Per Gessle to Dagens Nyheter about the power of music

According to a recent study, the songs we listened to as 14-year-olds make the biggest impact on us. Dagens Nyheter was curious about what seven Swedish artists listened to when they were 14. Per Gessle was one of those artists they asked.

Per tells Kajsa Haidl from Dagens Nyheter that he was 14 in 1973 and he listened to e.g. The Ballroom Blitz by The Sweet. He didn’t understand anything of the text, but loved the intro, the guitars and the handclaps.

Per says he was completely hooked on glam rock at the age of 14. He thinks it’s perfect teenage music. Mr. G had posters of David Bowie, T. Rex, Gary Glitter and Alice Cooper on the walls of his room at the time.

Dagens Nyheter asks Per if he agrees that we are most affected by and have the strongest memories of the music we listened to when we were around 14 years old. Mr. G replies that many people become interested in music seriously when adolescence begins. However, he started much earlier and pop music has been dominating his life since he was 6 or 7. He has the strongest memories of music from when he was younger than 14, such as The Beatles’ White Album, Woodstock, The Who, Hep Stars and Tages.

Kajsa asks Per what he thinks about the fact that he and his music had an impact on and created memories for young people who carry it through life. Per says it’s of course fantastic, but also difficult to absorb. Music has such an exceptional power that almost no other form of art has. Mr. G says he had the privilege of experiencing it with Roxette. They played all over the planet for people with completely different languages, religions, political views, skin colour and background, but everyone reacted exactly the same way to It Must Have Been Love, Listen To Your Heart or The Look. He doesn’t know how this universal power works.