Column – Jake Starr’s Walk Down Memory Lane, Part 1

Note: I wrote this in December 2002 and excerpts were previously published on a defunct Finnish online rock fanzine called “La Bruta.” It has since been slightly edited to protect the guilty… namely, ME!

Hi, my name is Jake Starr and there’s nothing you can do about it. I’m the singer in the rock-n-roll band Adam West. I just returned from my first trip to Finland and I think I fell in love. . .

It all started when my heterosexual life partner, Dave Champion, and I decided to join the Hellacopters on their November 2002 Finnish tour. Dave and I have known the Hellacopters for about five years and we all are lifelong friends. Over the years, we have toured with the Hellacopters several times in the USA and Sweden. Now, Suomi beckoned and we heeded the call to the dark land of the East. Eastern Scandinavia, that is.

If I were to write the entire story out, it would take 10 volumes and the details would incriminate not only me, but some of your rock-n-roll idols. If you want the total, complete story, you’re gonna have to meet me at Bar Loose in Helsinki and get me very drunk while Milla spins the tunes, naturally!

So, Dave and I drive to Philadelphia on Friday, 25 October 2002, to catch our Finnish brothers, the Flaming Sideburns. As usual, they were magical. Upon leaving the bar, I warn Jarkko that I would see him in Helsinki in two weeks and to get ready. Little did I know that it was *I* who would need preparation! Then, on Tuesday, 5 November 2002, Dave and I return to Philadelphia to catch Soundtrack of Our Lives and Cato Salsa Experience. Another magical show and we were off in the middle of the rainy night to catch our flight to Stockholm the next day.

Miraculously, Dave and I make the flight to Stockholm, call Kenny Hellacopter, and proceed to his pad as we always have done every time we arrive in Stockholm. As soon as we arrive at Kenny’s, he pulls out a pitcher of orange juice and some vodka and I start making myself very hefty screwdrivers. Dave eventually succumbs to sleep on Kenny’s couch just in time for our buddy Bengtson to come over and try to teabag the sleeping Mr Champion! I abort the mission in the nick of time and we’re off to the venue.

Now it’s Thursday, 7 November 2002, and the Hellacopters are playing in Stockholm with Gluecifer as opener. This has got to be my dream show! Gluecifer are also good friends of ours and one of the best rock bands on the planet. So we all taxi over to the venue and meet up with all the bands. The Wrecks are also on the bill and include Måns from the Maggots on guitar. What a delight!

Needless to say, all three bands rocked and I can safely say it was one of the top rock concerts I’ve ever witnessed. Mind you, my first rock concert was Kiss and AC/DC (w/Bon Scott) in 1978, so I’m not fucking around here. The party afterward ensued and all got quite toasted. I ran into some people I hadn’t seen in over a year or more.

The traveling party ended up at a new rock club in Stockholm called Debaser. Howlin’ Pelle from the Hives was spinning the tunes and Jocke from the Nomads was right in front of the booth. I saunter up to him and surprise the hell outta him. . . he had no idea I was in town. Also in attendance were Odd de Cologne, Mathias, Micke, and Stefan from the “Demons”, and of course, some Gluecifer guys. Shit, my memory starts to fade now when I think about what went on there and back in Biff and Raldo’s hotel room, so I better just stop right here and move on to the next day.

To be continued on May 15.

(Photos by Jake Starr private archive)