Archive for October, 2019

Deep Purple are doing dates next summer in Europe and we know that there has been talk about another studio album (the third produced by Bob Ezrin). This takes them into 2021 or 2022 which is truly amazing. The Bob Ezrin produced albums – “Now What?!” (2013) and “Infinite” (2017) – certainly ranks among the very best of the entire reunion period so they have every right to take it further until they feel the time is right to end it all. Thus the much talked about Long Goodbye Tour that was initiated two years ago will roll on for some time yet. Well, they did call it The Long Goodbye after all, and we all know that we are getting close to the finale. In a sense they are still one big motherfucker of an underground band, with endless tours being the norm. They may be under the radar but when (or if) they roll into your city, you will know about it. They are a living, breathing legend. Looks like time is the only enemy they have got at this point, these guys have got nothing to prove to anybody. Formed in 1968, the real Anniversary however will be for “In Rock” (1970) and that comes up in June 2020, right when they are out there doing their thing. Then it will be 50 years of hard rock. Or Classic Rock as they say these days. As you know I used to publish Deep Purple magazines in Sweden (about 60 all in all) and although it is hard to work up too much enthusiasm over the fact that they are still out there (they are after all promoting a very old style of music at this point), I can still feel proud to have been a small part of the support for a couple of decades. But in no way did I ever think that they would last this long. And they have. Braving the odds, they always had enough talent to pull it off. And the support has never waned too much. I do feel that the time has come to wrap things up though, let the seventh album with Steve Morse be the end, the final bow. Then watch the legend grow, again.

(Seen above is DEEP PURPLE FOREVER #27, published by me in September 2000 – Steve Morse photographed by Michael Johansson at Sweden Rock Festival that year)

Commando 5275-5278

Posted: October 31, 2019 in Comics

Commando 5275-5278 is out today in the UK. Just search for “Commando comics” should you want to subscribe.

(Covers courtesy of Commando)

Babymetal has just announced that they will appear at the Greenfield Festival in Switzerland in June. That is the main season for big rock festivals in Europe so we can certainly expect more dates soon. And today it was nine years ago that Babymetal recorded the vocals for the very first song, “Doki Doki Morning”. The moment was captured on film and can be seen on the Sakura Gakuin DVD “Smile”. They have already indicated a big celebration of some sort next year.

(Official festival image)

Old Sins

Posted: October 30, 2019 in Books, Cool stuff

If you are anything like me you will love this book. “Death Is A Lovely Dame – Great Lines from the Golden Era of Crime Fiction” (Automat, 2016) takes you back to the halcyon days of crime fiction. Edited by Jeff Vorzimmer, you also get the best foreword ever written. Some people may frown at this stuff, but why should we care?

(My shot of said book)

Babymetal hype

Posted: October 28, 2019 in Babymetal, Classic Rock, Cool stuff, Magazines

Added Japanese publication Young Guitar (#11 2019) to the old collection (seen here to the right). Roughly half the content is Babymetal (100 pages of 210), so you get a lot for your money here. Back in 2016 they had their first cover (#5) and they (Yui was still in the band then) posed with the Babymetal guitars that came out back then. Not sure what Su and Moa are posing with on the new cover but whatever it is that Su holds has nine strings. Japanese magazines have a very high standard.

And speaking of magazines, I have seen a half page ad for “Metal Galaxy” in the final issue of Swedish publication Close-Up now (#220), so finally a sign that they got some promotion here. Major newspaper Aftonbladet killed the album back on October 11 but any fan could tell that the reviewer knew next to nothing. The sad thing is that it was written by a rock fan. Back in the day when they killed everything we liked (Rainbow, Sabbath etc etc), at least it was done by people that hated our music. But this? This is just sad.

(My shot of said Young Guitar issues)

Swedish rockers Velvet Insane wrapped up a video shoot a few hours ago (in Nälden, Jämtland County) that kept them busy all night long. They have a new album coming up and the first single, “Brand New Start” will be released in mid-December. It features Bruce Kulick which is kind of a big deal. In any case, I spent a couple of hours with the band around midnight last night and captured some images from this particular shoot. Looking forward to seeing the full blown video. And yes, it is a bloody good song. Well done chaps.

Track details: Produced by Tomas Eriksson (Kaipa Da Capo), mixed by Martin Sweet (Crashdiet), Jesper Lindgren & Bruce Kulick (guitars), Jonas Eriksson (vocals), Lennart Dahlström (piano), Fredrik Thurfjell (saxophone), Ludvig Andersson (bass), Erik Edlund (drums).

To be continued…

(Thank you for your support Kalle)

BLUE ÖYSTER CULT

Winter is coming so I am adding some books to the old collection. Got this one the other day, “Blue Öyster Cult – every album, every song” (Sonicbond Publishing, 2019) by author Jacob Holm-Lupo. It is part of the “On track…” series that this publisher has, with books written by major fans of different bands. I do have a soft spot for Blue Öyster Cult and this is the second book I have in my collection now. Loads of images inside by Bolle Gregmar from Scandinavian tours. I remember Bolle from the early 1980s when I wrote for a newspaper called Helsingborgs Dagblad in his neck of the woods. I recall him helping me out with a story on Blue Öyster Cult at the time. Holm-Lupo is a Norwegian musician and journalist and he has done a good job here. 162 pages.

BABYMETAL

No chart entry for Babymetal in Sweden (Top 60) for physical copies of “Metal Galaxy”. It entered the Top 20 Hard Rock chart at #15 a week ago but dropped off yesterday. I have seen no promotion for “Metal Galaxy” at all, not even a small ad in Sweden Rock Magazine. It did well here on iTunes but what does that mean? Looks like my generation – rockers that actually buy physical product – is unaware of Babymetal. Sadly, that is the reaction I get all the time. Looks like Sweden is missing the boat.

CRYSTAL VIPER

Polish Heavy Metal band Crystal Viper has a new album out on November 22 called “Tales Of Fire And Ice”. I will buy the CD as well as the Blue Vinyl.

(My shot of said BÖC book)

Bought a rather excellent Ronnie James Dio biography by author James Curl (JC Publications, 2018). Titled “Ronnie James Dio – A Biography of a Heavy Metal Icon” it spans the mans life from his childhood (and early bands) to his death in 2010. Curl has managed to interview loads of people that knew Ronnie, worked with him, or had deeply emotional meetings. Obviously, his music from “Ritchie Blackmore´s Rainbow” (1975) and onwards touched millions, and continues to do so. But he was also a man involved in very positive things (not least charities) that few knew about, apart from high profile projects like Hear´n Aid “Stars” (1986). The author captures his journey well and although I have been a major fan since 1975 (and read many interviews), there are still details in this book that I had little knowledge of. I am honored to have a quote in it from my 2001 interview with the man (that you can find on this blog if you go to August 2012), although I did not know about it. Happens all the time these days. It dawned on me as I read this book that Dio was 58 when he recorded “Magica” (one of my all time Dio favourites), and I am 58 now. Is it not strange that he has been gone nearly a decade now? Makes you think. All in all, a good read. Cover shot by David Plastik. 244 pages.

(My shot of said book)

BABYMETAL

Got Kerrang! #1794 in the mail. With a Babymetal cover and a dozen pages inside dedicated to them it is an instant collectors item. Babymetal has added every track from the “Metal Galaxy” album to their YouTube page, so anybody can check it all out no problem.

FREDDIE MERCURY

The recently released Freddie Mercury compilation set “Never Boring” is doing good business. The “Bohemian Rhapsody” film of last year has worked wonders to introduce and to rekindle interest in his legacy, as well as Queen.

LEAVES´EYES

Viking rockers Leaves´Eyes has a brand new EP coming up on November 22 titled “Black Butterfly”. Good cover too.

(My shot of Kerrang! Magazine with framed 2013 poster from Tower Records in the back)

Got this today, a Double Vinyl compilation with Chuck Berry titled “Roll over Beethoven – The Ultimate Rock´n´Roll Album”. Released in France in 2017 it spans the 1955-1961 period of Chuck Berry. The iconic cover shot looks great (credited to Zuma/Dalle). So glad that Vinyls are selling well again.

(My shot of said release)