Archive for September, 2013

dpm17

This is the cover of one of my old fanzines, DEEP PURPLE MAGAZINE issue 17 (October 1980). The story behind it was that Rainbow played a show in Malmö a week prior to the famous Caste Donington show in August that year (last concert with drummer Cozy Powell and singer Graham Bonnet), and after about two thirds of the set the rain was pouring down. The band abandoned Don Airey during his solo and never came back, and one of the final  improvisations from him that night was a snippet of the song “Singin´In The Rain”.

All in all, a fantastic show, with Ritchie Blackmore in top form (and mood). The whole band was great. “Stargazer” was played, a far better version than the one at Donington. It was my second Rainbow show that year and the only outdoor gig I ever saw with Blackmore.

Author Martin Popoff is doing a book and one of the things I rambled about earlier today for his Q&A was about this night. It was one of those great nights that can never be forgotten.

Great memories.

(Cover shot was taken by journalist Göran Holmquist)

DPparty

Busy days. There will be a Deep Purple party here in Östersund about eight weeks from now. Details will follow on this blog. I will have a blast with this, it will represent a long journey and it will be a special evening. There will not be a band but there will be lots of loud music and I think it will be a night to remember.

Stay tuned for more details.

Whitesnake_1981

Here is a memory from days gone by. On May 7 1981 I interviewed Whitesnake in Stockholm at a place called Mosebacke Pub. The whole band was present and I got to talk with David Coverdale, Jon Lord, Bernie Marsden and Neil Murray before the band was led down some stairs outside the place to pose for some pictures for the press. This photoshoot only lasted a couple of minutes but it was a memorable one thanks to Ian Paice, who suddenly stated his desire to be somewhere else to everybody. “Bloody posers” he said, and “Why don´t you just take pictures of David?”. This snapshot, taken at this very moment by my friend Patrik Hökby, captured the incident. You can see David looking at Ian with some surprise, one can only wonder what was going through his mind at this very moment?

True, journalists had (initially) largely ignored the band except for David, which may have pissed Ian off, but it was still a strange thing to behold. I have seen many photoshoots in my day of bands big and small, but never one quite like this.

I have lost the original photograph, so this is a scan from DEEP PURPLE MAGAZINE issue 22 (published in May 1981). Many thanks to photographer Patrik Hökby.

HughesNorum_1988 

The last weekend of June 1988 was a good one for me because it was then that I met my idol Glenn Hughes for the first time for an interview in Stockholm (at a place called Fryshuset, in which he was rehearsing with John Norum and his band at the time). It was early days for this collaboration and the situation at the time was that John Norum had a tour to do and this was set to start in August. The fact that Glenn Hughes had joined forces with John would probably have meant that a new band name would have been in the cards later on but at the time of my chat with John and Glenn for Metal Hammer (in Germany) they had not resolved this issue. I did not take any pictures that day, I can´t remember now if I wasn´t meant to or if I simply had no camera with me. My guess is that they wanted a professional photoshoot for that for the media. I don´t know how many interviews they did during these few weeks, but soon after this meeting Glenn was asked to leave and the project fell through. John drafted in singer Göran Edman and it was him that could be seen in the German Metal Hammer article (with this interview!) that summer – slightly sad I guess. Eventually, Glenn did sing on John Norum´s “Face The Truth” record in 1992, so they did close this aborted project with some grace a few years later. My impression of Glenn at the time was that he was in bad shape. I was very happy to meet him, but it was a star fallen from grace that I had in front of me that day. Not that it mattered, I was only too happy to support this new band and I wanted them to succeed. The fact that it blew up soon after this meeting made it a little bit special – I got a glimpse of something that few got to see. This translation is picked from a Swedish newspaper called Folket (printed on July 15 1988). I reprinted this in RETROFUTURE 5 last year. Enjoy!

* * * * *

John, I understand that you have followed Glenn´s career closely through the years, is that correct?

John / – Yes, I guess I was about twelve when I first heard Deep Purple´s “Burn” and then I bought “Stormbringer” and “Come Taste The Band”, the Trapeze albums and his solo record “Play Me Out”. I always thought that Glenn was the best singer in Deep Purple, that he was better than David Coverdale.

It must be a little strange to get to work with an old idol?

John / – Yes, it certainly is, but it is a wonderful thing. Glenn is a bit funky and that suits the band just fine.

Glenn / – It can only be a matter of time before the world realise just how good John is. I know that he is big here in Sweden already, but I am talking about the world. More people will take him seriously now that I am working with him. John is the only guitarplayer today that can mix speed with emotion. He is the best guitarist in the world right now.

Glenn, it is a well known fact that you have seen some bad things during your career, is the prospect of a six month tour a frightening thought?

Glenn / – No, because in this band we are friends. It is also the first drug free band that I have ever worked with. For once I don´t have to be surrounded by people that take drugs. It is nice to not have to be part of that scene. I left Los Angeles for Atlanda for that very reason, I felt I needed the change. I stopped doing drugs five years ago for the simple reason that I want to live. Me and my girlfriend live on a ranch outside the city and we have some animals there. It is a good life.

Is it true that you were going to form a band with Tommy Bolin?

Glenn / – Yes, we had talked about it. He was my best friend and we talked about doing something when he had finished touring for “Private Eyes”. It never happened. I was at his funeral and it was a terrible thing.

So how did you hook up with John Norum?

Glenn / – When John left Europe I heard from fan club people in England that he liked me. I knew who he was because I had heard “The Final Countdown” and his playing on that was impressive. In September last year, I did an interview with Anders Tengner and I asked him if he knew John. He did, so he contacted him that same night and played the interview for him. Next morning around ten he called me up and we started to talk on a daily basis. You should have seen the phone bills! Eventually, he asked me to come over and see him play at Hammersmith Odeon in March.

Which songs from Glenn´s past are you going to perform live?

John / – We have rehearsed Purple´s “Lay Down Stay Down” and I would really love to do “Burn” as well. Gary Moore´s “Reach For The Sky”, naturally. Hughes Thrall´s “I Got Your Number”. I personally think that Pat Thrall is the best guitarist that Glenn has ever worked with in the past. “Coast To Coast” is another favourite. Plus, we will play my “Total Control” album. It is that record that I need to promote right now. We will not record a new record until next summer.

Glenn, some of your lyrics deal with strange things. On your 1977 solo album you have a track about Flying Saucers, have you seen anything yourself or…

Glenn / – No, but I am looking all the time (laughs). I do read about it and of other phenomena, it interests me. Ritchie Blackmore had strange seances going on when Deep Purple recorded in Clearwell Castle, but it was too scary for me. Things would be flying around in the air. I think it is wise to stay clear of things that you don´t know too much about. Even Ritchie could get freaked out, but then he scares easily. I do admire him, he is one of the great personalities in rock.

Have you met anybody from Deep Purple since the split in 1976?

Glenn / – Not really. But I don´t mind them carrying on because I am still part of the Purple organisation so I am still making money from those days. “Burn” is selling really well on CD right now.

Is it a bit strange to move to Sweden for this project now?

Glenn / – No, but everybody assumes that it is. To me it is just another step in my career and you go where the work is. I have already made some friends in Stockholm.

What is the name of this band really?

Glenn / – We will probably go out as John Norum featuring Glenn Hughes on this tour, after that I don´t know. Norum Hughes maybe? It doesn´t really matter as long as people know who we are. Me and John are going to sell the albums. Kind of reminds you of the Mick Jagger and Keith Richards situation, uh (laughs)?

* * * * *

Michael Eriksson (1988)

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

* * * * *

Tarja – beautiful and clever

Posted: September 17, 2013 in Classic Rock

Tarja_2013_album

Tarja Turunen is the most interesting artist in rock today and when she is surrounded by people that can support and nurture her great things happen. Her ambition seems to be to create the perfect blend of classical scores and the like, with the possibilities of rock. Two great sources, if you know how to fuse some of it to the kind of thing that we can hear on this record. “Colours In The Dark” sucks you into her world with ease, a place many have come to love deeply.

I hear plenty of wonderful things on this record, created with the kind of talent that is quite rare in rock today. In fact, I hear great music and little moments of pure magic here and there, but I don´t hear the hits that this world wants and expects. Tarja may want that, for the recognition, but she is going to have it on her own terms. I suppose some of these songs could pop up in movies etc, which could help.

Also, I wonder what a collaboration with Tony Iommi or Ritchie Blackmore could have added to some of this stuff? Some of the riffs here are not grand enough to quite fit in. Apart from that, lovely album. It will take months to digest it all.

This is an artist worthy of your support.

(My image of said album)

20130913

Here is a current snapshot from the basement, as I carry boxes down to it for the eventual move to the countryside – the project that I have christened Operation Final Countdown, or Operation Make It Happen You Lazy Bastard (take your pick). Most of these boxes are filled with books and comic books. I have barely scratched the surface yet though, so this needs to be done. It will help me tremendously when the big day arrives to have done this.

In any case, got far too much stuff tucked away that might as well be boxed up, so I quite enjoy this little project. I am absolutely convinced that I will buy a place someday, I just have to locate the right one that is up for grabs whenever that happens. Looking for it is all part of the fun.

I fill new boxes with stuff as soon as I get new ones, so I am really looking forward to the arrival of RETROFUTURE 6 (Western edition). It is a little sad to have parts of such wonderful collections sitting in the basement, but it will be like Christmas day when I finally get to unpack it all.

To be continued…

(The second image shows S.S Thomée cruising Lake Storsjön, The Great Lake)

Storsie_2013beer

Jämtlands Bryggeri, a local brewery, went public today with the Christmas Beer of 2013 that will be available from mid-November in these parts, and as you can see they have gone with a Great Lake Monster on the bottle this time. They estimate to sell around 270.000 bottles according to their homepage.

One of these bottles will certainly end up in my old collection.