Gyllene Tider’s story becomes a film!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Per Gessle says:

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

Producer Moa Westeson adds:

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

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

PRESS RELEASE

Per Gessle Unplugged Tour – #9 – 29th November 2021 – Halmstad

When a week ago I was on my way back home from Göteborg it was the day when there was the second Göteborg show. It felt very weird that I was flying away while PG was on stage, so after getting back home I quickly rescheduled my tour plan – not to feel too depressed again, haha –, because Halmstad #2 wasn’t in my original plans to attend. But what a good decision it was to go and see this concert too! It absolutely topped the first Halmstad gig! Both the band and the crowd were in top shape and worked very well together.

The crowd reactions were cool, last night you could also feel that all Halmstad people are proud to have such an artist as Per, born here. Everyone enjoyed themselves both on and off stage, the audience was singing and clapping along the songs. The anecdotes were also appreciated with laughter and applause.

Before Det hjärta som brinner Per told the anecdote about Gyllene Tider playing on this stage in 1979 when they were invited by Ulf Lundell on his Ripp rapp tour. Just like yesterday, Mr. G remembered the small mugs on stage which he thought contained water, but after drinking from them it turned out it was vodka.

After Micke N-S brought Per his ukulele on stage, PG told the story of how he got hold of his first ukulele. He read in a magazine that George Harrison from The Beatles had tons of ukuleles. Per thought it’s a good idea and he also bought an ukulele. He joked that they sold 3 pieces for 300 SEK, it was in a basket at the checkout, just like Dumle (chocolate-covered toffee) usually is. The same day he wrote a song, the only song he wrote on an ukulele so far. He said he has no ambition to write another one. Haha. Tuffa Tider is always fun to hear live. When the band finished the song, Per stood up and took a round around his chair to sit back. He said they had seated gigs in summer and 4 of 5 in the band had problems with their back after that. Christoffer added they had prostate problems too, so now they have to sit. Everyone laughed.

Before It Must Have Been Love, Per asked the audience what they think about the fact that it’s soon Christmas. The reaction wasn’t too positive from the crowd’s side. However, whole Halmstad is covered with Christmas trees all around the streets, on the main square, there is Christmas music playing all day in town, the Christmas lights are also up and beautiful.

Before Min hälsning Per told he thought to finish with the next song. He said it’s Monday after all. The audience wasn’t happy about the idea, of course. Haha. After telling he wrote this song originally for Gyllene Tider, he introduced MP, responsible for the sound at the show. The crowd was cheering him loudly. Christoffer started playing a different song though, so Per stopped and told him it’s not that song. Chris said there are so many from the past 43 years. Haha.

When Per & Co. went off stage for the first time, the crowd gave a standing ovation and didn’t stop clapping their hands until the band was back on stage.

After Listen To Your Heart – dedicated to Marie and Pelle –, the crowd didn’t stop clapping for a longer while. Per put his hand on his heart and thanked the audience for their response.

After the first encore it was standing ovation again and all in the crowd wanted more. Obviously, the gang wanted more too, so they came back for the second encore.

Before Sommartider Per stood up again and he didn’t even have to suggest the audience to stand up too, we all were up on our feet by the time he would have finished the sentence. At last, a crowd that stayed standing for the very last song too. Before När alla vännerna gått hem, Per said he hopes to meet the audience again. Someone shouted „in Kalmar”, haha. Mr. G appreciated it.

After PG & Co. took a bow and waved goodbye to the audience, they were also applauding the crowd and then Per stopped at longtime fan Sandra Knospe and asked her (not loudly, but writing the number in the air with his finger) if it was already her 300th show. Not much left until then, but her 300th will happen in Malmö.

Next stop is Karlstad on 8th December!

Setlist

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 show:

Thank you Halmstad for a truly amazing Monday night. So proud to be part of this band. So blessed to get this feedback from you guys and gals. Wow!!! Speechless! /PG.

Per Gessle Unplugged Tour – #8 – 28th November 2021 – Halmstad

Halmstad’s first show, just like Göteborg’s, got sold out so fast that an extra gig had to be added for the next day, so in Halmstad there are also two concerts at Halmstad Theatre. Last night’s gig was the only one on tour that was set to start at 18:00. It didn’t turn out why.

It was great to see that couple’s reactions who were sitting next to me. At each song they were first listening if they could find out which hit PG & Co. started to play and when they realized which song it was actually, they had quite some aha moments. They enjoyed the show a lot, just like everyone else in the crowd. You could feel that it’s Per’s hometown and he is loved here. Halmstad is proud of him. They liked the anecdotes a lot – could put the places Per mentioned on the map to be able to imagine the stories Mr. G told about and they awarded the band with long applauses in between the songs. When Per mentioned Marie, the audience gave a loud applause too and also when Helena was singing.

Before Det hjärta som brinner Per mentioned that Gyllene Tider played exactly on this stage. In 1979 they were invited by Ulf Lundell. Per thinks it was Ulf’s birthday, he was on his Ripp rapp tour. Back then they were at the same record company. GT came up on stage for the extra and played Roadrunner at that Ulf Lundell concert. MP stayed on stage after that and played (Oh la la) Jag vill ha dig too. Mr. G remembers that there were small mugs on stage and after singing, he drank from one of them because he thought it was water. It was vodka… Haha.

The crowd had the loudest reactions to GT hits and Mazarin songs. Ljudet av ett annat hjärta, It Must Have Been Love, Vilket håll du än går and När vi två blir en were the most appreciated tracks on the set.

When the guys and girl went off stage for the first time, the whole audience gave a standing ovation and shouted „en gång till”. When they entered the stage again, Per asked if the audience likes the sound. We shouted yes and he said we have to thank it to MP, because he is doing it. The crowd cheered MP.

After the first encore it was standing ovation again and no one wanted to leave, they wanted to hear more from Per and the band. And so they came up on stage again.

Before Sommartider Per stood up and suggested the audience to stand up too if they want. Of course, they wanted. There was a big party with everyone singing along and clapping. After Sommartider all in the crowd sat back into their seats for the last song, but only to give yet another standing ovation at the very end of the gig.

The only disturbing thing was that some people thought it’s fun to go out to the toilet and come back several times during the gig. Of course, they were all sitting in the middle of the rows. But this couldn’t take away the joy Per and the band brought to Halmstad and the audience’s love towards those guys and girl on stage.

Come back tomorrow and we do it again! 2nd Halmstad gig is next on Monday!

Setlist

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 show:

Wow and wow again. A pretty pretty pretty decent Sunday in Halmstad. Early show today at 6 pm but we had a blast. Fab feedback from the beautiful crowd. This theatre is full of memories for me and MP (today masterminding the FOH-sound). I’m so grateful to finally have been able to perform here. Last time I was on this stage = november 1979! Thanks all for coming, new dice tomorrow, folks!

Per Gessle interview in Hallandsposten

Jan-Owe Wikström did an interview with Per Gessle for Hallandsposten before the PG unplugged tour reaches Halmstad this weekend.

Mr. G says they couldn’t dream of such a tour when the band gathered at his apartment in Stockholm to rehearse for Late Night Concert on TV4 and Guldscenen on Mix Megapol. Then it was mostly to get to meet and play at all when everything was shut down due to the pandemic.

The summer gigs in Tylösand opened new doors. In fact, I haven’t dared to do this before. I mean, standing at Wembley or Ullevi is one thing. Then you can “hide” behind the large production, the volume, the lights… Here it is so naked and stripped down and a much bigger challenge.

It’s more text-based, more my songwriting instead of hit cavalcades from Gyllene Tider and Roxette. And that’s why I’ve never had this kind of response before. The audience really sits and listens and takes in, is attentive. It is intimate and private and sometimes so quiet that I could have heard a plectrum fall to the floor if I had used one. In a large arena, the audience stands and watches a performance, a show. But here the audience is a part of us just as we are a part of the audience. A little campfire feeling, as well.

Regarding the tour Per tells Jan-Owe:

It’s not as happy-go-lucky as it was last summer when I could come up with a song in the afternoon which we then quickly rehearsed and then played in the evening. Now there are a little bigger scenes, a little more structured, real lighting by Robert Kelber and a little more decor by Åsa in the same style without removing the intimacy, the warmth.

There are many new songs added to the setlist. Take for example “Ljudet av ett annat hjärta”. Christoffer (Lundquist) suggested that I play it alone with just an acoustic guitar. But it didn’t work so I suggested that Clarence (Öfwerman) at least plays the special loop on the piano. At the premiere in Linköping, a girl sat at the front and at first didn’t realize that it was that song until the loop came. Then she sat and cried out through the song, out of happiness, because it turned out to be her favourite song. It was a bit difficult to play, while it was great to see how music can really touch.

Jan-Owe tells Per he has probably never seen him so relaxed and comfortable on stage in terms of the talking in between songs.

I have, honestly, never had any real small talk, but here it becomes a natural part of the show. But it’s the same when I’ve been to concerts of Paul McCartney, Bob Dylan, Paul Simon… They never tell anything but it’s mostly a lot of clichés. Imagine McCartney had told an anecdote or story about how “Back in the U.S.S.R.” came about! I went to see Bruce Springsteen on Broadway in New York a few years ago. It was him and an acoustic guitar, but the concert was based on his biography. It was magical, but he is probably also one of the few who can do it.

Jan-Owe asks Per how he intends to take this concept further.

There are no direct plans, but it would be fun to do the same with Roxette songs and maybe take it abroad. This tour is more based on my Swedish material because it goes more into the heart here at home.

Regarding the pandemic, being able to come out and play and meet the audience again has of course provided new fuel.

You really notice how hungry people have been and see how happy they are.

From 1st December, covidpass is required to enter the concerts.

That’s super difficult. I see no major difference between being at Gekås, a restaurant or a concert. But the important thing is that everyone must be careful.

The guys are talking about Joyride’s 30th anniversary as well and it turns out that the days off between the concerts are not really free, but booked with interviews for international media.

Talking about future plans, much is already in the pipeline for next year.

Yes, next year is packed – things will happen.

Per says cryptically.

Jan-Owe says that in parallel with the fact that Per, before the acoustic gigs, was in the studio and tested about forty songs acoustically together with Mats “MP” Persson – who now also handles the sound on the tour – of course one or two new songs were written. Per tells that he wrote songs both in Swedish and in English, as usual.

Regarding Gyllene Tider, Per says it’s a nice little pop band… They met, but didn’t talk about this concept.

Jan-Owe asks Per about his touring plans. Mr. G is still low when it comes to plans for major tours abroad.

There is still a pandemic going on so I’m not very keen on travelling right now. The last time was in February 2020 when I was in Miami, but it’s not fun to travel these days, walking around being careful.

This week there were news that Per is being offered to buy Ferrari’s new model, Ferrari SP3 Daytona. One of a total of 599 copies, including Zlatan Ibrahimovic on the list. Per says he saw that in Hallandsposten, but he himself hasn’t received any confirmation yet.

Admittedly, I received an invitation to the presentation of the car in Maranello in Italy, but I was on tour. Though I still had not gone anyway because it is still pandemic times. Then I knew that if you bought the latest model, Ferrari Monza SP2, you also have priority for the next model.

Jan-Owe tells that maybe it’s high time that Per shows his cars instead of hiding them. Mr. G says he has actually thought about doing it on a beautiful day. Maybe not now, but in a few years, he hopes. Today all cars, most of them Ferrari, are parked and stored in various places in Sweden.

This type of cars has become a form of investment just like art and real estate. The problem is that they have become so expensive that no one dares to drive them anymore. Partly because of sky-high insurance, partly because a few miles on the meter means they can drop in value. But cars are there to be driven. And seen. I mean, think of an old Aston Martin or a Volvo P1800 from the 60’s – they are beauties, pure art. And great fun to drive.

Per Gessle – Joyride 30 interview in Aftonbladet

Per Magnusson from Aftonbladet did an interview with Per Gessle via Zoom. Mr. G joined the meeting from his Stockholm office.

PG tells Per Magnusson that pop music is an escape. It was the same thing when Mr. G was little. He loved the pop world, because there was everything that didn’t exist in his real world. When you were a teenager; girls, drugs, eccentric people.

When I think of the Joyride era, we were like Zlatan, doing bicycle kicks all the time. At least it felt like that. At the same time, we were shocked and grateful to have broken through. That a band from Sweden would do it was not on the map. With “Look Sharp!” and “It Must Have Been Love” we had had five huge hits before “Joyride” came. But I was just motivated by the success, I just poured myself into it.

In the interview Per tells Aftonbladet that during those times, long before iPhones, he used to call home and record song ideas on the answering machine. Sometimes he woke up his wife, Åsa in the middle of the night. He als tells that Joyride and Spending My Time were written the same day.

I lived and breathed Roxette 24 hours a day. “Joyride” began with the note that my then girlfriend, now wife put on my piano: “Hello, you fool, I love you”. It’s a great pop chorus, I thought. I had just read an interview with Paul McCartney who described songwriting with John Lennon as “a long joyride”. That combination: “Hello, you fool, I love you / C’mon join the joyride” felt like a great pop campaign.

Aftonbladet shares that when Roxette reached their fourth US number one in May 1991, Per with entourage was eating dinner at the La Coupole restaurant in Paris when the phone rang.

It was magical. But then you already knew what it was like. When you are in the flow, it’s just another success. Many years later I was at Östermalmshallen and bought vegetables when they called and said that we had become number one with “Charm School” in Germany. In fact, that kind of success is appreciated even more today.

Aftonbladet informs that Joyride topped the charts in seven European countries and was certified multi-platinum in several territories. The tour that followed reached with its 100 concerts four continents and 1.7 million people.

It’s the South America tour that stands out, for several reasons. There were bad economic times there. Guns N ’Roses, Madonna and Michael Jackson had cancelled their tours. They said: “you can do your tour, but you won’t make any money”. From our side it was: “we are from Halmstad and get to play in South America. Then you can make money elsewhere”. It was thought that we would play for about 6,000 people. But a few weeks before we got there, everything exploded. We were moved to football stadiums. 50,000 in Buenos Aires. 65,000 in São Paulo. 45,000 in Santiago. Incomparable.

Aftonbladet tells that at the end of 1991 American EMI was acquired by the newly started record company SBK. 123 employees were fired overnight, in favour of about a hundred new ones – most of them completely unrelated to Roxette. The band received little support from their new record company. Singles didn’t climb as high, a video was completely scrapped.

It was super bad timing. Suddenly we were sailing against the wind. It just completely capsized. It never really turned out right after that. It was an absolute setback. A disappointment, above all. We hadn’t toured the US with “Look Sharp!”, so it was the first time we were there. It would be a big victory for the whole Roxette package. But that didn’t happen.”

To Aftonbladet’s question regarding how Per sees it today he replies:

We should have had a different strategy in the US. But we had like no one to talk to, there was no one else in Sweden who went through the same thing at that level. On the other hand, we had been on the Billboard chart for three and a half years without falling off, so there was probably a saturation within the band, “it will surely work even if we remain on this miserable record company”.”

At the same time, in other parts of the world it was a huge success. Joyride is still one of the best-selling albums ever in Argentina, Austria and Germany. The album has sold over 11 million copies. Per is three decades later proud of the album, which draws its aesthetics and energy from both The Beatles’ Magical Mystery Tour and South American carnivals.

You said something about it being colorful and full of confidence? That’s exactly what it is! It’s bursting with positivism. We had no time pressure, no budget. From time to time I think it’s a great craft. A wonderful record from a wonderful era in pop music.

Marie is of course a big part of everything. Per agrees:

Yes of course. It’s very sad that she’s not here. And it’s the same with Pelle Alsing, who was also very important in that era. But it was a fantastic journey we had anyway, so you have to think positively. We had a devilishly long career together. I’m super grateful for everything we’ve been through. And I’m very proud to have worked with Marie and what she did with my songs.

To Aftonbladet’s question how Mr. G looks back on this carousel today, whether it is with undivided joy, or there is a sadness that something similar will probably never happen again Per replies:

It’s exactly as you say: it happens once in a lifetime – if you’re lucky. Most people will never experience anything like this. I think you can compare it to winning the World Cup in Formula 1. It’s a success that still gives confidence today. And you have to have a certain self-confidence to work with creative things, to stand on your own two feet. It’s quite hard to be so extravagant all the time. Now I’m going on tour again, I disclose myself every night and anything can happen. So of course you need self-confidence.

Per Gessle about…

… the idea behind Joyride: “The idea was that you could pick any song as a single. The ambition was to make a super-commercial record in the same spirit that we had success with – and that we were very good at.

… Roxette’s manifestation: “Roxette was a hybrid of my pop geek mixed with Clarence (Öfwerman’s) magical productions and Marie, who was a fantastic singer from a completely different school. I tried to match their geniuses in my way.”

… more memories from South America: “In Córdoba, Argentina, there were fans from the airport to the hotel. It was like a marathon with a riot fence, flowers and Marie and Per signs. I know Marie tried to go out in a wig at some point, but it didn’t work out so well. It became a street race.

… Bryan Adams (Everything I Do) I Do It For You (which was often the only obstacle from first places around the world): “I’ve always hated that song. And it was probably in our way, right? But I like Bryan Adams. He is a nice guy and a good photographer as well. And he sings damn good, always did.

… the legacy of Roxette: “I see it on streaming, the interest in Roxette is increasing all the time. People do covers and new generations come. The big songs seem to become evergreens. You have to pinch your arm.”