Mosaic: ‘Happier Man’ (1968)

Star 7” single #SW-1013 (1/1968)

Written by Frank Robson.

Frank Robson: vocals, organ
Vladimir “Nikke” Nikamo: guitar
Olli Könönen: bass
Raimo “Raikka” Rautarinne: drums

From Finnish Nuggets (an unofficial CD-R compilation) liner notes by Tommi Uschanov:

“Frank Robson, like Jim Pembroke before him, was a London Mod who came to Finland and decided to stay. He got his start playing in various local bands in the south of England such as The Sons of Mad, The Swinging Machine and The Lower Third, also working occasionally as a session musician for bands such as The Artwoods and The Ivy League. The high point of early career was a brief spell as organist in The Small Faces between the terms of Jimmy Winston and Ian McLagan.

After moving to Helsinki at the urging of a few Finns he had met in London, in September 1967 Robson joined the new and coming Mosaic — which also included bassist Olli Könönen from the legendary but unrecorded Creatures — as vocalist and organist. This resulted in his first record, the psychedelic ‘Happier Man’, which uncannily foreshadows the Scandinavian progressive rock style so pervasive in Finland in the early ’70s. Robson soon left Mosaic to take Jim Pembroke’s place in the last stages of Blues Section. In 1969, with Blues Section bassist Måns Groundstroem, he founded the progressive jazz-rock band Tasavallan Presidentti, who soon gained both national and international renown, recording two classic albums before Robson was replaced by Eero Raittinen in 1973. Robson has since made occasional solo albums and worked in various roles in the Finnish music business, also recently reviving Tasavallan Presidentti for the odd gig and live album.”

Wigwam: 'Tombstone Valentine' (1970)

Happy Valentine’s Day from Finland! (Produced by Kim Fowley.)

Landladies are real strange people
gotta watch what they do
Rent places for real fat prices
then outta the blue
raise hell outta noise and suchlike
and my boogie kazoo
Send her a Valentine

She goes for her walks on Wednesdays
on a Saturday night
straight down to the local graveyard
by the moody moonlight
She likes to read all the tombstones
reads between the lines
Makes meanings that spell her stories
then makes ‘em all rhymes
Send her some Valentines

She keeps her monkeys in a budgie’s case
I have heard them cry
“Save our souls! ‘Cos we don’t wanna die
so young”.


Suosikki 8/1965


Suosikki 8/1965


Suosikki 4/1965


Suosikki 4/1965


Suosikki 12/1964


Suosikki 12/1964

Charlies: ‘Like The Purpose Told Me’ (1970)

From the album Buttocks.

The Charlies is a band hailing from Lahti, Finland. Their active period was from 1966 to 1975; from 1997 onwards there have been a couple of nostalgia gigs every year. Influenced by such acts as Cream, Jimi Hendrix and Led Zeppelin, they were known for lengthy improvisations, including extended drum and bass solos. The founding members Kari “Pitkä” Lehtinen and Eero Ravi were only left when by 1968 The Charlies had diminished into a trio featuring also the drummer-vocalist Vesa “Wellu” Lehtinen. Later Ari “Kusti” Ahlgrén played the drums as Lehtinen wanted to concentrate only on singing. During gigs the band was also joined by Igor Sidorow (real name Erkki Summala) who played both flute and saxophone. 

The Charlies released in 1970 both its longplay albums, Buttocks and Julisteiden Liimaajat, the latter featuring music from an ill-fated political film (which was shown only once at Tampere Film Festival to extremely negative reviews, most of its footage allegedly lost now). The same year the band also played at the first-ever Ruisrock festival in Turku. The most legendary line-up of The Charlies split in 1971 as both Eero Ravi and Wellu Lehtinen left the band even though soon afterwards the group was reassembled. However, Eero Ravi never returned to The Charlies.

German label Shadoks Music reissued Buttocks on vinyl in 2013, with further plans to re-release also the Julisteiden Liimaajat soundtrack in 2014. Eero Ravi’s interview can be found at It’s Psychedelic Baby magazine.

- Juha Saali - vocals
- Eero “Ebro” Ravi - guitar
- Igor Sidorow - flute, saxophone, piano
- Vesa “Wellu” Lehtinen - vocals, harmonica
- Kari “Pitkä” Lehtinen - bass
- Ari “Kusti” Ahlgrén - drums

The Charlies @ Finnish Wikipedia

Blues Section: ‘Answer to Life’ (1967)

Written by Jim Pembroke. From the LP Blues Section, LRLP 3, Love Records, 1967.

Jim Pembroke (vocals) 
Hasse Walli (guitar)
Måns Groundstroem (bass, piano, Hammond organ)
Ronnie Österberg (drums, backing vocals)

(Blues Section’s alto saxophone player Eero Koivistoinen apparently doesn’t perform on this track.)

“I’ve searched in the depths of my mind to find 
The answer to life is be kind, not blind
Show love above all
And your life won’t be so hard no more

People may fight and make war and roar
The answer to life is make love, no war
Show love above all
And your life won’t be so hard no more

I go with the gang called the Vegetable Men
I smash up the hippies whenever I can
They get on my nerves with their flowers and love
They sit in Soho while I’m in a pub
Eating minced tarts, playing my darts
I see if there’s any crumpet near
I don’t want nothing more than my beer

I go with the gang called the Vegetable Men
I like to kick cops whenever I can
They say that I weren’t too bright at my school
But if I can beat cops I can be no fool
Breaking their bones, I’m chucking ‘round stones
I’m spreading ‘round fear and hate
I don’t want nothing more than my beer

Breaking their bones, I’m chucking ‘round stones
I’m spreading ‘round fear and hate
I don’t want nothing more than my beer

I searched…

I go with…
I’m breaking…”