things.
In 1991 Ingo's sister moved to Berlin for professional reasons and swapped her apartment in Hamburg with her big brother. So the big brother was able to take care of Ingo even better. They spent a lot of time together, went on vacation together and with the studio recordings in Denmark things slowly went up for Ingo. Until then, the family had not noticed that Ingo apparently had a drug problem, which then developed into schizophrenia in the following years. However, it was obvious that Ingo was not an alcoholic, as some claim. While Ingo's illness increasingly took possession of him, the family members gave him the best possible support in curing his illness. Treatment costs also had to be billed and therapy places has to be found. Countless conversations were held and sometimes it looked like there would be an improvement.
The band had given Ingo two years to get on with it. But when the separation from Helloween was unavoidable, Ingos world collapsed completely. He fell back into a deep hole from which he could not get out despite the extensive help of everyone.
On 02.02.1995 Ingo's father died after a short serious illness. This was another low blow and Ingo was now almost unresponsive. Together with his siblings, Ingo took care of the funeral of the father and the dissolution of the apartment, as far as the health condition at that time made it possible for him. He always wanted to be there. When he was still not to be found in his apartment on March 9, 1995, his siblings went to the police and wanted to file a missing person report. However, the police sent her back home and said that Ingo would appear again. The siblings then searched for Ingo all over Hamburg. They had no idea what had happened in the meantime. A few days later - on the big brother's birthday - a photo of Ingo was shown to the siblings in the Hamburg police headquarters and Ingos' beloved wristwatch was given to them. So the siblings only learned of their beloved brother's suicide 5 days later ...
Statement by Ina-Corinna and Kay:
"This is now 25 years ago and for us siblings it is still as if it had just happened. We are convinced that at the time of the deed the "evil" creature in Ingo's head had sovereignty over his actions and that he was not really aware of the scope of this. Ingo has had so many wonderful things in his short life. He took the time until the onset of his illness very intensely and he really enjoyed it - even if he was always a perfectionist and rarely was 100% satisfied with his own performance as a drummer.
The beautiful and not so beautiful moments that we were able to experience with Ingo will always be in our hearts."
Personal words from Ina-Corinna:
My beloved brother Ingo is a great role model for me today. With his gentleness and his smile, he captivated people and to this day he is the unforgettable "Mr. Smile". Ingo truly lived his talent and his vocation and to this day so many drummers and musicians from all over the world are guided by his skills. I have been able to experience countless very personal and wonderful moments with my brother, which I like to remember very much and with great joy; as well as cooking together where we had so much fun. But one of the really big highlights is my very first record, which Ingo gave me when I was a little girl. "ABBA - The Album". With this, Ingo created something very special and great at the time, which connects us both intensively to this day and accompanies me every day and has become and becomes stronger over the years. I love you and I am infinitely grateful to be your sister and to have had so many wonderful moments with you and to feel your presence so strongly to this day. You are always there and you always will be. Forever.
Your sister Ina-Corinna
Dear Uncle Ingo,
sometimes I imagine what we would do together if you were still there. I think we have a lot of fun together! Even if we have never met, I somehow miss you. Many of your clothes are still in our house - Sometimes I wear some of them at school, such as the Helloween sweaters or simply T-shirts that you also wore. As I said - unfortunately I couldn't get to know you personally and I am very sad that you can no longer be there for me.
Your niece Dana
Ingo, fly free!