Last weekend was busy on Swedish TV for all Gessle fans. On 26th November Per appeared on TV4’s show, Hellenius hörna. The recordings took place on October 4, so almost 2 months ago. During the past few days we could see some teaser videos to the program and they promised a fun show. Unfortunately, it can only be watched online in Sweden.
The program starts with showing Per taking care of the other guest’s, Carina Berg’s hair when David Hellenius, the host of the show enters the dressing room and says Carina should already be in the make-up room. Per says he has full control, he took care of Carina to look modern and nice. Oh well, she got a very similar hairdo to that of Mr. G’s. Ta-da! David says it’s Per-fect! Funny enough that Per DOES look like a fab hairdresser. Haha.
Carina is the first guest, so she gets interviewed by David. Per, Sweden’s biggest pop star is welcomed by David as the second guest. David asks Per if he has any thoughts on what he heard from the show so far. Per says Carina likes talking a lot. David asks Per if he got a bit nervous now. Per says actually a bit.
David asks Per if he has any relation to Carina, if he saw any of her shows. Per says, actually he hasn’t. Everyone laughs. David says Carina moved into the house of many (because of her TV show, Berg flyttar in), but not into Per’s house. Carina says Per is a little secret. David asks Per what he is hiding, what he doesn’t want to show. Per says he is hiding kind of everything. Carina says rumor has it Per lives like a Russian oligarch, building something huge, 7 meters high, art all around the house, big balconies. David tells Carina she is lovely, but totally crazy.
David says they were talking about bravery and asks Per if he likes to expose himself to scary stuff. Per jokes and says well, he is married. Everyone laughs. David asks Per what the bravest thing is he has ever done. Mr. G tells that once when he had his birthday, Åsa’s gift for him was to ride a horse. It didn’t go too well, because the horse trotted out of the ring and stood in its stall with Per on its back. Bored. Per was terrified.
They talk about Per’s amazing career, a career one can only dream about. They look back on those almost 40 years by the help of old pictures and short footage from TV shows, interviews and concerts. David asks Per what he thinks about it all. Per says it makes him start thinking he is getting old. Nah, he is kidding and says he is of course super proud. A part of what they saw feels like it happened ages ago. It has been a fantastic journey and he is very fortunate.
David asks Per if he can enjoy it when he is standing on stage in front of 50000 people, if one can take it in at that very moment. Per says one can actually enjoy it. He tells that it happened to Marie and him that during Roxette times they looked at each other and they knew they were thinking about the same thing: ”Is that really happening?” One can be in Lima, Taipei or Sydney, this is what is so awesome with music, the power of music. They come from a small country and play songs that work everywhere, regardless of religions, cultures or skin color. Everyone knows their songs. It’s absolutely fantastic.
David asks Per if being Per Gessle is a normal thing for him, being such a great artist. If he can walk on the street and think, ”Shit, I’m Per Gessle”, if he ever forgets it. Per says it has never happened.
David mentions that Per has written almost 1000 songs and asks Per which he thinks is the best or which is the one he is the most proud of. Per says he doesn’t know. He has a lot of good songs and half good songs. David forces Mr. G to choose one. Per thinks ”The Look” is good. David asks if there is a hit song Per doesn’t like, when everyone is jumping and he thinks ”it’s useless, stop singing along”. Per says he is bad at choosing singles. Those songs that are liked by the wider mass he had often rejected earlier. He wanted to leave Här kommer alla känslorna off Mazarin. He had a big song with Roxette, Wish I Could Fly. He wanted to leave it off as well. David says Per is good at writing songs, but his judgement is so-so, he asks if Per lets others to choose then. Mr. G says there are a few people, a little team he is listening to, who he counts on.
David asks Carina if she has any favourite song. Carina chooses It Must Have Been Love. David asks Carina to sing it while Per is playing the guitar. Carina says she learnt the song when she couldn’t speak English, so she says she hopes her English is the right text. Per says all good, he wrote the song when he couldn’t speak English. Then the 3 of them, Carina, Per and David perform IMHBL.
David mentions that in the beginning of last year Roxette did their last concert and asks Per if he really thinks it was the last Roxette concert ever. Per says he thinks so, it’s history now (the last concert, not Roxette – PP). David asks what Marie means to Per. Mr. G says they met at the end of the ’70s. They shared a rehearsal room and socialized a lot. So they kind of grew up together and had this fantastic journey together. They are like siblings. They have had awesome years, more than 30 years in their career. He says Marie is an awesome girl. David asks if there is a personal memory that only Per and Marie have. Mr. G says in 2009 it had been 7 years since Roxette wasn’t on stage. Then he did a solo tour in Europe and Marie went to his show with her husband in Amsterdam. Before the show Per asked Marie if she wanted to sing a song with him. Marie said she didn’t, but Per saw in her eyes that deep inside she wanted to, just didn’t dare. Then they rehearsed It Must Have Been Love and then Marie said, ”OK let’s do this one, just the two of us”. So for the first encore she came up on stage and the crowd was dead. Per says he had never seen so many people crying. It was incredible. They performed It Must Have Been Love and the venue exploded.
David says Per broke through with Gyllene Tider earlier and asks if Per has ever had a plain job. He was an elementary school teacher for some months, he was very good at that. David asks what his strength was, to comfort the kids or the time table. Per says his strength was that the kids could do whatever they wanted to. David asks Per: 9×9? Per is fast with the answer, 81. Mr. G says he had to finish that job because of GT’s breakthrough. There were no more lessons, just signing autographs.
Regarding other jobs, Per tells he and one of his friends worked as troubadours and played for example ”Svarte Rudolf” at nursing homes for old people. It was really awesome. David asks if Per also worked at the check-out. Mr. G says he never sit in the check-out, but he worked at ICA, packing at the check-out and collecting milk. David asks when was it. Per jokes it was in 2016.
David asks Per if he has always dreamt of becoming a pop star. Mr. G says when he was a child, he always gathered his friends and they used cue sticks and mimed to songs of The Monkees or The Beatles. He was standing in the front and was miming the most.
David asks Per if he was good at school. Per tells school was pretty easy for him, but he got tired fast. It was hard, because his family moved a lot, like each third year and so he always ended up in a new school, a new class with new mates. He never enjoyed school. They moved because of different reasons. His father had asthma so once he needed sea air then forest air, then he had to live under water (he jokes). Talking about his father, David asks Per about what kind of father he himself is. Per says he is a fantastic dad. Of course. David asks Mr. G what Gabriel thinks about Per Gessle being his father. Per thinks that Gabriel thinks it’s OK, but he has never asked. David says he can’t imagine Per baking buns and selling them in the bazaar. He asks if Per has ever been a class parent. He hasn’t. A lot of that responsibility was on his wife. She is fantastic. David asks if Åsa has ever got angry and asked him to bake something. Per says no, she is happy that she doesn’t have to taste what Per bakes.
David asks Per if Gabriel likes his music. Mr. G says he didn’t dare to ask that either, but when they were on the Room Service tour in 2001 and played in hockey arenas, they always had a room full of games for the kids. Then Gabriel always wanted to come out for the 8th song. It was Real Sugar. He was totally uninterested in the rest. Gabriel is 20 now and still lives at home. David asks if he has to pay a rental fee. Per says it’s a good idea. David asks Per if he thinks it’s important that Gabriel goes to school, thinking of how Per’s relations to school were. Per says he tried to convince Gabriel to skip school and hang out with him in the studio, but he didn’t want to. He doesn’t want to be a pop star.
David tells he checked Per’s Instagram and he realized that it follows a pattern. Per sitting in different cars. Per says he was searching for those shoes he is wearing on one of the pics. David says it’s funny, the car costs 10 million and he is searching for a pair of shoes that cost 300. David tried to find out how many cars PG has and he found an interview where Per said he doesn’t know, 11-12 or so. Per still has the same answer. David asks how many car a pop star has to have. Per says 11-12 maybe. Haha. David asks if Gabriel can borrow the cars. Per says he can use whichever car he wants, but he didn’t drive any of them yet. David realizes Gabriel lives his own life. Per says he has his own scary old BMW. David asks about the customized registration numbers. Per says all his cars have it customized. They show the LALALA and David thinks it’s from a song, but Per explains it’s a LaFerrari, so he thought it’s fun. David says it’s car humor then.
In the last part of the show David asks Mr. G how much he cares about how he looks on stage. Per says he is doing his best, but on stage he has quite limited possibilities, because he is sweating as he is moving a lot on stage. So he can’t have lots of clothes on. It’s always a shirt, trousers and sneakers. David asks if Per is vain. Per says his wife says so. David asks if Per gets angry when he hears that from Åsa and tells her ”leave me alone, I don’t care at all”. Per says she thinks he is in the way in front of the mirror. David asks if Åsa is right. Per says she is.
David asks Per about hairdos and mentions he heard that Per cut the hair of Barbie dolls in the past. Per says he had a little doll collection when he grew up and he styled their hair. If the hairdo wasn’t good, he just cut the hair off. David hopes Per doesn’t do the same with his wife’s hair. Mr. G confirms he doesn’t. Both Carina and Per changed their hairstyles a lot of times in the past and here comes a test. David shows pictures from different eras and they have to find out which year it is. A picture of Per is shown from 1993, another from 1987, a third from 1991. Per can guess the years right and he wins the contest.
The show ends with Per and John Holm performing Det är vi tillsammans together with the band (Malin-My Wall, Christoffer Lundquist, Ola Gustafsson, Martin Höper) and a children choir. Yet another beautiful live performance of the song, which is sadly cut before it ends, in the middle of the children choir part.
Thanx for the technical help, János Tóth!