GARAGE STORY - JENS LINDBERG: WHY I LOVE GARAGE ROCK
Why I love garagerock
As a young boy in the early 70’s me and my friends mostly listened to Sweet and Kiss. Other groups of interest was Slade, Nazareth and Uriah Heep but music was not my main interest – I wanted to be a cartoonist.
All that changed during summer of 1980 when my parents sent me England on a language travel course in Bude, Cornwall. There I got in touch with the embryonic mod- and skinhead culture and I discovered SKA-music. Back home in Stockholm me and some other friends directly became mods and soon realized that maybe SKA wasn’t the real deal as it was mostly favoured by our arch enemies, the skinheads.
So from there we instead turned to The Jam, The Chords, Purple Hearts etc and from there back to the 60’s with groups such as The Who, Small Faces, Kinks and so on. For me my mod days ended in 1982 because I was fed up with the narrow minded scene and also had found other kind of musical influcences which was not acceptable within the mod society.
From compilations like Chocolate Soup For Diabetics and great musical input from my friend Måns and Henrik Orrje I followed their path and turned to the more obscure side of the 60’s musical scene including The Sonics, Music Machine, Pretty Things and British freakbeet. It was about this time I also wanted to start a band dedicated to this kind of music.
The Crimson Shadows story has been told many times but in short I met Peter Maniette at a party on the 6 th of October 1984 where we decided I should join him and his brother Johan as a bassplayer. Very soon after that I called Måns and asked him if he could join as a guitarist so Peter could concentrate on playing the Farfisa. We had our first rehearsal the week after and our first show on the 1 st of November. At this time we hadn’t yet come up with the name Crimson Shadows but called ourselves ‘Shake Some Action’.
Well The Crimson Shadows only lasted to March 1986 and this break up gave birth to three new bands; Peter continued with The Wylde Mammoths, Måns started The Livingstones and I started The Highspeed V, which was a band solely dedicated to rhythm and blues in the vein of Pretty Things. In that band Henrik from Crimson was also a member but there was also Mats Kempe (gtr), Niklas Rosén (ld gtr) and Stellan Wahlström (drums).
Even though we made a couple of vinyl
7” s we were more of a live band and played the usual clubs around Stockholm along with the other
contemporary bands in the same style. But Highspeed V lasted even shorter than Crimson –
from April 1986 to December the same year. I got a proposal that I couldn’t say no to when Stefan Kéry
of the Stomachmouths offered me the job as bass player in his band. This was the beginning of a
hectic period in my life with many shows abroad and also some good recording sessions.
Stockholm 1988. L to R: P Maniette, A Cozzi Lepri, Jens
The Stomachmouths called it a day in 1989 but I was soon playing again with The Wylde Mammoths. At this point Peter had turned his focus to a more powerpop sound of the Mammoths and left the raw RnB behind. There was quite a lot of people among the fans who got upset about this. But the Mammoths didn’t last long either, Peter changed the name of the band to The Performers and I followed him into this but now I played the organ instead of the rhythm’n guitar I had done with the Mammoths.
The Performers had a solid powerpop repertoire, all songs written by Peter but we didn’t made any proper studio recordings. And after a while I didn’t found it so fun to play this kind of music so I quit and started a new garageband, The Cliffhangers. Cliffhangers only played covers which was fun for a while and we played many live sets around Stockholm. But covers are not that fun either…
Time for a new band again. Me. Henrik, Johan and two other guys – Bruno Tardat and Barry – started The Blindshag. For me this was like going back to my roots playing pure 60’s garage with the focus on my own songs. In this band I played the Farfisa and handled the lead singing and it was a load of fun. Along with some side projects of mine the band lasted for like 18 months before it was time to do something else which turned out to be more rock’n’roll but with a more modern twist.
I started the band The Freinds, whish spelt wrong on purpose but also a tribute to the Swedish 60’s and The Friends which I and most of my friends rank as the best group to come out from Sweden during that decade. Our Freinds was also influenced by Jon Spencer Blues Explosion in some ways and the band carried on for some years without me and instead lead by Måns P. Månsson.
In May 1995 I took a plane to Greece to check out my pen-pals Apostolos Stragalinos band friends The Cardinals and The Frantic V. This was a complete new experience to meet these young Greek guys who introduced me to the moody side of 60’s garage. Back home I wrote four moody songs immediately and recorded them under the band name ‘The Hymen of Tongues’. It was a pure studio thing and we made no live shows with that band.
During all this Måns had the idea to go back to the roots of Crimson Shadows and start a band in that same vein – The Maggots – and asked me if I wanted to play the bass. I said of course ‘yes’. Maggots quickly recorded a total of 10 songs that was released on five different two track 7” vinyl singles on five different labels. We also played a lot but I felt that it was to much for me at the time so I quit and Måns continued the band with other members.
Instead I wanted to start a band that was supposed to only do studio recordings. I choose the band name to be The Maharajas. As we all know it turned out to be the band that have stayed with me since the start of 1996 and we have made many albums and singles but also played many tours outside Sweden.
I really hope that we can do more tours outside Sweden for 2024.
Why I love garagerock? Because is the best fucking music ever invented hahaha! To be serious I love the variety of styles that you can find within the word ‘garagerock’. I especially like the raw, unpolished sound that are present in so many songs, especially if it’s slightly un-tuned and the fact that the songs are ca 2 minutes long. There’s also a great feeling of ‘we don’t give a fuck’ attitude in the vocals and instrumentation – most likely because they were so young. For me garagerock is the air I breathe and the water I drink.
Jens Lindberg 2023-11-16