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23 Aug 2016

Mecki Mark Men "Running in the Summer Night" 1969 Swedish Psych Rock


Mecki Mark Men "Running in the Summer Night" 1969 Swedish Psych Rock 

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xIBRKI2GiK4


There is no need for a second introduction for this Swedish super group; Mecki Mark Men. But here is some rare footage of the band acting to two of their absolut best songs “Running In The Summer Night” and “The Life Cycle: Being Is More Than Life”. This was broadcasted in the Swedish television show Kram: Tema Att Lyssna (Hug: Theme To Listen) Mars 31, 1969. “Being Is More Than Life”, written by Kenny Håkansson, is one of those fantastic songs that make all of your senses shiver and invokes the belief of an entirety. The film sequences with rapid zooming of winter landscapes from above along with the band sitting in meditation is among the best music videos that Swedish Television did in the 60s. Free from slapsticks and burlesque which otherwise was so common during the decade.In 1967 T-Boones became Baby Grandmothers, with Kenny Håkansson on guitar, Pelle Ekman on drums and Bella Ferlin on bass. A short-lived trio who recorded one rare single in Finland. Soon they teamed up with the organist Mecki Bodemark and took over the name Mecki Mark Men. Mecki Bodemark had allready recorded one self titled LP (Philips, 1967), including Thomas Mera Gartz from Pärson Sound on drums. The new line-up, a mixture between Baby Grandmothers and Mecki Mark Men, recorded two LPs Running in the summernight (Limelight, 1969) and Marathon (Sonet, 1971). And was the first Swedish psych/progressive group to try their wings in the states. The performance below is recorded right after the band came home from that tour. Its recorded at Stockholmsterassen in 1970. Amazing stuff!... 

Lead by keyboardist and vocalist Mecki Bodemark, MECKI MARK MEN are considered one of the first big Swedish psychedlic acts. They released an eponymous album in 1968 but soon after, Bodemark went his own way and teemed up with a threesome called the BABY GRANDMOTHERS to form MECKI MARK MEN. In 1968, they were the supporting act for FRANK ZAPPA AND THE MOTHERS OF INVENTION at Stockholm's Concert House, as well as for JIMI HENDRIX during his Swedish tour. In 1969, they released a second album called "Running in the Summer Night", made TV appearances and were part of the Swedish cast of the popular musical "Hair". The following year, they went on a U.S. tour and played at rock festivals headlining The BYRDS, SLY & THE FAMILY STONE and JETHRO TULL among others. However, the tour ended up in chaos. They had stayed there for 3 months yet their visas were only valid for 6 weeks; they were also stuck in a hotel room they couldn't afford. So they made a deal with their manager, returned home and paid their debts by recording a third album ("Marathon"). They then broke up, with most of the cast soon resurfacing as KEBNEKAISE. They released a fourth album in 1979 under their original name, where Mecki Bodemark features as the only original member. 

Typical of 60's psych and R&B, their music resembles that of JIMI HENDRIX, IRON BUTTERFLY and VANILLA FUDGE: trippy, brain melting distorted lead guitar with plenty of fuzz and wah-wah, and lots of wasted, stoned out vocals from Bodemark who, btw, does the same things with his formidable Hammond organ as Hendrix with his guitar. Their better release is perhaps "Running in the Summer Night", an album of heavy acid space rock where everyone is at his best, particularly Bodemark and guitar wizard Kenny Häkansson....


This formation was one of the first Swedish progressive/psychedelic rock bands. In the autumn of '67 they released their eponymous debut-album, the fine blend of jazz, blues and rock got a lot of positive reviews but the album sold not very well. After being support- act for ZAPPA'S MOTHER OF INVENTION and The JIMI HENDRIX EXPERIENCE the band broke up in the spring of '68. Early '69 a new line up with prime mover Mecki Bodemark (organ and vocals) released a second LP entitled "Running In The Summer Night", it was also released in the USA and followed by an American tour were the band shared bills with The BYRDS, SLY & The FAMILY STONE, Paul BUTTERFIELD and JETHRO TULL. After their third LP entitled "Marathon" the band finally dissolved in the fall of '71. Thanks to the Swedish (prog) rock label Mellotronen we can enjoy the second album "Running In The Summer Night". The music on the 14 songs (including two bonus tracks) is very similar to VANILLA FUDGE (soulful vocals and Hammond organ), The JIMI HENDRIX EXPERIENCE (wah-wah guitar) and CREAM (powerful guitar and propulsive rhythm-section). The melodic progressive mix of rock, blues and jazz and the solos on guitar (often fiery) and Hammond (bluesy and swirling) sound very tasteful with lots of changing atmospheres in that typical Sixties mood. Not only the music is great, also the artwork: a digipack triple-foldout-cover with an inlay info book..... by erik neuteboom ...


In the spring of 1968, after a brief tour of the Scandinavian countries as the opening act for the Jimi Hendrix Experience, the Mecki Mark Men broke up. Mecki Bodemark joined the Baby Grandmothers (who expanded their trio with a keyman), while Thomas Mera Gartz became a member of Pärson Sound (later International Harvester, then Harvester and finally Träd, Gras och Stenar). That would have been the story of Mecki Mark Men actually finished. In the fall of 1968, however, the American record company Limelight, which brought the debut of the Mecki Mark Men relatively successfully in the US among the people, approached Bodemark and asked for a follow-up disc. Shortly convinced Bodemark his bandmates to change the name. From the Baby Grandmothers (who had released only a single to date) were so around the turn of 1968-69, the second cast of the Mecki Mark Men. 

In January and February 1969, the second album of the formation was created in Stockholm. In addition to Bodemark now Kenny Hakansson (guitar), Pelle Ekman (drums) and the bassist Bella Fehrlin (Bengt Linnarsson) belonged to the band. However, "Running In The Summer Night" only appeared in the US during the year. There, the four musicians went in April 1970 for their first US tour. In the opening act of the Byrds, Sly And The Family Stone, Paul Butterfield and Jethro Tull, the band played various concerts and played in Chicago another album ("Marathon"), which, however, was released in 1971 by Sonet. In 1971, the story of this occupation of the Mecki Mark Men was over. Hakansson, Ekman and Linnarsson teamed up with Rolf Scherrer and launched Kebnekajse. Bodemark released another album at the end of the decade with a new cast of the Mecki Mark Men. 

But back to "Running In The Summer Night". Not only the band's cast had changed, the music of the Mecki Mark Men is different on this album as well. Although Mecki Mark's psychedelic-protoprogressive Georgel also determines what's going on here, Kenny Hakansson has a similarly expressive guitarist almost equally at his side. Based on the sweeping, psychedelic Triogejamme the Baby Grandmothers create the four Swedes here a slightly jazzed, spacey-bluesy psychedelic rock, which has some similarities to simultaneous productions of the American West Coast. Compared to the debut, what is offered in this way represents a step backwards in a progressive sense. One approaches clearly the "normal" rock sound of the late 60s. Due to Bodemark's rather similar organ and his way of singing, the whole thing is reminiscent of Hendrix, although the organ, various flute inlays and a lesser blues influence make clear differences. 

The CD Reissue still offers some bonus material. It has been used for the CD production originally produced in Sweden master tapes of the album. Apparently, these were then remixed again for the US release. From this US version come the two bonus numbers. Riessige differences are there, however, do not make out. 

"Running In The Summer Night" is a decent album with psychedelic-spacey protoprog (ProtoHardrock), which is quite disappointing compared to the band's debut. Collectors of Swedish (proto) progs and anyone interested in the origins of Kebnekajse can still access them here!......by.....Achim Breiling..

Mecki Mark Men's line-up changed a lot for their second studio album. Their sound is pretty similar to their debut but it's also a bit heavier sounding psychedelia this time. This is a very strong record from the start to the end. If you're into heavy psych I highly recommend you to check out Running in the Summer Night. 

There are several impressive songs that I could choose as highlights but the album works best as a totality. It's easy to recommend this strong album for any serious psych rock fan out there. Running in the Summer Night is way better than it's predecessor although it's a good album too.....by....CooperBolan 
....What an awful album!!! If it weren't for a guitar player who knows how to play at least one scale properly this wouldn't even merit one star! There is nothing on this album but a ton of post Vanilla Fudge pseudo psychedelic noise and I love psychedelic music! Mecki Bodemark's horrid imitation of Jimi Hendrix is so lame that I place him and Yngwie Malmsteen together as the worst insult to Swedish music ever created, only Mecki does all the damage with his two note organ riffs and suffocating voice that fails at being a super sexy Hendrix and sounds more like a croak and a groan than sexy. Don't ask me what songs are worse than others, the problem here is there are no songs. From track 1 on this is nothing but sludge. You'd think a producer could salvage something out of this slag heap, but no such luck. I mean, this is so bad that it is an insult to the listener and I got rid of my copy as fast as I could. I also suffered a headache for two days after playing this. Don't get the wrong idea, I played this album a bunch of times before deciding on my harsh words and harsh thoughts about the album, but you can only give something a fair chance before you realize you are being tricked by what it not even music! From the awful beginning of "Sweet Swede Girls" things just get more and more obnoxious until you either are laughing hysterically or are taking the needle off with a sick feeling in your stomach. I DO give credit to the guitar player in this band, he plays a couple nice solos here and there, so don't blame him for how bad this sounds. The rhythm section sound non existant here, there's nothing for them to play in terms of tight rhythms because everything is formless. If you want loud in your face mind bending music you can do better than this and find something more substantial in a Hendrix record or try to find the excellent album Stormvarning by fellow Swedes Storm which is sung in Swedish, but that's much preferable to here where the lyrics don't make any sense and the vocals are so accented he might as well not sing in English. Don't waste your money or your time here, because there's nothing that even qualifies as music. If you're a Desperate collector or fan, this is for you only, only don't be a fool like me and buy the album, buy the CD instead!.....


line-up: 

Bella Ferlin: bass 
Kenny Hakansson: Guitar 
Mecki Bodemark: Organ, Vocals 
Pelle Ekman: Drums 

Side A: 
1. Sweet Swede Girls (4:20) 
2. Playing Child (4:40) 
3. Is He Safe? (4:13) 
4. Don´t Wanna Hurt You (4:00) 
5. Future On The Road (4:46) 

Side B: 
1. The Life Cycle, a) Spoken Intro (0:13) 
2. The Life Cycle, b) Born (3:59) 
3. The Life Cycle, c) Different Directions (2:54) 
4. The Life Cycle, d) Being Is More Than Life (2:46) 
5. Help Me Somebody (2:29) 
6. Butterfly (3:18) 
7. Running In The Summernight (5:13) 

Bonus tracks: 

1. Future on the Road (6:04) 
2. The Life Cycle (9:39) 

johnkatsmc5, welcome music..

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