Archive for the ‘TV & Movies’ Category

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 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)

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)

More from Sweden. Here we have a couple of classic publications that experienced their commercial and creative peak in the 1960s and 1970s, FIB Aktuellt and Lektyr. They were basically geared towards men but women read them too. FIB Aktuellt 6 1970 has the lovely Christina Lindberg on the cover (along with three guys), she was a model that would also become a movie star. Shot is credited to Siwer Ohlsson, one of the greatest photographers we have ever had in this country. Lektyr 52 1974 has Brigitte Bardot on the cover. No photo credit in this one. Both these titles still exists but the magic is long gone.

(My shot of said publications)

Last week I showcased a book about this title and a couple of covers, and here is another brilliant example of how Bild Journalen (this is issue 3 1962) used both the front and the back in this way. Wisely, you have Audrey Hepburn on the front and George Peppard on the back (got to think about sales). No credit for this cover image but it might have been a promotional shot for “Breakfast At Tiffany´s.

(My shot of said cover)

Now we are really going back in time, and you may recognise Errol Flynn/Olivia de Havilland and Robert Taylor/Elizabeth Taylor on these covers? Swedish magazines, Film Journalen (issue 38 1938) and Vecko Revyn (40 1952). No photo credits. I rate both “The Adventures of Robin Hood” and “Ivanhoe” highly. Robin Hood comes to the rescue in “Ivanhoe” as well, but not portrayed by Flynn.

(My shot of said covers)

Well the day clearly belonged to Babymetal. About 140,000 people watched the free YouTube feed of the 2017 concert “Legend – S – Baptism XX” (I checked right before it was removed). Not only are they selling merchandise (how about a Babymetal pet-collar designed by Su-metal!), people could also donate during the airing of the show. I could not believe how fast the donations came in. They clearly wrote history today.

Thank you Team Babymetal!

(My shot of post-show still and message at the very end of the feed)

This 1969 High Chaparral Annual from the UK is a pretty cool reminder of the good old days. Popular TV-shows used to get books like this, certainly in the UK. You get a bunch of comics, short novels (with added art) and Western mythology presented in a way that is attractive to a certain audience. I suspect these were popular Christmas presents in many families back in the day. Nice cover.

(My shot of said publication)

I have just showcased a couple of issues of Swedish publication Bild Journalen. Well, here is a book about the magazine in question. “Boken om Bild Journalen” (Premium Publishing, 2011) by authors Börje Lundberg and Ammi Bohm explore this classic title (that existed 1954-1969) over a whopping 584 pages (drop this and you are likely to hurt yourself). I really love books like this, jam packed with everything you ever wanted to see and know. Great magazine, huge legacy.

(My shot of said book)

Another show that was popular back in the day was Bonanza. Not quite as rough as High Chaparral, but memorable in its own way. Here we have Swedish publication Bild Journalen (2 1961) and this particular magazine used to do this sort of thing (using both sides of the magazine for the cover shots) on a pretty regular basis. I never really saw this again. Photo credit goes to Ulf Christer.

(My shot of said publication)