We browse photos taken in the 1970s from Ile Kallio. We are looking for an image that could be realized again.
But there are miraculously few pictures of him alone. So little compared to the fact that Ile Kallio has been a well-known Finnish rock musician since the mid-1970s.
Ile Kallio was such a big celebrity back then that he published his own paper doll - and countless fan pictures and posters as a member of the band.
One picture, however, inspires. It somehow fits well at this time as well.
- That's good! But I don't remember in which gate cell that was described, Kallio, 64, says.
The photo was taken in 1980. The previous year, the guitarist’s second of three washes in the Hurriganes has ended. Together with Remu Aaltonen and Cisse Häkkinen, Ile formed Finland's most popular rock band in the second half of the 1970s.
Now Kallio is playing Hurriganes classic songs with the band again. Recently released Black Devils featuring Ile Kallio: Live At Tavastia cd and double-lp.
No wonder there are few pictures of Ile Kallio only - he has almost always wanted to be part of the band!
For a long time, however, he refused invitations to come play Hurriganes. Reminiscing about my own old recordings with other musicians seemed dilute even as an idea.
Why did the mind change now?
The refusal is also miserable behind the fact that he has been doing gigs with the Black Devils for the past couple of years. Five years ago, Kallio and another surviving guitarist from the Hurriganes ’1970s and 1980s, Janne Louhivuori, were invited to perform with the Black Devils.
Kallio had another gig, which is a good reason to miss this one, but Louhivuori went - and was impressed.
- Janne said that it was a pity you didn't make it, it was a good idea, Kallio recalls.
So when the next offer came in the summer of 2017, Kallio agreed. The festivals organized in connection with the Imatra races warmed the history of the three chords of Finnish rock so effectively that a new one was born at the same time.
- No workouts were held. Only the song list was agreed and pulled. And that gig was awesome! The dudes had indeed taken over the job.
A collaboration began in Imatra, which has spawned dozens of gigs. And recording. Atte Blom, 77, Love Records boss who released Hurriganes' classic records of the 1970s, saw Ilen and partners in a bunch of Hurriganes songs last year in Oulunkylä, Helsinki, and through his Ainoa Productions record company offered a live record deal right after the gig, excited.
Why have you refused such gigs in the past?
- I do not want to find myself drawn stagelta music, which I pulled when Hurriganes has had a terrible day. If the music doesn’t work, I don’t want to be on stage noticing it. Through my career I have assumed that the occurrence is to keep giving their best.
Ile Kallio poses as usual, leaning against the iron gate like bars on Helsinki's Barracks Square. After all, the same type of position has been applied to photography before - 40 years ago.
Photo: Pasi Kostiainen
A simple three-chord rock band can be played by anyone.
Ile Kallio has heard that phrase too many times since the 1970s. Back then, musicians enthusiastic about progressive rock and jazz wondered to Ile, “Don’t you have ambition?”
Instead of technically more difficult music, this is enough to cannon simple rock.
- I said to these guys, “Pull those comps yourself! You can't do it! ” And they wouldn't have been able to. It's a skill, Kallio says.
- Indeed, the gang has always thought that anyone would pull those three chords. But that's not the thing. The thing is: does the comp pass or not? And I haven't heard many entrepreneurs driving it as it should, Kallio says.
Korona took the gigs
Black Devils drummer-singer JP Kakkola, bassist Tero Salminen and guitarist Matti Kähkönen also get the right kind of cadence for interpreting Hurriganes, in which Ile Kallionk does not explain or apologize.
The trio, who have been playing in Lappeenranta for about 20 years, have internalized the essence of Hurriganes' music. How those three chords are forged.
- Each of them could be my son for his age, Kallio laughs.
- One of them had found the Hot Wheels album on his father's record shelf and played it to his friends. It shook them off their tracks.
According to the feedback Ile Kallio received at gigs, Hot Wheels (1976) is the second big favorite album of Hurriganes fans alongside Roadrunner (1974). The record was made at the time in the modest Microvox studio in Lahti, because Hurriganes boss Remu Aaltonen wanted the “rockiest sound” after Crazy Days (1975).
After the previous records were made for big money in Sweden, Ile wondered about Remu's solution: Hurriganes' popularity was at its peak, and the band could have gone to any foreign studio if they wanted to, say London or West Berlin. But Remu wanted the basement studio of the apartment building!
- But that record has lasted a while. It has a sound. And if a rock band gets their sound immortalized on their record, it’s a success. However, I still don't like the cover image of the record - that record cover isn't really put in the grave with me.
The coronavirus shook the music world in March. The Black Devils and Ile Kallion had to gig a lot in the spring and continue toasting in the summer. But the performances have now been canceled at least well into the summer.
- Nobody can be blamed here. The same situation applies to everyone. And other than the performers.
It’s time to look back on past gigs. The Black Devils, reinforced by the original Hurriganes guitarist, understandably reached a middle-aged audience. The gang whose many of the essential songs in the youth sountrack have been recorded by Remu, Cisse, both Ile, and Albert Järvinen, who took turns as the guitarist in the band during the golden age of the band, in the 1970s.
But Get On, Tallahassee Lassie, Hot Wheels, and many others are also familiar to many people born after that.
- The message has been passed down from generation to generation. A lot of young people have attended the gigs. And they have been in the filaments all. It has been a lot of fun when the gang has gone like bananas, Kallio praises.
- And the fans of the older generation have also looked in good condition. The Black Devils gigs haven’t looked like zombie land.
Ile Kallio photographed in 1978.
Photo: Kari Hautala
The Fleetwood Mac gig revolutionized life
Ile himself found music with his big brother Pera and his friend Sami Hurmerinna. The 1960s were a good time to grow into rock music, as many of the top names of that time visited Finland.
- The House of Culture was a treasure trove. Always, when tickets went on sale, I liked the concerns that I am among the first to buy, the guitarist recalls.
He saw live an enviable set of legendary rock names. In his regular spot, in the middle of the front row, he stared at performances by Led Zeppelin, Steppenwolf and Johnny Winter, among others. Only Jimi Hendrix was left inexperienced.
- I heard Hendrix for the first time two days after the Helsinki concert. I was 11 years old.
The activation took place two years later, and the very first concert revolutionized the life of a novice guitarist. After seeing Fleetwood Mac with tickets that cost FIM 12 and arriving home at 11pm, Ile took another guitar in his hand for three hours.
- That's when I was convinced that this is what I want to do. It was such a hard shock!
Guitar skills in 1977.
Image: not known
Skills accumulated, and soon the word about a talented young guitarist spread in Helsinki's music circles. Remu invited 16-year-old Ile to jam with him. This jamming can be considered Hurriganes' first band training, as another well-known guitarist, Cisse Häkkinen, was also planned to be called bassist there.
Ile Kallio poses as usual, leaning against the iron gate like bars on Helsinki's Barracks Square. After all, the same type of position has been applied to photography before - 40 years ago. Indeed, Ile Kallion can be said to have been faithful to the ideals of her youth, even childhood.
The sun is shining, but the wind is blowing cold.
The guitarist's work situation seems to be the same: Black Devils featuring Ile Kallio would be in a tough gig condition, but no public events will be held now. Joint gigs with his wife Kaija Kärkinen can also be expected to alleviate the corona epidemic.
- I don't think the situation will change until the vaccine is developed, Ile Kallio says.
But that day comes sometimes, and then it shakes again.
Hot Wheels. Crazy Days.
And the gang goes into bananas.