Told by themselves... (yawn, zzzzzzz) ;-)
Webmasters note: These pages demands some knowledge to the Danish language for the jokes to be understood 100% ...
[1. The old Uncles] [2. How it started] [3. Philippa] [4. Rie] [5. Now we must continue ... ]
[6. It is hard to maintain pessimism ... ]
The old uncles: We have only just begun...
The two old uncles have now known each other for more than 50 years. They have played and written music together since they were 12 years old, in the Hørsholm - Rungsted area, only interrupted by two circumstances, because of Kjellerup's stay at boarding school (Sorø Academy) and his journalist career in the mid 80ies.
This has only been possible, because there is at issue two very different people with the same interests - (music, soccer and Storm P.) - Kjellerup is the leader type, the one who takes the initiative, who is only satisfied, if he thinks he is in charge of every thing - Stanley is more the Jesus-like type, that is able to get something good out of whatever situation, the two would land in. These two types are described exhaustively in many places in the worlds literature - but one can still best compare the the two uncles with (Stan) Laurel and (Oliver) Hardy - or perhaps with "Bamse and Kylling". (Teddy bear and Chicken )
Their first big success together was with the performance of "Folk og røvere i Kardemomme by" ( "People an Robbers in Cardamom Town" ) in the kindergarten for teachers and parents. There is unfortunately no documentation available about this, so perhaps it is only a furphy*, but they both maintain, that it is true. Kjellerup played the part of Kasper, while Stanley played Police inspector Bastian.
FOOTBALL-PHOTO from 1965. Stanley played left wing, and was top scorer with 23 goals, while Kjellerup - completely contrary to his nature - played a very defensive left half, who rarely got on the score board.
The first orchestra, the two uncles formed together was called "Shitriders". Kjellerup had earlier had the orchestra "Wheel" in Sorø with had a nice, local succes in Sorø.
Stanley at that time had various acoustic blues bands in Rungsted. "Shitriders" was a seven man orchestra, which existed in the start of the 70-s, and played electric latin-music, inspired by Stan Getz & Joao Gilberto and the rest of that times international rock and jazz scene, that is to say Jimi Hendrix, Cream, Led Zeppelin ( only the first two records ), Doors, Mothers of Invention, Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock og Bror Kalles Kapel.
"Shitriders" debuted in 1972 at Vallerød School with guest artist performance of jazz-saxophonist, John Tchicai (also called Tykke-Kaj (fat-Kaj) - in that he was very thin) - who at that time lived in Hørsholm. Stanley played guitar and electric piano, Kjellerup guitar and drums, while their earlier friend and later Tøsedrenge-colleague, Aage Hagen played electric piano and drums.
"Shitriders" rehearsed in the evenings and on weekends in the after school recreation centre at 50 Ahornvej in Usserød, where the uncles were employed as teacher assistants - not so much because of an interest in the teaching profession, but because the position gave them access to ideal rehearsal facilities: One could play loudly when the kids had been sent home. "Shitriders" performed in pubs and eateries in the Hørsholm-Helsingør-Hillerød area for a meal and a case of beer - and the orchestra has also performed for three days in a very respectable jazz club, Bil Bouquet in Paris by mistake.
"Shitriders" were dissolved when the uncles were in their early twenties and their ambitions of acknowledgement and fame were still not fulfilled. That was in the mid 70-s. At that time one could only remove oneself from bad musicians in an orchestra, if one disbanded the orchestra and then reformed it with out these musicians - a quarter of an hour later. Stanley reformed "Shitriders" in a slightly different form under the name "Frømænd i Farver" - while Kjellerup joined the jazz-fusion orchestra "Pakhus 1" with, among others, Aage Hagen and guitarist Frederik Søgaard.
Despite the orchestral divorce, the uncles continued to write songs, and at the same time they became very interested in a completely new music, which no one in Denmark had heard before: Reggae. Stanley had a pile of records that he brought home with him from a holiday in Trinidad with Bob Marley & The Wailers (that is, records with Bob Marley, not a holiday with him...) - and the uncles attempted to fuse the reggae-musics "reversed" way of playing to their own style. This led to, after a long row of demo-numbers, recorded in Kjellerup's garage in Humlebæk, the formation of Tøsedrengene [the Sissies] with Aage Hagen, Jan Sivertsen and Michael Bruun. "Tøsedrengene" first record was made in 1978. In 1980 Anne Dorte Michelsen came, and later Maria Bramsen also joined the group.
"Tøsedrengene" became very popular in the beginning of the 80-s, because of their simple and plain hits, the reggae-inspired lightness in the music, and Anne Dorte Michelsens lyrics about life in relationships. However in 1983 Kjellerup left "Tøsedrengene", partly because the success had gone to the bands head, partly because of personal disagreements with a pair of the other members - though not with Stanley. While Stanley continued with "Tøsedrengene" and later with "The Lejrbåls", Kjellerup worked as, among other things, as a journalist with "Extra Bladet" and released two solo records. Furthermore Kjellerup took part as a ordinary band member in the Anne Dorte Michelsen Band, and was among other things on tour with this band in Japan.
The pause in the uncle's collaborations continued until 1989, where Stanley assisted with Kjellerup's self financed solo record, "Klaus Kjellerup". Out of this was formed "Klaus Kjellerup's Band" with among others Philippa Bulgin, and this led further to the formation of "Danser med Drenge".
After more than 30 years in the music branch - from here more than 20 years in the recording branch - there are many people that have asked the old uncles, if perhaps the time has come to soon place the severely tested instruments on the shelf and rest the rusty voices. Shouldn't the uncles take a step back and enjoy their opium? To this they answered - surprised: "May we be free - we have only just begun!".
* Furphy -furphies - a rumour; a false story [From John Furphy, manufacturer, in Victoria Australia, of water carts, which during World War I were centres of gossip.]
When people went to get their water they would gossip and share a few stories, including furphies. Today, if a person does not believe what you are telling them, they may suggest that you are telling them a furphy.
How it started ...
"Danser med Drenge" was started by Klaus Kjellerup and Philippa Bulgin from the remains of the "Klaus Kjellerup Band" in 1990. "Klaus Kjellerup Band" released a LP/CD in 1989, with among other things the music video "Mænd er Mænd". The recording was financed by Kjellerup himself - because there wasn't any record company that was prepared to inject money into the project.
The band, after this was on tour in 1990 with 8 members - including Philippa Bulgin and Stanley, put poor economics forced Kjellerup to break-up the project. The CD had at that time sold about 3,000 copies, in other words: not a thundering success. It was really more a case of being a fiasco. But even though the public didn't flock to us in great numbers, we had a pair of very prominent fans, who also followed us in person, namely the soccer players Peter Schmeichel & Kim Christofte. This we were very proud of - the small name droppers that we are.
After this Kjellerup and Bulgin got started with writing and recording songs to that, which later would become "Danser med Drenge". The economics we managed in that period with advertisement music tasks, for among others, Kellogg's.
In the summer of 1991 we received onehumiliating rejectionafter an other, broadly speaking, from all the danish record companies, of a tape with six numbers - written by Kjellerup and Stanley - among others the later hit, "Hvorlænge vil du ydmyge dig". The record company directors felt, that music could only be sold in Denmark, if it was performed in English. Interesting point of view. Only the then "Pladecompagniet" (now SONY) showed some interest, but the company director, Jan Degner felt, that the music needed to be reworked.
Kjellerup and Bulgin decided after this to incorporate the keyboard player Jesper Mejlvang, (earlier, "One-Two") in the group, in order to get his help in polishing the music a bit more. Hereafter the three worked further with the music, which was sent out to all the record companies in the spring of 1992, with a new round of humiliating dismissals to follow. (As punishment, several of these record companies became bankrupt shortly afterwards, including Replay Records). Our only encouragement was that Jan Degner from "Pladecompagniet" was not completely unsympathetic. We hereafter delivered at the request of Degner, a new song, "Kolde Hjerter", and at last he surrendered. We celebrated with a small cautious class of champaign, at the same time that the danish soccer team qualified for the European Championship Final (with a great contribution from our two fans, Schmeichel & Christofte ). The contract was signed on the 16th September.
The band - still without a name - went to the recording studio in december 1992 - in february 1993 there were 11 tracks ready for the first initiative, "Danser med Drenge". During the recording, Jan Degner offered a case of fine red vine to the musician in the studio who could come up with a good name for the band. Now Degner, incidentally is not a man, about whom one could say, that he is one to let a 5 cent coin roll away. To get out of this offer, he declared straight away, that he had thought of the name: "Danser med Drenge". After having chewed on this for a while, we agreed - and Degner kept his case of red vine. In march, "Hvorlænge vil du ydmyge dig" was released as a single, which in the duration of the next 3 months, became a fairly big radio hit, both on P3 (Danish State Radio), and the regional radio stations - and now the train was under way. "Danser med Drenge" first CD has to date sold more than 200,000 copies - as of april 2000 (four times platinum).
Shortly after the release of the first CD in 1993, Jesper Mejlvang withdrew from the collaboration with Philippa and Klaus Kjellerup, when his lack of time did not permit any more projects. Mejlvang was at that time a musician in both "Jan Glæsels TV Orchestra" and "Linie 3".
The CD continued at the same time to climb up the pop chart, and in May '93 the record company suggested that we make a remix of "Hvorlænge vil du ydmyge dig". Chief 1 (Lars Pedersen) was called in to be in charge of the remix. The Chief had among other things done a rap in one of the tracks on the CD, and he brought along an amusing young fellow to the studio, which we would later come to establish a closer acquaintance with - he was called Morten Trier, but called himself Jazzy H (later "Østkyst Hustlers" ). Jazzy could rap, but he could do more than that - he could also write lyrics and in particular he was good at rhyming. Jazzy, the Chief and Kjellerup thereafter produced " The Chief and Tjelly's humiliating mistress mix", with rap by Jazzy, which became easonably widespread, both on radio and on the danse floor.
Here after Philippa & Kjellerup assembled "Danser med Drenges Live-band" with the good old boys, Syre & Stanley (from Tøsedrengene) and Simon West (Thomas Helmig and Ray-Dee-Ohh), Steffen Qwist (Morten Remar & Maria Montell) and Ruth Hald.
Unfortunately Philippa Bulgin became seriously ill and was diagnosed with malignant cancer in the abdomen shortly before the planned concert tour in september 1993. She went through an operation at Frederiksberg Hospital, but was informed at the same time, that the illness would probably return at some time, and therefore her days were reduced. The concert tour was carried out with one months delay in october - september 1993. It became for us a surprisingly great success, with concerts sold out every where and the public was able to sing along to just about all the lyrics.
We would like to thank all the fans, who were the audiences on our tour then, for giving us and particularly Philippa some really great experiences. Particularly thanks to you who wrote "Take the hat off, beautiful Philippa." on a large banner in Års Messecenter (as far as we remember ).
At new years Philippas illness returned and it was only a question of a short time. At Philippas request, we cancelled our planned spring tour and commenced with improving the numbers for the new record. The doctors placed her in chemotherapy - but that only made her condition worse. Therefor it was a fine encouragement when "Danser med Drenge" was nominated for 4 grammies that year. Unfortunately we did not receive any, and that saddened Philippa - the rest of us were just furious. And actually we still think, that the grammy committee owes us an apology for having given our well earned grammies to someone else.
At that time Stanley and
Kjellerup were in the process of writing for the next
CD, among other things "Nogen tror
på retfærdighed", which Philippa managed in time to record
on a demo version without lyrics and "Ting
som jeg aldrig turde sige", which she was very pleased with, but which
she at that time was too weak to sing. Shortly before her death she asked
us to try to find a new singer and continue
with the orchestra. She died on the 22 nd March 1994 at"Rigshospitalet"
surrounded by family, boy friend and friends. See the record company's
release and the band's obituary
After Philippa Bulgin's death, "Danser med Drenge" was more or less dissolved- with out a lead singer, no orchestra. But the sorrow of Philippas departure had if nothing else inspired a pair of good songs ( when we say so ourselves ) namely: "Er der nogen i himlen?" and "Vi går gennem mørket". Stanley, Sivertsen and Kjellerup decided to continue - both to give Philippa a worthy memorial - and for us to progress.
There after a call for auditions was made at 15 Rathsacksvej - Kjellerups earlier address in Frederiksberg, where we were located. During the summer we tried out 30 different female vocalists - some of them very capable - but none of them had just that, which we could use. Only when we received a demo tape from Degner (him again) with a singer, who had submitted it to the record company in order to get a recording contract, did we hear something really interesting - a beautiful rusty voice.
Rie Rasmussen stepped in at Rathsacksvej - listened to "Vi går gennem mørket" three times - sang it twice - and was hired on the spot. Here was one who could carry the legacy from Philippa. And we have to say, she has done just that.
In connection with that, we would like to say to all of you, who have written to us, how unbelievable it is that Rie sounds just like Philippa: We don't think so. And we know this is what Philippa would say if she heard this. It is possible that many of the other ingredients in "Danser med Drenges" music sounds the same, both with Philippa and Rie as the singer (choir, drums, guitars etc. ) - but it is, in our opinion a question of two very different voices, personalities and manner of handling a song. It has incidentally not always been very easy for Rie to live up to Philippa, as Philippa, because of her death, stands as an angel in peoples memories.
Rie managed to glide very nicely into the band - once again we succeeded in finding an outstanding female vocalist, who at the same time is a very pleasant person to be with. An unusual cocktail - see Philippas obituary. We recorded our second CD, Ries first,"Så længe vi er her" in our technician, Thomas Brekling's living room at Vesterbro in København, where Thomas' wife Charlotte went about in an advanced stage of pregnancy. The child - (who later came to be called Benjamin ) had to lend an ear to quite a bit. But as far as we can see, Benjamin hasn't sustained any permanent injury.
The lyrics of the record circulates - because of Philippa - quite a bit around the phenomena of death, departure, misfortune, longing and other comfortable subjects, and this has after our record company, SONY's view made it difficult to get the record played on the radio, because most of the radio DJs after SONY's view, would prefer to play happy non-committal melodies. SONY (pronounced "søvnig" [sleepy] ) has therefore nominated us as " The Death Cult Orchestra Danser med Drenge", which we think is very amusing ... in spite of this "Så længe vi er her" has now sold 80,000 copies ( april '99 ). That's pretty good, we think.
We would like to thank all of you, who have written to us, that the songs have helped you over your sorrow at the loss of someone near to you. Because they have done the same for us. And excuse us, for not being able to answer everything.
In the summer and autumn
in 1995, "Danser med Drenge" set out on tour all over the country with
Midfyns Festival being the highlight, where we joined because of someone
else cancelling. About 12,000 people saw us in the big tent - it was a
top, beautiful day, which by the way was filmed by the now closed down
ZTV - see the "Er der nogen i himlen?"-video from Midtfyn -95 HERE.
Now we must continue ....
After the release of "Danser med Drenge" second record, " "Så længe vi er her", our dear record company SONY (pronounced: søuwwniiie [ kind of sleepy ] ) grumbled a great deal about how difficult it was to sell "The Death Record", as they called it. SONY felt, that when it was managed to sell 80,000 copies of it, the cause was entirely due to SONY - with a fantastic promotional campaign (consisting of one TV advert ) - having rammed it down the throat of our blameless public, against their will. Interesting point of view. The public, apparently don't have their own will. That brings to mind the story about the alcoholic, that maintained that it was his untrustworthy friends, that placed the bottle to his mouth and forced him to swallow.
In this way we have many refreshing discussions with our record company. SONY always takes the time to talk with us. And we are pleased with that. We have also experienced being with the type of record company, where every one is greatly pleased, just when the record is being released - and then, when it appears that it is not selling as well as they expected - then all of a sudden they all are attending meetings. And then one becomes so terribly lonely.
During the effort with the pleasant work, "Sig mig ... er De klar over hvem vi var?" in 1997 we again acquired Jazzy H to cover as rapper. Jazzy was part off "The Worlds Longest Rap", which was a success, which led to the formation of "Østkyst Hustlers". Furthermore he is a family man and a driving instructor with Triers Traffic School. In other words we could not find any better person to work with. The co-operation developed quickly from his ability to rap, to where he also became co-author on most of the lyrics - and gave discrete traffic suggestions and winks. We are very pleased with this co-operation. Jazzy hasn't just been a strong contributor to the opening of our ears to the possibilities of rap lyrics in our music - he has also opened our eyes to the possibilities of using the duty to give way to the right, as a political weapon. Jazzy is furthermore a very cheerful man - see Jazzy H's CV and Dr. Jazzy's rap kit
Our only distinct rap number, "Jeg går op og lægger mig" is inspired by one of Simon West's favourite repartees - and it is Simon's cohabiter,Maria Bramsen, (another earlier friend from the "Tøse" days) that has delivered a feminine rap-partee in this family father revolt against the mothers, who never have the desire. Maria showed great talent for marital quarrels - not so strange, after all she can practice daily on her partner, Simon West - the poor fellow.
In the middle of our work, true to form, we were struck by another misfortune: Our dear old friend,the Director, Syre ( acid ), alias Jan Sivertsen, declared that he would now rearrange his life. He was now going to be a real director, namely for the record company CMC, and as a consequence of this he was obliged to give up his life as a drummer and leave the orchestra.
At first we were stunned - later we were just furious. The old uncles, Stanley and Kjellerup have performed together with Syre in "Tøsedrengene" since 1978. At that time he had sold his drum set, because he was going to join his fathers plumbing business. We managed to get him to buy it back again and taught him to play reggae. We just could not imagine us performing with out the Director. He is - to quote an earlier musical witticism: Denmark's most swinging drummer - in tempo. It was therefore with sorrow in the heart that we had to bite in the sour apple and fire him - with retrospective force. He was now our earlier friend. Though at first he had to promise that he would play reggae drums on our third record. Which he has now done.
[translated by Hans K. Ramussen - Sydney, Australia]