n 1963, two friends from the military service, Lennart Hegland and Christer Petterson
formed what later would become the Swedish popgroup "The Hep Stars". At the same time,
the organist Hans Östlund joined the band and later also the guitarist and singer Janne
Frisk. At this time, they called the band "Quartet Yep" and played mainly decent restaurant
music. After Janne joined, rock'n roll slowly grew in the band's repertoire, and it didn't
take long before they realized that "Quartet Yep" had to be replaced. Janne came with the
idea "The Hep Stars" which was rapidly accepted by the other band members. The name change
also pointed on the band's new musical approach, from mediocre folk dance to refined rock.
During the preparations for a gig at Rörstands youth recreation centre, Janne was absent for
a side job, a tour in Norrland together with accordion player Erik Frank. Svenne Hedlund, singer
in Clifftones, was requested to reinforce the band and sing a few songs. He accepted and his
presence in the band whet the appetite. Lennart soon realized that The Hep Stars would benefit
from having Svenne with the band, in addition to their lead vocalist Janne, and soon Svenne left
the band Clifftones to become a permanent member of growing The Hep Stars.
After pressure from Lennart, Åke Gerhard, a music producer, songwriter and owner of the label
Olga, became the manager of the band. An experienced and stable man from the north of Sweden
with valueable contacts in the branch would, with some hestitation, release the Hep Stars as
a rock group and finance their first record, Kana Kapila. The single, with a terrible cover showing
Svenne in a cannibal pot, didn't succeed. The only appearence received was a small press item in
the Swedish paper Bildjournalen.
Hans Östlund left the band in 1964 and was replaced by Benny Andersson, organist from
"Elverkets Spelmanslag". The Hep Stars was now complete and had finally received enough attention to be able
to work as musicians full-time. Their energic pop music become a remarkable success within the youth generation.
Saturday, the 17th of April 1965, must be considered as a historic date in the group's career.
The Hep Stars had acomplished something that no band ever had done before, they had three songs on
the Swedish Top10 chart at the same time. In a time when British pop music dominated, world-wide.
Their spectacular appearance in the TV-show "Drop In" with the song "Cadillac", on the 23rd of March
1965 opened the way for a breakthrough. Cadillac was voted on the first place on the Top10 chart.
Farmer John made it to the fourth place, and A tribute to Buddy Holly, which was previously on the
list, moved up to the eight place.
As The Hepstars grew even more successful, it became the most commonly requested
band in the people's amusement parks. When Lennart "Felle" Fernholm (the sixth member
of the band and tour leader) introduced the band for a fanatic audience, in a park
somewhere in Sweden at the year of 1965, the gig was characterized by, in the
Swedish pop history, unparalleled hysteric idolatry. The Hepstars dominated Swedish
music market and charts the following years.
The Hepstars musical development during the later part of the sixties would split
the fans in two groups - the disconsolated and those with unbounded happyness. With their own record
company, planned movie release and other business activities their financial problems grew
bigger and bigger every day and The Hepstars disbanded during the end of the sixties. The
final concert was held in Kungsträdgården, Stockholm, late summer 1969 with an audience of
thousands of fans. The successful story of The Hepstars hadended. Around the corner was
the seventies, a decade with plenty of challenges and
success for some of the band members.
1965 was probably the greatest year for The Hep Stars. Cadillac, the break through song for the
band, became synonymous with the whole career of the group, from 1964 and ahead. The fine
cover photo by Norwegian photographer Robert Meyers, for the first LP, shows a hungry band of
the sixties, who was to write several pages in the Swedishmusic history. Perhaps thanks to a