Archive for July, 2013


I have just completed the second and final part of the Tornado Blaze novel for RETROFUTURE 6 (Western edition), and with that, everything is in place. I can finally get this on CD for the printers now. It took me a full year to complete this double issue, quite a lot of hard work in fact. I will have the Western edition out in a couple of months time, and then there will be a party here in Östersund, with Deep Purple as the soundtrack.

I kind of painted myself into a corner with the Tornado Blaze novel. The first part set up one hell of an adventure with Gods, Aliens and a Ranch War. Then I had to end it all in six A4 pages (of text) in RETROFUTURE 6. I had ideas, but it was tough to get going. I think a lot of writers get this every now and then.

I am so glad that I managed to end it, and that it feels like a job well done.

RF_100small (RF6, both editions)



A friend of mine sent me some images from the Alice Cooper show here in Östersund this weekend, so I thought I would share this snapshot with you. As I said in an earlier post I couldn´t see this show due to work, but word on the street is that Alice ruled and that the festival has never had a better ending than this.

I could have told them that years ago. In fact, I did. But big names in Classic Rock has not been their thing. Maybe the ticket sales this year, for Alice, will make them reassess the situation? Festivals are dying all over the place, not counting the Classic Rock scene, which strives.

So what will it be in 2014? Deep Purple? Why not?

(Many thanks to Kalle Thelin for the images)


Yesterday (after the Mojo concert, see previous post) I managed to catch a rare visit by the old steamboat SS Östersund to the harbour of the city that bears the same name (Östersund). Lake Storsjön (The Great Lake) is the fifth largest lake of Sweden and a hundred years ago there was plenty of traffic in these waters. Only two of the classic steamboats have survived, SS Thomée (mentioned before on this blog) and SS Östersund.

This beautiful boat was built in 1874 and saw traffic in the lake until 1963 when it was put out of business. Enthusiasts saved the boat and by 1989 it was in traffic again, now from the harbour of Arvesund (where a fantastic museum is located). It now operates during the summer months, June to September.

The Great Lake Monster has been sighted from these steamboats on several occations over the decades, there are cases in the archives. A mysterious film was taken from SS Thomée in 1996 by Gun-Britt Widmark that I helped to rescue from VHS format to DVD last year. It is being kept in the archives of Föreningen Storsjöodjuret (a local interest group that I have mentioned before).

The Great Lake Monster was sighted in the harbour of Arvesund not long ago – see earlier post (and full story in RETROFUTURE 6).

(My images)


A huge festival called Storsjöyran is gearing up here in Östersund, and thursday evening saw Michael Mojo Nilsson play a couple of blues sets down by the harbour in front of a few hundred people (x2) in a tent. I catched the second set and snapped some pictures. Good vibes, as usual. Mojo is a good entertainer.

Big names like Alice Cooper are coming up in the next few days, but I will be working so no more festivities for me this weekend.

(My images)


My family celebrated Festus (our own thing, read on…) for the eighth time this afternoon, an annual excuse of ours to get together and have some fun. It all started back in 2005 when I read an article about how people view things they have done three times as “tradition”, so I thought “Why not create our own?”. I presented the idea during a Christmas dinner that year and we decided to make it a summer gathering, with some easy games, good food and a fine excuse to just meet each other. So we had our own Festus (I just made up the name, it sounds OK) for the first time in July 2006 and it was a success for sure.

To make it more fun I purchased a Golden Trophy (see inserted picture) and inscripted the name Festus on it. When the games are over, the winner gets to keep the trophy for a year. We fill it with candy and it is always a big thing for the children when we bring it out. Good fun actually. Good fun for the winner to hold it for a year as well. I think the trophy kind of nailed it.

I am really glad that we thought of this. The winner gets to pick next years location and we have been in some really beautiful places around Lake Storsjön (The Great Lake) over the years. This year, we had a location (in Östersund) fairly close but not right at the shore this time (usually, we have been outside of town). Still, beautiful view. I took a walk down to the lake with one of the kids after the festivities were over and took some snapshots at the lake. The wind made good looking waves that I wanted to catch.

I did send a letter about this idea to a major magazine called På Landet that was published in issue 8 2007, so I guess others may have picked up on it and created their own variations. It makes sense, why not have some fun once a year in the summer, catching up?

For the children, growing up with this, it will be a natural thing that just happens. I like that – this is here to stay in this family. We all enjoy it and yet it is no big deal. Some people are travelling quite far to be part of it though, which is amazing. We can also invite friends if we want to. If one of them should win the trophy, the person that invited said friend gets to keep the trophy. You need little rules like that, but it is not rocket science.

I can recommend that you create your own thing and have a go. Call it Festus, call it whatever you like. Just have some fun and enjoy your own thing, your own tradition.

At least, this is a tradition worthy of your time.

(My images)


The Rainbow Rockpalast gig in Dusseldorf (Germany) 1995 is to be released on CD and DVD in late August 2013. This interview with three members of Rainbow took place at the Sheraton Hotel in Stockholm on October 1 1995, the day after the bands very first concert of the “Stranger In Us All” World Tour that had been done in Finland the previous night. The interview was printed in DEEP PURPLE FOREVER issue 13 and also in MORE BLACK THAN PURPLE issue 2 back in the day. The guys – singer Dougie White, bass player Greg Smith and (the recently drafted) drummer Chuck Burgi – were in high spirits and the conversation certainly had moments of cheer inspiration by all people involved. Back then, Mr White spelled his name “Dougie” on occasion (certainly in letters I got later on) – so no disrespect intended (I know it is Doogie now). Michael Johansson took the pictures that day. We had a good time, I can say that! Enjoy!

* * * * *

I guess the first question is… I see there is a change in the lineup. Is that because somebody is sick or…?

Chuck / – Someone is ill, someone is hurt. The original drummer on the album – he broke a rib when playing soccer with the band.

I saw your name on television not long ago, and you were a member of Blue Oyster Cult.

Chuck / – Member is dodgy word.


Chuck / – Yes, I was working with them, they are old friends. In fact, I met them when touring with Rainbow in the old days – we did a bunch of gigs together. Member… No.

So you were available when they called you. How long were you into the rehearsals when this happened?

Greg / – Oh, boy! What, this happened two weeks ago, three weeks ago?

Chuck / – Oh yeah! I have only been playing with the band for about ten days.

So with the change, did you panic, or did it work out?

Greg / – No, it wasn´t really panic. I knew Chuck was available, and Ritchie asked if he would be interested in doing it, gave Chuck a call, and that was it. Came down and played, sounded brilliant.

Chuck / – Greg and I, in Blue Oyster Cult, they were like working weekends!

Have you been in Blue Oyster Cult as well?

Greg / – Yeah.

Chuck / – The bass player who they had been using had been with them for eight years.

So Ritchie stole half of their band?

Chuck / – In a way, yes. He decided to leave, and when I found out that this was happening I called Greg, and he said “Well I can only work for this amount of time because I am going on tour with Rainbow”. And I said “Well, that is fine, I am sure it will work out”. So Greg and I first played together, I guess, about two and a half years ago.

Greg / – Yeah.

Chuck / – We did an album with the old keyboard player from Rainbow, David Rosenthal – we did a record together called “Red Dawn”. It was actually a Japanese release, I think. We actually got some great press in Italy, Belgium, a number One album you know… funny stuff!

Actually I heard of the album a month ago, a member of the club sent me a copy.

Chuck / – Really? There is a couple of good tunes, that is about all I can tell you, you know. But my favourite is… there´s like four songs on the album that I think are potentially what the band was capable of… a lot of the writing was less than enjoyable to play, for all of us. It wasn´t really a band, it was basically David Rosenthal´s project. In any case, Greg and I had been playing, I guess, for two months this summer, and that was a real fun thing…

Greg / – That was a lot of fun.

Chuck / …to get back playing together and tour, like, three days at a time.

It is like all in the family, I mean I remember Joe Lynn Turner mentioning you. How close are you to him?

Greg / – Very close.

Do you come from the same town or something?

Greg / – Oh, not necessarily from the same town, but it is just New York – he is from New Jersey, living in New York, sort of right outside of New York City – I live on Long Island, right outside of New York. So, sort of a New York contingent there.

Chuck / – I helped Joe Lynn get his first band a record deal.

Yes, he has got a new album coming out in a month…

Chuck / – Well, I wasn´t involved in that… but Joe and I have known each other since 1975. (Chuck was talking about Joe´s very first solo album “Rescue You”, ed).

Last time I spoke with him he had recently been car jacked in America.

Dougie / – Yes, he was car jacked.

Did he get the car back, do you know?

Greg / – No, he didn´t.

Chuck / – You´re kidding?

Greg / – He got car jacked, yes.

He told me he got the car back and then somebody stole it from the police.

Greg / – Oh, really?

So, there is an internal investigation.

Chuck / – Bizarre!

You are from Scotland Dougie. How was the culture clash going to America? Was it the first time you were there?

Dougie / – It was the very first time I was there. The most difficult thing I had was crossing the road! That was very difficult. You don´t quite get a handle on that… and because I don´t drive, I was quite isolated, at the mercy of other people. If we couldn´t get out when we were recording, for instance, if Greg was working and John was working, I couldn´t go anywhere because I had no transport. So, I was pretty much at the mercy of everybody else. Consequently I spent most of my time in my room, writing and re-writing the lyrics.

You got this house – was that a psychological thing from Ritchie because he wanted people to get to know him and get him to be your buddy, or…

Dougie / – This time last year we went over to Cold Springs in upstate New York, and we had seven weeks writing up there, and it was more a sort of “get to know you, see who´s going to make it through, see what the personalities are like”. We had another bass player at that time, before Greg, and within ten days of being there we knew this guy wasn´t working.

He stopped playing in the middle of songs I heard.

Dougie / – Yes, he did!

Ritchie said that.

Dougie / – Yes, he would stop playing in the middle of songs.

Chuck / – Who is this?

Dougie / – The old bass player.

When was that exactly, a year ago, or…?

Greg / – A little more than a year ago.

Dougie / – August/September(1994).

Greg / – Yeah.

Did he (Ritchie) have a record deal at the time already?

Dougie / – The deal was all there. The deal has been there since the Purple days.

I see, so the last tour (with Purple) he got that together?

Dougie / – Oh yes. I don´t know the entire ins and outs of what the deal is, but we were never, or Ritchie was never without a deal. And the record company have been very, very supportive, behind him. You know, gave him a free reign to do what he liked, not sort of saying “you must do this” or “you must do that”. Pretty much got a free reign.

I have to say that personally I am very satisfied with the record. I think there is only one weak song and that´s “Stand And Fight” which is, to me, a little bit simple, but that is personal. But the rest of the stuff is really good, I have listened to it constantly since I got it. There was another track called “Emotional Crime”, is that going to be on the Japanese album?

Dougie / – It´s going to be on the Japanese version. To cover “Stand And Fight” – this was the first song that we wrote together. We wrote that within the first three or four days of being up there, just jamming around. I was reasonably pleased with the way it came out on the album. I would have liked to see more Hammond organ on it, it would have given it a bit of strenghts behind it, rather than just a harmonica. With “Emotional Crime”, I think the song is better than the actual mix that we have of it. There is a couple of tapes lying around of sort of old mixes that we did of it, and it sounded a lot better than the version that came out.

I really like that song.

Dougie / – It´s a great song but it just didn´t come out well enough or sound good enough to be on the album.

Greg / – It sounded better when we were doing it. When we were doing the background vocals, I was really excited about it, you know.

It reminds me of Bad Company a little bit, and perhaps US radio would like it? How is the situation in America for this kind of music? Is the radio still supporting this music, or is it like a bit of a gamble these days?

Greg / – I don´t think America knows what it wants to do.

Chuck / – Radio is not supporting much of anything. MTV is what supports the music business in the United States.

Which is a tragedy of course.

Chuck / – It is a tragedy.

Greg / – Very much.

Chuck / – But that is it.

So, is the album going to be released in the States with some backup?

Dougie / – That´s gonna be next year sometime.

So you will take care of the rest of the world first?

Dougie / – Take care of what have always been important to Ritchie, Europe, Scandinavia, Japan. Take care of these places, see how well the album does, maybe come back again next year and do some other Spring stuff over here in places that we haven´t done. Looking at South America, Canada, the States, Australia, Poland – these kind of places – looking at everywhere. We´re hoping this time next year to be just finishing up the tour for the “Stranger In Us All” album. That´s what we´re looking to do.

You are doing two gigs in England, right?

Dougie / – Yeah.

Any chances of getting back there again later on, or…?

Dougie / – Oh, that´s got to be! I´m a Scotsman, I´m gonna be beaten to death if I don´t go to Scotland.

Chuck / – There is a chance we will get back to any of the venues in all of the places we are doing on this tour.

So, does Ritchie actually like to tour these days? Do you see that he has some enthusiasm perhaps?

Dougie / – We played our first gig last night in Helsinki. I have seen Ritchie since 1976 on and off, and last night he was burning like I haven´t seen him…


Dougie / – Yes.

Greg / – Oh, yes.

Dougie / – He was having the time of his life!

Greg / – As were the rest of us as well, we were all having a great time. You know, sometimes first gigs you never know what is going to happen, and this one went off very smoothly, everybody was just enjoying themselves.

And, of course, the band had been together for two weeks, is that right?

Greg / – Three weeks.

Dougie / – Ten days rehearsals. We had six days with you in New York, and then four days pre-production in Copenhagen with the PA and the lights.

Copenhagen, that is an interesting city… OK… Joe Lynn Turner told me some funny stories about when new band members of Rainbow came in, Ritchie used to have some pranks and stuff. Is he still doing it?

Chuck / – What was under Pauls bed at Long View? (laughs)

What was under his bed?

Chuck / – I missed all this.

Greg / – Okay, well, where we recorded the record was a big farm in Massachussetts, in the middle of nowhere. So it is an actual farm still – there is horses there, there is about six horses. Ritchie was feeling mischievous one night and decided to get a bucket of horse shit and put it underneath Pauls bed… and he left it there for … I don´t know how long. After a while it started to smell pretty nasty. And you got one as well didn´t you?

Dougie / – Another one of his favourites was to put the vacuum cleaner in your room…

Greg / – Oh, I got that one!

Dougie / – …and then, when he is doing his sort of scouring around at night times, you know, looking for people to bite, he will just walk by and switch on the vacuum cleaner. Now, these are big industrial vacuum cleaners like you have in hotels. That would go! His very favourite one, which was the most annoying, he used to take the fly screen off your bed and open the windows, and turn on the lights, and say “Come on, I will buy you dinner”. He will go and buy you dinner, and you are out for three hours, you come back and your room is filled with the biggest bugs you have ever seen in your life.

Greg / – Oh, he got me, remember, with the socks.

Dougie / – Oh, my God!

Greg / – You can tell that one.

Dougie / – I´m eating, you tell it!

Greg / – It was right when I first joined up, and we were up in Cold Springs, and him and I at that time were sharing a room in the house. And I kept noticing that my pillow had a strange smell to it, you know, and was very bulky, very odd. It lasted a few days, until I finally reached inside and I saw his dirty socks, his filthy underwear, and T-shirts, and I was sleeping on them for about three nights.

Chuck / – Oh, no!

He is never going to grow up, really, now is he? I mean, he is a wonderful personality.

Greg / – Yes, that is what is great about the business is that we can all remain eleven years old, you know. (laughs)

Two minutes in a tour bus and it´s like another world…

Greg / – Oh, yeah! We have fun, throw food at each other…

What happened to you Chuck when you joined the band in the 80´s?

Chuck / – Not a whole lot. I had my hotel room basically shut. And then we stayed in a castle on the UK tour – I had a room that was below the managers room, and I snuck into his room – I could have died – I crawled on the outside of the building, and I went down over the gutters, and Bruce´s window was open. I got in, and I just very slightly adjusted everything, because it was rumoured that he was in a room that a ghost was in. The next day he came down all freaked out, and somebody figured out that something had happened. The very next night after the show, I guess there was a show in Glasgow, we went back to Edinburgh, and when I went back to my room everything in my room was in the bathroom! Everything! I couldn´t get into the bathroom. I slept on the floor. I pissed out of the window because I couldn´t get into the bathroom.. And I never said anything to anybody, ever, and I think that bugged them the most! I just came down and said “Morning”. (laughs)

Dougie / – He don´t like that!

Chuck / – I did have to sleep in a different room a couple of times because Ritchie glued my room shut! (laughs)

How about seances – anything like that happening yet?

Chuck / – Not yet, well, not for me, anyway.

Greg / – In Tihigua we did that, in Cold Springs, and in Long View.

Dougie / – I don´t get involved.

Greg / – He doesn´t get involved, he is afraid!

Dougie / – I don´t need the Hannibal Lecter of Rock running around in my head!

Greg / – He is afraid! He is afraid of ghosts. (laughs)

Well, have you seen anything during these things, or heard anything?

Dougie / – There was a couple of times in Cold Springs… I´m a Scotsman! We believe in meat and potatoes, and beer and cigarettes, and football, and fighting on saturday night. We don´t believe in spaceships and ghosts, and things… But we have got a UFO on videotape that we taped one day out of the window at Cold Springs… it was the most remarkable thing.

Greg / – I thought it was in Long View.

Dougie / – It was in Long View. It was a most remarkable thing. And also in Long View I had – and this is very bizarre – I was lying in my bed, and Ritchie had lost his cat – he has two cats – and he had lost one of the cats and had been looking for it and looking for it, and couldn´t find it. So, I was lying on my bed, and I felt one of the cats jump on to the bed and crawl up beside me. I put my hand down – nothing at all! It had scuttled off. So, trying to get back to sleep, and I felt this thing crawl right up my leg, and I just switched on the light and looked, and there was nothing there at all! Nothing there at all! And in the same room, you know, it was like a latch… you would press a little button and the door would open, so it was very difficult to open. The latch went, someone walked in the room, round the bottom of the bed to the other side, and back round and walked out. And in the morning the door was latched again! Very strange!

Greg / – Very strange indeed!

So have you, as a Scotsman, begun to change your…

Dougie / – No! Obviously I am still a sceptic, but I can´t deny the things that I have seen and the things that I have heard.

The UFO thing – did you see that yourself? Who filmed that?

Dougie / – Paul was filming it. I was actually sitting up the stairs working on some lyrics, I had an upstairs room with a desk, and it was looking over big flat hills… all the way to the horizon you could see. It was a clear evening, the sun was going down, the sky was sort of crimson and purple. I was looking out the window, and right in the middle, for no apparent reason, there was this bright glow, it was like a really bright car headlight or something, in the middle of the sky. And I was sitting and watching this, it wasn´t moving, it was just sort of sitting there. I´m going “That´s very strange”. Paul had just bought his video camera the day before, so if it moved he was filming it! So he thought we could film the sunset. And we were sitting and watching this thing, and I shouted out “Paul, are you getting this?”. He said “Yeah, I have got it”, and he has got it on video camera. Now, this thing didn´t do anything, and then it moved slightly to my right, and then it went… it just wasn´t there any more! You know? Now, for the whole time it had moved very very slowly, and Paul was like “I´m bored with this” after a minute, and he went back to the pond, and when he came back up five seconds later this thing was completely gone.

Greg / – It was a very weird shape.

Well, it could have been a UFO, or it could be something the Americans are test flying.

Dougie / – Oh, yeah.

Greg / – We will never know.

Dougie / – We will never know. Lets ask George Adamski!

(Here some personal experiences, not mine but one of the guys, were discussed but lets keep those private)

About the live set. Has Ritchie asked you for suggestions, or has he picked out…? (they all laugh)

Chuck / – Over to you Dougie.

Dougie / – Yes, he asked me a while ago what I would like to do, and I suggested a few songs, and he said “No, we are not doing that”. Then he sort of came round to it a bit, and we have some songs in there that I suggested we do. We are doing “Temple Of The King”, which is very exciting, which came about… his new guitar tech, a guy called Scott Hazel, is a singer as well, and he likes to sing “Temple Of The King”, so we were just arsing around with it at rehearsals one day, and it has made it into the set, and it sounds brilliant! It sounds really good, very strong.

What songs did you want to do, that he reacted against?

Dougie / – I wanted to do “Kill The King”, I wanted to do “Tarot Woman”, I wanted to have a go at “Stargazer” or “Gates Of Babylon”.

Does he give any reasons, or does he just say “No, I don´t want to do it”?

Dougie / – “No, I don´t want to do it… and don´t ask me again or I will beat you with a big stick!” (laughs). He has certain things that he likes and certain things that he doesn´t like, and he will not be persuaded one way or the other.

Greg / – Last night when you were doing… let´s see… we have this part in one of the songs where it sort of breaks down, and anything can happen at that point… sort of bring everything down, and we start singing some things and Ritchie starts playing some things. Sometimes he goes into old Rainbow or Deep Purple songs, and you were doing “Starstruck” and he wouldn´t play along with that.

Dougie / – No, he wouldn´t play it. (laughs)

Greg / – He wouldn´t play along.

He is a bit strange like that, isn´t he? He is a character.

Dougie / – He is a character! I was up in the side wedges last night, sort of standing, and he came over and wouldn´t let me down! He stood there with his guitar, saying “Try and get down, come on”. I eventually had to jump over the top of him. So, consequently, I´m in pain today.

So, how many songs from the current album?

Dougie / – We are doing seven songs from the album. We are losing “Stand And Fight” for the moment.

Chuck / – I think it´s a wise decision.

Dougie / – I think it´s a good choice, yes. We are doing a lot of good stuff and it sounds interesting. We have met a lot of people last night and today who said they really enjoyed it. Obviously, everybody is a bit nervous about it, and wanting to see how this version of Rainbow compares with other versions of Rainbow, which they are obviously going to do, and no-one, certainly that I spoke to last night, was disappointed in any way. So that is good.

Greg / – The crowd was going crazy, they were just loving it.

How nervous were you before the gig, first gig and all?

Greg / – Well, some of the guys were nervous, some of us weren´t. I personally wasn´t nervous, I was just excited. I just couldn´t wait to get on with it and get going, you know.

Dougie / – When it starts with the scarecrow with the top hat, and it says “Toto, I don´t think we´re in Kansas anymore”, this rainbow appears right above the hat, and I would go, “right, I wonder who the singer is in the band this week”… “Shit! It´s me!”. I was in bits man! I was “Oh no!”. Because I´m used to seeing Ritchie in a track suit or in a football strip. I had never seen him – you know, at rehearsals he never turns up like Ritchie Blackmore – he´s Ritchie…

Greg / – He is the same guy we go out to dinner with, drink at the bar with, you know.

Dougie / – He was togged up last night with all the gear on, and I´m like “Oh, my God!”.

Greg / – Really got me last night. I am up there playing and he just went down on the one knee, turned the guitar around, and I was, “It´s Ritchie Blackmore… how did I get here?”.

Chuck / – How did I get here? (laughs)

Dougie / – And he is at his own side of the stage.

So, it may take a while before you actually feel right?

Dougie / – Oh, no!

Greg / – We feel it already. It is just that I know that, speaking for you and I, we were both and always have been very big Rainbow and Deep Purple fans, going back to when we were young…

Dougie / – Younger than we are!

Greg / – Younger than we are now.

Chuck / – Young children.

Dougie / – It is quite an experience.

Do you remember the first Deep Purple related album that you bought?

Greg / – Oh, yeah, I remember. For instance, for me, I first got introduced to Deep Purple at about ten or eleven years old, no actually I think I was twelve years old, due to a friend of mine´s older brother having a bunch of albums we used to steal from him, take them over to my house and listen to them. And Deep Purple´s “Machine Head” was the one that got me – and at that point I realised that “I´ve got to play music”, and not long after I started playing bass.

Dougie / – So how come you forgot “Smoke On The Water” the other night?

Greg / – I didn´t forget “Smoke On The Water”.

Dougie / – Well, you couldn´t remember the second verse, singing it.

Greg / – Oh, yes, in rehearsals. Well, it´s because I´m listening to the bass lines, vocals don´t matter to me.

Dougie / – Right, okay. The most famous song in the world and we can´t get it right. Remember, I´m singing the third verse and it´s like “this is not right!”.

Ritchie usually misses the opening riff, anyway.

Dougie / – Of course, it wouldn´t be the same without it.

Probably the simplest thing he has ever done, maybe that is why.

Dougie / – Yeah, that is the scary thing. I mean, we played it entirely for the first time last night. He is like, “Oh, we don´t need to do that, we know it”. The first Purple album I ever heard was “Come Taste The Band”. Coverdale´s voice just blew me to bits. I was like, “Oh, just listen to this guy”. My little friend said “You should maybe listen to this”, and it was “Burn”, and I thought “That is amazing!”. It was the singer that got me at first, Coverdale´s voice, and then on “Burn” it was the guitar playing. Then he said “You have got to listen to this” – it was “Made In Japan”. You know, this was all in – it seemed like years – but it was all in the space of about three weeks. Then I went right through the catalogue from beginning to end, every single little note or word.

Then you saw the gig in Glasgow in 1976.

Dougie / – Then I saw the Deep Purple gig in Glasgow, and I was blown away. Because I didn´t know the history of what was going on, I just bought the albums. And then in September I went and saw Ritchie play with Rainbow and Ronnie Dio in Edinburgh. That was September, the Rainbow “Rising” tour, and he smashed his guitar. I had never seen anything like it in my life!

So, have you seen gigs with Purple and so on ever since?

Dougie / – Every tour, every single tour. I saw Mr Burgi here when he was in the last incarnation of Rainbow, with the brown jumper… (laughs). I saw that, saw them a couple of times with Graham Bonnet on the same tour. My whole musical basis comes from Purple, Whitesnake, Rainbow, Gillan, you know. All these things I have… I have probably all the same tapes as you have… “Wizards Convention”… I have got all that. I have been an on-off member of the Deep Purple Appreciation Society in the UK since 1976. He has probably got my membership card stashed away somewhere. Yes, I was a member up until Joe Lynn Turner joined the band – joined Purple – and I let it lapse after that. I just let it lapse. It was just getting silly then. For me, it was all starting to get silly, and I think other people who were serious fans of the band felt that it was getting silly then. It is like “No, you don´t do this” – it was the five guys or no one, that was my opinion.

They gave it a good shot, but again, maybe they shouldn´t have?

Dougie / – Well, you know, this is what these guys do for a living and, you know, I am looking forward to hearing what they do with Steve Morse. I heard some of the stuff they did with Joe Satriani and it sounded good to me.

I think I like Morse better, actually.

Dougie / – Yeah? I have never heard him play. They must have an album coming out soon because they are touring in March.

I think they are ready. I think they are waiting with the album because they want you guys to get your tour over with in Europe. Do you think there is a competition going on here, or…?

Dougie / – No competition between us and Deep Purple that I feel, you know.

Do you think that Ritchie might feel it?

Dougie / – Could be.

Chuck / – Well, wouldn´t you think that might be a self answering question? I mean, he´s gotta feel something regarding that, maybe not competition but just simply the desire to establish with a bunch of people there doing what he wants to do and what he believes in. Obviously he left Deep Purple because there were a lot of things that he just couldn´t get on with any longer. I would imagine he, of any of us, might feel something like that. I don´t know what exactly it could be.

It is probably healthy if there is competition, I think. Maybe you don´t feel it like that at all?

Dougie / – There is no axe to grind, as far as anybody in Rainbow is concerned, to do with Purple. I am looking forward to hearing what they are doing. And I would be interested to hear what they think of this album. But, I mean, there is bound to be a little bit of Ritchie saying “Come on, we´re gonna go out and show them”.

I think it is very good that he searches for new talent.

Dougie / – I think it is good as well. Let us just hope he doesn´t do it too soon! (laughs)

That is true. I would like to see this band do a few albums, and a live album, at least.

Dougie / – Oh, yeah? They are recording the show in Stockholm tomorrow night for some radio station. So, we needed that extra pressure!

Greg / – The cassette players all over Sweden will be running.

Have you done a video yet?

Dougie / – Well, we don´t know what we are gonna do as far as a single from the album is concerned, because we have got some interesting stuff left over from the album and from the earlier sessions.


Dougie / – No, recorded material. If we were going to put a single out – I know that when I was buying Purple singles and Rainbow singles and stuff, it was always interesting to have something on the B-side that wasn´t just a re-hash of the album. So we have some songs left over in demo form. I would be interested in hearing the demos, you know, put them on there, they are only 8-track or 16-track, but they are interesting. Different guitar solos, different lyrics, in some cases different melody. I mean, we have got two or three versions of what became “Black Masquerade”. So maybe that would be interesting to put on there.

One song that I think would be a good single is “Hall Of The Mountain King”.

Dougie / – Yes, well it seems to be very popular in America and in Europe as well, which is good. That is really up to the record company what that is going to be.

I really like the vocals on the album – it fits in really well.

Dougie / – Thank you.

Before he actually plays that Grieg thing, you can actually hear the idea in the vocal melody.

Dougie / – I just sort of took it and kicked it around a bit. I didn´t want to stick to the rigid format of the tune. I was pretty much given a free reign to do what I liked, vocally, with that. I am pleased with the vocals on the whole album – I think they have come out really well.

You mentioned a live album – are you going to record a live album on this tour?

Dougie / – We don´t know yet. We don´t know. Anything is possible. We are going to be taping a show in Germany for German television. We are doing this Stockholm thing tomorrow for the radio. We will do as much as we can, and then we will decide towards the end of the tour whether we will be doing a live album or a live video. Ritchie and I have done a couple of television interviews which are quite funny. Did you see these?

The BMG “in house” thing?

Dougie / – Did you see that?

It was very good, black and white, very arty, good clips.

Dougie / – Yeah, I think they did a very good job of that.

Where did you do that?

Dougie / – We did that in Brooklyn in New York.

How long is the tour schedule?

Greg / – Until the end of November, then we are off for Christmas, then start up again some time after New Year. We don´t know exactly when yet.

Japan – is that in the cards already?

Chuck / – Yeah, we are already going to Japan for two weeks at the end of this run. It is after the first week in November we are over there.

How many concerts, do you know that?

Dougie / – Nine. Nine in fourteen days.

I think that is the longest tour there for a long long while.

Greg / – They are extremely excited over there.

Dougie / – And they are big gigs as well – the first two are in Yokohama Gym in Tokyo – 9000 seater, quite daunting. We will have the brown corduroys on for that night, sir!

Have you heard anything about how the album is doing right now?

Dougie / – Number 3 in Japan, number 8 in Scandinavia, it came in in the 40´s in Germany, just behind AC/DC which is really good, and I don´t know about the UK because I haven´t been home for a long time.

You have spent two weeks at number 8 (in Sweden), and now you are at number 17, but because of the gig and attention of the radio and everything, probably it will pick up again. Dougie, is this your first visit to Sweden?

Dougie / – I had a stop-over in Stockholm on the way back from Japan in 1991. I flew with SAS there, and I flew with SAS back. We stopped off at Copenhagen on the way there. This is the first time I have actually been on the soil. I haven´t seen much of it because we had a long last couple of days. We have a day off tomorrow, so we are just gonna rest up and have a wander round the town.

Greg / – I think I will just hang out near the bar and drink.

Dougie / – We have a gig tomorrow.

Greg / – Oh, really? Well, to hell with that, I´m gonna stay at the bar.

Dougie / – Ach, I´m gonna stay in the hotel and drink.

* * * * *

Michael Eriksson (1995)

(No part of this interview may be copied without permission)

* * * * *


Here is another preview from the upcoming RETROFUTURE 6 (Western edition) issue, a two page article on a very special place in my County Jämtland, Brunflo church and its defensive tower (called a “Kastal” here). At this site (and in villages close by), in 1644, a Swedish army finally settled the endless disputes over this land with Norway, and Jämtland has belonged to Sweden ever since. I enjoy to add little things like this into the magazine, just some quick history to remind us all of our past.

I think it is safe to say that visiting some of our old churches is quite interesting. Just look at that menacing tower…


My County Jämtland has got a long and rich history. Located on the island of Frösön in Lake Storsjön (The Great Lake) is this wonderful runestone, dated to ca 1030-1050. The runes have been translated to mainly be about the fact that Jämtland was Christianized at the time and how a bridge was built in the narrow straight a thousand years ago.

There is a twist. As you can see there is a dragon´s head in plain view and there is no other runestone in Sweden depicting such a thing. This runestone originally stood right at the shore, close to where the bridge would have been (there is a bridge at roughly the same place today as well), and we do have the mystery of The Great Lake Monster in this very lake. A local vicar wrote about this as early as 1635 when he put some local legends down in writing, which has survived and is now famous.

The Great Lake was connected to the sea 9000 years ago so any kind of large sized animal (family) that has made it through the years must have a local history that is at least that long. In my view, there is no reason to believe that this mystery suddenly popped up 400 years ago, although it was first noted in a way that has survived then.

Could it be then that this runestone simply depicts something that everybody who lived here knew of even back then? The interesting thing is that it seems to be chained by a lock as well.

Nobody really wants to talk about the runestone in this manner. I can understand that. But I think it is reasonable to keep an open mind regarding this stone and it might even be prudent to accept that we will never know the full story.

All we can do is marvel at the fact that it still stands, close to where it once stood, for all to see.

(My images)


Posted: July 13, 2013 in About this blog, General, My photographs, Retrofuture


Well, this shot was taken from my balcony an hour ago. Heavy rain, lightning and roaring thunder. I actually kind of like it. I had to wait a bit for the worst to pass before going online, but for some reason I wanted to present a little snapshot of my view in this weather.

The holiday is coming to an end, normal life kicks in on tuesday night again. I don´t really mind too much, I have had a good rest and I am grateful for that. I have relaxed but I have also been quite busy. You have seen little glimpses of my life on this blog (but limited to what I want to share, it goes without saying). I enjoy this blog though, I think it is what I want it to be. It has roughly 45 to 60 visitors an hour. I think that is pretty good. I don´t know who´s visiting really but if somebody enjoys it every now and then, fine.

The thing about Sweden, in case you didn´t know, is that everything comes to a halt in June, July and August (the summer months). When the rest of the year is characterized by poor weather (or worse, freezing winter) that´s just the way it is. People need to enjoy a bit of sun. The arrival of RETROFUTURE 6 (Purple edition) when everything was in this state (closed schools, everybody on holiday), was not good. But interest will pick up as people go back to their normal lives.

The Western edition is coming along nicely and I think it will be one of the best publications ever. As long as one think one has done well, everything will be OK. I know this is a good issue, looking forward to its publication.

In the end, I think that I will eventually be able to look back at 2013 and what I have achieved with this hobby of mine with a smile. Fair enough. 100 issues is not bad, it was worth a bit of an effort.

It marks the beginning of the end of the hobby though and there will be at least a 10 month break between the RETROFUTURE 6 issue and the next (whatever that might be). To me, that is like a holiday in itself if you can believe that. Looking forward to it.

Still, pretty excited about 2013.

(My image)


The hunt for the truth is on regarding the Great Lake Monster of Lake Storsjön (The Great Lake) and as always RETROFUTURE is where the action is. I had so much stuff for RETROFUTURE 6 that I have had to put some aside for later, but here is a preview of some of the material that is coming up this fall. Nobody else is doing this in this manner and this is also the main reason why I have given away so many magazines for free here in Jämtland (county) around this lake in the last few years. It has generated an interest that has been quite interesting. I meet people all the time now that want to talk about this subject, at work, on pubs, even on my way home from work one early morning when I popped into a gas station to pick up a package of books. The project has produced a wealth of new material and I have also re-printed archive material (reports) from the 1895-1910 period in great numbers. The phenomenon is old and still going strong.

I am proud of the work that has been done and I know that many people are astounded that I have had the guts to do it. I met a friend a few weeks ago who said that he had sent a copy of my magazine “Storsjöodjuret” (“The Great Lake Monster”, published last year) to a cousin in the south of Sweden who is also an author (I don´t remember the name). He said that this man had brought up the subject several times and that he had said that he had read the publication several times over. Best feedback I ever had! Also, a Professor in Zoology at the Stockholm University showed interest (and bought a copy). On top of this, a leading newspaper, Dagens Nyheter, gave a very positive review. Local media has been quiet.

Storis_meeting2012 (From RF6)

And things are moving on too. I just had a conversation with Evert Festin, one of the leading figures in the field and he told me that this years gathering with Föreningen Storsjöodjuret (a local group that is very active) will take place in a village called Hara on August 26. What they do is, they have this annual meeting that is open to the general public (on different locations around the lake each year) – with many witnesses that are brave enough to speak about what they have experienced. Every single year, somebody in the crowd comes up and owes up. A couple of years ago, I witnessed an old lady tell her story six decades (I think it was) after it happened. The page seen here is a RETROFUTURE 6 preview from last years meeting that took place in Hallen on July 5 2012. Local media does not cover this scene, a remarkable fact that is hard to understand. Basically speaking, they are afraid to touch it, God forbid that they should ever risk their precious reputations.

I may write a book in English on the subject some day. This is a mystery that belongs with the famous cases and the information we sit on here just isn´t out there. I think it should be. I will touch on the subject every now and then on this blog.

This is real, this is ongoing and this is here to stay.