Archive for November, 2021

Norwegian Christmas Special

Posted: November 30, 2021 in Comics, Cool stuff

So here we have another Christmas Annual out of Norway, and it is Walt Disney stuff from 1938 and onwards. This is the 20th edition. It was first tried in 2001 and became a huge success. People like a bit of nostalgia. Hank Porter cover from 1940 (I assume that is the Donald Duck art).

(My shot of said publication)


Sometimes it is nice to take a stroll down Memory Lane and here is a nice little adventure from 1983. In late 1982, a very young act called 220 Volt from the Northern parts of Sweden (Östersund, Jämtland County) got signed to Epic/CBS. It was a huge deal for the music scene in Östersund and it was also part of a fast growing Scandinavian Metal scene. 220 Volt had played to ever larger crowds in Östersund for two or three years but now they had reached a goal that was just off the charts, with an album coming up on a major label. Original singer Christer “Frille” Åsell had been replaced in the studio during the recording of the debut album so the return to live work back home was going to be the actual introduction of a brand new line-up, that would now feature new boy Joakim Lundholm. On May 20 1983, the band performed a warm-up gig in Stugun, a small village 50 kilometers from Östersund, and on May 21, they would present the new band at Gamla Teatern (The Old Theater), and their newly recorded songs to a very hard core partisan home crowd. I had presented the idea that it would be cool if they dedicated the show “To the memory of Deep Purple” and did some Purple on stage on the night, and the boys had agreed to do this (everybody loved Purple anyway, so it was just a bit of fun). A nice looking ticket for the night was printed (saw it at a museum not long ago!), and the Purple tribute was mentioned. I met Jon Lord as he visited Sweden with Whitesnake right before this happened and mentioned to him that a newly signed band from my neck of the woods were to play a show and that the night would be dedicated to his old band. He was more than happy to write a few words to the lads, a Thank You note that would later see print in the first issue of the 220 Volt Information Magazine, and of course the guys just loved that. They were young rockers taking their first steps out into uncharted territory, and Jon Lord (whom was considered a God after all) had been kind enough to wish them Good Luck. It was just good fun and spirits were up.

I still have the letter in my collection. It says; “To 220 Volt. Thanks for the thought. Keep playing the music. Remember the good times. Make yourself more good times!! Love, Jon Lord”. A friend of mine, a young photographer called Michael Johansson (whom I had befriended through my Deep Purple Magazine operation), came up to town to cover the show and he wrote an ecstatic review that saw print in Växjö Info on May 26. The headline? “220 Volt – The Leading Swedish Hard Rock Band”. His opinion was that the show was one of the best that he had ever seen and he urged people to see the show in Gothenburg on May 29 at Liseberg. The debut album “220 Volt” were to be released on May 30 in Sweden and our friend Kjell Björk (or “Kjelle” as he is credited on the album), a local music shop owner in Östersund whom had helped the band to release their “Prisoner Of War” single the year before (on Guntans Records, named after his shop Guntans), made sure that everybody that bought the album at his place got a faksimil of the article that Michael Johansson had written (see top image). A poster with Michael Johansson shots from the day was later printed for the members of the 220 Volt Information Center.

I filmed a lot of shows with a heavy Betamax camera & video recorder back then and most likely I filmed this show too. I switched to a VHS system camera not long after this and I filmed a lot of 220 Volt shows until about 1988. Hopefully this stuff has survived to the digital age (I gave it to the band years ago) and it would be nice if little snippets could be shown someday to the public. 220 Volt really was a force of nature. John Norum once called their song “Firefall” “The first Scandinavian Metal classic” (and he has joined them on stage to perform it, probably around the time that he had left Europe and was in the process of recording his first solo album “Total Control” – an album that 220 Volt drummer Peter Hermansson played on). This night in Östersund was a night to remember. And there would be more of them. Many more.

My friend photographer Michael Johansson would soon work for the leading youth publication OKEJ in Sweden, and maybe his shot of guitarist Mats Karlsson and singer Lundholm from the Östersund gig was one of the first that he had in print in that publication (the article was written by Stefan Johansson). Needless to say, he would go on to become one of the leading rock photographers in the world. It was a great time for all of us. And nearly 40 years later, the band is still out there. Still making memories. Oh, and what Deep Purple tunes did they play on the night? Well, according to the Johansson article, they performed “Burn”, “Smoke On The Water” and “Lazy” (or parts of these songs, as I recall). It went down a storm. It was awesome. As for the letter from Mr. Lord, you can see it on the table between us on the top image of my facebook page. Also shot by Johansson. Good times.

(My shots of said debut album, articles and what not, all live pictures by Michael Johansson)


ABBA is to release a Christmas Single on December 3, “Little Things”. A video will pop up soon on YouTube.


Japanese all female Pop act Scandal has just released a new Blu-ray/DVD in Japan titled “15th Anniversary Live (Invitation)”, recorded at the Osaka-Jo Hall on August 21 under Covid-19 restrictions. You can watch an excellent trailer for the DVD on YouTube, as well as a live cut of the song “Ao No Naru Yoru No Suki” from the show. Scandal has a deal for Europe so we will have to wait and see if this is released over here as well. A documentary from 2015 is available.


If you want a Limited Edition Picture Disc (Vinyl) of Ozzy´s “No More Tears”, you can get it now.


Friends of Rob Halford should know that his Halford album “Resurection” has been rereleased as a Double LP (Gatefold). It was originally released in 2000, so this may be a first as a Vinyl.


Tony Iommi has collaborated with perfumer Sergio Momo of the Xerjoff brand, both for his own Iommi line, but more importantly for a brand new song called “Scent Of Dark” as well. It is a majestic instrumental that just oozes of 1980s Black Sabbath. Check out the video now.

(Top image shows covers from official platforms, and the Iommi shot is mine)

The Meanest Men In The West

Posted: November 27, 2021 in TV & Movies

I had high hopes for this movie. When you have Charles Bronson, Lee Marvin and Lee J. Cobb in the same film, you have every right to expect top notch action. Within minutes, I started to suspect that something was not right. It felt like a cut and paste job, and not a very good one at that. Made for TV in 1974, it is actually made from two episodes of the classic show The Virginian, Season One episode “It Tolls For Thee” (1962, with guest star Marvin) and Season Six episode “Reckoning” (1967, guest star Bronson). No wonder it fails to make much sense. Oh well…

(My shot of said DVD)

The Phantom In Sweden

Posted: November 27, 2021 in Comics, Cool stuff

The Phantom has always been a good seller in Sweden and this is the 2007 Christmas Annual, featuring two classic adventures. It is a personal favourite of mine since the story for “The King Is Dead” takes place in Sweden in 1792 and revolves around the real murder of King Gustav III. The story was originally published in the Swedish edition of The Phantom in 1987 but here it has a superb cover by artist Rolf Gohs. Hundreds of adventures has been created by Swedish writers and artists over the years and no other market has been quite as prolific as ours. The title is still going strong.

(My shot of said Christmas Annual)

Asterix Omnibus 1

Posted: November 26, 2021 in Books, Comics, Cool stuff

From the UK we have a very nice series of Asterix albums called Asterix Omnibus. What you see here is the first book in the series (Orion Childrens Books, 2007) and there is about a dozen of them in print as we speak (taking it right up to where the series is now). By the looks of it, a re-print is also in the making from another publisher. I do enjoy this format, with three adventures in each book.

(My shot of said book)

Christmas Gold

Posted: November 26, 2021 in Cool stuff, Music (general)

The Christmas decorations are going up this weekend and there is no going back now. Having said that, I like Christmas. In an ever changing world we need to hold on to the best traditions that we have. Listening to this three CD box with 60 classic Christmas songs this morning, and it is brilliant. “Christmas Gold” is presented in a nice way, great looking box etc. You have the Croonies CD (Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, Eartha Kitt, Harry Belafonte, Perry Como etc), the Country CD (Johnny Cash, Brenda Lee, Patsy Cline, Gene Autry etc) and the Rock´n´Roll CD ( Chuck Berry, Jimmy Charles, Tommy Lee & The Orbits etc). It is all old school and at the core of all this it is very beautiful and serene.

(My shot of said box)

Commando 5491-5494

Posted: November 25, 2021 in Comics

Commando 5491-5494 is out today in the UK. Just search “Commando comics” should you want to subscribe.

(Covers courtesy of Commando)

I interviewed legendary (German born) Swedish magazine publisher Hans Hatwig in 2015 for the final issue of Retrofuture (issue 8, March 2015). The magazine was launched at the Jane Doe Bar in Östersund on March 4 and we had Thomas Drevin (220 Volt) and Björn Höglund (Hoven Droven) as DJs playing Kiss and Deep Purple tunes all night long. This is a translation into English for obvious reasons and the second part of this interview will be up on this blog on December 24 (2021). This first part takes us through his early life and into the successful years of Hatwig publishing Tiffany and POSTER in Sweden. The magazine also sports a full page about his two books but this is not featured here. Enjoy.

We have decided that this interview will deal with your career publishing magazines, so I would like to start this interview with you describing what you could read as a youth in West Germany. Did BRAVO exist back then?

– ”Yes, BRAVO did exist when I was a teenager, but I never read it. As a kid I read comic books like Sigurd, Akim, Tarzan and Donald Duck. There were also some German ones, Fix & Foxi, Lupo and Pit & Alf. The latter was my favourite as it had a young boy and a shepherd dog solving mysteries. As I had very little money I never bought these comics, I got them second hand or by trade”.

Could you get magazines on import back then?

– ”No, I do not think that that was going on in any real sense back then”.

Reading your books, one can understand that sexual content in magazines was still outlawed in West Germany when you arrived here in the mid-1960s. Are we talking about publications like PLAYBOY as well then?

– ”There was striptease and nudist publications, and we did have PLAYBOY with its long interviews (with famous people like Roman Polanski), that I loved as a teenager. The pictures of nude ladies were nice to see but what I really enjoyed the most in PLAYBOY was the interviews”.

What is your opinion on Hugh Hefner, the man that created PLAYBOY.

– ”I admired Hugh Hefner and thought that he was a pioneer of his trade and I thought he was cool, with the mansion and all that. He had this big bed and you saw him smoking a pipe in his pyjamas creating the magazines, drinking Pepsi Cola. It was a very exclusive magazine, thick with fantastic illustrations, knife sharp colour images, big foldouts and loooong interviews. This all made me want to be a publisher some day”.

What was your take on the Swedish magazine scene when you arrived in Sweden?

– ”In the early days I was not really aware of what was going on in Sweden. That came when I started to work for HSON. I was really not that interested in the Swedish weeklies, except for SE. I did like Berth Milton Seniors pornographic magazine PRIVATE though, that was sold in bags that you had to cut up back then. The print and the content was outstanding for the day”.

You had not been here long before you got to work for HSON, that published erotic titles. Were the models Swedish or did you buy the pictures from abroad?

– ”When I did the layout for HSONs RAFF and PAFF most of the pictures came from France. Later, when I did layout for PARLEK and PRINCE in the early 1970s, the models were Swedish”.

Tell me about the formats that these publications had and what was positive or negative about it.

– ”The erotic publications RAFF and PAFF was made in pocket format, while MODELL NATURELL and PARLEK came out in the same format as comic books. But with thicker and better paper. It was all good, I never had a problem working with these formats”.

You also produced a publication for the German market called GEIL that you had to smuggle into the country. How many issues came out and how many did you print?

– ”The made for Germany publication was pocket sized and I did eight issues. I sold 4,000-8,000 copies of each issue, it used to differ. It was so small you could put it into a small envelope. But each issue still had two foldouts”.

What is the second hand value these days on auction sites?

– ”I have no idea, I have never checked it out. My old pop magazines are very expensive to collect these days though”.

After HSON you met your soon to be wife Marie-Louise in Umeå and after a while the two of you moved to Stockholm as the publishing business was what you wanted to be involved in. You worked for Prince Press and Träffen and then you was offered a job att Svenska serier that had the pop magazine TIFFANY going. Was it good to leave the sex field behind you for something new?

– ”Yes, that was a relief but I had only landed there by chance initially anyway. Most of all I wanted to create weekly publications but it took me years to reach that goal. That did not happen until I sold POSTER to Saxon & Lindströms. When I joined TIFFANY they would sell about 12,000 copies per issue on a monthly basis. When I remade it into a pop magazine sales increased to 98,000”.

You worked on TIFFANY for a few years and at that time you also launched POSTER. How did you get the idea for POSTER and was it easy to sell the idea to your publishing company?

– ”I got the idea for the POSTER magazine from the West German youth publication BRAVO-POSTER. I never went to a publishing company, I went to a printer – Universaltryck – that helped me publish it”.

POSTER was outstanding at the time, the quality of the paper and the print was superb. Did you have to fight for it?

– ”Not really, the printing company was in full agreement that a poster magazine had to have a very high quality”.

You worked with some of the best known photograpers of the day, which made POSTER even better. Back in those days pictures could not be mailed from a photographer in seconds. How was it done, was it sent by special delivery somehow?

– ”Sometimes we got pictures by mail but the photographers also used to drop by the office and showcase what they had”.

I have to assume that POSTER was a wonderful publication to create for somebody that loves layout and great pictures. I am looking at the book about POSTER now (”POSTER – Nordens största poptidning 1974-1980”, Premium Publishing 2008), and they showcase all the covers. To start with, I have to say that the logotype for POSTER was very successful. Do you recall coming up with that?

– ”I do not recall how that came about, other than creating it in my kitchen in Handen where I lived. It looked Rainbow like with the colours and I liked the stars”.

Most of the covers had famous people on the covers. Who was the semi-nude young girl at the third issue, 1 1975?

– ”I have no idea who the girl was, only that she was really pretty. I bought the image from one of these photo agencies, I do not recall which one”.

In the beginning you went with stars like Jane Seymour (3 1975), Brigitte Bardot (5 1975) and Raquel Welch (6 1975) on the covers, before switching to pop and rock stars.

– ”I was very influenced by BRAVO in the beginning, and since they had that sort of thing going I just followed them. But after a while I thought that BRAVO-POSTER had too many landscapes and not enough pop artists so I went my own way. At that point I think I created a better magazine than they did”.

Deep Purple were often part of POSTER, even after Ritchie Blackmore had left them and Tommy Bolin had joined. What did you think of them?

– ”I never had a lot of opinions about Deep Purple since I did not know a lot about that group. But they were hugely popular among the readers and so I made sure that they were part of the magazine. I do feel that Ritchie Blackmore was more interesting than Tommy Bolin though”.

KISS popped up in issue 3 1975 and then became part of basically every single issue. How did you discover them and how long did it take you to establish a working relationship with them?

– ”The American photographer Barry Levine showed me pictures of KISS on a rooftop in Los Angeles when he visited the office in Stockholm and I was immediately fascinated by their image and ordered more photo sessions from Barry. Later I would also ask Fin Costello and Andrej Csillag and others to take pictures and they all sent them to me. No other publication cared about KISS in Sweden at the time, it was just me and POSTER. KISS themselves thought it was cool that a Swedish publication showed such an interest in the group. The rest is history”.

For fans of KISS, POSTER was a huge source of joy and it has to be said that you made their success over here, at least it happened way faster than it would had you not done what you did. In the fall of 1977 you printed the first KISS Special and that must have been a bit of a risk since it was now down to only one band to sell the magazines. How did KISS react to the news?

– ”The KISS Special was made because the public demand was huge. The band loved it.”.

In 1978 you repeated the idea with an ABBA Special. According to your book, they had some ideas about that. So what happened?

– ”They had a bit of an issue with me using pictures from Barry Levine before they had had a chance to see them. Their manager Stikkan Andersson threatened to sue me but decided not to since POSTER was such a big publication. We became friends again and I did get to visit him in his home for an exclusive story”.

The cover with Agnetha Fältskog, on which she is licking a lollipop (2 1976) is awesome. How did you get her to do that? These images are very saucy. In my opinion, these images are among the best that has ever been taken.

– ”It was not a problem to ask Agnetha to do that, she was a true professional. She respected me as a photographer and a magazine publisher”.

You also gave The Runaways a lot of space. The first cover was for issue 3 1977. What was it like working with them?

– ”The manager Kim Fowley used to call me up in the middle of the night and play new songs from different artists that he wanted to hear my opinion on. I decided to publish The Runaways in POSTER after such a call”.

You also gave Phil Lynott (Thin Lizzy) and Angus Young (AC/DC) covers (10 & 11 1977) at a time when hard rock was hated by Swedish media. You really were the one guy in this country then that defended our music.

– ”Yes, I was the first guy to support hard rock in Sweden. I was simply ahead of my time”.

Mats Olsson and other music journalists at the time had no problem hating both the artists and their audience in print. POSTER had a more positive attitude. It was quite a contrast.

– ”Mats Olsson discarded the hard rock bands until POSTER helped make them popular in Sweden. Then he changed his mind and pretended that he had always liked them”.

PLAYBOY model Barbi Benton had a huge hit in Sweden in 1977 after having been seen singing in the tv-show McCloud, and you gave her two covers (6 & 10 1977). Did you meet her?

– ”Yes, it was me that took those shots, both for the covers and the posters inside. I took them at Hotel Sheraton in Stockholm”.

You also published SUPER-POSTER in West Germany. Tell us a bit about that.

– ”I set up a deal with a magazine distributor in Hamburg and sent over 125,000 copies per month of SUPER-POSTER to my old country. It was the biggest export out of Sweden ever”.

The stars in the logo disappeared after issue 6 1979, was it at that point that the problems started?

– ”As soon as Saxon & Lindströms had bought the rights for POSTER from me it started to drop in circulation. The owners, Mats and Bosse Lindström just wanted to make money. At that point the fun went out of it. Also, I wanted to create a new magazine at the time, OKEJ.

To be continued…

By Mike Eriksson (if quoted let me know about it) – Retrofuture 8 (2015) / Trinkelbonker (2021)

(My shots of the POSTER book, Retrofuture 8 and bar flyer etc)

CLASSIC ROCK INTERVIEWS ON TRINKELBONKER: CARINA LIROLA 2008 (November 9 2021), TOTO 1987 (September 17 2021), HEAVEN & EARTH 2001 (July 25 2021), STUART SMITH 1998 (July 4 2021), RAINBOW 1997 (June 28 2021), MARINA AMMOURI 2021 (February 12 2021), VISIONS OF ATLANTIS 2007 (November 10 2020), RITCHIE BLACKMORE & CANDICE NIGHT 2001 (October 27 2020), JOHN NORUM 1988 (October 18 2020), 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).

Added Martin Popoff´s book “Loud´n´Proud – 50 Years Of Nazareth” (Wymer Publishing, 2021) to the old collection. This one covers the entire career from the 1960s origins until today on a month by month basis, with loads of interviews and memorabilia to go (nice images by Roni Ramus Amorim throughout). Popoff´s books are always good and this one is no exception. It is a big format and rather heavy book too so it is not easy to cosy up with this in your bed (better find a chair for this one). 244 pages. As for Nazareth, I have good memories listening to them from the early 1970s onwards, and I saw them live in Sweden in 1984 (the 220 Volt tour) and 1989 (when I interviwed Dan, you will find the chat on this blog, archived in August 2019). I must own 15 Popoff books by now, the guy is incredibly prolific. I did interview him for my Top Secret 2009 publication and you can find that on this blog archived in November 2012.

(My shot of said book)