Hepcat scratch fever
Swedish rockabilly legends the Go-Getters make a pit stop at Duffy’s Tavern
When one thinks of Sweden, the first things that generally come to mind are ABBA, cheese, chocolate, and postcards of statuesque, blue-eyed, leggy blondes dressed as nurses (uh, sorry … back on topic).
The concept of a Swedish nitro-fueled rockabilly trio isn’t even on the first couple of pages when one itemizes “all things Swedish.” But for the last 14 years, the Go Getters have been thawing the frozen vistas of Sweden and warming up the rockabilly scene worldwide. Just in case the summer heat of Chico hasn’t began to faze you yet, you might wanna test your limits this Tuesday, when the band swings by Duffy’s Tavern to see just how high it can raise the red on the stage thermometer.
Led by standup drummer and chief songwriter Peter Sandberg on lead vocals, Robin Johnson on guitar, and Morgan Fredriksson on double bass, the Go Getters are on their fourth album, the recently released Welcome to Sin City (following Rock & Roll Is Everywhere!, Hotter than a Pepper and their 1992 debut, Real Gone!). Although their albums reveal some perfectly pleasant, multi-influenced tracks that veer competently from the good, old-fashioned driving stuff to surf-flavored instrumentals to blue-eyed soul harmonies, it’s their legendary live shows—such as a barnburner of a performance at a recent Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekender—that have emissaries from the Chico tat-and-rockabilly crowd singing their praises. It’s the live show that defines this hard-working band and has endeared it to an international fan base.
“I’m psyched that the Go Getters are hitting town,” says Luscious LuLu, host of “Rabid Rockabilly” on KRBS-lp 107.1 FM Radio Bird Street in Oroville. “Europe is putting out a lot of quality rockabilly music, and the Go Getters have a good blues-based style. Their original music crosses the borders between countries and generations.”
Seemingly on constant tour since its Västerås, Sweden, debut in January of 1988, the band has backed up such legends of the ‘50s rockabilly scene as Sleepy La Beef (who recently shook the rafters himself at Duffy’s), Ray Sharp, Larry Donn, Johnny Powers and Mr. “Rockin’ Bones” himself, Texan Ronnie Dawson (who has used the band on almost all his Scandinavian tours since 1990).
Electrifying audiences around the world with their own custom blend of “ass-kickin', blues-marinated, high-octane, mega-watt rockabilly boogie"—from the swingy “Jump!” to rockin’ standards like “High School Caesar” and “Pink Thunderbird” to the hillbilly twang of “Hanging My Tears Out To Dry"—the Go Getters know how to deliver, as evidenced on the recent live EP, Australia Tour 99, recorded during a scorcher of a 10-city tour of Australia.
In addition to his full-time singing, drumming, and songwriting duties with the band, Sandberg continues to build his own hot rods and customs, his obsession playing double-duty and serving as inspiration for such hot-rod-crowd favorites as the ‘95 cult hit, “Loud Pipes ‘n’ Lead Feet.”
As the streets of Chico begin to cool down around nine o’clock, if you’re new in town and wanna see what the true taste of Chico is all about, and you’re up for hangin’ with the tattooed rockabilly hepcats (and kitties), you might want to drop by Duffy’s Tavern around that time. If you’re a local, you know the gig. Tix are five bucks at the door, Daddy-o.