Flax was a performing outfit for 14 years. During this period, quite a number of people were fortunate to be a part of this phenomenon and got to play alongside the core members of the band: Hermod Falch, John Hesla and Lars Hesla. We shall call them the Flax Alumni. Some are still active in the music industry, while others may have fixed your heating system or driven you to the station in their taxi.
The founding fathers: Falch and the Hesla Brothers could be best described as semi-professional musicians, who kept Flax going for so long through a combination of loyalty, belief and mutual respect. Erik Wilcock would become the ghost member of the band supplying lyrics in English. All four would combine the Flax adventure with other careers.
Hermod Falch, having completed his studies, would move into the burgeoning hi-tech industry and would be part of the digital revolution that touches all our lives. He has recently retired and is responsible for creation of the web site and to the promotion of Flax to the wider public.
John Hesla, now retired, from his large farm in Søndre Land, just outside Gjøvik. However, his guitar was always to hand and he would perform quite regularly on an impromptu basis. He currently plays in a Jethro Tull inspired band: Sønner av Land and a new rock-band, Azylet.
As well as playing music, Lars Hesla, now retired, also taught it. He was immensely skilled in this and had the magical knack of teaching his subject to blind students. He is a major force in the tribute band Pub Floyd. The Lars Hesla Band stands in its own right; Lars also performs with his brother in Sønner av Land.
Erik Wilcock, non-playing lyricist for Flax (1972 – ?), has spent forty years in the field of Education, as teacher, author, adviser and administrator. He has lately collaborated with the high profile musician and composer Dick Walter to produce the musical, ‘We’ve Got A Show’. Having recently retired, his energies go into the Charity, Halesworth Campus Ltd – halesworthcampus.org
There are some musicians who achieve an elite status without becoming household names. These are the unsung heroes of the rock music industry, who can turn up at a studio and play to order for all manner of bands. If they are lucky, they get a mention on the sleeve notes. If not, they go unmentioned and unsung. They will also carve out careers, which will see them playing alongside household names, because the Glitterati know that these guys are quality:
A much celebrated drummer and band leader of choice for touring musicians.
However, if we track back we find that he has played with Bennie Marsden, Micky Moody, and Don Airey and Glenn Hughes (Deep Purple and Whitesnake); Ken Hensley (Uriah Heep), and John Norum (Europe). That’s just a sample of the wider market. Willy left the international band JORN just before X-mas 2013.
Within Scandinavia, he has worked (amongst others) with Jannicke, Blonde on Blonde, Perfect Crime, Bad Habits, and currently with Wild Willy’s Band.
His drumming talents are featured on 100 albums, where he is credited for his input. He remains an unnamed participant on probably more than that.
Jørun is an outstanding bass player whose credits could fill a web site, which is why you can test this theory at jbbass.com.
For the purposes of this page however, we could start by saying that he was a member of a-ha, Norway’s most internationally acclaimed rock band. He features on several of their albums and has a place is Rock Music History. In 1991 a-ha played the Macarema Stadium in Rio de Janiero. The paying attendants numbered a staggering 190,000 – a world record for a rock concert.
He has released three solo albums.
Bruce Carl Rasmussen
Bruce is a Professor at the Norwegian University of Agder in Kristiansand. He is, of course, a professor of Music and specilaizes in Rhythm. He joined the Music Academy when it opened in 1990.
From 1975 to 2006 he performed live with many notable line ups, these include:
Earl King, Mike Vernon, Dr. John, Tata Vega, Louisiana Red, Baccara, Arja Saijonmaa, Johnny Logan, Per Erik Hallin, Py Bäckman, and Delbert McClinton.Alex Sandøy, Jahn Teigen, Lava, Finn Kalvik, Son of Sam, Håkon Graf, Olav Stedje, Anita Skorgan, Egil Eldøen, Chipahua, Bjørn Eidsvåg, Sigvart Dagsland, Chicago Blues Meeting and Jan Bang.
He is also, like Willy Bendikson and Jørun Bøgeberg, a prolific studio and session musician and has appeared on over 150 recordings. Many of these have garnered music awards and prizes, particularly with the likes of:
Knutsen og Ludvigsen, Jahn Teigen, Jan Groth, Lava, Sigurd Køhn, Rita Eriksen, Sigvart Dagsland, Kine Hellebust.
As was the case with early Flax members, Hans Rotmo started his music career while studying at the University of Oslo as an undergraduate. His stint with Flax extended to about eighteen months, during which time his creativity grew and levered him into taking a step back from the burgeoning hard rock scene. Rotmo formed a group named Vømmøl Spelemannslag. This was something quite different from the Flax model. Its roots were firmly based in folk rock and the lyrics were all in Norwegian; the first two albums sold over 100,00 copies.
Rotmo, a politically committed individual and a champion of Norwegian Culture and Heritage was now able to create a number of fictitious characters who could people his works of literature and theatre.
Today Vømmøl festivals are held annually in Verdal. Rotmo is still active today and 2007 saw him drawing masssive crowds to see the band perform again.
Founder member of Flax and responsible for the conception of the collectors’ item Flax One. In 1975 he left Flax to join an equally prolific and high profile Norwegian combo: Junipher Greene.
By 1978 his career path had diverged into the wholesale fruit and vegetable industry. He combines this with rearing horses and has a specialist roofing firm.