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Andy McCoySixties - Northern Finland
Baby boy Hulkko was born in a small village called Pelkosenniemi located in Northern Finland in the year 1962. The baby was babtised as Antti and he lived his first two years in Kemijärvi. Common legend tells that Antti spent his early childhood in Sweden but the truth is that he went to Finnish school in Oulu, Finland. Antti was in the middle of the 3rd grade when the Hulkko family moved to Stockholm, Sweden. This fact reveals that rumours of his first language being Swedish are rubbish.
Early seventies – Stockholm
Andy's very colourful story began from Stockholm. There this small Finnish boy was known as Antti Hulkko. To his Swedish friends his name was too complicated to pronounce so they started to call him Andy. His first experimental band was with his Jamaican friend Roy. The first real band was formed later but they did only few gigs in a local Youth Club.
1976 – Helsinki
Andy's family moved back to Finland in 1976 and it was then when he and his brother Ilkka met Pete Malmi who was walking his dog (the breed was by the way Briard). Soon after this Malmi asked Ilkka to join his newly formed punk band. When they realised that they needed a guitarist too, Ilkka told Malmi that Andy played guitar like Jimi Hendrix himself. After Malmi heard Andy's guitar playing he accepted Andy to his band Philadelphia Motherfuckers which was later changed to name Briard that came from his pet dog. First gigs were held at Herttoniemi Youth Club. During this same autumn Andy met in his school (Botby Högstadieskola) another gifted guitarist – Jan Stenfors. Soon after this the boys spent their time playing guitars at Andy's home instead of going to school. They at least visited the school when they were perfoming in school jubilees.
Andy Hulkko / Andy von Hulkko / Andy Suicide / Andy Monroe / Andy McCoy
Andy started to play games with different kind of artistic names. For example, he could introduce himself as Antti Hulkko or Andy Hulkko or Andy von Hulkko or Andy Suicide or Andy Monroe inside one week. Pete Malmi (who was by then using the name Räkä-Malmi, Snot-Malmi in English, invented by Andy) gave him his final name: Andy McCoy.
Andy: ”I was at Stockholm and the first Briard album was released then. I had some name I used but I can't remember it. It was something like Dela von Affenbach... When I came back, in the back cover read Andy McCoy. That was fine by me, so why change it anymore. It confuses the fans if you change it later, so be it. Pete Malmi invented this Andy McCoy name. He invented the name that is today known all over the world.” (Soundi, 10/1996).
Like everybody had noticed by now, names Suicide and Monroe were still later used...
1977-1979 – Helsinki
In 1977 into the training flat at the cellar of Church of Töölö moved a band called Madness to share it with Briard. Madness' tall and slim singer-guitarist was Makke Fagerholm. They became friends soon after this and Makke started to play bass and saxophone with Briard in their gigs. Andy therefore gave Madness proper soundchecks. Finally Andy asked Makke to join Briard but this never happened because of Räkä-Malmi's hair-cut clause (Makke had too long hair to suit a punk band).
In the autumn of 1977 Pete Malmi had organised a concert for Briard at Linnanmäki Amusement Park. It was the last day before the park was closed for the winter season. A crowd of thousand youths saw this concert. After the gig a representative of Finndisc Records came to see Briard and offered them a record deal. It didn't take long for Briard to release Finland's first ever punk single: I Really Hate You / I Want You Back. Record was produced by Kassu Halonen who had mostly worked with pop bands. Next single Fuck The Army / Product Of TV-Generation was recorded at Microvox Studios in Lahti. During these two singles, the band was consisted from Räkä-Malmi, Ilkka, Andy and drummer Sidi Vainio who also played for a while at Makke's band Madness. Andy was performing with Briard all around Helsinki with various band members and he was still in the band when they released the single: SuperStars / Chirpy, Chirpy, Cheap, Sheep.
Andy finally left the Briard because of differencies of opinions with Malmi. Andy wasn't too happy about e.g. to the fact that every song he wrote was credited to Malmi. Perhaps this was the reason why Andy credited Hanoi Rocks songs to himself. At the end of the seventies Andy, Pete, Makke and Jan played at the bands of Maukka Perusjätkä and Ralf Örn (Maukka & Nahkatakit, Ralf Örn Pop and Maukka Perusjätkä Ja Sota Apatiaa Vastaan. In English: Maukka & Leather Jackets, Ralf Örn Pop and Maukka Perusjätkä And The War Against Apathy).
Andy and Michael also played in Jesu Hämäläinen's band Bolin.
1979 – Stockholm
In 1979 Andy moved back to Stockholm where he formed Nymphomaniacs with drummer Jesper Sporre and guitarist Carl Michael ”Kalix” Herlöfsson. Andy thought of hiring Makke as their bass player but he attended only few rehearsals before the band broke-up. In some interview Andy told he formed a band called Pain but according to official sources he never was a part of that band. It is more likely that he was just a guest artist. Because Andy had left to Stockholm, Briard hired Jan Stenfors as their new guitarist.
1979 – Helsinki
The story of Hanoi Rocks began in 1979. Nevertheless Andy didn't play in the original line-up he invented with Makke the name to the band during one bus trip. Idea came from Johnny Thunders song Chinese Rocks.
1980 – Helsinki
In 1980 Andy came back to Helsinki where two bands invited him to join them: Pave Maijanen's Mistake and Pelle Miljoona Oy. Atte Blom advised Andy to join Pelle. Andy wanted Makke to join him as bassist and he attended few succesful rehearsals. They still decided to hire Sami Takamäki. In the same year Pelle Miljoona recorded their most famous album: Moottoritie On Kuuma (Highway Is Hot in English). In March 1980 Andy told he was going to make a solo single from songs Kill City Kills and I Want You. It took him 17 years to release a solo single because those songs ended up to Hanoi Rocks With Andy McCoy debut single in November 1980.
Before the release Andy had left Pelle's band just before Lappland Tour and he had lured Sami Takamäki to come with him. They and Makke formed ”re-born” Hanoi Rocks. According to Andy, his and Sami's departure wasn't a surprise: ”That was load of crap. I had told Tumppi earlier, or was it when I joined the band, that we go soon. That was hypocritical bullshit although they were cool guys. We (Pelle Miljoona OY) were supposed to go to Sweden and England but we never left and nothin' ever happened. Moottoritie On Kuuma LP would've been shite if I hadn't played in it.”
1980-1985 – Hanoi Rocks
1981 – Helsinki
In 1981 Andy visited Pete Malmi's solo album Malmi which received good reviews. Few singles were also released from this album.
1982-1985 – Stockholm/London/Helsinki
1983 was busy to Andy and Hanoi. Briard was reformed to Miss World album which was a compilation of old unreleased songs, new songs and old 7” hits that were re-recorded. One of the songs, Me And My Habit, was also included in The Best Of Hanoi Rocks collection album's bonus EP as I Love You.
During the same year Andy was hired as a visiting guitarist (very expensive one) to The Hunters' 7” single. In addition to that he, Sami and Razzle visited Japanese Yasuaki Honda's album Angel Of Glass. Andy wrote three songs to that album: Keep Our Fire Burnin', Hey Girl and Get Away. He later made new lyrics to Keep Our Fire Burnin' and re-titled it to River Of Dreams. In 1983 Sami, Nasty Suicide and Razzle recorded an album with Knox (Vibrators) that was titled as Fallen Angels. Andy and Michael visited the album under pseudonyms of Cosmic Ted and Flashing Psychedelic Kid.
And although Knox continued performing and recording with a band called Fallen Angels, members of Hanoi never played live with him except Nasty who every now and then visited the band's line-up. During 1983 Andy still had time to visit in the first album of the super band of punk rock, Urban Dogs. In 1984 Andy and Nasty visited Fallen Angels' EP In Loving Memory.
1985-1987 – London
After Razzle died, the band thought of hiring either Mark Laffin (Generation X) or Rat Scabies (The Damned) to replace him. They finally chose Andy's friend Terry Chimes (the original drummer of The Clash). After Sami had retired from Hanoi, they thought of hiring Jimi Sumen (e.g. Classix Nouveaux) to replace him but he refused politely. They then hired band's old friend Rene Berg (Idle Flowers). You must put weight on the word 'old' because he was actually much older than Andy or Michael. During the last tour in Poland it was clear that Rene wasn't the right choise for the band and after they returned to London they sacked him. Longtime roadie Timo Kaltio replaced Rene to become the last bass player of the band.
Hanoi Rocks finally broke-up when Michael announced his departure. In practise Hanoi's last line-up continued under name Cherry Bombz. Andy's latest acquaintance, Anita Chellemah, was hired as their lead singer. Her biggest ”hit” had been I Eat Cannibals with Toto Coelo-band. Because of Hanoi Rocks, Cherry Bombz received much attention in Finland and Europe.
Little later Kaltio was replaced with Dave Tregunna (Lords Of The New Church). Although expectations were high and mighty this cherry bomb turned out to be a dud and the band broke-up after Andy had sacked Chellemah. That still didn't mean that 1986 was musically catastrophic to Andy. It was then when he and Nasty released an unplugged album Silver Missiles And Nightingales which is perhaps the best record to show Andy's talent in song writing. In addition to the album they had few concerts to perform in Finland under pseydonym of Suicide Twins.
1987 – Lost
Andy was spending 1987 quietly. He only attended songs Shot Full Of Love (by McDill/Juice Newton. Released in a Finnish collection album Hot Rocks) and Best Is Yet To Come (sung by boobiebabe Samantha Fox) and there are no clues of other musical activity during that year. He gave few interviews and there told that he had in mind of making a multilingual autobiography. Måns Kullman wrote that book and it was released by Odessa Books in 1987 as Andy McCoy – Hanoista ikuisuuteen (From Hanoi Till Eternity). Other Hanoi-members weren't exactly happy about the content of this book.
1988 – Helsinki/London/Los Angeles
By 1988 Andy had returned to Finland where he recorded with the help of local studiomusicians (e.g. Keimo Hirvonen who played at Hanoi's first single and Jone ”Sami's brother” Takamäki) his first solo album Too Much Ain't Enough. According to Andy, he was totally out of this world during making this album. Still it has few at least good songs. During 1988 he made few acoustic gigs, e.g. he played flamenco with another guitar legend Jukka Tolonen. Later that year he moved to London with his wife Anastasia and his son Sebastian. Soon after this they headed towards Los Angeles. There Andy made a record deal with BMG-Virgin and the future looked rosy again.
In L.A. Andy met ex-Sex Pistols member Steve Jones who was playing at Iggy Pop's band. For reasons unknown he couldn't attend Iggy's tour and so he introduced Andy to Iggy who hired him as solo guitarist to his Instinct Tour. Bass player Alvin Gibbs released later a book called Neighbourhood Thread – On Tour With Iggy Pop (Codex, 1995/2001) where he wrote about Andy's adventures during this tour. After the tour Andy came back to L.A. and he took a divorce from Anastasia who died few months later. While staying in L.A. he met his future wife Angela.
1989-1994 – Los Angeles
Co-operation with Iggy ended after his tour and so therefore Andy started to form a band. He was to release his first solo album with BMG-Virgin. Working title for the band was Machine Gun Rodeo. It was exceptionally hard for Andy trying to find talented musicians and he had talks even with such super stars like Lenny Kravitz. Finally he had scraped together a band that was re-named as Shooting Gallery (name has two meanings: place for shooting with guns and place for shooting with a needle). In 1990 SG toured around USA as a warm-up band for Kiss. Final line-up was formed when Paul Garisto (played at Iggy's Instinct tour and at Michael Monroe's album Not Fakin' It), bass player Dave Tregunna (Lords Of The New Church/Cherry Bomz) and singer Billy G. Bang (who sang at Dave Tregunna's band Kill City Dragons) joined the band. They released only one album called Shooting Gallery and that was released in 1992.
Later Jo Almeida (Dogs D'Amour) was hired as second guitarist. The reasons why they drew the curtains over the band were perhaps that Bang wasn't much of a singer and he had very heavy off-duty hobbies that didn't suit for Andy (who was also hooked on drugs). During L.A. years Andy's musical activity was cut down short because he spent much time trying to find right musicians. He only attended re-formed UK Subs' record Killing Time (1989) and a tour in Finland in 1991 with Dave Lindholm and legendary Nicky Hopkins.
1994 – Helsinki
Post Shooting Gallery time started with a move back to Finland where music agency formed a band for him. After short practises they kicked-off a Finnish tour playing at small venues. Band included Hanoi's first drummer Gyp Casino, Dan Lagerstedt (Road Rats and Rolene) and vocalist Esa Palosaari who had played drums in such bands as Riff Raff, Albert Järvinen Band, Kirka band and JackFlash. While Dan and Gyp acted like professional musicians during the gigs, it was Andy who was drunk as a coot. It looked like that he spent more time on the floor than on a stool. In addition to this, Esa Palosaari was just totally wrong person to sing Andy's songs. This tour enhanced the wrong impression of Andy being just a 24/7 drinking stuck-up bastard who liked to talk about himself. Previously his talks were dismissed because he had done musically much good but now this Shooting Gallery tour just showed people what he really was during that time – a sloppy bum. Soon the yellow press in Finland wrote about Andy daily in a way like: ”Rock Star In Flames”. This low grade performance was a total bringdown to the fans who had eagerly waited for his homecoming.
Like Andy Esa Palosaari has lived in Oulu and it might be possible that they have played football together as youngsters. After his career as musician Palosaari has been working as sales manager for Microsoft and is currently a hotel manager in Finland.
1995-1996 – Helsinki/Stockholm
After unlucky Shooting Gallery Tour most of us were ready to accept the fact that he was just another has-been when everybody saw that he was in poor condition both physically and musically. Suddenly Andy put himself back into the shape and talks about the comeback spread around Finland: Andy planned to release another solo album. In 1995 he announced he had hundreds of unfinished songs lying on his table and some of them finally materialised in the form of Building On Tradition album. Album, which was recorded in Stockholm and Andy himself had produced it, received good reviews. This album was maybe the most clear lined release of his post-Hanoi albums and song Strung Out became a quite big hit in Finland.
Building On Tradition also introduced Andy's wife, Angela, as good backup vocalist. Three singles were released: Strung Out / I'm Gonna Roll / Unconditional Love, Let It Rock / Heart Attack / Candle Burnt Down and Foxfield Junction / Born Again Electric. After the release of the album Andy started touring with a band called Live Ammo which had Gyp Casino, Dan Lagerstedt, Andy Christell and Christian Andre in it. Andy sang the songs himself except old Hanoi tunes which were sung by Danne. Angela sang the back-up vocals. Singing wasn't totally a novelty idea to Angela because according to Andy she had also sang back-up vocals to Billy Idol. Halfway through Finnish Tour bass player Christell had to leave the band because of an accident that had happened to his family. Lagerstedt dropped his guitar and continued playing bass. At first Live Ammo's fame was going upwards but after two tours in Finland this band also vanished from the rock scene.
In 1995 in Tavastia Rock Club in Helsinki fans saw for the first time in a decade all four Hanoi members on stage at the same time. This happened when Andy was invited on stage with Demolition 23 to play a song Problem Child. Funny thing was that Andy had written that tune but still couldn't remember how the song went. Another re-union happened later that year when Andy visited Pelle Miljoona & Rockers song Don't Fear The Reaper (originally by Blue Öyster Cult). Andy played guitar and sang the lead vocals in a song called Kuin Romeo Ja Julia – in Finnish. Andy was also seen as a visiting guitarist in the gigs of Pelle & Rockers. In 1995 he also played with Remu Aaltonen (Hurriganes) when he was touring in Finland.
1996 – Helsinki
After Live Ammo Andy swayed back to skid row where he met his old pal Pete Malmi. People were shocked to hear that he and Pete planned to re-form their teenage band Briard. To the press they told they had written dozens of songs that were to be world wide hits. After few months from this, those ”hit-songs” had mystically vanished.
Finally Andy, Pete and Angela had re-formed Briard and hired Jussi (69Eyes) and Archie (69Eyes) to the line-up. They made a new version from their old song Fuck The Army + they recorded ten other songs that were musically... well. But Andy is his own kind of a bloke that no other are and he could create his own Phoenix bird in a form of a song called River Of Dreams. This song really was something different compared to other songs from the album. Perhaps the reason was that while Andy produced all the other songs himself, Asko Kallonen helped him making this. I have to state that this song was recycled from a 1984 song Keep Our Fire Burnin' made to Yasuaki Honda.
Because of Andy's and Pete's messing up, Briard had a short and comical tour in Finland. Only Jussi and Archie saved the tour from a total catastrophy with their commitment. In 1996 Andy played guitar in a Pelle Miljoona & Rockers song Kaipaan Sua. He also attended some of the concerts with Pelle's band.
Andy was also playing guitar quite surprisingly at XL5 (Finnish teenie popgroup) song Nyt Mennään. He's also seen in the video. Andy had also visited 69Eyes album Savage Garden under pseydonym of Cosmic Ted. Song Wild Talk was his own, unreleased and written in 1989. Andy also helped 69Eyes when they performed in a Japanese album Stranded In A Doll House which was a salute to Johnny Thunders and Jerry Nolan. They recorded a song Vietnamese Baby by New York Dolls.
1997-2001 – Helsinki
In 1997 Pekka Lehto started to film a movie about the life of Andy. Pelle Miljoona, Dave Lindholm and Andy also made a short acoustic tour. In 1998 for reasons unknown Andy fell from a third floor balcony and was taken to hospital because his legs were injured. He still could record few songs to the soundtrack of his movie The Real McCoy which was premiered in 1999.
In 1999 Andy and Angela performed few times with a band that had e.g. Dan Lagerstadt in it. In 2000 Andy's autobiography Sheriffi McCoy (Marshall McCoy) was released. This book was based mostly on 1997 book Andy McCoy – Hanoista ikuisuuteen.
In the winter of 2001 a 4 CD boxset of Hanoi Rocks was released. While promoting the boxset Michael and Andy saw their relationship becoming closer and they ended up to play at Ruisrock Festivals in Turku as Hanoi Rocks Revisited. The band didn't include Sami or Nasty but just studiomusicians. This happy re-union was shadowed by Michael's wife's sudden death on 19 June 2002. Because Hanoi Rocks Revisited was received well Andy and Michael decided to continue as Hanoi Rocks. Still other original members weren't seen in the band when their first album 12 Shots On The Rocks was released in 2002.
Pete Malmi invented this Andy McCoy name. He invented the name that is today known all over the world.