The Old Man & the Sea

The Old Man & the Sea were a Danish symphonic/hard-rock band from Horsens that was active for eight years, starting in 1967. The band released a popular self-titled album on Sonet in 1972 and recorded a followup that would ultimately be thrice issued by archival labels in subsequent decades.

Members: Lars “Bekse” Thygesen (drums, 1967-69), Jon Noergaard (saxophone, harp, guitar, 1967), Tommy Hansen (organ), Knud Lindhard (bass, 1967-72), Benny Stanley (guitar, 1967-74), Robert Hausschild (vocals, flute, 1968-69), Ole Wedel (vocals, 1971-75), John Lundvig (drums, 1971-75), Erik Johansen (bass, 1973), Erik Rudolf “Dolle” Halager (bass, guitar, 1973-75), Lasse “Las” Laursen (guitar, 1974-75)


The Old Man & the Sea initially formed in 1967 as a Horsens garage band. Founding members included guitarist Benny Stanley, bassist Knud Lindhard, keyboardist Tommy Hansen, drummer Lars “Bekse” Thygesen, and singer Robert Hauschildt. Hansen (b. 1952) hailed from an earlier beat group called Jack & the Rippers. The members soon set up fort in a hippy communal house in Brund.

They got the name Old Man & the Sea — a reference to the Old Tale and the title of a 1952 novel by Ernest Hemingway — from a friend who pitched it to the band right before they partook in a talent show. During this original formation, they toured Denmark and Norway and shared stages with Deep Purple, Ten Years After, and a fledgling Led Zeppelin. At one gig south of Jutland, they played a double-set to the same crowd to compensate for the absent headliner, Arthur Brown. The original band ceased in late 1969.

In 1971, Hansen, Stanley, and Lindhard reformed Old Man & the Sea, this time with singer Ole Wedel and drummer John Lundvig. With a new setlist of Hansen and Lindhard originals, they secured a deal with the Danish jazz and rock label Sonet. They recorded their self-titled album at Rosenberg Studios, Copenhagen, on a newly installed Studer 16 track, 2” tape-recorder. The studio had an expensive A100 Hammond organ that the band were able to use for the recording. (Hansen cited this as a major improvement over his old L100 Hammond.)

1972: The Old Man & the Sea

The Old Man & the Sea was released in 1972 on Sonet’s orange label. Side one starts with the Stanley/Lundvig/Hansen epic “Living Dead,” followed by two Lindhard numbers: “Princess” and “Jingoism.” Hansen composed the three-song sequence on side two: “Prelude” and the two-part “Monk Song.” The album concludes with Lindhard’s 10-minute “Going Blind.”

Sonet, allegedly at a loss on how to promote the band, limited The Old Man & the Sea to a run of 500 copies. It was housed in a gatefold sleeve with artwork by Ole Christensen, a friend of Stanley. The inner-fold shows panels of a fisherman (the titular character) in the act of catching the large shark.

“The Monk Song, Part 1” appears on the 1972 Sonet multi-artist comp Dansk Beat 72 ‎along with tracks by Burnin Red Ivanhoe, Alrune Rod, Midnight Sun, and Day of Phoenix. The Old Man & the Sea are listed here by their Danish spelling, Den Gamle Mand Og Havet.

Later Activity

Despite high spirits in the band, Lindhard quite soon after the album’s release. With bassist Erik R. Halager, they recorded a new batch of originals in 1973/74, mostly written by Hansen. Talks with CBS Denmark fell through and the tracks sat dormant for three decades. In 1975, Old Man & the Sea called it a day.

Meanwhile, Lindhard cut a 1974 single with Sunsets and joined the dance hall act Max Five, which released two albums on Sonet: Spiller Lindhard Rock (1975) and Op, Op… (1977), the second with the name abridged as Lindhard & Max Five. In 1978, he reteamed with Hansen and Lundvig for the album Lind-Hard-Rock 2, released as Lindhard Ltd. He then joined Danish rockers The Wolfgang and played on their 1982 Sonet release Back On the Track. Lundvig played on the 1980 album Disco Party by Night Queen.

Hansen produced and played clavinet on the 1977 album Historien Om Søren & Ida by Fuld Bak Frem. During the 1980s, he produced albums by the Danish metal band Pretty Maids and the German power-metal act Helloween (Keeper of the Seven Keys – Part II).


The Old Man & the Sea was first issued on CD in 1994 by South Korean bootleggers Won-Sin Music Company. It has since been reissued multiple times on Shadoks (Germany), Belle Antique (Japan), and Second Life (Russia). In 2010, Sonet pressed the album on CD as part of the label’s Dansk Rock Historie – Gul Boks series, which includes titles by Steppeulvene, Savage Rose, Young Flowers, and Culpeper’s Orchard. That reissue features several bonus tracks, including the 1972 outtake “Circulation,” as heard in a 16 mm surrealist short film made by the band’s light crew.

In 2003, recordings for a planned second album, along with live tracks and outtakes, were collected on the CD 1973–75 by Danish archivists Karma Music. In 2013, the set was reissued as Second on Shadoks.

As of June 2021, original Sonet LP pressings of The Old Man & the Sea sell on Discogs at a median price of $714.29.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *