Archive for the ‘Jämtland (County)’ Category

Got this Canadian release of the new “Born To Be Wild” Single by Ann-Margret (With The Fuzztones) on import. Marbled Vinyl Limited Edition. Instrumental version on the flip side. Lovely.

(My shot of said release, thank you for helping me secure a copy Kalle)


We have two releases coming up on August 25 that demands our attention. First up is the second album from Swedish rockers Velvet Insane, “High Heeled Monster”, and the other is a brand new release from Vandenberg called “Sin”. You have some videos to check out: Velvet Insane “Damage Control” (total 1970s!) and Vandenberg “Sin” (total Whitesnake!). Good stuff.

(Covers are from official platforms)

We had snow and cold winds in these parts just a couple of days ago, but thankfully it looks like Summer has arrived. The grass is turning green, the temperature is fairly OK (t-shirt friendly if you are a brave soul) and the birds are singing. All in all, it is starting to feel pretty good. I have catched up with the Babymetal collection (binder 15 has been reached) and work is ongoing with the old Deep Purple Family collection (94 binders and counting). I have hundreds of magazines to go through before everything is finished, but I already did look them over once so I should be able to wrap this up within too long (good hobby on rainy days). The time for outdoor activities has arrived and there is a lot of activity going on down by the cottage in the backyard. The grill project is nearly done, a huge undertaking. I will showcase it when it is done. Within a week or two, the sounds of lawn mowers will be in the air. I really enjoy this period.

(My shots, Babymetal image is from PMC Vol.27 article)

Back in February, a friend of mine, Mikael Wennerberg over at the Jämtland Härjedalens Musical Archives, spotted ads for pre-ABBA shows that were held in these parts in the Summer of 1973. I picked that up and blogged about it on Trinkelbonker at the time. Now we see a local newspaper, Östersunds-Posten, cover the story on May 12 with additional details. The newspaper has located the people that booked the show in Svenstavik (for 3,000 kronor, roughly 300 bucks) in late July 1973 and unearthed some photographs from the day by Iwan Wåhlén (whom had been hired to document the night for the promoters, Bergs IK). The group that would soon change its name to ABBA had apparently arrived in a white Mercedes bus, performed on the back of a truck for 45 minutes, and signed plenty of autographs on the way out (you can actually see Agnetha and Frida sign autographs from the bus in this article). A new edition of “Ring Ring” (the record that they toured with 50 years ago) will be available on Double LP on May 19.

(Credit goes to ÖP, writer Stefan Nolervik and the Svenstavik crew – additional thanks to Kalle and Seth)

Yngwie Malmsteen has reuploaded a song from his “Blue Lightning” album that is called “Peace Please”. Obviously a statement regarding the evil deeds that are ongoing in this world and that could kill us all if the stupidity continues. We need more artists that stand up for peace. Enough is enough.

(My shot of the remains of an old defensive position from a long forgotten war, Jämtland County)

Swedish rockers Velvet Insane released a new song called “Sunglasses” yesterday, in collaboration with Harpo, one of the biggest artists in the mid-1970s in these parts (hits like “Moviestar” and “Horoscope” are well remembered to this day). They will also embark on a Summer Tour (dates yet to be announced). I asked Velvet Insane guitarist Jesper Lindgren for a quote and he replied: “”Sunglasses” is a glam rock song with a taste of the 1970s, with irresistible pop melodies for many Summers to come. A chorus that will stick like an old gum under your converse”. The collaboration is picking up a lot of interest and I think this is a darned good idea.

(Seen here is a promotional shot of Velvet Insane with Harpo, a live shot from when Velvet Insane opened for Nazareth in Östersund not long ago by Kalle Thelin, and Swedish publication Tiffany, issue 3 1976 with Harpo on the cover)

Well I have some time to kill this week and that means that I can have some fun with the blog. I figured that a Top 10 list of great memories from the old days could be fun to have a crack at so here it is.

(1) WHITESNAKE 1981, 1984 & DAVID COVERDALE 2000. Well, the first trip to see Whitesnake in Stockholm on their first visit to Sweden back in 1981 meant a lot to me. Got to meet all of them and for a guy that had pretty much worshipped Deep Purple it was quite something to be able to interview David Coverdale and Jon Lord for the first time. Got some albums signed as well and I had the audacity to ask David Coverdale to sign a Deep Purple bootleg from the Japanese Tour in 1975, which he did like a true gentleman (in hindsight, I would not have blamed him if he had told me to bugger off, but these are nice guys). The title of the bootleg, “Get It While It Tastes!” did cause a reaction from David, as he signed it “Really?”. I always loved the cover of that bootleg, with a photograph of the official Japanese Tour Programme on a kitchen table. Could have worked for official product if you ask me. The interviews I conducted on this trip has been quoted (or ripped off) in several books. Then (on the same day) there was that famous photo session with the band on a street when Ian Paice showed a side that surprised us when he said loudly “Why don´t you just take pictures of David?” (or some similar words, it has been 40 years). All was not well in the ranks of Whitesnake, but they still soldiered on for some time before Paice was off to work with Gary Moore. A few years down the road, in 1984, I met Jon Lord for the third time in Stockholm as he visited town for the Whitesnake album “Slide It In”. Little did we know then that the Swedish dates would be the last that he would ever do. He actually told me that the guys from Deep Purple MK2 would meet and have a talk. At the time I could not quite grasp what it was that he was indicating, but within weeks the news of the reunion made headlines. Only then did it dawn on me how incredibly nice he had been to me when we had talked about Purple. I should also mention the interview that I did (with Michael Johansson and Ulf Magnusson filming it) in 2000 as David Coverdale was here to promote his “Into The Light” solo album. He had spent the whole day at the Sheraton hotel in Stockholm doing interviews and I had the last spot. I figured I better start the conversation on a positive note to cheer him up so I told him the story how I blasted Deep Purple´s “Burn” through the loudspeakers of a military base (F4) here in Sweden when I did my bit in the Air Force back in 1982. What had happened was that the cassette tape that me and a few others were in charge of, that would wake everybody up in the morning (is it called a “tapto”?, some trumpet signal anyway – we also used it at the end of the day), had broken. When we asked what we should do we were told to play anything, just wake the base up until a new tape could be found. So for about two days we terrorized the base with loud rock music. I recall the moment I played the song and it blasted through speakers over a large area. Quite the moment. David laughed at this and we were off. That day he spent a good chunk of this interview talking about what went wrong with Deep Purple etc, and me and the other guys just could not believe how lucky we were to get that from him. Not a subject that he generally talks about. One more thing, although I was not present when this happened. When journalist Ola Bergman had given him a few issues of Deep Purple Forever! (might have been in 1998, not sure) Coverdale apparently looked at a cover that sports an image of him that was shot on the “Come Taste The Band” Tour and said, “I can´t believe that I could get laid in those days”.

(2) DEEP PURPLE & BAD COMPANY 1987. This was a good trip. I saw Deep Purple and openers Bad Company in Malmö and Stockholm on the “House Of Blue Light” Tour. Photographer Michael Johansson travelled with me. Attended a big press conference in Malmö with the whole band, except for Ritchie Blackmore whom was not present. Some of the journalists were fairly hostile so I figured that I could help matters out by sticking in a couple of questions that I knew that the band could get positive press from. Great show in Malmö, then we shared a SAS flight with Deep Purple to Stockholm the next morning. During the flight, the pilot suddenly announced that he welcomed Deep Purple to Sweden and that he wished everybody to have a good day (or words to that effect, it has been a while). Michael and myself also ended up with guys from Bad Company and promoter Erik Thomsen in Malmö, having a few drinks and talking. I decided to be a fly on the wall since it really was not the time to ask a lot of questions. The discussion eventually turned to problems with relationships. Pretty deep.

(3) LORDI & NIGHTWISH 2004. I travelled to Stockholm on short notice to see Lordi and (headliners) Nightwish and I had not set up an interview this time around. Stayed with Michael Johansson and in the afternoon we headed over to (Swedish magazine) OKEJ´s headquarters in which the band (Lordi) would be photographed in full gear by Michael and Ulf Magnusson. I sat by a TV in the studio and they showed an old episode of Batman from the 1960s. So here I am with one eye on Batman and a gang of monsters all speaking finnish next to me as they are being photographed. I talked to their manager and he told me that the show they usually had when they headlined would be much bigger than on this night. But the “Evil Dead” house would be there. At the time I had printed a few Xena related magazines and of course the producers of this show had been involved in this film. When I mentioned that I had contact information that I could give them I was suddenly surrounded by monsters that was very interested in the conversation. And yes, a few days later I did pass on the information. Not sure what happened there, but at least the producers of Xena got to know about Lordi and their love for “Evil Dead”. When we left for the venue in a big taxi, the driver laughed his head off when the finnish monsters appeared in full gear. Pretty funny moment actually. Later that night at the venue, I filmed Michael as he had a photo shoot with Nightwish in Santa outfits. Everybody had a great time, I could see that. Later I would read in the official biography by Mape Ollila (“Once Upon A Nightwish – The Official Biography”, 2007) that the night in Stockholm had been the last time that they had fun together. Of course, the band had parted with Tarja not long after the Stockholm show.

(4) BLACK SABBATH 1983 & 1986. First time that I met Black Sabbath was on the “Born Again” Tour in 1983 and I had an interview set up at the Sheraton Hotel in Stockholm. I think the Stockholm gig was the second and they came directly from the airport to do the press thing. I got to interview Ian Gillan, whoms birthday it was, and a female journalist that is sadly no longer with us wished him a happy birthday at one point and his answer was “You can come to my room and sing if you like” (or words to that effect, been a while). During a photo shoot (Michael Johansson was there to capture it) Geezer Butler suddenly decided that him doing an impression of the Swedish Chef from The Muppet Show would be a great idea. Everybody laughed, it was just hilarious. Later that night, Sabbath performed a fantastic show that went down really well (and the album had not even been released yet). At one point during the set some naked ladies (apart from panties) came onstage to celebrate the birthday kid and Gillan took one of them and carried her on his shoulder around the stage. Quite a sight with the Stonehenge set and everything. Clearly, these guys enjoyed themselves. Then in 1986 I met Tony Iommi at the same hotel as he was here promoting the “Seventh Star” album, and he really is a super nice guy. A female journalist that had just killed the new album in a major Swedish newspaper had the spot right before me and I was told that Iommi knew about it. Still treated her well. I had a great time. He told me that his favourite television show of all time was Get Smart (I love that show too, it is truly a classic). Sabbath fans will know the theme of the title track of “Seventh Star” and when we had discussed this I asked him on what his take on the future of mankind was. “I think we all know what that is” he said and laughed. Then I showed him a picture from the old days on which he has a real shiner and he told me that he got it in a fight that Ozzy had started with some punks. I wonder who came out on top of that one?

(5) 220 VOLT ca 1985. I spent a lot of time with Swedish rockers 220 Volt back in the day (filmed a lot of concerts etc), and so I have many good memories. I will mention two. I can not recall the exact city this happened in, but we stayed at this hotel after a show and lets say that there was a lot of activity during the night. This included one chap in the band tinkling away on a piano and if memory serves the choice of music was the riff to “Iron Man”. Over and over again. In the morning, when we checked out, the hotel manager said “Well, you really should never come back here” (or words to that effect). I bet he meant it. I also recall the last show of a Swedish tour, and back then it was a bit of a tradition that the road crew would set the artist up with some kind of a joke. Well, they really went to town this night. The set opened with a tape playing some bombastic classical music and within seconds we could tell that something was seriously wrong as the music started to slow down, only to then speed up etc. The crowd stood there and they must have wondered what the hell was going on. I filmed it and you can hear me and a friend of mine laugh so hard that we almost perished. But that was not the end of it. Within minutes, all in the first song, other incidents happened to guys in the band. I think the crew took it just a tad too far that night. It was funnny as hell though. Probably not for the band, but I think they may look back on it now with some sense of appreciation. It was the good old days after all and that is precious.

(6) JOE LYNN TURNER 1992 & 1999. I befriended Joe Lynn Turner during the Deep Purple Forever! fanzine years, and we talked many times for the better part of a decade. The first interview I ever did was in October 1992 just weeks after him being fired from Deep Purple. He was very disappointed (who would not be?) and outspoken. This interview is probably one of the most quoted in books etc. Classic Rock magazine even asked Joe about the interview once. Years later, in July 1999, I met him in Elmsta (Sweden) as he was doing a show with Nikolo Kotzev at an outdoor venue (with a Kiss tribute band as openers). We had a good time that day and Michael Johansson shot some great photographs of Joe (one ended up on the cover of Deep Purple Forever! issue 24). I recall that the conversation included pickup lines with women and Joe told us this hilarious story about him seeing this chick that he liked once and as he approached her to introduce himself he fell backwards flat on his ass. Not the greatest moment in his life, but very funny. Joe really is a great guy, certainly one of the nicest blokes that I have met over the years in this business.

(7) RONNIE JAMES DIO 2001. And that goes for Ronnie James Dio as well. When I met him backstage at Johanneshovs Isstadion (a hockey arena in Stockholm) in 2001 on the “Magica” Tour along with photographer Michael Johansson (whom filmed the interview), he truly opened up. I not only think that this is one of the best interviews that I ever did, it may be one of the best ever. I squeezed more facts out of him in those 30 minutes than you can believe unless you have read it. His take on the recording of “Long Live Rock´n´Roll” (Rainbow, 1978) and the crazy stuff that went on there with séances going wrong etc is classic stuff. When I asked him if he had ever had a UFO experience (I occasionally used to throw that question in there at the very end of interviews, and I often got amazing answers), he actually had, and he told me the story on camera. You can find it on the slicerocks channel on YouTube, “Ronnie James Dio talks about UFO sighting”. This interview has seen print in several magazines and quotes has been lifted on sites and blogs all over the place.

(8) JUDAS PRIEST 1986. I only interviewed Glenn Tipton (and Judas Priest) once, but it was a great experience. It happened on the “Turbo” Tour in 1986 and we had the conversation after the show backstage at the Johanneshov arena in Stockholm. When I asked him what he thought of the Deep Purple reunion he gave an honest reply. He also told me that he had been in a group called The Flying Hat Band (!) in the early 1970s and that they had opened for Purple in the UK on the “Burn” Tour. It was obviously a good memory for him as he had a big grin on his face when he told me about this. Nice. When the manager popped up to say that the time was up Glenn said “No, no, this is fine” and I got more time than scheduled. The interview saw print in Metal Hammer (several editions in Europe) and METAL (published by CREEM Stateside).

(9) RAINBOW 1995 & DOOGIE WHITE 1999. I met three guys in Rainbow as the band toured for the “Stranger In Us All” album in 1995. As on so many times before, it happened at the Sheraton Hotel in Stockholm and Michael Johansson was there (some of his shots from that night was later used in a Tour Programme). Ritchie Blackmore was not available (never expected him to be anyway), but singer Doogie White, bass player Greg Smith and drummer Chuck Burgi spent an hour with us and I think we all had a good time. There was a lot of laughs and jokes as the conversation took place and – again – the subject of UFOs came up, and boy did they have stories to tell. Especially Chuck. They happily posed with Deep Purple Forever! issues and I could tell that they were in good spirits. It was a good show that night at a place called Cirkus, and Swedish radio recorded it and aired the show later (I bet that it will show up before you know it on one of these dodgy releases, frankly I am surprised that it has not yet happened). Doogie became a friend and we kept in touch. I sent him a big box of porn (don´t ask!) on one of his birthdays and he sent me video tapes shot on the road with Rainbow. Eventually, Rainbow came to a close as Ritchie wanted to do the Blackmore´s Night thing and at the end of 1998 I asked Doogie if he wanted to do an interview of 100 questions for the Purple fanzine. He said yes and I sent him the questions in a letter. In early 1999 he recorded two one hour cassettes and sent them over (you can hear the phone ring on one of them and it is Janick Gers from Iron Maiden, and Doogie tells him to call back later because he is busy doing an interview for the Swedish club!). This resulted in this being printed in Deep Purple Forever! issue 23 and I still have to put this one up on this blog. Awesome interview. Not sure if I dare put it all up (in fact, I will not), but that was a good interview. It was reprinted in the Ritchie Blackmore fanzine More Black Than Purple and a journalist in Norway that had met Ritchie told me that his manager had been very upset when she read it.

(10) BABYMETAL. I have never met Babymetal and I will not pretend that I have (that is on the bucketlist although I doubt very much that it will ever happen), but I will end this with the amazing reaction that I got on this blog on June 6 2017 when I posted the “Enter The Twilight Zone – Babymetal Tokyo Dome 2016 (DVD) Review”. I had discovered Babymetal in early 2017 and I had started to get stuff on import (for some reason, most of the DVDs has never seen release outside of Japan, which is a shame) that just blew my socks off. The Tokyo Dome DVD, filmed at the 55,000 capacity arena in Tokyo over two nights, is a spectacular showcase of just how incredible this band is. So I wrote this review, pretty long and full of excitement, and BOOOM!!, the traffic on the blog just exploded. Thousands and thousands of hits within days, and then it suddenly popped up on Spanish speaking sites translated with the original link, and BOOOM!!, even more traffic. It was a crazy week. Never seen anything like it, before or since. I think I have had Babymetal fans visiting the blog ever since, I can see that and what old posts they visit as well. Of course I do not follow Babymetal as I do for hits, I follow them because of my love for what they do and that is not likely to change. Babymetal is unique, they are a genre all of their own. So precious.

Well, that was it. This turned out to be a longer post than expected, but I had a good time writing it. If you enjoyed it, please share it on your social platforms. Many thanks. (MIKE ERIKSSON)

(My shot of said Deep Purple bootleg, signed by David Coverdale)

Ann-Margret will release an album of rock classics called “Born To Be Wild” this week, loaded with heavy duty friends (how about Pete Townshend, Joe Perry, Rick Wakeman, Cliff Richard, The Fuzztones etc). A quick search reveals two versions of the cover, one is probably the Limited Edition coloured Vinyl. In any case, nice to see the old gal still being active, and I know that an album like this has been a long time dream for her. Maybe Cleopatra Records heard about that and made her an offer? Ann-Margret was born in Valsjöbyn (Jämtland County) here in Sweden. I met her when I was five years old but I have no recollection of it. I always liked her energy. Her work with Elvis speaks for itself.

(Covers are from official platforms)

I have been thinking about the Montana Blue project from back in 2010-2014. It started with me having a couple of photo-sessions with my lovely model Nina in the Summer of 2010, and then I wrote the novel that was published through the Retrofuture platform. The novel was eventually reprinted twice, thousands of people have seen it in these parts since I was handing out copies for free all around The Great Lake (Storsjön, Jämtland County) back in the day. I had my eye on a comic book version as well and artist Richard Svensson was drafted into the project. I was looking to print it through Retrofuture but the project stalled and in the end only 18 pages saw print (in Retrofuture 7, back in 2014). In 2015, I printed the final issue but this project had been abandoned by then. Quite a shame too since Richard had done a marvelous job with the existing material. And the novel is probably the best piece of work in that field that I have ever done (Western theme, Norse Gods, Great Lake Monsters, you name it, it is all in there). I have had plenty of good feedback over the years and I am very happy about it. The 18 pages that saw print in Retrofuture 7 was in black/white, but the original was in full colour (I highlighted that fact on the back of the magazine). If this comic was ever completed, maybe it could be picked up by a publisher and released as an album? I am basically floating an idea here. Who knows… Crazier things have happened. If somebody out there wants to get in touch, I am right here. Of course it would be up to Richard too, but if interest existed, maybe it could happen. I guess it is one of those loose ends. And I am a dreamer.

(My Montana Blue shots, drawings by Richard Svensson – much more on the “My western gals” tag on this blog)

I was contacted a few months ago by Swedish Phantom (Fantomen) editor Andreas Eriksson on whether it was OK if he reprinted the Retrofuture 6 article on Polish television show Stawka (Kapten Kloss here in Sweden) that Maciek Szatko had penned for the magazine, and of course I said yes. I would say that recognition like this is quite nice to achieve. So why did Andreas think that an article about Stawka/Kapten Kloss suited this book (“Den inbundna årgången 1971 – Del 5”, Egmont 2023), which is, after all, dedicated to the Phantom? Well, this television show was very popular back in the day and it spawned a Swedish comic book as well as pocket sized books, and within the pages of the Swedish Phantom comic, there were ads about all this at the time. Ads that can be seen in this edition of the highly exclusive reprint series. So Andreas probably felt that a bit of history that represented the day was a good idea. I was not sure when exactly this would pop up but now it has. Seen above is said book, the issue of Retrofuture that inspired Andreas to include this in the book, and some Polish media from when Stawka star Stanislaw Mikulski passed away in 2014. The following images is from the Phantom book and from Retrofuture 6 and 7 (Maciek Szatko did manage to give a copy to Mikulski, and so there was a page about that in issue 7 – see also this blog, November 18 2013). In any case, enjoy this trip down memory lane…

(My shots of said book and magazines, many thanks to Maciek Szatko and Andreas Eriksson)