Per Gessle on Mix Megapol’s Maracas

Per was guest on radio Mix Megapol’s new show, Maracas today. It was a pre-recorded appearance. The show contained lots of music and maybe even more ads, but one could hear the program leaders chatting with Mr. G in between.

Anders Bagge (musician and songwriter) and Arantxa Álvarez (TV presenter and singer) are very happy and feel honoured to have Per on their show – not only because PG poured milk into Arantxa’s coffee (as seen in the teaser video). Anders says Per is insanely musical, he has always seen Mr. G as Sweden’s Beatles king in a way, writing nice melodies, using simple chords. He thinks Per is a fantastic songwriter and he feels starstruck having PG on the show.

Anders and Arantxa ask Per to tell about how he spends a weekend. Mr. G says he spends it with his loved ones. When it’s normal times, there is a lot of travelling in his life, e.g. he spends one or two weekends at the F1 racing, which he is very much interested in. Anders asks if he is racing too. Per tells he tried it once, but it’s not for him. Arantxa asks how fast the cars are driving there. PG replies way too fast.

Here they play Här kommer alla känslorna.

The guys call DJ Rob Wåtz who is in Marbella and ask Per which song he should mix during the program. Mr. G wants to hear The Look in a mash-up. He thinks there could be many songs, but this one is a classic and would be fun to hear. Rob says he likes challenges and he will not gonna let Per down.

Then they leave some time for Rob to mix and Arantxa and Per play a little quiz. They have to recognize a weird cover band’s take on 3 songs and tell who the original artist is. The first song is a cover of Billie Jean. Per finds out very quickly that it’s Michael Jackson. The second cover they play is Eye Of The Tiger and Arantxa knows it, but she doesn’t know the artist, so Per has the chance to guess it and he guesses it right of course, Survivor. The third one is Joyride, which Per recognizes immediately, haha, so he is the winner of this game.

Then comes another game. Arantxa says there is a bird with a backpack and brings some info in it. The first is that Per’s whole house is spinning after the sunlight. Mr. G’s reaction is: what?! Arantxa says rumor has it in Halmstad. Mr. G laughs and says there are many rumors in Halmstad, e.g. that they took away all speed bumps for him to be able to drive faster with his cars. His house is located in the South, so there is a lot of morning light on one side and a lot of evening light on the other, the house doesn’t have to spin. Another info from the bird’s backpack is that Per started his career as a street musician playing on streets and squares. PG says it’s not true at all. What he did on streets and squares was walking as a sandwich man when he was 13-14 years old in Simlångsdalen for Lonebergs Keramik. He tells he and a friend of his started as troubadours employed by the city council and played at nursing homes for old people around Halmstad. They performed songs that were for the target group they played for, e.g. Drömmen om Elin, Svarte Rudolf, Så skimrande var aldrig havet. He remembers he also played När alla vännerna gått hem, because it had just been written then and he got tired of those 50 songs they always played 8 hours a day, 5 days a week. It must have been in 1978.

Another game is coming, where you have to spin a wheel. There is some kind of wheel in the studio and Arantxa asks Per to tell who he sees on it. Mr. G tells there is e.g. Ricky Martin, Carlos Santana. Arantxa explains that Anders tells a story related to the artist on the wheel Per will spin. Per spins it and it lands on Enrique Iglesias. Anders tells a story of his revenge on Enrique after he gave Anders a near-death experience in his private plane. You can watch this part HERE.

Arantxa reads questions from listeners they asked on Mix Megapol’s social media sites. One of them is which song Per has written he is most proud of. Mr. G says it changes all the time, but he likes The Look because it was born when he was learning how to program his new synth. It felt something special. Another listener says he wants to hear some questions about Per’s wardrobe, because he gets too little credit for it, but he also wants to hear a little about his guitars and of course some juicy anecdotes. Per laughs and says it sounds like he could have an own program to talk about all this. Regarding his wardrobe he says since he is performing a lot and has many photo sessions, there are a lot of clothes involved. Anders says Per has always dressed very nicely. Mr. G thanks for it and says Anders is very kind. Regarding guitars Per says he has way too many, about a hundred. He says collecting them is a sign that he starts getting old. He buys new ones, but never sells the old ones. All guitars are unique and if you want a special sound, you have to have the guitar to have that special sound.

The guys come back to DJ Rob Wåtz in Marbella and he starts playing the mix he prepared in the meantime. He mashed Bomfunk MC’s Freestyler with The Look. HERE you can watch a video of PG enjoying it (nevermind that Mix Megapol wrote Joyride instead of The Look in the video text…). After the mash-up ends, Per says it was very good. He thinks Freestyler was a cool choice, it’s a forgotten tune.

Anders thanks Per for joining the program and tells he is a very nice person. PG tells Anders is so sweet. Arantxa thanks for Per too and Per thanks for them as well and his part is over.

Stills are from Mix Megapol’s videos linked above.

Per Gessle on Top 2000 in the Netherlands

There was a short interview with Per today about The Look on Top 2000 (Dutch music program). The program is available in the Netherlands only, but hopefully, they will soon upload it to their YouTube channel as well.

The interview was done on 19th November at Baggpipe Studios (the old EMI studio) in Stockholm. Per tells they recorded a lot of Roxette songs there and shows the place where e.g. Jonas Isacsson was sitting, playing the guitar, where the drums were, etc. Per says it’s a magical place for him.

Mr. G thinks Pearls of Passion was a good album, but he wanted Roxette to be a bit more programmed, digital and modern. There was a conflict between him and the original producer of Look Sharp!, because the producer wanted to use his favourite musicians. Per was lucky in the end, because their engineer broke his leg and they got another engineer. He was an amazing porgrammer and digital guy. He, Per and Clarence wanted Roxette to go to the computer world. Per bought a synthesizer with a sequencer and started learning how to use that. He wrote The Look on it. 3 chords, 1 finger. It was written for Marie, that’s why he was singing ”he’s got the look” in the demo. Marie liked the demo, but said she can’t sing it, because there is no melody. It’s almost like rap. But then she said ”I can sing the nanana part and I can do the answering in the choruses”.

Per was against releasing it as a single, because the whole idea behind Roxette was that Marie was going to sing the songs and Per was the main songwriter. So in Per’s world it didn’t really make sense to release it as a single.

In 1988 there was an American exchange student in Sweden and he became a big Roxette fan. He moved back to Minneapolis and on his favourite radio station, KDWB there was a show where listeners can call in and ask for their favourite songs or they can leave their records there. He went there and gave them the Look Sharp! album. It was lying around for a couple of weeks and he went back to pick it up again. The program director was there at the reception and thought that’s a really cool album cover. Because it looks like a magazine. So he put on the album and the first song was The Look. He thought this is an amazing song. He put it on air and as soon as he did so, the phone started to ring and people were asking what’s that. They rush released the single because it was all over the radio and it took 8 weeks until it became No. 1. It changed their lives of course.

Per explains all the Nordic countries have great traditional melodies. That’s in their DNA. If you listen to old classic Swedish songs from the 19th century, it’s very beautiful melodies and they grew up listening to that kind of music. You can hear it in ABBA’s music, you can hear it in Per’s music.

That particular Roxette sound was created in the old EMI studio, in Stockholm, with Swedish people. EMI in the US wanted them to move to Los Angeles or at least to New York or at least to London, to be part of the international music scene. But they said no, because if they moved to Los Angeles, they would have sounded like Richard Marx or what was happening at the time in the US. Roxette sounds special because it was made in Sweden.

Still is from the interview.

Thanx for the technical support, Ludo van Denderen! (Until the original video is available on the Top 2000 YouTube channel, you can watch Ludo’s recording of it HERE.)

Update on 13th February 2020: Top 2000 a gogo uploaded the video to YouTube.

Musical fountain in Budapest plays The Look by Roxette 3 times a day

The musical fountain on Margaret Island in Budapest, Hungary plays The Look by Roxette 3 times  a day. The fountain provides a multimedia musical show since 2017 and this year Roxette got on the setlist. Woohoo! Watch it HERE!

The fountain basin has an area of 1,000 square meters and a total of 154 nozzles are lit by 227 colored lamps. You can sit under the plane trees and enjoy the attraction from 19th April until the first frost (~ end of October), each day from 10 am to 10 pm. Shows are 15 to 60 minutes long and start every hour from 11 am. If you want to hear Roxette, you have to be there at 3 pm, 8 pm and 9 pm.

Setlist of the session starting at 3 pm:

  1. Roxette: The Look
  2. The Dave Clark Five: I Don’t Know
  3. Simon and Garfunkel: Cecilia
  4. The Beatles: I Feel Fine

Setlist of the session starting at 8 pm:

  1. The Rolling Stones: Let Me Down Slow
  2. Herman’s Hermits: No Milk Today
  3. The Searchers: Saturday Night Out
  4. Guns N’ Roses: Sweet Child O’ Mine
  5. Roxette: The Look
  6. The Dave Clark Five: I Don’t Know
  7. Simon and Garfunkel: Cecilia
  8. The Beatles: I Feel Fine

Setlist of the session starting at 9 pm:

  1. The Rolling Stones: Let Me Down Slow
  2. Mozart: Eine kleine Nachtmusik
  3. Liszt: Liebestraum
  4. Radics Gigi: Budapest szerelem
  5. Herman’s Hermits: No Milk Today
  6. The Searchers: Saturday Night Out
  7. Johann Strauss: Radetzky March
  8. Guns N’ Roses: Sweet Child O’ Mine
  9. Johann Strauss II: The Blue Danube
  10. Roxette: The Look
  11. The Dave Clark Five: I Don’t Know
  12. Ákos: Hazatalál
  13. Vivaldi: Four Seasons – Spring
  14. Simon and Garfunkel: Cecilia
  15. The Beatles: I Feel Fine
  16. Film: Budapest tánclépésben
  17. Film: Nagy Magyarok

You can see the complete list of the songs played during a day HERE.

It’s not the first time a Roxette song is used for the attractions of a musical fountain. I know Listen To Your Heart was already used in Prague, Czech Republic 2010 and Kislovodsk, Russia 2017. Probably, there were / are more fountains where you could / can enjoy our fave band’s music.

Don’t give it a miss when you are in Budapest anytime between April and October this year!

Watch the video HERE! (The kid in the video doesn’t belong to me, but he was too cool. Came to the front only when Roxette and The Beatles were playing. Haha.)


Roxette on Rocksmith

Rocksmith is an award-winning method, the fastest way to learn to play guitar. You can plug any real guitar or bass into your PC, Mac, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3 or PS4 and join over 3 million people who have learned to play guitar with this method that adapts to you as you play. Hundreds of songs are available and now 3 Roxette hits are also added. The Roxette Song Pack contains The Look, It Must Have Been Love and Listen To Your Heart and is available on Xbox Live, PlayStation Network, and Steam. The songs may be posted later for players in territories served by the European PlayStation Store due to differences in publishing times. See the tunings and arrangements in THIS VIDEO.

Roxette Song Pack

  • “It Must Have Been Love” – E Standard – Lead/Rhythm/Bass
  • “The Look” – E Standard – Lead/Rhythm/Bass
  • “Listen To Your Heart” – E Standard – Lead/Rhythm; D Standard – Bass

Thanx for the hint, Gaby Hildebrandt!


Finnair campaigns with Per Gessle

Finnair announced their new campaign with Per Gessle. The largest airline of Finland will continue their award-winning “Hear the Taste” campaign and they are launching it for their long-haul flights in Sweden. “Hear the Taste” concept aims to improve the taste of food served on flights through soundscapes. It’s a scientific fact that sound affects how food tastes.

Tommy Myllymäki, Finnair’s signature chef (38; Cook of the Year 2007) created a 3-course menu for business class and each course will have its own soundscape. Finnair relies on Swedish expertise regarding music, that’s why Per Gessle is also involved. Snippets from “The Look” will be used in the campaign.

Check out THIS video with Per and Tommy in the studio and check out THIS video to see how it all worked in Finnair’s previous campaign.

If you fly Finnair and have the opportunity to hear the taste, let us know how it is. 😉

UPDATE on 18th November 2018: Finnair made all 3 soundscapes available.

The menu:

Update on 11th March 2019: Finnair wanted to offer Hear the Taste experience also on the ground. So, there is a Roxette soundscape made to enhance the flavours of chocolate.

Use headphones for an optimal experience!