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HOMEPAGE                                     Arne Johansson - The World's Greatest...                                    NEWS-PAGE

For those of you who haven't heard of Arne Johansson, you are in for a treat! This man is a living and walking Hagstrom memorabilia man, his very own Hagstrom museum curator, a fanatic, and maybe most of all to those who visited Östersund in September 2005, the force behind the Worlds Greatest Hagstrom Guitar Show that provided such fun and hospitality in the Autumn of 2005.

But - as you can see here - the guitar show could have been held right inside Arne's Östersund home! So I truly count myself privileged to have met this generous man, enjoyed his boundless hospitality, and marvelled at his inexhaustible passion for Music - Especially when it is connected to the Hagstrom Brand.

I just will not allow you to believe I overstate the case when it comes to Arne, to call him a devotee is not enough! How many of us would allow the Hagstrom name get under your skin quite as much as he has! 

Such enthusiasm must call for a madman eh? None of it! Arne is fun, but also very capable; otherwise the Rockensvanner organisation (www.rockensvanner.com) would not exist, the collection surely would not be so well documented and presented, and this 'second home' - on the grounds of his beautiful home by the lake (of course) would not be so well organised.

No Arne is pretty much unique in the world of Hagstrom and has quietly over the years amassed one of the most incredibly diverse collections you could have the pleasure of encountering! His family still talk to him too - so there's a relief, and a lot to learn for the budding collector when it comes to how you get the rest of the family "on board".

His wife Gunborg is equally hospitable providing a lovely meal, and we entertained ourselves with chat and fun - that is Bill Marriott, John Haskin, Manfred Graeder, Ulf Zandhers, Bengt Eriksson and other friends. The youngsters - John's granddaughter Morgan and my son Chris also enjoyed themselves, although Chris was a bit unsure when he was offered a piece of Rudolph the reindeer to taste.... after all, Christmas wasn't too far off...

Anyway, let us now explore the museum / the shrine / the education that is Arne's Hagstrom world...

The collection is merged into a much wider appreciation of all things music from the 50's through the 60's and beyond.

You will find masses of vinyl adorning the walls and ceilings, many items of special memorabilia from Abba to Beatles to Zappa - and I'm sure if I spent the time looking through I could find something for every letter of the alphabet!

So it isn't just the guitars we see in a few choice collections, it is other Hagstrom items, other special items from a wide span of what was the emerging world of music mania.

You might be forgiven if you thought this was the full extent of the display.

However this is one of the annexes in this living museum, so unless I can help to add to the story told in the pictures, I shall stop right now, and just let you feast your eyes on more!

Click on any of the smaller pictures to reveal bigger versions of so many wonderful sights to behold...

 

You may notice that the scene shown above right, is the basis of a now well known Hagstrom postcard you might have received. Well this is in fact the site of what was the Sauna in this building. Now, as you know - in Sweden - this is quite a sacrifice to make!


Above you see just a few small snapshots of the Arne Johansson collection - The Lapsteel with the striking blue fretboard was something even Karl-Erik had not remembered until Arne took him one to see in 2004! Much of this collection is incredibly well maintained, and many very rare items - including that Lapsteel again - have original cases, with original fittings - almost as if they were new!

Bear in mind too that he is now the custodian of those New Old Stock guitars from Canada shown under the heading Michael Seaman in the visitors pages. These too were on display along with the rest of his collection at the guitar show.

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I should mention one of the reasons for this lifelong fascination. Arne's love of guitars and music came from his father. There are many boys and girls who grew up following the interests of their parents in one way or another, in this case you must agree he's carried on the interest in a way that would make any parent proud!

So what was one of the significant moments in this initiation?

One of the instantly recognisable signs saying Hagström MUSIK stood out from an otherwise typical looking two storey chalet style department building.

Going inside and being bought a guitar in 1964 was quite a significant episode for most kids, and it was no different here...

Here we see an old picture of just that store in Kyrkgatan, Östersund:

So this is how it started - with a new Hagström guitar in 1964...

 

From that moment until 2005 when Arne was recognised with a diploma for being the Jamtlands biggest Collector 2005, a fair amount of time and thought has gone into preserving and celebrating the history and impact of the company that Albin started all those years before.


What superb composition the above photo has!


The award is seriously appointed,

yet a sense of reality is maintained

at the same time!

     

This very active hobby and commitment also extends to the the world of 50's and 60's revival music - which is very strong in Sweden. Not only visible to the local community, it also shows itself though organising sponsorship for young musicians, and the guitar shows such as Östersund mentioned earlier. Probably most important of all knowing Arne - is just the sheer fun and friendship that comes from enjoying and sharing the odd Hagstrom or two...

 

Here we see Karl-Erik Senior in early 2004 being presented with the view of Arne's Sauna... well it warms the cockles of my heart anyway!


My son Chris received a special memento too when we visited, a leather neck-lace, with an original Hagstrom pick attached. Arne has his own memorabilia items - now that is the sign of a very organised enthusiast. As for a very disorganised youngster, - well Chris wears that cool Hagstrom pick with pride...

Arne also has his own website that many of you will have visited: www.hagstrom4ever.nu

And one thing he tried to convince me when I visited him was... that he doesn't actually play guitar himself
- but hey - this is the measure of fun he likes to have - he must have been pulling my leg!

There's only one way you could end a memorable encounter with this massively unstoppable  man... "Arne.... We'll be back!" (I just hope its true...)

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Now Hagstra La Vista with Arne - This Dapper Zappa SuperSwede made a record price on Tradera auctions in May 2007
This picture was taken a couple of years back in Älvdalen where Stefan was showing us some special stuff around town...


Unique SuperSwede in the Bavarian colours made for Frank Zappa
It now joins Arne's collection.... I'm sure.... he'll be baaaack!

Our Chris from Golden Boulder had the honour of playing this guitar at the Älvdalen Festival in 2007
YouTube Link

Early in 2008 Arne decided to sell his collection and to make sure it remained with lovers of the original story
it went to a museum local to his own locality in Sweden. A new museum area is being built, and the grand opening
is expected some time in 2009.

HOMEPAGE | NEWS-PAGE | VISITORS PAGE
 

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There's nothing like a REAL original Swedish made Hagstrom (and there are loads around), but if it 'floats your boat', or you can't find an original then who are we to say?

Plenty has been said already and
will be said forever forward probably.
Only you know what's right for you!