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Helge Gaarder 1953-2004


Helge Gaarder died a month ago but I only learned about it yesterday while reading Ballade.

I started playing instruments when I was 7 but I didn’t get seriously involved with music until I was a teenager. At that time punk and new wave hit Norway. After at least 10 years of mediocre Norwegian pop music with bad lyrics in English singing in Norwegian became an important part of the “nyrock” movement as it was called. For several years I almost exclusively listened to Norwegian nyrock e.g. The Aller Værste Gjennomslag Stavangerensemblet Kjøtt Montage Circus Modern Program 80/81/82/… Can Can and Alle Tiders Duster. Helge Gaarder was the vocalist of Kjøtt.

This era is often reconned as the second gold age of Norwegian popular music (there was some good music made in the late 60s as well) with a lot of exciting stuff going on. I was to young to be allowed in at concerts but I listen to the music as much as I could often together with friends and I played in a band myself named MuzAk (with an anarchy circle around the A). That’s where I first started making my own music.

While at high school we had to do a rather large analysis of litterature and I chose to write about Norwegian nyrock lyrics analysing texts by Gjennomslag The Aller Værste Alle Tiders Duster Kjøtt and Circus Modern. The lyrics of Kjøtt and Circus Modern were the ones I focused the most on. The lyrics for both of the bands where mainly written by Helge Gaarder and for some years he was proberbly the one artist that influenced me the most. Later on I discovered Eno and got stuck with him.

The analysis was close to 50 pages all written on a typewriter dating from 1920 or so. It was supposed to be able to write black and red letters but most of them ended up being a bit of both. The resulting look felt perfectly right for the general feel of the subject at hand.

For some strange reason I’ve since working with and befriended several of my past heroes. The first LP I ever bought was by Program 81 featuring Maia Urstad on keyboards. Fellow BEK-er Gisle Frøysland played the guitar for Alle Tiders Duster and Jøran Rudi at NoTAM was the guitar player of Kjøtt. I never got to meet Helge though.

I tried to embed the video for “Beat Allegro” from Jørans Kjøtt web page as a homage to Helge but CoreBlog didn’t like the idea so I’ll have to make do with a link:

Beat Allegro

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