If you’re reading this you probably already know I was in a band called The Merrymakers in the 90’s. Our two albums which you can find on Spotify came out in 1995 and 1997. We had our greatest success in Japan and was fortunate to work with our hero Andy Sturmer of Jellyfish. The second half of the 90’s were our “heydays” when we were at least somewhat productive and succesful. By then we were a trio featuring me, Anders Hellgren, and Peter Arffman. But that story I’ve told many times – like in this interview or in many blog posts like this one.
But today I’m going to celebrate the “mark 1” line up of The Merrymakers from the formative years. Back in the days when we were still living in Piteå up in northern Sweden. By then we were a five-piece band with no more than four of us figthing about the spot behind the vocal microphone. Almost like a “super group”…
The reason for becoming nostalgic today is that it’s exactly twenty years ago that our first single (with a proper record deal) was released and heard on national radio P3. We were signed by Ola Håkansson (already legendary from bands like Ola & The Janglers and Secret Service) to his new label Stockholm Records. They later fired us partly since we were lacking a clear profile (very true by then!) and that they had found “a younger group”. How old we were..? Twenty-three! The other group…? The Cardigans!
Here’s a picture of the single cover from 1992 alongside the cover of my new solo album Soundshine. As you can see a lot has happened in 20 years!
Anyway, the song is called “Andrew’s Store” and below you can enjoy (or suffer!?) a few nostalgic video clips from that era. You will note I had more hair, more glasses, worse shirts, and a stronger Piteå accent (only notable for those who speak Swedish). I sing lead on this particular song (I won the fight that time probably because I came up with the melody for the chorus and bridge). No matter how painful and embarrasing it may be for ourselves (and our wives) to watch this I thought it was a good moment to share these clips. It might be fun at least for those who were around at the time. And maybe (but no guarantees, hey!) for those who discovered the song much later after our success in Japan where it was re-released again in 1998 o a compilation together with the rest of the singles and B-sides from the early years.
Enjoy and have a nice weekend!
Coverage by SVT (Swedish television) with clips from the studio and outdoors in Piteå (don’t miss the ending picture with the trumpet players behind Andrew’s Store):
Coverage by local TV (Piteå Kanalen) from the release party at local record store Hit It Records.
Playback in Z-TV (first TV performance ever):
Live (but playback) in Z-TV at Stockholm Records release party at Hamburger Börs: