The History: Long version

Hello! My name is Claus but I’m called TømrerClaus. I was born in 1945. I got my new name in Thylejren in 1970, because there were many named Claus and because I'm a skilled carpenter. (TømrerClaus = CarpenterClaus)

This is my certificate.
( April 14, 1967 I got it)
The apprenticeship lasted 3 years and 8 months. The starting salary was 37 kr. per week and the final salary 42 kr.

My tools anno 1963!
(Cannot believe I still have this..)

 

"I had an old 350 ccm AJS, which I had bought as a wreck and repaired enough to get it running".

It was a bit hard to see my friends, who worked at Homa factory, drive around on new Triumph motorcycles, while I had an old 350 ccm AJS, which I had bought as wreck and repaired to running status.
Later in the apprenticeship it became better. I traded and repaired for others in my spare time and ended up having a nearly as new 500 cc twin cylinder Matchless 1954.

Growing up in the fifties.

My mother was very musical. She was a pianist and organist.
Two people have meant a lot to my way into the music.

1) When I was about 12 years old, my mother took me to a concert at the “Odd Fellow Palace”. It was Mozart's “Requiem”. It made great impression on me. Weeks and months after the concert the music was in my head.

2) My class teacher Mr. Harring. He was everything you could wish for in a teacher. (Picture left)

He was quiet and calm, very entertaining, good at teaching and he had a past as a professional clarinetist in swing music.
Ocasionally, he told stories from the musicians life and gave small samples of music. I think that all of us in the class loved and admired him.

It did not take long before I started playing clarinet, another guy played piano and a third trombone. We talked swing music big time: JJ Johnson, Benny Goodman, Gene Krupa, etc.

But swing music, was post-war music, it was was slow being replaced by the fifties music with names like Tommy Steele, Doris Day, Sam Cooke, Jørn Ingemann, The Ventures and others.
Whether it was because my mother could not bear to listen to me practicing clarinet or whether it was something else, I don't know - but under the Christmas tree lay a green painted plywood guitar with a note that I could start guitar lessons with the neighbor's big boy Gunner as teacher.
So I did and soon I was able to play Tom Dooly - and the clarinet was after a while rarely taken out.

After some years we moved from Sorgenfri to Jutland. The coming years in Jutland were hard to get through for a teenager, who was used to have a lot of friends and good relationships to teachers and school. All that disappeared in incompetent teachers and a mocking culture that dominated at the school in Jutland.
My grades were catastrophically bad. As an example I got tg + in English. Not because my English was bad, but because I, once, wrote an English exercise with a green ball pen.

When I finally reached the end, I was so tired of school that any idea of more school was excluded. On the other hand, I had no idea what else to do. My father, who at that time had a carpenter building him a new storehouse for his Supermarket, made an agreement with the carpenter, that I could start working for him. Since I did not have any better ideas, I agreed.

My clarinet was tucked away, but I played some guitar and an old harmonium, which I had bought and repaired. At one time I bought a used homemade electric Höfner (german) guitar. It was made from oak and was very heavy. I had a Dynacord Eminent amplifier and it worked. After practicing a little, I could just manage to play a little bit of single guitar in G-Major.

Rumors were spread, and one day I was asked, if I would like to play with a band called “The Dodgers”. Of course! But it did not last long. They found out, that I wasn’t exactly good at the guitar, so they stopped phoning me.

One summer passed by and I certainly had not lost courage. I became a lot better at the guitar - the rumors were once again spread, as you know, and I was invited into the band again. And now it worked. I could play what should be played. It wasn't much, but it was enough.

The new progressive music...

After playing a few years in “The Dodgers”, new trends appeared in music: Cream and Jimi Hendrix played the brand new and progressive beat music.

I had discovered, that if you turned "gain", the input level, all the way up at my amplifier, and the output level equivalent down, a distortion of the guitar sound appeared - more or less sounding like Cream and Hendrix.

Jimi Hendrix and Cream was the brand new progressive beat music

Jimi Hendrix og Cream var det helt nye progressive beatmusik

Sidestory:
My wedding on DRtvD.


I had stopped playing with “The Dodgers” and had met a girl and we were getting married. My sister thought it was very exciting and romantic. She was almost “floating on a pink cloud”, when she saw an ad in which “Denmarks Radio” (DRtv) searched for couples, who would like to have their wedding shown on TV. She wrote them and suggested me and my future wife. The deal was that DRtv had permission to film all, both on, before and after, and that DRTtv paid the entire bill. The bridal couple decided the entertainment at the wedding. Great! They ended up shooting our wedding.

Months before, I had been out listening to music in Aarhus, more specifically, at “Vestergade 58”. It was a band called “Defenders”. “Defenders” were known for their excellent rendering of the early rock music including “Mashed Potatoes” and that kind of popular music. But “Defenders” had been changed! Lead singer Flemming Sørensen wasn’t there anymore - bassist Rudolph Hansen was now playing the guitar, his brother Flup on bass and a guy named Niels on drums. This band played undeniably fantastic, and now they played cover versions of Jimi Hendrix with Rudolph singing and playing electrical spade. Great!
Hendrix released “Are you experienced” including “Manic Depression” and right after you could hear a very competent cover version of the track from a Danish band! Of course they should provide the entertainment at our wedding. Of course, they should.

DRTV started by sending their producer Poul Due (due=dove) to check the location. He booked a room at the city's most expensive hotel and visited my parents a little drunk. He acted as Mr. Right and was very charming - my mother thought that he was more charming than film hero Poul Richardt and actually, there was some similarity. The dove was talking loud and long, occasionally he breaked out singing, and was in general totally dominant. But he found the conditions satisfactory, and it was agreed that the wedding was to be held at the inn called “Sjette Frederiks Kro” in Risskov near Aarhus. "But what about the entertainment?" I asked. "Oh shure what do you have in mind?" he asked. "I think that “Defenders” should provide the entertainment" I answered, of course. The dove wrote it on a note and took a taxi back to the hotel. The wedding was approaching and I was looking forward to it, and to celebrate a wedding with the new kind of music.

A week before it had to take place, The dove called and asked if everything was okay.” Did you get “Defenders” I asked. "Oh no," said the dove, "They were busy that day". "Well" I said, rather surprised. He might as well have said that before, then we might just have moved the wedding, I thought. “But do not be sad, because we've got (opera singer) Freddy Albeck and (old actor) Olaf Ussing to come instead" the dove said, completely smooth. And that was that. I was so staggered that I had no idea what to do, so I did nothing. The wedding was imminent.


The dove had been told that the groom played guitar. "Ach! - wonderfull, what does he play? " I gave a small sample and said that I, among others, played with “The Dodgers”.

"But this amplifier (he pointed to my Dynacord Eminent) -
must it sound like this?" He asked. I answered that this was the way the new bands played.

"Try to take it away" he said, and I did. "Ah, well" he said “I know exactly the ones you have to play with".

"I think that “Defenders” should provide the entertainment" I answered, of course. Mr. Due wrote it on a note and took a taxi back to the hotel.”

Before I knew what was happening, the dove had arranged three members from “Kærne-orkesteret” (corny harmoni band) to play with me. A piece of music I had never played before or since.

Everything was sent on TV as
my music and my choices. So many lies and a perverse indifference towards those who got married. It was much too much for me. I began to think that something was wrong with me, since everyone just applauded the dove and thought he was vunderbar. If I had any illusions about DR and DRtv before, I certainly didn’t have any left.
Well, that was an extra story, but I think that you should hear it. It's not often that you get to know other than what the media think they will bring.

Long hait and youth rebellion in the 60'ties.

Where were we? Yes we approach the youth rebellion.
A sign of this was that there had been some sort of pre-and-against mood, at least in Aarhus, regarding the youth rebellion, the long hair and jeans. I remember that I was threatened with beatings in a bus because I had a red patch on the blue jeans. At that time I had worked 3-year as an apprentice and was quite fit for fight , so nothing came out of it.
I formed the band “Fire” and we were playing Hendrix covers. My marriage was limping, a child was born, we lost a beat competition in the "Boom" on Frederiks Street and my newly purchased Fender Stratocaster guitar was stolen at the same time. It was not easy being Claus and - then I had to join The Civil Defense in Herning. It was a compromise between doing alternative non-military service or being a soldier with a gun. (“gøp” in danish)

My CD career started with a haircut. It was expected and so be it. The week after at a critical examination of our living room, came the Senior Warden and stood up in front of me. He looked at me and said loud into my face, "88, you are long-haired", showing with a finger what he meant. "You need a haircut" - "Yes" I said, "I just cut my hair ". The Senior Warden said "Do you refuse?" (At the intro course we had been told that refuse an order = jail sentence") "No" I said. But I also did not go to the hairdresser. I used hair conditioner and combed it well so it looked fine. After a few weeks he told me the same thing again and he got the same answers. But still no hairdresser. Then he changed attitude and told me, that if my hair wasn’t cut before the weekend, I wouldn’t get permission to go home for weekend. Because my marriage was limping, I almost did not care. I took my gear + guitar and placed it in the empty gym room- and drove people around me crazy with guitar exercises.

But time passed by, and my hair became very long. No permissions to leave the camp but then again; no locked doors or gates. So I just went home. But then I was of course deserting! The bill was 10 days in jail. When I met in the barracks again, I was called in for an interview with the boss. We agreed to part as friends. And so it was. I got my return money and a “thank you for my time with them”. No hard feelings. I had met a gentleman.

Now I was a real weed-smoking hippie without plans. Also I didn’t know what to live from. I had moved from wife and child. Got a little cold room next to the art academy. Otherwise, I hovered around in the streets or played pump organ and guitar up in the room.

Hippie bands and collectives.

Anyway, I was able to form the orchestra "Limfjorden" along the way and we played often on the jazz house “Tagskægget”. Besides me on guitar, the band consisted of my brother in law on bass, Niels on drums, Tony Kovax on tenor sax, Anders Bjældesvinger on piano and Ingeborg on red wine, bells and 3 dogs she had no control over. Besides the dogs and the incense, Ingeborg brought a few green pictures she had painted and she appeared on high heels wearing a long Indian dress in which she constantly stumbled. It was a very effective band when it came to funny noises and confusion but sometimes we stroke gold and we did that sufficiently often to both Dexter Gordon, who played after us and Blue Sun who also performed at “Tagskægget, stopped and gave us an approving nod.

I was broke and it was not fun to stay alone in a small room, so I responded to an ad from a collective called “Røde Hus” (Red House, of all names...), as they sought a tenant . After a short meeting, we agreed about me moving in and a moving day, and that we would be in touch a couple of days before the moving. Time passed and I called to arrange the transfer. No answer. Neither the next day. The following day there hung a note on my door: Dear Claus! Our (Red House) house
burned down the day before yesterday. We are all homeless, but we’ll find a new place soon!

Anyway, I was able to form the orchestra "Limfjorden" along the way and we played often on the jazz house “Tagskægget”. Besides me on guitar, the band consisted of my brother in law on bass, Niels on drums, Tony Kovax on tenor sax, Donald Bjældesvinger on piano and Ingeborg on red wine, bells and 3 dogs she had no control over. Besides the dogs and the incense, Ingeborg brought a few green pictures she had painted and she appeared on high heels wearing a long Indian dress in which she constantly stumbled. It was a very effective band when it came to funny noises and confusion but sometimes we stroke gold and we did that sufficiently often to both Dexter Gordon, who played after us and Blue Sun who also performed at “Tagskægget, stopped and gave us an approving nod.

I was broke and it was not fun to stay alone in a small room, so I responded to an ad from a collective called “Røde Hus” (Red House, of all names...), as they sought a tenant . After a short meeting, we agreed about me moving in and a moving day, and that we would be in touch a couple of days before the moving. Time passed and I called to arrange the transfer. No answer. Neither the next day. The following day there hung a note on my door: Dear Claus! Our (Red House) house
burned down the day before yesterday. We are all homeless, but we’ll find a new place soon!

The Thy Camp 1970 big time.

Days passed by and one day Irving came with a clip from the paper “Information”, which announced that an association called “The New Society” sought craftsmen to help building the camp up to a gigantic summer party. I thought it sounded pretty good, so we packed a car. In Freak-Brother’s style, Irving and me arrived at the camp in high spirits. I had all my gear with me, carpentry tools, music equipment and a bit of clothing.

This was the beginning of a wonderful time. I was incredibly well received and the small group. In daytime we worked a fews hours. The evenings went with stories and music by the fire. You don't get it better.

When the camp finally opened and thousands of happy villagers poured in, the peace was over. I opened a small sly place called “Under Nålene”. Here was my Marshall speaker used as table and you could get coffee, bread with chopped liverpaste and galarkakaomælk (chocolatemilk with hashis) peppered with guitar playing, when the customers were few.



My friend author Peter Øvig Knudsen has described the camp and what followed quite extensively in 2 books, called “Hippie 1” and “Hippie 2”. (read here) so I move on to
after the camp with my little life .

Det Ny Samfunds Sommerlejr 1970 (se kort og luftfoto i større format ved at klikke på dem- PS åbner i nyt vindue)
Fra Thylejren sommeren 1970

Copenhagen 1970 music scene.

I was sick. Very sick. I had a very severe pneumonia and I had also been working too much for too long in my little shop. Totally exhausted, I went home to mom and dad and slept almost a month. Finally I started to regain my strength. But what would become of me? That's the question.

I decided to start to "visit" my sister, which meant moving in. My sister lived in Sommerstedgade in Copenhagen. Perfect! There I arrived in the spring 1971 and it was quite cozy and uncomplicated to stay there on the floor. In daytime, I went to “Huset” in Magsstræde (flipper-gathering house provided by the city of Copenhagen). One day, when as usual I was wandering around in “Huset”, I went into “Husets Bogcafe“. Here I saw a poster which owner Per Kofoed had sat up: Open jam nights every Wednesday at 20:00. Everyone welcome. Bring instrument. Exellent. I met up with my guitar and amplifier. Two other guys showed up too: Peter Ingemann with a bass and Niels Skousen with a guitar . I didn't know them, but they knew me. They had seen and heard me i “Thylejren”. We jammed together a few Wednesdays and soon I was invited on gigs. Unformally, we now had a trio.


Søren Seirup (Steppeulvene Peter Sarstedt) from ca 1971
Skousen/Ingemann Workshop 1971

While this was going on, I saw at another note, that an international gospel band was looking for a guitarist and a bassist. I applied for the job and Søren Seirup (”Steppeulvene and Peter Sarstedt”) applied for it , too. We were both hired at respectively guitar and bass.

Before long we were touring around in Scandinavia with a bedlam of black gay singers and actors and a crazy road manager named Dennis (of all names..). During the month-long touring our hire was renegotiated several times. Each time with the result that we got less and less.

I was therefore quite happy one day when I phoned Peter just to hear how things were in Denmark. "Come home now" he said "We are going to make a record for Polygram". There are wages and jobs ahead. I didn't hesitate and soon I was sitting in a jet from Norway's coldest city Trysil to Denmark.

This time, I stayed with Peter and Aviaja in their tiny apartment in Valdemarsgade. When we were going somewhere, we had to push Peter’s Renault 4L to start the motor. No problem with that. In 4-5 days we recorded the LP "Herfra hvor jeg står" in Wifoss studios at Frederiksberg. And that was that.

We had some jobs and we got more members : Stig Møller (g), and Bjørn Uglebjerg (dr), the latter came from an unknown small band called ”Gasolin”.
Suddenly we were “world famous” in Denmark! We made headlines in the newspapers and we were publicized very positively.

"Herfra hvor vi står"
and Musikpatruljen

The result was an endless series of gigs with a the band, who was called "Skousen / Ingemann Workshop". The name derived from the hippie-style embracing openness. Come and be happy with us.

Every time we went out on touring, the band grew bigger. Often in that way, that our driver remembered that he played the XX instrument, and after a while he announced, that this was indeed a little unfair that he had two jobs. Shouldn't we get a new driver? Well, yes, we’d better get a new driver. Time went on, days passed and it was great.

One day, when the band had become so large that one end could not hear what the other was doing, Peter and Niels said, that the band would stop. That was it. But they, too, asked if I would be part of a new band to be called the "Musikpatruljen" with Niels Skousen, Peter Ingemann, Bjørn Uglebjerg and Knud Bjørnøe. I, of course said yes. Many jobs and many golden moments lay ahead.

Musikpatruljen 1972 (Foto: Susanne Mertz)

At home with father and mother the mood was mixed. I was notorious “the black sheep” of the family, but now my mom, could see, that I had talent for music and she was even a little proud. Despite all. But unfortunately she was ill and she died in 1973. My father went bankrupt later and died the following year. The family had in a few years become very small. Grandmothers, grandpa, aunts had died. My parents didn’t socialize with many people, so - especially for my younger brother and sister, it was really hard to be almost without family – bieng too young for that .

I could not stay long with Peter and Aviaja in their minimal apartment and my older sister had shown enough hospitality. I looked around for a new collective. "Go and ask at “the Kana collective” - they are students all together and would be delighted for a musician and craftsman". This advice I got from a guy I met in “Huset” of Magsstræde and so I did.

Min far og mor ca 1973

Well - I could move in right now. That's it! It was a beautiful place in Slangerup. A huge house (it was an old Institution), with a of equivalent huge garden and about 12 residents.

Thus it was that I moved into a very nice and interesting collective. I fell in love, of course, in a beautiful woman, we became a couple and we had a lovely child.

Monrad, Mik and TømrerClaus
- Brdr. Sindssyg - Gry
..and many more eksperiments

At “Cafe Rosa Luxembourg” , I met a guy who was singing and playing 12 strings acoustic "fence" along with a washboard player. The trio, Monrad, Mik and TømrerClaus (double bass), was soon a reality. I was still playing in the “Musikpatruljen” when I met Henning Prince and Leif Varmark again - the two main founders of “The New Society’s” Summercamp in Thy. Leif could make magic with 3 chords at a guitar and with me on bass, we formed “Brødrene Sindssyg”. Off we went with “Meat- and-potatoes” songs that were very well received. A nice break from “Musikpatruljen”.

Brdr Sindssyg i the yard in front of "Huset i Magsstræde"

In 1972, a small group of people took initiative to make an huge "exhibition" of the alternative (hippie) movement.

It took place at “Charlottenborg” - of all places (old huge institution of fine arts in central Cph.). The initiative arose from “The Association for Music and Light” and consisted of Helen Nerings, Peter Ingemann, me and some other. We were putting stickers up all over town. The exhibition opened with art, music, cooking, Indian clothes, happenings and music.

The exhibition was called "Something for Something". Among others, Blue Sun should play, but there was no piano. I called my little sister, who lived on P. Knudsensgade 10, she had a piano. Could we borrow it? “Shure”! Peter Ingemann and I drove to fetch it in my van. With great difficulty we carried down the piano from the second floor. But 1 cm was still lacking- we couldn’t get it into the van. Then we had to carry the piano up again. – When we came back to the flat with the piano, the front and back door jumped up and 4 police officers demanded to see some identification from all of us. When they looked at my driving license, I was arrested and taken to the station and locked in a closet. After a few hours I was let out without explanation.

Time passed. The band “Blue Sun” was stopped, almost at the peak of their popularity. Now they sought for a new constellation to a new band named “Gry”. I was lucky to be asked, so alongside “Musikpatruljen”, I played in Gry, a great freaky band mainly playing instrumental music. Poul, Bo, Jesper, Jan and me.

Unfortunately, it did not last long, but I got some very useable musical experiences. I also got a different experience. In “Gry” we smoked much weed. A lot. We - or at least I - thought that the spirit of music was called when I was stoned. Happily we smoked heavy before a concert. On one occasion, a guy came with a recorder and two good microphones. He recorded the entire concert. Great! Our new album? We meet the next day and heard two and a half hour. Not much happened. To me, this was an eye opener and I reduced smoking weed from then on. But the jobs dried out and .. Well, that was that.

Christianshavn music scene and
Fl Quist Møller

I and my new little family moved from “Kana” to Bådsmandsstræde 12. The Cana collective had turned problematic. We had new residents. A couple. They were very sympathetic people, who worked as educators. Unfortunately not long after they moved in, they lost their jobs. Whether it was because of that or something else, I don't know, but they started (mainly one male) to drink heavily.

While this happened, a small majority decided, that we should have joint finances. That's it! Genuine practiced socialism. But the result was that when I thought that I needed a new guitar, it was refused. Besides that, our cars were rarely at home, and if they were, they were usually near empty of fuel. It turned out later that the two new residents had a thing going about lending out our cars to another collective. All together, it became too complicated to deal with. I was dependent on having the gear it takes to play, and perhaps most importantly, that a car was free to use, so I could get going on the job.

Exit Kana and hello Bådsmandsstræde.
In the lively environment of Christianshavn, I met folk-musicians from a band called “Med kærlig hilsen”, and was invited to play (double) bass.

Through this, I met several other folk-musicians: Ewald, Hardy and many more. Again luck was with me and I got wonderful moments with those people. In our stairway, two floors below lived a film maker, percussionist and conga player Flemming Quist Møller.

He opened perhaps the first door for me into the music because he explained very careful hierarchical and orderly system of the rhythms, physically manifested in a Cuban -inspired Dutch orchestra, he as a young man was allowed to participate, - provided that he complied with the rules.

Marts 1973 ~ Folk groupMed Kærlig Hilsen I playing doublebass to a wedding with the band.

Aha! Okay. So not just start playing along? No. Learn to listen. Play your part so others know where you are and what you're doing. Everyone has a role. The soloists are kings. They can play all the roles or leave it. But it relies on everyone doing his job. That's all folks. Slowly, I began to get an understanding of rhythms. Not just the one everyone knows, but also 5/4, 7/4 , 9/ 4, 11 /4 and combinations. Slowly, I began to understand. Long story, but I owe a lot to Flemming . That much is true.

Skousen/Ingemann Workshop Silkeborg ca 1971

Tømmermændene,
Osiris and Savage Rose

The apartment in Bådsmandsstræde was very small. And we had a child. We moved a few times and ended up with a large house in Hellerup. At that time, “Musikpatruljen” had stopped, but there was still constellations to ahead. I started my first band and called it “Tømmermændene” (The Hangovers) . Almost simultaneously starts a very long rehearsal period with Savage Rose. As if that wasn't enough, I was invited to join a band with Bo Jacobsen, the former drummer from “Blue Sun”. The band was called “Osiris” and consisted of Lone Kellermann (v), Niels Pind Pedersen, Karsten "Canvas" Madsen, me and Bo Jacobsen on drums. I never came out to play with Savage Rose, but I remember Thomas's pretty tough humor clearly (ho ho!), and can still laugh at his stories when they are popping up in my memory. Damn, he was funny!
He also had strong meanings about politics.

Osiris glimpsed momentarily as a very well-playing band, just waiting for a little tailwind. But the music business had its own agenda. Although it was obvious that we for example should play on “Saltlageret” we were repeatedly bypassed by bands and people, who had "occupied" the scene. It was very much lack of solidarity and unbecoming of those who did it. The “68” generation, in which we were all a part of, was fighting for decency, and to behave properly, etc. but in 1974 it was forgotten even though the songs said something else.

Maybe I was a little naive. I think so. But I woke up in all cases, when I saw how many, who paid homage to fellowship, quietly began concerning for themselves. How rock music quietly changed from “happy voices” of the rebellions to a more prestigious branded industry. And small business empires arose around the known ones. Everything what Thomas often had talked about. He said it actually - but I could not see it at the time. Developments made however impression on me and I came in doubt whether I wanted to be a part of it.

At the same time, I and my partner agreed, that our partnership had come to an end. I also thought that my life needed a closer study. I have had luck as a musician for so long, that I had forgotten to check if I was good at what I did and if I developed or stagnated.

The “last push” came when we went skiing in Norway. We lived in a nice mountain hotel, enjoying the sun and the snow.
In the evening there is entertainment with a musician who plays organ and guitar and sings schlagers. I had my guitar. One afternoon I met him and we hit it off in the room. He was frustrated.

He loved jazz and knows some cool things on guitar, but not at this place because the repertoire had to be very "popular". He think it's unfair - he can a lot on guitar and then come those rock musicians, who have just learned three different grips and get huge profits. "They cannot even play a C major scale!" he ended up saying. Oh well, I thought.

After he left, Why not play a C major scale? Would I be able to do that? Yes, after too many trials.

Christianiapladen fra 1976. Osiris (Lone Kellermann m.fl.): Christianias Kampsang (Text & musik: TømrerClaus) I 2001 for Christianias 30 års anniverasry rereleased Karma this CD e som CD with bands as: Sebastian, Djursland - spillemændende, Bifrost, Savage Rose, Hyldemor, C.V. Jørgensen, Ache, Secret Oyster, Totalpetroleum, Gnags, Kim Larsen, Spillemændene, Osiris, Røde Mor og Det Internationale Sigøjnerkompani. more here

Christiania
and AutogenaBand

I grabbed the crisis in the way, that I quit my job in all the bands, I played in and moved to “Dyssen” at Christiania. where there was no electricity or water. I bought a cello. I had dreamed of playing cello since I met a brilliant cello player in Thy named Freddey Alberti.

Time to make new friends and get new music habits. Immersion. Cello, double bass, violin. It took 14 days before I discovered that I was living in a collective. A collective without “talk”. No rules. Nothing regularity.

But those who lived there knew all about working together on projects. Many were from the theater group “Solvognen”, who had made amazing performances at ”Grå Hal” at Christiania. “Elverhøj” for ex. Without words or agreements, suddenly someone did the shopping and cooking, set the table for 20 people and somebody else took the dishes wash-up, and put everything back in place. Two geese strutted around the yard and attacked everybody (the people who lived there, too), but it kept thieves and tourists away. We had a just wonderful time with our doings. Motorcycle Repair, typing, photo, cello and bass playing. The days flew. We went out on small motorcycle tours and enjoyed each other's company. New friends. The place was called “Autogena” and before long there was a band called “Autogena band” with Jørgen Brystkasse, Erik Popsanger and me.

TømrerClaus and Boline Band

Electrical evening in the “Grå Hal. When the band, who was playing, had a break, we were 3 guys standing in the middle of the floor, getting everyone to listen to “Matilda” for Mandolin, acc guitar, doublebass and two male voices.
No mics.
Everywhere the magic of surprise and events was lurking, as if someone prepares the way for that to happen.

TømrerClaus og Boline Band fra start 80erne

One day comes a beautiful Mercedes with large painted Ying/Yang signs. She had chosen the long winding road behind Christiania to Autogena.
The prettiest woman I have ever seen stepped out of the car. She wanted to be my sweetheart. Dig that! I didn't say no. A new adventure started. When I think back on it, I can easily lapse into some intellectual conclusion. Something about "to let go" or "daring". Not so. I do not know the wise words. I find it very hard to believe in simple solutions, especially black/white conclusions.

Autogena was a rebirth, and I did not regret one second my "sabbat year" from the music. My meeting with Boline was pure adventure. We had so much we to do together and we started immediately. Together and individually.

Karma Musics: First studio
at Gasværksvej Cph.

On Gasværksvej in a large backyard appartment, we established our second home (with electricity, water etc.). Boline with her brush and canvas and me with my musical instruments and a small studio, which consisted of two casette recorders and a microphone. This was the start of Karma Music. We made our first two releases in the large dark apartment.

In addition to us, the apartment was housing a rare visitor, a friend of Boline, named Jeppe. He was working at IBM. And furthermore – a rat.
One day Jeppe opened the door and saw 15 candles and a woman who painted, staring fiercely at the canvas. A man with headphones generating swirling sounds with a homemade “Leslie” speaker. From the same speaker a voice came a from the grave: “The Kiss of Space”.

Jeppe called his friends. Come and look! 4-5 males/females came. Slowly the door opened completely. They were staring at us. Thought we did not see them. Boline took a small black pin and painted a tear beneath one eye. A brave woman asked: " Why did you paint the tear beneath your eye?" Boline, without batting an eye, with the voice from the depths: "It's because I'm so sad!" After this salute the group disappeared and we did not see them since. But when they were out of the house, we were screaming of laughing!

Picks from Karma Musics poster production late 1970

The two first releases were cassettes of "The Kiss Of Space" and "Snydt (Cheated)". The Kiss Of Space was sold in relatively few examples at an exhibition in Gothenburg. “Snydt” was sold in more than 400 examples in the streets of Copenhagen. Our posters dominated the inner city. The bureau ICM had a fling with (probably) Tina Turner. Their giant posters maybe gave them more rights. So they thought. But in that battle we were winners. They respected us and at last they let our posters be. Sometimes we painted "FIMS"(“FAKE”) at the door of the Ministry of Culture. We did like we felt like doing.

Dan Turell and Sølvstjernerne (Silverstars)

I was invited to participate in making music for the reciting of author Dan Turell: “Anders And Evangeliet ”(the gospel of Donald Duck) amon others. “Sølvstjernerne” consisted of: Jan Kaspersen, piano, Fl. Quist –Møller, congas, me, cello / bass.

Dan’s popularity, most because of a book called “Vangede Billeder” (The pictures of Vangede), would almost never end, so we had regular jobs in the calendar. Talks in bandcars differed. In Skousen/Ingemann band car to Jutland, talk could be quite philosophical / political, serious and astrological. In the band car with Dan Turell - sometimes we couldn’t stop laughing .

Dan was rather cool but with a bottle of red wine in hand, Flemming turned everything upside down, puffing on his pipe with corn weed. Jan was spokesman, when it came to absurdities and existential matters. I never before heard anything like this. What did I do?
I am good listener. It's I who laugh at their jokes. I'm very important.

Dan Turèll, Flemming Quist Møller, Jan Kaspersen and TømrerClaus was "Dan Turell og Sølvstjernerne" in 1978 (and in 2004 stod Karma Music for another II'er

We drove in my giant International Harvester V8 station car with attached caravan, which was painted with motifs and symbols. One of the symbols was a banner on the back that said, most meticulously "Please – stop me" and later "Law Is Violence". Despite this strange sight, we were only stopped once, and we "talked us out it"..

My Campingcaravan - from Dan Turell og Sølvstjernerne...

At a time we made an agreement with Medley to make a record. We started doing so in my studio. It went well and we did this master tape. We made a quick listening copy and sent it off to the record company with the note, that this was a quick copy of our master tape. Was that okay? Time passed and we did not hear anything. At last we called and asked what was happening? "The plate is imminent .... " was the reply. In between there were other bands: Leif Joenses band, Taxxa who recorded a single plate and jams with different people from the punk milieu.

Karma Music and 80'ties Punk
in Landskronagade

Karma Music Studio became the place where punk music was recorded. Lots of underground bands came and went. We held some groowy parties after the studio had moved from Gasværksvej to Landskronagade and we’ve got 8 tracks and much more. Sometimes it could be like a slice of Blade Runner, so intense was the atmosphere and the people. Party with a lot of booze? It was probably the only thing it was not. We even formed a punk band: “Boline Band”, thoroughly inspired by a stay in New York. Here we negotiated with U.S. Games Systems about rights to the Tarot cards Boline had painted while staying in Christiania. We got what we wanted and a bag of money. For the money we bought a house at Frederiksberg. We bought the house to a low price. It is an enormously house and there was a back building, which was just perfect for a recording studio and an atelier. The price of the house included a nice compensation - approx. 30-40,000 dkr because of damage by water which I repaired in less than 4 hours. Almost half of the down payment, served in 4 hours! We were lucky, we thought. It is spring. We have a house. We are in the yard listening to the radio. The Falkland war is running. Bulletins came and went. Better than television and novels. We followed the progress and made plans for the structure of Karmas new studio.

Tarot cards set as Boline painted while staying at Autogena and later sold to U.S. Game Systems
Boline Band rehearsal time (ca 1981)

Boline band got a sponsor and a manager! Thousands of large posters were printed and we were to play before “Motorhead” at the Odd Fellow Palace. We came in good time, had a word with the sound engineer. Nice guy. Doing a thorough sound check, adjusting monitors on the big stage. It sounded fantastic! We never sounded so good before. When we were almost done with the sound check came the manager from “Motor Head” to talk with the sound engineer. They talked for a long time. Little too long.

We got some food and water and then we are on. We started out with a good self-confidence. We are winners I thought. We played, but something was completely wrong. The monitors were either turned off or something completely different to what we agreed to at the sound check came out. In addition, the overall sound of the main speaker sounded low and poor. We've been conned! The manager (Motor Head) did not tolerate competition and had destroyed our show- and there was nothing we could do besides get it over with and go home and forget it.

1.000 people listened to the mess. They just hoped that we would leave so they could hear “Motorhead” and get rid of us who they had begun to hate. We are not good. “Motor Head” are good. They played very loud at least. Very loud teutonic beer-music. The Swedes were drooling in beers and turned off the brain. We have nothing to do here. I told Erling (our manager) that we had been conned. He starts talking. I did not listen. I hate explanations. We drove home in anger.

Boline Band (LPcover from 1982)

Boline Band made a record. But this time luck was not with us. Elisabeth Gjerulf hosted a program in the Danish Radio (DR) in which it was obvious to present our plate. Unfortunately, she herself had just released a plate, so ours was not even mentioned.

Media tyrrani!

It took many years for me to understand, that the media are behaving like a banana state within a state and that they have their own agenda.
The media create their own reality and it becomes a part of our reality.
They make or break artists.
If you are not one of their darlings, you can look in the garbage can for publicity and airplay, thus too, jobs and money.
In this way they control much more than their ability, vision and capabilities warrant.
Criticism bounces off of them, "there are always some troublemakers" they state.
The newspapers are fighting for circulation driven by sensationalism. Here at least, you can glimpse a reason.
DR is simpler.
They just
know better.
In order to support their
know-all attitude and explain it to people, they invented something called:
Radiofriendly.
For the future DR would only send something that was radiofriendly which does not need further explanation, it is the mainstream music we have heard in the past several years.
Soon we saw courses for musicians in radiofriendly music.
Then DR invented a tool for manipulation:
Rotation.
Rotation meant that one or more selected artists were played at absolutley nauseam in the radio.
At the same time, those who were responsible for the idea, followed industry sales figures to see what effect their rotation had.
The entire development accelerated, ironically, while the wall came down in East Germany and we welcomed the oppressed to the blessings of the West.

Many musicians from the “68” generation were totally involved in the do-it -yourself wave. The "greedy" multinational record companies should have competition. We had to get the production facilities and our own distribution system. In Sweden they did so, and got great success with it from 1970 to about 1990. They captured a substantial market share and had their records distributed very efficiently through book cafes and alternative record dealers.
They earned money and invested in studios, LP production facilities etc. It was called Swedish Sam (distribution). They put words into action.

In Denmark we talked about it, but when it came down to matters, then virtually all Danish groups joined the multinational record companies, because "It gets to the masses" as they said. True enough, as there were no alternatives. Only when the big times became less big, they made a Danish equivalent of the Swedish co-distribution. But it was uphill and cooperation was not impressive.

DR anno 2014

Karma Music ups
and downs.

Genlyd” (the record label of “Gnags”) attended the Danish Sam, but when it became clear that the tide was turning, they retreated understandably. Karma Music Records attended Danish Sam too. The Swedish loved us and reciprocated by buying lots of records amongst LP (“TømrerClaus”) that we produced. Contrary, sales were sluggish in Denmark and it took years before the record became a sought-after cult object and a reprint of the CD could be considered. Music critics had their darlings and it was not us.

The wheel of fortune was turning again. We lived mainly of the studio. We had specialized in jazz productions which we made many of for a small record label.

But the good times for sound studios was coming to an end. When we started the Karma Music Studio at Landskronagade, we charged 80 dkr per hour and the most expensive studio (which was much used) charged 1000 dkr. The difference became less and less. The brand snobbery as musical instruments long had been a part of, spread to the sound studios. And it was expensive.

Karma Music Studio started i n1976. Thent the studio was 2 cassetterecorders, 2 mics, an old HH 5 ch ps amp/mixer with reverb, a guitaraamp and some instruments.

Our hourly rate increased up to 250 dkr/hour, but customers were few and the major studios went bankruptcy. As if that was not enough, “black clouds” were hanging between Boline and me.
It had been 14 fantastic years, but now they ended. Goodbye Copenhagen. I got a job in Diem studio at the “Musikhuset” in Aarhus. It was an experimental studio of a new compositional music. The job was exciting and developing. Again, I was lucky. A new chapter, new friends, new collective, new sweetheart, new (old) house, new bands. A period of steady employment and stability. A good basis to go deeper into things.

My old friends from Autogena in Christiania, Nina and Hjalte had moved to Jutland, too. We met almost on a daily basis. Bright spots. Along with Bo Jacobsen from the former “Blue Sun” and Peter Ingemann. Wee formed “Dream City” in about 1990. The band played mostly the repertoire of “Young Flowers” (A'la Cream) and “Røde Mor” (not a' la Cream). I also had time for the blues band (“Fools For Blues”) on Wednesdays, and Rock 'n’ Roll with “Rock Force”. Holidays I spent in Bulgaria with my Bulgarian musician friends.

Interview in Danish (!) about .. life in music, Dream City and more. Fron around 1990.

 

dc
Dreamcity Radio Luxembourg

Internet and what ment to artists.

The stranglehold as the media, DR and record companies monopolistic distribution unit had at the smaller independent artists and record companies, was not in any way diminished. But something else had happened. The Internet allowed the distribution of music and art bypassing the established companies, and we were free to set our stand on the "Road of Life" in the form of a website and sell our stuff there, bypassing the bad guys.

The established system did everything in their power to prevent this development. Record companies were accustomed to earn bags of money. They saw the threat without knowing what to do besides trying to ban it.

Musicians' unions launched some very unbecoming campaigning – one after the other – criminalizing their customers. They hired law firms to chase the 14 year old boys, who had downloaded mp3 files, threatening with hell, if not worse. My union for 20 years, DJBFA, was one of the worst, and more than I could stand.

I resigned my membership. I just could not cope with picture of the musicians being some poor victims, whose music was almost stolen out of their hands before the ink was dry. And just this about criminalizing their customers.
What on earth are they doing? I just cannot cope with the mentality. Now you know that.

But for the smaller independent record labels and artists, it was obviously a new spring. This meant that again was an idea in producing and selling music, art and pictures because it was possible to reach an audience outside of opinion formers in the media and DR.

Christiania Forever fra 2004. A. M. Helger, DreamCity ("Sangen Om Christiania"), Bifrost, TømrerClaus, Blindstone og many more.. ..
More HERE

Karma Music records and Webbstore

We didn't hesitate. Karma Music is today the oldest online recordcompany that sells CD’s and other items from ”the golden period” of rock music. Many titles are re-released on our label which is currently the oldest independent record label in Denmark. Our sales are small but stable. The hole out to the audience as the internet provides, is deeply inspiring.

When Diem Studio was facing big changes in 2002, I decided to quit and work 100% as a musician and record label executive. I returned to Copenhagen and furnished studios, record company and rehearsal rooms in an old villa in Herlev. Karma Music, “Dream City”, “FlowerPotParty” and versions of TømrerClaus Band filled out the time. Later, two more bands emerged: Radio Luxembourg and Øvig/TømrerClaus. The Web shop Karma Music grew and included in addition to the music also Indian goods, clothing , incense, singing bowls , blankets, music instruments etc.

 

Soundtracks for the audio books:
Peter Øvig Hippie1 og 2

In 2011 I composed and recorded I background music and an independent soundtrack to Peter Øvig Knudsen 's 16-hour audio book “Hippie 1”, followed by the 15-hour audio book and soundtrack for “Hippie 2” in 2012.

More here.

TømrerClaus and Peter Øvig
from Musikally Hippie Event 2011-12
TømrerClaus 2011

Today I am probably one of the most independent musicians in this country. Among other things, Internet has made it possible to bypass traditional media (radio, TV, newspapers) and the positive trend seems to continue. Karma has never gone bankrupt, we have never sold out or sold the record company or parts of it. We do not rely on anyone but ourselves and those who buy our products as well as those who provide it.

In many ways, Karma Music is the realization of "do-it -yourself" dreams. The “hippie years” made permanent traces in art, music and lifestyle. Karma Music survived on the sidelines in the lean years where the music was placed under the mercy and cordiality of DR and the media. Karma Music and some hippie sacred ideals and music are running smoothly like an independent small green island in a shark-filled ocean.

Poster for Tømrerclaus Band

I have a feeling that the next 20 years will be a time between two eras. No one knows the direction, many have financial difficulties, a lot hold on to theirs and some try to feather their nests even more. However, a transition is in progress, new values will come, the media will experience major changes (for the better, I guess!).

In the turn of 1960/70 came the psychedelic music and political awareness. Soon you could hear it in the lyrics of the music. In the eighties they were gone again. Today, political lyrics rare guests in the music even though society faces huge changes and big problems which require political solutions.

Art and music will always reflect society as soon as there is a new trend, it will be seen and heard. Fewer “I" songs and a lot more "us" and “we” songs, please.


(TC, Herlev, 20 feb 2013.)

Closing remarks:
Today (2014) I am 68. I had an interessting life so far.
I was a "Slow Starter", who matured very late.
In the early seventies, I was the image of the archetypal young hippie musician with hair to the shoulders and a great confidence in the future with peace love and understanding.

Every turn in the road of life opened new horizons which ultimately led to contemplation, both in the “ism’s” of art, partly with greater perspective and understanding of the political and social matters.

I love to play and make pictures.
Photos, posters, videos, music Recordings in the studio. Appearances in many different contexts and with many different instruments: Guitar, bass, cello, clarinet, flutes, keyboards , percussion and vocals.

  • Solo
  • Along with the author Peter Øvig Knudsen
  • My band,  Dream City, Skousen/Ingemann o.s.v. 

Kontact for koncerts, filmrecordings, foto, posters oand events: mailto karma@karma.dk

One of mine MusikVideoer from (2013)
MORE VIDEOES HERE

 

 

Bands kronological
according to
apperance in the text:


The Dodgers
Fire
Limfjorden
Skousen/Ingemann
Musikpatruljen
Monrad, Mik og TømrerClaus
Brdr. Sindssyg
Gry
Med Kærlig Hilsen
Tømmermændende
Osiris
Savage Rose
Autogena Band
Dan Turell & Sølvstjernerne
Taxxa
Boline Band
TømrerClaus (solo)
Dream City
Fools For Blues
Rockforce
TømrerClaus Band
FlowerPotParty
Radio Luxembourg
TømrerClaus Calling
TømrerClaus/Peter Øvig

 

Diskografphy

  • Herfra hvor vi står, 1971
  • Musikpatruljen, 1972
  • TC+Skousens Vincent, Palads af Glas,1975
  • Jan Monrad, Mik & Tømrerclaus Samt Søren Rislund (Totalpetroleum), 1975
  • Christianiapladerne,
    1976, 2001 og 2004
  • Tømrerclaus, Snydt, 1976 (kasettebånd)
  • Dan Turell & Sølvstjernerne, 1978
  • Dan Turell & Sølvstjernerne vender tilbage, 1978/2004
  • Taxxa, 1978 (Single)
  • Tømrerclaus, 1978
  • Tømrerclaus, Hepar, 1978 (kasettebånd)
  • Boline & Tømrerclaus, "La Dot",
    1976-87
  • TømrerClaus og Boline, Night-Ripper-Lady, 1981 (Single)
  • TømrerClaus og Boline, Alvorlig Leg Med Beton, 1981 (Single)
  • TømrerClaus og Boline, Punk Them Into Shit, 1982 (Single)
  • Boline Band, 1982
  • Tømrerclaus, Savania, 2001
  • Tømrerclaus, En spade er en spade, 2002
  • Dreamcity, Do the Blues, 1993
    Dreamcity, Syre, 1996
    Dreamcity, Søgelys, 2004
  • Tømrerclaus, Jeg Var Go´ I går, 2005
  • Soundtrack Hippie 1, 2011
  • Soundtrack Hippie 2, 2012
  • Hippie 1 & 2, (Lydbog/Audiobook)

Tømrerclaus, 1978 Boline & Tømrerclaus, "La Dot", 1976-87 Tømrerclaus, Jeg Var Go´ I går, 2005
Tømrerclaus, Savania, 2001 Tømrerclaus, En spade er en spade, 2002 Herfra hvor vi står, 1971
Musikpatruljen, 1972 Jan Monrad, Mik & Tømrerclaus Samt Søren Rislund (Totalpetroleum), 1975 Dan Turell & Sølvstjernerne, 1978
Dreamcity, Syre, 1996 Dreamcity, Søgelys, 2004 Dan Turell & Sølvstjernerne vender tilbage, 1978/2004
Boline Band, 1982
Hippie 1 & 2, (Lydbog/Audiobook)
Soundtrack Hippie 1, 2011

 

 

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