John Norum Interview (1988), Europe Live Review (1986) Bonus

Posted: October 18, 2020 in Classic Rock, Classic Rock - Interviews, Cool stuff, Hobby, Jämtland (County)

Every now and then it is good fun to put up some classic stuff from my freelancing days as a rock journalist and today I will add a chat I had with guitarist John Norum as he was about to start his first solo tour in Sweden back in 1988. Publishing date: February 20 1988. Newspaper: LT (Jämtland County, Sweden). Headline: “I promise to give everything that I got – John Norum is looking forward to his visit”. I will also add an earlier Europe review that is sort of connected historically since it deals with playing in Östersund as well. So here we go. Enjoy.

On Tuesday friends of guitar based hard rock will have a field day as John Norum and friends are about to shake the foundations of the Folkets Hus venue in Östersund. And when John Norum occupies the scene it will be a heroes return. After three visits in Östersund with Europe there will be a lot of fans that are eager to welcome him back with his new band. Count on success! In light of this event, which is the first here since 220 Volt performed at the Storsjöyran Festival last summer, I thought it was a good idea to have a talk with the young guitar hero. This was my first chat with the man (in Europe it was always Joey Tempest that did the talking) and he was just as nice as word had him be. An easygoing guy with a very promising future. Here is selected bits from the conversation. Enjoy.

You were a bit ill right before the start of the Swedish tour, what was it?

– “I had a bad cold and I can still feel it. I went to a doctor and he prescribed penecilin which I took for 10 days without it helping very much. Then I did a second check and it turned out that I had inflamed vocal cords. So this means that Göran Edman will have to handle more of the vocals than planned and that feels like a bit of a downer if people then thinks that I can not do what I did on the record live, which is certainly not the case. In rehearsals I sang even better than I had on the album. Maybe it is psychological? I am not sure”.

Name three reasons why it is a good idea to buy a ticket to a John Norum concert.

– “There is a lot to check out if you like guitar based hard rock, action on stage and a good show!”.

How did it feel when you sold Gold with “Total Control”?

– “I knew it might happen but I did not expect it to happen quite so fast. It went Gold in two weeks and so did the “Let Me Love You” single as well. But I knew that there would be some interest after Europe having sold 250,000 copies of “The Final Countdown” in this country”.

One out of every 32 Swedes own a copy of that album. Expectations ought to be quite high, so what can people expect?

– “That I want them to experience themselves. I just hope that we can squeeze in all the gear into the Folkets Hus venue”.

Can you actually make any money yourself when you go out with such a costly show?

– “I do not want to make any money on this tour! The people at EMA (the booking agency) could not believe what they heard when I told them that. I want the money to be spent on the show so that it is as good as it can possibly be. I have made enough money in Europe and I have said that if need be they can cut my salary. All I want to do is to play to people and give them a good show”.

In what countries has the album done the best outside of Scandinavia?

– “Germany, Holland and Japan. They have just started to promote it a bit more in Germany. I was there recently doing some interviews and the record company people were really surprised when I said it was OK to put stickers on my records saying I used to be in Europe. They had thought that I would not like that, but I think it is OK. The more people that get to know who I am, the better”.

How important is it for you to go out under your own name, to decide everything? For instance, how would you react if say David Coverdale gave you a call and asked you to join Whitesnake?

– “Then I would be in Whitesnake tomorrow! I would not hesitate for a second. It is one of my favourite bands. I did hear a rumour that said that Ronnie James Dio had an interest in me before Chraig Goldy joined the band, I still do not know if that is true. But I can not see myself in Dio”.

If you could say something to the fans up here, what would it be?

– “It is going to be great fun to see you all again! After the show we have a couple of days off and we intend to spend them in your fine city. We are looking forward to meeting people and to get new friends”.

Feel yourself at home – give it all you got!

(End of interview)

Michael Eriksson 1988 / Trinkelbonker 2020

EUROPE 1986 LIVE REVIEW. Publishing date: May 3 1986. City: Östersund (Sweden). Newspaper: LT (Jämtland County). Headline: “World class!!”.

This Wednesday, Europe kicked off their third show in Östersund very loudly with the title track from the last album, “The Final Countdown”. A sea of fists in the air from a nearly sold out Folkets Hus (venue) welcomed them. It was a given victory.

Europe is, along with Treat and 220 Volt, the cream of Scandinavian rock and the first thing you can see is how professional they are, and the great self confidence. They are a world class act and they know it. They still have to prove themselves outside of Scandinavia but they have time on their side. Joey Tempest has the same kind of charisma that David Coverdale has and when he takes centre stage he really shines.

Europe belongs to a scene that I would like to see carry the torch from the Purple-generation. They are building their success on good craftmanship and good visuals. And they can really play, they know how to utilise their craft and they keep to the traditional ways of how to present themselves. The volume was a tough thing to handle for parts of the crowd, but this music demands some balls, if you do not have that it will sound like a Gunnar Wiklund (famous Swedish folk singer) performance. Yes, this “general rehearsal tour” clearly indicates that this will be bloody brilliant soon enough. The world awaits – all I can say is Good Luck!

(End of review)

Michael Eriksson 1986 / Trinkelbonker 2020

(My shots of said articles)

CLASSIC ROCK INTERVIEWS ON TRINKELBONKER: ACCEPT 1986 (July 17 2020), DEEP PURPLE 1996 (June 27 2020), EUROPE 1986 (June 16 2020), DEEP PURPLE PODCAST 2020 (April 6 2020), KIMBERLY GOSS/SINERGY 2002 (March 31 2020), RAINBOW 1997 (March 9 2020), RAINBOW 1996 (March 6 2020), MICHAEL BRADFORD 2003/MAKING OF DEEP PURPLE´S “BANANAS” (March 2 2020), URIAH HEEP 1988 (February 18 2020), ANNE-LIE RYDÉ 1984 (January 21 2020), CRYSTAL VIPER 2020 (January 16 2020), JOHN NORUM 1988 (January 12 2020), ARTOMUS FRIENDSHIP 2019 (November 10 2019), NAZARETH 1989 (August 26 2019), VELVET INSANE 2018 (September 11 2018), JON LORD 1981 (December 15 2015), DAVID COVERDALE 1981 (November 13 2015), GLENN HUGHES 1996 (May 12 2015), TOTO 1988 (March 31 2015), YNGWIE MALMSTEEN 1990 (March 1 2015), MARTINA EDOFF 2009 (December 4 2014), MICHAEL MOJO NILSSON 2014 (January 21 2014), THE HUGHES TURNER PROJECT 2001 (December 29 2013), JOE LYNN TURNER 1996-1998 (October 9 2013), GLENN HUGHES & JOHN NORUM 1988 (September 21 2013), JOE LYNN TURNER 1994-1995 (September 9 2013), JOE LYNN TURNER 1993 (September 7 2013), STEVE LUKATHER 1989 (September 4 2013), BLACK SABBATH 1983 (August 22 2013), RAINBOW 1995 (July 19 2013), MICK UNDERWOOD/GILLAN 1982 (June 11 2013), DEEP PURPLE 2002 (May 2 2013), DEEP PURPLE 1998 ( February 25 2013), BLACK SABBATH 1986 (February 12 2013), BLACK SABBATH 1987-1989 (December 31 2012), JOHNNIE BOLIN 2012 (December 24 2012), MARTIN POPOFF & RICH GALBRAITH 2009 (November 12 2012), DAVID COVERDALE 2000 (October 14 2012), JON LORD 1984 (September 7 2012), JOE LYNN TURNER 1992 (August 31 2012), JUDAS PRIEST 1986 (August 22 2012), RONNIE JAMES DIO 2001 (August 20 2012), NIGHTWISH 2002 (August 14 2012).

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