Archive for the ‘Hobby’ Category

The Bigger The Better

Posted: July 22, 2020 in Books, Comics, Cool stuff, Hobby

If you appreciate Commando you need this superb book in your collection. Published in 2001 on the eve of the 50th Anniversary of this classic comic book, it really captures the magic. Authored by former Editor in Chief George Low and with a foreword by none other than James May, “50 Years – A Home For Heroes” (Carlton Books Limited) captures half a Century of the very essence of Commando, ending with issue 4404. Nine years on, the title is still going strong. Tomorrow I will highlight the new batch of four as they arrive in newsstands across the UK, right on time, come hell or high water.

(My shot of said book)

Got the Limited Edition Deep Purple EP “Throw My Bones”/”The Power Of The Moon”/”Man Alive” in the mail today. It is the official teaser for the “Whoosh!” album that will arrive on August 8. It also represents the first two official videos for “Throw My Bones” (1,279,606 hits since March 20 on YouTube) and “Man Alive” (1,048,911 hits since May 1). I bitched about the fact that we did not have a physical product on May 1 on this blog, but here we have it now. I guess the delay was understandable, and they did postpone the album release itself. I am now ordering every version of “Whoosh!” that I can get my hands on. This may well be The Last Hurrah.

(My shot of said EP)

Well we are off to a good start with the Old School Magazines & Comics series on this blog, with 30 blog posts in about four weeks. As my holiday ends this series will slow down a bit but I have prepared another 16 posts that will take it into November. I have had some good feedback but I can understand that this is not for everybody. On the other hand, this is Trinkelbonker and it is what it is. How many blogs like this can you find out there? A lot of this stuff has been in boxes in a basement for years, it was not until I moved to the countryside that I could have easy access to it all. It certainly is a nice collection. Loads of history.

(My shot – the titles on display here is: Se (39 1969), Motor (30 1967), Levande Livet (28 1953), Vi två (7 1970), Kanada Jim (25 1962), Texas Jack (8 1954), Fick Journalen (46 1957), Texas (3 1968) and Bazooka (8 1964).

More Swedish WWII and air combat comics. The title Attack! (that I presented recently on this blog) merged with Pilot in the early 1970s and this is #12 1971. The issue to the right is #13 1982. These comics had pretty intense covers. It really is a shame that the scene has been dead over here for so long now. Since it is pretty much still alive in Norway and Finland, I have to put some of the blame on the powers that be in Sweden. They just seem to lack the will to even try.

(My shot of said comic books)

Bought a bottle of 220 Volt Eternal Bitter (beer) eight days ago, for the old collection. Here is a quick snapsot of said bottle (it is made by Östersundsbryggerier here in Jämtland County) in front of a 1985 tour poster. I wish CBS/Epic had the common sense to rerelease the old 220 Volt catalogue (“220 Volt”, “Power Games”, “Mind Over Muscle”, “Young And Wild” and “Eye To Eye”, all released 1983-1988). To me they were the best Scandinavian band in the 1980s.

I will drink to that.

(My shot of said beer and poster)

Here is a couple of golden nuggets in the old collection, both with Deep Purple MK4 covers. Shot by Fin Costello in Los Angeles in 1975 as the band had just recruited Tommy Bolin, Glenn Hughes once told me how they had spent all day doing this photo session and that it had still been hard to find really good shots since they had been very relaxed (you do the math, I am trying to be nice here) and not entirely focused on the job. To me, this is one of the coolest sessions ever of Deep Purple and I have certainly seen great shots. That chair was used for individual shots of all the members as well as them alternating sitting in it in different group shots. I guess they were all hanging around when the individual shots were being taken. Seen here is Japanese publication Music Life (#12 1975, out when Purple hit Japan that year on the “Come Taste The Band” tour) and a Deep Purple Special from US publication Record World, published in 1976. This is the very copy of this Purple Special that was scanned (I had help by my buddy Staffan Eriksson since he had a scanner that could handle the size of this magazine) for the facsimile print that went out with the “Phoenix Rising” Deep Purple DVD in 2011. What had happened was that I had showcased this magazine on one of my old (and long gone) blogs and Deep Purple Overseas and (then in turn former Purple manager) Tony Edwards spotted it and he thought it would be great to use it for the DVD. Sadly he never lived to see the release but it turned out to be a pretty decent documentary. It was certainly voted Documentary of the Year in a German publication. Never achieved any credit, but that is just life. I have had my fair share of credits on Purple albums, I can live with that omission. I wish I had more information on the Record World Special, like how many copies saw print etc. Pretty rare now I bet. If you spot one, grab it. And that goes for the Music Life magazine as well. Classic stuff.

(My shot of said publications)

World War II comics were huge in Sweden in the 1960s and 1970s. Attack! was a title that dealt with WWII history and all the major battles of the war. It goes without saying that my generation had easy access to history because of the comic book scene at large (certainly if you consider that we had titles like Classics Illustrated as well) and that sadly this is just gone now. I will take it one notch deeper, I think there are many mislead souls that would try to ban comics like this title today if somebody tried to publish it. This is scary as hell if you ask me. Seen here is Attack! #6 1969 and 27 1968. The cover artists were never credited back in those days.

(My shot of said comics)

I loved this comic book when I was eight (back in 1969). What we have here is (Swedish) Vilda Västern (or Wild West) #2 1969 and 3 1969, with Captain Miki saving the day. This is part of my DNA, what got me going in the first place. Still love this stuff. Great cover art, it was a great era and I think it is criminally underrated these days (or forgotten).

(My shot of said comic books)

I interviewed the chaps in Accept a few times in the mid 1980s and I really liked them back then (still do). I located an article that I had in print in a newspaper called LT (Jämtland County) here in Sweden on May 24 1986 a few weeks ago so I will translate that one for this blog today. Not sure who took that picture (was not me, could have been a promotional shot I guess). Anyway, I will translate the article just as it was. Enjoy.

* * * * *

Accept digs Sweden. It was here that the first sign of possible international fame came up when 20,000 people rushed out and bought “Restless And Wild” 1982. Soon thereafter, they played in front of 1,200 fans at a cinema called Draken in Stockholm. Since then they have performed at Hovet (a hockey arena in Stockholm) three times and the third gig (that they just did) in front of 5,000 fans turned out to be the best yet. So things are going well for Accept and it really was here in Scandinavia that they found their first success outside of Germany.

The last time I met them they promoted the “Metal Heart” album and I will never forget their happy faces when they got Gold albums for over 50,000 copies sold of “Balls To The Wall” over at the Grand Hotel a few hours before the gig that night. It must have been one of the very first Gold albums that they ever got. In their excitement they promised to come back to Sweden every year forever. When I talked with guitarist Wolf Hoffmann this time right before the recent gig at Hovet he was optimistic and very sound. And this attitude is a good thing to have when you are undertaking the pressure of long tours and album recordings. Wolf explains what has been going on since the last time we met and about the scene at large.

– “We toured “Metal Heart” non-stop for seven months and outside of Europe we also did Bangkok, Japan and America. In the States we headlined in smaller hockey arenas ourselves and shared the bill with other bands, like Krokus, in bigger venues. The rest of the year, we recorded “Russian Roulette””.

The last time you were here, Stefan Kaufmann said that you were going to record a live album, but of this we have only seen a six track EP recorded in Japan so far.

– “What happened was that we skipped the idea of a full live album at an early stage, but on arrival in Japan the record company over there wanted us to record a couple of shows for that market. The Japanese market is very special in that way. So we recorded a couple of gigs and they released the six track EP with no overdubs or anything like that over there. It ended up to be fairly good and then it started to pop up in different markets and before we knew it it was out everywhere. I guess the other markets do not want to lose out”.

So when do you think that the timing will be right for a proper first live album?

– “I would like to do one more studio album before we do that, but then I think the timing would be right. We are already recording a few gigs here and there so in about a year from now I think it will look pretty good. It has to be a double LP with 15-20 songs covering our career. We shall see when we feel that the timing is right”.

How are things going in America? That market is still fairly new for you.

-“It is going pretty well over there, in spite of our kind of music selling less than a couple of years ago over there. I think that MTV got a bit turned off when the silly Senators wives tried to ban our music last year. Some bands are hurting right now. Our tour went very well though and we made a profit”.

Do you feel that the general vibe at a concert can suffer if you have really big crowds in front of you?

– “Personally I like 3,000 seaters best. It is amazing to play then, but you also have to think about how you present the band. And with all the PA equipment and everything else maybe it is better to play in bigger places after all”.

I heard that your first visit in Japan was a tremendous success.

– “Yes, we were just voted Best Live Band in a magazine over there. To have success in Japan is every bands dream really, it is all so well organized over there. We did five six shows in places like Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya. And that is all you need to do”.

Everybody wants to play at the Budokan in Tokyo. Is that a dream for you as well?

– “Not really. It is a lot of prestige in it. Same thing with Madison Square Garden in New York, everybody wants to play there. But from a financial point of view, and soundwise, it is not that good”.

Are you happy with the new album?

– “Yes, I think it is our best yet. When we recorded “Metal Heart” we were under a lot of pressure to write commercial songs for the radio so we put songs like “Midnight Mover” on the album and it did not feel right. We will never compromise like that again. Also, we produced “Russian Roulette” ourselves, that is probably why it sounds more like “Balls To The Wall”. We produced that one as well”.

The UK market is one of the toughest in the world. You have had good press there but have you noticed an increase in sales at all?

– “No, England is very strange that way. The hard rock scene pretty much came out of that place but in spite of that this music is not very big over there. I have often wondered why England is the way it is. It seems that they follow trends”.

They seem to have a problem with coming up with new bands, most of the interesting new bands are coming from America, mid-Europe or Scandinavia now.

– “Yes, Scandinavia has surprised us lately. You hear about bands that are doing well out in the world all the time. Where did they all come from?”.

The American band Dokken has opened up for you recently. Why did they cancel Sweden?

– “Wow, that is a whole chapter in itself. I guess they have opened for us in about 40 cities now. But the thing is they are doing drugs and they are not behaving very well. Then a truck driver yells that there has been a nuclear accident in the Soviet Union and that Sweden is engulfed in a toxic cloud. They really believed it and we could not believe it when they refused to travel with us here, without even checking out the facts. They made a decision like that on the spot. Pretty tragic”.

It would seem that a lot of the American bands from Los Angeles are doing drugs.

– “Yes, sadly that is probably the case. They bring it on themselves, they will be burned out within a few years. It really is tragic and it is hard to understand the lack of work ethic that you see. This is a job, not a bloody party. We think longterm, we want to do this for the rest of our lives, and that requires discipline and a lot of hard work”.

Accept has all my respect and I think that they are going to be a very big band. Maybe one of the greatest. They are a band that you can trust, it feels good to know that they are down to earth on every level. Stability is important.

Michael Eriksson (LT 1986) / Trinkelbonker 2000

* * * * *

Other interviews on this blog: 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).

* * * * *

I love a good chunk of the Blue Öyster Cult catalogue so it is nice to be able to add this brand new edition of the 1981 album “Fire Of Unknown Origin” (in Turquoise Vinyl, 2,000 copies made) to the old collection. I had it on Vinyl once but that copy disappeared when I slimmed down the collection 25 years ago (darn it). Martin Birch produced this album. He was involved with Black Sabbath as well at that time and they shared the same management with B.Ö.C then, and even toured together. Nice cover art by Greg Scott.

(My shot of said release)