1965 was the year the Danish beat culture really
started. You began to see dance clubs everywhere, and beat magazines like
Hit, Beat and Top Pop spread information about this new kind of music all
over the country. Hundred of small bands were formed, inspired by the big
English artists and Danish bands like the Hitmakers and the Defenders.
Every little suburb town had 15-20 bands of their own, and never before were so many obscure championships like “the Danish Kinks” and “the Danish Rolling Stones” held.
The sound was called “pigtråd musik” (barbed wire music), a name invented in the early sixties. Garage rock would be a better name for these bands that copied the more raw groups like the Pretty Things, etc. 1965 was also the year when small record labels began to challenge the major labels. They often released only a few singles ‘cause one thing was for sure - Danish rock didn’t sell anything. At parties it was okay to dance to the Danish bands, but when it came to record bu ying people only bought English records. Recording studio conditions weren’t that good either; there were only about five real professional studios available, so the records were often recorded in cinemas, row clubs and ordinary villa cellars.
Here are 16 Danish garage classics from small labels. Many of these are now extremely rare and sought-after. Perhaps the songs aren’t excellent musically, but every song has that magic touch of enthusiasm from an era when everyone could join in and play their socks off!
Japanese press Stop the music/Hit Makers '66
The Music Corner label was established
by harmonica virtuoso Svend Olaf Møller near the music store of
the same name he owned with his father, Karl Møller. Father and
son were already well known by 1963-64 for their production of the legendary
Holler-amplifier, which many pigtråd bands used. It was natural for
the son to start a record label, as so many pigtråd musicians visited
his shop every day. Besides the five beat singles included on this album
the label also released an EP by flamenco guitarist Christioan Sievert,
plus three singles by Daniella (Bente Madsen), Sussi Holm, and the Meldgaards,
on which Ole Erling worked as a backing musician. Though Music Corner stopped
it’s business in 1965 the Holler Recording Studio continued operations
for a couple of years.
The Bristols got some publicity during 1964-65 when they worked as the
backing group for the “outrageous” Gunilla Thorn from Malmø, Sweden.
This is their only record. As the story goes the group’s lead singer gave
Mick Jagger a copy of the record after a Rolling Stones concert in Copenhagen
The Blackpools were an R’n’B group from Søllerød in the
north part of Copenhagen. They formed in 1963 with John Harding as lead
singer. After he went to the Beethovens in January 1964 their rhythm guitarist
took over on vocals. The group became well known following a beat performance
in the Danish porn movie, “Jeg en kvinde” (I’m a Woman). The band had some
chaotic personnel changes during their five year existence - they served
as a recruiting band for the Beefeaters, an R’n’B band that “stole” Tom
Methling and singer Peter Thorup, and later on singer Max Nielsen, from
A band formed in 1964 in Valby at a youth club called Lykkebo. The members
built their own guitars there, as did Vanløse band the Clidows,
which also spent some time at the same club. In September 1964 they recruited
the Clidows’ lead singer Ib Monrad, and on the 27th of September, 1965
they won the “Kinks of Denmark” contest at the Boulevard Theater. They
won this recording along with 500 kr. (ca. 75 US$). Music Corner didn’t
like the group that much but made a couple of demo recordings in order
to maintain their part of the agreement.
The Swingin’ Five formed in 1963 in Frederiksberg. Some of the members
had earlier played in local jazz bands, so they played some old jazz and
swing numbers along with Cliff Richards/Shadows tunes. The self-composed
“Little Zula” is a beat song and is one of the best records from Music
Corner. They broke up in 1966 and some of the members continued playing
in other bands. Jan Jacobsen became well known in the duo Jan & Renee
in the seventies, Ib Jensen in Jensen & Co. And Torben Jensen is now
better known as “Boogie” Torben.
The King Beats were the Pretty Things of Amager (a Danish island), which
can easily be heard on this single. It was the only pigtråd release
from the Crescendo label, owned by concert pianist Ewald Boilesen. The
label did of course release a great amount of classical music, but it also
released a bunch of rock singles during the years 1959-65 - including efforts
by the Melvis Rock Band, Jens & Peter, and Henrik Burton & the
Boozers. The King Beats only played in Copenhagen, except for a couple
of gigs in Malmø and Lund (Sweden). After a two-year existence the
group broke up in 1966.
The Caravans were an “old” distinguished orchestra formed in 1963, with
roots leading back to the dance orchestra Tage Kørnings Quartet.
They recorded two titles for SRE in 1965. During their first years the
group had some personnel changes, for example Teddy Edelmann, the Scarlet’s
John Friis, and Kaj Kristensen played with the orchestra. In these years
the Caravans grew from a rock’n’roll band into a real R’n’B band. Their
manager, Søren Rune Elstrøm, had them signed to SRE. Shortly
after the SRE recording they received a contract with EMI, for whom they
recorded three singles during 1965-67. Of these “I Want Candy” and “I’ll
Be Doggone” are quite good, but don’t live up to the raw power of their
debut single - this due to the lack of blessed R’n’B singer, Per Nøhr.
The Silverbeats from Tåstrup formed in 1963. The band played frequently
at the “Gode Hans,” a farm in a Tåstrup suburb that served as a teen
hangout. In 1965 they recorded two songs for Focus, which wasn’t actually
a record label at all but rather some sort of a demo-record service where
groups paid to record. The record was only sold at the band’s local gigs.
The Silverbeats broke up in 1967 and Carl-Otto Andersen and Søren
Vind-Knudsen formed the Kitneys.
An R’n’B outfit formed in Glostrup at the end of 1964. In autumn ’66
they won the Pigtråd Grand Prix contest at the Restaurant Siesta
in Glostrup, and the prize was this recording for Kirola. Music teacher
Sven Djurup founded Kirola in order to make records on music teaching.
So the Raws’ record is the only beat recording from Kirola. The contests’
other winners, the Eagles from Hvidpvre, appeared on the B-side. The Raws
played around Copenhagen and broke up in 1970.
Big Boss Men:
The Pretty Things of Værløse formed in 1965. They won DSU’s North-Zealandish Championship In Beat Music 1966 in Ganløse Kro, where this live recording is from. The recording was done by Ole Elm and Søren Nielsen. Elm, who had played in a Jutlandish band called the G-Men, recorded the records’ A-side by himself, which was a country & western song. The Big Boss Men broke up in 1967 and the Kornum brothers formed Steppin’ Out.
Back to Liner Notes