Geisha


Geisha formed in Gothenburg in Sweden in 1983, with a lineup consisting of a few names you may recognise. Vocalist Yenz Cheyenne, A.K.A Jens Arnsted, A.K.A Yenz Leonhardt, had previously been known for his part in the Danish Punk band Brats, and would later play in Iron Saviour and Savage Circus before joining his current band (at the time of writing), Stormwarrior. Meanwhile, original drummer Mikkey Dee has had an illustrious career that saw him play with King Diamond and Dokken before becoming the long time drummer for Motörhead, perhaps his most well known role, until Lemmy's death led him to join German band Scorpions. Dee's replacement was a certain Tony Reno, drummer on the first two Europe albums. Guitarist Pete Blakk also eventually found his way into King Diamond, while Bassist Magnus Rosen later joined Hammerfall. In short, Geisha were almost a reverse supergroup: the band was a launchpad for the individual careers of the members, to a certain extent.

The lineup that recorded Geisha's sole album release, Phantasmagoria, consisted of Cheyenne, Reno, Blakk, Joel R. Starander on Bass and Robert Roehr on Keyboards. The album was released through Heavy Metal Records in 1987. There should have been a follow up, but a series of events including the departure of Starander, the departure of his replacement, Hal Patino Jr., along with Pete Blakk to go and join King Diamond, and a change in the musical direction of the songs that Cheyenne's new lineup were creating all meant that the Geisha name was no longer appropriate. While Geisha were not the most overly productive band in the history of Heavy Metal, they have many connections in the Heavy Metal family tree, and as such they hold a very solid place in the history of the genre.