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Loose Prick & The Gob was formed in fall 1977 in Kouvola. In the beginning they sung in English. The original lineup was 'Loose Prick' aka Pauli Johansson: vocals, Archie B: bass, Tomaz Mistkerle aka Tommi Leinonen: guitar, Jack Gob aka Jussi Kylliäinen:guitar, Honey E: guitar and Antero Hysteria aka Timo Ranta: drums. Yes, they had three guitarists, which probably made it sound fun. They were also publishing a fanzine called Punk-Shanomat, mostly featuring articles on local bands. Their first gig was held at sports club Kouvolan Urheilijat's Christmas party the same year. In addition to their own material, they played Sex Pistols, The Jam and London covers. In spring 1978 they participated in the Finnish rock championship competition. The new wave category was introduced for the first time that year. From the qualifying event held in Lappeenranta Loose Prick proceeded to the finals, but came second-to-last there (Widows came last, if I recall correctly, which is ironical, as those two were essentially the only bands in the category that had anything to do with new wave). After the competition the band went through some changes: Archie joined another band called Cox, and he was replaced by Harri Jantunen. Honey E decided to concentrate on his studies. The band continued with the new lineup, and in fall they switched from English to Finnish, and the band name was shortened to Loose Prick. Soon it was Leinonen's turn to depart, leaving the band a four-piece.

The band had already sent demos to various record labels, but had been rejected. This time the new lineup got lucky, as Poko Rekords liked their new demo, and in February 5th 1979 they went to Microvox Studio (naturally) and recorded songs for their debut single Mua potkitaan päähän/Velton nimeen. Both songs are written by guitarist Kylliäinen, and it's a pretty good opening. I wonder if the "E" credited as producer is the former member Honey E, or photographer "Tommi" another former member Tommi Leinonen. If so, they were probably still in good relations with the band. Another visit to Microvox yielded a song for Hilse compilation LP. The song was Mä en jaksa enää ('I can't be bothered anymore'), and like the title, I too can't be bothered to listen to it, as the playing is really lazy. Maybe they did it on purpose, as a reference to the song title. Still, the single tracks were much tighter and sounded better than this one, even though it was recorded later, in late May the same year to be exact. This one too is written by Kylliäinen. They didn't play that many gigs at the time, mostly due to the location of their hometown. A booking agent would probably have helped too! A new four-track EP called Kaupunki was released in late 1979, showing major improvement in their skills. Of the town-themed songs I, and possibly others too, prefer Kaupunki peittyy taas pimeään. Again, all the songs are Kylliäinen's compositions. One of the songs, Sinä uinuja, was also included on an English compilation A shape of Finns to Come, released by Cherry Red Records. The idea behind the compilation was to introduce Poko Rekords' artists outside Finland's borders. Other bands on the compilation included Eppu Normaali and Popeda. Even though Loose Prick received very little media coverage (which is a shame, as lesser bands from bigger cities like Helsinki and Tampere fared much better), they didn't let that discourage them. In January 21st 1980 they recorded songs for a new single in MSL-Studio. The single Yöt ympäri/Lupaukset onnellisista lapsista, produced by themselves, is one of their best. The A side is an ordinary rocker, but the B side has a nice memorable melody, and beautiful lyrics. The lyrics on both songs are by Johansson and compositions and arrangements by Kylliäinen.

It may have been quiet on the gig front in 1980, but they were busy working in the studio. They started recording songs for an album. One song was included on Hellää terroria korville compilation EP, available for free through Soundi magazine. Other bands on the EP were Widows, Karanteeni and Sensuuri. Sensuuri's track was taken from a forthcoming album, but since the album was never released, the song was only available on this EP, making it a rarity (until Kråklund Records released a CD that collected all Sensuuri recordings). Loose Prick's song on the EP was Tuu mukaan, later renamed to Ota mua kädestä on the album. After that nice, good sounding melodic pop song, expectations for the forthcoming Loose Prick album were high. And good the LP Valkoiset sotilaat was, for the most part. Originally it was supposed to be titled 'Jokin meni vikaan' ('Something went wrong'), as it was referred to in some advertisements, for example on back cover of an issue of Soundi magazine. The original title might have been more fitting for it, as there are two sides to it: The A side comes with a load of punk attitude, whereas on the B side there is more emotional stuff. There is nothing wrong with that, but the lyrics of many of the punk rock songs sound a little corny. Or maybe they have later just become outdated, at least I, as a ten-year-old kid, didn't think there was anything wrong with them back then. One of the album tracks is truly among the best Finnish punk songs: the title track is really imposing, with great lyrics, and that one alone should have lifted Loose Prick to one of the top new wave bands. The only problem with the song (although I don't mind) is that it's too long. Had it been edited to single length, it might have scored them the hit they never got. On the B side there are acoustic guitars and keyboards, and the songs have stood the test of time better. It also gave an indication of which way the band would be expected to head in their music. However, the album didn't do well on the sales charts. I remember seeing it ranked 28th or something on Suosikki Top 30 list. Ota mua kädestä (previously named Tuu mukaan) was also included on Suomi-ilmiö compilation LP, featuring bands like Ratsia, Pelle Miljoona and Karanteeni. Single Tytöt piirtää sydämiä seiniin by Nowadays, featuring some then and future members of Loose Prick, was released the same year.

After the album the lineup changed, as Jantunen left the band, and was replaced by ex-Peer Günt Petri Korppi. Little is known about Jantunen's later activities, but he did play keyboards on Top Rank's releases, and joined Peer Günt for a short time (and also appeared on Loose Prick's next album). In April 1981 the band were already recording their second album. In the studio Ranta, Kylliäinen, Korppi and Johansson were joined by Timo Kipahti on guitar and vocals, Maria Tarnanen (who later worked in Sielun Veljet management) on vocals, and Jussi Voutilainen, who played bass on some of the tracks. After the recordings he became the band's bass player, as Korppi switched to guitar. Jantunen, despite no longer being in the band, played keyboards on the album. So, a band that was quite unknown and had released only one album and a couple of singles, went on to make a new album so soon after the first one, with no single releases in between, or active touring! It's surprising that the label boss Epe Helenius agreed to do it. The guys themselves later regretted doing so, but still it's a true shame that it sold really poorly, as it is, if not great, but a good album. It's also surprising that, despite having so many new players, the songs are played tightly. The album Etkö rakastaisi was released in summer 1981 and the mood on it ranges from easygoing like Miksei ne vois kuolla, to really gloomy like Kuka kuivaa kyyneleet, which also has the most beautiful melody. The title track is an upbeat ska tune, and Juostaan has something similar to it. Otherwise the songs are mostly slow ballads, or fast pop songs, as they were probably considered then, with the exception of Miksei ne vois kuolla, which defies categorization. Sateen jälkeen is sung by Tarnanen, only accompanied with Johansson on piano. The album can hardly be labeled punk rock, but there's no reason why it should be, as it seems that the band had found its own style. There are many good songs on the album, for example Kuka kuivaa kyyneleet, Yö ei tuu koskaan lähelle and Taivas saa odottaa (not to be confused with Rudi's outstanding debut single of the same name). This time songwriting had been more of a shared effort: a couple of songs are credited to the whole band (without Tarnanen), and in general the songs aren't as dominantly Kylliäinen's compositions as before. The album was produced by Reima Saarinen and engineered by Veijo Mäki, later known from the infamous band Bogart Co! As you may have guessed, it was recorded in Studio 55, Turku. The album sleeve was designed by the band. No songs from the album were released as a single. So, after a good album, the future must have looked bright? Of course not! They were still having trouble getting booked on gigs, and even though the title song received some airplay in the new radio program Rockradio that had been launched in late 1980, it hardly boosted the sales, nor did the fact that the title song was included on Rock disko compilation LP. Also the lineup changed again, as Kipahti left the band, and Tarnanen followed a little later. After Loose Prick Kipahti played in Dada, and had a band of his own under the name Toni Rossi & Sinitaivas. Loose Prick was having constant setbacks: there was always someone performing his compulsory military service, and in general everything seemed to be against them. So the band came to its end in 1982, the same year their most confident release, the last single Jäätynyt hymy/Viimeinen tanssi kadulle was released. The single tracks are darker than their previous output. But Loose Prick wasn't ready to quit just yet, even though their main composer Kylliäinen left in spring 1982. The rest of them joined forces with their mentor Veltto Virtanen. The collaboration was supposed to bring publicity for the unknown band, but the new album Beibi sold even less than Loose Pricks previous albums. Johansson has later stated that it was a good idiot LP. Regardless, that was the end of Loose Prick's story.

It wasn't long before the guys already had a new outfit called Alaston Lounas, formed in 1984. The lineup was Johansson on vocals, Kylliäinen on guitar, Ranta on drums and Sauli Leppänen (later Giddyups) on bass. They made a single and a 12" EP. Before breaking up, another Loose Prick member Kylliäinen joined the band on guitar and bass. Later Ranta and Voutilainen formed Whizz Kids and made three singles. At this point Ranta had become the lead vocalist. Voutilainen then joined Noise In Dirt, after which he and Ranta formed another band called Going Public. They were moderately successful in the indie scene, but the band faded away in mid 1990's. Ranta has been involved in many projects since, Cheerleaders United being one of them. Kylliäinen and Johansson formed One Blood, with Susan Jönssson on vocals, released a handful of records, were renamed to Garuda and released a couple of more records.

Surprisingly enough, Loose Prick made a brief comeback in around 2001. In April they re-recorded the Kaupunki EP songs with the original lineup. The new EP wasn't released until next year, as Poko Rekords wanted to have a compilation of their earlier recordings out first. The compilation, called Likaisia enkeleitä, valkoisia sotilaita, is well put together, except that two of my favourites, Lupaukset onnellisista lapsista and Kuka kuivaa kyyneleet were left out. Regarding the new EP, the songs were played better, but otherwise it's pretty much the same, with the exception of the two additional tracks, 'Hard Prick' mixes of Viisi päivää kuolemaa, one of which lasts over six minutes. I couldn't stand the original version, so I have to admit I haven't been able to listen to remixes from beginning to the end. Pasi Kylliäinen (next generation?) played second guitar on the EP, and Petteri Rautiainen was on backing vocals. Loose Prick also played a couple of gigs, Veltto Virtanen guesting on some of them. I regret having missed them, as they probably won't be getting back together anymore. Or who knows.

text by Vesa Vahtera, translation by Jarkko Kuivanen