Finland is one of these countries we barely know about, unlike Sweden and Norway, which are more popular. If you have time and feel curious, check Wikipedia. It’s worth reading the section related to music. I’ve felt excited reading this:
Hanoi Rocks was a pioneering 1980s glam rock act that inspired the hit American hard rock group Guns N’ Roses among others
The fact related to this country that I love most has to do with Michael Monroe, the leader of Hanoi Rocks. He’s a celebrity and Finnish people adore it. I proved it once when talking to a couple who were on holidays in Barcelona and I was selling them some toys. I mentioned the name of Michael Monroe and they seemed very impressed. I also remember a guy explaining me, years ago, that he used to participate in anti drugs ads and campaigns. Insane!
Yes, Michael Monroe, together to a weird comedy I watched on TV one night 20 years ago named “Helsinki, Napoli” made me fond of this alien country.
Back on the subject, I must admit I like Hanoi Rocks but don’t consider myself a huge fan. They have lots of hits and the more I listen the more I like them, but I prefer Michael Monroe’s solo career and of course THIS TREASURE.
Back in 2001 there was a reunion of Hanoi Rocks many of us could witness at venues of festival several times. It was then when some friends started telling me about this project and self-titled album named Demolition 23. Powerful name, by the way.
There was a local record store in Barcelona which used to sell non-original copies of the album in CD, as it was never released in vinyl either, and very few original copies were available. Some were lucky and eventually got their original through the net, eBay mainly. My friend Luis recorded me a copy from his fake copy and this was the way I got introduced to this wonder.
Demolition 23 was a Finnish-American band formed by Monroe, Sammi Yaffa, Jimmy Clark and the guitarist Jay Hening, who was later substituted by Nasty Suicide. He band didn’t even last for 2 years and at that time, it was considered the closest movement to a possible reunion of the band Hanoi Rocks. The band was mainly entertaining the NY punk rock scene nights, performing covers of songs of Johnny Thunders or The Dead Boys, till the possibility of recording own stuff was brought by Steven Van Zandt, aka Little Steven, member of the E Street band, and renowned mafia consigliere for Tony Soprano (yess, he was Silvio Dante!).
It was edited by a record label in the UK named Music for Nations, and in Japan, by Renegade Nation. I’m happy to say I got myself a copy of the Japanese edition I found in a tiny and packed store in Nishiki market in Kyoto, named Happy Jack.
The 10 track album is from top to bottom a sequence of hit after hit which blows your head. There aren’t very few albums which turn me ON in such a way. Every time I listen to Demolition 23 I’m in complete party animal mood. It’s rock, it’s sweat, it’s groove and it’s fun.
Nothin’s Alright, Hammersmith Palais, The Scum Lives On (I love the song titles so much!), one of my particular daily anthems, Same Shit Different Day, Dysfunctional, Endangered Species…this album is pure adrenaline and I simply love it. Personally I consider it a timeless punk rock classic. It should be praised and receive recognition, but you know how this sometimes works…very few are aware of one of the best records ever delivered.