Music has always played a big part in the life of Pekka ‘Rekku’ Rechardt (b. 11.2.1952). Classical music was always playing in his childhood home, and in 1961 he started taking cello lessons, initially at school and later on at home. Though the guitar became his main instrument he has retained an affiliation for the cello.
At the age of 13 Rechardt became interested in pop music despite his parents being strongly against it. His biggest influence was the Beatles. He started out as a drummer in various groups and shifted to guitar at the age of 15 or 16, but it was a few more years before he completely committed himself to the instrument, inspired by Eric Clapton and Peter Green. Around the same time Rechardt and two of his mates formed a typical guitar-bass-drums line-up, playing strongly blues orientated material. Perhaps the most interesting thing about this group was their name – Nuclear Nightclub!
After finishing school, Rechardt contemplated carrying on his education at university. At the age of 17, social science had caught his interest, and towards the end of the decade he had become a ‘class conscious’ Communist working for several youth organisations. Later on, he studied social psychology at the Faculty for Political and Social Sciences at Helsinki University.
Rechardt lent a helping hand to the recordings of an album by the Tanzanian musician Longfellow Mugarula, recorded in Finland in 1971. The album was titled Vijana Msife Moyo! (‘Young People, Don’t Give In’, Eteenpäin ETLP 303). During the first half of the 1970s Rechardt was also playing with Harri Saksala’s group Nälkä (‘The Hunger’) for whom he composed all the material. Additionally, he played with Make Lievonen’s band called Taivaan Temppeli (‘Heaven’s Temple’). In 1973 he played cello on Dave Lindholm’s album Sirkus. In the spring of 1973, Wigwam asked him to substitute for Jim Pembroke, who was visiting his parents in England. Three gigs were played with this line-up. In December 1973, he was finally asked to join the band permanently.
After Wigwam had folded in the spring of 1977, Rechardt joined the backing band behind Freeman (a Finnish pop star) and also started working with the Finnish rock eccentric Veltto Virtanen.
In 1978 Rechardt made a new move and started working with theatre music. In July that year a play titled Nuorallatanssijan kuolema – eli kuinka Pete Q sai siivet (‘The Death of a Tightrope Walker – How Pete Q Got his Wings’) was premiered with music written by Rechardt, Toni Edelmann and Antti Hytti.
In 1979 Rechardt wrote the music for two plays written by Dan Steinbock, Marat’n vaino ja kuolema (‘The Persecution and Death of Marat’) and Silmät (‘The Eyes’).
During the spring of 1980 Rechardt wrote the music for the Finnish Drama School’s performance of Orwell’s 1984. He has subsequently composed music for numerous stage plays and also for a movie by Janne Kuusi called Läpimurto (‘Breakthrough’), which was premiered on 18.9.1981.
Rechardt has further more played with a jamming group called Redhouse. The group has no fixed line-up and haven’t made any records. For a long time there have been plans for Rechardt to make his first solo album, but so far nothing concrete has surfaced in this respect.