Of Swedish Cowboys and Paper Tigers

Hey folks, sorry I’ve been away for so long. I’m writing Small Town Romance mainly in Hebrew which is my first language and I need to find the right inspiration to write in English, but once an amazing album like the newly reissued Lee Hazlewood‘s A House Safe For Tigers comes along, I happily make a comeback to Small Town Romance’s English offices.

Lee Hazelwood lived in Sweden in the early 70’s, where he relocated in order to avoid his son’s army draft. That, itself, makes him a sacred person.
Lee made seven tv films there with local director Torbjörn Axelman, and House Safe For Tigers, one of them, was out in 1975.
I didn’t watch the movie but according to reviews, it’s a semi-doco of Hazelwood and Axelman talking about their childhood, and in the words of Axelman “we let situations occur, let whatever happen happen. We showed realistic scenes from daily life and made them like a diary“.

I get suspicious  when I read a description like that, as it recalls the Beatles’ Magical Bus Trip Trough The UK Country Side film. The idea, as you probably know, was to film whatever happened in a bus full of friends and strange characters. The result, as you probably recall, was that nothing did and the movie was a mambo jumbo mixture of nice ideas with no plot. But the world earned a killer soundtrack and in Lee’s case, the soundtrack alone worth it and I hope the film is just as good.

The album, is a lost gem and as Light In The Attic (who reissued the album)  describe “the holy grail for collectors, often changing hands for hundreds of dollars”.
The soundtrack, all written by Lee, shows a very strong collection of songs, dark and poppy, funky rhythms and lush strings arrangements, the mixture you’d expect a killer Lee album – it’s all here.
Lee was quoted before his death, saying about Tigers “I don’t know if anybody would be interested, maybe perhaps they are. Sometimes we have to wait 30 years to be discovered”.
This is the second release of a Hazelwood album via Light In The Attic, and I truly hope they have some secret cards there, to reveal in the upcoming months, with more obscured albums of his. In times like these, I truly believe Lee could save the world.

[AudioLee Hazlewood – A House Safe For Tigers

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