Archive for October, 2013

Party_preps 

Loads of work connected to the upcoming Deep Purple party of mine at Jane Doe here in Östersund (Jämtland county, Sweden), planned to take place on Saturday November 23 (kicking off at 19.00, see earlier posts). Hundreds and hundreds of magazines (RETROFUTURE 6 – both editions) with information about the party is going out right now in many ways, many of them simply dropped in mail boxes in the general area. Pictured here is part of a couple of hundred RETROFUTURE 6 (Purple edition) that I have just prepared. Needless to say, this is one hell of a campaign. But it is all part of me ending this hobby of mine with some interesting moments – and a proper Deep Purple party is obviously going to be a good one. 62 out of the 100 magazines that I have published since 1978 have been Deep Purple Fan Club issues (DEEP PURPLE MAGAZINE existed 1978-1983 and DEEP PURPLE FOREVER 1991-2003). Many interviews and articles have been in print after that as well, as many of you know. Plenty of magazines will be up for grabs on this night (see earlier post).

Packages with books, DVD´s, CD´s etc are still coming in. Fans will have a decent shot at getting something for free on this night. I am calling in lots of favours and some real goodwill from great people that I have been in touch with over the years. Some of the response has been very heartwarming to say the least.

I will present a snapshot before the night showing it all. Any Purple related club (or artist) out there that wants to add something to this certainly can. I have noticed that plenty of people have picked up on this. I can be contacted through this blog (see categories).

Local media (newspapers and radio) has been notified about the party, we will see if somebody picks up on this before it happens or if somebody decides to just cover it on the night in question.

Tasted one of the drinks they are creating at Jane Doe for the party last week, very tasty. Somebody will get hammered… I detected a bottle of Fireball Whisky as well, I didn´t know that such a brand existed. Google it! Very fitting for this night I would say.

As I have said before there will not be a band but I have called some friends in to do the music as DJ´s. I don´t want to mention names, let it be a surprise for the night! I do feel blessed by the response. Nobody is making any money on this (except the establishment, but that´s OK, good fun to support a local rock club I say) – this is for the love of Deep Purple and the Purple family and all the great music. And for meeting people that share this love.

I will drop off 50 copies of RETROFUTURE 6 (Purple edition) at Jane Doe tomorrow (Thursday), with a heads up about the party.

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Charles XII – plastic soldiers

Posted: October 29, 2013 in Hobby

Zvezda_artillery 

Found this box, still wrapped in plastic. Little plastic soldiers (1/72) from manufacturer Zvezda (Russia), with horses, wagons and artillery pieces. I used to love these kits when I was a lad, had plenty of them in all kind of colours. When I grew up it was all Airfix stuff, now the scene has changed and the few places that still sell this stuff has a lot of sets from all over the world to offer.

I like the fact that this is Swedish soldiers, from the Charles XII era. Sweden invaded Russia back then so I can see why a Russian market can exist.

MP_twobooks 

Here is a couple of goodies that will be handed out at the upcoming Deep Purple party at Jane Doe in Östersund on November 23. Two signed books by author Martin Popoff – the first two that he wrote about the band. These are quite rare in Sweden so this is quite exclusive. Stay tuned for more updates on this event.

I did interview Martin Popoff for my TOP SECRET 2009 publication once, which is up on this blog should you want to read it. Martin has said nice things about this blog too, which is very nice.

– “Man, I could just read that forever… so cool. You have almost created your own alternate universe”.

Lovely feedback from a true rocker.

20131027 

Last year we (the RETROFUTURE team) visited Brunflo Kastal in Jämtland County, to take some snapshots of the battlegrounds of 1644, when a Swedish army defeated the locals under Norwegian command. Jämtland belonged to Norway back then, and plenty of wars were fought over the centuries before these crucial days when history took place in these parts. The wars were not yet over, but Jämtland became a Swedish County in 1645 and it still is to this day.

Yesterday we returned to this place and delivered 100 free copies of RETROFUTURE 6 (Western edition) – with a centre spread about the 1644 battle – to people living in this area, including the villages Hälle and Gärde that were burnt to the ground in the battle.

This is all part of my current RETROFUTURE project in which about 10.000 magazines have now gone out like this around Jämtland, especially around Lake Storsjön, The Great Lake.

It is a lovely project and the feedback has been very good.

(Photograph by Seth Nilsson – many thanks!)

Nina_1 

I photographed local model Nina for my Montana Blue novel twice in 2010, a project that has reached quite a reputation since then. I have just published a 4 page interview with Nina in RETROFUTURE 6 (Western edition), and thought that it might be fun to translate it for this blog as well. Good fun.

* * * * *

The Montana Blue novel is basically a Western adventure, although it has some Asgard mythology and Fantasy bits in it as well. Did you have an interest in this genre before this job came up? I guess the Western thing can be a little out of fashion these days.

– I had some interest, mostly since I love horses. I guess it would come naturally to enjoy a good Western and what kid did not love Lucky Luke growing up?

Tell us a little bit about yourself. What hobbies do you have?

– My main hobby is my horse Laida, but it feels wrong to call that a hobby when she feels more like a member of the family. It is more of a lifestyle thing to own a horse. I also enjoy dancing, cheerleading, outdoors life, taking care of all my animals and hang out with friends and family.

I recall that I showed you some old magazines of mine when I approached you for this job. Dakota Jane had been done at that time so you could have a look at that. Do you recall your thoughts when this came up?

– Yes, I thought “This is exciting, of course I want to do this!”. It seemed like a lot of fun.

I recall that we thought about names for the heroine before settling with Montana Blue, and that we took the name into consideration for the outfits we created buying blue shoes etc. We landed in two outfits, the blue one and the other one. Looking back, what do you think about the outfits we created?

– Well, I do actually have a favourite, although I think both were very successful. I do prefer the first one, with the white shirt and the Mocca jacket. That worked very well with the Montana Blue jewellery, I thought.

We had the first session on June 16 (2010), with the Mocca jacket and the hat etc. The blue necklace were there and we used the blue shoes for maybe half the session. We worked at Frösö Island and down by the shore of Lake Storsjön, The Great Lake. How do you recall this today?

– I remember that I was very nervous! I really wanted to live up to your expectations of how you wanted Montana Blue to be. As the day went on I felt that I got it right and it really was a lot of fun then! That whole day is a good memory to have. My favourite spot was down by the lake, we got some really good photographs down there.

Personally, I was very happy with the results of that day and it was obvious that the camera loved you. The second session that we did took place on September 26 at Frösön Island, around composer Wilhelm Peterson-Berger´s residence and down by the lake. Now you wore the blue outfit. What do you recall from that day now?

– I was not nervous anymore, I just had a blast! I had seen the pictures from the first session and I knew what it was all about this time around. It was another good day! My favourite spot that day was that field, I think those shots turned out well. I could get into the part of Montana Blue and really act it out.

The character was introduced with a Making of Montana Blue article in RETROFUTURE 3 in November 2010. 800 copies of this was handed out locally, on a pub called Bishop´s Arms etc, and 200 students in a school at Frösön Island got copies. Could you tell that this was going on at the time?

– Yes, and rather quickly. Friends and relatives got in touch and wanted to know more about this, how it had happened etc. Most of them thought that it was good fun and they wanted to read the novel.

The novel was printed in February 2011 in 400 copies (we signed 50) with a cover that was taken outside the Peterson-Berger place. I got feedback from women who thought the shoes were beautiful, what did you hear on your end?

– I heard a lot of comments from people I know that had seen the magazine. They were all very positive and they really liked the pictures and thought that the novel was very exciting! I even met people that I didn´t know that came up to me and said that they recognised me from the Montana Blue thing. The outfits, and particularly the necklace, was very popular among both women and men that had seen it.

Nina_2

How did it feel to be a heroine in a Western novel?

– Good fun! This is not the sort of thing that happens to you every day. I think it is good to have some fun and to try new things out and I was glad to have done it. And I am looking forward to the comic book version that is in progress, that will be fun to show to the grandchildren some day! How many can say that a comic book heroine was based on them?

At this point, about 1000 magazines that featured Montana Blue was out among the general public. In September 2010 we had RETROFUTURE 4 on which you had the cover (with the blue outfit) and another 800 copies was handed out in different ways to the public. This magazine also sported a preview of the novel. What do you recall from this period?

– Oh, this was an exciting period! It was fun to see these magazines, and to hear feedback from people.

I did enjoy the faked pocket book covers that were made to look like they could have been published around 1970. I showcased a number of such covers in these first two publications. What is your take on these?

– They were very nice and appropriately retro, which they were sopposed to be! I liked some of them very much. It was fun to see the titles and to try to figure out why you had chosen them for the specific covers.

One detail in the novel that I thought was fun is the heroines horse, and her name, Fyrhov (roughly translates to Four Hooves). I though the name was good and I liked that they had such a strong bond to each other.

– Yes, and this is something that I can relate to in real life. The bond that you get with your horse is very special. My horse and I have this bond, we trust each other completely. Like Fyrhov and Montana Blue.

In the summer of 2012, the novel was seen by many as it was re-printed twice. First, it was included in my publication “Storsjöodjuret” (“The Great Lake Monster”), then it went out in GUNSLINGER back to back with the old Dakota Jane novel. So within a few months, another 1800 copies of this novel reached the general public. I recall not telling you about the novel being re-printed in the Great Lake Monster publication as well, so this must have been quite a surprise?

– Yes, it was! But it was good fun to see the novel in print in that magazine as well! I have a good feeling seeing it.

And GUNSLINGER used a shot with the Mocca jacket from the first session. One can wonder what people are thinking when they suddenly get a free Western publication delivered in the mail box? I seem to recall that you got your copies on your birthday?

– Yes, I think that is true. Some present! I remember having dressed up and I was ready to go out and celebrate and then I just wanted to hand out magazines instead.

The Montana Blue novel was mentioned in a review about the Great Lake Monster publication in a major newspaper, DN, did you see that?

– Yes, I saw that! Great fun to be noticed in such a big paper.

Another 900 copies of RETROFUTURE 5 was handed out to the public in September and October 2012, this time with the news that a comic book version is in the works. Could you ever have imagined that such a thing would happen some day when you took this on?

– (Laughs) No, how could one see such a thing coming? Nor could I have thought that it would have become so popular, with so many people having seen it. It just kept growing! I am happy about the comic book version, this is very exciting!

When this interview is being made, the Tornado Blaze novel still have to see the light of day. But you have read it and you do know that this is going to be a spin-off from Montana Blue, and that Montana Blue has died and is now a Valkyrie at the side of Oden in Valhalla. What is your take on this?

– I think it suits Montana Blue just fine to be a Valkyrie. I think she has deserved the honor!

Looking back on all of this, do you feel that it was OK?

– I think it was more than OK! You have been very kind to me right through all of this and it was nice to have been part of this creation. I would do it again.

I am thinking about writing a novel in which we find out how Montana Blue died and became a Valkyrie, in that battle she had alongside Tornado Blaze. Maybe for the last publication in 2015? Any thoughts on that?

– Sounds exciting! Does this mean that I have to dust my old Western boots again? I would love to work with the woman that modelled for Tornado Blaze, she looks like a terriffic gal!

Would you like to add something to this interview?

– Only that I am glad to have done this. I never would have thought that this would have become what it is now back when we started to talk about it. Everything that has happened has been an inspiration and very exciting. I hope that people will continue to have an interest in Montana Blue and the other heroines. Thank you for the ride, it has been a lot of fun.

* * * * *

Michael Eriksson (c).

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

* * * * *

Alverland_book 

My County (Jämtland, Sweden) is far removed from the general production activities of the movie business, but there is nevertheless a very interesting histoy to look back at if you are a serious movie enthusiast. Author Fredrik Alverland is such an enthusiast, and because of him we now have this beautiful 228 page book about everything that has happened over the years in these parts. “Viddernas landskap på vita duken” (Förlag 404, 2013) is a fantastic journey into a past that has been far more prominent than I had thought. I knew of a classic WWII movie that was partly shot here, “The Victors” (1963), but Hollywood has been here again and again through the years, for certain key scenes in movies (what we have got is an incredible nature, so I can understand the reasoning). Among the more interesting films (in my book) we have classics like “Custer of the West” (1968), “Monte Carlo or Bust” (1969) and “The American” (2010, hence George Clooney on the cover, photograph taken by Giles Keyte on lake Storsjön, The Great Lake). Many Swedish films have also been shot here over the years, going back to 1909. The book also features chapters and interviews with local actors and people that has been involved in movies. Ann-Margret the prime example (although she has lived in the States for most of her life). This is a book to be proud of if you live around here and it has “instant classic” written all over it. Any fan of movie history in Sweden will find this a very good read.

I called Fredrik today since I wanted him to have the latest issue of RETROFUTURE (he is a journalist, we first met back in 2010) and I commented on a recently published interview about this book that I had seen. He then told me that he had been meaning to give me a call and that he wanted me to have a copy. A quick exchange a few minutes later resulted in me having a copy of this book and I had asked him to sign it (many thanks!). I was also hugely surprised to note that my name popped up in the credits list (“Michael Retrofuture Eriksson for inspiration – rock on”). Very nice.

The enthusiasts are the ones that get things done proper.

RF6w_arrives 

The 60 page RETROFUTURE 6 (Western edition) has arrived from the printers. So this is it – the 100th anniversary double issue is finally out. The 44 page Purple edition arrived earlier this summer and it is nice to finally have it all. This one took a lot of work, but seeing it now it was all worth it. Just look at that western image on the cover, with model Ellinor Nordbakk posing as Tornado Blaze. You never see that kind of thing anymore. I am proud of this issue.

Busy days ahead then.