Per Gessle was a guest on TV4’s morning show, Nyhetsmorgon on 13th October, release day of his new single, a cover of Pugh Rogefeldt’s Vandrar i ett regn. Program leaders Sofia Geite and Steffo Törnquist interviewed him.
The interview starts with premiering the song’s video and after they play a short part of it, Steffo says it’s such a good song choice, because one could think it could have been written by Per. It fits Per very well. PG agrees that it’s a fantastic song. Steffo says Pugh was great and Per discovered him early. Mr. G says the first time he saw Pugh must have been 1974 in Halmstad’s folk park. He played there with his band, Rainrock. He had a scarf on his head and a long ponytail and after a few songs he took off the bandana and everyone saw he had shaved his hair and was bald, just had the ponytail left. The whole audience was shocked. Per says you had never seen anything like that before. Pugh took a bet with his brother, but when his brother saw how Pugh looked, he withdrew himself from the bet. Haha.
The following year Pugh was on tour and played at Halmstad Theatre. There they played, among other songs, Vandrar i ett regn, Per says. Steffo says it’s a song that makes you happy and it’s lovely. PG thinks it has fantastic lyrics and it’s a wonderful song. Pugh was a great songwriter. Steffo mentions a word Pugh uses, “gamman” for happy. “Glad och gamman” in the lyrics, Per thinks it’s a nice expression. He had to check what that meant.
Steffo says Pugh was purely musical too and very innovative. Per agrees. He says Pugh actually created his own language, Pughish. That was even the title of his second album, Pughish. He simply wrote lyrics in his own language. It’s very unique. So there was a musical madness in all this fantastic melodic work he did. Per likes his songs a lot. He thinks there are similarities between Pugh’s lyrics and for example John Lennon’s lyrics. Sometimes there are these kind of nonsense lyrics that you can make your own and you can interpret them as you want. A bit like how Per tried to write The Look. That song isn’t about anything, but you can make it your own. That’s the cool thing about pop music and PG thinks Pugh was a master of it.
Sofia mentions that there will be a tribute concert for Pugh at Cirkus in Stockholm. That place has been chosen for a reason, also because it was where Pugh had his last concert. Per was there in the audience then. He says it was a great concert, but it was a bit strange, because Pugh behaved a bit odd. Per doesn’t know why. He says he was there with his producer, sitting in the first row of the gallery and at one song Pugh went out into the audience and sang the song. He caught sight of Per, walked up to him and then he hugged Per. PG doesn’t really understand why. It was a long hug and a bit magical in a way. In retrospect now it feels super wonderful.
Steffo says Gyllene Tider and Pugh toured together. Per smiles and says Pugh wasn’t a support act, because he was too good for that, he was a special guest for Gyllene Tider in 2004. It was a huge tour. They of course met during the tour, but they didn’t travel together. On a tour it’s when they play, you are in the dressing room, changing clothes, you are getting ready for your part, putting on your make-up and stuff, Per says, so you often miss out on each other.
Sofia says that the big hug Pugh gave Per must have been a surprise for PG, because he and Pugh didn’t have a very tight relationship. Per confirms he was surprised. Pugh was 5-6 metres away from him when he caught sight of PG, so he doesn’t know why he got the feeling. Sofia says probably this relationship meant a lot to Pugh.
Per tells Sofia and Steffo that Pugh asked him to help put together the setlist of what he would play as the special guest on the GT tour. He knew Per was a big fan. Mr. G made a list based on the early records that he loved, Pughish and Hollywood. Pugh always wondered why Per chose these weird songs that he had basically forgotten about. But those songs were so good.
Sofia aks Per what it was like to meet his idol when he was young. Because she knows PG had the chance to meet Pugh in some hotel foyer. Per says when Pugh played the folk park in Halmstad, he and his friends knew that they would be staying at a hotel in Vallås, outside Halmstad. They went there to the hotel and waited for the band to come. The band came and then they walked half a metre past. The guys sat there and were too shy to say anything at the age of 14. They just wanted to be close to the pop gods. Haha.
Regarding the Gyllene Tider movie, Per says the shooting lasts until next week and the movie is out next summer. Steffo asks how it feels. Per says it’s scary, but it’s cool. He has seen a bit of it and it’s amazing. The script is awesome, so he hopes the film will be as good as the script is. It’s a movie about 5 crazy guys in a small town who start a band. But in the end, it’s not like a documentary about Gyllene Tider. It ends with Sommartider released in 1982, so it’s kind of about how the band got there. Sofia asks Per if he recognizes himself or he sees new sides of him in the movie. [Here they show the group picture of Gyllene Tider and the cast.] Per points at the picture and says he recognizes himself there. Haha. PG says the actors interpreted the film well and they are incredibly talented. The director is also wonderful. The program leaders say it’s fun and they look forward to it. They also wish Per to have a good time at the Pugh gala.
Stills are from the morning show.