In spring 1997 Turbonegro hit european roads again - this time with new candidate Christer Engen (aka Chris Summers, ex-Big Bang) treatin' the drums. Hanky's remarkable results in crossing Alice Cooperish' makeup styles with mansonesque frenzied looks and the excessive use of lipstick & rouge added a good portion of bizarre decadency to their stage performance. Musicwise - as later will be prooved on Apocalypse Dudes - it became obvious that they had meanwhile made a move into mid-70's punk & glam territory - in the spirit of proto punk pioneers á la The Dictators, The Ramones or late Iggy & The Stooges - plus a bit of New York Dolls' travesty thrown in (besides, they used to start shows with a cover of a modified Grand Funk tune ...'We are a norwegian band!').

The subsequent 'Summer Of Head' US tour in july broke relevant ground for their transatlantic prominence. An enthusiastic review from a show in Austin, TX states: "The Blue Flamingo was the perfect venue - intimate, fairly queer, and ready to get rocked by a confident bunch of Norwegian fags. Powerchords and screaching solo guitar work by guitarist 'Euroboy' and in-your-face rants about sex, drugs, giving head, more sex, and a healthy loathing for hippies kept heads, fists, egos and libidos banging".

While San Francisco - capitol of notorious P.C. excitement - had welcomed the presence of Turbo's blazing rock'n'roll circus with an intrigue for an absurd boicott by accusing them to be 'fascists, racists, homophobics'. In the end Happy Tom strikes the balance: "We sold one hell of a lot more t-shirts playing for black shipyard workers in Norfolk, Virginia than we did in Berkeley".

Further indications of approaching rock stardom revealed with their appearance at the PopKomm music fair held in Cologne, Germany. During their performance - where a wild-gone crowd destroyed a TV camera - Hanky pointed out an air-guitar ecstatic Jello Biafra meanwhile Happy Tom was introducing him to the audience as the 'Emperor Of Juggling' - another punk celebrity nominated due to their current 'War Against Motherfucking Juggling' campaign.

The six messengers of the apocalypse :
Pål, Chris, Euroboy, Hanky, Rune and Happy-Tom

In the autumn of '97 recordings for the new album Apocalypse Dudes took place at Endless Sound studios, Oslo with new producer Pål Klaastad - and was after some delays finally released in march 1998 on Boomba! - and furthermore on Virgin in Norway exclusively. Euroboy's rather melodic and more versatile guitar playing contributed a lot to their remarkable change in sound - 'a new resurgence of 70's influenced glam'n'roll' as the Boomba announcement put it. No doubt their most successfull record ever with great bombastic hymns like 'Good Head', 'Selfdestructo Bust' and 'Get It On' - to name just a few.

Moshable magazine commented: "Apocalypse Dudes is the perfect mix of classic 70's US punk / rock'n'roll like Dictators, Heartbreakers & Ramones... every tune on this release is fucking brilliant". Even Jello Biafra judged: "The new Turbonegro record is possibly the most important European record ever!".

The subsequent sold-out tour in april / may 1998 was a huge success - 24 shows in total, 13 out of it in Germany, 2 in Sweden, 3 in the Netherlands and one each in Copenhagen, London, Paris, Vienna plus Belgium and Switzerland being followed by a bunch of appearances at various open-airs in the summer - amongst them the renowned Roskilde-Festival in Denmark and the Cologne' Bizarre-Festival in Germany.

Monroe-Apocalypse in Spain: Happy-Tom, Chris, Marylin & Hank, Euroboy, Rune and Pål

In november they set up for the second part of their 'Darkness Forever' tour with further 16 dates in Germany, Belgium, France and Spain with then sensational support act Nashville Pussy, who had just released their 'Let Them Eat Pussy' debut LP on AmRep.

Hanky's occasional 'mental indisposition' obviously became a stronger problem during the tour - he had already been replaced on a gig in Sweden earlier that year by TRB's very first singer Pål Erik and furthermore refused to participate in Turbonegro's trip to their SXSW showcase in Austin, TX in april - so finally when they were back on their way from Strassbourg, France to Munich, Germany   "Turbonegro broke up in the waiting room of a psychiatric emergency ward in Milan, Italy" (Happy-Tom). The remaining 5 shows in Germany got cancelled and a few days later Turbonegro officially proclaimed their definite split.

Nevertheless a last farewell show took place at Mars in Oslo on december 18th - supported by Sweden's Backyard Babies. Last ever song performed on stage has been the final encore 'I Am In Love With The Destructive Girls' - so "Yeah-Yeah! Yeah-Yeah!" were about the last words uttered. 


 
Record releases 1997 / 98 :

Suffragette City  7"

( Bad Afro Records FRO-006 / Denmark / 1997 )

incl. Suffragette City (orig. David Bowie); Kærlighetens Børn

Next coup in the chronicles of Turbonegro's irritation tactics !!! Showing up with a catchy cover of a 'Ziggy Stardust' era Bowie tune this has probably been the most inept to expect by the rising worldwide Turbojugend crowds as a follow up to Ass Cobra. More obscurity is added with the track on the flip that feat. a monologue of Happy-Tom imitating the mongoloid child of some denish hippie parents - as a matter of fact Hanky once introduced himself as the 'Mongoloid King Of Rock' at a show in Copenhagen '95 !
Sleeve features Cuban revolutionist Ché Guevara complete with Alice Cooper make-up and pentagram. Limited edition of 1000 copies each on black & green, plus 100 on red vinyl. 

Apocalypse Dudes  LP / CD - european edition

( Boomba Records boomba-002 / Germany / 1998 )
( Virgin Records / Norway / 1998 )

incl. The Age Of Pamparius; Selfdestructo Bust; Get It On; Rock Against Ass; Don't Say Motherfucker, Motherfucker; Rendezvous With Anus; Zillion Dollar Sadist; Prince Of The Rodeo; Back To Dungaree High; Are You Ready (For Some Darkness); Monkey On Your Back; Humiliation Street; Good Head

The original Boomba announcement from april 1998 sums it up best: "This my friends, is a virtually perfect record! Excellent production- a huge, FAT sound; lots of power and excellent songs that you can't get out of your head. Not one let down through 47 minutes of music!! This is not an underground tip !! 'Apocalypse Dudes' appeals to the masses. From punk to metal to mainstream, "Apocalypse Dudes" has something for everyone."

The six-headed snake on the cover is a modification of the symbol used by Symbionese Liberation Army, a radical left-wing group that kidnapped Patty Hearst (future heiress of the Hearst press empire) in 1974 and converted her "through a relentless program of mental, physical and sexual intimidation to their own cause" !


Get It On  picture 7"

( Sympathy For The Record Industry SFTRI 543 / 1998 )

incl. Get It On;  Don't Say Motherfucker, Motherfucker

Actually the last release in Turbonegro's lifetime from august 1998 feat. two songs from 'Apocalypse Dudes'. This picture disc consists of two obscure photos of Euroboy b/w Rune holding a dildo-like giant cucumber.
As Happy Tom remarks: "The whole deal with the War Against The Picture Single serie was to release the ugliest, most redundant (no 'previously unreleased' marketing schemes here), lamest picture discs ever. And so far we've succeeded." A further one was supposed on Flapping Jet from San Diego but Turbonegro called it quits before the deal was settled.



Apocalypse Dudes  LP / CD - american edition

( LP: Sympathy SFTRI 565 & Man's Ruin MR-149 / 1999 )
( CD: Man's Ruin MR-149 / USA / 1999 )

incl. The Age Of Pamparius; Selfdestructo Bust; Get It On; Rock Against Ass; Don't Say Motherfucker, Motherfucker; Rendezvous With Anus; Zillion Dollar Sadist; Prince Of The Rodeo; Back To Dungaree High; Are You Ready (For Some Darkness); Monkey On Your Back; Humiliation Street; Good Head

Posthumous US reissue from march 1999: the LP edition is a co-production of Sympathy For The Record Industry with Man's Ruin Records. It was limited to 2000 copies on marbled pink vinyl feat. an alternate sleeve designed by Frank Kozik.
The CD sleeve is identical with the european edition (see above).