Thorbjörn Frennesson

Thorbjörn Frenesson [b. 1949]

Already at 12-13 years old, Thorbjörn, as a young youth interested in music, begins to apprentice with the local photographer at home in Ronneby. Thorbjörn had to learn the craft from scratch there. It also included dispatching customers in the photographer's photo shop. Soon, however, Thorbjörn's hair grew so long that he was faced with an ultimatum: cut your hair or you have to quit!

Of course, he chose the latter and now instead started helping out at the many new clubs that were mushrooming in Ronneby at this time in the mid-sixties. Thorbjörn had a hand in most, legendary clubs with names like Club-a-go-go, Bonaparte and Modesty Blaze - all housed in old demolition sheds! Many of the big Swedish bands played there during the 60s.

Thorbjörn now became his own full-time photographer and was forced to work intensively as a freelancer. His interest in music continued to lead him to various concerts and his curiosity for new music became his driving force. As it is still today! He has a special weakness for the bands with extravagant stage shows, such as Alice Cooper and Wizzard and similar. Thorbjörn supplied continuously new photos to numerous local newspapers, all had the popular entertainment- and music-sections at the time. Other steady customers were the evening newspapers led by Expressen and Aftonbladet. Both with local offices in nearby Karlskrona.

In the seventies, a good friend of his started the now legendary rock venue Club Ron, housed at Ronneby Brunn. Here Thorbjörn became the house photographer and shot many of the bands that played there. His pictures of the Ramones in 1978 from there have been much appraised and talked about when they were presented as exclusive bonus photographs for the hard cover book Ramones in Sweden (Premium Publishing).

Thorbjörn learned the art of capturing the magical moments of his encounters with the artists with his Leica camera as his true-hearted companion. He says he never liked photographing artists on the huge (and high) festival stages - where you are always at a disadvantage, at the wrong angle. He prefers the smaller clubs / stages where you can get really up close. He mentions as an example the photos of Procol Harum at Barbarella in Växjö.

Thorbjörn often went abroad to photograph, such as to Copenhagen and London. Yes - for pretty much the whole 70's he spent a lot of time in London and his favorite pastime was hanging out in the many music pubs. The favorite was Dingwalls in Camden. An indelible memory was also the experience from the "London Music Festival ´73", with artists such as Argent, Family, Nazareth, Black Sabbath, Groundhogs, Wishbone Ash, Vinegar Joe, Climax Blues Band and more.

Thorbjörn eventually got permanent employment as a photographer at home at the local newspaper Sydöstran in Karlskrona, to which he remained faithful for many years. However, he has always made sure to keep the rights to his music photographs and negatives, to himself. We wish Thorbjörn a warm welcome to the Rockshot family!
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