Wednesday, May 17, 2006

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Went and saw a documentary about the Danish seventies rock band Gasolin
A very nice film dealing with the difficult task of portraying a band which today has legendary status in Denmark, especially if you were growing up in the seventies, like I did.
I never had the fortune to see the band play live, I was only twelve years old when they called it quits in 1978, but I had all of their records (on cassette...) and their magna opus "GAS 5" I almost wore out from frequent playing.

As the film contains a lot of interviews with the four band members as they are today, it avoids becoming too nostalgic, but one thing you notice is how much the world, and Denmark, has changed since the days when you could do things the Gasolin' way...

Gasolin' were huge back then, and not just in Denmark, also in Norway and Sweden, but basically they were a bunch of highly talented and freewheeling amateurs, only Franz Beckerlee, the lead guitarist, had previous experience with music (as an avantgarde jazz musician playing the saxophone)

Their shot at international fame, by going on tour in the US, flopped completely! but in scandinavia they hit a spot away from the Marxist doctrine folk-rock which dominated back then. Instead they had an seemingly endless ability for making catchy songs about fair women, off beat existences in the city (mainly from their own neighborhood Christianshavn, not far form the newly formed Christiania) and all of it mixed with a slightly melancholy everyday poetry (often courtesy of the external poet Mogens Mogensen), which in a sense was very close to the hearts of Danish people (situated right behind our wallets, and just above our stomachs...)

A world gone by in many ways, and sorely missed... It's unlikely Gasonlin's special brew of poetry, good time rockin', and freakyness would have the same impact on today's audiences, but who cares? - you don't hear me humming the songs of Oscar Striboldt or Olga Svendsen do you? (huge Danish vaudeville stars of the 1910's and 20's)

To each generation their own, but I think the days of unifying national icons like Gasolin' are over, time to join this weeks subculture, and get the right gear.

(ten minute guitar-solo, followed by fifteen minute drum-solo)

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Podcast video
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Not my people
Not my war

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