Per Gessle on Carina Bergfeldt’s talk show on SVT

Per was a guest on Carina Bergfeldt’s talk show on SVT on 21st October. Actresses Lena Olin and Tora Hallström were the first two guests on the program, then Mr. G was the fourth, right after opera singer and actress Marianne Mörck.

You can watch the episode online HERE all around the world! Per’s part starts 27m 37s in.

Carina introduces PG as a music icon and before he enters, there is footage from his career shown, starting with him singing Flickorna på TV2 cut from Parkliv! 1981. Fun fact is that Parkliv! was directed by Tora’s father and Lena’s husband, famous director Lasse Hallström. Then comes a shortcut to an old TV report where the reporter tells Per „your lyrics are very much about sex” and Mr. G’s reaction is „well… are they?” Then comes a little Roxette and part of the news from 1989 that they became No.1 in the US. Per says „one of our dreams was to become No.1 in the US. That we have achieved.” From Sweden only ABBA and Björn Skifs succeeded with that before Roxette. Then comes a snippet from PG Roxette’s The Loneliest Girl In The World video.

Carina welcomes Per and the audience is very happy to have him on the show. Earlier on the program they talked about riders, lists of requirements. Carina is curious if Per can beat bathtub and Thai food. Mr. G says he is bad at riders. He doesn’t have any riders anymore, but rather anti-riders, what shouldn’t be in the dressing room. There shouldn’t be candy, because he would eat it up. He has no requirements at all, really. In the past, he tested the organizers a bit, if they could obtain expensive wines, but only one of them could do that, in Switzerland. Mr. G is still good friends with him. [Everyone laughs.] Carina says that considering them being world stars with Roxette, they could have asked such things as Madonna, e.g. repainting the dressing room. PG says they didn’t ask for such unnecessary things. „We came from small towns”, he says. Marianne pats Per on the shoulder and says „good boy”. [Everyone laughs.] Carina asks if Gyllene Tider had any list of requirements. Per’s reply is a no.

Carina informs that Gyllene Tider goes on tour again and asks Per how many times they will retreat. Mr. G tells 2019 was the last time, but then came this terrible pandemic and he had some second thoughts. It felt natural to go on with this band. He missed them. Per started writing songs and felt they sounded like GT songs. It’s a fantastic, lovely band. „I’m so happy that we are still alive and kicking. It’s wonderful.”

Carina says GT is a „democratic band” and is curious what it means. „It means that everyone agrees that I decide.” [Everyone laughs.] Carina says „so you are the president” and Per says „exactly”. Per says they have been working together for so long and they try to make decisions together. No one can be replaced and everyone has to have their say.

Carina asks if Per is as democratic at home as in the band. PG first thinks and then suddenly says of course he is. Haha. „When does your wife get annoyed with you?”, Carina asks Mr. G. Per says „often, I think”. He is quite busy and obsessed with his work. He works a lot. He is in his own little bubble and Åsa says he is giving birth all the time. He carries on his songs and projects and he is his work in a way. It has always been so.

Carina asks Per if he is fond of order and tidiness. Mr. G says he is, it’s good. Marianne asks Per if he is virgin. Per replies no and asks back if she is. Marianne explains she meant Virgo in astrology. Per laughs and says he understood that [everyone laughs] and says he is a Capricorn. Marianne thanks for the answer and explains it’s a sign of Virgos that they are cleaning and cleaning and deal with theatre an music. Marianne is a Virgo. Tora is Gemini, a typical Gemini according to her mom. Marianne asks for changing topic. Carina asks Per how we should imagine order in his home. PG explains he has always liked order and tidiness around him. Vinyls are in alphabetical order, photo books are here, music books are there, magazines are over there, in order. Yellow shirts are here, white shirts are there. Carina asks if Per is cleaning all the time. „Absolutely”, he replies. He always checks if there is a ring left by the glass on the table and he cleans it. Marianne asks Per if he has her number. Per says he got it earlier. [Everyone laughs.] Marianne also explains what order means to her. While she says she can find Christmas greetings from 1997 under her dining table, because she never sets the table (because she doesn’t have guests) and she eats in bed or in the bathtub, Per is not impressed. Haha. Marianne shares the info that on the other side, she prepares the tax declaration in advance and she makes notes of taxi bills with date, how long the way was and to where she went and why she was using a taxi. Here Per nods approvingly. Marianne says she shouldn’t share this info, but she has a collection of almost 40,000 Kinder egg figures and she will sort them out when she gets old. She thinks it’s fun. [Everyone laughs.]

Carina asks Per about what he is collecting. Mr. G says he is not a collector, but over the years there has been a lot of stuff and he has a collection of everything from records to guitars. He is getting old, he says. Carina is curious how many guitars Per has. He replies „way too many”. He doesn’t know, maybe a hundred. Carina says a little bird told her that he has exactly 125. „Was it my wife?”, Per asks. Carina tells she knows they are sorted in a very well organized way with photo and text. Per confirms. He says you have to keep track of your stuff. [Everyone laughs.] Guitars mean a lot to him. Some of them mean more than the others. He has written a lot of songs on them. Each guitar has its own personality and sounds in a special way. He has his favourites of course, which he plays every day, but others he doesn’t even know they exist.

Carina says she has understood that Per knows his life through his records, so she has prepared a test with some single sleeves. She wants to know what year it was released and what guitar was played on it. Per is happy to do the test. First is Joyride. It was released in 1991, recorded in 1990. It wasn’t Per playing the guitar, it was Jonas Isacsson and he played a red Arvidson guitar. Carina asks how life was in 1991. Per tells they had their first big world tour in 1991-1992. Those were crazy times, an 18-month long tour, 2 million people came to see them. Years 1988-1995 for Roxette were absolutely amazing. They travelled around the world several times and it was awesome to be part of the success.

The next sleeve shown is Neverending Love. It’s 1986, the first Roxette single. It’s not him playing the guitar, it was MP from Gyllene Tider and it was certainly a Stratocaster. Per explains he doesn’t play that much on the albums. [Everyone laughs.] Carina is curious about the story behind Neverending Love. Mr. G tells he was asked to write a song for Pernilla Wahlgren who had just been signed by a new record label and he wrote a song called Svarta glas. The record label refused to use it, which then felt tough, but Per translated it into English and that became Roxette’s first hit. Everyone is impressed and cheers Per. Mr. G thanks for that.

Carina asks the others if they have a special favourite Roxette or GT song. Lena points at Per and says they are approximately the same age. She says one of her favourites is „Jag vill känna din kropp emot min” [När vi två blir en]. It hits right in one’s romance and heart. Lena tells when she and Per once met in New York, Lena told Per she loved Här kommer alla känslorna (på en och samma gång). It also hit her right in the heart and it really touched her. There are many other songs, but these two are her favourites. Marianne asks Per if it was him who wrote a song that he wants to sleep with the girls on TV2. [Per’s facial expression is priceless here. Haha.] Carina corrects Marianne: „turn on” the girls on TV2. Marianne says she said it in an older way. [Everyone laughs.] Per also laughs and confirms it was him. „What were you thinking when you wrote that?”, Marianne asks. „It was kind of nice”, Per replies. „Maybe you meant to turn the TV on?”, Marianne asks. „Yes, that was the case.”, Per replies. „Is that a post rationalization?”, Marianne asks. Per replies: „Absolutely not. It’s your fantasy that carries you away.” [Everyone laughs.] „Is that right? You’re getting a little shy, I see.”, Marianne says. [PG’s facial expression is priceless here too. Everyone laughs.] Per says „it’s tough”.

Carina continues with Per’s new album under PG Roxette. Per goes on with Roxette without Marie. Carina asks Per what Marie would have thought about the album. Per thinks she would have liked it, because it’s kind of a cousin to Look Sharp! and Joyride. The style and the sound are very much the late ’80s, early ’90s. Marie really loved that kind of music. Carina asks how it was to make this record without Marie. „At first I didn’t want to do it, but then time passed by and I felt I wanted to go on with Roxette. But it doesn’t work to replace Marie, so I tried to find another form. I used my own voice, but also worked together with the two girls who were in Roxette’s band during the past 8 years when we were on tour. They have taken a step forward and sung when needed. I haven’t thought much more than trying to make a good Roxette record.”

Carina tells Good Karma was the last album Per recorded with Marie before she passed away in 2019. Carina is curious about how the recording session was. Per explains it was complicated. Marie was in a quite bad condition, but at the same time it was awesome that she was an Amazon in the way that she wanted to work all the time. They didn’t stop touring until 2016 and the album was recorded in 2015. It was an amazing session, but it wasn’t easy. Carina asks Per how he and Marie talked about life back then. Mr. G says when they talked about life, they rather talked about the past, the fantastic journey they did together. All their adult life they have dedicated to Roxette. They went through so many things together. They always felt like siblings, the same way as them 5 are like brothers in Gyllene Tider. When you go through so many things together, it’s like that. It’s an amazing feeling to be able to have that relationship in good or bad. Carina asks what Marie has thaught Per. Per says it’s a tough question. Marie gave him self confidence. She always made sure that what Per does gets a little bit better than it is.

A new tour is in sight, a new album is coming, as well as a Gyllene Tider movie and a Roxette musical. A lot is happening. Carina thanks Per for coming on the show.

Mr. G stays sitting on Carina’s sofa with all other 3 guests until the end of the program, so you can see him during the talk with the fifth guest, soccer player Pawel Cibicki and also watch him enjoying music while Hannes feat. Waterbaby play one song live.

Stills are from the TV show.

En akustisk konsert med Per Gessle – PG Unplugged concert film on SVT

SVT broadcast a 1-hour-long cut of Per Gessle’s unplugged show recorded in Karlskrona on a beautiful Thursday evening, 5th May 2022. You can watch it HERE until 23rd Feb 2023 (rights valid for Sweden only, but works with VPN outside Sweden).

From 21 songs on the original setlist, 13 have been picked by Per to be in the TV cut. As he says, he didn’t want too many “obvious” ones. Only Swedish songs are there, 9 from Gyllene Tider, 4 PG solo, no Roxette. Marie is mentioned though in one of the stories and this way the O’boy joke – that was present during the whole tour – is also included. There is a nice balance between the songs and Per (and the band) talking in between. It reflects the real feeling of how the concerts were with all the fab hits in their acoustic arrangement, the anecdotes, the crowd reactions, the connection among gang members on stage. Wonderful people, excellent musicians all of them! At one point, when Per thanks MP for the amazing sound, the camera spots Mats – woohoo! – and Åsa is standing there behind him, so this way the stage set designer also shows up in the film. Well-deserved! The crew also pops up here and there, changing instruments or doing their stuff in their tech spots.

Right at the first moment, when the band and Per entered the stage I felt like I was sitting there in the front row again. This time in my living room, but the intimate atmosphere really comes through the TV screen as well. The complete recording is pure professionalism. The close-ups are just as awesome as the parts recorded from far behind to show the whole stage and the audience in front of it. The sound is fantastic too, both Per’s and Helena’s vocals are magical and Clarence, Christoffer and Magnus also sound fab on their instruments.

If you’ve been listening to the Helsingborg gig on streaming 24/7, now you can switch to the Karlskrona show and watch this amazing audiovisual delight all day and night. I’m extremely happy that Ljudet av ett annat hjärta is saved forever in this set.

Setlist in the TV cut

1. Kung av sand
2. Flickan i en Cole Porter-sång
3. Tycker om när du tar på mej
4. Det hjärta som brinner
5. Ljudet av ett annat hjärta
6. Varmt igen
7. Juni, juli, augusti
8. Min hälsning
9. Födelsedag
10. När vi två blir en
11. Vid hennes sida
12. Sommartider
13. När alla vännerna gått hem

Skipped songs from the original setlist: På promenad genom stan, Småstadsprat, Min plats, Tuffa tider, It Must Have Been Love, Vilket håll du än går, Här kommer alla känslorna, Listen To Your Heart.

It could be a full-length show, yes. It’s compact instead, but feels absolutely complete thanks to all the professional cuts and the flow of the songs Per has picked for this film.

Stills are from the video.


Per Gessle Unplugged Tour – #17 – 5th May 2022 – Karlskrona

Karlskrona wouldn’t have happened, if the December dates of the tour weren’t postponed. This concert was added as a new date to the 2022 tour leg. And what a great idea was to add this one! Not only because it sold out fast, but because it was one of the best concerts so far.

The whole show was filmed by SVT and is said to be available on TV around Christmas time. PG & Co. were in fab shape and great mood. Totally cool for the filming! And the audience gave their best during the whole evening. They were clapping and singing along to most of the songs and it was lovely to hear their applause when a song started and they realized which one is that.

Make sure you don’t miss out on the time lapse video recorded by Anders Roos about building the stage HERE. It’s amazing to see how it’s all done and what professional work the crew and staff do to make everything work for the concerts.

Per stood up more times than he generally does during these unplugged concerts, e.g. during Flickan i en Cole Porter-sång he stood up checking on the crowd. The stories in between the songs were the same as usual, but there were a couple of improvised jokes. O’boy had its „promo” last night too and Per’s capo adventures also got back. I’m wondering how many of these talks will appear on TV in the end. Usually it’s a 1-hour-long program or maximum 1.5, but it would definitely be nice to see the whole thing. So if not the whole gig appears on SVT, we are always happy to have a DVD with the complete show. Just saying! Haha. Anyway, it’s unbelievable how many cameras, cables and other strange technical stuff are needed for such a recording. No wonder the end result is always so professional. Looking very much forward to it!

The encores were fantastic. The crowd stood up before the first encore and was cheering and clapping until the guys and girl came back on stage. Before the second encore everyone was again up on their feet. Vid hennes sida was a sitting song, but for Sommartider we immediately stood up. Big party song with a neverending applause after. Thanks, Magnus! For När alla vännerna gått hem everyone sat down, but the gig ended with a standing ovation, of course.

Next stop is Helsingborg on 6th May!


1. Kung av sand
2. På promenad genom stan
3. Flickan i en Cole Porter-sång
4. Småstadsprat
5. Min plats
6. Tycker om när du tar på mej
7. Det hjärta som brinner
8. Ljudet av ett annat hjärta
9. Varmt igen
10. Tuffa tider
11. Juni, juli, augusti
12. It Must Have Been Love
13. Vilket håll du än går

Band introduction

14. Här kommer alla känslorna
15. Min hälsning

Encore 1
16. Födelsedag
17. Listen To Your Heart (dedicated to Marie Fredriksson & Pelle Alsing)
18. När vi två blir en

Encore 2
19. Vid hennes sida
20. Sommartider
21. När alla vännerna gått hem

Photos in the article are taken by Patrícia Peres.

Per after the gig:

Tack Karlskrona för en fantastisk torsdag. Vilken underbar publik ni är. Supertacksam att fått spela + sjunga för er här ikväll och känna denna härliga respons. Vi hade SvT med oss ikväll som bandade alltihop så med lite flyt så kan ni se o höra allt igen i jul nångång. Life’s good! Tack + syns igen. Badabam från PG.

Per Gessle in Lars Winnerbäck’s documentary

I already posted about it in August 2017 that a documentary about Lars Winnerbäck was to be premiered in autumn 2017. Many years passed and I totally forgot about it, but now I had the chance to watch it on SVT. Why I write a little about it is because Per Gessle also appears and talks in Winnerbäck – Ett slags liv (Winnerbäck – A Kind of Life). The docu marks 20 years of Lasse’s career and it includes interviews and concert footage.

The whole film is worth watching, but now I will of course only highlight the interview parts with Per. HERE you can watch the docu, however, it’s available only in Sweden.

Before I get down to the summary I have to mention that Lars’ name for sure rings a bell to all PG fans also outside Sweden because of their duet, Småstadsprat released on Per’s En vacker natt album in 2017. Lars also joined Mr. G & Co. on stage during Per’s En vacker kväll tour in 2017 in two cities – Per’s hometown, Halmstad and Lasse’s hometown, Linköping. They performed Småstadsprat and Honung och guld together.

In the docu Lars tells Per that when he was young, his best friend had a summer house in Strömstad. They had a little guest cottage where they could be alone. They snuck down to the beach and listened to Gyllene Tider. Per thinks it’s fantastic.

Lasse tells he started writing songs when he was 8-9 years old and he was singing some kind of own melodies. Per asks him if he could play any instruments back then. Lars says he couldn’t, but he learned it. He started playing the guitar when he was 9 years old, so when he was 10 he could compose a little on his own. Per tells he started writing extremely bad poems when he was 12-13 years old, but everything changed when the punk era came in 1976. Then he was 17 and he was writing in Swedish, because he was bad at English. However, the first stuff he wrote was in English, but it was easier to express himself in Swedish. Lasse says he could only speak Swedish, so for him it was obvious to write in Swedish. He admits he is still very bad at English. Per asks him if he ever tried to write in English or tried to translate his songs into English. Lasse says he never felt he could. He thinks his „songs would be difficult to be translated, because they are really…” Per completes the sentence: „… long!” They laugh. Lasse says yes, they are really long and it would take much time.

Lars is curious if Per thinks about the audience when he is writing. Per tells he can’t really say that, but he knows that when it feels like a song has a strong chorus or there is a hook in the song which is attractive to him, then it will be attractive to the masses as well. Lars says he writes mostly for himself, but knowing that people will listen to it motivates him. Per tells it’s not like a diary you write for yourself, it shouldn’t stay there. You know that it will go out. PG also tells that the coolest thing is when people come and say that your song means something to them.

Lars wants to know if Per thinks fame is in the way of artistry. Per says the short answer is no. He thinks it’s part of the game. There is a romance in rock and pop that you get rid of. Per thinks it was damn fun to be a pop star, but that was not the main focus. Gyllene Tider’s breakthrough came very early. They did six gigs before they became No.1 in Sweden. Suddenly, there were 13-year-old girls in the audience and them five in GT didn’t understand a thing. Lars asks if it was fun or rather just tough. Per says it was fantastic, because a whole new world opened. Lasse says Per never had time to think about the breakthrough. For him it was the opposite. He can’t remember when he broke through and it was probably good for him that it went little by little. It’s just that the process was longer this way. For years Lars thought it was hard to enjoy and cope with the fact that people recognize him. He doesn’t think he would have made it if it happens faster. Per tells it became a bit more difficult when he got older and the whole thing spread to the family: siblings, mother, child. Everyone is involved in this celebrity circus. You have to deal with it. For Per it was never a problem. Lasse says he had incredible problems with it, which now seems to be stupid, because now he knows how to cope with it or ignore it. He thinks it makes you feel you are observed all the time. Per asks if it becomes a paranoia. Lasse says it does. PG tells he never felt like that. He says there is that element of always being judged and that you have to take the consequences of your actions. Lasse says that might still be a problem, always being judged. But earlier he also had problems with reviewers and reviews. It was tough. Per tells you have to learn that you can never win. If you dig into what everyone thinks of you, you will go crazy. Lasse says that’s what he did.

It’s interesting to see Per in this „role”. I mean there are two great musicians chatting, paying full attention to each other. Both of them broke through, but in very different ways. One was already writing songs when the other was born and the more experienced he is, he appears a bit like a mentor giving advice and hints on songwriting or how to deal with fame. Nice!

Stills are from the docu.

Per Gessle and Roxette in Save Tonight – Swedish hits from the video era

Save Tonight – svenska hits från videoeran (Save Tonight – Swedish hits from the video era) is a music program on SVT. It is produced by the people behind En kväll för Marie Fredriksson, På spåret, Det svenska popundret and Hitlåtens historia, so there is a guarantee for a high quality series. Tonight, 25th September 2021 it’s the premiere of the program and it’s planned to be an annual TV show.

The essence of the program is to pay homage to great musical eras from the last century with live music, interviews and features. It’s the 40th anniversary of MTV music channel broadcasting its first program in 1981, when a new window was opened to the world for people interested in music.

A number of great artists cooperated in Save Tonight – svenska hits från videoeran, Per Gessle is one of them. There is a short interview with Mr. G about Roxette’s videos. This part starts at 46:41 and lasts till 49:29.

Program leader Josefine Jinder tells Per Gessle knew how to write hit after hit, but knew nothing about how to make music videos. So when MTV popped up, he took it as a big, but fun challenge.

Mr. G tells before MTV it was dry. The videos fit Roxette perfectly. They were young and interested in the video format. They thought it was an extension of their pop language. Per thinks it was cool to make videos e.g. to The Look and Dressed For Success, which they made at the same time in New York. He says it was awesome to work together with stylists and choreographers, so you could make more of your song. You quickly realized that you have to have a good video and so it quite quickly escalated the budget. If you are international, you have to work with an international budget and it was extremely lot of money they invested in music videos. Mr. G thinks that big part of their success is due to their cool videos, e.g. Fading Like A Flower in Stockholm City Hall or Listen To Your Heart on Öland. Per laughs and tells that everyone in the US thought that they built the ruins for the video’s sake. Actually, Marie was most often the front figure and Per rather had to strike tough poses and ”power chords”. It was fun, they loved making videos.

Jonas Åkerlund also talks on the program from 1:03:39, mainly about videos in general and the contradictions in the briefs of record labels for doing something cool and shocking that one could have never seen before, but at the same time taking care of not going to an extreme when a video can be censored, because then no one will see it. He says videos became fun again when YouTube appeared.

You can already watch Save Tonight – svenska hits från videoeran on SVT Play (if you are in Sweden) or watch it on SVT1 at 20:00 CET tonight.

Stills are from the program.