Archive for the ‘Jämtland (County)’ Category


I published DEEP PURPLE MAGAZINE #11 in February 1980, so it has been 40 years now. Rainbow had been in Stockholm and I reviewed the show and showcased some snapshots. Two members of this incarnation of Rainbow is in Deep Purple now, Roger Glover and Don Airey. Don was making a name for himself back then.

Good times.

I should have blogged about this a couple of months ago, but here we go. RETROFUTURE bacame my last publication and the very first issue (as seen here) was published in December 2009. It was the beginning of a very nice period and I had a blast creating a dozen or so magazines before I decided to end it all in 2015. It was during this era that I published western novels as part of my output, and photographed wonderful models to go with them. Seen on this cover is Lina, the first I had the pleasure of working with. I think I will go back to this issue and add the Hysterica interview to this blog. It was a good one.

(My cover shot)


As you may know I have removed thousands of blog posts from this blog (mainly magazine stuff, but a lot of other topics as well) since the sad news of the upcoming EU regulations. Spent hours last weekend on this too. On some of these old posts, I actually replace top images. There are ways to save some of this stuff although it is time consuming and I am not done just yet. One result of all this is that 2017-2018 almost looks like a Babymetal blog if you go back now and there are months with only a few blog posts in the archives. Oh well. However, I think I have found a good formula in 2019 for the future and you can see the change. It can never be the same again though, which is a shame.

(Top image shows live shot of Over The Rainbow by me and DEEP PURPLE FOREVER #1 which has a Ritchie Blackmore shot from Copenhagen 1988 by Michael Johansson on the cover)

For easy access to all the Classic Rock Interviews on this site, here is a list and the date they were published (going back to 2012 when this blog was created). They span stuff from 1981 until today.

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), 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).


(My image)

You have to admire a band that never quits. Uriah Heep are still out there to this day, but they always had a hard time living up to the glory days of the 1970s. It has to be said though that Uriah Heep has had a fairly stable line-up for quite a number of years now, and singer Bernie Shaw has been there now since 1986. Same as keyboard player Phil Lanzon. Out of the 24 studio albums, Bernie and Phil has been there for the last eight. When I met Uriah Heep (in my hometown Östersund in August 1988), they had just released the first album (“Live In Moscow”) with this line-up, and they were hoping to regain lost ground. The concert in Östersund was not well attended, it seemed like the old fans just ignored the fact that Heep was still out there. Since then, they have released some good albums and they have outlived all trends that has passed in rock over the years. I only met them once and guitarist Mick Box gave me this interview before the show that night. He was a very decent chap, very positive. It was in print in LT (October 8 1988).

The interview started with his philosophy of life.

– “I love this lifestyle so much that it is the only thing I want to do until I retire. I have a wife and son in New Mexico but I still spend most of the year on the road. Some bands go out and they do a few shows in America, a few in Europe and maybe a couple of them in the UK. And they call that a World Tour. When we go out we usually play in over 30 countries, including places like Indonesia, New Zealand, Malaysia, Australia, Iceland and so on. Our last singer, Pete Goalby actually left because he could not handle it”.

There is no song from your last studio album “Equator” on the new live album, why is that?

– “I guess it was the changes in the band that did it. And that we wanted to give the fans in the Soviet Union what they wanted to hear the most. There are three new tracks on the live album, the rest is classics. If I see Deep Purple I want to hear “Smoke On The Water”. We have two new members so it feels right to introduce them as well, and then present the classics and how they sound now”.

The last studio album was released through CBS. Why did you leave that label?

– “We were contracted to a CBS owned label called Portrait Records and they did a lousy job for us. We could often not find our record in countries that we played in, and nobody would tell us anything so we did not know. What is the point in playing to thousands of people only to find out that they have not heard your new album?”.

You performed at the Reading Festival recently. How was that?

– “It was a blast. That festival goes on for three days and after the event most people thought that Iggy Pop and us had put on the best shows. It was the first gig at home in two years and we will be back for more shows before we record the next album. It is often the case in this business that you raise your profile if you have done a good job, and more people will be interested in seeing the next tour. We have not been in Sweden for a while so we knew we had to build things up again on this market”.

You are not disappointed that the response has been lukewarm?

– “Not really, we half expected it. The kids today hardly knows what Uriah Heep is but we are playing here now and talking to media and we hope that it will be better next time around over here. We will have a new album out then, maybe a couple of singles and a video”.

You will hit the studios soon for another studio album. What direction are you moving in right now?

– “I think it will be a natural successor to the last album. It will sound like Uriah Heep, with our way of presenting melodic harmonies. I have written stuff with our new keyboard player Phil Lanzon that are really good. It may get to be a little harder than the last one”.

The 20th Anniversary is coming up. How will you celebrate this occation?

– “I think a big birthday cake with a naked lady jumping up from it would be a good start (laughs). We will certainly make the most of it, we will do a long tour for sure and we will have a new album out. We can sell merchandise marking the event, the lot. I am really looking forward to it”.

Do you feel threatened at all by all the younger bands that are out there now?

– “No, because we already have our market. The reason that we take it on the road for nine months out of every year is to keep it all from stagnating. Our only problem is that we tend to view the entire world as our working field and that means that it might take us a while to revisit a specific market again. People think you have quit and you have to explain to them that you have been in 30 countries since you last played in their backyard”.

Where do you spend your time off? You all seem to live quite far away from each other.

– “Yes, we are not exactly neighbors. I live in New Mexico and I have a flat in London. Trevor Boulder lives in Dallas but also have a house in Hull. Lee Kerslake lives on an island that belongs to Spain not far off the coast of Africa. Bernie Shaw lives in Canada and England and Phil Lanzon is still residing in the UK. That results in quite a bit of bus fare (laughs). But if you are a professional and if you can organise all these things, then anything is possible really”.

You made it through hard work and long tours. Does it annoy you that some younger bands can have a successful video and that is it?

– “No, because that is the way it works today. You just have to accept it. I think that any band that makes it in this business today probably dererves it. Most bands have years of work behind them before anything happens. Nobody gets anything for free in this business”.

In recent years, new styles have emerged in rock, like Thrash and things that have borrowed from Punk. What is your take on this?

– “I am fine with it all, but it has all been done before. Iggy Pop was out there long before it became fashionable to do his thing. There is obviously a great interest in new styles and if people enjoy that then that is OK”.

One recent trend is this slam diving thing, were people jump into the crowd from the stage.

– “Thankfully, we do not get that sort of crowd. Our audience are enjoying themselves like they always did. I think that phenomenon you mentioned is an isolated thing really”.

What do you think of the future?

– “Music is my life and the guitar is an instrument with countless possibilities. When I started to do this I decided that it was something that I would stick to for the rest of my life. I may end up playing the blues in Chicago when Uriah Heep is over. I consider myself to be jackpot lucky in that my work is also my passion in life. When we played in Moscow we realized that our music is deeply embedded in their culture. It is pretty fantastic to walk into a fancy restaurant in Moscow and the string ensemble plays “July Morning”. We met fans that had all our albums and they were ready to brave the cold to get a chance to meet us and to get them signed. You also have to remember that all those people had to save money for months to get each and every album on the black market”.

Many artists can not write music when they are on the road. How is it for you?

– “I am lucky in that I can come up with ideas anytime, anywhere. Today we tested a new idea on our soundcheck that might end up on the next album. I do get inspiration from the road – you can find yourself in a bar and somebody says something that sticks in your head, and that could end up as a title of a song. I think I would start to go crazy if I stayed home for too long, because I need this kind of freedom. And the longer you are away from home, the better it is to return. You get to know your wife all over again (laughs)”.

You seem to really love your lifestyle.

– “Oh yes, we live our lives like most people can only dream about. We see a lot of countries on a regular basis. A regular family might save money and then go to a specific place. We are out there all the time. Uriah Heep is all about connecting with the people and we enjoy spending time with our fans. We do not have problems with egos in this band. A career can go up and down over and over but the most important thing is that you always deliver all that you have got. We recently played in front of 120,000 people in Jugoslavia and tonight we are here in front of a few hundred. But the show will be the same. If you do not enjoy yourself, and if you can not communicate with your fans, then you should not be in this business”.

(If you borrow quotes from this interview, have the decency of letting me know about it)

Mike Eriksson (Trinkelbonker 2020) – My image of Uriah Heep.

Glad to see that my old friend Staffan Eriksson is getting some well deserved press for his Artomus Friendship album “A Day Of Celebration”. Newspaper LT (in Jämtland County) presented a full spread today, authored by journalist Helena Lindh. Another friend, Jens Ganman (see January 22 post on him) also got a full page. What a wonderful day.

You can read my interview with Staffan on November 10 on this blog.

(Image shows LT article)

Proud to see that my friend Jens Ganman has been voted Swede of 2019 by News Magazine Fokus, a highly prestigious honor indeed. He is a journalist, author, song writer and an absolute fearless voice in a society that has largely been silenced by political correctness. I think it is fair to say that certain parts of our establishment is very unhappy about his work. His weapon of choice is often satire, backed up by facts that mainstream media do not want to touch. Jens is a very brave man and this reward is well deserved. He was published in my final issue of RETROFUTURE a few years ago (the subject matter was our freedoms). He has always been a very busy guy and here we are. The 2020s belongs to people like him.

(My shot from an outdoors debate in Östersund about five years ago)