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Visit to Sweden - July 2005    HOMEPAGE | October 2005 | June 2006
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Now what could 'top and tail' the experience we we'd had so far. Meeting and enjoying the hospitality of the two Generations of Hagströms, seeing the delights of the past in so many different ways, feeling the anticipation of the future, and enjoying the sights of this beautiful country.

Ulf, his lovely family, his good neighbours and Kwinn too, were waiting for us to arrive for another feast of food, and music and great company. Chris played remote control car for a while to unwind, then joined us up on the veranda to enjoy the view (and some pudding).

Soon after, Ulf produced a guitar case and asked Chris to open it...  we then enjoyed a full description and look at the detail of this amazing sight... there is no better way to put it than to take you through this final chapter with pictures of - yes, that original and only fully hand crafter guitar made in Sweden by James L D'Aquisto - for Hagström.

The instrument incorporates a McCarty Gibson dual pickup and pickguard assembly that James D'Aquisto brought with him from America. Other (only partly finished) prototypes used a different arrangement with pickups placed separately, which was the ongoing configuration for this guitar in it's production years.

The binding width follows the contours of the body shape in perfect sympathy; narrower near the strap button as the back sweeps in toward the neck area. So, no 'standard' binding for this baby.

If there is one video you must watch from this trip, it is the one below. It is a delight of sight and - well I was gong to say sound - but potential sound is better to say.

The reason for this was simply the trepidation and respect at the thought of playing it, and many players in attendance shied away from this exquisite and quite unique guitar. One little guy didn't really know the significance until later...
 
  CLICK THE PICTURE TO VIEW THE VIDEO OF 
 THE DESCRIPTION, AND A BIT OF A STRUM... 

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What a treat,  THANK YOU SO MUCH  Ulf.

 

It was only fair to say that after this unveiling - a very rare occurrence - we all needed a drink and those without the need to consider driving (how unfair to Anders), retired to the back garden, the bar, Kwinn's Taylor Travel guitar, and some blues, all rounded off by some more great conversation.

Around 1.00am we had to finally say goodbye. A sad moment with Kwinn returning to USA quite soon too. We realised that this magical journey really was coming to an end, and once again there were no words that fully expressed our gratitude and appreciation.

Not once did we anticipate or expect the friendship we were shown. It was a revelation from start to finish: no politics, no baggage, no holding back, just simply... Sweden.

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Kwinn was great fun, always eloquent, and understated, a Texan gent with the heart of a Viking.

Ulf is a devoted Hagstrom enthusiast, and knowledgeable guy - proud and generous a rare combination.

Both Karl-Erik's were closer to my enthusiasm than I had expected, both again open and willing to afford us time and hopefully received our sincerity and thanks in return.

Stefan is simply amazing in his energies and ideas. The boy is now a man, and I hope he can achieve some of his aims within the story too.

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Returning to the car, still 'glazed in the head' from this fresh encounter, we had no problem staying awake through the night.... well actually no, I'm lying... we stopped half way for a quick nap for safety.

Also it is very fair to say I was finding it very hard to keep Anders company by the time we arrived back at Braås at around 4.30am Friday - and we probably kept him going by the sound of a rather un-harmonious snoring by the time the journey ended!

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Friday was a lazy day, up by midday, Anton came round to play with Chris - guitars and cars were the order of the day - what a surprise eh?

Yes if you need it, there's another short video  HERE  with a taste of this wind-down before our journey back.

Starting at 1.00am Saturday morning we headed back to Malmo, then the train over the bridge to Copenhagen, and the check-in for our flight back to the UK departing at 7.15am. Taking the hour difference into account we landed before 8.30am Saturday.

Who says you don't get Jet Lag in Europe? I was shattered, but satisfied (Understatement). My thanks to everyone we met, so much friendship and openness, and especially many thanks to Anders Karlsson, our guide and companion throughout the whole adventure.

I keep wishing to re-live this experience in my mind - every day.
Chris woke up to what had happened in a kind of delayed reaction, recounting moments days later - not least that guitar.
In all, it was a feast of people and experience, natural beauty and musical highlights. What a privilege.

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BEFORE YOU GO HERE'S WHAT THIS NOSTALGIA DID FOR CHRIS

AUGUST 2005 CHRIS, INSPIRED, AIMS TO BE GOOD WITH A VIKING (YES, ANOTHER VIDEO)

...and finally, remember that card Chris left behind? Thankfully it was posted on to us in August!

Don't you just enjoy a happy ending? :-)

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 Many Thanks to Anders, Stefan, Karl-Erik Hagström Junior, Karl-Erik Hagström Senior, Ulf, Kwinn, Bengt, Bjorn, Rolf, Kikki - great cooking too, and all families (the support teams!), Maersk Airlines, SAAB, Porsche, Honda, Barclaycard, and anything and anyone else who knows us. Phew! Roll on next time...

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Other Visits: October 2005 Östersund Festival | June 2006 Älvdalen Festival

Hej! we didn't get that far north last time!

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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!