All the YOUNG
P U N K S
BELseNFaNgan was a gaS
My first creative output as a dedicated follower of punk, was a band I had together with my 2 best friends in school. , formed in 1987 in Christiansin. The name was inspired by a life long fascination for the subject of WW2, the SEX PISTOLS track "Belsen Was A Gas", early Norwegian punk act NORGEZ BANKs "Springtime In Belsen"(´80) and hyper obscure early Trondheim punk band BELSEN BOYS, the name can only be found in some band family tree published in an early local punk fanzine(80).
Later we changed and were more or less active until September 1990. We never got serious enough to record any of the few tracks we wrote, but were nevertheless using the band as more of a playground to prepare for next phase of ROLF EINARS DATATIPS (R.E.D) The transition from BF to R.E.D was just as much about a journey away from the anachronism and nostalgia of a ´88 ´77 purist punk band and into the more contemporary hardcore punk, using anarcho-punk as the bridge.
ANTI (Anders Wimpelman) - Vocals/guitars
DOG (Trond Nõrbech) - Drums
TØMME (Tor Helge Kvamme) - Bass
T (Trond Iversen) – Guitars
GUN (Gunnar Jørgenvåg) – Drums ´89-90
I still have many of first recordings we ever did during rehearsals on tape, even the very first one, from September 1987, in the cellar of the guitarist (Trond Iversen), who also was the only guy who actually had a proper instrument that was plugged in, though it was just a tiny amp with the most horrible distortion effect ever. Tor Helge “Tømme” Kvamme, who was supposed to play the bass, played the only string available on an acoustic guitar, while the drummer(Trond Nörbech) did his best to make 5-6 tin cans sound like a drum set. Myself, I screamed as loud as I could to compensate for the missing microphone and PA.
The only song we knew the chords to on our virgin rehearsal was “Clash City Rockers” by THE CLASH. We couldn t figure out the refrain or the exact English words, so we tried to skip most of the refrains,bridge and of course the guitar solo, while I wrote down some hasty phrases in Norwegian, ending up with a lyrics of my own, instead of trying to translate into much of the same meaning in the verse lines.
I m the black fascist, don t need anybody else, all I really want is a space of myself
We got to the next stage of a fully equipped back line of instruments and a temporary place to rehearse, a room in the bomb shelf of our elementary school, totally unfit for audio but still. We now concentrated on how to play the instruments well enough to play a one chord wonder in the right tempo, actually keeping all the elements together long enough to get in some kind of groove for a second or three.
THE CLASH “Clash City Rockers”
SEX PISTOLS “Belsen Was A Gas”
COCKNEY REJECTS “Flares & Slippers”
THE EXPLOITED “Blown To Bits”
DEADKENNEDYS “Pull My Strings”
LOST KIDS “Asocial”
SLIM “Fuck The King”
GBH “Drug Party in 526”
UK SUBS “Crash Course”
WANNSKRÆKK “Æ Veit Da Faen Æ”
RAGA ROCKERS “Radiator” + “Stig”
BACKSTREET GIRLS “Sexual”“
“Paven E En Dritt”
“Æ Tru kje”
(Music and words by Anders Wimpelman 1987-90)
“Æ TRU KJE”
Æ trukje på gud eller hans hellige sønn, trukje på dem som drep tia med bønn, trukje på paven eller hans ord, Æ trukje på dem som gjør guds handling så stor
Æ trukje x 2
Æ trukje på regjeringa Ap eller Venstre, trukje på at dem kan styre vårt land, trukje på sosialismen, trukje på liberalismen , Æ trukje at de løftan som dem kjem med e sann
Æ trukje x 2
Trukje på dæ Trukje på mæ Trukje på noka
( LOOOOONG SOLO)
Det æ trur på e sunn fornuft, det æ trur på e natur og luft , det æ trur på e anarki , det e det æ trur på, du hakkje noka å si?
Our first concert was on the same day as we graduated from elementary school, on a multi band arrangement of local heroes (DAGLIG DOSE and SOMETHING ELSE) as well as the trembling debutants as ourselves. 3 of us wore the same ugly Hawaii shirt, safety pins, circle-A buttons, and I also sported my own pirate Seditionary “Destroy” t-shirt., making sure that both the inverted crucifix and reversed swastika were visible. I sang and played the rhythm guitar, and I doubt any of the efforts to be memorable in terms of technical skills or music whatsoever.
Our other show was in 1990, the night of the first of May, a traditional marking of the official union workers day in Norway, everybody getting drunk beyond belief and some, like the 4 of us, that is 3 with a stand in drummer for the occasion, Gunnar Jørgenvåg, perform angry music with an agenda devoted to the harshest critique of all tin soldiers and puppets of the government and state, on the stage of one of the biggest National rock events of the year in those days, paid by the public welfare state and given the patron of the Norwegian union workers party LO(Landsorganisasjonen i Norge). SURE OPPSTØT got somehow qualified, and made a short performance of 3 songs, under the name SKJEDENS IRONI.
This goes out to you all you fucking pricks, especially the goddamn LOsers who think we hate them less just for putting up this ridiculous show. The truth is ,we respect you even less, we despite you more than ever, fuck the 1st of May! 1..2..3..4
I spit at the audience and spilt a couple of pints of water out in the pit, sneered a few lines in the mic and moved like a madman on fire while at the same time trying to remember some of the lyric lines. We continued with the slow cover of native rock outfit RAGA ROCKERS, “Radiator”, and then rounded off with “Paven E En Dritt”, with a long and noisy outtro, a few more insults from me before switching us off, then the bouncers entered the stage and asked us the get the hell off stage before they had to do it. being forced off the stage by LO bouncers. Despite having both a guitarist and a drummer that were rather .uninspired during the whole concert, the LO gig was WAY more successful than the debut, but on a meta-musical level, similar to the debut of the 2 definitive punk faves these days, SIOUXSIE & THE BANSHEES in ´76 and THE GERMS in ´77, standing out of the ordinary conventional act, not thanks to the quality of the music, by far more of the opposite, but rather by raising the temperature, giving those motherfuckers something they can reshape into a rumor, becoming the talk of the town. Not for any other reason than to make sure having said: “here we are,scumbags”. How to do it? The filth and the fury,outrageous behavior of any kind, so simple to act out that even retards could stand a fair chance.
Later that year, after the Summer vacation, SURE OPPSTØT decided to call it a day. The guitarist was the main reason for the split up, having played along the lines for quite some time without ever showing the least of interest or passion towards the music or the social four piece unit of our band. Unlike the rest of us, he never had the same weak spot for punk and thus he fell out of it after a while, and at the same time he also got considerably more into playing the guitar than playing in a band.
During the last year of playing together with T, he was barely present at all, mentally at least, and it became more and more difficult to communicate with the guy. He would keep quite for hours and hours, without a single smile or gesture, if he ever revealed a dominating emotional character in his personality, it was the one of indifference, maybe with a touch of arrogance. On the typical rehearsal, between every song, he started playing his goddamn solos, and we always had to use loads of effort to drag him out of that state again, like he was trapped in a trance of improvised tones, a dream of stepping into the shoes of JIMMY PAGE or HENDRIX for a minute or two.’
Whenever put at face value with the term “punk”, after the initial bliss faded out, still if it was the identity and image of his band, he left no doubt of a growing distaste for the lot. As he once told me:
"I have advanced to a more intelligent and mature form of rock".
Now he saved his hair and money, until he could afford a special ANGUS YOUNG(AC/DC) Gibson SG guitar, the tool he held worthy enough to bring into his cave of a teenage room, the magic toy that would warp him to guitar hero heaven, section “extended solo psychosis”. Then started a nonstop jerk off on a red guitar, the devil in the flesh, as DAVID SYLVIAN puts it, and I really don t know if the solo still is on, though it may as well be..
He brought one single of the standard rock guitar features, the solo, to an remarkable perfection, but the price to pay for such an offer, was the inevitable neglect of other and far more important techniques and song parts, like the riffing, chords, ability to play along with the other components, “tightness” and the overall rhythmical sense in the instrumental use. Hence I always thought T was a pretty lame guitarist in every department but the solo, he missed out on stuff of importance to the sound of the whole band, playing rhythmical chords of riffs in a staccato manner, without any natural flow or awareness of his relation to the whole and vice versa. The main problem of his and eventually us ,was the lack of interest in any matter concerning the band, a total indifference to whether his band sounded any good or not, even existed or not.
The situation had evolved into a bit of an irony: a PUNK guitarist whose main skill is the least used and celebrated element in his own genre, the guitar solo. Otherwise he was unable to memorize songs and could barely keep the tempo or curve in the arrangement a whole song through, all this probably because he only had 1 particular short part of a song before his creative minds´eye.The solo part was the only situation, music wise, that you actually could spot a spark of vitality in his play, and he always pursued this task with an attention and eager that were completely absent outside the bubble of his solos.
This led to a contrast between the whole and the flow that became too easy to point out for the listener, as well as punctuating the dynamics and the groove. What had been an orphic virtue that melted the heart of every bystander, took at some point of his career with SURE OPPSTØT a different turn that soon proved itself as being blunt and ignorant narcissism. This egocentric tendency, rarely succeeds in the interplay with other musicians, made the disbandment of SO no exception from the rule. No serious musician can work with an individual who refuse to acknowledge the supreme position of the whole they all have contributed to as a creation, only doing his job properly when all lights are on him and he is the one to shine.
I often thought about how different his take on music, in means of artistic expression,techniques and ambitions, was compared to my own. And one have to remember the fact that this was under 2 years after we both started on scratch,side by side,as we picked up instruments and started a band of our own. I had the dreams and ambitions that already were there long before we formed BELSENFANGAN, in fact they were already deeply rooted in me before punk even came around; since I saw KISS at television at the age of 6.. As I grew up, the dreams of a child morphed into a refined wish for spending my time and energy on creative expression, in one way or the other.
When I dreamt of PAUL STANLEY and KISS it was, more than anything else, a seed of a wish for writing songs that had much of the same power of expression, a force so strong that it would ignite a soul fire so bright that it was able to cast light on paths never seen before, set a new direction for an individual life. I knew that what I first and foremost aimed at, was to create and perform my own songs, even if I knew I had to be patient for the good stuff to materialize. Patient enough to find a suitable channel and tool for it , learning to operate it, mainly to achieve a “higher”goals. This implies putting work into something even you think sucks, but do it anyway because you re smart enough to see that there s no other option, if you want to reach your Stairway To Heaven or, much more accurate for the world of today, Highway To Hell.
On the material and practical level, there was a huge difference in me and Ts´ situation, even if the irony bites your head off by underlining that I was the preppie upper class kid while he was more of a working class anti-hero. He got a proper IBANEZ guitar, including a small Peavey amp, from his parents immediately after he told them about his idea of a new hobby. Me,on the other hand, who lived in a high society household where everything was dictated by a perverted praxis of keeping up those fucking appearances, both my mom and my stepfather did all they could to NOT support me, among other things they never allowed me to buy an instrument, even though I had money for it myself. I had to reach the age of 18, not afraid for getting my own ass kicked anymore, before I did it anyway. My choice was also Gibson, but even though I later converted to SG for a long period, I chose the Les Paul model, first and foremost because of PAUL STANLEY and JIMMY PAGE, as well as PORCELL of YOUTH OF TODAY, a band I was heavy into at the time. Later I discovered it was just a fake one, but the thought was good and, as they say here in Norway, that is what s really important. Just as long as you can make good use of it, I d rather say.
The first song I ever wrote, back in ´88, “Æ Tru kje”, was a result of the following process: I simply found the 4 tones in the riff, put them together and came up with 4 new tones that would make a refrain. Then I memorized it, and kept working on it in my head while I tried to come up with some lyrics to apply to it.
That s how I wrote my first song, whileT had done, after learning all AC/DC guitar solos by heart, his first improvised solo. It was to become a solo that went on and on, to a point where his 3 ex-band mates had done several concerts, recorded 2 demos and performed a long set on local television, using the name ROLF EINARS DATATIPS(R.E.D), with me on guitar instead of the guitar solo hero. In contrast to SURE OPPSTØT/SKJEDENS IRONI (just like LOST KIDS), where every song had loooong improvised guitar solos, R.E.D had not a single one ever.