I started to play bass at age 16. I met Claude at 18, he was locally (Geneva)
famous as keyboard player and singer. We teamed up with Tom in 1975 and
Eric came same year. SWAN was so founded:
Claude Lander - keyboards and song
Eric Haueter - guitar
Tom Hooker - drums and song
Anders Dahlquist - bass and guitar
Claude has a classical background, he did all the songs
except a couple we did all together. He is a Swiss from Geneva. An excellent
player à la Keith Emerson(ELP) or Rick Wakeman (Yes).
Eric came from the US to work in a big Swiss bank for a year.
He played with dance bands in the US and was a great guitarist.
Tom was at college international in Geneva and took serious
percussion courses. Excellent drummer and a singer with a future. He is
related to a rich US family. He did also courses in art in Geneva.
Anders, me, was told to be a good bass player but no
serious theoretical background. Born in Sweden.
We rehearsed 9 months and did 5 concerts in 1976.We went from pretty beginners
to quite good in those concerts. Then Eric’s job was finished so
he was leaving. I wanted to make our music more punchy so we split. Tom
stayed with Claude for a while. At the split came the question what to
do with our future. Eric said he did not want to end as a guitarist in
a dark cigarette smoke invaded jazz club. He went to New York to become
a lawyer. He is now a big lawyer in San Francisco. I followed his opinion
and went to university in Geneva. Eventually I became an orthodontist
and have my own practice. Claude stayed in music and made a recording
studio he still has today. Claude and I have always kept in touch.
I met Tom in 1983. Our tour manager, Bruno Gaggiotti, had a pretty good
reputation at that time and he was in charge to put together couple of
successful shows with well-known names in the industry, to go around the
Italian peninsula and islands. I saw Tom in Italian TV couple of time
before but I had never paid attention to his songs honestly, especially
because he used to arrive on TV stages and perform his song with his roller
skates (that was his business card !).
In the band we had a good structure with drums, keyboards, guitar, bass
and sax. We had two background voices plus two more background voices/dancers
for Tom's number. Beside the concerts we used to find each other on the
road or for dinners after shows, Tom was always pretty noisy and full
of energy even after the shows. We loved to work with Tom because he used
to perform live, no playback what so ever. During the show he used to
play guitar and percussion also. A part his most famous hits and part
of the new coming album, he performed also some cover from other artists.
I remember we loved to perform a particular song that was Music by Joe
Walsh (Eagles). After that experience with Tom we moved with another manager,
and we didn't have opportunity to work with other Italo Disco artists.
However in the same show where Tom was part of, there was another big
name at that time, actually he was the big star of the shows and his name
is Sterling Saint Jacques, do you remember him ? The black guy with "blue
eyes". But at difference from Tom he couldn't sing so we faked playing
while he was going in playback. His hit at that time was Mamalou.
I still like the Italo disco and as for Tom, if I listen to some of those
tunes it brings me immediately back in time and I have to say "what
a time !!!"
To these days in L.A. where I live now, I have the XM radio in my car
that would be the satellite radio and I get most of the disco tunes from
Europe every day, I recognize the Italian "touch" all the time
and I love it. I can tell you that we had a lot of fun going around the
beautiful Italian territory doing what we loved most and meet people and
eat incredible food.»