The Return of Henrik Berggren.

Okay, I have to admit that I have a soft spot for Henrik Berggren, former frontman of Swedish indie band Broder Daniel, who disappeared from radar after the band’s 2008 farewell concert in its native Gothenburg.

Henrik and fellow school comrade Daniel Gilbert formed Broder Daniel in 1989 and the band was joined by Håkan Hellström (who went to the same school as Henrik and Daniel, and would become an enormously popular artist in his own right) on drums and later by Johan Neckvall and Anders Göthberg (guitar; 9th October 1975-30th March 2008). Broder Daniel released its first album “Saturday Night Engine” as a Digipak CD in 1995. Gilbert left the band after the “Saturday Night Engine” tour and was replaced on bass by Teodor Jensen (who would go on to form the band The Plan). Hellström left the band in 1994 to join Honey Is Cool.

Broder Daniel‘s tours were infamous for alcohol and drug use and for unreliability that made concert-bookers wary of booking the band. In particular Henrik Berggren misused a variety of drugs together with alcohol and often performed ‘under the influence’.

Håkan Hellström rejoined the band in 1998, now playing bass, and Broder Daniel‘s third album “Broder Daniel Forever” was released on 22nd April 1998.

Broder Daniel toured the album over the summer of 1998 and were scheduled to play Hultsfred’s Festival in June 1998. I was one of the festival doctors and the medical team received a phone call at about 10 a.m. on Friday 12th June from an hotel in Vimmerby, about 30 kms from Hultsfred, to say that a member of a band that was due to play at 15.15 h that afternoon was unwell and could we send a doctor. “No.” We couldn’t send a doctor as the medical crew was based in the festival area. However, Vimmerby had a general practice near the hotel, and, it being Friday, it was open and we suggested that the band member went there.

At about 1 p.m. the band arrived at Hultsfred’s Pampas stage and I was called to examine the singer (Henrik Berggren) who was not at all well. We learned that he had consumed a fair amount of alcohol and various uppers and downers and felt he couldn’t perform. I had two hours to get him shipshape for the show. He was mainly complaining of stomach pains so I gave him a Zantac tablet dissolved in water and suggested he rest until it was time to go on stage. I checked in on him every half hour or so and he seemed to brighten up. By 3 p.m. he was up and about and could do the hour-long show!

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The cover of “Broder Daniel Forever“. Unfortunately I never photographed my signed copy.

I had brought a copy of the limited edition “Broder Daniel Forever” LP with me and after the band had done their thing I asked them all to sign it. Håkan Hellström refused to believe it was my album and said he thought it must be my daughter’s! Actually, my daughters had bought it for me for my birthday a couple of months earlier.

Fast forward to July 1999 and a new festival in Stockholm called Stockholm Open. Broder Daniel were again scheduled to appear. I was in charge of the medical crew for this festival and had managed to recruit many of the members of the previous year’s Hultsfred crew to help out. While I was out patrolling the festival area Henrik Berggren came to the Medical tent and asked Kajsa, one of the nurses, if “his doctor” was at the festival. Kajsa knew he meant me and reported that he had been asking for me. But this time he was only looking for reassurance and didn’t need any medical attention. As the Festival ended early on Sunday morning, I waited outside the medical tent for my daughters, who had been at the festival with me, and their classmate Tobbe who would be coming with us back to town. We were talking about Henrik and I said that I really felt fatherly towards him (“jag får faderskänslor”. Tobbe, who was gay, immediately replied “Jag får sambokänslor” (I feel he could be my partner).

I met up with Henrik at a couple more festivals in the ensuing years and we went to after festival parties  and chatted. He always struck me as a gentle soul with quite a wide education.

However, after Broder Daniel‘s farewell concert in Gothenburg in 2008, just months after the band’s guitarist Anders Göthberg had died, Broder Daniel disbanded and Henrik disappeared. Apparently, he developed chronic tiredness syndrome and has lived as a recluse. But then in March 2017 posters appeared all over Stockholm announcing a new solo album by Henrik due for release on May 5th!

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The poster for Henrik Berggren’s new album “Wolf’s Heart” and summer tour.

The album, “Wolf’s Heart” will be released on CD and LP. There will be a standard black vinyl LP and at least five limited editions of 300 copies each on coloured vinyl; pale blue, pink, red, violet and yellow. Thus there are at least six variations of “Wolf’s Heart” on vinyl. The five coloured vinyl versions amount to 1500 copies. I’m not sure how limited the black vinyl version will be but Henrik is obviously counting on selling at least 2000 copies. He will probably succeed, knowing the growing cult following his old band

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Henrik Berggren’s “Wolf’s Heart” album on black, violet, red and yellow vinyl.

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I have an unwritten rule that I will not start collecting any new artists’ records, but rules are made to be broken,and I have ordered copies of all the variations of “Wolf’s Heart” on vinyl!

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More Sources of Warhol’s Record Cover Illustrations and Daniel Blau’s Book of Warhol’s 1950s Drawings.

Artipelag is an art gallery on Sweden’s Baltic coast about a 30-minute drive eastwards from Stockholm. It was founded by Björn Jacobsson, the man behind the Baby Björn range of infant products. Jacobsson had a vision for a gallery located on a rocky outcrop overlooking the sea and found an architect willing to design it. There have been many inspiring exhibitions there since it opened in 2012. One of the more recent exhibitions was “The Legacy of Andy Warhol” which ran from 15th April until 25th September 2016. This exhibition was curated by Artipelag’s artistic director Bo Nilsson, himself an avid Warhol fan and, as far as I have been able to ascertain, the first to write about Warhol’s record cover art in the catalogue to Sweden’s Nationalmuseum’s 1981-1982 exhibition of record covers.

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The subway poster for Artipelag’s exhibition “The Legacy of Andy Warhol”.

The first thing that met visitors to the exhibition was a mountain of Brillo boxes, like the ones on the poster, specially made for the show.
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One large, silver foil-clad exhibition space was devoted to films including Roland Nameth‘s 1966 film “The Exploding Plastic Inevitable” featuring the Velvet Underground, apparently the first time the film has been shown with its original soundtrack, and Warhol‘s “Empire State Building“.

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There was a small room with walls lined with a selection of reproductions of Warhol’s record covers–though mainly from the 70’s onwards, although the “Velvet Underground & Nico” cover was there, too, and surprisingly one of Warhol’s drawings for a projected Billie Holiday EP was included. I thought it a pity that there were no actual record covers, only prints.
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A real surprise waited just through the sliding doors into the next space. The walls were lined with a large selection of Daniel Blau‘s collection of Warhol‘s drawings from the 1950s. I suppose there were about thirty drawings, but the two that I immediately reacted to were obviously related to Warhol‘s record cover art.

The drawing of the apple made me think of the “William Tell Overture” cover and the reclining woman was obviously a study for Kenny Burrell‘s “Blue Lights” album cover.

There was also a photo booth at the exhibition–a real Warholian touch! Visitors could photograph themselves free. And out came a card with four Warhol-style photos!
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I visited the exhibition twice and photographed myself both times. but I lost the second photo in the restaurant. Clumsy!

I put the exhibition out of my mind until I read Guy Minnebach‘s wonderful “Andy Earhole-Another Blog about Andy Warhol’s Cover art” and a post about the “Night Beat” box set, which Guy illustrated with a picture of a man talking on the telephone from Daniel Blau‘s 2012 book “From Silverpoint to Silver Screen–Andy Warhol, 1950s Drawings“. I immediately ordered a copy and consider it one of the best books on Warhol‘s art in my book collection. Not only are the pictures superb, but the essay “Environments, Situations, Spaces” by James Hofmaier is a wonderful introduction to Andy Warhol‘s world.

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Daniel Blau’s “From SIlverpoint to Silver Screen–Andy Warhol, 1950s Drawings”.

There were more drawings in Blau’s book that resembled Warhol’s cover illustrations. The only one I couldn’t find in the book was the apple drawing I saw at Artipelag. Here are a selection with the respective cover.
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Note that the original drawings for the “Blue Lights” cover and the hands on the Jan August cover are mirror images of the original photos. This is because they are blots of Warhol‘s original tracing. The drawing of the piano playing hands from the Jan August album was used for the unreleased “Progressive Piano” LP and EP.

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Cover lithograph of the unreleased “Progressive Piano” 10″ LP with Warhol’s drawing of hands playing the piano copied from the Jan August LP cover.

The drawing I have placed beside the Horowitz album is not the one used on the record sleeve, but just shows how Warhol drew many pictures of hands playing the piano. Perhaps this drawing was intended for the “Progressive Piano” cover too, but was never used.

I really must thank Guy Minnebach for telling me about Blau‘s magnificent book “From Silverpoint to Silver Screen–Andy Warhol, 1950s Drawings“, I will spend many happy hours enjoying the superb drawings. It obviously is the catalogue of an exhibition of Warhol‘s 1950’s drawings–an exhibition I would love to have seen. But seeing many of the original drawings at Artipelag feels like I did get a little peek.

More Kate Moss on Record Covers.

I really felt as though I had exhausted the subject of record covers showing Kate Moss‘ portrait in my previous post. No sooner had the proverbial ink dried than two more covers appeared. The first is a 7-inch single-sided EP by American punk/hardcore/grunge band Vomit, entitled “Kate Moss” on the Give Praise record label.

Now, a search of Discogs will reveal more than ten bands that have used the name Vomit. The Vomit in question seem to only have released this one “Kate Moss” EP.

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The gatefold cover of Vomit’s 7″ single-sided EP “Kate Moss” with at least thirteen portraits of Kate.

Then I was reading about the two CD and one DVD set of Bryan Ferry‘s 2010 “Olympia” album. I already have the limited edition Vinyl Factory LP version of this, that includes the cover portrait of Kate Moss but without the text–obviously intended to be framed and hung on a teenager’s wall. I hadn’t considered the box set as I felt it probably wouldn’t add anything to the LP version. Well, I was wrong. The 40-page book that houses the discs contains many more photos from Adam Whitehead‘s sessions for the album. The DVD has an interview with Bryan Ferry on the making of the “Olympia” album and the “You Can Dance” video as well as a video of behind the scenes activity in the making of the “You Can Dance” video.

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The box set of Bryan Ferry’s “Olympia” album contains a 40-page book and 2 CDs and a DVD.

The pictures are stunning. Here are a selection:

The CDs and the DVD included in set come in card covers, two of which have different cover photos from the LP and deluxe box.
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CD1 has the album cover photo, while CD2 and the DVD cover have different photos. You will have to examine the covers of the CDs to spot the very subtle difference (hint look at Kate’s right hand).

And just when the thrill of finding the box set sort of settled, I came across an Ebay ad by my least favourite seller Majestic Music & Art. I consider this seller to be quite ruthless in his (I presume it is a “he”) price-setting. Many years ago, I bought a couple of albums from Majestic Music & Art that were poorly packaged and arrived damaged. They would not discuss a return or a refund and I promised myself never to buy from them again. But in mid-March 2017 they posted this ad for a copy of the Luke Fair remix of Primal Scream‘s (and Kate Moss‘) “Some Velvet Morning” (the old Lee Hazlewood classic). This single normally comes in a plain black generic cover, but Majestic Music & Art advertised a copy with Kate Garner‘s famous 1992 portraits of an 18-year-old Kate Moss affixed to front and back covers.

Despite my promise to myself never to buy from Majestic Music & Art, I did buy the 12″ single to add to my collection. I knew of Kate Garner‘s Kate Moss portraits from an exhibition of Russell Young‘s recent screen prints at London’s Halcyon Gallery. Russell Young’s portraits are really wonderful–some are as big as 200 x 200 cm and covered in diamond dust, so they really sparkle!

Kate Moss‘ name crops up in music as a songwriter and artist–several tracks by other artists/bands are entitled “Kate Moss“. Examples include Arab Strap‘s 1996 album “The Week Never Starts Around Here” that contains a track entitled “Kate Moss“, but there is no picture of her on the record cover. German rocker Maximilian Hecker‘s 2003 CD “Rose” also has a song called “Kate Moss” as its first track. Again, there is no portrait of her on the cover. I don’t suppose these will be the only songs called with this iconic title.