Marie Fredriksson was a guest of the show in 2013 and when Niklas had a Q&A session on AskFM on 21st January 2014, I asked him which part of Tack för musiken with Marie he liked the most and I couldn’t help asking the question if he was planning to invite Per in the future to his show. He said he liked it very much when Marie was singing Sparvöga and to the Q regarding Per he replied ”well…, we will see”. Then seeing the list of guests of the 2014 series I was a bit sad that Mr. G wasn’t there, but now this instapic of the guys looks very promising.
The episode with Marie was incredibly fantastic. Read our summary of the show HERE. For that Tack för musiken we were able to apply for tickets to be in the audience and Marie was very happy to see some familiar faces in the front when the show was recorded in August 2013. Now it seems this option didn’t exist or at least we haven’t heard about it, because for sure there was an audience. It would have been cool to attend such a fab TV recording. If we are talking about it in past tense. But what if it’s a future happening? Fingers crossed!
In 2013 the recordings happened in August-September and the first episodes were broadcast in December. It’s not yet published when the next series of Tack för musiken will be on air on Swedish TV, but hopefully, it is announced very soon and we can watch it still this year. It’s already too exciting to think about what songs Per will perform live and who will be his guests in the show. If it’s really a complete episode about him and he wasn’t ”just” a guest for some other artist. Haha. But no. That’s impossible. He surely has a complete show. Or is this pic about Tack för musiken, the show at all? Or was it a real music show Per and Niklas attended last night (Peter Jöback & Helen Sjöholm’s I Love Musicals maybe) and Niklas just commented the pic with “thanks for the music” referring to that event? Oh, well… Too many “or”-s and “if”-s. 😉 Looking forward to some more details, aren’t we?
Oct 11th morning update: Niklas deleted the photo, which makes it even more interesting. Hm. And it seems that the event last night was Marie’s book release party. 🙂
As we already informed you about it approximately a month ago, Per appeared on the cover of the latest issue of Sweden’s biggest magazine about Italy, Solo Italia.
The magazine contains 10 pages about Per Gessle’s Italy. The article is written by Lars Nordin, a dear friend to Per and Åsa and the photos included are also taken by him. When I saw Lars in Milan at the Roxette concert in May, I wouldn’t have thought he was going to publish an article about the show, as well as tons of Italy-related details connected to Per Gessle. It’s a really nice reading and great to see some older (Capri 1994) and new pics attached, too. Thanks a lot for that to Mr. Nordin.
In the article Lars Nordin writes about how awesome and magical the Roxette gig was in Milan, that everyone was standing during the whole show and the seats remained unused. He writes about the goosebumps moments of sing-alongs, how excellent Marie was and for him, seeing many Roxette shows before The Look in Milan sounded the best so far. He also writes about the deafening cheering of the crowd when Marie and Per left the stage and turned back for a last waving goodbye. After the show they (Lars & Co., i.e. some Ferrari fans) met Per in the lounge.
From the article you get to know Mr. G’s Italian favourites. He says that besides Asian meals, Italian food is his fave. He likes that you often get the ingredients separated: cheese, olive oil, tomatoes, spinach, broccoli, etc. One of his most favourite meals is Veal Milanese (Vitello Milanese) with spinach and a little spaghetti, garlic and oil on the side. VM is what he has on his plate on the pic on the right.
Regarding fashion, Per mentions he has no Italian brands he is following closely. Gut feeling is there not only when it comes to songs, but also when it comes to shopping. Right now he wears a lot of Yves Saint Laurent and last year he thought Rick Owens was good for him and his [I quote him] ”weird body”. If Italian, he thinks Costume National almost always do some cool stuff.
We already know Per thinks Italian wines are fantastic and he gives a list of some great regions and wines: Tuscany, Ornellaia, Masseto, Solaia, Sassicaia, Barolo, Brunello di Montalcino.
In Solo Italia Per talks about his favourite Italian cities. Florence and Venice are the top for him, but Milan is fab for shopping clothes and interior stuff. Rome is wonderful with all the stunning architecture. The album cover of Mazarin was photographed there by Anton Corbijn. He likes Lake Como and Lake Garda and mentions the Roxette recordings in Capri in 1994.
Six weeks in the sun. In addition, I won the tennis tournament. Grazie.
Per when asked about Italian artists, he mentions da Vinci as a classic, but also Modigliani and Fontana. And he says one half of Gilbert & George is Italian, too. Regarding Italian movies, he tells Fellini’s films are still good. He is gladly watching them on a rainy Sunday.
Besides Ferrari, Per finds Pagani and Alfa Romeo nice. He says cars are mostly about the design for him. His fave Ferrari F1 racers are / were Gilles Villeneuve, Kimi Räikkönen and Schumacher.
In the article which was probably written in May, the new album is still mentioned to be out in November. Now we know it’s out a bit later.
The Per Gessle Selection, at least 2 wines from the set, namely Kurt & Lisa and Furet can’t be left out from such an article. Both wines are Italian, from Tuscany and they are the result of a cooperation between Mr. G and Marilisa Allegrini. Per talks about both wines and at Kurt & Lisa he explains it’s the name of his parents.
Both of them taught me early to appreciate the good in life.
When he tells Furet is the name of that part of Halmstad where he was born, he says:
There thrived my passion for fine pop music, neat hairdos and ingenious football feints.
As we informed you yesterday, the documentary about legendary rock photographer Henry Diltz premiered on SVT2 today. Unfortunately, the film Rock Photographer Henry Diltz – A Boy And His Camera can only be seen in Sweden. Click HERE for watching it on SVT Play.
The docu is almost an hour long and it is definitely worth watching if you are into photography or music history or a wise, positive guy with great sense of humour. Henry who has always been close to music (even singing and playing the banjo and other instruments) bought his first camera, a second-hand one in 1966. Since then he just can’t stop taking pics. Not only of rock stars and musical events, as well as for album sleeves, but literally everything from cows to forks. In the film he tells lovely stories related to his iconic shots and music history at all. It’s not only him talking in the docu though, but several huge artists who became friends with him over the years. Most of them are friends with him since the very first time they met. Besides Ringo Starr, Graham Nash, Michelle Phillips (The Mamas & The Papas), David Cassidy, Jackson Browne, Robby Krieger (The Doors), Micky Dolenz (The Monkees), Julian Lennon and others there is our Mr G. talking. Per says:
I think every artist is probably a good photographer as well, because if you’re a singer or a writer or a painter, whatever, I mean you have this artistic thing going on. And it’s not that big difference, you know. A lot of people who write songs are interested in images. Joni Mitchell is a fantastic painter, you know. And Ringo Starr is a great photographer. Graham Nash is a fantastic photographer. Michael Stipe is a great photographer. It goes well hand in hand with your occupation. Absolutely.
This part is on from 41:30 to 42:07. You might remember Per’s 6 seconds (starting from 00:50) in the teaser of the docu which was published last year. That part is missing from the film now. So either this is the final cut and those 6 seconds (and maybe more PG talking) won’t ever appear in the documentary anymore or there will be that originally planned 90-minute-long version with more Gessle in it. Who knows. Either way, the documentary is very well done by director Janolof Fritze.
As we already informed you about it almost a year ago, Per will appear in a documentary about legendary rock photographer Henry Diltz. The docu premieres on SVT2 tomorrow (4th September 2015) at 20:00.
Originally, the film was planned to be 90-minute-long, but for the premiere it will be a 1-hour-long version. Not sure if the whole conversation recorded with Mr. G will be included, but at least a pic of him and Henry appeared in the 2-minute-long teaser. Promising! 😉
The documentary, Rock Photographer Henry Diltz – A Boy And His Camera has been almost 3 years in the making. 30 interviews and about the same number of great songs from the ’60s and ’70s music scene are featured in the film by Janolof Fritze, Keijo Liimatainen and Gunnar Nordström.
The docu is worth watching anyway. Mr. Diltz was there and photographed big moments of music history. He’s a real legend shooting iconic photos of iconic artists. Hopefully, the film will be available outside Sweden as well.
The last time we updated the PLECtionary was 5 months ago. The XXX tour’s European leg did deserve some new Per Gessle guitar picks, so it’s time for another update. Mr. G posted on Roxette’s Facebook page on 28th March that they had just ordered new plecs for the then upcoming tour leg. The picks were ready in time and he posted a photo of the new beauties some days before the first European gig in Milan.
Aaaah at last! My new guitar picks!!! Enjoy and grab one flying like a rocket at the shows, folks!!! /P.
Reading the word rocket I thought immediately of a real gem on The Per Gessle Archives and this went on and on in my head ”Picks are everywhere / catch a rocket in the air / be ready when they’re there / like a rocket in the air!” Oh well… Grabbing a flying plec is really not that easy, but not impossible at all. There are many lucky Roxers who will surely pop til they drop having a Gessle pick in their collection and there are many who still can’t believe they obtained a pick touched by the hand of Per.
I thought it was convenient to say a big THANK YOU to:
DUNLOP CUSTOM PICKS
for those custom made picks I do my best to spread around the globe with mixed results. Hey, you’re pretty good at catchin’!! To my defense, those red acoustic guitar picks are so thin, they won’t fly…..
Sandra Knospe is of course both handy and lucky, so the PLECtionary gets its update. Sandra found the time in between heavy touring and her also busy non-Rox-World-related life and now before the last show this year in Europe she took the photos and shared the trivia she knows about the plectrums. Check out the PLECtionary and look for the guitar picks No. 100-105! It also includes a new print of the latest Professor Lundquist pick. At No. 157 you’ll find another new item, a Mister Magnus pick. You know, he’s the viking member of the band whose fave Rox album is Baladas en español. Vikings don’t need customized plectrums. Haha.
Huge thanx again for the updates, Sandra! Your collection looks more and more eXXXquisite!
So, one more gig is left for this year and you have the chance to confirm that Per is right when he says we are pretty good at catchin’. Once you catch a pick you have to take care of it though. The print on them is a little bit dangerous. Good luck, you all!
Paula and Stina attended the premiere of “Roxette Diaries” and wrote the following report for RXB. Enjoy this thrilling story about watching the “Roxette Diaries” sitting almost next to Per and Åsa and sharing the experience with other long-time fans.
W.O.W. Way Out West…
The film “Roxette Diaries” premiere.
…Yes! It is actually very “WOW”!!!!!!!
We met at Gothenburg’s central station and we headed for Bio Capital cinema. A cozy little place, that you almost missed walking by! We were a bit too early so we were sent out in the streets again. We went on a food-hunting adventure and ended up in the area of Haga where we tried to get our heads around the fact that first of all we would be going to the cinema in a few minutes to see a Roxette documentary on the big screen, but most importantly we would be joined by Gessle himself!
We came back to the cinema by 14.00 and little by little fans began to arrive as well as other well-known faces. While taking some pictures of the place and posters, suddenly a big black car arrived in the parking lot on the opposite side of the street… and yessssss it was Per driving with Åsa sitting besides him. Marie Dimberg went to welcome them, it was fun to see how they went to the ticket machine to get the parking ticket for the day! They came to the cinema and said hi friendly and started to talk to some people. We were all together by the cinema door on the sidewalk, talking and waiting for the time to be let in.
The event started with a representative from Way Out West festival welcoming the few people/fans who had found their way into the darkness this Friday afternoon. We were approximately around 35-40 people who joined for this journey down memory lane. The film began with a small written introduction by Per himself and then it immediately took off beginning with the early days back in ’80s and the recordings of Look Sharp!
So many funny moments and rarities…going through TV-shows, recordings in the studio, private meetings, eating at restaurants, recording video clips, celebrating Usa #1’s, shows and concerts in different parts of the world, fans waiting and singing outside hotels, radio greetings, photo sessions… so much to take in and that as a fan you just soak up and it was absolutely lovely to see.
Laughter, happy emotional tears, goosebumps, vivid heartbeats of those you feel your chest is gonna explode, shivers… and so many memories from those times in our lives. It was incredible to recognise many moments during the film that we once had seen from another angle, we could even see the camera-man filming that angle as we now were watching it from mainly Åsa’s camera. And SO MUCH never seen stuff it was awesome.
Some of our favorite parts (out of way too many) were to see them fooling around, having so much fun with each other… being silly and laughing… And seeing everyone so young! At some point Micke (with hair!) joined the craziness.
The behind the scenes filming of some of the most well-known official videos. Maybe it’s because we watched the videos to pieces back in the early 90’s, maybe it’s because the videos are such a big part our teenage years, but seeing those gems from a different view, different angle, with attitude and humor…. It’s just goosepumpingly priceless.
Another era to mention are the many footage from the Tourism-recordings (including the suitcase-drum kit) as well as the recordings from Capri making C!B!B!
With “Roxette Diaries” we joined Marie and Per travelling the world many many times in only one and a half hour. As a viewer you really get the sense of hard work and how tough it can get being on the road touring. And you get this particular weird feeling that we had been part of this all. And in a way we fans are part of this all. Either because we had been present in person at some TV-show or concert shown on the film or just merely because of the fact we have all followed this amazing band throughout all these years, through their music and magazines and radios and other sources of information…
Specially these kind of old videos and films that we saw during endless evenings and nights, by ourselves or together with friends when we were so young, these old interviews, TV-shows, promo shows, concerts. We could spend a whole evening – or even long into early morning hours and through the whole night – watching those VHS tapes. Sharing laughters, amazement, admiration, commeting a look, a phrase, a face, clothes… We had so much to talk about. We even helped each other understand some word they had said in English that the other hadn’t really understood… and later came the Swedish!
The “pause” and “rewind” buttons were pressed way too much and often by then. It was common that the ink on the keys had faded after a while on the VCR-player!!
Those times were magic and are of those moments in life you’ll carry with you for ever. So many strong memories and laughters. And sharing this passion we have under the name Roxette, it´s magic! SHARE, we love that beautiful word! Share among friends from the “old” days and some others from recent years… many who are around in Europe and who started as pen-pals back in the mid 90’s!!!
So nostalgy and memories hit us hard while we wrote this!
… and you could really SENSE and FEEL in that cinema yesterday, the same way we felt then, all over again while watching.
When the film was over (what?? How can 90 minutes go this fast!!) Gessle came forward and answered a few questions.
He was asked how he felt when he saw the movie and he said proud and happy because he had forgotten 95% of it… Proud because this whole Rox thing originally started as a hobby and the idea was to play at clubs…
He was asked what had made Roxette so succesful and he said luck, and experience, the fact that they were not that young and that they both had careers from before in the luggage and all that experience. He mentioned here the amazing gift that Marie has as a performer singing and on stage, which made his songs and music so good.
He was asked who they made this film for… he answered for the band, the inner circle, to sum up all those video tapes that mainly Åsa had recorded when video cameras were not so common to own. It was important to cherish special moments like shows in odd parts of the world where other big bands never played before, like in South America or China.
Then fans could ask questions too and Sandra began with THE question: if they were gonna make this film available for us fans, specially the ones that hadn’t been able to come to the premiere. He said they are working on it, talking to TV stations in Sweden for them to broadcast and hopefully release it … or “ilegally put it up on youtube” 😉
Another fan asked if there is something negative about this whole glamourus and luxurious way of life we just saw on the screen and he said that there are some tough parts like all the travelling and the boring parts of promo and making interviews and photo shoots and miming the same songs over and over again, it’s very tiring and Marie hated it, specially since they both have a very good live tradition with lots of tours and playing live… but it’s part of the job and in the end you have the positive around you that beats the tough part.
He was asked if it was the first time he saw the film we had just watched. He said the first version was 12 hour long!!! Then cut to 3 hours… it was a lot to see and go through and there were parts they have “missed” like MTV Unplugged 1993, the show in Johannesburg in South Africa january ’95…
After this, fans could take pictures with Per and get some autographs. He was very social and positive and talkative.
We also talked to Åsa and she told us it was her premiere to see the movie as well and that for them it’s many happy memories and emotional going back in time, too. But I have to say it’s like that for us fans too!
So this 90-minute storytelling is a true pearl for both hardcore fans and for people with a genuine interest in music and it tells the crazy intense story of everyday life for one of the worlds biggest pop sensations. It’s worth watching many many times and we truly hope it won’t be long before it will be released out into society!
Quotes from fans AFTER the film:
– Tanja Hesse had brought her friend Patricia Bienko (both from Germany) and they were both speechless and so happy to have been able to take part of this.
– Karin Rubischung and Jörg Zimmerli from Switzerland said this was their best meeting (with Per and Åsa) ever, very emotional to see the film too!
Jörg added: “the movie is a very good memory for having been a Roxer since the very beginning”
– Nico Radoi from Romania living in Gothenburg was very pleased with the whole thing and happy she took many pictures to eternalize some of the many magic moments during the film.
– Marie-Claire from Holland living in Stockholm was also very happy and overwhelmed.
– Sandra and Jana were full of joy and couldn´t really sum up what they felt… so we went for some drinks and food afterwards to talk talk talk talk talk about this whole amazing happening in our Rox-lives and share it with each other… coz after all it isa ll about sharing! … and it all begins where it ends!!! ?
Thanks so much Roxette Blog and D&D Management for this amazing opportunity that we were able to be part of!
Do you remember this very special moment when Marie Fredriksson, being back then in Sydney, made a satellitte connection with Robert Broberg to sing “Everything disappears”? Yesterday we learnt Robert Broberg passed away in the age of 75 after long battle with Parkinson. Marie commented on this to TT press agency:
A great artist and a lovely man who will be missed. I have great memories from our collaborations and I am glad I got this opportunity to work with him.
Hallandsposten (Jan-Owe Wikström) did an interview with Per in relation to the Roxette concert in Halmstad tomorrow. It’s going to be the 6th time they play in Halmstad. After 1988, 1989, 1991, 1994 and 2010 tomorrow it’s time for them to play again in the band’s hometown. It will be their first time at Örjans vall though.
According to the interview, the tour will continue in 2016, however, nothing is planned after the September concert (company gig) in Warsaw. Per says since they turn 30 next year, the tour should last until then and they haven’t played South Africa, Asia, North America and South America yet on this tour. At the same time it is Marie’s health they are depending on, how much she can do.
Regarding the tour Per mentions it’s quite typical nowadays that as no artist can earn money on album sales, they go on tour. When Roxette played in Madrid, there were posters from Katy Perry via Mark Knopfler till the Foo Fighters. Since there is this big competition, he says it’s fantastic that they still have sold out shows and can sell 8000-18000 tickets per concert. In Halmstad there will be approximately 15000 people in the audience. The plan for the 5 concerts in Sweden was to sell 50000 tickets altogether and it seems it will work.
Per tells Jan-Owe the tour is one of the reasons why the new album is delayed. The other reason is the EMI – Warner merger. There are too many new people and Per wants to work with people he likes and who respect their history and the new songs. 5 songs off the new album are ready and as Per says, it is 65-70% of the total album. This would mean the album has 8 songs? Hm.
With Addeboy vs. Cliff, who mixed the 2015 remake of The Look, Per wrote some songs together. He says to Hallandsposten that it’s hard to find people who are talented in what he is not too good at, ie. programming.
There are still unknown collaborations on the new album, but Per told Hallandsposten he and Mats MP Persson wrote some songs together now for the first time since long and they might turn up on the new album. Mr. G says he would never be able to write “Fading Like A Flower” today, simply because he has moved on as a songwriter.
Regarding the changes in music consumption Per says nowadays it’s less important to people who wrote the songs or who plays the drums. Today’s pop music reflects the society today, so most of it is made on laptops where everything can be fixed in the end.
This time he says again that social media is a unique way to get close to the fans.
Jan-Owe Wikström asked Per what is left to do after that he has done almost everything with Roxette, Gyllene Tider, his solo projects and soundtrack. Maybe a musical? Per can imagine that there could be a musical built on Roxette’s, Gyllene Tider’s hits or his solo songs just like ABBA’s “Mamma Mia” and the Queen musical, but only if the right way is found. Something new. Maybe with Jonas Åkerlund as a director.
From the Hallandsposten interview it turns out that Per is still writing his diaries after each show, so it’s not only the Facebook posts he writes about them. And they film a lot. Probably, a lot more than what we get to see after each gig on Facebook.
Per says in the Kappahl interview that the plan is to go on with the tour until 2016 (as he already mentioned many times before, and that would be the meaning behind the whole XXX tour, as Roxette turns 30 in 2016!).
Now he revealed that Roxette plans to do about 80 dates until 2016. If you count the dates until Drammen (Norway) on August 22, that makes up to 61 dates. Which means about 20 would be left to be announced / planned. And this raises lots of questions:
Will these dates be in 2016 only? Will there be more in 2015? Where will it take Roxette to? South Africa? South America? North America? Some more Europe / Sweden to celebrate the 30th anniversary “home”? Lots of questions for our never-resting minds!
What we know for sure is that fans are longing to see more of Roxette live, both those who have been to (many) shows since the tour started and those who haven’t seen Roxette since at least 2012. And that The Look 2015 is awesome. And that we cannot wait until the new album is out! And that we already need the tour dates for 2016.
A week has gone since my last Roxette show (ever?) in Vienna. I tend to think it was my last Roxette show ever, but I am always open for a pleasant surprise, of course. Why I do think that this is it? The final countdown, the last tour ever? Yes, just because of Marie’s condition. I know very well that she is a warrior, the greatest warrior I know. Maybe, but maybe, just maybe, all of this is too much to fight for. I don’t know. I posted a very long text about her and my perception of her condition in another article (there’s an English translation at the bottom of the text). I don’t want to go in too much detail here now. It’s only part of my thoughts and I already have put them in words, so I try to move on from it. But yes, it felt a bit like a farewell to a long long dream for me.
So, my last show was in Vienna, Wednesday, July 8th, 2015. Unfortunately, the tour stress had totally exhausted me which forced me to leave my place in the third row during “Spending my time” already and got me to a spot on the side of the stage. Suddenly I couldn’t handle all the people around me anymore, it was too loud, too crowded, just too much. I had wished for a better ending to this whole touring experience as I have never done it this extensively (10 shows in 14 days). It wasn’t meant to be and so I stood at the very far end of the stage, held a mug with water in one hand and my jacket in the other and watched Marie trying to deliver her notes.
I joined the tour with the start of the German leg of the European part of the tour. Roxette had been on tour already six weeks. The first European show in Milan I had attended, yes, but after that, as said, six weeks break. So, I came to see the concert in Cologne and joined all the travelling until Vienna.
What’s left to say? It was a very intense, very confusing, very life-changing experience. Apart from the concerts I realized that I am actually really too old to queue the whole day in front of the venue in 36°C, even though we could mostly sit in the shadow. My body doesn’t want to be in the heat for several hours, then get tense when it’s close to inlet and then run for a minute and then relax, just to tense again when it realizes that air is practically not existing inside the venue. At least my body doesn’t want that several times a week and that’s probably what it showed me in Vienna.
I realized that I am also too old to stand in front of hotels and airports and waiting for the right moment to ask for a photo. This moment never comes. Every fan is so dependent on the mood of her star, so was I. Fortunately, with Roxette, I adore a band who always took their time and mostly never have a bad mood or when they don’t show it their fans, at least there was only one occasion I witnessed it.
I also realized that I might be too old to adore people who don’t even know me. I started to ask myself what I actually expect when I meet them? I wrote in my other post that it’s the feeling of breathing the same air for some moments. This might be it. I don’t know. I know it’s different when it comes to Marie. Since her illness all I ever wanted was to show her my support in every situation possible. There were many times when she gave back so much, thanked for our support or even begged for more. Moments I can hardly forget or ignore. It stopped this year. For me and for her. She doesn’t notice or doesn’t want to notice her fans anymore and it’s finally time to step back for me. Concerts: Yes. Anything else: No.
So, yes, I’d do it all over again, travel miles and miles and never stop, I would, but my reasons have drastically changed. Still, there is this “have to support Marie” thing, it’s very strong, it can’t be abandoned easily. Then there is the other reason that got stronger and stronger during my journey: Meet other Roxers, laugh together, wait together, sing together, enjoy time together. I am so happy that I met so many nice people, maybe this was the most important thing for me during this trip. I finally remembered why they all are so special, even those who I thought wouldn’t speak a word with me anymore. I really really loved that. In the end we’re on this ship together and when it’s time to wave the white flag, whenever that is, we have to do it together somehow anyway.
I am trying to point out some of my personal highlights of the ten shows I saw now:
The best Roxette show I ever saw was the one in Berlin. This was another topic I wrote something about it, unfortunately it’s in German only so far, sorry for that. This was a magical night, moments that can’t and won’t be forgotten. The audience maybe wasn’t the loudest, but the most empathic. It took over when Marie forgot the lyrics and from that moment on everything could happen and it did. I am happy I was there. I could feel the love floating around from the stage to the audience and back. It was the one perfect night.
The best local song Christoffer played was probably “An der Nordseeküste” in Hamburg. It worked surprisingly well regarding the fact that this isn’t a German song in origin. The audience sang even louder than the people in Cologne who got their very own anthem “Viva Colonia”. For Non-Germans: “Viva Colonia” is T-H-E song in Cologne and even in parts of Germany. So I really wondered why it didn’t work THAT good this time. The funniest moment was most certainly Christoffer’s attempt to play Helene Fischer’s “Atemlos” which was probably the most played German song in 2014 and 2015 (just guessing).
I loved that Per shared our “bring us some water or ice” photo from Stuttgart. We had so much fun that day and it made us smile despite the heat. Unfortunately, we never got the ice or the water (just kidding, of course). Being a Roxer for 24 years you very well realize how special it is to communicate with your star in such a direct way. You post a photo, you know for sure that he sees it and when he shares or likes you are in heaven for some hours. Yes, that’s how it works. Praise the internet!
I also won’t forget the very messed up inlets in many many German cities, almost all of them. Gates that get less and less, although people are already queuing, scanners not working, security staff who don’t know how to mark a ticket, entrances that get closed completely ten minutes before the doors open, security staff telling you you are not allowed to sit down, because it’s too dangerous, others not telling you where you have to run – it was a mess, really. After three shows we joked about founding a consulting agency for security companies. They know so little, they do want to know so little – it can make you really angry. Worst are those who keep the guitar picks for themselves, by the way.
But let’s get back to the positive things. One of them: The amazing setlist Per Gessle put up. What a trick to end the show with “The Look”. What a great idea to bring “How do you do” back as standalone song again. People always have loved “How do you do” so much and it worked so very well at every single show I have been to. This was most often THE party crasher and people were not to stop from that point on. Yes, the audience expects the hits, the great number ones and the singles – it’s true and I can live with it, but after my last show I joked that I really don’t want to hear “Joyride” again so soon and that I am actually happy that I could keep myself busy with the balloons rather than singing. It’s a pity, of course, that I never applauded the band during the band presentation because I was so busy with getting the balloons ready. I still love the balloon thing very much.
We also had a talk about the stuff the fans do during the show and another fan had a very new thought: That we fans are part of the show as well. We do the balloon thing, we clap in moments non-fans don’t know (you know which songs I mean, Dangerous (attracted to go-go deeper tonight), The Look (head drum)), we try to sing “How do you do” on our own after the first riff and get the rest of the audience to join (it never worked until today, of course). Yes, there might be something to it. I had so much fun with all of this!
The general audiences really surprised me, though. I cannot count the times I heard people singing “The Look” while leaving the venue. One sang the verse, others joined in with the “Na na na na nas”. They were full of love for the band and didn’t hesitate to show. This felt much different during the last tour in 2011 and even more different during the Room Service tour 2001. Which brings me to my next point: This band loves to play, loves to be on stage, to play live, to improvise a bit, to make music together. You can see it every second they are on stage, even on their tired days. And this transports so much that people can’t help but join in. It might be compassion, farewell or memories bringing them to the shows, but they leave with different feelings: admiration for the band, the love for music and the will to definitely buy a new Roxette album. This band is so rocky. I heard that on the radio one morning: Roxette came as a pop-rock band to the Lanxess Arena in Cologne, but left as a rock-pop band. What a compliment for a band that earned so many bad reviews for their bubblegum music back in the 90’s!
So, what’s left after my last show in Vienna?
There’s a lot of good memories, some bad memories, decisions I made, a heart that’s still full of love for these people who accompany me for 24 years, a wish for another tour at least in North America so that I finally have a reason to go to New York (and I already have made appointments there with fellow Roxers, I didn’t forget that, Basia, Mareike and Mariana), and a deep deep longing which stands over it all that certain conditions get better again, the deep hope that something or someone can stop what we unfortunately witnessed this year and really don’t want to see and to see happen at all. The one topic we never talk about much. And then there’s the will to go on tour like this forever and that time just stands still, please.
There is a long and very nice interview with Åsa Gessle in Hallandsposten today, both in printed format and on their website. You will also find some cool pics of Fru Nordin in there. Interview is done by Christian Albinsson, pics by Anders Andersson.
Åsa talks mainly about Hotel Tylösand, her role in the hotel’s life, her designer career, her relationship to Per, as well as her love towards Halmstad, life around Roxette and her filming on tours.
The article mentions Åsa and Per acquired Hotel Tylösand relatively cheaply in 1995 together with businessman Björn Nordstrand. Åsa says they re-invest a lot into the hotel each year. She finds it fun that the hotel is constantly growing and renewed, because she always had a dream to run a hotel, although she thought that it would rather be a small boutique hotel in the countryside than a large conference center.
Regarding Per, Åsa says he is more interested in the art hanging on the hotel’s walls and what kind of wines are served at the restaurants, design ideas, appearance etc. are more Åsa’s thing.
In the Hallandsposten interview she mentions there are plans to create a sun terrace on the roof top of the spa building. Mrs. Gessle says many of her favorite hotels abroad have such a sun terrace with a bar. She is very proud of her babies, Leif’s Bar & Grill and Bettans Bar and says she feels herself at home there.
She talks about how she ended up in Halmstad 33 years ago, in 1982, when she moved to there to open a clothes shop with her then-boyfriend. Their relationship came to an end and she was introduced to Per by a common friend of theirs, Lars Nordin.
I already knew who Per was, but Gyllene Tider were not exactly my idols, so to speak. I had also lived a few years abroad and had not really kept track of Per’s career.
As Åsa tells Hallandsposten, love came approximately a month later, when Per sent her a letter written in tongue-in-cheek style, which truly characterizes Per. He wrote about her dog and if she could kindly leave the dog at home if he had a chance to invite Åsa for dinner. Since then they are a couple. By the way, Fru Nordin says Per still likes writing handwritten letters.
As written in the Hallandsposten article, Åsa planned everything around the Roxette trips. She and Per were travelling together since 1989, stayed at many hotels and in the beginning they could see less of the cities they stayed in, but nowadays it’s quieter and they have time to stop and collect impressions.
Besides organizing the travelling and gathering inspiration from different hotels, Åsa has always had a camera with herself. The Jonas Åkerlund film (Roxette Diaries) we already wrote about will soon be completed, however, it’s still not decided where to broadcast it.
Hallandsposten writes about Halmstad life being perfect for Åsa, she loves living there, while Stockholm suits Per more. He has more social life in the Swedish capital.
I also like to go out and dance to dance bands, last time about a week ago in Västerhagen. I still have sore muscles. Dancing to dance bands is not something I do with Per. 🙂
We’re going home to Halmstad to gather strength. I love to go to Prince Bertil’s path, which I do almost every day. It’s awesome that new things are happening there all the time and the landscape changes along the way. My favorite spot is Tylöbäck where there is a kind of magical atmosphere, although I think one should clean up a little of all the old trees…
Another favorite spot is the garden where Åsa and Per like just to sit and enjoy peace, and to have breakfast in the special breakfast corner.
It’s nice to have a little routine. Per always drinks filter coffee at certain times, like an old lady, ha ha.
In the interview Åsa talks about her designer career. It started in 2007 when there was a housing exhibition in Halmstad and Lars Nordin asked her if she would decorate one of the apartments. First she said no, because they were in the middle of a tour, but she now mentions the real reason was that she thought it was a little scary. She accepted the challenge in the end and she used By Rydéns lamps in that apartment, so she got in good contact with them. Now she is designing lamps for them. The theme is love and peace and the peace mark is a central element of the design. There are 1 or 2 lamps each season designed by Åsa, who has learned it step by step that it is important to believe in and challenge yourself.
For Åsa, it is obvious that love makes us better people, and her message is that we should be kinder to each other and be happy for each other’s success.
When we heard about the Twelve Peaks show on Nordic Rox, we thought there would be at least one Twelve Peaks bonanza per month. The essence of the show is that Per Gessle chooses 12 songs according to the actual topic and he and Sven Lindström are discussing them. The first 2 shows were shared by Sven in February 2014. More than a year later, now he was kind enough to share a third program, this time via Sandra Knospe. Huge thanks for that!
At the very beginning of the 3-hour-long show (you can download it by clicking HERE), as well as at 00:34:00 and at 00:51:10 Sven is announcing his guest, Per Gessle and tells we will listen to the 12 peaks list of contemporary music that Mr. G grooves to right now. Per joins in at 00:59:20 and is on until 02:15:32.
Sven says he gave Per the choice to pick his 12 New Wave favourites, but in order to be hip and appear groovy, he chose contemporary songs instead. They named this part as ”Twelve Peaks of Now” since Sven couldn’t come up with a better title. Per jokes the title could have been ”12 peaks of what’s in my lunch box”.
At the time of recording the show (early March 2015) Sven said Per was in the middle of picking up ideas for the new Roxette album.
Per’s reaction to that was:
Most of the songs are already done, but I can change my mind.
Regarding how songs are influencing him he said:
I try to listen to lots of things, lots of different things. I mean I didn’t invent the wheel, I let myself be influenced by certain sounds or certain ideas or certain structures in songs.
They are also talking about the upcoming Roxette album. Remember, the show was recorded early March. PG says:
I started writing the new Roxette album half a year ago. Then of course we went on tour. We started touring in October in Russia and the Baltic countries and we just came back from Australia. In early May we start our big European tour over the summer with almost 40 shows in Europe. So this recording, this new album, we’re doing it when we’re at home. Which is like good and bad. The bad thing is that it’s very easy to lose focus, because you’re in the studio for a couple of weeks than you go on tour for like 2 months. Then you have to go back. I would prefer to be in the studio until it’s done and then do the tour. But we can’t do that at this point. But it’s going great, you know. We have a great material and it feels really cool, the new stuff. It’s a mix of classic Roxette combined with new ideas. … It’s a much stronger compilation of material than the last 2 albums. And also I think since we started touring again in 2010 Roxette has become this sort of working machine that I like to have. I think that really pays off when you’re making new songs for the band.
Sven who heard songs off the new album thinks it’s impressive and promising, quite a step forward compared to the last 2 albums.
Sven asked Per where he gets his music tips from for finding new music. Per replied:
Most of the time you just share playlists with your friends who know what I like and vice versa. … It’s easy to get lost, it’s also easy to get bored, because you listen to so many songs that you don’t like and you sort of give it up and start watching Breaking Bad instead. You have to find a way to filter all this. But I have a few friends and we sort of share ideas all the time. You should find friends, Sven! It’s a good thing.
They are talking about the great reception of The Per Gessle Archives and demos in general. They have a deep discussion about the question if mooses are elks and vice versa. You can also hear SMS messages coming in during the conversation. It’s always so cool listening to them. They are sharing jokes, kidding each other and their conversation about music is one of the most enjoyable things in life.
Sven and Per are also talking about 1975 and Mr. L asked Mr. G where he was in ’75. Per replied:
I was still in school. I hadn’t formed my first band yet. I was struggling with songwriting. I wrote lyrics and made up melodies in my head, but I couldn’t really play anything. But then in ’76 my mother – I think it was ’76 – my mother bought me a guitar. And I started to play this sort of fingerpicking style, you know, Leonard Cohen songs and Gordon Lightfoot songs.
Then came the New Wave and he had to form his own band. He was influenced by Blondie, Patti Smith, Tom Petty etc. He always thought each Tom Petty song could have been a single.
The main thing in the show, however, is that list of 12 songs Mr. G likes right now. They are talking about the artists on the list, as well as about the songs, why Per thinks they are good or even brilliant tracks.
Say Lou Lou – Julian
Tove Lo – My Gun
Bo-Dogs – She’s Got To Go
Jungle – Busy Earnin’
Feist – I Feel It All
Röyksopp feat. Robyn – Monument
Amason – Älgen
London Grammar – Hey Now
The 1975 – Chocolate
Banks – Beggin For Thread
Karin Park – Out Of The Cage
Lana Del Rey – Cruel World
We have no idea how many Twelve Peaks have been recorded so far, but hopefully, a next part can be shared soon.
And yet another interview with Per popped up, this time by German music blog laut.de. Between other things Per talks about current studio work, the greatest hits album and world tour. When interviewed he’s in the studio creating demos and „hopes“ to have a new single ready for the European live shows.
The title „Marie needs much drama“ refers to Maries preference for big melodies when singing, in contrast to rather flat bubblegum pop. Per reveals that Marie and him had many disagreements during Roxette’s career, but they always kept it out of the public. In the past he could be grumpy when Marie only stepped into the studio to sing her vocal parts, but her illness changed everything and now he’s just happy to look into her eyes.
About current influences and Roxette’s forthcoming album, Per says that he’s interested in music that he couldn’t create himself and that puzzles him, like the work of Daft Punk. He thinks some people will be surprised by the sound of Roxette’s new album. While the foundation stays the same there’ll also be new things to discover…
During the past months many interviews with Per popped up in several countries. Anyone in for a little Hungarian this time? Piece of cake. OK, if you’d like to skip the lesson, just read the summary in English below.
Lángoló Gitárok is a well-known Hungarian music blog. Ádám Magyar, one of the LG bloggers did a quite nice interview with Mr G, having some interesting questions to him. There is nothing really new for a hardcore Roxer in it, but still, I’m always happy to read anything Rox-related in Hungarian newspapers or on websites. And yeah, I could read about / listen to Per’s thoughts and views on music 24/7. I know there are many more out there sharing this feeling. 😉
In the interview, to the question what motivates him being constantly on stage Per replied he’s not constantly on stage, but is constantly working. He writes, re-writes and re-re-writes songs, planning or he’s just in the studio. Touring is another part of the creative work, but he really likes it, because it feels wonderful to stand on stage in front of tons of people who love what they’re doing.
To the question what inspires him when writing songs he replied writing songs is just natural for him, since he started writing already as a teenager. He could not live without writing, it’s an important part of his personality. Per is writing constantly, but it doesn’t mean he finishes all the songs or that the audience will get to hear all of his songs.
Per says today’s mainstream pop music is very one-sided and he blames it on the major record companies and radio stations. He thinks it’s much easier to follow in the footsteps of an already successful production than to do something fresh and innovative. His favorite songwriters are those who still try to move out of the ordinary frames, while writing great melodies and doing interesting albums. He says he loves well-written songs.
Of current music trends Per says sometimes things don’t come through, because he thinks those songs don’t speak to him. But that’s just the way it should be. Pop music should always reflect the actual era and so it does.
To Lángoló Gitárok‘s question, if he ever recognized the impact of Roxette on today’s music Per replied he is not used to think about it at all.Music works like you hear something, you find inspiration in it and then write something new.
Lángoló Gitárok asked Per what kind of music he is listening to nowadays. He says he is listening to different kinds of music. He returns to Joni Mitchell or 70’s pop songs quite often, but healso likes new stuff, such as Lana Del Rey, Röyksopp, José González, Nine Inch Nails and Daft Punk. He finds French bands usually very good. But according to Per, there are good songs of Katy Perry, Tove Lo or Ellie Goulding, too.
To the question what he thinks of the future of music Per replied pop and rock music have changed a lot in his life. When he was a child, musicplayed a huge role in their daily lives, but today there is much more competition in the entertainment business. There is the internet, the fantastic computer games, etc.
The point is that the possibilities are endless and this is a huge difference compared to earlier times. Sometimes I feel that the role of music in everyday life in today’s society is not as dominant as it was decades ago. On the other hand, more people listen to music today than ever before, and it‘s amazing how much easier it is to access music. Of course, pop and rock music will live on, but who knows what role they will play in the future.
Per talks about his great memories from the tours.He says they are very lucky and grateful that they could attract so many people to their shows all around the world over the years.
To the question when he thinks he will retire from music he replied:
There are no such plans, as it has just started for me.
When asked about his free time, Per mentions he likes car sports, especially F1. He talks about his hotel being also an entertaining thing to deal with. He tells he’s interested in architecture and art in general.
But actually, I’m an incredibly boring person. I spend 99% of my time with my family and music.
Regarding travelling Per says he loves Europe and when he’s travelling he feels really European. Australia is a very good place, especially Melbourne. Brazil and Argentina are also super. His favorite cities are probably New York and London, he has a lot of his friends living there.
Lángoló Gitárok asked Per whether Chris plays local songs also in other countries or it was only Hungary where he played a local tune (Tavaszi szél) in 2011. Per explains Christoffer plays some local tunes every night. He says Chris is a great musician and learns extremely fast. He’d never be able to do what Professor Lundquist is doing.
Per mentions he was in Budapest only a couple of times so far and they only came to play here, but he saw that Budapest is a beautiful city and of course, he is excited to be there again.
Regarding the new album Per says it will be out in autumn and that they plan to make a classic Roxette album, but at the same time they want it to sound fresh.
Regarding further plans for the future Per says he will follow his gut feeling.
The last time the PLECtionary got updated was eXXXactly 3 months ago today. Let’s celebrate it with adding some more picks to it!
Since the 2014 picks weren’t really used (check in the PLECtionary, why), it was evident Per needed new plectrums for the New Zealand – Australia leg of the tour. He shared a photo of his new guitar picks one day before the Auckland show. We could all agree on these were fitting NZ-Oz quite much and that they are hilarious with the funny texts on them.
Sandra Knospe decided to see the band live in Australia in February and during the concerts she attended she could collect all the latest Per Gessle plecs, as well as one Christoffer pick and one Micke N-S plectrum. After getting back home, she found the time to take the pics of all the beauties and tell the trivia she knows about them, so 8 plectrums are added this time to her already stunning collection. Check out the PLECtionary and look for the guitar picks No. 92-99!
There are plenty of the picks produced for NZ-Oz, so maybe there are enough left for at least the European leg of the tour. The designs are fitting Australia more, but of course we’re happy to catch them in Europe, too. 😉 (Update on 28th March: Per says there will be new picks for Europe.) 7 weeks left until the tour goes on! Woohoo!
Huge thanx for the updates, Sandra! We’re eXXXtremely happy that your collection is growing and growing!