Mauri Berg grew up on a tiny farm in Finland. His father started a small trucking business, which proved unsuccessful, so he brought Berg to Australia at the age of 14. Berg started playing harmonica from the age of five, and was fascinated by the accordion after he saw someone playing it at a farmers meeting in Finland.
“I really liked the sound of it, but I couldn’t afford to buy one until years later when I got one out there. I didn’t like pop music. And I didn’t even know what a guitar was. The first guitar I ever saw was made by the father of a friend of mine, who was in jail for shooting a fire chief at a party”– Mauri Berg
Mauri bought a Japanese electric guitar in South Australia, after seeing a man practising on one as Mauri walked past his house.
“I wrote away for a correspondence guitar course of 20 lessons. I did three of them.”– Mauri Berg
Mauri’s first band was ‘The Silhouettes’ in 1963. They played mostly songs from English instrumental rock group ‘The Shadows’. Whilst living in Whyalla, South Australia he was a member of a few other bands such as the ‘Ides Of March’ in 1966. They played blues, covering songs by John Mayall.
“Blues was really advanced music then. We caused a riot at a pop contest because the crowd thought we should have won. A few hundred of them went wild, and a couple of the judges got a bit knocked around.”– Mauri Berg
During his time in the Ides Of March, Berg developed an interest in writing. He then joined ‘Resurrection’ with Joff Bateman (Drums). Resurrection lasted for eight months until the band decided to advertise for another bass player and formed W.G. Berg.
“We met music entrepreneur Hamish Henry who wanted to buy us new gear and set us up. He gave us a new name, War Machine, and we practiced for a month and went on ‘The Incredible Bus Trip’ with Russell Morris.”– Mauri Berg
The band returned to Adelaide and performed at Hamish Henry’s 1971 Myponga Pop Festival. War Machine disbanded, Joff and Mauri formed Headband with Peter Head (Keys) and Chris Bailey (Bass). Headbandplaced in the National Hoadley’s Battle Of The Sounds and opened for the like of Elton John and The Rolling Stones. Headband also recorded the most expensive record at that time in Australia, A Song For Tooley.
After Headband disbanded in 1974, Mauri joined Peter Head’s makeshift band The Mount Lofty Rangers for one year as a guitarist. In 1975, Mauri joined Fraternity MKII at the invitation of Bruce Howe. Later Mauri formed Mickey Finn with Uncle John Eyers, which would eventually see most of Fraternity’s personnel move through its ranks.
Since Mickey Finn, Muri has been a member of Adelaide groups such as Hoy Hoy. Mauri was inducted into the SA Music Hall of Fame in 2014 along side Bruce Howe and John Freeman of Fraternity.