The Merrymen came together in 1965 and had instantly a huge success when they won a pop competition that gave them the epithet; the Rolling Stones of Sweden. In second place came Friends and in third place Girlsboys. First price was to play with the Stones on their tour in Sweden. Bill Öhrström did the vocals, Perre Brickman played bass, Åke “Budda” Berg did the drums, Bo Hansson, Leif Sundberg and Birger “Biggen” Sivertsson all played guitar. The band had a rough rhythm & blues sound, by chance, it sounds quite similar to Rolling Stones. Bill was one of the few singers in Sweden at this time that could handle the English language becuase of his former studies overseas. Merrymen did not even exist a year but managed to release two singles on the label Karusell and one song on the Swedish magazine Bildjournalens flexi compilation. On their second and last release they were joined by Boz Scaggs who later became a member of the Steve Miller Band. When The Merrymen was history Bo Hansson bought an organ and played his first gigs with Bill Öhrström on drums before Jan Carlsson took his place. Hansson & Karlsson saw the light, and Bill produced their debut LP “Monument”. Bill was also asked to sing in a British band but turned them down, it was The Who. Below you can hear Merrymens first single and the track from the Bildjournalen compilation. “Walking Down Lonesome Road” is one of the Swedish 60s best songs, indisputable.
This is Swedish Beat & Psych
Discover the music that hit the people of Sweden in the 1960s. It was coming from the ground, just like the name of the Lee Kings’ song, and it could be raw, explosive and damn good. Other times naive, childish and inferior copies of the British beat. It seems that every kid in the 1960′s was standing and beating on the guitar in a garage. Pretending to be Beatles or Stones, with a few exceptions that found their inspiration elsewhere. The lucky ones made a record deal and got out on the road to perform in clubs and stages all over this elongated country. So came the Summer of love and the music turned wilder, beat became psychedelic. This site tries to cover some of the beat and psych era in Sweden between 1964 – 1972. Writing and collecting what is possible. Almost like the beat fans did in scrapbooks full of admiraton, love and affection. Do you have something to contribute? Don’t hesitate to contact me.
Swedish Beat & Psych
Adds for concerts with Fabulous Four, Friends, Shakers and We 4.
See full size