Liverpool is traditionally seen as the creative Mecca of UK pop in the mid sixties, but many of the nation’s other towns and cities were also adding their weight to the music bandwagon, with countless new groups to plug the chart gaps that Brian Epstein’s Mersey machine left open. One of those towns was Bournemouth - which was, as is now, crammed with clubs and discos of every shade and size. The town’s mega-venue was the Pavilion, where on Saturday nights Zoot Money’s Big Roll Band and silver suited local singer Tony Blackburn hammered out their sets. But parallel to this was the thriving underworld of the disco clubs where the real action took place. These were raw late night high spots in the style of London’s Marquee Club - so right-on, that Britain’s rock elite could often be seen turning up in the crowd. Bands like The Who and Manfred Mann cut their teeth here, and every local band from The Night People to the fabulous Bob Michaels Band took their turn on the cramped and tiny stages.   

In their time, they were the region’s coolest venues with exotic European names such as Le Disque, Papa’s, Adriano’s, The 81 Club, and the famous Le Kilt. On hot summer nights, many of these sweaty cellars packed in over 400 kids a night, and the wall of sound therein made one’s hearing a little challenging for hours afterwards. This was the pounding backdrop that fired the music of mid 1960’s Bournemouth, a power so great that local unknowns in the crowd - Bob Fripp, Andy Summers and Al Stewart were already being hooked on their individual dreams of rock stardom.

Two of Le Kilt’s regular’s were 20 year old Roger Hopkins and Jason Paul who had both met through Roger’s career as a fashion photographer and Jason’s role as a top model. Roger was also a music journalist, covering the rock scene for music papers, and a much sought after photographer for the burgeoning bands of the mid sixties. This brought Roger into contact with many of the period’s rock giants, and one in particular who would soon help to fire the starting pistol on an interesting diversion for the two boys.  

Early in 1967 Jason found himself teamed up with Roger on a fashion assignment in Paris. This was where they really hit it off, and both being keen for a slice of music stardom, they shacked up in the city’s then seedy Latin Quarter and began penning their first songs. One of them was inspired by Roger’s classical choral training and his love of organ music, which he often dreamed of introducing into popular music.

Fast forward back to England and now well serious about their mission, the boys set themselves up with the Swedish sounding name SVENSK and cannily drafted in some professional management. But the big breakthrough came when they played their new song DREAM MAGAZINE to Roger’s long time friend Roy Orbison, who lined them up with top record boss and Troggs creator Larry Page at Page One Records.

Page remembers his first meeting with SVENSK: ‘These two confident young guys came striding into my office telling me that after due consideration, I was the one they would be willing to record for! They had such charisma; I couldn’t resist signing them on the spot!’ Roger remembers Larry Page as the Simon Cowell of his day. Dark shades and slick shiny suits cut him out as the classic big time pop impresario, and the boys were proud to be associated with one of the nicest and fairest guys in the business. Within days, they were in the studio recording DREAM MAGAZINE, and Page One’s affable and brilliant musical arranger Colin Frechter literally took hours setting up the massive pipe organ on which he would play the famous backtrack to the record. Additionally, Roger recalls that almost certainly, session musician and Tornados member Clem Cattini played drums on the track, and again on the flipside GETTING OLD.

Moving into the frame, pop legend Dick James took now over as manager, and he and Larry Page rolled out what they billed as: ‘The Sound of Svensk - A cultural revolution from two of the new beautiful people on the block’. Roger remembers that promoting DREAM MAGAZINE across Europe and the UK was an extraordinary and exhausting experience, but provided him and Jason with a fabulous grandstand seat at the highest point in the crazy world of pop music. ‘As a kid, I used to listen religiously to Radio Luxembourg under the bed clothes’ says Roger, ‘so it was a very strange and surreal moment to find myself actually performing on it LIVE!


Page One Records and Dick James Music were situated in the same building in the heart of London’s West End, and walking its corridors was like a stroll through the Hall of Stars. ‘Literally around every corner another famous face would appear’, remembers Roger. ‘The Beatles, Elton John, Reg Presley, Cilla Black – pretty much anyone who was anybody in the music business. There’s a pub just round the corner near the famous Denmark Street, and here one would rub both shoulders with the nation’s concentrated music talent – Jimi Hendrix being one of my favourite memories!’


Following DREAM MAGAZINE, Svensk recorded another of their own brand songs called YOU, backed with one of the finest covers out there of The Everly Brothers hit ALL I HAVE TO DO IS DREAM.  But with his real love of performing behind the camera, Roger jumped ship back to the world of advertising, eventually forming his own marketing outfit and TV commercials production company. In 1968, Jason appeared in Douglas Hickox’s classic film musical Les Bicyclettes de Belsize starring alongside Judy Huxtable and Anthony May. For many years he was the face of the Orient Express advertising campaign, playing the enviable part of the international traveller with a delicious and sophisticated bird at his side. 

Jason and Roger continued to keep in touch for many years, but eventually they lost contact. Says Roger: Jason is a unique guy, always happy, always ready for a challenge, and with a galvanising sense of humour! I believe he now lives in the Far East.  

Today, DREAM MAGAZINE continues to be a force, and countless new re-issues have helped it become a ‘psychedelic’ cult classic, particularly in the US and South America. Happily, the incredible fat sound of Colin Frechter’s pipe organ still hails the Sound of Svensk on radio stations around the globe. 


"Dream Magazine" should be fairly easy to find as it appears on several compilations, both legal and dodgy--"Electric Sugarcube Flashbacks", "Piccadilly Sunshine Vol 1", "Rare 60s Beat Treasures #7", "Psych Archives Pop-Sike Vol 2" (tape) and "Traces Out Of Time" (tape)

"Getting Old" appears on "Hen's Teeth Vol 1" and "English Freakbeat Vol 3"

"You" has only, to my knowledge anyway, been compiled once and then only on a tape "Psych Archives Pop-Sike Vol 1"

"All I Have To Do Is Dream" remains uncompiled....


Many thanks to Roger Hopkins, without whom you would not be reading this page.

By the way, if anyone knows where Jason Paul is, please get in touch!