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Thomas Mera Gartz RIP

Drummer Thomas Mera Gartz died suddenly last week. He was 67. Gartz was best known as the drummer in Swedish prog group Trӓd, Grӓs Och Stenar, and had played drums with Swedish psychedelic group Mecki Mark Men for several years beforehand.

Trӓd, Grӓs Och Stenar began as Pӓrson Sound, formed by Bo Anders Persson at the request of Terry Riley (who arrived in Stockholm and needed a local quintet to play In C). The group played between 1967–68 but never released a record, and went on to be called International Harvester (and briefly Harvester). They released two records in 1968-69 and supported The Doors at Stockholm Concert House.

In 1969 Trӓd, Grӓs Och Stenar formed, and in 1970 started Gӓrdesfesterna, the first big outdoor music festival in Sweden. Gartz released a solo album in 1976 titled Sånger. The group played a little in the 90s, and while other members of the group took up teaching and architecture jobs, Gartz persisted earning a living as a musician. In 2002 Trӓd Grӓs Och Stenar released an album of new material.

Reine Fiske from the group says: "Thomas's unique commitment to everything that surrounded him created a strong spiritual force, a vibe that very easily rubbed off on you and something that can be heard, read and seen in all of his work. Thomas was the motor for so many good things to happen. He made them possible. His way was always in the present. His past was his future – everything would dwell together."