Goofin Records 2012
ROCK AND ROLL ALL NIGHT LONG - A ROCKABILLY TRIBUTE TO HURRIGANES
FINLAND, THE LAND OF A THOUSAND LAKES
Exaggerating slightly, one could say that the same number of Hurriganes
cover bands can be found in this sparsely populated country and a few
more in our neighboring Sweden. To this day, in pubs, clubs and other
concert venues, Hurriganes classics get the dance shoes going wild.
Hurriganes’s position as a trailblazer cannot be overemphasized. The
band proved that, also from our own country, a rock ‘n’ roll band could
come along and sound just as good as their world-wide counterparts and
with a great style to boot.
I decided to use national boldness and put together a tribute album to
this legendary group. My idea was to gather together, from the
rockabilly, original rock ‘n’ roll and teddy boy scenes, bands and
performers for many of whom Hurriganes has marked the starting point to
the world of real rock ‘n’ roll.
In Finland, in the early 1970s there were few restaurants, alcohol was
expensive and in the leftist art world, it was generally held that the
United States was the world’s threat and the Soviet Union, the bringer
of peace. Also in the world of music, there were few exceptions to the
rule of progressive and art rock performers, for whom the idea of
rocking out was to stare at their “nailed-to-the-floor” shoes and
demonstrate, with wrinkled brow, their virtuoso playing skills and long
solo sections. But somewhere smoldered a rebellious seed and time began
to be ripe for a new wave of rock ‘n’ roll, the rock ‘n’ roll revival.
In 1971, Remu Aaltonen formed Hurriganes, along with Ile Kallio and
Cisse Häkkinen. The group worked hard and its popularity began, slowly
but surely, to increase. Hurriganes’s sound was, from the start,
completely modern, although the band also played 1950s and 60s rock ‘n’
roll, instrumental rock and ballads.
Cisse Häkkinen’s bass playing and Remu Aaltonen’s drumming formed the
spine of Hurriganes’s sound. The duo’s playing wasn’t necessarily
virtuoso but neither did it sound academic. One could say that it was a
taste of life. In Remu’s head, the exclamations and phrases of “rock
English” were created, forming a truly original singing style. British
musician, Nick Lowe, called Remu’s singing style the Esperanto of rock
music. Ile Kallio, Albert Järvinen and Janne Louhivuori took care of the
guitarists’ job, each in turn and occasionally even together. Each one
of these guitarists had his own strengths and each of their styles
contributed to the band’s overall sound.
Hurriganes broke audience records in both Finland and Sweden and in 1977
the group was at the top in its home land, without a single noteworthy
challenger. But in the metropolitan area, a 1950s trend had started and
it spread, little by little, throughout Finland, creating an
unprecedented rockabilly boom. During 1978, Hurriganes’s number one
position among the youth of Finland, switched to Teddy & The Tigers.
From 1977 – 1981 Finland gave birth to more and more new ‘50s rock ‘n’
roll and rockabilly bands, which strove for the old original American
sound or switched to playing British teddy boy rock ‘n’ roll. The
estimate, that during these so called “crazy years”, there were, in
Finland, over 200 groups which described their style as rockabilly, is
probably pretty close to the truth. During 1982, this trend also began
to fade but, during these years, a firm base for Finnish rock ‘n’ roll
culture was built and it is still going strong today.
Hurriganes played their last show in 1984. In 1988, they did a short
comeback tour that had its moments, although it wasn’t very successful.
Remu Aaltonen has, to this day, had bands that use the name Hurriganes.
That’s all, except to say, happy rock ‘n’ roll.