Archive for April, 2021

Glad to see that Swedish rockers Velvet Insane is back. They have an album called “Rock´n´Roll Glitter Suit” out on July 16. I was invited to take some shots of a video shoot (in Nälden, Jämtland County) back in October 2019 and I blogged about this upcoming album then, but then things went quiet. Or sort of. I did notice some activity during 2020 (like them adding a new member to the group) and Jesper Lindgren (pictured above) will always be involved in something. But now we have the official word that the new album is finally on its way and I really dig this cover. I will not be able to resist buying the Gold coloured Vinyl of this one. I think they will have some success with this release, I really do.

(My shot of Jesper Lindgren)


Glad to see the arrival of the “10 Babymetal Years” CD and (Limited Coloured Crystal Clear) Vinyl this week. Listening to it really drives home the point of how brutal Babymetal are. This is pretty much The Ultimate Party LP. Personally, I would have switched the power ballad “The One” to “Shine” from the most recent album, but that is nitpicking. Actually, a quick check on the Babymetal YouTube Channel shows that these 10 tracks (or rather, the official videos) have notched up about 430,000,000 hits, not counting the live versions. “Shine” has not been promoted on YouTube, so that may be why it is not on here (best power ballad in 30 years though). “10 Babymetal Years” is a good introduction to Babymetal and it will cement that they are a force to be reckoned with. Also in the news this week is the cover of Japanese publication Young Guitar (issue) 6 2021, which is a Budokan Special. It basically covers the stars that have played at the legendary arena the most. Nice to see Babymetal on the same cover as Ritchie Blackmore, Kiss, Guns N´Roses, Led Zeppelin, Ozzy etc. The fact that Babymetal are already up there says a lot.

(My shot of said CD/Vinyl, magazine cover inserted)

Commando 5431-5434

Posted: April 29, 2021 in Comics

Commando 5431-5434 is out today in the UK. Just search “Commando comics” should you want to subscribe.

(Covers courtesy of Commando)

I have been hunting this magazine ever since I started up the (not so old) Babymetal collection. Published in Japan in 2016 by Hedoban Magazine, this spinoff title (issue “07”) came out when Babymetal was conquering the West with the “Metal Resistance” album. In fact, they were gearing up to finish a triumphant World Tour with a two night stint at the enormous Tokyo Dome (110,000 tickets sold!) at the time. This magazine covers a lot of Metal Festivals around the world and Babymetal is featured again and again as they played a lot of them. You could say that the entire magazine is a celebration of Babymetal, although it features many acts. The travelling theme that you see on the cover is genius but holds some truth since many fans of Babymetal actually travel all around the world to see as many shows as possible. This is something that I recognize as an old school fan of Deep Purple. But you only get that sort of thing if you are bloody good at what you do. Collecting Babymetal is a joy and I have to say that the Japanese magazines are fantastic. When they feature an artist they believe in, they go for broke. Hedoban has done that for Babymetal in Japan and they have featured hundreds and hundreds of pages covering their history. To showcase what it can look like, I will show some spreads from this issue as I have now added it in one of my Babymetal binders. Enjoy!

(Thank you Kalle for securing this magazine for the collection – big thumbs up to eBay seller Sunny-Japan. Also, kudos to Hedoban Magazine for your wonderful work)

The Babymetal video for their breakthrough song “Gimme Chocolate!!” has notched up 140,000,000 views on YouTube. It reached the 130,000,000 mark right before Christmas. This song has got legs. More Babymetal on this blog tomorrow.

Deep Purple Forever! 11 was published in April 1995 (with new logo). The cover shot of Ian Gillan was taken in Gothenburg (Sweden) on the Satriani Tour in 1994. The “Come Taste The Band” ad on the back has the rather timeless headline “Thirsty?” on it. Love that ad. And yes, we were heading into a rather interesting period at this point with a new Steve Morse fronted Deep Purple and a brand new Rainbow, both getting ready to roll out. Like in 1975, we now had Deep Purple and Rainbow preparing to duke it out out there. In this issue I presented the second part of the Reunion Saga with the Joe Lynn Turner era of the band. Glenn Hughes interview etc. Pretty packed issue.

Issue 12 followed in September and it featured the third part of the Reunion Saga (or the “The Battle Rages On” period). Big interview with Ritchie Blackmore about the new Rainbow. “Stranger In Us All” has been released and the band visits Sweden on one of the first stops of the World Tour. I had the opportunity to meet three of the guys at the hotel before the Stockholm show and I also promoted the magazine with leaflets at the gig that night. Lennart Hedenström has a story about this thing called the Internet in this issue. The Highway Star page (that is still going) was established in 1993 and Lennart was working on the Coast To Coast page for Glenn Hughes. Things were a-changing…

As I write this, I do not own a copy of Deep Purple Forever! 13 (darn it!), but I can show you the front cover – a great shot of Joe Lynn Turner taken near the Globe Arena in Stockholm in September 1995. I presented interviews with Joe Lynn Turner, Glenn Hughes and (the Rainbow trio) Doogie White, Chuck Burgi and Greg Smith in this issue. Some really good music was coming out from the Deep Purple Family around this time and everybody just loved the new Rainbow line-up. Good times.

I yanked out an image from the interview session with the Rainbow guys and took a snapshot of it for this blog post. The original image was shot by Michael Johansson. The guys were very friendly and you can read the complete interview on this blog (July 2013). Ritchie was nowhere to be seen but I did not expect that. The mid 1990s was an exciting time.

Books Books Books

Posted: April 23, 2021 in Books, Cool stuff

Is it possible to own too many books? The collector in me says “No” but a part of my brain is beginning to question the narrative. In fact, I am trimming the old collection down at the moment. I can still build a shelf or two and it will be a process. Maybe I will settle at getting rid of 10%…

(My shot of current temporary solution of some of these books)

Tales Of The Gold Monkey

Posted: April 19, 2021 in Cool stuff, TV & Movies

Never saw this show. Bought the DVD on a hunch. And yes, Tales Of The Gold Monkey (1982-1983) is pretty entertaining. They basically wanted a “Raiders Of The Lost Ark” (the first Indiana Jones film) type show on television and I think they captured the spirit pretty well. Adventures full of exotic suspense, with Nazis, trigger-happy Japanese pilots (the action takes place in the South Pacific in 1938), lost tribes, treasures and yes, even a one eyed dog (with an eyepatch) that saves the day on a regular basis. Very easy going. Very old school. Bar fights in every episode. Count me in.

(My shot of said DVD)

Sara & Julia

Posted: April 17, 2021 in Comics, Cool stuff

Discovering new comics is a delight. “Sara” (TKO Studios, 2018) by Garth Ennis is about a band of female snipers in the Red Army, fighting the Germans in WWII. The main character is Sara, she is the best and she is deadly, but she also loathes the Communists. Ecxellent art by Steve Epting and colouring by Elizabeth Breitweiser. Julia Kendall is an Italian comic out of the Tex Willer stable, created by Giancarlo Berardi in 1998. There is about 230 books out in Italy by now and this is the very first that is published in Scandinavia (or Norway to be more precise). The heroine Julia Kendall looks a bit like Audrey Hepburn, and this is confirmed as being intentional in this book. Julia is a criminologist that is helping the police out when tough cases appear and this book “I avgrunnens åsyn” (Egmont Kids Media Nordic, 2021) is the first in a trilogy in which the hunt is on to catch a brutal serial killer. Excellent art by Luca Vannini. The second book has just been published and I hope we will get many more.

(My shot of said books)


“Sabotage” is the next 1970s Black Sabbath album to get the Deluxe Box treatment and we will get this one in mid-June. I have to say that the Sabbath fans are among the luckiest bastards alive these days. Luckily, I am one of them.


British guitarist Ray Fenwick has a three CD Best Of release called “Playing Through The Changes” out on April 30. Most well known for his years in the Ian Gillan Band in the late 1970s, he has had a pretty diverse career and I think this is a pretty interesting set.


If you love Uriah Heep then Blind Golem´s debut album is for you. Not only does it sound a lot like classic Heep, but they have Ken Hensley as a special guest on their “A Dream Of Fantasy” album on a song called “The Day Is Gone” (really good tune actually and this must have been one of the last recordings he ever did). Check them out on YouTube. Great cover art by Rodney Matthews. Italian band, I think we may hear more from them from now on.


Good to see that AC/DC frontman Brian Johnson is set to publish a book about his life and career. Titled “The Lives Of Brian” (obviously a nod to Monty Python there) it will be out in October.


Babymetal has completed the 10 date-run at the Budokan in Tokyo and they have revealed an exclusive showcase live streaming that people can watch online for a fee on June 26. This is the first time that Babymetal attempts to draw an audience in this way and it is obviously designed to keep a high profile during the Covid-19 period. Other acts have done this, but live, and even put out official product of these concerts later. Babymetal is doing it their way, filming 10 concerts and putting together bits and pieces from all the shows for one exclusive stream. By then, we may well get word that there will be an official DVD as well. There will certainly be an exclusive The One Fan Club Box (I can say that much, it is what they do and we all know it). Su-metal played some piano on stage during the final date yesterday, which is a first. The lore at the end of the show did not give away too much. Maybe Covid-19 is screwing things up? Not easy to plan ahead these days and the rest of 2021 is certainly in doubt. The upcoming compilation “10 Babymetal Years” might give them some much needed publicity this month outside of Japan. I certainly hope they get some good press out of it.

(My shot of Tony Iommi with inserted images representing what is talked about in this post)