Linernotes by WILD BOB BURGOS
Sweden... The land of the Vikings, Pine Forests, Lakes, Moose and a blanket of snow as far as the eye can see in a very cold but beautiful setting... This is the picture that I always had in my mind before my very first tour of this lovely country way back in the late 1970's, and I wasn't wrong either when I arrived there. But there was also something else bubbling up over the surface that I never knew about at that time, and that was the up and coming force of Rock 'n' Roll music, and a life style to go with it too, that I shall now add to my picture of this memorable landscape. It never occurred to me that Sweden would have such a strong Rock 'n' Roll following, and everytime I returned to play there, the scene was getting bigger and better with each passing year.
Throughout the 1980's, I met up with several Swedish Rockers who were also performing at the same festivals as myself on the many sell out tours that were taking place back then, including some of my old friends Teddy Hill, and the late great piano Rocker Kenneth Swanstrom. These guys and many more, along with another good friend of mine and fellow Rocker Hank C. Burnette, helped pave the way for what we all know today as the revival of Rock'n' Roll in Sweden... And in hindsight I guess that is now historic fact!
It was now the year of 1988, and I was again on tour, this time in Finland... The Rock 'n' Roll / Rockabilly revival had long taken hold, and the scene in Scandinavia was really thriving as everywhere we played back then was filled with hundreds of hard core Rock 'n' Roll fans, Teddy boys and Rockers. Whilst I was there, I was introduced to several record companies, promoters and agents, who were interested in working with me on future tours, and in our conversation we got to talk about a new band that were storming the scene around that time who had acquired a large following of fans, and an increasing demand for their debut album that was to be released that week... This band was the 'Black Knights' from Sweden.
It wasn't long before I was back touring Sweden again, and I knew it would only be a matter of time before I met up with this band that everybody was talking about, and when I did, I could really understand why they had such a strong following as they not only looked the part, they also played with belief and dedication that is vital to their many Rock 'n' Roll fans... These guys were the real deal, and they reminded me of how things used to be back in those glory days of the 1970's.
I regard it as a great privilege to have been a part of the scene at that time, and I consider myself very fortunate to have played with so many of the bands that witnessed the arrival of the unforgetable 'Rockabilly Boom' back in those wonderful crazy days, that will stay with me forever. When I first met up with the guys from the band, I realised that they also had a great part to play in the survival of this great music, the same as we did back then.
Down that long Rock 'n' Roll road in the late 1980's and throughout the 1990's, our paths crossed many times. I've some great memories of gigging with them at clubs, weekenders and festivals, and on many occasions when I was on tour with my band 'Shotgun'. The guitarist of the 'Black Knights'... The fabulous Tom Powder often used to step in to play with us, and was even featured on one of our albums that was recorded whilst we were on tour in Sweden.
There has been thousands of Rock 'n' Roll revival bands that have come and gone throughout the years, but how many have stayed true to the Rock 'n' Roll life style that they first believed in, and started to live back in those true halcyon days of the 1970's? One band for sure are, and always will be the 'Black Knights', as their passion within Rock 'n' Roll will prove. These guys grew up together, and formed the band the 'Black Knights' back in 1981, and today they are still Rockin' in that same old way that I admire so much. Not only have they proved themselves within the Rock 'n' Roll hall of fame, I also feel honoured to have worked with them as my friends. Its not everyday that I get a chance to write about old friends and fellow Rockers, but on this occasion it really knocked me out when the band asked me to write a few lines about them regarding this new c.d. that you are now holding in your hands.
Firstly, this new collection of gems aren't performed by the 'Black Knights'... They are popular 'Black Knights' songs, but played by different groups from around Europe, who have been inspired by this great bands music over the years, and recorded specially to celebrate the 30 years that the 'Black Knights' have been together.
The raw excitement of Rockabilly is now a permanent part of the story of Rock 'n' Rll, but the pool of still-performing authentic Rockabilly veterans is not large, and it is unlikely that we will be surprised by others coming out of the woodwork in the future, because the ranks have thinned, and the survivors are aging with our links to the 1950's diminishing... But Rock 'n' Roll will survive, and it has been recognized around the world as a still-vital style worthy of being played and heard, studied and enjoyed... Not only by bands like the 'Black Nights' who have now proved themselves to be an established force in Rock 'n' Roll music, but also the many bands from around Europe that are paying tribute to them that is evident on this c.d... The train keeps a- rollin'.
From the very first moment I met up with these guys and heard them play, I realised that they had every ingredient to be a very successful Rock 'n' Roll band, and today I haven't been proved wrong because now I can put it in writing what i've been saying for over 30 years about this truly great band who now have a legendary status throughout Sweden and beyond.
So keep it Rockin' guys, and thanks for all those great times we had together playing 100%, Raw, In-Your-Face, High Energy, Screaming Rock 'n' Roll... They will stay with me forever!
So till the next time... Tom, Jens and Lasse, 'Spend It All' and just keep on doing what you do! I know you ain't gonna let us down, because you feel Rock 'n' Roll, you know Rock 'n' Roll, and when it comes to belief and dedication... You are Rock 'n' Roll.
Always a friend,
Liner Notes by Wild Bob Burgos, 2011