TAGES HISTORY      translation from  Stora Popboken
 

        November 21st, 1964, Swedish youngsters have all placed themselves in front of the radios to listen to the weekly ”Top TenE Between all English and American pop songs they could suddenly hear a ”SwenglishEvoice, repeating the lyrics ”Sleep Little GirlEto a mediocre accompaniment. If this sounded corny and square, it was nothing compared to the bands' name -”TagesE
This was one of the first times, a Swedish pop band really succeeded inbeating their foreign colleagues. From this point on,  two things happened to Swedish pop. First, the era of teenage hysteria , and second, all other musicians had something new to hate. They thought that the musical quality of the band stood in a stoneage state, and that the Tages only popular just because they were so cute. Tommy 17,  Danne 17, Göran 17,  Anders 17, and Freddie 19,never realized what they had done.
        In October 1968, Tages released their 17th single under the name of  the Tages.(excluding the
Platina-records released during the Parlophone-time)
For a few years they have been the critics favourites, but the Swedish pop wave is about to fade and ”I Read You Like An Open BookEwould be the last record under the name theTages.

          In two years, Tages went from being absolute beginners to beeing the leading name on the Swedish pop music scene. They could be fully compared to the British or American bands of the time. When the Tages quit, the oldest member had just reached 21. An age when most musicians don't even had a record contract yet! And it still feels fantastic that a group who won the local pop music contest, ”The Beatles of the West coastEjust by being cute and having long hair (that is what all ”expertsEsaid who visited the contest) and made their debut with ”Sleep Litte GirlE a couple of months later, had developed into something so big that can not be described within this limited space.Tages developed very rapidly because of the media's negative comments of their ”cutenessEso they began to practice very hard, and they did put a lot of time into composing new songs. The Tages were also very lucky to meet the
professional producer Anders ”HenkanEHenriksson.  They also realized that Göran Lagerberg was a very good singer as well as composer.
No one would know all of this as they took their first staggering steps as ”Alberts SkifflegroupE In spite of their name, they were trying to find an even more stupid name, and they began to try to find it among the members second names. Danne Larssons´ second name was Tage, and so was Tages Skifflegroup born.

         Accoustic music was on it´s way out, so Tages Skifflegroup turned electric, and the name was simply to the Tages. Göran Lagerberg now played the bass, and after a lot of searching they found Freddie Skantze who was a few years older, but as he was such a good drummer, nobody minded about his age. It wasn't just the Beatles´ breakthrough that influenced the Tages´ music.
In 1963, Göteborg was visited by ”The American Folk Song FestivalE where not so well known names like Howlin´ Wolf and Lightnin´ Hopkins appeared.  This impressed the Tages a lot, and they immediately began to look for blues records with the  original artists. This meant that the Tages had the most advanced  repertoire compared to other Swedish bands. With every single that was put out, the
Tages went one good step ahead.


       Chuck Berry said about ”The One For YouE”The best record I´ve heard in Sweden. These Gothenburgers are definately the best band in Sweden. They have feeling, musicality and humour. If these guys would come to England, they would be an instant success. They would be placed right under the Beatles and the Stones. Welcome!E
Tages realized early on that the look of a pop band was very important. In the beginning of 1966 they cut their hair and changed their style. They had suede clothing and colourful shirts made. (There are wonderful pictures to be found in old Swedish pop magazines of the ”newETages)
       In early 1966, Sweden was beginning felt too small, and in March a British tour was set.
When the Tages set our for the tour they expected all to be settled, but were shocked when they realized that this was not the case. They had to stay aboard the boat, and then had to go back home again.
But the Tages didn´t give up, and kept on working to getting better and better. Their first album, ”TagesEwhich was released in late -65,  was a good start,  but there were almost only cover tracks on this first album. The second album wasn´t released until summer 1966. Then the Tages recorded another three albums during a period of 18 months. Surely a great exploit They also made a recording for the fanclub members, live at ”SkansenE( an open air arena in Stockolm) which was released in only 2 (two) copies.
One of the Tages most rockin' songs, ”The man you´ll be looking forEonly was found as a supplement in the Swedish music magazine ”BildjournalenEnbsp; But it was released in Norway as an ordinary single (B-side: ”Leaving HereE HMV AL-6137)
        Some of the tracks on the ”StudioEalbum were recorded at Abbey Road Studios in London and Tages included a couple of folk musicians on a few songs. Tages were pioneers in Sweden, mixing pop- and folk music. And even better, the album included some psychedelic  masterpieces like E”She´s A ManEand ESeeing With LoveEThe popularity of  the Tages continued during 1966 and 1967, and they kept on experimenting at all levels. During the summer tour in 1967, the Tages used a psychedelic lightshow, and the stage and props were all in black and the bands´ clothes were all white. This gave an amazing effect, and during the light summer nights, the colours were reversed so the band members appeared in black clothes.
         Tages were proud of being the leading band in Sweden at the time, and Tommy Blom said in an interview in Bildjournalen, 1967, EThere is nothing worse than ”dancebandsE singing about love and faith in a cute accent.....I prefer to make less money singing real pop musicE
The fading popularity of the Swedish pop groups in the late 1967, made it so that not even the Tages could keep up the high popularity, but they kept on recording great singles in 1968 with masterpieces like ”Fantasy IslandEand tried once more to make it in England (Tages had made a minor tour in the British countryside).

dannegorananders

LasseTommy

       The Tages had got the song ”Halcyon DaysEfrom the British group The Herd but when it came time to go into the studio to make the recording, the British producer preffered Göran Lagerbergs´ voice, instead of Tommy Bloms´. This, combined with other circumstances made  Tommy Blom leave the band. There were rumors circulating in media that he was to to be replaced by,  either Björn Skifs of the Slamcreepers or Mikael Rickfors from Bamboo but the Tages went on as a quartet.  Tommy Blom made a few singles  in Swedish. The Tages appeared on Tony Blackburns´ radio show and tried once again to make it  with the song, ”Halcyon DaysE, but this time there wasn't any success in the efforts in trying to capture a new market.
        Tages tried once again to conquer the world, now with the new name ”BlondE but in 1970 there was a definite ”farewellEfor Tages.
All the members of Tages can surely be proud of what they did during these three years. From EDon´t Turn Your BackEthrough ”I´ll Read You Like An Open BookEthere were three magic years when they made more classic hits than any other Swedish band.
 

translated by Jann T
she's having a baby on you tube

BLOND

Göran Lagerberg (vocals/bass), Anders Töpel (guitar/vocals), Danne Larsson (now Bexér)(guitar/vocals), Lasse Svensson (drummer), Anders Nordh (guitar), Mats Landahl (electric organ/vocals), Björn Linder (guitar).

In the fall of 1968 Tommy Blom had left the group Tages and England.  The investment in his latest single, “Halcyon Days,Ehad failed, largely because the record company was on the brink of financial ruin.  Tages did not give up, however.  In the spring of 1969 they made a final attempt.  The group received a substantial advance of $50,000 from Philips and began to record the album “Lilac YearsEin England.  By the time the record was ready for distribution, Tages had changed their name to the much more international name “Blond.E

Unfortunately, the Swedish version was released with a dreadful-looking album cover, and when the record was distributed in the U.S.A. some months later, they had replaced it with a much more presentable and appealing photo of the group.  In the new photo appeared also the new members, Anders Nordh and Björn Linder.  However, during the time before distribution of the record, both Anders Töpel and Danne Larsson had left the group.

In the U.S.A. the record company made a last, desperate attempt to promote Blond, with the help of a full-page ad in Billboard magazine.  In the ad you could read, among other things, about the new pop group “from the people who gave us free love, meatballs, and Bergman filmsEand how “Sweden is no longer neutral; now there’s Blond!Enbsp; At Philips, however, Blond found that the record was not well promoted, and in the summer of 1970 the group finally disbanded.  Six months earlier Göran Lagerberg had written and produced “The Ballad of the Boy,Eparts 1 & 2E(Philips 6062 006/CBS 4541), which was released by Örjan (Ramberg), with Lagerberg, Björn Linder, and Lasse Svensson as backup.

The trio of Lagerberg, Linder, and Svensson spent their studio time working hard and helped out, among others, the group Pillow on their recording of “Oh, Carol.Enbsp; There was also a nice recording made in June of 1970, when the group Sommarfilosoferna (Summer Philosophers) did a Swedish version of “In the SummertimeEthat was called “På en SommardagE(On a Summer Day) (Mercury 6062 009).  Göran Lagerberg, Lasse Sevensson, Björn Töpel, och Björn Linder worked on that recording.

After Blond split up in the summer of 1970, Linder joined Svenne & Lotta as guitarist.  He continued as a studio musician and also worked with several bands.  Among the more interesting of these was the fairly unknown supergroup Marsfolket (which had the record “Schyssta rattarE, whose members were Björn Skits, Claes av Geijerstam, Janne Schaffer, Bo Haggström, and Ola Brunkert.  Not a bad lineup; right?

Göran Lagerberg became a studio musician and a member in groups like Kebnekaise and Egba.  In 1990 he made a comeback as a member of Grymlings.

translated by H.Mcneill


 

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