Mad Juana (USA/FIN)

Date: Thursday, 20th of January
Place: Fasaani, Helsinki

This is our tribute to one of the coolest bass players ever, Mr Sami Yaffa. Most of you probably remember him from Hanoi Rocks only but the story is actually much longer.

Once upon a time in early 80’s Sami and his friend Antti “Andy McCoy” Hulkko joined Finnish punk rock band Pelle Miljoona Oy and released classic album Moottoritie on kuuma. The story goes that the album topped Finnish chart but at the same time the two fellows had already moved to Stockholm to form Hanoi Rocks.

A few years later when Hanoi Rocks broke up, Sami didn’t just stand still. Soon he played with Johnny Thunders, Jetboy and Jerusalem Slim and then came the cult band Demolition 23, again with Michael Monroe. And a bit later Mad Juana.

Have you ever heard of Mad Juana? We listened to their debut album Skin of My Teeth already in the 90’s but It was year 2006 when we first time saw them performing live on O´Suomi Fest in a steaming hot small club on Avenue B (NYC) called Midway (RIP). Fantastic night! On the same week in New York we saw Sami on stage with Jesse Malin and Ryan Adams…

Fusing together Balkan sound, reggae and etno punk, Mad Juana have been touring with Gogol Bordello, and there’s a lot similarities with bands like Manu Chao as well. When they played a club tour in Finland, we had a chance to spend some time with them. The result can be seen here.

What else is going on with Sami Yaffa these days? At least he’s touring around the world with Michael Monroe’s self titled new band, in Ankkarock festival we saw him playing with Philadelphia Dynamite and he also keeps things going with Mad Juana.

Oh Sami, we just adore you!

Antiikkiliike Fasaani / Jan Lindroos
Backstage Alliance / Reetta Kauranen, Virpi Immonen & Toni Ritonen

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