Archive for the ‘Cool stuff’ Category

Swedish comic book WESTERN consisted of all sorts of good stuff from the archives and existed between 1976-1993. Always 100 pages. Looking back at it now, it really was a magnificent publication. This is #6 1990 and 1 1989. The cover shots were never credited.

(My shot of said comic books)

I published DEEP PURPLE MAGAZINE #14 in July 1980 so it has been 40 years. I actually published two of them that month so I will be back with another cover a couple of weeks from now. Not the prettiest version of Whitesnake, but man could they rock! “Ready An´Willing” was out at the time, first album to feature Ian Paice.

Good times.

(Cover shot courtesy of EMI)

I am 59 years old as of today so one more year to go before the big 60. Not that I care much. It is just a number. It will mean that I am one year closer to retirement though, which will happen (the way I see it now) at 65. We shall see. I consider myself a pretty lucky guy. Born in a country like Sweden in 1961 was a blessing. It was a very safe environment. We had a library closeby when I was a kid and that was a blessing too. I read books when I was 10, not just comics and stuff like that but thick books on history and of all the wonders and the mysteries of this world. In the 1960s I listened to the radio because it was the only outlet, but I was lucky in that my mother bought records that I enjoyed so I used to raid her collection. So much great stuff, Elvis, Tom Jones, The Hollies, Cliff Richard. Then you saw Elvis on TV and he certainly made an impression. Then it was The Monkees, also on TV. The first album I ever owned was an album by The Monkees. Then I got “Jesus Christ Superstar”, and without knowing it at the time (this was probably in 1970) I had now touched on the Deep Purple Family (as singer Ian Gillan sang the part of Jesus on that album). In 1971 I discovered Deep Purple and so at age 10 I dived deep into the wonderful world of rock music and radio was the natural outlet still. And friends in school that had older brothers and sisters whom owned great albums (that is how I stumbled across Purple). It was the age of great discoveries, but Deep Purple would remain the heroes.

On TV, you had a lot of Westerns. I know now that the boss of the two channels that existed back then was a huge fan of the genre, and he made sure that the Swedish people got to see all the classics (still love that stuff to this day), and we also got High Chaparral (which, along with The Addams Family surely added something to my cultural DNA). Once a week you had a detective story on TV that everybody watched. There was a bunch of them over the years that everybody loved – Columbo, McCloud, Baretta, Kojak, Cannon etc etc. The 1970s was awesome. I recall a summer (could have been 1973) when TV aired all the classic horror films and we all watched them. That introduced horror comics. The comic book scene was fantastic. So much to chose from, and so I collected a lot of titles. I used to draw comics myself, just for fun. But this interest gave way to music and in 1978 I created my first publication, a magazine called DEEP PURPLE MAGAZINE. Within a year I started to write for newspapers. In 1981 I got to meet Whitesnake in Stockholm (interviews with David Coverdale and Jon Lord can be found on this blog). That changed things and within a year or two I met a lot of the artists that visited Sweden. By 1986 I started to write for major publications abroad, like METAL HAMMER in Europe and METAL (published by CREEM) in the States.

Did radio, did a lot of things. It is all a bit of a blur now but I recall a lot of it. At 30 I was a bit tired of it all so I slowed down and started another Purple fanzine, this time it was a publication called DEEP PURPLE FOREVER. This went on for 13 years and then I started to publish magazines with a much broader content (basically anything I wanted to include, with one foot in the past and one in the present). This only ended after me having done over 100 magazines a few years ago. I never gave up on music. I never stopped reading magazines and books. I felt that good bands were still coming along although the 1990s had been pretty brutal. There will always be good stuff out there. Always. If you can not find it you are not looking.

That attitude had me check out Babymetal in March 2017 (I mentioned it on this blog that very day) and My God did they surprise the hell out of me. It was like 40+ years of Rock and Metal had to happen before this could even be considered. And a lot of other cultural stuff coming out of Asia as well. Babymetal came out when the time was right and we suddenly had this wonderful weird thing that defied all logic. But it worked and it was beautiful. And they are now pulling in yet another generation into the music that I have loved for 50 years now. It will never go away. Hell, I hope it lasts forever. I need it until the day I leave this earth and I think it will always be there. The classic bands will go away but new music will come along. Just look at all the talent. Look at all the young kids that are playing their instruments on YouTube clips like they have been at it for decades. They will hopefully be in bands some day and of course many of them will. All this stuff is like positive energy to me. I think I share that feeling with a lot of people.

Wow, this turned into a bit of a rant. I guess when you look back on a lot of great things it is only natural to look forward too. I do think that art and culture is good for the soul, for our very wellbeing. I spend some time almost daily with this blog, because it is fun. Maybe some of you are here because you share some of my interests. All I know is that, for the moment this is my outlet. This is my little universe. At 59 and with everything I have seen, I think I should be allowed to rant a bit every now and then. It is like half of me is a grumpy old geezer (I loved that TV show, if you know the one I am talking about), but I still have a lot of positive energy. I try to stay positive on this blog. There is way too much negativity out there as it is.

Of course, one year from now, we either live in a normalized place again, or we are well and truly fucked…

(My top image – had to have one for this rant)

Got to love Japan. They were always big on guitar heroes over there and here we have a couple of knockout covers from the old days. Player #276 (1989) and Viva Rock (Deep Purple Family Special from 1980). Eddie Van Halen shot by Steve Jennings, the Ritchie Blackmore cover is uncredited. Powerful images, they really capture some excitement. 344 and 140 pages. My old friends in 220 Volt are featured in the Player magazine. Had forgot about that.

(My shot of said publications)

Got this magazine in the mail the other day, Guns Of The Old West (Summer 2020). Really nice James Arness cover (no photo credit though). I love Gunsmoke, it was a pretty decent show. Of course James went on to other things after Sheriff Matt Dillon. Who can ever forget his portrayal of the trapper Zeb in The Macahans? He took part in the Battle of Anzio in Italy during WWII and got severely wounded in his right leg. It was his ticket home but he would always walk with some difficulty after that and riding was even worse.

A special shoutout to our American friends today on the 4th of July.

(My shot of said publication)

Old School Hobby

Posted: July 4, 2020 in Cool stuff, Hobby

Have not built anything in nearly 30 years but I have a hobby room now and I have been ready to go for years. Figured I would ease myself back into it with one of these nice 1:72 Airfix kits and the first I picked (from my collection) was this Hawker Typhoon. Easy enough build, but the real learning curve is when you paint the thing. I want it to look at least fairly good. Got to get some more paint and brushes to get it just right (I thought I was prepared but I was not) but it will be worth it even if it will take a few days. I am getting things done on my holiday so a bit of fun on the side is a good thing. And this is very relaxing on so many levels. Guys from my generation will understand. The key is that hobby room.

(My shot of work in progress)

Well I showcased the Swedish version of Classics Illustrated a few days ago on this blog and today I have good reason to show you these. You see, the Swedish publisher Williams had the rights to publish adventures set in our history, written and drawn by local talent. In fact, the story about the ship Wasa was inspired by real events as broken down in a well known book by author Lars Widding. The adventure to the right was drawn by Bo Vilson and had previously been published in a magazine called Levande Livet (he never lived to see it in Illustrerade Klassiker, he passed away in 1949). Big names though, you can say it was all done in the spirit of the original. It worked.

(My shot of said comic books)

Morgan Kane

Posted: July 3, 2020 in Books, Cool stuff, Hobby

Louis Masterson may not be a household name outside of Scandinavia, but this Norwegian author sold millions of books with his Morgan Kane series. At home, he is one of the all time greats and his classic catalogue is still published to this day. No wonder then that there exists a huge book on Morgan Kane in Norway, “Den store boka om Morgan Kane” (Aller Forlag, 2014) by authors Atle Nielsen and Kjell Jörgen Holbye (in collaboration with the Louis Masterson and others). This has to be one of the best put together books about the legacy (he wrote 83 books) of a Western author. All the covers, the big picture, everything is in there. And man, the covers were awesome. Highly collectable.

(My shot of said book)

I have always had a soft spot for smaller sized comic books and I would say that I probably own way more of these than any other. The Swedish scene has been dead for decades but it used to be pretty active from the 1950s to the 1980s. Bajonett Serien was one such title, it sported WWII adventures and artist Chako had many of the covers (like these two, 12 1975 and 2 1976). I mean, he had hundreds of them. Bajonett Serien existed between 1965-1976. Other titles from new owners reprinted these very adventures again and again later on, until the scene was finally over. If this had been handled better, like Commando in the UK, maybe it could have still existed?

(My shot of said comic books)

Christina Lindberg clearly had to be on the cover of “Swedish Sensationsfilms” (Bazillion Point Books, 2011) by author Daniel Ekeroth, and there she is. Anything with Christina goes straight into the old collection. Tarantino certainly draws inspiration from some of this stuff, but this era is largely forgotten now. The book captures a lot though and some of these films made headlines back in the day. There will never ever be a book about the crap that is produced in this country these days. It is all done in Norway now.

(My shot of said book)