Wednesday, March 18, 2015

The Singing Swedes (No, not ABBA!)

On Monday Clark clued you all in about crime-fighting musicians. I wanted to let you all know about the almost disproportionate amount of law-upholding, justice-pursuing rock-n-rollers there are in Scandinavian countries. There are literally hundreds, and this is because of a clause in the legal systems of Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland, which require rock bands to be licensed before being allowed to perform. That's right. In order to be a loudmouth punk, longhaired metal master or even a bewhiskered folkie, you have to get a licence. When you get the licence, you have to swear an oath. The words of the oath are as follows (I'm paraphrasing, of course, due to the oath being far too long and convoluted for us Westernised lazy bums to cope with): "I solemnly swear to abide by the rules of the Scandinavian Musician's Code, to uphold the law and seek truth and justice wherever and whenever possible, because we Scandie types need to set an example to the world and show off our clever-clogsness because of an inborn desire to be the best, nanny-nanny-boo-boo." See? I told you I was paraphrasing. You get the gist.

As my father-in-law used to say, "You can always tell a Norwegian, but you can't tell him much." So true, so true.

As I say, there are literally hundreds of examples out there, but I am just going to show you a handful.

L to R: Jan, Jann, Jan-Mark, Mark-Jan, and Fred.
Rubb & Stubb by name, Rubb & Stubb by nature. These guys were masters of torture. Not for their music, you understand, but their methods of interrogation. Their trademark was rubbing your hair with a day-old piece of lutefisk and then stubbing Uncle Sven's old stogies out on your left buttock. Worked every time.

They look pretty harmless, don't they? Not sure which one's Bob and which one's Candy.
The Bob Candys sought to defuse conflict and stop wrongdoers in their tracks by disorienting them through the cunning use of shirts.

Clockwise from top left: Ben, Per, "Chopsy" and Birgit.
Western combo Birgits knew the secret was to kill you with kindness. After being invited into their house for some lefse and pickled herring, their down-to-earth bonhomie would disarm any would-be baddie, but after a couple of hours they'd be screaming to be let out and swear to follow the path of righteousness so long as they didn't have to put up with any more of Birgit's music.

L to R: Bjorn, Pal, "Beef", and (front) Horten Market. As you may have guessed, these guys were into Judo. And bad Photoshopping.
Again, fashion being used as a weapon here. Sometimes it was gaudy jackets and loon pants, but in extreme cases, they used nothing but hats.

Would it surprise you to know that Michael is a fan of the Schytts?

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