Wigwam (Finnish band)

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Wigwam rockband.jpg
Pekka "Rekku" Rechardt, Jim Pembroke, Ronnie Österberg, Pekka Pohjola, and Jukka Gustavson in April 1974.
Background information
Origin Finland
Genres Progressive rock
Years active 1968 (1968)–present
  • Jim Pembroke
  • Jukka Gustavson
  • Pekka "Rekku" Rechardt
  • Jan Noponen
  • Esa Kotilainen
  • Pave Maijanen

Wigwam is a Finnish progressive rock band formed in 1968.

Wigwam was founded after the split of the seminal Blues Section, with whom drummer Ronnie Österberg had played before. He formed the band as a trio, but soon brought in British expatriate singer/songwriter Jim Pembroke (also in Blues Section) and organist Jukka Gustavson. A year later, Pekka Pohjola joined on bass. Kim Fowley produced Wigwam's second album Tombstone Valentine (1970). This album also featured an excerpt of Erkki Kurenniemi's electronic composition 'Dance of the Anthropoids'. The 1974 album Being is often called Wigwam's masterpiece. After its release, though, Pohjola and Gustavson quit the band. Commercially the most successful Wigwam album must be the more pop-oriented Nuclear Nightclub that followed in 1975, with new members Pekka Rechardt on guitar and Måns Groundstroem on bass.

For a time in the 1970s Wigwam seemed poised to break through in Europe, along with bands like Tasavallan Presidentti, but even though they were highly praised by the UK press large-scale international fame eluded them, and by 1978 they had disbanded. Jim Pembroke and Ronnie Österberg formed the Jim Pembroke Band in late 1979, but following health problems with diabetes, Österberg committed suicide on December 6, 1980.

Wigwam reformed in the 1990s with the Pembroke-Rechardt-Groundstroem core intact, and has been active to the present. In Finland they have a lasting (although limited) following, and their influence on Finnish rock music is widely recognised.

In 2010s the former members of Wigwam have made concerts billed as Wigwam Unplugged or Wigwam Revisited. The latest line-up consists Mikko Rintanen, Jan Noponen, Måns Groundstroem and Jukka Gustavson with Pekka Nylund playing guitar.

In autumn 2018 the band will make a short 50th anniversary tour in Finland with line-up of Jukka Gustavson, Jim Pembroke, Pekka Rechardt, Esa Kotilainen and Jan Noponen with Pave Maijanen on bass.[1]

Band members[edit]

Current lineup[edit]


  • Ronald "Ronnie" Österberg (1968–1980)
  • Jari "Kepa" Kettunen (1993–2006)


  • Vladimir "Nikke" Nikamo (1968–1970)

Bass guitar[edit]

  • Mats Huldén (1968–70, 2004–2006)
  • Pekka Pohjola (1970–1974)
  • Måns "Måsse" Groundstroem (1974–2003)
  • Jussi Kinnunen (2003–2004)



  • Heikki "Pedro" (or "Hessu") Hietanen (1975–1977, 1991–1992, 1999–2000)
  • Mikko Rintanen (1992–1993)

Guest musicians[edit]



Year Album Peak positions Notes
1975 Nuclear Nightclub 1
2002 Titans Wheel 7
2005 Some Several Moons 28
2011 Nuclear Nightclub 24 Re-release of 1975 album
2014 Fairyport 40 Re-release of 1971 album
Tombstone Valentine 42 Re-release of 1970 album
Being 30

Compilations & live albums[edit]

  • Wigwam (1972)
  • Live Music from the Twilight Zone (1975)
  • Rumours on the Rebound (1979)
  • Classics - The Rarest (1990)
  • Highlights (1996)
Year Album Peak positions
2000 Fresh Garbage - Rarities from 1969-1977 34
2001 Wigwam Plays Wigwam - Live  –
2016 Pop-Liisa 3 20

Jim Pembroke (& Wigwam)[edit]

These are Jim Pembroke's solo albums, which are played by Wigwam


External links[edit]