"What a long strange trip it was", to paraphrase The Grateful Dead, only it wasn't that long - but it sure was strange! Archimedes Badkar ("Archimedes' Bathtub") was started by yours truly in elementary schools eight grade (1972) in Grondal, southern Stockholm as a combined light-show(!) and music unit: just a bunch of kids messing around, our influences ranging front complex Zappa-isms and Coltrane/Shepp/Sanders -free jazz" to the minimalistic methods ofTerry Riley widened with the arrival of "real musician- Jorgen Adolfison, who brought with him his vast knowledge of traditional music Irons all over the globe. Our real-life heroes were the grown-ups in -FIlisket Brinner" (with Sten Bergman), "Triid, Gras & Stenar- (with Thomas Mcra Gam and Torbjorn Abelli), "Arbete OcIs Fritid" (with Bengt -Beebe- Berger, Kjell Wesding, and later Tord Bengtsson) and the late Don Cherry, who resided in Sweden at the time, and whose fellow musicians included Christer BotIsa and -Beebe" Berger. Making a record was a seemingly unobtainable fantasy.
So it still amazes inc that in 1979 Archimedes Badkar had released four albums (including a double one), Don Cherry had been a frequent guest artist, Kjell Westling had recorded and toured with the band, and the other musicians mentioned above were all members of the band !
But before that the first years of playing benefit gigs and free festivals were really chaotic, in sort ola "anything goes" spirit of the time - to say that the audiences never knew what to expect would be a subtle understatement: hell, we didn't know what to expect ! The number of people on stage would range from four to twenty (including fire- eaters and extravagantely dressed dancers - Sun Ra surely was an influence). Guys we had never seen before would turn up with guitars and big amps (including one Che Guevara-look-a-like biker with enormous chains around Isis waist). It was hard to tell who was actually a member of the band, and what instrument they played.This is certainly true in the case of brilliant guitarist and bass- player Christer Bjernelind, who would turn up for rehearsals carrying the pieces of a clarinet in a plastic bag, a tenor saxophone with a rope as neck- strap, or, on one particulary memorable occasion, a vibraphone Ise had transported across town on it's wheels.
By the time -Tre", our third album, was recorded in 1977 things were comparatively more tightly structured. But we still kept things quite open, moving from thumb piano duos to indian instrumentation with electric bass soloing, to full "jazz- line-up of horns, piano, bass and drums.
When I left the band to fully concentrate on my duties in "Peps Blodsband" Bengt became bandleader and eventually transformed the band into "The Bitter Funeral Beer Band", developing his arrangements of music from Ghana that had started with "Darkpen". The album "BITTER FUNERAL BEER" (ECM 8393082) features Don Cherry, the Adolfssons, Bothen, Kjell Westling, Krantz, Thomas Mera Gartz, Tord Bengtsson and others. Christer Bother' recorded one of the best albums I've heard (big words, but I mean it), "TRANCE DANCE" (up-coming CD- re-release on MNW) featuring musical impressions of his stays in Mali and Morocco with Bengt, Mera, the AdolSsons, Wesding, Krantz, Bengtsson and his newly-formed band "Bolon Bata".
jorgen and Tommy continued to work as a duo called the "KARL BROTHERS" (though they are only musically, not genetically, brothers), recording a great album in 1994 (Slask Records SI.ACD 009).
I have made nine solo albums to date (inclu
ding one collaboration with the late painter and poet Mati Klarwein) featuring contributions from the Adolfssons, Botha, Berger, Christer Bjernelind, and Peter Ek who together with Jorge!' is part of my current band which can be heard on the CD "UNIVERSAL RIDDIM" 1'M1VW/RUBCD 17).
Archimedes Badkar has yet to follow the ongoing trend of re-unions, but with the release of this CD, who knows ?
— Linear notes Per Tyernberg,
Stockholm, May 2003 •
6 Thumb Piano Music
7 Suite: Pharoah / El Legend / Marrakech
8 Desert Band
11 Yugoslavian Dance
12 Jorden ("The Earth")
13 Charmante Yerevan
14 After The Rain / Waterfalls
word to pass around the bathtub is thegoodone