The Rocking Ghosts

Danish rock band formed in the summer of 1962 by Svend Bonavent Larsen (dm), Tommy Petersen (org., piano) (both formerly played in Tommy's Band), Timm Bo Madsen (lead-g) and Jørgen Frederiksen (rythm-g). In May of 1963 Johnny Dyhrberg (el-b) replaced Tommy Petersen, and John Andersen (lead-vo) (ex. The Sundowns) joined the band.


On January 28, 1964 the band won the Copenhagen championship in Rock at Nora Bio, which lead to a record deal with Metronome Records and producer Jørgen Ingmann. The instrumental debut album was called Vilja, Oh Vilja by Franz Léhar. Vocally the band broke through with their own Belinda that stayed on the charts for 13 months and was released in many European countries as well as the USA and Japan. During a trip to Bremen in April 1965, Johnny Dyhrberg left the band and was replaced by Kai Rose Petersen (el-b) and by the end of 1965 Bjørn Holte Jensen

(rhythm-g) (ex The Ex-Checkers) replaced Jørgen Frederiksen. As the best selling album Oh, Oh What A Kiss, a rework of Johan Strauss' Über den Wellen, was a chart success in both 1966 and 1967.


In September 1967 the band decided to change their style to a more psychedelic flower power inspired pop sound, a change, however, Timm Bo Madsen and Kai Rose Petersen did not agree with and they consequently left the band.


They debuted with their new style at the Procul Harum concert in Tivoli. The new band recorded 2 singles for CBS Records with the following members: John Andersen, Svend Bonavent, Bjørn Holte, John Trefeldt (ex The Treffters), Fin Michael Musanti (rhythm-g, org) (ex The Playmakers) and Bent Hansen (el-b) (ex The Meteors).


The Rocking Ghosts were extremely popular in 1964-1967 and played, among other venues, at Giraffen, Enghaveparken, Hit House and Dansetten in Copenhagen, but their largest audience was primarily outside Copenhagen. The band also toured extensively in Germany, Austria, Italy, Sweden and Finland.


Musically and image wise the band was inspired by Cliff Richard & The Shadows' combination of vocal and instrumental rock & roll more than by the beat sound of the time. By changing their style in 1967 the band lost a lot of their fans who had a hard time accepting the new image and in the spring of 1969 the band split up.


Musically The Rocking Ghosts contributed to the following Danish movies in the 1960s: Jeg en elsker, Min søsters børn, Mig og min lillebror, Pigen fra Egeborg. Only the recordings from Min søsters børn were released as an album in 1966.


In 1964, using the name The Tigers, The Rocking Ghosts recorded a commercial record for the gas company ESSO.


In the fall of 1974 The Rocking Ghosts teamed up again now with John Andersen (lead-vo), Svend Bonavent (dm), Timm Bo Madsen (lead-g), Kai Rose Petersen (el-b) and Bjørn Holte Jensen (rhythm-g). Bjørn left the band again in 1975. On popular demand the band re-recorded Danish versions of Belinda and Oh, Oh What A Kiss (Åh, sikken blomst). Both singles hit the number 1 spot on Dansktoppen (the chart for Danish songs played on the radio and voted for by the listeners) and stayed there for several weeks. The Rocking Ghosts had done it again. In the summer of 1975 the band recorded an album with sisters Lecia & Lucienne (ex The Scarlets).


During 1975 and 1976 The Rocking Ghosts continued focusing on weekend performances and album recordings. By the end of 1977 the band split up again.


In October 1983 Danish radio and TV personality Jørgen de Mylius was encouraged to reunite the band for a TV show. John Andersen, Svend Bonavent, Timm Bo Madsen, Kai Rose Petersen and Bjørn Holte Jensen accepted.


After the TV show The Rocking Ghosts continued as an instrumental band under the name The Shadoogies, but changed back to The Rocking Ghosts for another TV show and an album recording for Polygram Records in 1988 with Train to Glasgow. Now with Timm Bo Madsen (lead-g), Kai Rose (el-b), Jørgen Mühlbrandt (rhythm-g) (ex The Shamrocks), Jan Schiöpffe (dm) (ex Coal Train and The Shamrocks), Gudmund Eiriksson (keyb) (ex The Shamrocks). On March 1, 1989 Timm Bo Madsen and Kai Rose leave the band.


On April 1, 1989 The Rocking Ghosts is once again a vocal/instrumental band with John Andersen (lead-vo), Jørgen Mühlbrand (ryth-g), Jan Schiöpffe (dm), Gudmund Eiriksson (keyb), Michael Eckhausen (el-b) (ex Coal Train) and Erik Bjerre (lead-g). In 1991 they record the album The Rocking Ghosts Live on their own label Ghost Music. The album was a hit on Dansktoppen.


In May 1991 The Rocking Ghost celebrated a successful tour in Iceland where Oh, Oh What A Kiss was a big hit back in 1967.


On May 1, 1992 Jan Schiöpffe leaves the band and is replaced by Svend Bonavent (dm) and on June 1, 1992 Gudmund Eirikson leaves and is replaced by Peter Arhnung (keyb). On January 1, 1994 Peter Arhnung leaves the band and Ole Trier (keyb) (ex Rainbow and Los Valentinos) becomes the new keyboard player for The Rocking Ghosts.


In January 1994 John Andersen, Jørgen Mühlbrandt, Michael Eckhausen, Erik Bjerre and Ole Trier record the album Oh, Oh Daisy on Ghost Music. The title track is yet another hit for the band on Dansktoppen. The band has furthermore appeared on several TV shows, Hit, Hærg & hentehår, 1993, Dansktop på 1'eren, 1994, Blind passager, 1995, etc.


On February 1, 1999 Erik Bjerre leaves the band and is replaced by Niels Werner (lead-g) (ex Fourways). In 2002 The Rocking Ghosts celebrated their 40th anniversary.


In July 2011 Svend Bonavent leaves The Rocking Ghosts and is replaced by Jes Baggersted. Svend Bonavent pasts away september 19. 2012 after a long fight against cancer.

End of September 2012 The Rocking Ghosts celebrated their 50th anniversary with a sold out concert in Falkoner Centret along with friends and colleauges and other bands from the 60ties. The concert is made on DVD.

A few months later, one of the other founders of The Rocking Ghosts, Timm Bo Madsen died on december 21 2012.


The Band is still going strong and has just entered it’s 53th season with a lot of gigs.


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