Archive for September, 2012

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.

Advertisements

 

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.

 

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)

Airfix´s little soldiers

Posted: September 6, 2012 in Books

It took me a while to get around to it but I recently ordered Jean-Christophe Carbonel´s book “Airifix´s Little Soldiers” (Histoire & Collections) and could finally read it yesterday. It sports information on the history of small plastic soldiers from 1959 to 2009, starting with Airfix and taking a peak at the competition as well. I love the images on the boxes (of the classic 70´s Airfix sets) since I had many of these as a child, and can now see that the artist in question was a man called Brian Knight (who had joined the team in 1968). It really feels good to see these boxes again after all these years. I wish I had kept them back in the day.

Playing with these toy soldiers was very common when we were kids in my neck of the woods. We occupied ourselves for hours (which, thinking about it now, must have been a blessing for our parents!). I had one of those old forts as well, the Sherwood Castle one. When I see all these boxes now I wish I could buy some of it again and just stash it away. Fantastic art, good memories.

Good book. Some of the images could have been a little bigger, but it´s all there if you want to revisit your youth.

Just to recap the history of my western photography and the short novels that I have published through RETROFUTURE the last few years, here is some facts…

In 2009 I felt that it would be great fun to write a western novel that featured a young woman at war with evil. One morning, I actually woke up with the name Dakota Jane ringing in my head (divine inspiration surely, he he…) and ideas popped up. I asked a local model, Nina, if she would be up for the job but at that time the timing was off. I then contacted a rocker I knew from an earlier job through photographer Michael Johansson (for a previous publication), Lina, if she was up for it and she jumped at the chance of having some fun. Mind you, she and her friend had to spend hours in a car to get to me, so it was rather nice of her to accept the offer. We then spent two days shooting Dakota Jane (I still have to write about that on this blog) and the novel later appeared as a two parter in RETROFUTURE 1 & 2 in 2010. The character got the first cover and can be spotted on the second as well.

I had a blast doing this so I quickly decided that I needed to photograph another model in 2010 for a second novel and I then went back to Nina and checked out the situation there and this time she could make it. As mentioned earlier on this blog, we then shot two sessions with different outfits. A “making of Montana Blue” article appeared in RETROFUTURE 3 and then a full novel publication followed in early 2011. Plus the cover for RETROFUTURE 4 about a year ago (seen inserted into the image above).

I was aware of a comic book artist called Richard Svensson that I liked so I approached him and asked him if he would be interested in creating a western comic based on the original Montana Blue novel and he said yes. Big job, so I gave him time to get on with it. A 60 page magazine will kick off this project early next year (more to come on this).

Earlier this summer, I published a 28 page special with Dakota Jane and Montana Blue (the original novels) back to back. Printed 1000 copies and simply gave them away. This is an ongoing project, over 7000 magazines have gone out in my neck of the woods the last 28 months or so (but that´s another story). The Montana Blue novel was re-printed earlier this year in a third publication as well. So thousands of people have read it by now, which is pretty nice. Got some nice feedback as well.

Enter Tornado Blaze, the new project. I just posted a story about this one here on Trinkelbonker, and as you know this is a novel for 2013 and RETROFUTURE 6.

I have been a fan of James Reasoner´s blog Rough Edges for some time, and thought that I should let him know about this since he is covering the west scene in pulps so well, so we have been exchanging mails lately. Today I was thrilled to see a post on Rough Edges with a promise of more to come from James (a package is on the way, so he should be able to check it all out first hand soon), which may have something to do with the rising stats right now for Trinkelbonker (well, I guess the buzz about Tornado Blaze is on through Facebook as well, I can see that). I really appreciate the interest and I would say that I might consider to translate some of my novels for the States later on (should there be an interest). The Montana Blue comic book will certainly be sent over for publishers to see Stateside later on.

Not sure where this is going to end but I think it will outlast my RETROFUTURE publication, which is winding down as we speak within a couple of years.

I have ideas. As always.

I photographed model Ellinor Nordbakk (in Östersund) for the upcoming Tornado Blaze novel in next years RETROFUTURE (6) issue on July 30. Got plenty of good shots, everything from action to more arty stuff. As sunset approached, we catched the last hour of sunlight getting a variety of interesting shots, this one being one of them. We ended the session down by the lake with another outfit, but the sun was going by then.

Tornado Blaze will be the third western novel to be printed through my magazine in the last few years and I have to say that it is a great deal of fun to create these characters, work with these wonderful models, and see the end product. Nobody else is doing it anymore over here which is rather strange if you ask me. There is lots of fun to be had for anyone who has a crack at it.

I still have to write the novel in this case but I have a few ideas and a pretty good idea of where this is going. Some day I will sit down and hammer it out, having a good time doing it. Complete freedom.

The first images in print of this heroine will actually appear early next year in an upcoming Montana Blue comic book, which will include a Making of Tornado Blaze piece along with some nice colour shots. Kind of a nod to RETROFUTURE 6 which will follow a few months later.