We were sad last week to learn of the death of Swedish keyboardist and composer Bo Hansson, well-known in the prog community for several classic albums he released in the 70s.
by Jon Davis, Published 2010-05-01
He spent his early life in a remote village in the pine forests of northern Sweden, but a change in his parents' fortunes forced a move to Stockholm and they were forced to leave the young Hansson behind, in the care of family friends. As a teenager he joined his parents in Stockholm, where he soon became interested in the burgeoning rock and roll scene and taught himself to play the guitar, before joining the band, Rock-Olga.
After the rock and roll craze gave way to jazz and blues in the late fifties, he joined 'Slim' Notini's Blues Gang as a guitarist. Notini had a reputation of nurturing young talent, in the same way that John Mayall was doing in Britain, and from there Hansson was able to move on and form his own blues group The Merrymen, who supported The Rolling Stones on an early Scandinavian tour.
In 1966, Hansson saw American jazz organist Jack McDuff perform at Stockholm's Gyllene Cirkeln Club, and was so captivated by the performance that he decided to leave The Merrymen to expand his musical horizons. Encouraged by fellow Merryman Bill Öhrström, he eventually acquired his own Hammond organ. Öhrström became an A&R man and producer at Polydor Sweden, and introduced Hansson to other musicians, one of whom was drummer Janne Karlsson. Hansson and Karlsson immediately hit it off and were signed by Polydor, playing up-tempo Hammond organ based music and releasing three albums between 1967 and 1969. They became immensely popular in their home country and Europe, and even reached the ear of Jimi Hendrix, who took time out from his tour to jam with the duo, along with George Clemons on drums and Georg Wadenius on guitar, at the Klub Filips in Stockholm in late 1967. Hendrix went on to record a Hansson song, "Tax Free".
Filed under: Obituaries
Related artist(s): Bo Hansson
Wolfgang Dauner RIP – Pianist Wolfgang Dauner, one of the pioneers of both European free jazz and jazz rock, has died at the age of 84. With his own groups and with the United Jazz+Rock Ensemble, his playing and compositions were a prominent presence in European jazz from the mid-60s until just recently. » Read more
Michael Allison RIP – Michael Allison, who since 1997 has been recording as Darshan Ambient, passed away on January 9th after a long and brave battle with cancer. He has been at at the forefront of the new ambient/electronic music scene, with over eighteen releases to his credit. » Read more
Neil Peart RIP – One of rock music's defining drummers has died at the age of 67. Neil Peart's work with Rush provided one of the templates for percussion in rock, and he certainly ranks in the top ten most influential drummers of the 20th Century. Peart retired from playing in 2015 due to health issues, and succumbed to brain cancer on January 7, 2020. » Read more
Joel Vandroogenbroeck RIP – Word has reached us of the death of Joel Vandroogenbroeck, best known as one of the founders of Brainticket, He also recorded electronic music under a variety of names. He was born August 25th, 1938 in Brussels, Belgium and died December 23, 2019 in Arlesheim, Switzerland, aged 81. » Read more