1001 nights without Marie

The article is written by former member of RoxetteBlog, Kirsten Ohlwein. Kirsten decided to leave RoxBlog in June 2018 and I’m sure a lot of fans have been missing her words since then. We missed her too, but now we are happy it seems that once in a while we can welcome her and share Kirsten’s writing on our blog. Here is her thoughts on the time passed by since 18th April 2016.

“It was a rainy day in October 2018 when I suddenly counted days without realizing it at first. I wondered for how many days the Roxette how we were used to know it (Per and Marie) didn’t exist anymore. Of course I couldn‘t figure out the exact number on my own and then I didn’t give it any further thought anymore, but some days ago I suddenly remembered it and I checked online. I wanted to know the date of the 1000th day. I put the date (18th April 2016) on a website… and it told me, yes, the 1000th day of the Roxette non-existence is 12th January 2019, Per’s 60th birthday. Nothing but a coincidence, but it put a sad smile on my face anyway.

1001 nights without Marie. And yes, I don’t count her rare appearances with releasing songs on her birthday in 2017 and 2018 and one song in winter 2017. Those are old recordings. It’s not that she was in the studio recently and decided to record them. Yes, the videos are new, I know. And still… everything is different.

1001 nights without Marie. And I realize that I let her go much earlier than I thought I would back on that day in April 2016. Yet – it took me a long time to accept the truth. You can’t let go something or someone easily  that was so close to your heart for such a long time, that gave you some of the best memories in your life, that made you meet some of the best people in the world, people that became close and even closer friends. In autumn 2016 I started to come to terms with the fact that I would never see her in person. Ever again. That was the hardest part for me, and it still is. For the simple reason that she just appeared in a room and recharged my batteries instantly. For the simple fact that she made my life better just by singing a song being on stage in front of me, by smiling at me or by radiating with love and joy.

1001 nights without Marie. I made my peace with her having disappeared from all the stages, from public, living her life in privacy, surrounded by the people she loves. Because she nothing but deserves this so much. Who else showed death the finger and survived against all odds?

1001 nights without Marie. She proved me wrong. After April 16th, I had hoped for another miracle, for her to be too stubborn to give up, to be back in no time. Now I know she didn’t give up, it was just a necessary next step. She accepted it, she acted accordingly. She cheated death, probably more than once, she went on two world tours after that, she learned new songs despite the fact that she can’t read properly anymore, she recorded three Roxette albums within five years.

Pic by Kirsten Ohlwein

Do I still miss her? Yes, very often!
Do I still think of her? Yes, every day when I wake up and see her face tattooed on my calf.
Do I still hope for a wonder? No, we already had more than one.
Did I let go of her? Yes, the day I got her face on my calf forever. It’s a full stop. Everything came to a halt.
Does this article have any relevance? No, but why does it have to have relevance?

Do you still miss her?
Do you still think of her?
Do you still hope for a wonder?
Did you start to let go?
Do you think all of that has any relevance?

Today, and I can of course only speak for myself, I am happy that she is such a private person, living such a private life. I don’t want to know how she is doing, I don’t want articles in Swedish press, I don’t want press statements, I want her to live in peace, to sit at a table in the sun and enjoy life as much as possible.

And with this article I want her to thank one more and one last time for giving me the best time of my life, the emptiest bank account of all times, the best memories that I carry in my heart forever and the best vocals in some of the best pop tunes ever written!

Today, 1001 nights later, 1001 nights without Marie later, there is nothing but gratitude!

Last year I left the RXB team, because I felt it’s time to let that part of me go, too. A huge chapter in my life book is closed for quite some time now. I won’t stop following the fan pages or Per’s activities, but there won’t be any more concerts, I stopped purchasing new releases and I don’t consider myself an active fan anymore. So, this is my goodbye message to everyone out there in the Rox world that I know or those who know me! Thanks for all the meetings, the fun, the waiting in freaking heat or unbearable cold, for travelling with me, for understanding me, for still staying in touch with me, for some of the best years of my life! Gratitude, nothing but gratitude. Time flies when you’re having fun, right?

To the next 1000 days!

P.S.: In case something interesting comes up, don’t be surprised if you see an article from me here, anyway.“

Kirsten

Marie Fredriksson releases “I Want To Go”

Press release from Cosmos regarding Marie’s single “I Want To Go” – which is out today!

Marie Fredriksson explores new musical territories on upcoming single

The Roxette singer is back with the single I Want To Go where she’s followed her love for blues and country music.
It’s out November 17th on Amigo.

Listen here

Earlier this year she surprised her fans with the jazz song Alone Again, teaming up with some of Sweden’s most prominent musicians on the subject. This time, Marie Fredriksson will immerse in the american music tradition on her new single I Want To Go.

The original song was written by J.B. Lenoir, a remarkably overlooked gem that almost sunk into obscurity. Now, more than 50 years after it’s birth, Marie Fredriksson reinvigorates this blues classic with a modern production and an unmistakable presence.

I first heard this song about 25 years ago and I just loved it.
I have kept it close to my heart ever since and to finally release my own version of it feels amazing.

– Marie Fredriksson

I Want To Go is out on Amigo on November 17th.

The “listen here” link takes you to a page with links to the digital song on streaming/download platforms like Spotify or Amazon and to an “official audio video” on YouTube.

Picture by Tina Axelsson

Disclaimer from Marie’s label: There is a small, but not trivial error in the press message where Marie Fredriksson is called ”the former singer of Roxette”. 
Marie Fredriksson is still, of course, the singer in Roxette. We’re truly sorry about any confusion this might have caused.

Marie Fredriksson’s Czech book release party – a fan’s report

As you all know, Marie Fredriksson’s autobiography, Kärleken till livet was published in Sweden in 2015. All fans had been longing for at least an English version as well, but instead of it being published in English first, 1 year after the Swedish release, the book was published in German. The German edition, Listen to my heart: Meine Liebe zum Leben contains an extra chapter and some additional photos vs. the Swedish edition. Another surprise came when we heard the book would be translated into Czech and would be published in the Czech Republic this year. Listen to my Heart: Moje láska k životu has been published just now and there was a big party for its release. The event happened at Hard Rock Café in Prague on 3rd October. Longtime fan, Valeria Zvarova was there at the party and wrote her report on it. Please, read her story below. She also shared info on the difference between the Czech and the German edition of the book.

Event – The RockSet live at Hard Rock Café and christening of the Czech version of Marie’s book

3.10.2017 in Prague

As you may know, because of the event held at Hard Rock Café back in 2015, prior to the real Roxette gig at O2 Arena in Prague, there is a really great Rox revival band in Prague. It’s the singers Zuza Nová and Ondra Gorcík with their band, they call themselves The RockSet – the World Roxette Tribute band. If you want to learn more about them, click HERE.

From Hard Rock Café and publishing house Dobrovsky, which released the book in Czech, this band got an invitation to represent Roxette and christen Marie’s book at a live concert on the stage of Hard Rock Café. There are several of us Roxers here in Prague, who are friends with this band and we follow their gigs and try to help a little when possible. This time the band recorded an invitation video which we shortly translated and equipped with subtitles and posted on Rox-related Facebook sites and groups. And even Per himself shared the information posted by RoxetteBlog!

We were sure, this would be a real event for all of us fellow Roxers and yes, there were many of us there yesterday evening, and even some friends from Sweden, who really enjoyed the show with us, dancing close to the stage!

Before the concert, we picked up a bunch of white roses and the cake, a suitable one in the form of a book – and we managed to get good places at the venue. Before the start, the screen rolled down in front of the stage, showing a short video with the information about the event, about Marie, nice pictures from the book and this event was also joint with the Charity foundation Mamma Help, supporting patients suffering from breast cancer. If you bought the book there, from the price of 299 CZK /approx 10 EUR/, 100 CZK went to charity.

When the concert began, we all gathered at the stage – which is not so easy because of the fact that there is a bar placed in the middle of the venue, directly in front of the stage. During the performance, some of us gave a white rose to Zuza after our favourite songs.

The concert went on and the band was simply great on stage – as Per would say maybe – Zuza was in top shape.

The first break was filled with the christening act itself. The publisher couple Dobrovsky, representatives of Hard Rock Café and charity Mamma Help gathered on the stage. The cake was brought on a table and champagne was ready at the edge of the stage.

Zuza was presenting the event, talking about the charity and about the fact that the book was released by Dobrovsky publishing house in Czech as the third language worldwide – a fact which is truly unbelievable… and also about their cooperation with Hard Rock Café.  Zuza was talking about Marie, her life and also, this was very touching, she thanked the Czech Roxers for the support they get – we are honoured… Then they poured a little champagne on the book, we handed over some more white roses and the event was soon ending.

The concert continued with the second part. There were many Roxers cheering, having fun, dancing and singing along…  also the tourists went wild. I know, yes, you may say, it’s just a revival. Yes, we know that – and we do not consider them being Rox – but this is so close to Rox you can get, with full power on stage like before, great voices, performing and acting sometimes the way Rox did – even though they do not know the shows by heart like we do, in fact they have hardly seen them! And visually, yes, sometimes you get the feeling like it was really her… it’s almost unreal, we would say. And they are all great friends, since several years we have known them.  We hope they will continue bringing us Rox music and the feelings being 14 again for many years to come! Especially since we know, we would never see Roxette live together again…

We from the Czech Roxette fanclub would also like to express our thanks to the singers Zuza Nová, Ondra Gorcík and all of the members of the band.

There will be some videos and photos done by Lenka Kohoutová as well. All in all, it was a great evening and we hope for more to come!

Setlist:

  1. Dressed For Success
  2. Perfect Day
  3. How Do You Do!
  4. Fading Like A Flower
  5. Wish I Could Fly
  6. Almost Unreal
  7. It Must Have Been Love

Then christening itself on the stage.

  1. Joyride
  2. Things Will Never Be The Same
  3. Crash! Boom! Bang!
  4. She’s Got Nothing On (But the Radio)
  5. Run To You
  6. Spending My Time
  7. June Afternoon
  8. The Big L.
  9. Dangerous
  10. Fireworks
  11. Hotblooded
  12. Listen To Your Heart
  13. The Look

* extra Sleeping In My Car

Some facts about the Czech version of Marie’s book:

The Czech version is slightly different to the German one – mainly in colour. The Czech one is published with light blue cover at the back and inside. The title remained yellow.  That was probably because of keeping the Swedish colours – well, fine for me.

Photos are the same as in the German version, as well as the chapters.

The book is a bit smaller vs. the German version – with every language, it becomes smaller somehow – but anyway, it is a unique fact that the Czech version got released earlier than a possible English or Spanish edition or in other more important languages… it was a real surprise for us all and another confirmation of the fact how big Roxette are in our country.

And just one mistake we found, looking roughly  – a picture of the Look Sharp! era is captioned with year 1998.

So, each year there is another language release, maybe one day we will see an English version as well. 😉 Fingers crossed!

 

 

 

 

Pictures in the article by Lenka Kohoutová and Valeria Zvarova.

Thank you for your report, Valeria!

Mikael Bolyos: “Hopefully we can release something more..”

Mikael Bolyos on 30th May 2017. (Foto: Annie Heart)

After Marie surprisingly released a new jazz single on her birthday, we felt the urge to talk to one of the driving forces behind the project: Mikael Bolyos. Luckily enough he found the time to answer some of our questions and we want to thank him very much for doing so. We know he is a busy man.

RXB: Mikael, thanks for stopping a second to take the time to talk to us. It was probably quite busy lately with Marie’s birthday and the release of the new song – and both topics that made us think we desperately need to talk to you. So, first of all: Is your house still a normal house or did it turn into a huge garden on Marie’s birthday? Just kidding, of course, but we are well aware that many fans still send their cards and flowers and presents and we are curious: Did it become more now that Marie has retired from the touring life?
Mikael Bolyos: No, our home still always look like a flowershop  on every Maries birthday.

RXB: And talking about Marie’s birthday: We were very surprised to find out that she or you decided to release a new single (Alone Again) on her birthday. Did you choose this date on purpose or was it a coincidence? This definitely feels like you made yourself a present and you gave a present to us as well.
MB: Yes, the whole idea was to try to give a little something back to all her fans. Call it a little “thank you” for all the support over the years.

RXB: Do you still read the Roxette internet and Facebook fan pages such as Roxetteblog and The Daily Roxette – so are you aware that the fan world went totally crazy after the song was announced on several streaming services such as iTunes, Amazon and Google play?
MB: Yes, we noticed some comments!

RXB: The response so far has been amazing, lots of positive comments everywhere, how do you feel about this?
MB: We, Marie, Magnus, Max & me are so happy about this. Max told me the other day that people are telling him daily on the bus, in the streets, everywhere how much they like the song and production.

RXB: What can you actually tell us about the single? When did you have the idea, when did you record it?
MB: I had an idea back in 2002 to make an instrumental album with my favorite sax and guitar players in Sweden. Magnus Lindgren and Max Schultz. We started the recordings at Vinden studio in January 2003. Soon we asked Marie to add some vocals to one of the songs (on a Sunday). We also made the first recording of Max´s song “Alone again” back then. At that time it was an instrumental song. A couple of years later I wrote the lyrics and in 2009 we recorded the song with Marie. At that time we even had plans of doing some light touring with this trio. But as you know history wanted something else.

RXB: Is there a reason you chose English over Swedish?
MB: No, not really ! Maybe it´s because Magnus’ instrumental song’s name was “On a Sunday” so Marie and me wrote english lyrics to it.

RXB: The song came together with a (surprise) video – what was the idea behind this?
MB: We thought it would be easier to present the song if it contained a video. It’s much more funny to click a link and be able to listen and watch.

RXB: You worked with two musicians with who you already worked with before, why did you choose to work with them? How did this collaboration come up?
MB: Marie and me heard a duo in a hotelbar in London 2002. Two guys playing sax and guitar. It felt as an odd combination, but still so interesting. It felt natural to ask Max & Magnus if they were interested of trying something like this, but playing only original songs.

RXB: Does the single mean that a new album is coming out soon?
MB: I wish I could say yes, but this was meant to be a one-time event, but after the massive positive reaction….. we’ll see…..Hopefully we can release something more in the same category in the future…at least I hope.

RXB: Both musicians are known for their jazz music, if there will be a new album, will it be THE jazz album Marie always wanted to do?
MB: Yes, I think it’s a good guess that in that case, jazz & blues will dominate, but I don’t know about a whole album.

RXB: Have you listened to Per’s solo album? What do you think?
MB: Yes we have and we think it´s great. We like it a lot !

RXB: We read a rumour some weeks ago that you and Marie became grandparents in the meantime. It spread like a bush fire and many people were speculating about this being right. We really don’t want to fuel the rumor mill, but in case it is true…
MB: HA! Not as far as we know.