Per Gessle’s guitar pick haute couture

The last time the PLECtionary got updated was in August 2015, right before the last show of the European tour leg. Now one tour leg later, an update is due again. We hoped for new picks for the South African shows, but we couldn’t be sure there would be any new plectrums until Per posted the photo of the guitar pick they designed especially for South Africa (Roxette FB, Per IG, Roxette IG).

107_SK_600x339It wasn’t clear at first sight whether it was only one pick and Mr. G showed the 2 sides of it or it was 2 different picks, but soon it turned out they got back to the roots, making it more limited, so it’s only one pick with the South African flag on one side and GESSLE ON THE ROXXX on the other side. Looking good! Haute couture, as the master says.

Sandra was there in South Africa and she could now take photo of it to include the plec (No. 107) in the PLECtionary. More than that, thanks to her we can also add Per’s guitar technician’s, Micke N-S’s new pick (No. 108) and in the meantime Sandra could obtain one of the Night of the Proms plectrums (No. 26) she had been looking for since a long time, so it’s now in the PLECtionary as well.

Besides these 3 new additions, you will find a separate section for the misprinted picks. The misprinted ones mean something went wrong during the production and e.g. the design or the text is missing on one side. With this update you see 2 misprinted plecs, No. 77 and No. 96.

Huge thanks again for the updates, Sandra!

See the PLECtionary HERE!

New record label à la Per Gessle

As you could read the news, BMG Scandinavia has announced a partnership with Space Station 12, the new record label formed by Per. To start this record label must have been a plan since long, because it was registered already in October 2008. However, the first time Per was probably talking about it (without a name) was in a South African radio interview last November. Then he mentioned that a month before he had started his own record label to work with young artists.

Space Station 12 (see logo here), where the Head of Operations will be co-owner Marie Dimberg, will release recordings by both new and established artists.

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Pic by BMG attached to the news on German sites

Mr. G says:

My ambition with Space Station 12 is to create an environment with strong roots in the history of pop and rock. I would love it to become a label you as a listener can identify with, just like I did with Atlantic, Stiff and F-Beat Records when I grew up.

SS12 will be a home for strong musical personalities, brilliant songwriters and curious producers. I’m really proud to have found a creative bond with BMG Scandinavia who work independently with experienced hearts and minds and put the music in focus. I love that.

Sanken Sandqvist, Managing Director of BMG Scandinavia added:

Per Gessle is an outstanding artist in a territory known for outstanding artists. We are excited to be taking this latest step into the recordings business with Per and his new baby, Space Station 12.

Per shared the news on his Twitter account with the comment:

LOTS OF FUN AHEAD!

Let’s see what the first Per Gessle project will be under this label!

As a short note in the press release, we get to know that the new Roxette album will be released in June (Warner Worldwide). So a single is out probably late spring. This year, we hope. 😉

 

Update 24th Feb 2016: Per shared why he gave the name Space Station 12:

SPACE STATION 12 INFO: Why this name? Good q, folks! I’ve always loved “Space Station #5” by Montrose. Still have it on a scratched but proud vinyl-LP. Sammy Hagar is singing, btw….
So, SS5 was too much Montrose. Instead I took the numbers of my beeday and, badabam, SS12 was born.
Hoods, caps and frisbees coming up! (joking…). /P.

 

Per Gessle makes it sound so simple

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© Anders Roos

You probably remember our latest article on a new song registered under Per’s and Addeboy vs. Cliff’s (Andreas Broberger & Hannes Lindgren) name at BMI. The title of that song was ”I Come Alive”. Now there is another song listed in the BMI repertoire. It’s called ”You Make It Sound So Simple”. What is Mr. G cooking???

Again, all 3 guys are registered as songwriters / composers of the song, so it’s probably a cooperation like it was with Heikki L or Kill FM or Sebastien Drums. Is it going to be a complete Per Gessle feat. Addeboy vs. Cliff album or what? Or is it related to the new Rox album?

It surely turns out soon. But hopefully, the new Roxette album is released even sooner. 😉 Now that Per has announced the album is finally DONE, it shouldn’t be long until announcing a release date as well. Woohoo!

 

 

Thank you for the music and inspiration, David Bowie

This is a very personal blog post to thank David Bowie for the music and for the inspiration.

bowieAs you probably now, David Bowie passed away on January 10th. It was a sad day for music world and everybody was very shocked. As for me, I had been listening to “Blackstar“, his new album which had been released on January 8th, the whole weekend. I had been looking forward to it since the first single was out in November (and some teasers the year before). And finally on “release Friday” there it was. It felt fresh, new, jazzy, I loved the drums!, the voice, the lyrics were mysterious again but felt defying, intriguing, strong. Sad too. I found the videos to Blackstar and Lazarus very mysterious and at times disturbing and sad. But I just thought it was his way to shock and be artistic in his way.

Monday morning I woke up humming one of the tunes, Lazarus. And then I just read the post on Facebook about him passing away. I was like what? No, NO, he just released an album. Can’t be. Like many others, I checked Twitter, news, comments of fans, the majority not believing it and thought the FB account had been hacked, that it was a hoax and bad joke. Minutes later his son Duncan confirmed it on Twitter. And all the pieces from his album fell into place, suddenly.

And since then I have been in a strange state. Shocked, thoughtful, sad, in disbelief, kind of lost, grieving. And I have spent hours trying to find out why. Probably there is no clear answer, just some thoughts that I had to put down in writing in a way to say thank you. For the influence, music, inspiration, artistry, love for music, innovation, daring to be different…

I actually got into Bowie’s music “for real” back in 2012 when he released “Where are we now?” from the then upcoming album “The Next Day”. I don’t remember how I read/heard about the release of the album, somebody (Per?) must have posted it on FB, or maybe I just saw it on Spotify. I was fascinated by the single, what a strong song, what lyrics, the voice, how the instruments fit together. Magic. So I then started to listen to his other albums. Sure, I knew many of the songs, but most of it was new to me. It was then that a new world opened up for me.

Bowie had always been in my life in a way or another. On one hand, I remember he was on TV, the Freddy Mercury tribute, but I guess I didn’t understand him back then, maybe was too young or thought he was weird, because I really didn’t listen to his music besides the known singles. But at the same time, I felt fascination, respect because he dared to be like that.

On the other hand, he was present mainly because I got to hear about him through my (music) heroes (Marie, Eva D, Per) and other artists that have impacted/inspired me (Nirvana/Kurt Cobain, Melissa Etheridge, Europe, to mention some). My favourite artists mentioned him here and there, whenever they talked about their youth, their roots.  They count him as a big influence when they grew up, when they started to make music. I remember comments from Per and Eva the most. I cannot repeat the exact words, but it felt like for both he seemed to be a (the?) reference person for daring to be how they were back in the 70ies, 80ies. Seemed to be the one who helped them accept to be different, themselves. Just how they have helped me. This is how I see it at least (see at the bottom for a collection of references/tributes to David Bowie by Per and other artists).

When you listen to his music you understand why, or at least you can try. If now his music sounds (still) daring and even innovative, imagine how it must have sounded back in the 70ies and 80ies. And what it must have been to hold albums like Space Oddity, Aladdin Sane or Hunky Dory in your hands, play them. Not to talk about his outfits and looks. Pure innovation and reinvention. And as his last album showed us, until the end. I would dare to say that he has experiemented with all styles of music one can think of and more. So with time I realised that David Bowie had inspired as many artists as The Beatles have. In general, if you listen to Bowie’s discography, one cannot help but find similar sounds, references, inspiration in the music done by other artists.

And I also realised some years ago that indirectly he is an important part of my life, too. And in this state of mind one  starts to think… without Bowie, what would they have developed into? Would they be who they are now? Would they have done the music they have done? And would they have touched me so deeply with their music as they have?

Drawing by Helen Green

His death was so sudden. He had released an album just a few days before.  It turned out, only his closest ones knew about his fight against cancer, so for many people it was a shock. And when one thinks of it, for the public, for the fans, he left the same way he had been surprising and shocking with his music. And he was ahead of us, again. One last time. To quote his producer Tony Visconti:

He always did what he wanted to do. And he wanted to do it his way and he wanted to do it the best way. His death was no different from his life — a work of art. He made Blackstar for us, his parting gift. I knew for a year this was the way it would be. I wasn’t, however, prepared for it. He was an extraordinary man, full of love and life. He will always be with us. For now, it is appropriate to cry.

There are a few (must-read) articles talking about his last creations (the album Blackstar, two videos and the musical Lazarus). He lived for music through and through. And this is one of the things about music and artists that touches me the most.

Of course, my thoughts go to his family and friends. But also to my favourite artist. I wonder how they must be feeling. And I cannot avoid thinking of how I felt back in 2002 when Marie was diagnosed with cancer or Melissa Etheridge some years later – luckily they are still with us!! – Or when some very dear friend/family member has left. It’s just a void you cannot explain and – at least for me – regardless how much time passes by, it doesn’t go away, it just becomes bearable.

Thank you for the music and the inspiration and also the influence on my favourite artists.

David Bowie inspired…

Here is just a collection of references to David Bowie by some of my favourite bands / artists (that have and keep inspiring me) that have touched me through the years and this last week.

Patrícia has posted on RXB references to David Bowie by Per, who has also been posting videos and interviews these past days:

bowie2bowie7

Of course, Gyllene Tider’s song “Åh Ziggy Stardust (var blev du av?) from 1980 – in fact I hear a bit of Bowie/Ziggy on the Gyllene Tider album.

Joey Tempest from Europe also mentioned some months ago in an interview that David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” inpired him to write “The Final Countdown”.

One of the performances that I remember very well from back in the 90ies was Nirvana‘s “The Man Who Sold The World”. I used to listen to Nirvana a lot back then and I loved the Unplugged from December 93, one of my favourite performances was their cover of Bowie’s song. Kurt’s death was probably the first of my idols leaving us, I remember that void very well, also because it was the time Crash! Boom! Bang! was released and helped me through it (and other issues) and kept my mind busy with other things.

Bruce Springsteen, Madonna and Melissa Etheridge (listen to her words before she plays!) have covered David Bowie songs this week:

Recently Efva Attling also launched earrings inspired by Bowie, the Ziggy earrings.

eabowie

It has also been very touching to see fans gathering in various cities to celebrate him and pay tribute to him. Not to mention that my wall has been full of David Bowie articles, videos, pictures, for the past week. Belgian astronomers have registered a constellation dedicated to him (you can add your comments here). His album Blackstar has entered #1 in many charts across the globe, including Billboard and UK. Also many of his albums have entered at different # in various charts (for example, 19 of his albums entered the UK charts) too and have been partly the most streamed these days. Just shows the impact of this iconic musician/singer/songwriter/ARTist/actor etc.

 

Per Gessle’s deep song title analysis

PG_Gradvall_podcastPer had been interviewed by Jan Gradvall for his Swedish Radio podcast and the program was made available last Saturday. You can listen to it or even download it from HERE. Per’s part starts at 7:18 and ends at 21:50. The second half of the program is an interview with Kajsa Grytt.

The topic was “I Want You”, a song title that you can find among The Beatles, Bob Dylan and Elvis Costello classic songs, but Jan and Per also went into a deep analysis of song titles in general.

Per’s opinion about Bob Dylan’s “I Want You” is that it’s an awesome song on Dylan’s fantastic Blonde on Blonde album. It was released in 1966 when Per was 7 years old, so he says he didn’t know what the song “I Want You” was about, but he remembers he listened to it a lot of times.

According to Per, “I Want You” is a very good, simple and direct title. It makes you curious. Gradvall asked him what makes a song title a good song title. Per says, even if today’s generation doesn’t really look at album covers, actually it’s usually the title of the song you see first. It has to raise curiosity about what the song is about. He thinks a good title is very important, but it’s also a matter of taste. He likes simple titles, but he also likes strange titles, e.g. of his GT songs ”Allt jag lärt mig i livet har jag lärt mig av Vera” or ”(Dansar inte lika bra som) Sjömän”. Per thinks many artists have boring song titles.

Jan asked Mr. G what he thinks, which his best song titles are. Per says “Dressed For Succes” is really good, “Ska vi älska, så ska vi älska till Buddy Holly” is very good, “Sleeping In My Car”, “How Do You Do!”, because it makes you curious what the song is about, “Queen Of Rain” is an exciting title, “Crash! Boom! Bang!” which is coming from Elvis Presley’s Jailhouse Rock [here he is singing the tunes 🙂 ], “Flickorna på TV2” is a superb title.

They talk about Elvis Costello as well. Per likes him and liked his first album and the song “Watching the Detectives”. He thinks he became a little bit too clever with a little bit too many chords for Per, but he is a fantastic musician and singer. He listened more to Costello’s producer, Nick Lowe. Per prefers simplicity and beautiful, simple melodies.

“I Want You (She’s So Heavy)” by The Beatles is very simple and direct. Per thinks it’s a fantastic mix and it’s an odd, but a damn good song on “Abbey Road”. The album came out when Per was 10 and it was an important one for him. “Come Together” is also an outstanding song on it. George Harrison’s “Something” and “Here Comes The Sun” are masterpieces on “Abbey Road”. “Octopus’s Garden” and Paul’s medley on side two are also fantastic. Per explains he did a medley on his “Son of a Plumber” album, the “Junior Suite” and it was inspired by the “Abbey Road” medley. It was real fun doing it.

Gradvall asked Per about his thoughts on The Beatles song titles. The early songs had more simple titles (“I Should Have Known Better”, “I’ll Cry Instead”, “Love Me Do”, “Please Please Me”), but later the titles became more nonsense and abstract, e.g. “Happiness Is A Warm Gun”, “Tomorrow Never Knows”, “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”, “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds”. If he looks back at Lennon titles, they were rather simple, e.g. “It’s So Hard”, “Jealous Guy”, “Imagine”, “God”.

Jan asked Per about his own “I Want You”. Mr. G clarifies it’s not his own song, he did it together with Marie Fredriksson, Eva Dahlgren and the Ratata guys in 1987, during their joint tour Rock runt riket. The producer was Anders Glenmark and it does sound like a Glenmarkish song.

To the question how many words are optimal in a song title Per replied sometimes he thinks as many as possible. For example, for the latest Gyllene Tider album he wrote a song with a long title “Jag tänker åka på en lång lång lång lång lång resa”. It could have been “Jag tänker åka på en lång resa”, but with 5 långs it sounds better and it is to emphasize how long the journey is. It’s that “The Continuing Story Of Bungalow Bill” is much better than “Bungalow Bill”. Or as an album title, “The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars” is much better than “Ziggy Stardust”. But a song title can be short or long, the important thing is to raise curiosity. It can be a question that might not be answered in the song or e.g. he has the title “I Never Quite Got Over The Fact That The Beatles Broke Up” which is not in the lyrics, but the content reflects that he didn’t get over the fact.

 

Per Gessle comes alive?

According to a recent tweet, there is a song registered for Addeboy vs. Cliff (Andreas Broberger & Hannes Lindgren) and Per Gessle. The title is ”I Come Alive”. If you check BMI’s repertoire, there is indeed a song under their names. The question is whether it is one of the new Roxette songs co-produced by the duo or a Gessle solo cooperation with Addeboy vs. Cliff. Well, all 3 guys are registered as songwriters / composers of the song, so it’s probably rather a cooperation like it was with Heikki L or Kill FM or Sebastien Drums.

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© Per Gessle

Addeboy vs. Cliff are the guys who Roxette worked together on The Look 2015 remake. When Per was asked in the KappAhl interview about why they chose them, he replied:

I had started to work with them on another project via Cosmos Music. They are brilliant. Without them, I would not have dared to go in and record a new version of The Look.

 

In the Billboard interview related to The Look remake Per said:

I had started working with Addeboy vs. Cliff on some other projects a couple of months earlier so I thought they could be great collaborators. We got the backing track from them, which was the groove, drums and bass, and it sounded really cool and fresh, like the skeleton to something really interesting. I went into the studio with our regular producers, Clarence Öfwerman and Christoffer Lundquist, and added guitars, the solo parts and, of course, new vocals together with Marie. It took us two days.

With every album/project, I try to change one ‘important’ person, just to make everyone, myself included, stand on our toes. I always welcome change if it’s the right reason. In this particular case, new blood definitely needed to be injected everywhere. As always, we wanted to produce it ourselves so as to not lose control, but we needed a fresh start and a different angle.

I told Addeboy vs. Cliff we wanted it to sound like a hit record in 2015 and to pretend that the original Roxette version from 1988 is the demo.

He also mentioned they are producing themselves, but Addeboy vs. Cliff are involved in a few songs of the upcoming Roxette album, as well as other producers.

Let’s see what happens!

 

East Coast Radio chats with Per Gessle

Yet another South African interview with Per Gessle has been made available online. Listen to it HERE. This one is done by East Coast Radio and it’s 6m 25s long. The content is very similar to the other SA radio interview, but there are some fun additions, like PG’s thoughts about Justin Bieber and the content of the family fridge.

To the question what’s happening in Sweden right now Per replied it’s pretty dark and people are preparing for the Christmas season and it’s raining on the Swedish West Coast.

The radio host mentions he knows Mr. G loves South Africa as he has been there a couple of times. Per says he has been there privately as well a few times with his family. They have friends just outside Cape Town. They enjoy the weather, the nice wines, the food and the people. He thinks it’s pleasant to be in South Africa and it’s great to perform there.

tl_05
Still is from the making of video of The Look 2015 remake

To the question what the secret behind Roxette’s 30 years of success is Mr. G replied he doesn’t know. They were lucky when they had their breakthrough in the late 80’s and that kept going. He says in the end it’s people’s choice and the Roxette fans have always been very active and a big part of the shows, a big part of everything. It’s just great to be able to continue doing this.

When Per is asked which song he likes the most when they perform, he says The Look is pretty cool and it’s always fun to perform. But also the big ballads, because Marie is a fantastic singer. She made all those songs into monster songs. Per says it’s a blessing to be part of all this, having all these crowds loving what they do and they sing along, they know the lyrics to every song.

Regarding what he is doing backstage while he is waiting to perform and if there is a ritual, he says the band, Marie and he get together and talk through things what’s going to happen. Then he goes back to his dressing room to focus. He also talks about them being an organic band and that they play 100% live.

The host had a funny question. He asks Per what one can find in his fridge right now. Per replies he was away for a week and he doesn’t really know, but he says he can guess there is some classic Swedish stuff like Swedish meatballs, because his family loves Swedish meatballs.

The producer asked Per to be honest and tell if he likes Justin Bieber. Mr. G hesitated a bit then he replied he can’t really answer that, because he doesn’t really know him that much. But he really likes some of his productions whoever the producer is behind them. He does have a few JB songs on his playlist on Spotify.

The host asked Per if Gabriel listens to Roxette. Per says he tried to make him listen to Roxette, but he probably doesn’t have Roxette on his playlist. He knows Gabbe likes Real Sugar. He is really open-minded to everything though, being an 18-year-old. He is listening to Mr. Tambourine Man by Bob Dylan, he also listens to Justin Bieber, but also Motörhead.

 

Per Gessle interview by Bok Radio, South Africa

As Per mentioned on Facebook, he was busy with some South African interviews yesterday. We are now glad to share one of them with you. Heinrich du Plooy from Bok Radio interviewed Mr. G on the occasion of Roxette’s comeback to South Africa next year. Huge thanks to Wynand van Heerden, you can listen to the complete, almost 20-minute-long interview by clicking HERE.

The program starts with The Look and The Big L., then it’s fun to hear some lines from our RoxBlog article about the announcement of the South African leg of the XXX tour. At the beginning of the interview it turns out it’s still tough to pronounce Per’s surname. Haha. An evergreen issue.

Per was in Sweden, when he answered the questions, but he says it feels like being in London instead of the Swedish West Coast, because it’s just raining over there now.

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Screenshot is from the making of video of The Look 2015 remake

To the question how it feels being back on stage and touring again Per replied it feels really cool and they are happy to be back in South Africa soon. He states they are on this tour since autumn 2014 and that being on their 30th anniversary tour means they are getting very old. He says it’s a blessing and he is proud of what they have achieved so far.

Heinrich asked Per how they decide on which songs to put on the setlist. Mr. G replied it’s an anniversary tour, so they basically play their greatest hits. There are some changes in the arrangements though, because of the shows being 100% live.

Regarding any funny situation that happened to Per or Marie on stage Per says the hardest thing when you’re touring so much is that you don’t really know where you are. It can be embarrassing if you say a different city versus where you play actually, so Micke N-S started taping the city where they play in front of Per’s mic stand, not to screw it up. He also talks about messing up the lyrics and that fans know the lyrics much better than they do.

Bok Radio asks if they are more relaxed now after 30 years of their career, if they are still nervous when they go on stage or if they have a different approach when they go to the studio. Per says he is not nervous, rather focused. Before every show he locks himself into the dressing room and goes through the setlist, thinks about what he should talk about on stage if something happened during the day.

Per talks about the fact that songwriting is the No 1 thing for him and it feels like he has just started. He is very curious and is interested in pop music as a whole. He wants to try things out, so he worked with different writers and producers, he worked with David Guetta and young Swedish writers and producers just to see how people work. He mentions that a month ago he started his own record label to work with young artists.

Per’s reply to the question if he still considers Marie and himself as the dream team:

Yeah! I think Marie is a wonderful person to work with. I think one of the reasons why I’ve been so successful with my songs, my material is that I’ve been able to pick people who make my songs even better than they are. If you know what I mean. It goes for the producers and also it definitely goes for Marie. You know the songs like Listen To Your Heart or It Must Have Been Love or Queen Of Rain, all those fantastic ballads that she’s been doing over the years. She just makes those songs more… you know, it’s the way she sings them. I’ve been really blessed working with talents like she. And also of course we’ve been very very good friends since we were in our teens almost. So it’s been a long ride together. She’s just a darling!

They also talk about The Look that it was written for Marie, but she didn’t feel comfortable with it, because she wants big melodies and it’s just two tones, which is rather Per’s range.

Shortly they talk about Marie’s illness and comeback. Per explains how strong Marie is and says the fans were really really wonderful and he thinks what kept Marie going was the love and affection from the fans.

Heinrich quotes some lines from different London reviews of the sold-out O2 show at the end of the interview and Per says it feels amazing to hear that. He talks about the fantastic band, the active crowds, the great catalogue of songs and that with all this they can never go wrong. It’s a blessing to be part of this.

 

Per Gessle in Tack för musiken?

Niklas Strömstedt posted a photo on his Instagram account some hours ago with this text: ”Tack för musiken…originalet. Stay tuned!” This is pure awesomeness!

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. 🙂

 

PG_NS_TFM
Pic by Niklas Strömstedt (Instagram)

 

Per Gessle’s Italy

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.

solo_italia_01The 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.

solo_italia_03From 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.

solo_italia_02Per 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.

 

All photos in the Solo Italia article © Lars Nordin.

Per Gessle in the Henry Diltz docu

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.

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Stills are from the documentary.

Henry Diltz documentary premiere with Per Gessle in it

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.

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Still is from the docu teaser

Another tour leg, another set of Per Gessle guitar picks

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.

When Per thanked Dunlop Custom Picks for this set of his plectrums after the last show in Sweden, he mentioned:

HAVING A COUPLE DAYS OFF THE ROAD

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!

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Pic by Sandra Knospe

Per is talking about the plecs and more in this interview.

If you are interested in reading some more about Sandra’s collection, check out the interview with her.

“Roxette Diaries” premiere – an afternoon in the cinema with Per Gessle

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.

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Picture by Nico Radoi

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!

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Photo by Paula Cafiero Högström

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.

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Picture by Nico Radoi

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…

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Picture by Nico Radoi

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.

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Picture by Christina Tholander

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…

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Picture by Nico Radoi

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!

Paula Cafiero Högström & Christina Tholander

Robert Broberg passed away

UntitledDo 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.

Per also shared his thoughts on Robert:

Robert was truly fab! One of my favourite Swedish albums ever comes from his heart and mind, “Tjejjer”. Still have it on vinyl. Have to put it on now! /P.