BAM BAM BOYS

COUNTRY: Sweden

STYLE: Hard Rock
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This self-titled production is the only one from the group. It could have been the first in a long line of recordings by this innovative and daring group, well deserving a long and successful career. But faith would have it otherwise.

In 1987 Matti Alfonzetti, Goran Elmquist, Fredrik Von Gerber and Gunnar Hallin got together, started Bam Bam Boys and went into the KGR Studio in Stockholm. “We wanted to make an album that would blow the world away” says Matti Alfonzetti. And true, a lot of people were blown away when the pre-production tapes started circulating. A single was released without promotion and in a surprisingly small number in 1988, and was instantly presented as a chart-contender on the at the time very influential TV chart program “Listan”, where they performed the single “Let Me Touch Your Skin”.

The timing for an album release couldn’t have been better and people from a number of major foreign record companies started to take interest in the band. Herbie Herbert,  Journey’s legendary manager wanted to see the group live. Thus the release of the album was postponed and a  showcase at the Cat Club in New York was set up. The audience consisted of a huge flock of peopple from the American recording industry. Everything went great and  even if it’s a worn out phrase the Bam Bam Boys were tight and totally outrageous on stage.

So appointments were made, time passed, and then… nothing. A typical passing of events in this business. Maybe the band was ahead of its time. Maybe they gave in too quickly. Nobody seems able to remember.

Anyway, after returning to Sweden to do a showcase for the American multinational company EastWest in Stockholm and finally releasing the album in Sweden, they were faced with the disappointment of hearing that their Swedish company KRG Records, had been sold to a company that had subsequently gone bankrupt.

“After that we just kind of ran out of gas”, Matti Alfonzetti recalls with a sign. What then is there to call for a release of this Bam Bam Boys record in the year 1999? To begin with the band, unlike so many other bands, refused to adapt the styled hard rock image of the 80s, visually as well as soundwise. The standard for how a band should look and sound created by the breakthrough of Europe left the Bam Bam Boys unaffected.

“We were sufficiently self-confident and mature to take everything a step further, and aimed instead at reaching a wider dimension with the record. There was the rock’n’roll flavored “I Believe in Rock ‘n’ Roll”, the much mentioned ballad “Let Me Touch Your Skin”, high-tech-pop a la Peter Gabriel and Hall & Oates (“Angel” and “Susanne”), and bluesrock in the early Whitesnake tradition (“In Motion”), Matti Alfonzetti says and continues: “It’s good, strong material, well recorded and absolutely nothing to be ashamed of. We struggled with this record for at least a year. We have even reached cult status here in Sweden as well as in other countries”. During the years in the English band Jagged Edge, who released two records and did a European tour with David Lee Roth, and two records with the band Skintrade. Matti Alfonzetti has constantly had to answer questions about the now nearly mythical recordings the Bam Bam Boys did.

Gunnar Hallin reunited with Neon Rose, one of the better known domestic hard rock bands of the 70s. Guitarist Goran Elmquist got a flying start in his ongoing career as a producer, being awarded a gold record for his work with the successful group Talk of the Town. The drummer Fredrik Von Gerber crashed, boomed and banged with -among others- American rock hero Jean Beauvoir, Europe’s guitarist Kee Marchelo, with whom he made an album with the group Red Fun. Fredrik also had a hysterically  successful reunion tour with the group Noice in 1995.

ALBUMS

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- Bam Bam Boys [1989]

By Jorgen Holmstedt

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