Ben was born in Gothenburg, Sweden, in 1950. He enjoyed a particularly happy childhood. His family, though, was singularly intolerant of music. In a period of pure teenage rebellion Ben started to play the guitar just to upset his parents.
Once when his father came upon Ben practicing on his guitar, he roared at him, ”Why in tarnation can’t you be out chasing girls like the other guys, instead of sitting here fondling that scratch-box?!”
Ben found out, though, that his paternal grandfather had been a cantor, and had been talented. Armed with this knowledge, Ben vowed to revive the family musical tradition just to teach his parents a lesson. In his late teens he was always out playing in some kind of musical event – an enthusiastic ballad singer.
In the autumn of 1968 Ben played as a solo artist at the Concert House in Stockholm. That same evening his moist-eyed parents, in a gesture of forgiveness, gave him his grandfather’s tuning fork. Thus he had achieved his goal, and soon switched tracks and registered at the Stockholm School of Economics. Right from the beginning he was sucked into the school’s well-known student farce tradition. When he graduated in 1976, he decided to limit his love affair with music to his own home while he devoted himself to his business career and his family.
But then one day in 1998 Ben wrote a letter to his friend Janne Bark, who was at the time on tour with Ulf Lundell. The letter spun itself out to become long and witty. When Janne came back to Halmstad he waved the letter in Ben’s face and thundered that he should start to write song lyrics with the same style he used in his letters. Ben went along with him, but he refused to write love songs. The two music lovers met more and more often to sing ”non-love songs” together, and soon a single CD was issued. It rose right up to the top of the Swedish Hit Parade. In the space of two years Ben had seven songs up on the list and was frequently played on Swedish radio stations. The critics’ consensus is that the reason for his successful run was that ”Ben composes and performs his songs with reflective lyrics and simple, appealing music”. This pleases Ben, since he believes that music doesn’t need to be complicated as long as it touches you.
Meet the artist who dares to walk down his own path! Through his songs, let him tell you stories you have never heard before! Together with Ben, let us bring Swedish folk music into the 21:st century.