Cast of the Gyllene Tider movie

The feature film about Gyllene Tider tells the incredible story of the band from the countryside that, against all odds, managed to become the biggest in Sweden. And to this day, when Gyllene Tider tours, all tickets are sold out in no time. Now it is clear that the film will have its cinema premiere in distribution by Nordisk Film next summer. All five who got the coveted lead roles are also making their acting debut. Valdemar Wahlbeck portrays Per Gessle, Lancelot Hedman Graaf plays the role of Anders Herrlin, Phoenix Parnevik plays Micke Syd Andersson, Ville Löfgren plays Mats “MP” Persson and Xawier Kulas plays Göran Fritzon.

Per Gessle says:

I think it can be absolutely fantastic, because it really is an incredible and extremely unusual journey Gyllene Tider has made. Lots of laughter, lots of crying, lots of everything. Just like in a good pop song.

The film tells the absurd story behind the legendary Swedish band Gyllene Tider, which has become one of the biggest pop sensations of our time. Per is the school’s ambitious outsider in the high school in Halmstad who finds a community and friends for life through music with MP, Micke, Anders and Göran. Despite all setbacks, the band fights purposefully and in the early eighties has its big breakthrough with its effective choruses and passionate lyrics about life in a small town.

Ahead of Gyllene Tider’s big comeback tour this summer, it is now clear which five guys will get the honorable task of playing the main roles as Gyllene Tider.

Per says:

I was honestly hesitant at first. After all, most films like this are made only after you die and we are, as far as I know, still alive! But after talking long and often with everyone involved and reading the script, I’m super proud and happy about this project. The five guys chosen to play the five of us are all special in completely different ways. Exactly like us in the “original band”.

Valdemar Wahlbeck, 19, plays Per Gessle. He was born and raised in Halmstad as the son of comedian Peter Wahlbeck. Valdemar is a singer and dancer and studies at the Ballet Academy in Gothenburg. With his band Pipsvängen, he, like Per Gessle in the beginning, has played at various retirement homes. He has already recorded several songs with Per Gessle’s producers that acclaim Valdemar’s singing voice.

Valdemar says:

Imagine being born and raised in Halmstad and now getting to play one of this city’s biggest icons. Dad is from Halmstad, Per is from Halmstad, my teacher created the Gula Tidningen which is a Gyllene Tider parody. It feels like the circle is closed.

Phoenix Parnevik, 21, became known to all Swedish people through the reality series Parneviks on TV3. Now it’s his turn in the family to step into the limelight after studying acting in the US. Like his grandfather Bosse Parnevik, he is a good impersonator and is now practicing the Halland dialect for the role of Micke Syd Andersson.

Phoenix says:

It feels good to finally be able to show the Swedish people what I love and have been doing for so long in the USA. That my first role is a real person is really a dream.

Lancelot Hedman Graaf, 22, plays Anders Herrlin. Lancelot is already an established artist and has appeared in a number of television shows.

Lancelot says:

It feels great fun. Acting wasn’t something I thought I’d do but after the test shoot I related so much to the role and really just need to be myself. It’s fun to have new challenges.

The other two making their acting debut are Ville Löfgren, 17, from Karlshamn in the role of Mats “MP” Persson and Xawier Kulas, 16, from Halmstad plays Göran Fritzon. More roles will be presented later.

Nevis Productions is very happy to have gained the band’s trust and values their involvement in the film. The premiere takes place next summer in cinemas around the country through Nordisk Film.

Pia Norström, Nordisk Film marketing manager says:

We are extremely proud to present this film to cinema audiences. Gyllene Tider’s music means a lot to many Swedes and we want to give the audience a movie experience that will be just as strong.

The feature film about Gyllene Tider’s road to success is loosely based on the band’s history. It will be as much a feel-good film as a music party and an updated look at the early eighties.

Screenwriter and director is Per Simonsson (Svartsjön [Black Lake], Tjuvarnas jul [Christmas of Thieves], Selmas saga [Selma’s Saga]).

Per Simonsson says:

I listened to the first three records on constant repeat and thought that this is how the film should feel: the longing for love, community and daring to live life to the fullest.

The shooting of Gyllene Tider starts in August in Halmstad and the recording continues in Stockholm during autumn.

Producers at Nevis Productions are Moa Westeson, Cindy Hanson and Anni Faurbye Fernandez.

Photos by Fredrik Etoall

Our earlier article about the movie can be found HERE.

Micke Syd Andersson about Gyllene Tider on Norwegian podcast

Micke Syd was a guest on Oppland Arbeiderblad’s podcast, Backstage the other day. It’s a Norwegian podcast, so the questions were asked in Norwegian, the answers were given in Swedish. Since these two languages are so close to each other, there is no need for an interpreter to understand each other. Here comes the English transcript of the chat between Micke and Frode Hermanrud. Listen to the podcast HERE!

Gyllene Tider had a concert in Gjøvik on the Moderna Tider tour in 1981, so a bit more than 40 years ago. Micke says it’s a lot and he informs that they are going back to Finland also after more than 40 years on this next tour. He says it’s great to come back and say hello. When GT was there last time, 41 years ago, the reviewer wasn’t too happy, Micke says. He explains he got a clipping of a review from Frode and from that he sees that the reviewer didn’t think GT was that good. Frode reads from the review that the music goes straight to the heart of teenagers in the Nordic region, it’s built on worn-out clichés with lyrics that address youth love and all its variants. „Jag vill känna din kropp emot min…”. It can’t be Swedish top music and the vocalist wasn’t shining either. Micke laughs and says here we are 41 years later and the singer has had three careers and GT is still there. He thinks it’s awesome and it would be fun to meet this guy who wrote the review. His name is Tore Hansen, Frode says. Micke thanks him for the review and says maybe they see each other in Fredrikstad in summer. He puts the guy on the guest list, he promises. „Let’s see if you feel the same way now.” Haha.

Micke says it wasn’t unique that guys didn’t like them back in the days. It’s because the girls thought they were cute. But what could they do… They were nice, sweet and kind. They were on the Swedish charts and so there was a lot of screaming girls. It has evened out over the years. Now the girls don’t scream as much and the guys are much happier these days. Haha.

Frode says what a tour it was in 1981. Micke says it was amazing and just think about that they went all the way without GPS or mobile phones and they set up and took down everything at the concerts themselves. He just watched a film 2 weeks ago when he was at home in Halmstad and did Christmas shows at Gessle’s hotel together with Tommy Ekman from Freestyle and Lili & Susie, Swedish eighties artists. So, a friend of his parents had filmed them in 1981 in a folkpark in Falkenberg which is another town in Halland where Micke Syd comes from and then he saw all the work and all the people. It was a lot of work. And it’s so funny because they did all that job during one year in 1981, then in 1996 they went to „only” 21-22 places and played for as many people. The ’80s were very different.

Frode says Gyllene Tider had 6 concerts before their incredible break-through with Flickorna på TV2. Micke says there was a TV program called Måndagsbörsen, which was huge in Sweden at the time because there were only two TV channels. If you had the chance to be on Måndagsbörsen then there was a big chance to break through. Gyllene Tider appeared on the program as a replacement of an English band, because they couldn’t come. Micke can’t remember who they were. They had Flickorna på TV2 with the lyrics „tänk att få sätta på flickorna på TV2”, but „sätta på” (turn on) has this double meaning, although that was not what it was about. It’s about turning the TV on. Per is good at those formulations. And to appear on the TV was enough for them to make it happen. It’s only them five who sound like them, they had a unique sound already back then. So what Frode said regarding the gigs is true. They had booked some gigs because they had a record deal and were going out to play. They were paid very little, but that was a few years before they were on TV. And then they got paid more after TV, because then everyone wanted to book them. Micke Syd has a friend he has known all his life who was 16 at the time. He organized a gig up in Rottneros which is outside Karlstad in Värmland and he had booked GT for 2500 SEK before the TV program. 2000 people came. There was big chaos and it was overcrowded, because everyone wanted to see GT. Micke’s friend said he has never had such a good evening.

Frode asks Micke about their ambitions outside Sweden, in Norway, for example. Micke says it’s been so long ago and to remember anything from the ’80s they have to be together all 5 of them. Haha. But he is pretty sure their record label EMI had an office in Norway. The music industry was completely different back then. The ambition was to come over to Norway as well, because Swedish music existed there after all. Ledin and lots of others before GT existed and became popular in Norway, so it’s clear that they also wanted to go there. They wanted to be as big as possible. That’s why they did The Heartland Café album. So yes, that was definitely the intention, Norway, Finland. Denmark is a bit more difficult because the languages differ. Some Swedish artists work in Denmark and GT also did some TV in Denmark, but that doesn’t happen much anymore. Norway has always taken Swedes with open arms. Micke is in Norway a lot with Tommy Ekman from Freestyle, doing corporate gigs and other stuff. They appreciate Norway a lot and Norway appreciates them too. Also that’s why Gyllene Tider played in Fredrikstad and then in Oslo, on the roof of the Opera in 2019. Micke tells how the opera gig was. They were on the stage that was above the water and played for people on the opera terrace and it started raining cats and dogs. Micke says they are coming back to Fredrikstad again this summer. Gonna be fun.

Frode asks Micke about the concert film, Parkliv! and is joking if he had a stylist. Micke thinks he looked too terrible. His mom was a hairdresser and had permed his hair. Micke didn’t like it, so he was wearing a cap the entire film and shorts and a T-shirt that he got in a rock club in Southern Sweden. So it wasn’t anything he thought about. The others looked quite nice, he says. It’s as usual with the drummers… So they didn’t have a stylist. If you compare it with the band Freestyle, the old Freestyle, it’s a completely different thing. They have really thought well about the clothes and everything. But that’s Micke’s personality, it’s the way he was. He wanted to play and didn’t think too much about other things. He thinks it’s also part of their success that they are quite ordinary. Now it has become different and Per also had his career with Roxette, but they are from the countryside, they all grew up in small towns and have been close to it all the time throughout their career. Micke thinks maybe that’s what makes people like them too, besides making really good music together of course. And they are good at it. They are good at working. They are very good at what Gyllene Tider is and they stood the test of time. Those songs stay with us. You hear this and that song and think about your teenage years when you were in love or anything else. Micke says he can see it when they play that there are a lot of young people too. When he did those Christmas shows in Halmstad, there were many tables with guests who were 20-25 or so. They weren’t even born when GT broke through. Their parents were teenagers then. But they are just as happy as those who are 60 now, because it means the same thing. Micke thinks it’s cool. It still feels a bit unique that you can get the same feelings when you hear these songs now. They are 40-year-old songs, but still they fit into life in a way. That it would be like this they didn’t know. After all, they just did what they wanted to do, it kind of worked and then it turned out well.

Micke says that when you work with music, it’s not like a regular job. He works with different bands and sings a lot and then he doesn’t play the drums. People in those bands can be much younger than he is. They are working with Gyllene Tider songs too and then Micke sings them. He says you forget age then. He doesn’t think about how old he is. He thinks it’s just as fun now. Micke explains they sat and watched Parkliv! on Youtube in 2013. He tells the listeners to watch it if they want to see him in terrible stage clothes. Then they sat and looked at themselves. They were 20 years old on that film. When he sees it now, he realizes that his youngest son Eddie, who turns 30 now, he was the same age in 2013 as Micke was on that film. And a second later he thought „wait, where am I sitting now”. He is as old now as his father was on the film. It was huge and when you still do it what you were doing back then, it’s just as fun. You can carry something like this with you for the rest of your life. Now there comes another tour, they have finished a brand new record, which they all think will be great. They feel that they make relevant music. Those who like Gyllene Tider will like the record, because it doesn’t sound like they are 62 to 64, but it sounds like they are 20. That’s how they sound together and the best part is to be on this journey together and to share it with people.

Frode shows an autograph card and Micke says he appreciates completely different things now than when he was 20. Then he wanted to be a pop idol and wanted the girls to scream. Then he was kind of satisfied. It’s not quite like that now. But sharing this experience of what they went through together with the others and to talk about that means something to others too. Not so much for Tore in 1981 maybe. Haha. For Micke it’s cool, because it feels like they have done something good with their lives and Per has done even more, because it’s absolutely unique to succeed in having 2-3 different careers at an even bigger level. There isn’t that many artists who have done it the way he did. Micke thinks Per has a great career as a Swedish solo artist and also with Roxette. And Gyllene Tider to begin with. Without that, the other things had not happened and that they are still around is amazing. They reunite every few years and they all have the same attitude as they had when they were 20. They think they should do their absolute best.

The guys talk about 2019, the farewell tour. Micke says it was his idea. He pushed the guys for it to be the last tour, because it was 40 years since they started. He thought anything can happen anywhere at any time in life, but the older you get, the greater the risk is that something happens to you and you wouldn’t be able to give your 100% to, for example, playing in Gyllene Tider. They have some kind of long marriage with their audience that actually the audience has taken care of. They broke up in 1985, but in 1995 they realized how popular they still were, because they sold a lot of compilation albums. So they did a gig at home in Halmstad in 1995. A lot of people came and they didn’t understand it. Then they went on the Återtåget tour, which became the biggest tour in Scandinavia. A band that doesn’t exist. So it’s the audience’s credit. And it was because GT made the songs that you listen to. GT and the audience need each other. They don’t exist without each other. So Micke thought in 2019 they end with the flag at the top, because he saw so many bands and artists that he looked up to and they don’t have the force anymore. Then how to play if someone might pass away, so it’s not all 5 of them? The whole thing about them is that it should be the 5 of them playing, because it’s the 5 of them who can make that Gyllene Tider sound. So he felt they should stop and wanted to honor it. They were doing this because Micke’s feeling was that if they go on stage with that attitude, that this is the last thing they do, then they will have another gear when they do it and those who will see them will understand that. It was so important for Micke, because what he appreciates about all of this is that they and the audience have had this long marriage. They still perform the songs in different forms, Per is out on his solo tour, Micke is out as well playing them. But the 5 of them, they played together then and Micke kind of wanted to say thank you very much to the audience. This is how he wanted the audience to remember them, having a lot of fun instead of saying „yes, it was good when I saw them in 1996, but shit, now it wasn’t fun because they don’t have the power anymore”. So then they decided to make a record in France and that it would be a fantastic tour. But then Covid happened and it was terrible. Sitting for 2 years and not being allowed to do anything. Micke was lucky, because he had a buffer to live on. But he has a lot of musician friends in Norway and in Sweden who didn’t get any money. They didn’t know how to survive. For 2 years, it’s completely unacceptable. Not getting to work, not getting out and do what they think is the most fun. Micke thinks his mental health affects him a lot and it was like that for the others too. Per did a seated acoustic session when it wasn’t allowed to be so many people in the audience and they had to sit. He sang GT songs as well. That session at Hotel Tylösand was a huge success, because people got to see music and we got to go out. Then he was visited by 4 girls who have a film production company. They said they want to make a film about the ’80s from when GT started until they finished in 1985. There should be actors and it should be a feel good drama. So the guys had a meeting with them and were surprised the girls would want to make a movie about them. The girls thought GT has a fantastic story. So there will be a movie. Then Per had bought a new guitar and started writing songs. He is always writing songs, Micke says. So PG wrote 2 songs and said they sound like Gyllene Tider. He asked if they could just test them. Micke was very doubtful, but they did it. Just for fun. The guys recorded those songs and they turned out great. So Micke was more in doubt. He was thinking and also talked to his wife about all his doubts. He thought they fulfilled the criteria, he felt the album is great. They are still doing their best when it comes to GT. Obviously, people would be happy if they go on tour. We are living in pretty tough times now so maybe they can contribute to better times with a little joy out there. And they get the joy back form the audience. So he felt OK, let’s do this. That wasn’t the plan, but no one said that he would be locked up for 2 years either. Haha. So if life is stupid to him, then he can enjoy life instead. So they decided to do this and they did it so good. They can do even better than what they did before and that’s right.

Since it’s a video interview, Micke tells Frode that he can see his drums behind, his digital drums. He thinks they are very good. Micke says this room is his mancave where all the gold records and everything from the ’80s and on can be found. He thinks it’s great fun that nowadays, how the two of them are now sitting and talking to each other via the computer or that thanks to Facebook and Instagram you have contact with so many people who have seen them on stage over the years. He is in contact with 2 or 3 girls in Stockholm who were outside the studio when GT recorded their first album. Micke knows they are very happy and as Frode said, he also bought a ticket to Ullevi. For Micke, this is what makes him think it’s worth it. If people are happy, he is happy. Micke says maybe Frode should bring Tore with him to Ullevi. Let’s see if he still thinks the same as in 1981. If nothing else, then at least it’s a nice ending to everything that he gets to come and check on GT again. Micke says he loves such things. It’s great fun to have reviews from a young person who didn’t think it was fun and here we are again.

Frode says he was there in Karlstad in 1996 with his brother and had much fun and it will be fun again. Micke says the same thing again, we have grown older, but the memories also grow in us. He can see from the stage when someone remembers what it was like when they fell in love with the one standing next to them, things like that. And it’s so cool to see and it’s so much fun. We are older and he is not that little guy in shorts anymore. Haha. He says it might be stupid for a middle-aged man, but when he can see a girl who was in love with him in the ’80s looking at him with the same eyes now, then he knows it’s just an illusion, because it is the memory that she is in love with. It’s so nice to see that music has that power. All music has that, but Micke can only talk about their own songs.

Micke says that he is the type of guy who if once said something, he sticks to that. So he really thought the last tour was the last tour. It wasn’t the case that they wanted to get the most money out of it. Some people think that it was the case, but not at all. He thought it doesn’t work for him, once he said that was the last one, then that was the last one. But then he was thinking a lot and it was exactly as Per said that with Covid and everything that happened during that time, they needed to do something to feel good. He thinks it’s fun and, after all, that’s the way it is. The 5 of them have done it all their lives. He has done a lot of other things too, but without GT none of the other things would have happened. And when life goes in a way that didn’t turn out as you had imagined and you sit at home for 2 years, then you just feel that. They still have very high demands on themselves, both how they deliver the music but also with songs and everything. Micke says no one thought Per would have the motivation to write songs for GT again. They recorded the album a little differently. MP has his own studio where he and Per have made demos since long. Mats has been a very, very important person in Per’s life because he has been involved and done Roxette songs and other projects of Per over the years and so they have done a lot together. They had done rough sketches of songs for GT and done a lot of vocals and guitars so the guys got to listen to them. Micke and Anders come from a small community outside Halmstad called Harplinge and 1 km from Micke’s parents’ home there is now a fantastic studio. It didn’t exist back then, but now it’s there and they recorded in that studio for a week. Micke went home and slept in his boy room at his parents each day after the recordings. The room looks the same as it did when he was 16. He was the last to move away from his parents, so everything remained in the room. It’s hard to understand for those who are not making music, but even if he has played with so many great musicians, them 5 have something together that he couldn’t find anywhere else. The sound and everything. That’s what makes it sound like Gyllene Tider and it doesn’t go away. It’s there even though the years go by and once they are at it again, it’s just there. They were going to do soundcheck in the studio, that’s how it should work, but everything sounded good. They haven’t played together in 3 years, so they tested the drums and bass and MP tested the guitar. Staffan, the technician sat there and recorded. They were all sitting in the same room, tested a song the first day. They would just do soundcheck to see if everything worked well to record the next day. So they tested a song and half an hour later another one. And then all the others. Staffan told Micke a month ago that he was completely shocked. He wasn’t prepared for the guys to start recording right away. Micke says it was like they kind of knew what they were going to do. It’s so cool that it works like that for them. He wants to honor what they have done all the way as long as they exist. Now it seems they got another chance to go on. The album release date is not decided yet. They have just signed a record deal in their fifth decade. How nice, Micke thinks.

Frode asks Micke about his parents whether they supported him in being a pop star or they were skeptical and wanted him to have a regular job. Micke says all five of them wanted to do just this, music. They actually all had regular jobs in principle. But they didn’t care. They recorded their first album and went on with that. That’s how it’s been all the time since then. Micke is turning 62 this year and the only permanent job he had as an employee was for 4 years in the early and mid ’80s. Since then he has always been a freelancer. He is coping with his own life and no one believed it would work. He doesn’t know what his parents thought back then, but it’s clear they were worried and that’s right. But it went well and he can see how happy they were for him over the years. Especially after 1996 when GT reunited again and that they have been allowed to participate. It’s only Micke’s and Göran’s parents who are still alive. Micke’s parents are probably the ones who have been at the most gigs from all the GT guys’ parents. For Micke personally, it is also another highlight, to be able to share this with his parents. They sat and listened when Micke was practicing drums in a sauna in the basement with regular drums for whatever number of years and they never said anything. As he said, his mother was a hairdresser and the saloon was in their house. So the clients always asked about Micke and lot of fans, especially after Roxette, came to see where they lived. Fans have travelled from all over the world and sometimes people knocked on the door at home and said „hello, we are from Germany. Are you Micke’s parents?” Then they tried to talk to them in English and they were very proud and even showed Micke’s room to the fans. Haha. Micke is happy to share all this experience with his family, wife and children now. In the video of Småstad by Pers Garage there is a quick cut of a baby. It was recorded in 1989. It’s Micke’s oldest son who turns 34 this year. He was a newborn then. Micke’s father is also in the video in the car repair shop. His dad was 58 in that clip, Micke was 28. Both his mom and dad are very proud of him. His mother had a lot of contact with people who came to their house. In Parkliv! there is this scene where they say a phone number. That was the number of Micke’s mom’s saloon. Even if they beeped it out, it wasn’t the best of ideas, because it wasn’t that difficult to read the lips what number it was. This was in 1981. There were so many people calling. It was Per’s fault, he was the one who said the number. Haha. Now that’s fun, but it wasn’t back then.

The guys talk about Tuff tuff tuff (Som ett lokomotiv) in Parkliv!, how Micke played the drums there. Micke says it’s called youth and testosterone. It’s fun to see himself there and think „damn, is that me?” Micke says that in the movie it’s not visible, but there was someone who threw a coke bottle on stage. He thinks it was during the first song even. So a glass bottle landed on stage and it might as well hit him. There was some guy who wasn’t completely satisfied, so he threw a coke bottle and it landed between Micke’s legs. He was sitting and playing. They have gotten eggs on them too and things like that sometimes from guys who were mad at them. But that’s what makes it so fun to see themselves there in that film.

Micke says it’s a completely different musical world today than it was back then. But that’s what he thinks is so fun about them that they keep going. They make music the way they have always done it. They can do it in a different way now, but what drives them is that they play together. That’s where their sound comes from. That they are 5 souls, 5 hearts that contribute their part to this delicious cake that becomes Gyllene Tider. That mix has only been refined over the years. They are still doing the same thing. Although, they have a little more screens now, but it’s more for the experience for the audience. It’s all about the connection between the band and the audience.

Frode is curious if it has ever happened that Per presented a song that later became a hit, but when he presented it they thought it wouldn’t work. Micke says they had hits in every decade from the ’80s to the ’90s to the 2000s. And it might happen this time too. There are some songs that can be hits, Micke thinks, because they are spreading Gyllene joy. But to be honest, he can’t remember if they ever said to a song that later became a hit that it wouldn’t work. They must have had it, but it’s been so long and he, for some reason, have gained the ability to remember events. He can remember feelings and stuff, but especially when the GT guys all talk. He always says it’s full on the hard drive. There is no space left up in the hub, things happen all the time. He says he remembers that Per wrote Sommartider while all other four guys went for a lunch break. EMI, their record company said there was no single among their materials when they recorded Puls. So Per got pissed off and he sat down and wrote Sommartider. There is a song, Mony, Mony by Billy Idol. They got inspiration from the groove of it and then it was done.

Frode mentions that when the EP with Gå & fiska! came out in 1996, there was a new, modern, fresh Gyllene Tider sound. Michael Ilbert was the producer. Micke says they worked with Ilbert already before Gå & fiska! in 1995 when Kung av sand and Det är över nu came out. Ilbert had worked with Per and Ilbert had quite a special way of working. And somehow it fitted them and also how Per wrote the songs. So it became a completely different Gyllene Tider that fit with the times and how they played then. How you play also becomes different with the years. You play differently when you are 20 or 25. It worked so well with Ilbert that Per made an English solo album with him and if you listen to June Afternoon and She Doesn’t Live Here Anymore by Roxette, it’s MP, Micke and Anders who are playing there too. Micke liked that era too. It was Roxette, but sounded like Gyllene Tider, just without Fritzon. Now GT is back to something else that’s more where they come from. Now it’s a poppier album than their last record was. Don’t bore us, get to the chorus. Micke says they really felt like 20 and somehow they got the energy. It was like when they did the Sven-Ingvars song on their previous album. That was the last song they recorded, they had 4 hours until their flight departed. They thought they try it and an hour later, it was all done. Micke says it’s nice to have this extra chance to do it again and say that age ain’t nothing but a number. He says they are lucky that they became musicians instead of sportsmen, because then it would have been over. If you take care of yourself as best as you can and you think it’s fun what you are doing, then you can actually maintain a divine level as you get older. Age has nothing to do with it really. It’s more about the attitude. Tommy Körberg is still out there, for example. He plays shows in Sweden. He sings so well and his presence on stage is amazing. Micke says he went to see Paul McCartney at Tele2 and besides the songs that are amazing themselves, it was great to hear McCartney being able to sing that way. And he still has that energy. Music is like that. It works. The joy of it. And the audience will be just as happy.

Frode asks Micke about Ullevi. Micke says it will be the fourth time they play there and he hopes that there will be a lot of people. That will be the last gig in Sweden on the tour. They played Ullevi for the first time in 2004. They were the first real Swedish band to play at Ullevi. When you keep going as Gyllene Tider have, you always have dreams, Micke says. When they started, they wanted to be on a big stage in Halmstad. They made it in 1981. Then there were some other places, 1996 was Stockholms Stadion. There were a lot of people. There were probably no Swedish bands that had been there before, so they have constantly moved the goals. Micke remembers he was at Ullevi when Springsteen was there in 1982 or so. He was also there when the Stones played there. You think you would want to do that too and you thought it would never happen, then it does. They got there and they broke crowd records and it was 26 degrees and a perfect day. It was summertime as much as possible and everyone who was in town was excited. 15 minutes before they started playing Micke’s wife said this is completely crazy with so many people there. Everyone was very happy. And then they went out on stage, started with En sten vid en sjö i en skog and it starts with the drums. They have never played for this many people, they were the first ones. The only ones who did it until then. It was a great day. Micke’s whole family was there. He says first you are nervous, but then it falls and then it’s just outpouring love. He couldn’t manage to sing at the top of his lungs. It was overwhelming. It’s the same thing for the audience, so the band and the audience take each other to new levels. All those who were there they knew that they were part of something unique. Then it happened with a lot of other Swedish artists after that, but right then they were the only ones. Foreign artists came and they did a gig, but GT did more than 20 shows and had almost thirty thousand people at each gig in Sweden except for Ullevi, where the number of people in the audience was double. So that tour was completely crazy in itself, because there were half a million people attending that tour. Micke will never forget that.

Frode asks Micke what he would suggest someone who has never listened to Gyllene Tider and know nothing about them. Micke says they should just put on a compilation album and start there and see if there is something that makes them happy. Everyone finds their thing, or if they don’t find anything, they listen to something else. But there is surely a song they will like.

Frode says or they just have to see Min tjej och jag in Parkliv! Micke says that’s exactly what he thought about. It’s the first song in the encore. When you watch it, you can see why Göran climbed a lot on Micke’s back in that film. Watching a GT film now, you can see why Göran wouldn’t climb on Micke’s back these days. Haha. He says it with all love. He thinks it’s funny how they have changed as people, both in size and in everything else. Although they are the same in spirit.

Pic by Patrícia Peres, GT40 Tour, Halmstad 2019

Gyllene Tider’s story becomes a film!

Nordic drama production company Nevis Productions has secured a deal with Sweden’s great music treasure, Gyllene Tider to make a feature film and a TV-series based on the band’s incredible journey to success.

Per Gessle and Mats Persson formed Gyllene Tider with Micke Andersson, Anders Herrlin and Göran Fritzon in the late 70’s. After taking Sweden by storm, they broke up in 1984. Per Gessle then formed Roxette with Marie Fredriksson and became successful all around the world.

The feature film about Gyllene Tider is developed in full collaboration with the band and will be a warm feelgood story about friendship and growing up in the spotlight. The script is written by Pernilla Oljelund (Miss Friman’s War, Wallander, The Restaurant) and the shooting will start in 2022. Producers at Nevis are Anni Faurbye Fernandez, Moa Westeson and Cindy Hanson.

The film tells the story of Per, an ambitious outsider who dreams of pop stardom and finds a brotherhood through music with MP, Micke, Anders and Göran. They experience the highs and lows, but despite all setbacks, being ridiculed and rejected, the band works hard and purposefully – and breaks through with their power pop, their effective choruses and joyous and affectionate lyrics about life in a small town.

The movie is a story about dreaming big and achieving something even bigger. Success is not only accompanied by joy and happiness, but also pressure, conflicts and tragic events that challenge the band and force them to grow up in unexpected ways. In the end, it’s the friendship and music that lead forward. The gang not only survives, but also becomes bigger than ever.

After their breakup, Gyllene Tider reunions and tours have taken them to heights that no one, least of all themselves, could have imagined. When the band celebrated their 25th anniversary with their first new album in 20 years, the tour in 2004 became the largest in Scandinavia ever and the third largest in Europe. For over 40 years, GT has maintained its popularity and been loved by generation after generation, who have grown up with their songs. Gyllene Tider reunited several times, most recently in 2019. At that time, they celebrated their 40th anniversary as a band and also released a studio album, Samma skrot och korn.

Per Gessle says:

The story of the guys in Gyllene Tider could be the story of any young small town person. The shaky possibilities after finishing school, the uncertain prospects of the future. However, inspired by the new wave and power pop scene of the era, bonding in our tiny rehearsal shack, we found a very unusual way to grow up. The early and crazy Gyllene Tider years changed our lives forever. And it seems we might have changed some other people’s lives as well along the way. The lads and I are all excited to be part of this production.

Producer Moa Westeson adds:

We have long dreamed of dramatizing the exceptional, inspirational story behind legendary Swedish pop band Gyllene Tider and are excited to bring the audience along on this fun, uplifting whirlwind celebration of music, friendship and coming of age that captures the zeitgeist of a bygone era.

Nevis is an independent production company with offices in Copenhagen, Stockholm and London. Nevis Productions was founded in 2020 by Anni Faurbye Fernandez, Cindy Hanson and Moa Westeson and is backed by London based production company NEVISION. Their mission is to create high quality storytelling that appeals to both the local Nordic market and to a wider, global audience. With passion and dedication, they aim to entertain, inspire and move audiences with a variety of creatively ambitious TV dramas.

PRESS RELEASE

Micke Syd Andersson on Made in Halmstad

Christian Albinsson did a podcast interview with Micke Syd for Made in Halmstad. Listen to it HERE!

Micke talks about his name that it’s really Micke Syd Andersson. Syd was his nickname, because there was another musician, guitarist Micke „Nord” Andersson and it was confusing that they had the same name. Micke says the fun thing is that they both had hairdressers called Maria. Micke Nord is from Dalarna in the North and Syd is from Halmstad in the South, so that’s how they got their nicknames.

It turns out that Micke Syd loves driving. He was driving the tour bus on the GT tour and Christian tells it’s hard to imagine a band doing it nowadays. Micke says they are from another generation, they learned everything themselves. In Gyllene Tider all of them had different qualities. MP and Micke Syd were always the ones who fixed and controlled everything themselves. Their fundamental personalities haven’t changed much. The band brought the instruments themselves to the concerts and set up things for the gigs. They did 150 concerts in 1980, if he remembers right. They had Anders Herrlin’s brother as lighting technician and a friend from Gullbrandstorp as the sound technician.

Micke is 59 years old now and was grown up in Harplinge.

Christian asks Micke about his salary. Syd says when they broke through with GT they had Janne Beime to help them with the financial things. Janne was 35 years old then and they were 18-19. Janne still works together with Per. Micke Syd says he has never had a steady job and never really knew what he would earn money on in the next year. He has what he needs, he is not interested in cars or any other things that cost a lot of money. He has a Plug-in Hybrid Ford Kuga.

Christian asks Micke what he is interested in. Syd says „life, music, my family, my wife”.

Christian is curious if Micke has always been positive. Syd says he is not always positive, but he tries to be. He has been working a lot on it. He is the type who sees the opportunities and thinks how he feels on the inside can be seen on the outside. At the age of 35 you realize that you are not as hot as you were at the age of 20 or 30 and you start managing your life differently. Then he had kids, he divorced. Micke says he is tender on the inside. He says he e.g never drank alcohol or used other stuff. Looking back he thinks he took the right decision, how he has lived his life. He says life is tough anyway, sometimes even for him.

Christian says GT broke through when they were very young and there must have been many parties. Micke says Halmstad was very lively back then and there were indeed a lot of parties and alcohol and he doesn’t know why, but he ignored it. He was driving the tour bus, MP also did that during the first year.

Christian asks what Micke thinks when he says the word Halmstad. Syd says it’s home. He says it’s very strange, because he has been living in Stockholm now for 35 years, so for more years than in Halmstad, but home is still Halmstad. His parents still live there. Stockholm will never become home. Micke says all of them in the band are hillbillies, Halmstad characterized them and how they dealt with their career. They had those un-popidolish pop idol genes and even if they were so different personalities and they still are, they made awesome pop together. There is something very special about them.

Micke Syd is a HBK fan when it comes to soccer. He talks about his favourite players and tells he always had a dream to play in HBK, but he stopped playing football when he was 17. He thinks there is a similarity how you pick your instrument and your position in a football team. Micke was a goalkeeper and says drummers are usually goalkeepers. If you look at it from a psychological point of view, the goalkeeper is a quite exposed position and if he makes a mistake, it’s seen immediately. That’s the case with the drummer too. If he doesn’t do his job well, then the whole band won’t be so good. Micke likes that challenge. He says he has always been a team player and loves teams.

Christian mentions QBTQ (four brave bulls in Spanish), Adam Alsing’s house band on his talk show. Micke Syd was a member of the band in the 90’s for 5 years. Micke tells a story when an adult film actress was on the show and after the program the band went to the swingers club with her where she met other adult film people and partied with them. That was surreal, Micke says.

Christian asks Micke about Halmstad. Micke says summer is Halmstad. He tells that when they had the rehearsals before their last tour with GT, he lived in a house in Frösakull with his wife, Helena for almost a month. It was near Prins Bertils stig and it was magical that each morning he could walk through the woods, along the beach and up to Hotel Tylösand. Christian says he heard the guys rehearsing, but didn’t dare to disturb them. Micke says they tried old songs they never played. One of them was Sista gången jag såg Annie from their debut album. Christian thinks that was their best album. Micke Syd explains when you are young and you just want to make music and your creativity is on a high, it can be heard. For the second album they thought much more about how they should sound, how they should play, etc.

Christian asks about the lyrics that they sound different when a 20-year-old sings them vs. when you sing them now at the age of 60. He means Flickorna på TV2. Micke thinks that the songs belong to those who they play them for. These songs still have their audiences and they associate these songs with happenings and experiences in their lives, so when they play them to the crowds, there is a contact between the band and the audience. He tells these are timeless songs and carry the summer feeling. The songs they play are the ones people want to hear. He remembers he saw Tom Petty live once and he expected to hear the songs he was listening to when Tom was the God for them in GT and he got disappointed, because Tom played his new songs from the new album. Syd says Per wrote so friendly texts that they are still working with teens nowadays. They sing along När vi två blir en, for example. Even if life has changed a lot, people still experience these feelings in life and music is their soundtrack to it. Different bands mean different things for different audiences. On the last tour GT played new songs too, which the guys liked, but still they played the old songs and then you could see a different crowd reaction, when they realized it’s this or that song they knew and associated an experience with it.

Micke says he and Helena went to Halmstad’s city entre and it felt totally dead. He says it’s the same with many other city centres, but it’s sad how fun it was back then and how it is now.

Christian asks Micke when he feels the best. Syd says when he is with his family and when he is playing. They have grown-up children now and they don’t meet very often, but when they meet, he sees and thinks they did a good job. Both Helena and him. They don’t have kids together, but their children are like syblings. So it’s lovely when they are together.

Christian is curious when Micke feels the worst. He says at 3 in the morning. Haha. Syd says he is a sensitive person. He is Pisces and Pisces are sensitive. He is thinking a lot about things. He thinks many things are not managed well in the music branch now and it feels that those who should make it better don’t do their job. He thinks it’s the same in the whole world, but since he lives in Sweden, he talks about that.

To the question how he develops himself Micke replies that everyone has their better and worse sides and he is still learning a lot. He learned a lot about life. There is peace that everyone is looking for. You have to be good to yourself and then it will be visible on the outside as well. Positivity comes through and it motivates him. He says you always have the possibility to change yourself.

Christian asks how Micke is as a lover. He answers Christian should ask Helena. But he thinks he is like when he plays the drums: he recognizes, he listens and feels and he wants to please.

Christian says he heard Micke increase the pace in a song when he gets excited. Micke says everyone has their own tricks. Christian realized it when they 5 play together in GT, it’s so much different to when they play the songs in other constellations. Micke tells a story when in 2013 they played (Dansar inte lika bra som) Sjömän, there was a background screen with different images during the verses and the choruses. The lighting technician came to Micke when they had the final rehearsal in Halmstad Arena and said he couldn’t tune it right for the chorus. It worked for the verses, but not for the chorus. Then Micke asked for a little screen in front of him and played in the pace according to that, so that the film came in the right pace as well. Then when the guys listened to the song they liked it, but they thought something felt strange. Everyone was doing what they had been doing for more than 30 years except for Micke, because he was checking the screen and played according to that. He felt like a restrained horse.

Christina asks Micke how he was at school. He says he was nice except towards one guy. He has never been in a fight except for with that one guy at school and Micke’s brother. He tells he has always been fair.

Regarding the band, Christian tells Per and Micke take different positions, but with the same determination, while Anders, Göran and MP are more in the background. Syd says it has to do with their personalities as well. Per and him are different, but they want the same thing, to do something good. And that’s been like that since the beginning. Christian says Micke mentioned earlier he is a team player and on stage they are indeed a team, but he is curious if they are a team off stage as well. Micke says in the band they all have different musical qualities, but the differences were refined over the years, not only musically. All of them developed and they have fun together when they meet. When they recorded their last album in France, Micke was driving to there with a friend and driving back with Helena. It was practical, because there was stuff they couldn’t have brought there on a flight and he also thought that it was the cheapest option for him. Christian asks if you really think about that when you record an album. Micke says the music industry has changed a lot. These days you don’t earn money when people are listening to music digitally. But the creative process, the recordings cost a lot. You can earn on tour then. But ask people if they want to work gratis. Spotify earns millions, but you get nothing. Micke can’t understand that. It’s not OK. So, recordings cost much and you get a little contribution from the record label, but otherwise, the rest is paid by you.

Regarding who is driven to what extent Micke says MP is not that driven, he is more silent, but his musicality is great. He is cautious, he has always been. It’s so nice to see that they got this far in their career and in a way they are still the same. Micke tells a fun story. When they took the press photos in France, everyone was dressed up, then they checked the photos and saw that MP was wearing his slippers. It didn’t really feel like a pop idol, so they had to photoshop the picture and put jeans on him. [Haha. Yeah, one could realize it already back then, when they shared the picture on GT’s Facebook page. See photos: MP in slippers; photoshopped press photo. /PP] No one really thought about that or cared much. There is something charming in that. When they are on stage, they create something cool, but they are still the guys from Harplinge and Åled and so.

Christian mentions words and asks Micke te react on them in one word. To Halmia he reacts Gessle, to Per Gessle he reacts Halmia, to Harplinge he reacts home. Regarding Hallandian dialects he says there are at least 5 and he loves that.

Christian is curious if Micke will get fat again. Syd says he won’t. Christian asks what was it that wasn’t so good in being fat. For Micke the change was about being healthy and of course also being on stage in top shape. He lost 18 kg in 4 months, he gained 5 kg back though, but he still keeps himself fit. It was a good challenge for him.

Christian asks Micke how he ended up in Gyllene Tider. Syd says Per and MP asked him. He played the drums and Janne Carlsson was the bassist. Then Anders became the bassist and Göran joined them. Then there was the Farfisa. Micke says there were many coincidences in their history or they weren’t coincidences at all.

Christian is curious how it was to break through when they were so young. Syd says such things he can’t remember much. They were 18-19 years old and suddenly people started screaming after them. They called his mom’s hairdresser salon or were lying in the ditch in front of it waiting for Micke to come home. People stole washed clothes from Per’s garden. Such things happened. They all lived with their parents at the time. They were the non-smoker generation, however, Göran and MP smoked. But they advertised jeans and soft drink. They were who they were and he thinks that was their key to success. If you watch Parkliv, you can see what outfit they had. Nothing special. Christian asks when they met other artists who they maybe thought were cooler, maybe Europe, what Micke thinks they thought about Gyllene Tider. Doesn’t he think they thought they were frumpish? Micke thinks they rather thought about their platinum albums. Haha.

Regarding the recordings in France, Micke says it was much fun. They decided that it would be their last album. It was Micke’s idea. The others thought it was a good idea when he told them why he thought so. They had a unique career and all of them 5 are still there. They decided to record the album in a totally different way at a different place than ever before. If they travelled only to Stockholm, it wouldn’t have been the same. They had to go further and be in that Gyllene Tider vibe. Christoffer Lundquist was there with them. They didn’t listen to the demos, they decided just to play and see what happens. Per did the demos with MP, so he knew them, but not the others. They had a big space where the studio was, it was very nice. It was just them and 2 French technicians. There were cooks who prepared meals for them, so they could just concentrate on their work. They created the songs from scratch and it was a very creative process. The surroundings were magical. Micke says he is a lonely guy, so they weren’t hanging out together after work. He likes to contemplate and look at things. There was a gym, they could go out in the garden, so they didn’t have to be together all the time. They all loved it and they loved the result of their work as well. It became a very good album. What they created during their career they could do it only together, them 5. And to know that what they did meant a lot for people and also that they did something good in their lives is great. When they were 20 they just wanted to be pop idols, but 40 years later they still had fun making music together.

Christian asks if they sat down to discuss the problems they had before. Micke says not really. You can only sort things out if you are interested in it and it has to come from both sides. The problem stays there until you solve it. Sometimes it would just be about opening that door and talk about it, but sometimes it’s hard to open the door.

Christian asks Micke about money. Micke says it doesn’t mean much to him. It’s important until the point he can live his own life. It was important for him to raise his kids and live where he wanted to live.

Micke knows a lot of people spend a lot of money to see them on tour and it feels nice that they can give back something via their music. On the last tour they invited a group of policemen, firefighters and ambulance, as well as defense veterans to thank for their service. Anders Thornberg was also there. He is the National Police Commissioner and is also from Halmstad. He is the brother of Per Thornberg, great saxophonist. Many don’t know that Anders is also a great musician, he plays the drums. They shared their drumset in the 70’s when they played at the same rehearsal studio. Micke says at one concert Anders was at the mixing board and Micke started playing the wrong song at some point. Shit happens. There were 10 thousand people, he said they start again. It was fun. He says he later explained the rason was that he was nervous because of Anders Thornberg being there. [Haha. That happened in Eskilstuna. /PP] He says he also managed to get tickets for fans from South America. They flew in from South America, but they couldn’t get tickets, so of course he sorted it out.

Christian asks about the last song on the last concert, how it felt. Micke says it happened in Halmstad and it was very special. The song was När alla vännerna gått hem and when he came to the front of stage he saw there were many people holding up a TACK sign. He is still touched by that. It was nice to close it all at home. A lot of people came who had been following them for more than 30 years and also people from several parts of the world to see them. He cried during the last song and you could see that all the others were so touched too.

Micke is contemplating what if they hadn’t told it was the last one, how would it have been. What would have happened then. He thinks it wouldn’t have been the same. Earlier they never said it was the last tour. They came back several times. They are still good at what they are doing. He says it’s different when he performs the songs separately from the band or when Per performs them on his solo tours. It’s never the same as when they 5 play together.

Micke says he likes meeting people. He likes to perform for smaller crowds and see people’s happy faces and he also likes to stand there at Ullevi. He mentions he took a selfie at Ullevi with 55 thousand people in 2019. That was cool.

Christian thanks Micke for the conversation and Micke says it’s his pleasure and he is thankful he could be on the podcast.

An evening for Marie Fredriksson

Gothenburg, Sweden, 20th January 2020. Stora Teatern. I don’t know how many times I was walking past this theatre over the years whenever I was in Gothenburg. Since I’m a fan of theatres, I sometimes checked the schedule outside on the wall to see what plays they have to offer. I never thought that it would be a totally different event when I once sit in the audience in that building. At a concert. A tribute concert. For Marie Fredriksson.

The event was organized by SVT and it was broadcast a few days later on TV. Now you can watch it HERE.

The theatre has the capacity of appr. 600 people in the audience. After the invitations were sent out, 10 days before the date a couple of remaining tickets went on public sale. The event got sold out very fast.

Rehearsals for the concert started 1 week before it happened and day by day we got to know more and more about what to expect and also who to expect to perform. First it was announced that friends and members of Sweden’s artist elite gather to celebrate Marie’s fantastic music act and the event, En kväll för Marie Fredriksson would feature songs from Marie’s and Roxette’s song catalogue under the direction of Christoffer Lundquist. From the performing artists Per Gessle was among the first ones announced and together with him a list of musicians who collaborated with Marie were also mentioned in articles: Clarence Öfwerman, Jonas Isacsson, Anders Herrlin, Micke Syd Andersson, Pelle Alsing, Dea Norberg and Staffan Astner. A few days before 20th January some more names were revealed: Eva Dahlgren, Lasse Lindbom, Linnea Henriksson, Agnes Carlsson, Petra Marklund, Maja Ivarsson, Helena Josefsson, Anne-Lie Rydé, Sanne Salomonsen and Maja Francis.

While already in Gothenburg the day before the event, we met some of the musicians and they all prepared us for the concert being very emotional. They said they are focusing very much on their playing instead of what is on the screen behind them, old pictures and videos in the background, not to lose it. They were all sad and enthusiastic at the same time. You could see it means a lot to them to be there and do this for Marie. Sad and enthusiastic, heartbroken and excited, I could identify with these mixed feelings so well. On one hand, it’s terrible to see these words in one sentence connected to each other: tribute, event, for Marie. It should have never happened, she should have never left us. Not so early! On the other hand, there were all these great artists, fab musicians all of them to perform in memory of a wonderful person we all love so much.

The band was a mix of Marie’s solo band and Roxette’s bands from several periods. When was the last time you could see Jonas Isacsson and Per Gessle on the same stage, for example? Pelle Alsing and Micke Syd on the drums next to each other. Eva Dahlgren singing her friend’s most beloved song, Sparvöga. Lasse Lindbom performing another big ballad of Marie, Ännu doftar kärlek. So many other wonderful artists and details there.

In the audience there were many well-known faces. Just to mention a few, Mats MP Persson, Magnus Börjeson, Sven Lindström, Göran Fritzon, Thomas Johansson, Kjell Andersson, Lars Nordin, Helena von Zweigbergk. And of course many fans who came not only from Sweden, but Austria, Brazil, Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, Hungary, the Netherlands, Poland, Russia and Spain.

SVT wanted the audience to arrive at 18:00 to make sure they pick up their tickets and find their seats in time to be able to start the recording at 19:00. By the time we got in, the stage was ready, the cameras were set. The theatre is beautiful on the inside. The first 2 rows were taken away because of the cameras and stage setting, so the 3rd row was the 1st. Cameras were all around. In the front, on the stage, above us. We could see Marie Dimberg, Åsa and Gabriel Gessle to arrive to their places on the first balcony level. Åsa kindly waved back to the friends and fans who recognized her.

Before the concert started, a guy from SVT came up on stage and gave some information about how the recordings would work. He said it would be a 1.5-hour-long show on TV and they try to record it altogether, but there would be pauses between the songs to set the stage for the next song. He kindly asked us not to clap before the songs, but of course we were welcome to give an applause to all the fantastic artists after they performed. He was nice enough to tell some words in English too, knowing that there were several international fans.

After some directions for the light and sound technicians, as well as the camera men, the guy disappeared and it all started with Kattis Ahlström (Swedish journalist and TV presenter) coming up on stage, talking about Marie and introducing the gala. They recorded 3 takes of this intro. Kattis told that on 9th December 2019 we lost one of our absolute biggest and most beloved stars. Marie had a unique voice recognized not only in Sweden, but also all around the world. For over 40 years she was singing and writing songs that became part of our lives. No one else could write lyrics that could comfort us and give us hope. She could also describe the meaning of life and melancholy. But she could also laugh, dance, party and rock ’n’ roll. Kattis said there would be Marie’s friends, her musicians and some of Sweden’s best artists on stage. She also said there are many friends, colleagues and fans from around the world in the audience and she promised a very special evening.

Then the concert started. With which song? Tro. How the choir, Solid Gospel appeared on stage, Clarence started playing the keyboards and a young girl, Agnes Sarafian started singing, I lost it already at the beginning and burst out into tears with many others in the audience. It was such a touching version and a very strong start into the show.

The next performer was Linnea Henriksson, a Halmstad-born singer-songwriter whom most fans know from 2013 as she was the support act during the Gyllene Tider tour. She is a popular artist in Sweden and Marie was an inspiration to her. Actually, Marie had an impact on so many people’s lives. No matter if you are an artist or not, if you bumped into her or listened to her music, she never let you forget her. Linnea’s version of Efter stormen sounded great and you could hear she was so touched.

Between the songs there were short videos from Marie’s old interviews, performances, also pictures from the past appeared. The reporter in the docu part said it’s fascinating how some artists become more than their music. Marie was one of those artists who were not just recognized, but you could also look up at her. In an old video Marie says truth is important to her. She can’t hide her feelings. We probably didn’t know Marie Fredriksson. She was very private when she was off stage, but when you went to the concerts or listened to her songs it felt like she is a friend. In another old interview she says her heart is beating for the weak in society. When she was a little girl, she already thought back then that one has to help others. One can’t only think of oneself. It’s a natural feeling to her towards people. It has always been. She says she got letters where people wrote they didn’t feel alone anymore, her songs helped them. Marie sang better than most of the singers, but not only that. It never mattered in which genre she was singing, she could fill the melodies and lyrics with real emotions.

Ett hus vid havet, another beloved Marie ballad was next, performed by three ladies, Helena Josefsson, Dea Norberg and Maja Francis. I couldn’t hold my tears back again, thinking of Marie singing it on her solo tour just 6 years ago. When she made us all smile with her måsarna and båtarna and sang ”och göra som jag vill” with a strong emphasis. Unforgettable. The trio did a fab job, their voices fit together perfectly.

There was a short video interview with Petra Marklund next. She told she discovered Marie, an amazing artist when in their music class they got to perform Tro. The song is still so actual. From that day Marie became a big source of inspiration to her. She feels honoured to be here and sing.

After 3 Marie solo songs it was time for a Roxette power ballad, Listen To Your Heart. Thinking of the fact that we will never ever hear it again from our dear Marie… I know, I know… We already knew we wouldn’t hear it live again from her since 2016, but still. Now it is 100% sure and it breaks one’s heart. Petra Marklund was singing it in her own style, not trying to imitate Marie.

A short video docu part was coming again showing old pics and videos from Strul through Marie’s solo career to Roxette. The reporter said Marie loved to sing and perform on stage, but whenever the mic was changed to an interview microphone, she became shy and cautious. Media was never really her thing. On stage she became a supernova again. It was great to hear Miss Effe’s vocal range in this part.

Sparvöga, one of, if not the most important songs to Marie was definitely one of the biggest highlights during the event. Marie’s long-time friend, Eva Dahlgren singing it in her own style was heart-warming and heart-rending at the same time. Eva wrote on her Instagram that she has probably never cried so much backstage as on this gala. She could barely sing and she was holding Marie’s mic stand so tight. Everything is still unreal to her and will remain so.

Roxette came next. Things Will Never Be The Same was performed by Maja Francis. I’ve never heard about this girl before, but from the short video interview before the song it turned out Maja met Marie appr. 10 years ago when she moved to Stockholm. She was a classmate of Marie’s sister’s son and they were hanging out together. When she turned 20, they were out to eat something and she was asked if she could help Marie’s family out. She became a nanny, an assistant to Marie’s family for a year. They became Maja’s extra family and she always looked at Marie as a rock fairy. Marie taught her that one can be soft and tough at the same time. Maja said it’s tough to sing the song she goes up on stage with. She still hasn’t realized that Marie is gone. She is still here and she will be there when Maja is singing the song. She is everywhere. Maja did a special version of the song and Christoffer Lundquist was also singing on TWNBTS and he also sounded wonderful.

To my surprise, there was an interview with Efva Attling, also very close friend to Marie. This interview was not shown in the theatre, but it was done inside the theatre, probably backstage. It’s a nice addition. Kattis and Efva are standing in front of some of Marie’s paintings. Marie was interested in painting and her first exhibition was of charcoal drawings, then she started using colours. One of the drawings is very special to Efva. She was at a sunglasses fair in Paris when Eva Dahlgren (they are a couple) called her and told she bought a drawing at Marie’s exhibition. Title of the drawing is ”Kära Efva” (Dear Efva) and it of course portrays Efva. Efva tells she met Marie in 1981 when she was doing backing vocals for the Lasse Lindbom Band in Stockholm. She wanted to help Marie a little with her hairdo and make-up. They went to the dressing room and Efva took out scissors. Marie’s hairdresser said she shouldn’t show her eyebrows, but Efva liked them, so she cut Marie’s hair. Back then there was no hair mousse, so they used shaving cream and they created a cool hairdo. When they went out in town, she introduced her to everyone saying here is my new friend. She is from Halmstad and she is a fantastic singer. Marie only said Oh my God. Efva says Marie was so much love and she had such a good sense of humour. They laughed a lot, but they were also fighting sometimes, like real friends do. Efva says family was very important to Marie. She knew exactly when Marie fell in love. Once Marie told her she met Mikael Bolyos on a tour. Efva went on tour with Roxette to the US, that was her present when she turned 40. She went to San Diego, San Francisco and Los Angeles. Micke came to Los Angeles too and then Efva told Marie she will leave the room for them then. Haha. They went to a restaurant and Micke told Marie she should try the scampi. Marie agreed and then Efva knew she was in love, because she never ate seafood. Marie always said she is so thankful for her family. Efva finishes the interview with Marie’s words, ”Thank God for booze, make-up and hydrogen peroxide.”

Right after this there came a video interview with Anne-Lie Rydé who told she met Marie at Atlantis in Stockholm, a late night in 1982. They met in the ladies’ room and while Anne-Lie was looking into the mirror she heard from behind her Marie asking if she is Anne-Lie Rydé. Anne-Lie said yes, it’s her. And Marie introduced herself. Anne-Lie didn’t know what to say, because she was mad at Marie. She had no clue about who she was, but she had stolen a duet song Anne-Lie would have been making together with Lasse Lindbom. They recorded it, everything was done, but then she heard it on the radio and it was Marie singing. Anne-Lie just thought who the hell is Marie Fredriksson. So their first meeting was wonderful. One could never get angry with Marie. They became friends right then. The strongest musical memory is when they were on the Badrock tour in 1988, sitting on a little beach in Borgholm and Roxette was soon to release their next album. They hadn’t break through yet internationally, but they were huge in Sweden. Marie wanted to show Anne-Lie their new single and Anne-Lie thought it was such a good song. It was Dressed For Success. She said it feels good to perform this song here tonight with another fantastic woman on stage.

So the next one was Dressed For Success, performed by Anne-Lie Rydé and Sanne Salomonsen. They are still rocking and with all respect to Sanne, I was really grateful to her, because I could have a rest from all the tears I cried before. Once this recording took place, I found the fun part in the event too. There were 3 takes of this song. Anne-Lie started singing her part with full energy, she was amazing. Then Sanne entered the stage and she forgot the lyrics. Dea tried to help her out, but it took a bit of time until Sanne found her way back. She came to the front rocking, not really caring about the missing words. Actually, here I have to tell again what I already mentioned during the last Roxette tour that Dea is just amazing how she as a backing vocalist feels the vibes of all the artists and makes their performance even better. She immediately helps wherever she can. Her support is wonderful. Always was so supportive towards Marie too. After the first take of DFS, the same SVT guy who talked to us in the beginning came up on stage and told it was so good they would do another take of it. Anne-Lie stood at her place and started again with the same full energy as for the first take. Sanne came up on stage, but this time somehow she couldn’t enter the song at the right spot, so she stopped the recording and asked to start again. The SVT guy came and told they are happy to do a third take. We all laughed when Anne-Lie said she is not 60 anymore. Haha. But who cares, she still rocked it big time and the third take turned out to be fantastic. I was amazed that the typical DFS clapping choreography supported by Micke Syd and Dea in the background worked out so fine too, with the seated audience. And that during the third take was the strongest, so in the end it’s great they had to start it all again 3 times. I think we all needed that.

Marie’s great collaboration with Lasse Lindbom resulted in several wonderful songs. Actually, they wrote 26 songs together. Ännu doftar kärlek is one of them. The lead single of Marie’s debut solo album is one of the most beautiful ballads, still played on weddings all around Sweden for example. Pictures of couples were shown in the background. Couples of all possible combinations. Because love is love. Lasse was there to perform this song. He was moved you could see and hear it. He started it alone, with a guitar in his hand, the band playing and later Linnea Henriksson also appeared to sing the second half together.

The next performer was Maja Ivarsson, Swedish singer and lead vocalist of the indie rock band The Sounds. In the short video interview with her she told about her band’s break-through in the US and that one blonde already did that before and it was Marie Fredriksson. Marie had a big impression on Maja, she always thought Marie is a fantastic singer, she had great stage presence and she is a fantastic songwriter. That they all miss in Sweden these days. She thinks Marie was a very cool chick with attitude on stage. When Maja entered the stage, she went to the mic stand and said it was Marie’s, but now it’s hers. I’ve never heard of her before and this way I never heard her singing, but how she performed Sleeping In My Car, oh wow. She ruled the stage, the mic, the audience. At the end she dropped the mic and it was absolutely cool. A real rocker! After the event I read in articles that it was Per who picked her to perform SIMC. Good choice, I would say.

In a short video before the next song, Dea Norberg and Christoffer Lundquist were talking about being on tour with Roxette and the hundreds of hours they spent backstage with Marie, singing together, warming up for the concerts. Dea says she has always been impressed by Marie’s strength and power. Chris says she impressed many people around her, also the fans. She was so present all the time. The duo performed an energetic version of Om du såg mej nu. Marie wrote this song to her father who died prior to her achieving any success.

There came a docu block again, showing old footage of Marie receiving awards and talking about the ’80s and ’90s, her balancing between Per’s pop hits in English and her more personal Swedish solo albums, the break-through, the 4 US No. 1’s. The energy in a sold-out stadium with a sing-along crowd is one of the most powerful things. Probably that was one of the things that made her come back after years of illness and rehabilitation, to travel around the world with Roxette again. It was the stage where she felt the most at home. And although we probably didn’t really know Marie, it seems she knew the audiences well. In an old interview she says music is what she lives for, it’s her way of conveying what she feels.

Per Gessle. The time has come. And it was the hardest time for all. Per entering the stage, stepping to his place, a mic stand next to him without Marie behind it and an old pic of Marie and Per shown in the background. The saddest moments during the whole event. There was no way to hold the tears back when Per started singing It Must Have Been Love. With only an acoustic guitar played by him and Christoffer accompanying him. The pause after the first chorus also had its depressing effect on me. Then the background changed to dark with lights like stars over there and Agnes Carlsson walked in. The only song I knew from Agnes was Release Me. I never thought she had such an amazing, powerful voice for ballads. She was not trying to imitate Marie at all, but her voice was the closest to Miss Effe’s. I can’t imagine how hard it must have been for her to step into Marie’s place in this song, but she did it with all respect and humility. It was heart-breaking to see Per on stage while Agnes was singing. His facial expressions said it all. And the tears were just falling from my eyes. Another song that reminded me that we won’t ever hear it in the way we loved it the most. Per looking at Marie or putting his hand on Marie’s shoulder before she started singing ”Lay a whisper…”, like they did on all concerts during the past tours. A touch that won’t ever happen again, a voice we won’t ever hear live again, two most beloved people we will never see standing next to each other again. The applause at the end of the song was so loud. It deserved it.

After IMHBL Per stayed on stage, changed the guitar and performed their first US No. 1 hit. The song they broke through with internationally. Helena and Dea also came to the front for The Look. I loved the way they entered, hugging Per, ensuring him he can count on their support. And do I have to mention it was fantastic to have Jonas Isacsson there? THE king of riffs indeed. Amazing! The continuous clapping by the audience, still on during the fake ending… it was overwhelming. Goosebumps! Then Per and Chris playing their guitars like they do on tours, back to back to each other, enjoying the vibes, it was lovely to see them so. Per said thanks to the audience after the song and went off stage while the crowd was still clapping loudly for a longer time.

The planned ending of the concert for the TV broadcast was how it started, with Solid Gospel on stage. We could hear Marie’s original vocals and the choir joined in. They performed a wonderful version of Den bästa dagen. No dry eyes at this point either.

The event should have ended, but then Christoffer told the recording for TV is over, but they thought they would perform an extra song for the crowd. The musicians on stage played it with Roxette on tour, but never at the same time, since they are parts of the band from different eras. He asked Clarence to start it. The extra was Fading Like A Flower and Helena and Dea performed it. Guitar solos were played by Chris, Staffan and Jonas and there was a crowd singalong too. I saw the cameras were still recording it and hoped for it to appear on TV too, if not as part of the broadcast, then maybe as an extra video. Fortunately, it still fit in the schedule, so it’s available for everyone to watch at the very end of the video. It was worth recording and sharing it, because it was a great version.

After the extra song we all got up from our seats in the audience and gave a very well-deserved standing ovation. It lasted for minutes. All in all it was a magical evening, an extremely emotional tribute to our dear Marie Fredriksson. Hats off to all the artists, musicians, the choir, the technicians, the band’s crew, the TV crew, the theatre staff for making it happen and for Christoffer an extra hats-off for the arrangements.

It was hard for all the artists who have always been close to Marie to be there and perform. Some of them I already mentioned above and I have to add Anders Herrlin who was there on stage during the whole concert, playing the bass in the front, being the most visible next to the performers and Christoffer. It must have been tough for him, you could see the emotions on his face all the time. Clarence, Pelle, Micke Syd, Staffan and Jonas were less visible, having their spots a bit further in the back, but their musical addition to the concert showed they were also moved. Seeing them on TV you can sense they had a hard time too. It was probably also tough for those who were maybe not so close to Marie, but had her as an inspiration, to kind of step into her place and sing her songs. For the audience it was difficult too. But as tough as it was, it was so beautiful at the same time. Not wanting to use any clichés, but it really felt like we are one big family. One could feel that huge dose of love spreading on and off stage.

Many asked if Marie’s family was there. I didn’t see them and I’m sure it would have been too much for them in their pain, but whenever they will decide to watch the TV version, I’m sure they will also feel the love and magic we all felt there.

The most emotional songs for me were: Tro, Sparvöga, It Must Have Been Love and Den bästa dagen. Per said in a radio interview the day after the event that it felt like a farewell. It did feel like that indeed. But Marie lives on. In our hearts, ears and minds forever. The most awesome singer on Earth and beyond won’t ever be forgotten.

Setlist

  1. Tro (Solid Gospel)
  2. Efter stormen (Linnea Henriksson)
  3. Ett hus vid havet (Helena Josefsson, Dea Norberg and Maja Francis)
  4. Listen To Your Heart (Petra Marklund)
  5. Sparvöga (Eva Dahlgren)
  6. Things Will Never Be The Same (Maja Francis and Christoffer Lundquist)
  7. Dressed For Success (Anne-Lie Rydé and Sanne Salomonsen)
  8. Ännu doftar kärlek (Lasse Lindbom and Linnea Henriksson)
  9. Sleeping In My Car (Maja Ivarsson)
  10. Om du såg mej nu (Dea Norberg and Christoffer Lundquist)
  11. It Must Have Been Love (Per Gessle and Agnes Carlsson)
  12. The Look (Per Gessle – with Helena Josefsson and Dea Norberg)
  13. Den bästa dagen (Marie Fredriksson and Solid Gospel)

Extra

  1. Fading Like A Flower (Helena Josefsson and Dea Norberg)

 

All pictures in the article are stills from the event broadcast on SVT.

You can watch the video on SVT Play until 23rd July 2020.