Archive for February, 2021

The Battle

Posted: February 28, 2021 in Comics, Cool stuff

The Napoleonic wars has seldom inspired creators of comics but here we have the first book (out of three, all titled “The Battle”) that deals with The Battle of Aspern-Essling in 1809. The Grande Armée is crossing into Austria over the river Danube and we get to follow a cast of characters that enables us to see the action from different angles. Based on a novel by Patrick Rambaud, Frédéric Richaud and Ivan Gil has done a wonderful job of adapting this story into the comic book format. Two of the books are out, the third is coming out in April. Published by Cinebook in the UK.

(My shot of the first book)


Going through the old fanzines (see last post) I can see that there may be a good option for people that used to collect the Deep Purple Forever! magazines. Obviously that all ended in 2003 after 32 issues, but I continued to publish Deep Purple related stuff right up to the very end in 2015 (through the SLICE & RETROFUTURE days). What I could do for fans that want the post Deep Purple Forever! stuff without forking out a fortune in postage for the actual magazines, is that I could cut out the Purple Family stuff and sell it all in a bundle. I will have to investigate how many pages it would be but people could get the stuff they are interested in in this way for sure. I will look at it and get back to you on this.

(Top image shows first spread of 4 page Ian Gillan story in PIZZA 2007 by Staffan Eriksson)

When I bought this place I had a lot of ideas for the future and I have been busy ticking the list of little projects ever since. This week has been very busy down in the basement (which also includes a music room, a library etc) as I have ripped out an old sauna and converted the space into a storage room for my fanzines. This means that I will now get access to all that stuff for the first time in well over a decade. I am still sorting it out – that is quite the process in itself – but this means that I will be able to offer back issues of all this stuff to collectors out there one of these days. I have a few crazy busy weeks ahead of me but this is going to happen fairly soon. I know that some of you have been waiting for this for years.

(My shots from said ex-sauna)

I just love this. It is cool on so many levels. What you see is a miniature diorama (1/35) of Babymetal at the 2014 Sonisphere Festival in the UK (classic gig). The creator is Koichi Hara from Kariya in Japan and I asked him if I could showcase this on the blog. His main hobby is to create miniature drum kits from scratch and this diorama is built around one of these works (in this case, the kit that Kami band member Hideki Aoyama performed with on that day). The work is not for sale, it is a labor of love. I asked Koichi Hara if he could write a few words about this and this is his comments.

– “My job is to develop and design car parts. Now I am making an environmentally friendly car. I make miniature drums as a hobby when time permits on weekends. Cut the copper and brass plates with my own hands, bend them, solder them together and assemble them. After that, I shape it with a file. I do not use a machine. I make it as a hobby, so I do not sell it. I have made 50 drum sets. I will continue to make them”. (Koichi Hara)

Very inspirational. 10 out of 10 on the old cool-o-meter.

(Diorama shot by Koichi Hara, used with permission – Many thanks!)

The Whitesnake Red, White & Blues Trilogy is now complete and David Coverdale has certainly whipped up new interest in his career and for the remaining boxes that will start to pop up next. I have to say that I have enjoyed these releases through and through. “The Blues Album” works very well with tasty rockers and epics from “Slide It In” and onwards. All revisited, remixed and remastered. I have never seen an artist revisit his music like this with such passion before.

(My shot of said releases)

The Hellfest 2021 Festival over in France has been cancelled. It was supposed to happen on June 18-19-20, but the current restrictions (that would allow 5,000 people, all seated and socially distanced) effectively put a stop to the event. For a festival that would draw 60,000 per day, it was just not possible to go ahead. Different countries has different restrictions, but this is clearly a bad omen as far as this festival season is concerned. A clear signal that 2021 is not going to be what everybody had hoped for after all. Like many other festivals, Hellfest had largely managed to keep the 2020 bill (compare the posters) intact for the 2021 festival. Imagine trying to do that yet again. Tricky situation. The bigger question if this is the trend for 2021 is this: How many festivals will be able to survive at all? This could be the breaking point, and it is sad beyond belief to witness this go down.

(Top image shows the 2021 & 2020 posters for the Hellfest festival)

Added these publications to the old collection, Bassplayer (402) from the UK and Young Guitar (1 2021) from Japan. Female rock pioneer Suzi Quatro in the early 1970s (maybe around 1973) and Babymetal in late 2020 on the covers. We all loved Suzi back in the day, she had a lot of charisma and she had the hits (still love “48 Crash”). She was a trailblazer and she is active to this day. Nearly five decades later everything has changed. Women have been a force in Metal for a long time. Babymetal is the biggest export from Japan ever and easily the most entertaining act in the entire galaxy. I have to believe that Suzi is watching them thinking “You go girls!”. She was pretty alone out there in her glory days and she talks about how it was in this magazine. It was tough but she prevailed. At 70, she has sold 50,000,000 albums. Not bad for a solo artist. The Young Guitar magazine looks at the first decade of Babymetal and cover their journey so far over 100 plus pages. Like Suzi in her day, Babymetal has launched an army of young girls that are now forming Metal bands, particularly in Japan. The future is assured. We love the history and we are looking forward to what comes next. And if Babymetal proved one thing and one thing alone, it is that you can never ever predict what is going to happen down the road. But it can certainly be wonderful. That they did prove.

(My shot of said magazines – thank you Kalle for securing the Young Guitar magazine to the collection)


Posted: February 21, 2021 in Cool stuff

Made in China, if you can believe that…

(My shot of said t-shirt – thank you for the gift Kalle)


Posted: February 20, 2021 in Jämtland (County), Prepping

We have had an awful lot of snow this season in these parts (Jämtland County, Sweden). See what appears to be a hill covered with snow on this image? That is a mountain of snow on a parking lot in Östersund, and tractors are still adding to it. Imagine having that job? I had to call in some help to remove snow from my property a couple of weeks ago. I was losing the battle. I still have some snow on my yard that is as high as my garage. Hopefully 2022 will be a bit easier. Pretty interesting though.

(My shot of this parking lot)

Volume 4 Super Deluxe Box

Posted: February 19, 2021 in Books, Classic Rock, Cool stuff

And so the “Volume 4 – Super Deluxe” Box arrives, with more goodies and nostalgia than most rockers of my age can handle. The chemical reaction in your brain goes BOING!! and you get this feeling of joy, like you have just won a million on the lottery. That is what these boxes do to me when they are properly made to give value for money (and there is a lot of money!). On the other hand, the value will never drop if you handle these boxes with care. They will be out of print one day and then the nostalgia will kick up interest a notch or two. The caretakers of the Black Sabbath legacy is doing a fine job. Yes, there is money to be had, but these guys deserve to be remembered for what they achieved all those years ago. The music still speaks for itself.

So what you get here (what you see is the LP version) is the original album remastered, then you have two LPs of unreleased outtakes, a double live LP recorded in 1973, a colour poster and a 40 page book (and I love the books). So you can kill hours with this set and go back in time to that happy place. The box itself looks very smart. Yep, this one rates highly on the old cool-o-meter.

(My shots of said box, unopened and the stuff inside)