Mystery Train has been steaming down the track since 1977, being one of the oldest active rockabilly bands in Finland.
In September 1977 Ari Hanninen(bass) and Pete Makkonen (guitar) started to play with various drummers: Go Daddies was formed. Permanent drummer Pauli "Pate" Peni joined the band in October 1978. Next year Ari bought himself a double bass and the band got one more member Jere Laukkanen (vocals, guitar). In November the band had its first gig at OulunkylĂ¤ Pop/Jazz Institute and the day after it the band was attending "The King of Rock" band competition at Casino, Helsinki.
During the summer 1980 Kimmo Rosti (piano) joined the band for a while. In August 1980 the band recorded a demo tape (actually a C-cassette with four songs: Jukebox help me find my baby /Grandmas old rocking-chair/Sweet Judy/Rock Me Right) that got into the hands of Kari Heimonen of Rebel record/management company. Mr Heimonen signed the band and released the demo tape as band's first EP in October 1980. At the same time the name was changed to Mystery Train, which was picked up from an Elvis song when the band was about to realease its first record.
In December 5th to 7th the same year Mystery Train was gigging with Ray Campi (as an opening act and also backing up Mr Campi), when he visited Finland the first time. Also there were some changes in the band again - Pete left and was replaced by Klaus SundstrĂ¶m (guitar) and Ari's brother Mika Hanninen (guitar) from Ducktails.
In February 1981 the first single Play me / On and on was recorded. At the same time the Kitty Lee single Booger Red/I can't stand the nights alone was recorded.
During spring and summer (and continuing thru winter '81/'82) the recordings of Teach You to Rock took place at the band's rehearsal place (8 channel mixer and a two 2 track tape recorders). Rebel never released the album although it was already mastered and engraved, due to going out of business.
During the winter 1982 Mystery Train toured with English piano legend Dave Taylor.
A year later Jere left the band and was replaced by guitar player Anssi Aalto and Petri MĂ¤ntysalo (vocals). Mystery Train continued recording new material in their rehearsal place. The same year Mystery Train was backing up Gene Summers on his visit to Finland (Culture House, Helsinki, October 11th).
Later Anssi left the band and was replaced by Juice Muttilainen (guitar).
In 1985 the second EP (and so far their latest release) (Have a heart/I found you/Latin lover/Something I said) was released on the band's gig with Dave Phillips & The Hot Rod Gang at Tavastia Club, Helsinki. After the release Mystery Train took a brake.
In 2005 Ari and Petri started to get the band together again. Mika and Juice joined, but Pate was too busy, so Jani Hirvonen (drums) joined the band instead. Most of the guys haven't been actively playing for almost 20 years, but after few rehearsals it started to sound OK. The band made some recordings at the rehearsal place (which is shared with T-Bird Gang at Malmi, Helsinki) to help the guys practice at home.
In summer 2006 it was time to return to the gigs. The band made three gigs, but then Jani decided to leave the band. After some hard persuasion Pete agreed to join the band again, so Mystery Train was back on track with the same guys as in 1984. The band again made some recordings to help the guys to practice at home. The first gig with the original line-up was at Iisoppi, Nokia October 13th.
While picking influences from rock'n'roll, rockabilly and r&b artists Mystery Train always tries to sound like Mystery Train and bring something original into cover songs too.