Archive for September, 2020

Jobcentre Rejects 4 On Vinyl

Posted: September 30, 2020 in Classic Rock, Cool stuff

Got this in the mail the other day along with some other Vinyls, Jobcentre Rejects 4 “Ultra Rare First Wave Of Swedish Heavy Metal 1978-1983”. I blogged about this title last week and since then I have seen positive press in major (Swedish) newspaper Aftonbladet, as well as in Classic Rock (280, Motörhead cover). A friend at work speculates that the cover art is lovingly inspired by the first Europe album (as in the original cover with the guys), and you can certainly spot traces of the Europe logo in the Jobcentre Rejects artwork. Whatever is going on there, the artwork by Oscar Nordblom (finally figured out who the cover artist is for these releases) has a certain charm to his work that works well for this series. The identity makes it stand out, and one can feel the love for the subject at hand and share the feelings. I have also realized that the On The Dole label is a one (Super)man operation, working out of Sweden, which makes this enterprise even more glorious. The collectors will love this. And if you collect Vinyls this is a good one. I think the key word here is “charming”. It just is. On every level. And I think it has had an impact on the scene. Long-standing fans and musicians are certainly talking about it. I really hope that sales will be good enough for this stuff to continue to pop up.

Well done.

(My shot of the back & front of said release, loads of information and images if you flip it over)


Commando 2021 Calendar

Posted: September 30, 2020 in Calendars, Comics, Cool stuff

Commando will hit 60 next year, which is pretty respectable. They always excel with their annual calendars and I think the 2021 one looks incredibly good.

Not a bad choice for 2021 then.

(Image courtesy of Commando)

Very happy to finally have Rainbow “Live In Munich 1977” on Vinyl (Triple no less). It was the final era of the Ronnie James Dio fronted years and they were incredibly good. Nice packaging and good writing about what went down back in the day from Simon Robinson (Deep Purple Appreciation Society). This is how you release classic stuff.

(My shot of said release)

War Comics Treasure Revisited

Posted: September 26, 2020 in Books, Comics, Cool stuff

UK publisher Rebellion has dusted off three classic issues of war comic book Air Ace Picture Library – 65 (August 1961), 428 (March 1969) and 182 (February 1964) – all dealing with the Battle Of Britain and drawn by legendary artist Ian Kennedy (still active for Commando Comics to this day). Issued now as War Picture Library (also a title borrowed from the golden era of war comics), and roughly twice as big as the original comic books, what you get is 130 pages of cultural history (using actual history as the background for suspense and action). More titles will follow. This blog has a detailed interview with Ian Kennedy from 2004 archived in August 2012, so you can visit that should you want to dive deeper into this scene (and Commando/Kennedy in particular).

(My shot of said book)

Rolf Gohs Is Gone

Posted: September 25, 2020 in Comics, Cool stuff

I was not aware that Swedish artist Rolf Gohs had passed away (he was born in Estonia but came here during WWII as a youngster). I only picked up on this when the Swedish comic book Fantomen (The Phantom) published issue 20 with one of his classic cover artworks as they rightfully highlighted his career. Rolf had countless covers between 1957 and 2012 for this publication and also produced his own comics. For a guy like me, his work is part of my cultural DNA. I think this cover kind os speaks for itself. He was a tremendous talent.

(My shot of Fantomen 20 2020)

Bought UK publication NEO (issue 200) to see what they are up to. They cover Anime, Asian film, Music, Cosplay, Manga etc. I did spot an interesting ad from a UK based record label called JPU Records that specializes in Japanese music and I recognised the artist whom turned out to be Isana Kagami (much beloved Babymetal & Band-Maid t-shirt wizard). Turns out you can buy some really cool designs from this artist from the JPU Records site along with releases from a lot of bands including Lovebites, Aldious, Ladybaby, Fate, Band-Maid and PassCode (all mentioned earlier on this blog). I always said that it would be great if a label zoomed into Japanese stuff and here it is. As for the magazine, I can see why people would buy this title to get access to some of the latest news and happenings from Asia.

(My shot of the last spread in the NEO 200 issue, highlighting the art by Isana Kagami and JPU Records)

As yet another Deep Purple concert from 1985 (Paris) is about to be released (October 23) on CD, again with a terrible cover, the collector in me is just about to give up. I remember the reunion era when the bootlegs started to pop up (some with really nice covers), at least you felt that it mattered as a collector even if you were ripped off in one way or another. People like me are the target audience for the rare stuff, and it has been like that for decades (ever since the early 1970s). I have a healthy collection but I stopped buying everything in the 1990s, simply because there was too much. The Purple Family has always been heavily bootlegged. Enter the 2020s and a flood of radio and television broadcasts are licensed on small labels (not just Purple Family stuff, but Classic Rock acts in general), only this time around you get shitty covers. For some reason, the fan made products from way back looked (and still do) way better. When I saw the cover of “Live In Paris 1985” I decided that enough is enough. If you are going to spend three minutes on the cover then I am not going to buy it. Not unless the gig in itself is from a period that can not be refused. But the reunion era Purple of say 1984-1987 produced some fairly mundane shows. The source of the Paris show is (likely) the well known television broadcast from France, but it never sounded great and Ian Gillan had a bad day. If you want me to buy that for the collection you better have a pretty great cover. The quality of the old bootlegs were on such a level that some of it was copied and released officially in the “Collectors Edition – The Bootleg Series 1984-2000” some years ago. I would rather see classic stuff in boxes like that and have the money going to the right people than seeing all these dubious releases now. Even if some money is going to the guys for something like “Live In Paris 1985” I doubt that the players enjoy seeing it the way it is presented. I guess maybe they never did enjoy this side of the business, or perhaps on rare occasions only, but at least some of the old inofficial stuff looked great and captured some excitement. In this day and age, when money can be spent on fantastic boxes and reissues that actually looks better than ever in some cases, the second rate stuff is something that I will have to let go. On top of this, there are great bands around now that I would rather support as well (old and new). And that would include what these guys are doing today. But any bootlegs or anything like that (official soundboard stuff included) better look darned good or I will not care. Those days are officially over.

Seen here is the following Purple bootlegs from the reunion period: “Nobody´s Home” (Detroit 1985), “Call Of The Wild” (Stockholm 1987), “Hungary Days” (Budapest 1987), “Third Night” (Stockholm 1985), “The Return Of The Knebworth Fayre” (Knebworth Festival 1985), “Highway Stars” (Adelaide 1984), “Back In Action” (Melbourne 1984). Three of these has been copied and released officially: “Hungary Days”, “Third Night” and “Highway Stars” (three of the six they put out in the box I mentioned above).

(My shot of some of the classic reunion era bootlegs from back in the day)

Now here is an album that will touch your heart, and it has every chance to be a good seller. I saw a glimpse of this last Friday morning on a Swedish morning show on TV4 as journalist Jan Gradvall presented this record in front of a fair chunk of the population. It does not take too many viewers that like this for word to spread. Two Volumes in this series will be released on the same day (on September 25), the third Volume “Ultra Rare First Wave Of British Heavy Metal 1978-1983” (perhaps the final release covering the UK scene?) and the fourth that is titled “Ultra Rare First Wave Of Swedish Heavy Metal” 1978-1983″. The latter is the one that interests me the most since I was around back in the day and got involved in my own way (not as a musician, but in other guises – I did present the scene Stateside in CREEM METAL and used the First Wave Of Swedish Heavy Metal phrase, hoping it would catch on!). Silver Mountain is really the only well known band from the era here (with the Johansson brothers that would find fame in Yngwie Malmsteen´s Rising Force in the early 1980s), the rest never really got that lucky break. But they were all busy in their small towns around the country and they all made their own mark within the scene. The bands on offer here are Mercy, Stitch, Greensleves, Ironside, Highbrow, Turbo, Quix, Trazer, Silver Mountain, Squetters, Paradize and Behemoth. I did see Silver Mountain live, so they were out there and they had a reputation. Got to love the actual cover too (artist is unknown to me at the moment), especially the Heavy Load and 220 Volt t-shirts that are there for the trainspotters to see. If this Volume of Jobcentre Rejects sell, I have to assume that the label will go for more Swedish bands and highlight what went down here back in the day even more. There is a ton of great acts from those days, many of whom are worthy of being highlighted. And after that, maybe Germany, Japan or America awaits? This series could go on forever.

(My shot of the Swedish flag, album cover inserted)


The second of the trilogy of the currently planned Whitesnake Compilations will be released on November 6. Titled “Love Songs” it features 15 tracks and it will be out on CD & Vinyl.


Fans of the short lived Coverdale Page project will have a Double CD titled “The Studio Broadcast” to pick up any day now. Released under the name David Coverdale & Jimmy Page on a small label, there is no way in hell that David and Jimmy has been involved in this. There are a lot of radio shows being released by acts like Van Halen, Thin Lizzy, Led Zeppelin, AC/DC etc etc. You have to wonder what the artists think about it all. I have not seen a story about this in the rock press, but it is a mystery that needs to be explained.


The classic Rainbow release “Live In Munich 1977” is out on Vinyl (Triple). Looking good too.


Singer Ronnie Romero (of latter day Rainbow fame) has a new album out with his band Lords Of Black in early November called “Alchemy Of Souls, Part 1”. There is a video on YouTube for the song “Dying To Live Again”.


The official Ozzy Osbourne YouTube Channel has added the documentary “30 Years After The Blizzard” for free viewing for a week (today being day two). Sadly, Bob Daisley and Lee Kerslake is not in it. The “Blizzard Of Ozz” album turned 40 today.

(Seen above is DEEP PURPLE FOREVER issue 18 with a cover shot of David Coverdale by photographer Ola Bergman – published in November 1997)

Celebrating Beetle Bailey

Posted: September 20, 2020 in Comics, Cool stuff

Beetle Bailey is still going strong in Scandinavia. As the comic celebrates its 70th Anniversary, it has also had its own comic book Knasen in Sweden for 50 years. To make a point they have made a “Back To The Future” inspired cover for this issue (16/17 2020), with an actual adventure inside (written by Sam Klein). I still buy a copy of this comic book every now and then, if it has a good cover (and this certainly qualifies and goes into the old collection). 120 pages of nostalgia.

(My shot of said cover)