guitarist and producer from Stockholm, Sweden, who band-hopped quite a bit in the
1960s, playing with Chicks, Noisemen and Ted
& the Caracas
before landing in a dance band.
He dropped out of school but found the incessant touring schedule
worse than formal education, and went back to school and founded The Sleepstones.
some chart success, but never really took off, and Janne
joined Grapes of Wrath in 1968.
Ola Brunkert was the drummer and they
eventually morphed into Opus III, which was rounded out by bass player,
They released Opus III &
Friends in 1970, which was just around the time that Janne was catching the ear of record producers who were
eager to employ him as a session musician.
A couple of
his early studio gigs included “Both Sides Now” by Bjorn Skifs and Som jag ar by Agnetha Faltskog.
He had been associated with Benny Andersson
and Bjorn Ulvaeus for a while and they used him
as a guitarist on Ted Gardestad’s solo
debut in 1971, and in subsequent years on several ABBA songs such as
“People Need Love”, “Ring Ring”,
“SOS”, and “Waterloo”.
It was a busy
year for Janne, who found himself multi-tasking
on a movie soundtrack composed by Johnny Nash. Not only did he perform on the
recording: He also acted as
music contractor, gathering the other musicians for the Stockholm sessions. His choices: Ola Brunkert,
bassist Bo Haggstrom, and fellow guitarist Born
Linder. Bob Marley was on hand
and he taught Janne a few reggae rhythms on
reunited with Ted Gardestad on his next two
albums, Wonderment in 1972 and Ted in 1973. In 1973, Janne
and Ola, along with bassist Stefan Brolund and
keyboardist Bjorn J:son Lindh, played a live concert at Karen in Stockholm. Meantime, Janne
released his self-titled solo debut and it shot to the top of the Swedish
charts, where it stayed for six consecutive weeks. It is hard to believe he had time to
appear on two other albums, Baltik’s eponymous
1973 effort and Pop
Workshop—Vol. 1, and in a made-for-TV movie entitled Snovit och de sju sma dvargarna,
in which he portrayed a character known as Blyger.
equally busy: He released two
more albums, Janne Schaffer’s Andra
and The Chinese, composed music
for the motion picture, Flossie,
appeared uncredited in a made-for-TV movie
entitled Parade, and performed
acoustic and electric guitar on Ted Gardestad’s
The two of
them collaborated again in 1976 on Ted’s album, French cards, the same year that found
Janne on the big screen in Man on the Roof and on the record shelves with Khatarsis,
which cracked the top twenty on the Swedish charts. In 1977, he was one of several
performers who shared the stage at the Montreux
Jazz Festival. He released Earmeal in
1978 and it barely missed out on the top forty in Sweden. What made Earmeal unique was that it
included every member of the Porcaro family,
Jeff, Joe, Mike and Steve.
In 1979, Janne produced and recorded some bonus material for the
re-release of Ted Gardstad’s album, Blue Virgin Isles. He released another solo LP, Presens, in
1980. In 1981, he produced and
performed on Ted Gardestad’s album, Gale warning. He also appeared as himself on the Lena Maria Show as a member of the
Electric Banana Band. (The
walrus may have been Paul, but the zebra was Janne.)
In 1982, he
issued Bla Passager Och Roda Vagor
and it spent three weeks on the Swedish charts, where it peaked at
#44. He played guitar on Putte Wickman’s 1984 release,
Desire. He founded his own production house,
Earmeal, and began releasing albums on this label
the following year.
In 1985, he
released Traffic, which got stuck
at #50 on the Swedish album chart.
This was followed by Horselmat, Electric
Graffiti, and Julglod. In 1990, he teamed up with Gunnar Idenstam and Bjorn J:Son Lindh for the CD, Tid Brusa. In addition to playing guitar, he
also penned four of the tracks, “Rotmousse”,
“Som Ett Nyfott Barn”, “Tid”,
and “Vid Vagens Vag”.
In 1992, he
composed the theme music for the television program, Klasses
He played guitar and electric sitar and produced Ted Gardestad’s comeback LP in 1994. In 1995, he released another solo
album, Av Ren
Lust. He appeared as
himself on the TV show, Allsang pa Skansen in 1997. In 1998, the Electric Banana Band
got back together and recorded an album that topped the Swedish charts and
composed the soundtrack of the 1999 motion picture, Halsoresan – En small film av stor vikt. In 2000, the Electric Banana Band
returned to the small screen on an episode of Allsang pa Skansen and Janne
released another solo LP, Pa Andra Sidan Manen.
This was followed by Nara I Sommarnatten, which peaked at #12 on the Swedish
charts in 2002.
In 2005, he
released another solo album, Med Betoning Pa Ljus. He made guest appearances on the TV
in 2005 and 2006. In 2009, he
appeared on the TV shows, Efter Tio and ForKvall, released Stamningsfullt – En vinterresa,
and performed in a Christmas concert with Bjorn J:son Lindh at Gustav Vasa Church.
He was back on
the small screen in 2010 on episodes of BingoLotto and Nyhetsmorgon.
His boxed set,
Music Story, was on the shelves
around the same time: It
contained every one of his solo albums plus one album of
never-before-released material on ten CDs and three live concert DVDs.
Elaine (Bjorn Ulvaeus/Benny Andersson)