Galerie Helena

Gallerie Helena Strandvägen 17 Stockholm Mars 2012


By 1980 Andy McCoy had already written “Tragedy” and “Kill City Kills”. To my mind nobody in Stockholm at the time was doing anything that even approximated the real deal, with the exception of Warheads, The Pain and a few others. Then Hanoi Rocks came along. I knew I’d found the right band when Juhani Grönberg gave me their debut single “I Want You”. I vividly remember Juhani kept saying, “You gotta hear this record!”

When I returned to Sweden the next summer, in 1981, I was lucky enough to catch their show live in Stockholm at the old Underground Club on Sergel’s Plaza. Hanoi Rocks played support to Britain’s Au-Pairs. The musicians on stage were four guys from Helsinki and a Swedish drummer named Gyp Casino – mean, moody and magnificent. They had a beautiful singer who was totally androgynous and back then he was very clever about the way he dressed. Mike knew exactly what he was doing and he was really brilliant that night. On the left side of the stage lead guitarist Andy McCoy, walks to the microphone. His eyes are covered by sunglasses; a bandana around his head. “I just wanna ask one question” he says, “Do you dig us or don’t you? A boring audience gets a boring band!” Now the noise and excitement of a rock and roll concert is apparent. Andy McCoy was already a very flashy guitar player and full of himself in those days. But he was of an independent mind. That’s where Andy’s best work came from. The first time Andy (and Nasty Suicide) played me the rough mix of “Back to Mystery City” it totally knocked me out. Andy’s tunes fitted perfectly with my concept of Rock `n Roll and his great songs were easily accessible.

Swedish-born photographer Oskar Ohlson, who made a name for himself with his sense of rough style and photographic skills, took the portraits of Andy McCoy for the latter’s second solo effort “Building on Tradition”. Oskar Ohlson peeps behind the Park Studios mixing desks for an unrivalled insight into the art of the musician Andy McCoy. Oskar Ohlson gives you the visual accounts behind the creation of such modern masterpieces as Strung Out”, “I’m Gonna Roll You and Unconditional Love”. The record (no. 1 in Finland) was released in the summer of 1995 and was one of the most astonishing sounding albums Andy McCoy ever recorded. A true gem!

Tom Kristensen – Oslo 2012