Archive for the ‘Retrofuture’ Category

Overtherainbow_turnerblackmore

When I was lucky enough to catch Over The Rainbow here in Sweden back in 2010 I walked away from the festival thinking it was the closest to a proper Rainbow reunion that we would ever get. It was a brilliant show by a brilliant band. It featured four ex-members of Rainbow – Joe Lynn Turner (vocals), Greg Smith (bass), Bobby Rondinelli (drums) and Paul Morris (keyboards) – and Ritchie Blackmore´s son Jurgen Blackmore (a fine guitarist in his own right, and he was great in this short lived project).

Enter 2016 and the return of Rainbow, with Ritchie Blackmore being the only member that was in the band prior to now. His new outfit may well be brilliant, the jury is still out on that. But the nostalgia factor was shot to hell when he went with all new faces.

On top of this, Joe Lynn Turner worked his ass off to get a Rainbow reunion going, and this included business contacts that offered a deal that would have put Rainbow back on top for whatever time period that Blackmore would be willing to play rock again. This option would probably have been prefered by many. The Rainbow legions are getting on, nostalgia is the thing most people would like to dwell in for one last time, if at all possible. I may be unfair to the current situation now, but that would still be my guess.

RF3_rockweekend (RF3)

Over The Rainbow probably had some internal problems that ended it, but I can´t help to wonder if now wouldn´t be a pretty good time for these guys to reconsider this and to have another shot at it? It would be too late for the 2016 festivals, but if these guys got a label behind them and recorded an album together, 2017 could look pretty good.

I think it would be kind of exciting, and it would be interesting to see the media interest. It would be a clash of titans.

Over The Rainbow deserves a legacy.

(Top picture was taken at the Rockweekend Festival in 2010, article – or first spread of it – is from RETROFUTURE 3, published that fall)

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RF8_cover

It has to be said that I enjoyed RETROFUTURE 8 quite a lot, and that´s why it´s so nice that the feedback I keep hearing by word of mouth is so strong, very positive indeed. I took a bit of a gamble with this issue, it featured stuff that you could get your head chopped off for these days and I said my piece about things in general. Not the kind of thing that you see every day in this country, screwed up as it is by political correctness and fear. But I had to do it. I was bowing out after all. No time to hold back then – if truth hurts, then so be it.

As you know, I´ve handed out the RETROFUTURE magazines for free in these parts (14.000 copies, in fact) and so this final issue also represents a climax of a phase in my life as a publisher that was a bit special in that sense. I really spent the last five years of this hobby doing it all just for the pure enjoyment of it all. It also cost me an arm and a leg to do it, but at least I had quite a lot of fun and I also left a bit of a legacy behind which I´m proud of. What I created with RETROFUTURE was unique and I doubt that anybody else will ever repeat what I did in these parts. I think I´ve earned the right to be proud.

Great feedback from prominent journalists (not your ordinary leftist crowd, but really good ones including a legendary publisher – it doesn´t get any better than that you know), and that feels really good I´ve to say. The article about A4, I5 and F4 (see earlier post) went down a storm and will in fact be republished in two publications. I think that says a lot, don´t you?

The major piece on prepping was written last year but it´s all coming true now, sad as that is. I was right on the money and it´s interesting to note that quite a lot of people was drawn to that subject. I think that people know, deep down, that we´re in serious trouble now. A fact that mainstream media still ignores, strange as that is.

So here we are then, the final batch of magazines have been given out (last few hundred went to Teknikland, I hear they just blew out the door!) and so RETROFUTURE is now really a thing of the past. I shall miss it.

Had a blast though, it was a good thing.

(My image on cover of this magazine)

MB_field

Good traffic right now – the blog has been linked from Deep Purple Overseas facebook and (Deep Purple news site) The Highway Star in the last few days. The blog has had about 200 hits an hour lately, which is OK. The all time high so far has been 500 hits an hour, which is not bad at all. For a regular blog that is. A hobby blog basically. I hope you will enjoy your visit and that you will appreciate (at least some of) the contents.

Picture shows Montana Blue model Nina (shot in September 2010 for RETROFUTURE).

MikeEriksson_old

Here´s a picture of me from around 1982. I had done my stint in the army (which was compulsary in Sweden back in the day) and I was about to wrap up the DEEP PURPLE FREAK SOCIETY club that I was busy with back then. I was giving a helping hand to local act 220 Volt at the time, and a friend of mine at CBS listened to a demo and brought them in. I was also writing for my first newspaper, Helsingborgs Dagblad, and the subject was hard rock. I saw a lot of bands and it wouldn´t be long before I was interviewing most of them. I was on a journey but I really had no clue how much fun that I would have in the next decade or so. At 30, I actually dropped that lifestyle that I had managed to create. I recall the moment when I took the decision – I was conducting an interview with Toto (the seventh one, incidentally) and I was sitting there thinking “Here I am again, I wonder if this guy is thinking the same thing…”. So I dropped out and went back to creating fanzines just for the hell of it – first DEEP PURPLE FOREVER, which enabled me to continue with the Deep Purple family at least – later on with other titles, which ended recently with the last issue of RETROFUTURE. 102 magazines in all.

I look at this picture now and think “You have no idea what is coming”, and I didn´t. But doors opened and it happened real fast. I´m such a lucky bastard, I really am.

Toto1988

The new album from Toto inspired me to go back to one of the old interviews that I did with the band back in 1988 for inclusion on this blog. I reprinted this one in RETROFUTURE 4 in 2011, so it was not hard to find. Joseph Williams was the singer in the band at the time, as he is now again. So here´s a bit of nostalgia for you. Enjoy!

* * * * *

What have you been up to since you were last here?

Steve / Well, there´s the new album, we have a few new babies at home, a new house…

 

On your new album you´re working with an outside producer for the first time. What made you take that step?

Joseph / We wanted to be able to concentrate on the creative side and just let somebody else take care of the technical.

David / For the first time really, we felt like artists in the studio. In the past, maybe 60% of our time was spent dealing with the sound. This was our first digital recording as well.

 

Joseph has done a couple of records now with the band, is a live album in the cards anytime soon?

Jeff / I know we said this the last time we were here as well, but I think we need another studio record before we record a live album.

David / “The Seventh One” was a great live album, until we did all the overdubs, ha ha…

Mike / We´ll actually record a live album, but it´s for the Japanese market.

Steve / Yeah, the Japanese market is very different to Europe and the US.

 

Which market is your strongest today?

David / If you add up all the sales for Europe combined, then this is probably our best market today.

 

Where is Steve Porcaro?

Joseph / In his room! He´s still touring with us but he wants his role in the band to be toned down a bit. He doesn´t like journalists!

 

I heard that Mike broke his arm in Germany on the last tour?

Mike / Yes, I fell off the stage in the dark and I broke my arm!

Jeff / I didn´t see it so we started the show and played seven songs with a bass player that was grinning with pain.

David / I felt bad when I found out about it because I told him to break a leg before the show, as you do for good luck, ha ha…

 

Are you alright with these long tours?

Steve / It can be hard. I miss my wife and my sons and my daughter a lot. My youngest son is taking his first steps right now and I´m not there to see it. You feel it the most in your hotel room in the middle of the night, staring at the ceiling feeling lonely. But then you feel happy again when you have another crowd in front of you.

 

How do you plan your time?

David / We look ahead about two years. We try to work for four to five month´s at a time, with a little time off for other things in between.

 

Many musicians hate making videos, how do you feel about them?

Joseph / I only hate the bad ones! We´ve made two for the new record, one for the US market and one for you with “Stop Loving You”. The record companies in Europe ignores our advice because they think they understand this market better that we do. We have to respect that.

David / Yes, we have one in Europe that has Joseph in the nude and one for the States in which he´s fully dressed, ha ha…

 

Do you have any favourite cities?

Jeff / Stockholm has always been good to us. London, Paris and Rotterdam as well.

David / It always snows when we´re here though. I hope to see the sun next visit.

 

The new record is longer than most?

David / Yes, it was actually hard to jam it all into the vinyl. We did it anyway because we didn´t want to be restricted by the standard norms. The CD version is even longer actually.

 

Did you record more songs that the ones we´ve got this time around?

Mike / We always record 15 songs at least and then we pick out nine or ten for the album.

David / Sometimes a song will appear on the next album, but that´s rare.

 

What´s going to happen with all these unreleased songs?

Jeff / That you´ll find out after we´ve all died in a plane crash. But seriously, a two hour record would not be a problem to put together.

 

What do you think about the future of the rock business?

Steve / I think that it´ll be just as big in 20 year´s time as it is now, I think I can guarantee that.

David / More and more kids learn to play inspired by their idols. I think we´ll see a lot of new talent in the next decade. Some of them might be very personal. Maybe there´s a new Beatles in the making as we speak?

Joseph / Or maybe there isn´t a new Beatles in the making… Tell them about your dream David…

David / I want to be the guy that you see dance behind Madonna!

 

Michael Eriksson (1988)

(Top image from Folket by me)

(No part of this interview may be quoted without permission)

* * * * *

RF8_library

Friends of RETROFUTURE can now grab a free copy of RETROFUTURE 8 at the Library here in Östersund (Jämtland County). A big thank you to my friend Thomas Drugg for all the help through the years.

Great feedback from prominent journalists, I´ll keep it to myself though.

(Image from library by me)

20150304

What a night. I´m battling a cold but I had to put on a brave face and attend the RETROFUTURE 8 release party at Jane Doe (see earlier posts for details). It was very nice to spend some quality time with Thomas Drevin and Björn Höglund though, as they played Kiss and Deep Purple classics all night long.

I´ll take a few days off from blogging right now, and try to get back on track.

(Images by me)