Micke Syd Andersson on Made in Halmstad

Christian Albinsson did a podcast interview with Micke Syd for Made in Halmstad. Listen to it HERE!

Micke talks about his name that it’s really Micke Syd Andersson. Syd was his nickname, because there was another musician, guitarist Micke „Nord” Andersson and it was confusing that they had the same name. Micke says the fun thing is that they both had hairdressers called Maria. Micke Nord is from Dalarna in the North and Syd is from Halmstad in the South, so that’s how they got their nicknames.

It turns out that Micke Syd loves driving. He was driving the tour bus on the GT tour and Christian tells it’s hard to imagine a band doing it nowadays. Micke says they are from another generation, they learned everything themselves. In Gyllene Tider all of them had different qualities. MP and Micke Syd were always the ones who fixed and controlled everything themselves. Their fundamental personalities haven’t changed much. The band brought the instruments themselves to the concerts and set up things for the gigs. They did 150 concerts in 1980, if he remembers right. They had Anders Herrlin’s brother as lighting technician and a friend from Gullbrandstorp as the sound technician.

Micke is 59 years old now and was grown up in Harplinge.

Christian asks Micke about his salary. Syd says when they broke through with GT they had Janne Beime to help them with the financial things. Janne was 35 years old then and they were 18-19. Janne still works together with Per. Micke Syd says he has never had a steady job and never really knew what he would earn money on in the next year. He has what he needs, he is not interested in cars or any other things that cost a lot of money. He has a Plug-in Hybrid Ford Kuga.

Christian asks Micke what he is interested in. Syd says „life, music, my family, my wife”.

Christian is curious if Micke has always been positive. Syd says he is not always positive, but he tries to be. He has been working a lot on it. He is the type who sees the opportunities and thinks how he feels on the inside can be seen on the outside. At the age of 35 you realize that you are not as hot as you were at the age of 20 or 30 and you start managing your life differently. Then he had kids, he divorced. Micke says he is tender on the inside. He says he e.g never drank alcohol or used other stuff. Looking back he thinks he took the right decision, how he has lived his life. He says life is tough anyway, sometimes even for him.

Christian says GT broke through when they were very young and there must have been many parties. Micke says Halmstad was very lively back then and there were indeed a lot of parties and alcohol and he doesn’t know why, but he ignored it. He was driving the tour bus, MP also did that during the first year.

Christian asks what Micke thinks when he says the word Halmstad. Syd says it’s home. He says it’s very strange, because he has been living in Stockholm now for 35 years, so for more years than in Halmstad, but home is still Halmstad. His parents still live there. Stockholm will never become home. Micke says all of them in the band are hillbillies, Halmstad characterized them and how they dealt with their career. They had those un-popidolish pop idol genes and even if they were so different personalities and they still are, they made awesome pop together. There is something very special about them.

Micke Syd is a HBK fan when it comes to soccer. He talks about his favourite players and tells he always had a dream to play in HBK, but he stopped playing football when he was 17. He thinks there is a similarity how you pick your instrument and your position in a football team. Micke was a goalkeeper and says drummers are usually goalkeepers. If you look at it from a psychological point of view, the goalkeeper is a quite exposed position and if he makes a mistake, it’s seen immediately. That’s the case with the drummer too. If he doesn’t do his job well, then the whole band won’t be so good. Micke likes that challenge. He says he has always been a team player and loves teams.

Christian mentions QBTQ (four brave bulls in Spanish), Adam Alsing’s house band on his talk show. Micke Syd was a member of the band in the 90’s for 5 years. Micke tells a story when an adult film actress was on the show and after the program the band went to the swingers club with her where she met other adult film people and partied with them. That was surreal, Micke says.

Christian asks Micke about Halmstad. Micke says summer is Halmstad. He tells that when they had the rehearsals before their last tour with GT, he lived in a house in Frösakull with his wife, Helena for almost a month. It was near Prins Bertils stig and it was magical that each morning he could walk through the woods, along the beach and up to Hotel Tylösand. Christian says he heard the guys rehearsing, but didn’t dare to disturb them. Micke says they tried old songs they never played. One of them was Sista gången jag såg Annie from their debut album. Christian thinks that was their best album. Micke Syd explains when you are young and you just want to make music and your creativity is on a high, it can be heard. For the second album they thought much more about how they should sound, how they should play, etc.

Christian asks about the lyrics that they sound different when a 20-year-old sings them vs. when you sing them now at the age of 60. He means Flickorna på TV2. Micke thinks that the songs belong to those who they play them for. These songs still have their audiences and they associate these songs with happenings and experiences in their lives, so when they play them to the crowds, there is a contact between the band and the audience. He tells these are timeless songs and carry the summer feeling. The songs they play are the ones people want to hear. He remembers he saw Tom Petty live once and he expected to hear the songs he was listening to when Tom was the God for them in GT and he got disappointed, because Tom played his new songs from the new album. Syd says Per wrote so friendly texts that they are still working with teens nowadays. They sing along När vi två blir en, for example. Even if life has changed a lot, people still experience these feelings in life and music is their soundtrack to it. Different bands mean different things for different audiences. On the last tour GT played new songs too, which the guys liked, but still they played the old songs and then you could see a different crowd reaction, when they realized it’s this or that song they knew and associated an experience with it.

Micke says he and Helena went to Halmstad’s city entre and it felt totally dead. He says it’s the same with many other city centres, but it’s sad how fun it was back then and how it is now.

Christian asks Micke when he feels the best. Syd says when he is with his family and when he is playing. They have grown-up children now and they don’t meet very often, but when they meet, he sees and thinks they did a good job. Both Helena and him. They don’t have kids together, but their children are like syblings. So it’s lovely when they are together.

Christian is curious when Micke feels the worst. He says at 3 in the morning. Haha. Syd says he is a sensitive person. He is Pisces and Pisces are sensitive. He is thinking a lot about things. He thinks many things are not managed well in the music branch now and it feels that those who should make it better don’t do their job. He thinks it’s the same in the whole world, but since he lives in Sweden, he talks about that.

To the question how he develops himself Micke replies that everyone has their better and worse sides and he is still learning a lot. He learned a lot about life. There is peace that everyone is looking for. You have to be good to yourself and then it will be visible on the outside as well. Positivity comes through and it motivates him. He says you always have the possibility to change yourself.

Christian asks how Micke is as a lover. He answers Christian should ask Helena. But he thinks he is like when he plays the drums: he recognizes, he listens and feels and he wants to please.

Christian says he heard Micke increase the pace in a song when he gets excited. Micke says everyone has their own tricks. Christian realized it when they 5 play together in GT, it’s so much different to when they play the songs in other constellations. Micke tells a story when in 2013 they played (Dansar inte lika bra som) Sjömän, there was a background screen with different images during the verses and the choruses. The lighting technician came to Micke when they had the final rehearsal in Halmstad Arena and said he couldn’t tune it right for the chorus. It worked for the verses, but not for the chorus. Then Micke asked for a little screen in front of him and played in the pace according to that, so that the film came in the right pace as well. Then when the guys listened to the song they liked it, but they thought something felt strange. Everyone was doing what they had been doing for more than 30 years except for Micke, because he was checking the screen and played according to that. He felt like a restrained horse.

Christina asks Micke how he was at school. He says he was nice except towards one guy. He has never been in a fight except for with that one guy at school and Micke’s brother. He tells he has always been fair.

Regarding the band, Christian tells Per and Micke take different positions, but with the same determination, while Anders, Göran and MP are more in the background. Syd says it has to do with their personalities as well. Per and him are different, but they want the same thing, to do something good. And that’s been like that since the beginning. Christian says Micke mentioned earlier he is a team player and on stage they are indeed a team, but he is curious if they are a team off stage as well. Micke says in the band they all have different musical qualities, but the differences were refined over the years, not only musically. All of them developed and they have fun together when they meet. When they recorded their last album in France, Micke was driving to there with a friend and driving back with Helena. It was practical, because there was stuff they couldn’t have brought there on a flight and he also thought that it was the cheapest option for him. Christian asks if you really think about that when you record an album. Micke says the music industry has changed a lot. These days you don’t earn money when people are listening to music digitally. But the creative process, the recordings cost a lot. You can earn on tour then. But ask people if they want to work gratis. Spotify earns millions, but you get nothing. Micke can’t understand that. It’s not OK. So, recordings cost much and you get a little contribution from the record label, but otherwise, the rest is paid by you.

Regarding who is driven to what extent Micke says MP is not that driven, he is more silent, but his musicality is great. He is cautious, he has always been. It’s so nice to see that they got this far in their career and in a way they are still the same. Micke tells a fun story. When they took the press photos in France, everyone was dressed up, then they checked the photos and saw that MP was wearing his slippers. It didn’t really feel like a pop idol, so they had to photoshop the picture and put jeans on him. [Haha. Yeah, one could realize it already back then, when they shared the picture on GT’s Facebook page. See photos: MP in slippers; photoshopped press photo. /PP] No one really thought about that or cared much. There is something charming in that. When they are on stage, they create something cool, but they are still the guys from Harplinge and Åled and so.

Christian mentions words and asks Micke te react on them in one word. To Halmia he reacts Gessle, to Per Gessle he reacts Halmia, to Harplinge he reacts home. Regarding Hallandian dialects he says there are at least 5 and he loves that.

Christian is curious if Micke will get fat again. Syd says he won’t. Christian asks what was it that wasn’t so good in being fat. For Micke the change was about being healthy and of course also being on stage in top shape. He lost 18 kg in 4 months, he gained 5 kg back though, but he still keeps himself fit. It was a good challenge for him.

Christian asks Micke how he ended up in Gyllene Tider. Syd says Per and MP asked him. He played the drums and Janne Carlsson was the bassist. Then Anders became the bassist and Göran joined them. Then there was the Farfisa. Micke says there were many coincidences in their history or they weren’t coincidences at all.

Christian is curious how it was to break through when they were so young. Syd says such things he can’t remember much. They were 18-19 years old and suddenly people started screaming after them. They called his mom’s hairdresser salon or were lying in the ditch in front of it waiting for Micke to come home. People stole washed clothes from Per’s garden. Such things happened. They all lived with their parents at the time. They were the non-smoker generation, however, Göran and MP smoked. But they advertised jeans and soft drink. They were who they were and he thinks that was their key to success. If you watch Parkliv, you can see what outfit they had. Nothing special. Christian asks when they met other artists who they maybe thought were cooler, maybe Europe, what Micke thinks they thought about Gyllene Tider. Doesn’t he think they thought they were frumpish? Micke thinks they rather thought about their platinum albums. Haha.

Regarding the recordings in France, Micke says it was much fun. They decided that it would be their last album. It was Micke’s idea. The others thought it was a good idea when he told them why he thought so. They had a unique career and all of them 5 are still there. They decided to record the album in a totally different way at a different place than ever before. If they travelled only to Stockholm, it wouldn’t have been the same. They had to go further and be in that Gyllene Tider vibe. Christoffer Lundquist was there with them. They didn’t listen to the demos, they decided just to play and see what happens. Per did the demos with MP, so he knew them, but not the others. They had a big space where the studio was, it was very nice. It was just them and 2 French technicians. There were cooks who prepared meals for them, so they could just concentrate on their work. They created the songs from scratch and it was a very creative process. The surroundings were magical. Micke says he is a lonely guy, so they weren’t hanging out together after work. He likes to contemplate and look at things. There was a gym, they could go out in the garden, so they didn’t have to be together all the time. They all loved it and they loved the result of their work as well. It became a very good album. What they created during their career they could do it only together, them 5. And to know that what they did meant a lot for people and also that they did something good in their lives is great. When they were 20 they just wanted to be pop idols, but 40 years later they still had fun making music together.

Christian asks if they sat down to discuss the problems they had before. Micke says not really. You can only sort things out if you are interested in it and it has to come from both sides. The problem stays there until you solve it. Sometimes it would just be about opening that door and talk about it, but sometimes it’s hard to open the door.

Christian asks Micke about money. Micke says it doesn’t mean much to him. It’s important until the point he can live his own life. It was important for him to raise his kids and live where he wanted to live.

Micke knows a lot of people spend a lot of money to see them on tour and it feels nice that they can give back something via their music. On the last tour they invited a group of policemen, firefighters and ambulance, as well as defense veterans to thank for their service. Anders Thornberg was also there. He is the National Police Commissioner and is also from Halmstad. He is the brother of Per Thornberg, great saxophonist. Many don’t know that Anders is also a great musician, he plays the drums. They shared their drumset in the 70’s when they played at the same rehearsal studio. Micke says at one concert Anders was at the mixing board and Micke started playing the wrong song at some point. Shit happens. There were 10 thousand people, he said they start again. It was fun. He says he later explained the rason was that he was nervous because of Anders Thornberg being there. [Haha. That happened in Eskilstuna. /PP] He says he also managed to get tickets for fans from South America. They flew in from South America, but they couldn’t get tickets, so of course he sorted it out.

Christian asks about the last song on the last concert, how it felt. Micke says it happened in Halmstad and it was very special. The song was När alla vännerna gått hem and when he came to the front of stage he saw there were many people holding up a TACK sign. He is still touched by that. It was nice to close it all at home. A lot of people came who had been following them for more than 30 years and also people from several parts of the world to see them. He cried during the last song and you could see that all the others were so touched too.

Micke is contemplating what if they hadn’t told it was the last one, how would it have been. What would have happened then. He thinks it wouldn’t have been the same. Earlier they never said it was the last tour. They came back several times. They are still good at what they are doing. He says it’s different when he performs the songs separately from the band or when Per performs them on his solo tours. It’s never the same as when they 5 play together.

Micke says he likes meeting people. He likes to perform for smaller crowds and see people’s happy faces and he also likes to stand there at Ullevi. He mentions he took a selfie at Ullevi with 55 thousand people in 2019. That was cool.

Christian thanks Micke for the conversation and Micke says it’s his pleasure and he is thankful he could be on the podcast.

Hundåren – podcast interview with Per Gessle by Tomas Andersson Wij

Tomas Andersson Wij had Per Gessle as a premiere guest in his new podcast, Hundåren. Hundåren means years of hard work and difficult conditions. So the guys were talking about the tough periods in Per’s career. It’s not the first time Tomas did an interview with Mr. G. You could already read a great one in Per’s book, Texter, klotter & funderingar.

During this podcast recording, the guys are sitting in Per’s office in Stockholm. He bought it in the 90’s and for a while it was a complete recording studio. Per shows to Tomas where the mixing board was and tells there they recorded e.g. Belinda Carlisle’s Always Breaking My Heart. Then he realized he was too bad at technical stuff, so he was anyway in the hands of technicians and this way he didn’t need that mixing board. Now he plays the piano and his guitars there. Tomas says there is art on the walls: Andy Warhol, Mick Jagger, Joni Mitchell, Anton Corbijn. He adds Per’s wife sits in a room opposite Mr. G’s. Per tells Åsa is into design, she creates lamps and deals with pots and welds and sketches. They are not there at the same time too often. They live in the same building on Strandvägen, one floor under the office. They have a great view on Djurgården.

Tomas starts asking Per about 1983. By then they had 3 successful years with Gyllene Tider. They sold 170.000 copies of their debut album, 370.000 of Moderna Tider and 185.000 of Puls. There was a GT fever in Sweden during those years. Per says everything went so fast and it was a very intense period. They had long tours and they managed to surpass the sales of their debut album with Moderna Tider. När vi två blir en was released as a single in autumn 1980 and the album came out in spring 1981. Before recording the third album, they decided they should do something different. In autumn 1981 Anders Herrlin and Per left the country, they ended up in Westwood, Woodstock, USA. There they lived even at John Sebastian from The Lovin’ Spoonful for a couple of days. They came back and recorded the third album. It was a bit more grown-up, more mature with all the ballads on it. They went on the Sommartider tour in 1982 and it was a big success, but then the band members had to join the military service. Tomas tells he read Elvis Presley’s story that he also had to join the military service at the peak of his career. Per tells green didn’t suit him, so he escaped. Tomas asks how, but Per doesn’t want to share details. All he can tell is that there were 3 guys who didn’t want to do the military service, but all others in the band wanted to. So the 3 guys, including Per found a way to escape, which wasn’t too difficult at the time. Tomas asks if they simulated mental illness. Per says sort of.

Then Per started making his first solo album that came out in 1983. Per says it was a natural progress and it was cheered by Kjell Andersson at EMI, who signed Gyllene Tider earlier. He thought Per has a kind of singer songwriter quality that didn’t really come out on GT’s albums. Except in Honung och guld or in Flickan i en Cole Porter-sång maybe. It felt good for Per to write more lyric-based music. He always liked pop with a little country touch. He also wanted to get rid of his teenage voice, so he sang all tones and his voice became darker. Tomas asks Mr. G if he had a complex with his voice. Per says it wasn’t really a complex, but he thought his voice was very much associated with Gyllene Tider and was limited and that often blocked the songs as well. That was one thing why he wanted to start Roxette. He didn’t want to sing at all.

Tomas asks if Mr. G had the feeling that he wanted to get rid of the teenage idol Per. Per says he doesn’t know, he just needed to express himself differently. He loved playing pop songs with GT, but recording his solo album was different. He doesn’t say it was better, it was just different. Mr. G says people liked them, but they didn’t have good or strong reputation in the music business. In Stockholm they felt like outsiders, hillbillies. It was a bit like that with Roxette too in Sweden. Per sees it during all his life that it doesn’t matter how much success you achieve, you don’t really get the reputation in the music industry. But that’s not the case with the people you are working together with.

In 1983 the guys in GT didn’t know which way to go in music. They decided for making an English album, The Heartland Café. They tried to break through with it abroad. That was released in the US under the name Roxette in 1984. Teaser Japanese was the first single and they had an expensive video shot to it. The guys felt they couldn’t top what they had achieved in Sweden and they felt they should do something different. At the same time, digitalization and synth pop became popular, but the guys were still in the Tom Petty and the Heartbrakers mood. They started listening to a lot of synth pop music, mainly through Anders Herrlin, but it was difficult to merge with their music. One can hear there is a little synth trial on The Heartland Café and Per’s next solo album. None of them really had the capacity for synth music. They all came from another generation and they felt their sound was a bit too off, but at the same time, that was the GT sound. The Heartland Café was produced by Lasse Lindbom, who also produced the first three GT albums and he wasn’t too interested in the synth world. When you want to change something, you certainly have to change the producer, here to someone who is familiar with synth music, so it was a strange decision to keep Lasse as the producer.

Tomas says earlier GT had an ocean of people in the audience, then only 800-900 people in the crowd. How did that feel to be a frontman and see that? Per says he can’t really remember, but those were tough times. They were very young and when you’re young, it’s hard to feel if things go downhill. You are confused and desperate even if it’s still working. You are thinking about what to do and how to do it to be back on the right track again. That was their first tour that wasn’t sold out. They had Janne Bark with them as an extra guitarist and Marie Fredriksson and Ulrika Uhlin as backing vocalists. Back then Per thought it was a good decision to strengthen the band with Janne and the girls, later he thought it was totally stupid, because Gyllene Tider is them 5 and this way it became something totally different. They were probably inspired by Robbie Robertson joining Tom Petty. Tomas adds they wanted to play their English songs, but the crowd wanted to hear their Swedish hits. Per says back then they were quite convinced what they did was good. Those were tough times. Also, when you expand the band that’s a proof of not being sure about your thing.

Tomas says the guys were also convinced they should break through in the US. What happened that they didn’t manage? Per says they were thrilled to sell albums abroad and they were happy that EMI invested so much money in the Teaser Japanese video. They had a meeting at the hotel in Halmstad to discuss their plans about how to go on. Then during that dinner Anders said he didn’t want to continue with the band. The guys were shocked. Tomas asks what arguments Anders had. Per says he wanted to move to Stockholm, he got a job at a music store. He wanted to start a new life. So, he moved to Stockholm, worked at a music store and became a synth nerd. Some years later he was programming Roxette’s albums.

Tomas asks if there was tension, if Anders thought Per was the driving force and he should just do his own stuff. Per says everyone thought so. Per says he had a love and hate relationship with the band. He loves Gyllene Tider and he loves the guys and even now when they became older, it’s fantastic to play together or just talk. But when you are twenty something, there is always a lot of fight. Who should be standing in the front, one thinks this, the other thinks that. The one who shouts louder wins. It was Per who was singing and he wrote most of the music and all the lyrics and he was the most interested in the music business. Anders and Mats were more interested in technical stuff. Anders, Micke Syd and MP had a totally different quality in making music vs. Per and Göran. Göran was a quite OK keyboard guy, but Anders, Micke and Mats were fantastically talented musicians. That was a weird recipe that worked out incredibly fine.

Tomas asks if Per remembers how he wrote the to-do list before that meeting with the band. Mr. G says he remembers it well. It was even published in one of the GT books. There were things like ”we should do a Swedish album”, ”we should find a producer”. They talked about Tomas Ledin as producer, as well as Anders Glenmark. They still had the support from their record label. He thought to write more songs and make demos, but it didn’t happen. The last thing they recorded, Galning ended up on Per’s next solo album. That would have been a GT song on a new GT album.

When Per looks back on his career, he of course thinks about Gyllene Tider, but he thinks about Roxette above all and all the decisions they made. They brought Marie on tour and she was singing on Vandrar i ett sommarregn on TV and she was there on Per’s first solo album. It all led to Roxette. That’s the big picture.

Tomas gets back to 1984. Per still lived in Halmstad and Tomas is interested in how people looked at Per in Halmstad when GT started to fade. Per felt quite isolated there. When GT broke through in 1980 / 1981, there were so many bands in Halmstad. More than 100. Per didn’t have contact with anyone except Marie. Once there was a voting in Hallandsposten about the most popular band in Halmstad and another band won it, even if GT was the biggest. So he didn’t really feel the appreciation back then. At the age of 24-25 it’s a hard feeling to deal with. Tomas asks how it affected Per. He says it pulled him away even more from socializing. He didn’t go to the disco or to clubs, he rather met people at home.

Anne-Lie Rydé played Per’s song, Segla på ett moln in Halmstad in 1984. And when she said it was written by Per Gessle, there was booing in the crowd. Tomas asks whether it was because no one is a prophet in their own land or there was aggression because of the huge success Per had, coming from such a little town in Sweden. Per doesn’t know what they got really angry about. He says there are cute myths that people got so angry they ”closed” the ways with speed bumps in the surroundings where Per lived to make it more difficult for him to get home by car. He laughs. Per says all his life he spent a lot of time alone. When he was a kid, he didn’t have friends at school and he lived in his own bubble until the age of 16-17 when he met his friend, Peter. Peter played in a band where MP was the drummer. Then MP and Per became best friends. They started Gyllene Tider. Then everything went so fast. They had only 6 concerts when they became No. 1 with Flickorna på TV2. So between being an isolated zero and becoming Sweden’s biggest pop star it was appr. 5 years. Regarding the booing, Per says he didn’t feel it being destructive. He always felt he is good at what he is doing and that doesn’t mean he needed commercial success for that.

Tomas asks whether Per had a basic self-esteem or he doubted himself during the years after Gyllene Tider. Mr. G says he rather doubted what he should do. After his solo album in 1985 didn’t sell good (maybe 20.000 copies) he didn’t hear of his record label for almost a year. He wrote songs for a new album, but he didn’t have a record label behind him. Then he started writing songs for other artists. He got into contact with Torgny Söderberg and they wrote together Kärleken är evig, Lena Philipsson’s Melodifestivalen song in 1986. Then Per started writing songs for Lena and other bands from The Pinks to Shakin’ Fredrik. Tomas adds Per got orders from Bert Karlsson and his gang too. Per mentions Lili & Sussie, too. He says he felt that it’s not what he is good at, he is not a good team player in this sense. He can’t write a song that will come out differently vs. how he thinks it would be good. So he felt very uncomfortable in that situation. Per remembers he was sitting for hours over a verse for some Lena Philipsson song and one verse was worse than the other. He knew that it wasn’t what he wanted to do.

Tomas starts talking about Per’s first solo album. He says in GT lyrics there were a lot of references to people (e.g. Paul McCartney, Buddy Holly) and the lyrics were playful, while on his first solo album he went black and white on the cover and he looks serious there, he sings about autumn and deserted beach. Per felt he wanted to change the style, but he wasn’t sure he could do that. He felt it wasn’t really his ”language”, even if now when he looks back, he thinks Tända en sticka till has a very nice lyric. Back then it wasn’t really his thing. He wasn’t ready for being a singer songwriter. Tomas adds Per was also very young at the time. Per agrees and says he thought there were more adult people who should write and perform such songs. It felt strange to release such songs under the same record label as Ulf Lundell and have the same producer as him, with the same band he recorded with. Per wasn’t really comfortable with that. It was never a plan to continue doing that. The second solo album had that singer songwriter element, but that was more pop style. Then the third solo album was never recorded. It became Roxette’s first album after Per tarnslated the lyrics to English. He always felt he was better at making pop music, so his style, his spontaneous ”language” wasn’t really his first solo album. Tomas tells Per’s debut album sold 60.000 copies which is a fantastic number even today, but once he sold almost 400.000 copies from an album with GT a year before, it must have felt a steep fall for him. Mr. G says it was another type of music and another type of audience. He was very proud that it became a gold album, but he still didn’t feel really comfortable with the record itself. It was too early for him. It was more Kjell Andersson’s album who Per thinks felt very comfortable with the Lundell union. Tomas adds the album sounds very Lundell-ish. Per agrees and he says he liked that era of Lundell. It was magically good, he had his very own style back then. Tomas asks Per if he knows Lundell was sick of GT’s success. Per laughs and says he knows, but who wasn’t sick of that. He adds when he released his first solo album, it came out the same week as David Bowie’s Let’s Dance under the same record label and he felt totally excluded, because everyone was working on David Bowie. But that was David Bowie. Tomas tells Ulf Lundell released a compilation album with the title Innan jag anfölls av indianerna (Before I was attacked by the Indians). Per smiles and says rumor has it the Indians were Gyllene Tider. It was never confirmed, but that’s what they say.

Tomas tells Per wasn’t in a very good economic situation at the time. He earned appr. 1.000 crowns per week. Tomas is curious how it affected Per. Per laughs and says when you don’t do anything that doesn’t cost a thing. He lived cheaply and was driving a Golf. Tomas says one would think that all the hits they did with GT generated so much money they could live on. Per says they lived good on that for a while, but back then you didn’t earn too much money on concerts. It wasn’t about the bad contracts only, but the fact that there wasn’t too much money in that business. One toured to promote their album and you earned money on selling your album and from the copyright after radio plays. Tomas asks Per how he wanted to propose to his wife and if he was forced to ask for more money, for example to buy rings. Per laughs and says despite it all, it was a lovely period. Now looking back, it’s great to see how all the endings led to something good with all the coincidences and luck or a meeting with someone at the right time during Per’s career.

Tomas asks what the key happenings were at the time. In 1985 Per had a call from Benny Hedlund who established Alpha Records together with Sanji Tandan. Per met Benny at Café Opera and Benny told him they signed Pernilla Wahlgren, but that was a secret and he shouldn’t tell anyone. Pernilla just broke through and Benny asked Per to write her a song. Per came up with Svarta glas, a dance song inspired by Michael Jackson. Mr. G thought it became cool and he sent it to Benny, but he never got back to Per. The demo however reached the boss, Roffe Nygren at EMI. He liked it a lot and told Per he should translate it into English and record it with Marie, so they have the song they always talked about with Marie to do something together.

Tomas says Per and Marie had been friends since a long time, but Marie had her own successful solo career at the time. She was working together with Lasse Lindbom who produced the old GT albums. Tomas says Lasse didn’t think Marie should do anything together with Per. They guys laugh. It was a big thing that Marie wanted to sing with Mr. G. Tomas asks if Per looked at Marie as a star back then. Per says he thought Marie had all the qualities he didn’t have. She sang well, she wasn’t as good on stage as she became later, but she had all the qualities Per liked and so he was super happy that she wanted to sing on Neverending Love that was released in summer 1986. Lasse Lindbom and Kjell Andersson didn’t want to risk Marie’s solo career, so that’s why Marie and Per didn’t appear on the single cover, in case it would be a flop. But it became a huge hit, so they decided to record a whole album. Per translated the songs he wrote for his third solo album into English. The only song he wrote especially for Roxette’s debut album was Secrets That She Keeps and there was a song written by Marie, Voices. Roxette was a hobby project for quite a long time. Even then when they went on the Badrock tour with Björn Skifs in 1987.

Tomas asks Per if he did any solo gigs to promote his solo albums. Mr. G says he didn’t. However, he, Marie, Mats MP Persson and Lasse Lindbom had an acoustic hobby band that played in small clubs on the West coast. They played everything from Love The One You’re With through Marie’s Ännu doftar kärlek to Per’s Tända en sticka till and maybe some GT songs. Tomas asks why Per didn’t do any solo concerts. Mr. G says he probably thoght it wouldn’t be too big and he couldn’t have sold many tickets. Tomas says Per was not the kind of person who wanted to play at all costs. He wanted to reach some level. Per says nowadays it’s cool to play at all levels, but back in the days he thought each step he should take higher and higher. And it was hard to top Gyllene Tider, of course. Per didn’t want to play KB in Malmö, he wanted to play Scandinavium. When he was looking for his identity, he asked himself whether he was an artist or a songwriter. After Roxette happened, he realized there is a much better singer and a fantastic front figure and he can just support her, while he can still sing or come to the front as well. That was a much more comfortable role for his artistry those times. So it’s about finding yourself, who you are.

Tomas asks Per about how self-confident he was at the beginning of the 80’s. Per thinks he had quite weak self-confidence then. Gyllene Tider helped him in a way, but he was so young and he was looking for his identity. One thinks that someone’s personality comes through the lyrics at that young age. He always says that his lyrics are mostly fiction. It can start with a personal thing, but lead to something totally different in verse 2. Tomas asks whom Per talked to when he lost his self-confidence. Before Per met his wife, it was Janne Beime, his business man who has always been a great support to Mr. G. He always told Per he would succeed with this or that. And he was right. He became kind of a father substitute for Per. Mr. G’s father died in 1978 and Janne came into Per’s life in 1980. He is 15 years older than Per or so and helped him a lot. Not on the creative side, but e.g. when he bought Hotel Tylösand or in other businesses.

Tomas says Per’s father never saw Per’s success and that they broke through with GT. He asks Mr. G how it felt. Per tells he had a strange relationship with his father. There was a radio program in the 70’s, Bandet går. You could send in your own songs and they played them. If your songs were really good, you could get a half-an-hour program for your own, Bandet går vidare. They had this chance with Gyllene Tider, but before that, they were played maybe 3-4 times on Bandet går. One of the songs the radio played was En av dem där which was a kind of punk song. Per’s father heard it and he told Per he didn’t sing really well. That was him. But Per says his mother was very supportive. She bought Per’s first guitar in 1975 or 1976. It was a Bjärton that cost maybe 1.500-2.000 crowns. That was a lot of money for someone who couldn’t play the guitar. It sounded fantastic and was easy to tune. Its string height was good too, so he could avoid having bleeding fingertips. That was the time when Per started writing songs. He wrote e.g. När alla vännerna gått hem and Billy on that guitar. After high school, Per and his friend, Peter became troubadours employed by the city council. They got a contract for 3 months twice, so for 6 months they were playing at nursing homes for old people. It was scary, but great at the same time. Peter playd guitar and flute and Per played guitar and sang. There are a lot of stories. They got a schedule when to go where. One of the places was the long-term care at the hospital in Halmstad. They had never been there and when they got in, there was no one there. So they just entered a hall where there were two patients on the two sides so they put two chairs in the middle, sat down and started playing. Suddenly a nurse came in and wondered what they were doing there. Just then, one of the two guys woke up, it was a young guy who had an accident and had been in coma. So they woke him up with their song. Maybe they played something he recognized. Then many doctors came in and stood around the guy’s bed and the staff asked Per and Peter to get out. Then it turned out they shouldn’t have played there, there was something wrong in the schedule. So that was also a coincidence that they woke someone up from coma.

Another story is when at a lunch there were 6 old ladies and gentlemen sitting around the table, eating their soup. Per had a capo for the guitar. 96-year-old Eskil was sitting there and had it in his mouth. He had dipped it in the soup, because he probably thought it was cracking bread or something. Those were fun times. There is a photo that was published in Hallandsposten where Peter and Per are playing at a nursing home. On Per’s bachelor party, before he got married in 1993, they forced Per to go back to a nursing home to play Drömmen om Elin for the patients. That was much fun.

Per says the hardest thing is to play in front of only a few people. It’s easier to play at Ullevi or Scandinavium or Globen, because there you can ”hide” behind the huge production, there are a lot of tricks and techniques and lights, but you are sitting ”naked” in front of 5 people, so that was a good practice.

All pics in the article are from Tomas Andersson Wij’s Instagram. Listen to Hundåren HERE!

Gyllene Tider’s GT40 Live Ullevi 2019 show is out!

8 months after Gyllene Tider’s farewell tour is over, the Golden Guys surprised us with a live show release. The concert film is the complete Ullevi show, recorded on 3rd August 2019 in Gothenburg. The concert was originally planned to be held at Slottskogsvallen, but right after the tickets went on sale it turned out to be too small, so it had to be moved to Ullevi, of course. The number of visitors at the show was 54340! Pure awesomeness! And the chance to relive the best gig on the GT40 tour is just amazing!

Since I usually stand in the very front of the crowd, I love watching the DVD recordings later, because then I can see how the stage and the crowd looked from the back and how the band saw the audience and the venue itself. The camera angles used for the GT40 shooting are fabulous. You can see so many details and you can feel yourself standing and dancing and singing along right in the middle of the crowd, in front of those 5 guys and 2 ladies in top shape, giving their 120% of energy up on stage.

I want last summer back! Watching this concert on my 24th day of quarantine I’m just grateful for it and I appreciate it even more (if possible at all) how this band could unite so many people via their music. Hopefully, the good times are back again soon and ojojoj… still can’t believe it was Gyllene Tider’s last tour. Was it? I didn’t want this Ullevi gig to end… But the good thing is that from now on I can watch it anytime!

Streaming is available HERE. If you want to rent the film, you get a 48-hour streaming period for 4,99 USD. You will be able to stream it on supported browsers or the Vimeo mobile app and watch it on TV, mobile and tablet. While if you buy it for 9,99 USD, you can stream it anytime, download it and watch it on TV, mobile and tablet.

If streaming is not your thing and you haven’t ordered your physical copy yet, you can buy the DVD or Blu-ray at Ginza or Bengans.

Setlist

1. Skicka ett vykort, älskling
2. Juni, juli, augusti
3. Det hjärta som brinner
4. (Hon vill ha) Puls
5. Flickorna på TV2
6. Vandrar i ett sommarregn
7. (Dansar inte lika bra som) Sjömän
8. Det kändes inte som maj
9. Flickan i en Cole Porter-sång
10. Tuffa tider

BAND PRESENTATION

11. Låt denna trumslagarpojke sjunga!
12. Kung av sand
13. En sten vid en sjö i en skog
14. Ljudet av ett annat hjärta
15. Ska vi älska, så ska vi älska till Buddy Holly
16. (Kom så ska vi) Leva livet
17. Tylö Sun

Encore 1

18. Billy
19. Det är över nu
20. Gå & fiska!

Encore 2

21. När vi två blir en
22. Sommartider
23. När alla vännerna gått hem

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stills are from the concert recording.

 

CONTEST – Win a signed Gyllene Tider 2.019 – en sista refräng book!

Anders Roos, photographer and publisher of the Gyllene Tider 2.019 – en sista refräng book was kind enough to offer us 1 copy for a contest. RoxBlog added another one, so now 2 books can be won. HERE you could already read our review, from which you can see it’s worth having this book written by Jan-Owe Wikström in your collection. Both copies are signed by all 5 band members!

In order to participate, answer the following questions correctly:

  1. How many Gyllene Tider books had Jan-Owe Wikström written before Gyllene Tider 2.019 – en sista refräng? 2
  2. Where did GT record their last studio album? Name the studio and country! – Studios La Fabrique, France
  3. Which was the closing song on each setlist on the GT40 tour? – När alla vännerna gått hem
  4. During which song and at which concert was the GT40 Live! album cover photo taken? Name the song and town! – Flickan i en Cole Porter-sång, Kalmar

You can find the answers to all questions on RoxBlog. 😉

Send an e-mail with your name, address and the correct answers to the questions to rxbcontests@gmail.com until 23:59 CET, 9th January 2020. The 2 lucky winners will be announced shortly after. Good luck!

Contest terms and conditions:
– In order to participate, you have to send an e-mail to rxbcontests@gmail.com with name, address and correct answers to the
4 questions. We will consider all e-mails we receive until 23:59 CET on 9th January 2020.
– 2
winner will be picked randomly among those who have participated and sent the correct answers.
– You can only participate once, any attempt to participate twice or more times will lead to your disqualification.
– Prizes won’t be paid out in cash. Prizes will be sent by registered
mail only once.
– The winners will be announced on this website, on our Facebook page and will also be notified per e-mail. You’ll be required to answer the e-mail confirming your address.
– RoxetteBlog.com will not enter into any correspondence regarding the result of the contest and is not liable for any damages, loss or expenses that may result in connection to the prizes.
– By taking part in the contest, personal data (first name, surname, e-mail address and address) will be collected. These data are needed in order to run the contest, particularly in order to match participation applications to their entries as well as to identify and notify the winners. This method of processing data is therefore required pursuant to Article 6 Paragraph 1 lit b of the GDPR to fulfil contractual obligations. The personal data collected will be processed and used by RoxetteBlog.com only to the extent that is required in order to run the contest. The personal data will be stored for the duration of the contest and – in order to process any claims relating to winnings and damages – for a maximum of 6 months afterwards and they will then be deleted. By participating you agree to all above mentioned and your name being published on this website as well as on social media channels in case you win.

Photo by Anders Roos

UPDATE on 10th January 2020: 2 winners are picked. They are: Attila Soós and Sabina Seyfarth. The winners are informed via e-mail too.

Gyllene Tider – GT40 Live – New Year’s Eve on Swedish radio P4

On New Year’s Eve, Swedish radio P4 broadcast Gyllene Tider’s Ullevi concert recorded on 3rd August 2019 on the guys’ 40th anniversary tour. A pre-recorded studio talk with Per and Anders, as well as Sven Lindström was also on air.

In the beginning of the program Sven tells it was Per and MP who started a band first, Grape Rock. Per says they realized it quite early that they needed more people for a band. Then came Micke Syd and Janne Carlsson and that was the first setup of Gyllene Tider. Later Janne was changed, Anders and Göran joined them and they were complete.

Sven asks the guys what made them so special. Anders says it was a magical chemical mix. Per says 40 years is a long time, it wasn’t the same in their heydays, but when they later reunited, they became better and better every time, in 1996, 2004, 2013. That chemistry became more and more special and more and more magical. Now everyone thinks their 2019 tour was the best both musically and also in terms of how much fun it was.

Sven introduces the Ullevi show and says the stadium was cooking and it was a really special gig.

The guys don’t talk in between each song, so one can enjoy the live music as if we are there at the concert. In Ullevi, at the best show on tour.

After Puls they are talking again. Sven says it’s probably a dream for everyone who starts a band that they one day perform in Ullevi in front of 60,000 people. Per confirms it’s magical to play there and Anders also thinks it’s powerful and since Ullevi is not a usual stadium, the construction makes you feel that it’s even more full than it actually is. The first time Anders was at a concert in Ullevi it was David Bowie (1983). Per saw The Rolling Stones there first (1982). For GT it was the third time they played the stadium. The first show they did there was in 2004. Anders remembers that it was a pure energy shock. Almost 60,000 people were standing in front of them and all their love and energy was floating towards them on stage without any filter. He says it puts one into tears. Per says he is not as sensitive as Anders, he doesn’t really experience it being different to be playing at Ullevi or at Brottet in Halmstad in front of 11,000 people. One is focusing the same way and you work the same way, but at the same time, everything is bigger. It’s always magical to play at Ullevi though.

Before Flickorna på TV2 is playing, the guys are shortly talking about Gyllene Tider’s record contract Kjell Andersson (EMI) offered them in 1979. Per explains they had only 6 gigs before they became No. 1. with Flickorna på TV2. After their breakthrough it was still difficult to organize concerts, not knowing how good it would work out and it was a tough job for tour leaders too to find out what is right and what is wrong when it came to organizing. It was a learning by doing case. Flickorna på TV2 became a hit anyway and GT became Sweden’s hottest band. The guys say they were so young and it was strange that suddenly girls started screaming and they were stalking them in their gardens.

Before Kung av sand the boys are back again. Sven says there are 2 songs that defined GT in the ’90s, Kung av sand and Det är över nu. Per says Kung av sand became their big ballad, like Listen To Your Heart is for Roxette. Earlier they didn’t have such a big one. They of course had När alla vännerna gått hem and Honung och guld, but those were smaller. Kung av sand is majestic and it was fantastic to play it live again. The song’s energy spreads out to the crowd and it comes back from the audience. It’s wonderful.

Before the 1st encore, Sven, Anders and Per are talking about Tylö sun, which is the Swedish version of The Rivieras’ California Sun (1964). First the guys recorded it for a compilation album. It became a real summer hit for them, they Gyllene Tiderized it. Göran’s Farfisa fits it so well. Anders says he thinks there is a nice organ sound in the original as well, but Per can’t remember it. Sven says they check it after the program. (There is organ in The Rivieras’ version too.)

Per says the beginning of the ’80s was a very special period for them. They were 20-21, Göran was 18 and they got a huge attention. Sven says what happened with Gyllene Tider didn’t happen in 10-15 years in Sweden. Per says in 1980-81 they didn’t really realize what a big thing it was. It was the same with Roxette, they just didn’t realize it. Only now when they are looking back at the numbers and films they can get it.

The guys are getting back to the live show and after that, the concert plays till the end without a break. När alla vännerna gått hem is the last song. Sven, Anders and Per say goodbye.

There is only one hit they skipped in the broadcast: (Dansar inte lika bra som) Sjömän. If there weren’t news at 8 pm, they would have probably played that one too.

Setlist

1. Skicka ett vykort, älskling
2. Juni, juli, augusti
3. Det hjärta som brinner
4. (Hon vill ha) Puls
5. Flickorna på TV2
6. Vandrar i ett sommarregn
7. (Dansar inte lika bra som) Sjömän
8. Det kändes inte som maj
9. Flickan i en Cole Porter-sång
10. Tuffa tider

BAND PRESENTATION

11. Låt denna trumslagarpojke sjunga!
12. Kung av sand
13. En sten vid en sjö i en skog
14. Ljudet av ett annat hjärta
15. Ska vi älska, så ska vi älska till Buddy Holly
16. (Kom så ska vi) Leva livet
17. Tylö Sun

Encore 1

18. Billy
19. Det är över nu
20. Gå & fiska!

Encore 2

21. När vi två blir en
22. Sommartider
23. När alla vännerna gått hem