Swedish musician Bo Hansson was born on 10 April 1943. He was best known for his four instrumental albums released in the 1970s. Hansson spent his early life in a remote village in the pine forests of northern Sweden, but a change in his parents’ fortunes forced them to move to Stockholm without him. He remained in the care of family friends until his teenage years when he was reunited with his parents in Stockholm. With a fascination with rock and roll music, Hansson taught himself to play the guitar, before joining the band Rock-Olga.
- After the rock and roll craze gave way to jazz and blues in the late ’50s he joined ‘Slim’ Notini’s Blues Gang as a guitarist. Hansson then formed his own blues group The Merrymen, who supported The Rolling Stones on an early Scandinavian tour.
- In 1966, he left The Merrymen to expand his musical horizons and bought a Hammond organ. He formed a new group who were signed by Polydor under the band name Hansson & Karlsson. The band became popular within Sweden and they released three albums between 1967 and 1969.
- They even reached the ear of Jimi Hendrix, who took time out from his tour to jam with the duo, along with George Clemons on drums and Georg Wadenius on guitar, at the Klub Filips in Stockholm in late 1967.
- Hendrix went on to record a Hansson song, “Tax Free”.
In 1969, Hansson became entranced by J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, and moved into a friend’s vacant apartment and started writing a musical score, based on the novel. Music Inspired by Lord of the Rings, was released in December, 1970.
- Magician’s Hat was his second solo album. It was originally released in Sweden by Silence Records in 1972 and internationally through Charisma, the following year.
Hansson’s recording of Magician’s Hat took place at Studio Decibel in Stockholm. Like its predecessor, the album was partly influenced by fairy tales and fantasy themes, with the song “Elidor” being inspired by Alan Garner’s 1965 fantasy novel Elidor. Although the album had a similar progressive rock sound to his previous album, it was not as commercially successful and failed to reach the charts in the U.K. and the U.S.
In 1976, Hansson began work on recordings that were inspired by another book – Richard Adams’ Watership Down. Another disappointing chart performance led to his withdrawal from music and he fell into obscurity. Bo Hansson died in Stockholm on 23 April 2010.
About the cover artist:
Born in Gothenburg Sweden, in 1952, Jan Ternald is active as a painter, illustrator and musician. He has been exhibiting in art galleries and museums since 1970 and also has been working as a book & record illustrator. Very recently, Ternald started working with computer art. This will hopefully result in 3-D and animation adventures taking him into new dimensions.
“Is It Art?”