Archive for December, 2020

40% of the Japanese population just saw former X-Japan member Yoshiki perform his song “Endless Rain” on the annual television show Kohaku Uta Gassen via link from Los Angeles (where he played piano on a beach), and also linked from other places we saw members of Queen (Brian May and Roger Taylor) and Sarah Brightman. On a TV stage in Japan, Su-metal and Moametal (of Babymetal) and some additional stars added to the magic of the song as they all shared the moment together. For Su-metal, this night was a dream come true and Babymetal also performed “Ijime, Dame, Zettai”. Babymetal are trending on Twitter in Japan as we speak. I have seen these lovely moments on one of the major platforms, but expect it to be removed.

2020 ended on a high note after all.



Well, it has been a year of turbulence and I think we will all largely remember 2020 as a low point in our lives. Covid-19 overshadowed everything and I think it is fair to say that it has all taken a toll on us all in many different ways. When things started to turn south I decided to write about what was going on from the point of view of the entertainment business. First blog post “Pandemic Threat Could Seriously Hurt The Music Business” went up on February 12 and it was followed by more news on February 28, April 6, May 18, May 25, July 12, July 19, August 18 and September 2 (plus some smaller blog posts about cancelled shows, festivals etc). And it was all rather depressing. And we lost many publications, most notably Kerrang! and Planet Rock.


I did manage to see one show in 2020 and it was Babymetal (Stockholm in early February). Then everything took a dive and it all changed. The 10th Anniversary of Babymetal went out the window and like everybody else they had to scramble and come up with new plans. With official DVD screenings on YouTube (like Wembley and Tokyo Dome 2016) and a high presence on social platforms they have managed to keep a pretty decent profile. The “10 Babymetal Years” compilation album in Japan is currently at No.2 in the Japanese charts. With 10 concerts sheduled for the Budokan in Tokyo in 2021, I can only hope for the best. We are not out of the woods yet. Friends of this blog will know that I collected Babymetal related stuff in 2020 and I had a ball with that. In fact, expect a review of the latest box on this blog within a few days.


Deep Purple originally postponed the new album “Whoosh!” for a few weeks when Covid-19 happened, but decided to release the album after all in August. Third album in a row with producer Bob Ezrin and they all sound great. They may not be young anymore but they have aged like a fine wine. Everybody I know is very happy with this album and sales and interest was certainly prominent. I saw many magazine covers with the guys and that says something. As things stand, it looks like they will record another album before they can return to the road again (hopefully in 2021, but who can say?). So by the looks of it we will get a bonus album from them. An album that was never intended to happen in the first place. Another twist in the tale in their amazing history. Not too much to add from the Purple Family at large but we did get the “Love Songs” collection from Whitesnake and the Blackmore´s Night Christmas EP. Loads of stuff in the pipeline though.


The generations we all grew up with in cinema and music are slowly passing away. Sean Connery (the original 007), Steve Priest (Sweet), Martin Birch (producer), Lee Kerslake (Uriah Heep), Ken Hensley (Uriah Heep), Neil Peart (Rush), Little Richard, Derek Lawrence (producer), Brian Howe (Bad Company), Paul Chapman (UFO), Peter Green (Fleetwood Mac), Pete Way (UFO), Leslie West (Mountain), Keith Olsen (producer), Eddie Van Halen… Every time it happens I get very conscious about time. Add the general stress level of 2020 and I think most people have experienced this on some level.


I have seen this coming but 2020 was really bad. When conservatives can no longer feel welcome on big platforms they will go elsewhere (like Gab). This is all a major mistake and a direct result of the madness of our times. These big platforms may well see the errors of their ways but they have little time to correct this now. My advise to artists is to upload videos on all available platforms, starting now.


A year ago I said that I would get back into conducting new interviews for the blog and it started off nicely with Crystal Viper. Then a couple of interviews went south (not my fault) and I kind of lost interest. I may still add the odd interview but I am not going out of my way to do it anymore (I have to say that). But I still added 16 interviews in total in 2020, mostly classic stuff from the archives. And there is still a lot to dig into there, whenever I feel like it.


I want to be positive but the prepper in me has doubts about what we will see next. Generally speaking, I hope that things get better out there because the alternative is just frightening on so many levels. I think this blog helps me to relax, it is a nice place to go to for me and that is why I do it. I appreciate the interest (such as it is, it is not a big deal), and I plan to carry on as usual in the months ahead. I hope that we will be in a happier world a year from now. I think we can all just say that as we long for better days ahead.

Thank You for your interest / MIKE

(Top image by me, showcasing Babymetal exhibition)

I was met with the terrible news this morning that the much beloved Rock Bar Jane Doe (in Östersund, Sweden) burned to the ground last night. The charming two storey building in the middle of town had served as a rock hangout for years and looking back I have certainly had some memorable and highly enjoyable evenings there myself (Deep Purple party in 2013, RETROFUTURE release party in 2015 etc). When Leslie West passed away about a week ago I said to myself, “Well, that should be it as far as bad news is concerned for 2020”. I was wrong. I wish we could do something about this. For Jane Doe to end like this is just wrong on so many levels. If at all possible, I would like to see Jane Doe rise from the ashes.

(Thank you Kalle for taking the main shot at the site this afternoon)

When I ordered this I thought it was a book but it turned out to be more of a magazine. “Svenskamerikaner – kända och okända” (translates roughly to “Swedish Americans – Known & Unknown”) deals with how descendants of Swedish Americans fared in America. Amazingly, a considerable chunk of the Swedish population migrated to America during the period 1840-1930 (largely due to poverty and in the hope of a better life). Many well known faces in all walks of life therefore has ties to Sweden and it is pretty interesting to find out a little bit more. Among the names that have been selected for this publication we see Maud Adams, Buzz Aldrin, Ann-Margret, Candice Bergen, Ray Bradbury, Greta Garbo, Larry Hagman, Tor Johnson, Kris Kristofferson, Charles Lindbergh, Gloria Swanson and Bo Svenson. Published in 2017 by Sveriges Släktforskarförbund it is a good read. And I love the Greta Garbo cover from the 1933 movie “Queen Christina” (one of my all time favourites). Nice addition to the old collection then.

(My shot of said publication)

Got To Love France

Posted: December 28, 2020 in Cool stuff, TV & Movies

I have to say that the Xena DVD boxes over in France are pretty cool. Somebody put some energy into making them look just that much better than the competition.

(Image from official platforms)

Leslie West Is Gone

Posted: December 27, 2020 in Classic Rock, Cool stuff

Sad to hear that guitarist Leslie West has passed away. His work with Mountain (“Mississippi Queen” alone was an absolute masterpiece) and as a solo artist will never be forgotten. When Mountain reunited in the mid 1980s and released “Go For Your Life” I was a very happy man. They never quite reclaimed past glories but the music was always there. West released his last studio album “Soundcheck” in 2015. Just when you thought that 2020 could not get any worse…

(My shot of the “Go For Your Life” CD)

Angels Unite

Posted: December 26, 2020 in Babymetal, Classic Rock, My photographs

Babymetal singer Su-metal has stated on Rolling Stone Japan that the song “Storytime” by Nightwish is her favourite right now. So she is clearly a fan of Nightwish. “Storytime” was released as a video in 2011 before the release of the “Imaginarium” album shortly thereafter and it featured singer Anette Olzon. Nightwish has had three singers, Tarja Turunen (1996-2006), Anette Olzon (2007-2012) and Floor Jansen (2013-present). Tarja Turunen did mention Babymetal in a facebook post once so we have some indication that she might enjoy them. Can you imagine a collaboration between present day Nightwish and Babymetal? The Internet would go nuts if they released a song together. I could certainly see it happen on a future Babymetal release, since they enjoy doing that sort of thing. And I can not see any reason why Nightwish would not enjoy or at the very least see the benefit of a guest appearance as well. Now that Su-metal has mentioned that she likes them in public, maybe wheels are already turning as we speak? Only The Fox God Knows…

(My images of Tarja Turunen and Babymetal)

Nice Elvis Puzzle

Posted: December 26, 2020 in Cool stuff, Elvis, Hobby, Music (general)

I stumbled across this Elvis Puzzle before Christmas and I think it looks pretty good. 1,000 pieces. It is official too and I like that.

(My shot of said puzzle)

Quigley Down Under

Posted: December 26, 2020 in Cool stuff, TV & Movies

In a sense, “Quigley Down Under” can be seen as the last of the great Westerns. The story takes place in Australia, but the main character Matthew Quigley (Tom Selleck) is from the actual Wild West to take on a job on a ranch Down Under. Released in 1990 this Epic (no other word for it) has the spirit of the all time classics of the genre. Think John Ford, John Wayne, Gregory Peck. Selleck has never been better in my opinion. Frankly, I am a bit surprised that they never did a follow-up. Alan Rickman is the perfect villain (crazy ranch owner) and Laura San Giacomo a crazy woman with a past. It will all blow up, big-time. I enjoyed it yesterday in good company (Hello Kalle!), and it was the perfect film to relax a bit with after Christmas.

(My shot of said DVD)

It was a working Christmas for me but that is OK. Here is a couple of additions for the old collections. 91:an 26 2020 (nice cover by Krister Petersson) for some light reading and the new Blackmore´s Night Christmas Vinyl EP “Here We Come A-Caroling” for the general Soundtrack. Ritchie Blackmore on guitar & mandola is what we get these days but I can really appreciate the cover and the Christmas Spirit of this release. Limited Edition, 2,000 copies (Green Vinyl). I think this stuff rates pretty highly on the old cool-o-meter.

(My shot of these cultural highlights of 2020)