Commando 4535-4538 is out today in the UK.
Commando 4535-4538 is out today in the UK.
It has been nice to read all the articles about Jon Lord in the international rock media the last few weeks. The man was the best in his field and his work with Deep Purple (and Whitesnake) as well as a solo artist will never be forgotten.
My friend photographer Michael Johansson has just featured Jon Lord in his latest “The moment” (“Ögonblicket” in swedish) segment in the new issue of Sweden Rock Magazine (issue 96). He has picked a few shots from his many meetings with Jon Lord and one of them is from his first meeting with Jon back in january 1983, when I asked him to come along and snap a few pictures for my interview. I feel honored to be part of Michaels tribute for this man and the memories from the occation surface when I see this.
I had a Deep Purple club (and magazine) going at the time and I was also building a budding career in rock journalism at the time. Meeting Jon Lord (this was my second interview with him) was the kind of thing that helped open doors. He was in a good mood that day, joked about me not having shaved that day etc (I told him I didn´t want to – I was doing my bit in the army at the time and any day off from that world was to be treasured!).
I am so glad for all these memories, the meetings, the concerts, the many friendships with great people. I feel blessed.
I love MAD magazine, I grew up with the swedish version and to this day I buy a copy of the american version every now and then. This is the cover of the current issue (517) and it works very well. Welcome to election hell, indeed.
On the other hand, democracy rules supreme and the freedoms we have (including making fun of whatever deserves to be mocked) is something that we can be proud of.
MAD is, in its own little way, a beacon of light in our western culture. When people seems willing to compromise with our basic freedoms, think about a world without MAD. Who wants to live in a world like that?
When I created Dakota Jane for RETROFUTURE I wanted the layout in the magazines to sport a number of fake covers, like they used to be in the old days. A number of these was created and inserted into bigger images and since I still have these I thought that I might as well show you a few of these now. “Sammy Long” is a made up name for an author. The price tags in Sweden looked like this ca 1970. The titles are typical for the old days as well. I think you will agree that it was a good idea to create these and I have heard very positive feedback since then from people who have seen it. So, I hope that you enjoy these, more will follow later on featuring other characters.
With current ongoing interest in my western projects I thought it might be a good idea to finally write a few words about how it all started, and that means going back to late september 2009 and the two sessions I had with model Lina for the Dakota Jane project back then.
Dakota Jane was the realization of an idea that I had had for a while, that it would be great fun to not only write a western novel, but to get pictures for it as well. No harm in going for it, so I did. Lina is a rocker that I knew from an earlier collaboration (I needed a shot of a couple of chicks in Metal outfits posing with a Xena chakram back in 2008, which my friend photographer Michael Johansson took care of and she was one of them). When Dakota Jane came up it had to happen quickly because the summer season was rapidly coming to an end and poor weather is not a great thing when shooting outside. I think it all happened within a week.
On september 21 and 22 we had two sessions here in Östersund, with slight variations in gear. It was a very successful experiment, I got what I needed and inspiration for the novel followed. This went out in two parts in RETROFUTURE 1 and 2 (2009-2010) and Dakota Jane had the first cover and could be seen on the second.
Sadly, soon after creating the second issue, I lost the original Dakota Jane material in a computor crash, so everything that had not been used was lost. That meant that Dakota Jane had come to an end in the magazine as well and I felt that rather than having another session with the same model in order to continue, it would be interesting to create another character for later use, which became the Montana Blue project in the summer of 2010.
The Dakota Jane story revolves around the big fire in Fargo in 1893, which is a historic event that really took place, but the rest is fictional. In my novel a gang was responsible for a number of events, including the fire, and Dakota Jane takes them on and hunts them down.
The novel was printed with lots of pictures and bonus material (a making of story and an interview with Lina) over roughly 23 pages in these issues. A pretty good start for a new type of project. You have to remember that the first issue of RETROFUTURE was business as usual for me, it was just a new title. With this novel, I pretty much reintroduced the western novel again in Sweden. The last pocket book had been published in 2000 in our media so Dakota Jane was kind of the return of something old and buried here. This is something that I am quite proud of.
This summer, I reprinted the Dakota Jane novel back to back with the Montana Blue novel in GUNSLINGER, but I had to use existing material. Compare this cover with the top image, which was a spread in RETROFUTURE 1 (I borrowed part of that image to be able to do it). However, it was nice to publish Dakota Jane in one single publication.
GUNSLINGER was handed out in 1000 copies (it was never on sale). RETROFUTURE 1 and 2 has gone out (locally) in about 2000 all in all. This means that Dakota Jane has been seen by thousands of people in my neck of the woods. Add Montana Blue to this and my reputation on the local scene as a pretty eccentric publisher must have grown considerably. And on top of that, the western stuff is not the only eccentric material in these publications.
The reason behind it is simple, one needs to have a bit of fun in life. And this has been o good way to ensure a bit of that in mine.
Commando 4531 to 4534 is out today in the UK.
I met Jon Lord three times in his Whitesnake years (and briefly later on) and made three interviews, one of which (this one), was really just a chat in a restaurant. This was right before he left Whitesnake for Deep Purple and he knew that I had published a Deep Purple fanzine in Sweden. Not only did he buy a beer, but he hinted that the Purps were about to meet… This conversation took place at Grand Hotel, Stockholm, April 14 1984. Enjoy. MIKE
– I am so tired, I have hardly slept at all since we arrived in Sweden. I will have to steal an hour or so before the show tonight.
It was sad to hear that Mel Galley had broken an arm.
– Yes, that is the sort of thing that give you an ulcer. Two weeks from now our most important tour of the States begins and Mel can´t be there. Right now we don´t know how to deal with this but if it works out fine with John Sykes here it should work out in America as well. But it is all quite nerve wracking.
The american market is the only one left to conquer. Is David ready to work as hard as it takes to crack it over there as well?
– David might well be but then he would have to do it without me. That is how Deep Purple conquered America, loads of concerts all the time. And it finished us as well. I hope that Whitesnake cracks America but I don´t intend to kill myself to make that happen. But what happens over there now is very important for the future of Whitesnake.
I know that you hate this question but what about Deep Purple? I spoke with Ian Gillan a few months ago and he claimed that it was close to happening in january last year.
– I am disappointed that he said that because I have never said yes, and neither has Ian Paice. It seems to me that Ritchie Blackmore, Roger Glover and Ian Gillan wants to get Deep Purple back together again, but I still have to say yes. But we will have a chat about this soon.
( Little did I know that Deep Purple would reform right after this hinted meeting! )
What is your opinion about Chris Charlesworth Deep Purple biography, are you happy about how the band is portrayed in this book?
– As happy as I can be, but naturally everything that happened was not revealed even now. If we talked about everything that occured girlfriends and others could get hurt. You know, there is a lot of stuff going on in a band that people never see.
It seems like Ian Paice was basically fired from Whitesnake…
– Yes, but he had himself to blame. He became a little lazy when we recorded “Saints An´Sinners” and David took notice. Ian Paice is a better drummer than Cozy Powell, but Cozy is probably better suited for Whitesnake now.
Do you keep in touch?
– Sure. We will always be the best of friends. My wife Wicky is his wifes Jackys sister. They are twins, I think I have just discovered how to tell them apart(laughs). I talked with him just three days ago.
You didn´t write anything for the new Whitesnake album “Slide It In”, why is that?
– I´m really not that good at writing stuff that suits Whitesnake and since David is good at it I just forget about that. I have been busy working on music for a couple of movies and a tv-series. And I am thinking about making a followup to “Before I Forget”, my last record.
If you excuse my candidness, I feel that Whitesnake is still a better live band than studio band. Any plans for a new live album?
– So far we have still to achieve in the studio what we can in a live situation, that is true. There is talk about a new live album but then you know how the situation is at the moment. Maybe later.
Michael Eriksson (Copyrights) – Photographer (?)
(No part of this interview may be quoted without permission)