Per Gessle nominated as Hallandian of The Year!

It’s the first time that Halland Marketing Association (Marknadsförening i Halland, MiH) in cooperation with Hallandsposten and Hallands Nyheter will award a prize to Hallandian of The Year. To receive the prize, the recipient must have done good publicity for Halland county and worked publicly for the county’s best.

There are 6 nominees who were chosen from a list of 40 suggested by Hallandsposten readers earlier this autumn. It was difficult to pick these 6 people. They all did great PR for Halland over the years in their own way.

Nominees

  1. Janne Andersson – coach of the Swedish national soccer team
  2. Linnea Henriksson – singer, songwriter
  3. Boris Lennerhov – CEO of Scandinavia’s largest department store Gekås Ullared
  4. Kålle Gunnarsson – producer, director (theatre)
  5. Per Gessle – one of Sweden’s most successful artists and songwriters, musical genius, world artist
  6. Lisa Lemke – freelance food creator, food stylist, pizzeria owner, television chef

The jury’s motivation for nominating Per: “One of Sweden’s most successful artists and songwriters. A world artist and musical genius who has gilded many people’s lives with Roxette, as a solo artist and as a front figure in Gyllene Tider for 40 years. This summer’s successful farewell tour GT40 attracted a record number of visitors. Per has received several prestigious awards such as Grammys, Rock Bears and the King’s Medal. Per is one of three Swedish artists who topped the Billboard charts, the most powerful in the music world. In addition, he writes songs for a wide range of other artists, owns Hotel Tylösand and produces his own wines and champagne with a local touch.”

To vote, you have to send an SMS with this text: “HP ÅH Per” to the number 72010 in Sweden. You can vote until 29th November and the gala where the winner will be announced is held on 19th December in Halmstad Arena. Hallandian of The Year will be awarded a unique painting by Halland artist Dagmar Glemme and his / her photo will be installed at Halmstad Airport. The idea is to place all future winners’ photos there too.

Good luck, Mr. G!

Gyllene Tider interview in Hallandsposten

Sara Öster from Hallandsposten did an interview with Gyllene Tider at Hotel Tylösand after the guys finished their rehearsals for the tour that starts with 2 concerts in Halmstad on 4th and 5th July. This will be the last thing that legends Per Gessle, Micke Syd, Göran Fritzon, Mats ”MP” Persson and Anders Herrlin do together, ever.

Per says one should never take the audience for granted and they feel extremely grateful to be able to do such a tour at this age. Their big break-up was in 1985, and after that, GT did only comebacks. Per says he doesn’t feel sad, not right now anyway. It would have been different if they had been a band that had run year in and year out, but it wasn’t the case. He just wants to get this summer going now.

Anders says he actually feels a little lump in his stomach sometimes and he is kidding that he is going to cry. Then he says, no, he won’t, but this tour will be the last thing they do together. At the same time he feels happy and says they are all very excited about this summer and thinks it’s going to be much fun.

Sara also can’t believe the guys wouldn’t finish their last tour in Halmstad, so she asks them when they would announce that they have a last concert there. Per says there won’t be a last gig in Halmstad at the end of the tour. They were thinking about either starting or finishing the tour there and decided for the start. Sara asks if they think Halmstad people will be disappointed if GT won’t finish the tour in Halmstad. Per says he doesn’t think people care. Maybe real hardcore fans, but not others. The whole summer will be a great adventure, and it’s very unique and amazing that they are doing this after so many years. Wherever they go in Sweden it will be a great party, for one evening they will take over the city that they go to.

Anders says the setlist will be a mix of good old songs and new ones from their new album, ”Samma skrot och korn”.

Before the tour premiere the band is in Stockholm. There they test the stage and everything else and have a major rehearsal on 2nd July.

Sara asks the guys if they are nervous. Anders says he is, a little. Or rather excited. But one should feel so before such a happening. And he turns to Per to ask what he thinks. Mr. G says he is not nervous, but he will get an adrenaline rush.

Sara asks how fired up the guys are. Per says he is of course incredibly fired up. He thinks it’s going to be so damn fun and the rest of the band agrees.

To the question if they might reunite again one day they reply a definite no. Göran says they decided that this will be the last one and that’s the way it is. He laughs and says he thought he would blow up his Farfisa at Ullevi, so then they really can’t play more together. The band members join in and tell some other ideas about how they could finish their last gig in Sweden. But these are impossible to publish in Hallandsposten. Haha.

GT has a 20 sec greeting video in the online version of the article where Micke Syd talks and the other  4 Golden Guys agree on the fact that they are so excited about the tour start.

Photo by Anders Roos

Per Gessle’s Sommartider – interview in Hallandsposten

Jan-Owe Wikström did an interview with Per Gessle in Mr. G’s home in Halmstad and it was published in Hallandsposten on June 20th online and on June 30th in print. The guys were talking about Gyllene Tider’s farewell tour and Per’s summer feelings.

Per says first they, the guys in GT didn’t think about this tour to be the last, but when they started talking about it, it made sense. Now that all 5 of them are healthy and in good shape and want to end Gyllene Tider at a high level, it doesn’t seem to be a bad idea. They don’t know what will come in 6, 7 or 10 years and they don’t want to go on tour when any of the band members is not there. Then it wouldn’t be Gyllene Tider anymore.

From the article it turns out that besides the 5 Golden Guys, there will be 2 backing vocalists on tour with them: Malin-My Wall and Dea Norberg. Per explains that Tom Petty also had backing vocalists on his last tour and The Rolling Stones also have them. It feels a bit new, but also it saves Per’s voice and widens the sound partly at the choirs and partly because Malin-My can also play the violin and other instruments.

That the guys would go on a tour and celebrate their 40th anniversary was clear already after the last show in 2013. Since GT was formed in 1978 they wanted to do a tour in 2018, but as Per went on a solo tour in 2017 (130,000 people saw him) and he played several Gyllene Tider songs, then he toured with Per Gessle’s Roxette in 2018, also some shows in Sweden and it’s a small country, they postponed it to 2019.

Even if they knew that 80-90% of the setlist will consist of their old songs, they wanted to make a new album. They recorded it in France. Per says the idea was to create an album that shows the band members have all grown up and they are either close to or already turned 60. They are older, more matured and more experienced. They wanted the album to sound like GT today, not like they sounded back in the days. It can be a little embarrassing when a band tries to sound like 1980 while it’s already 2019.

Jan-Owe mentions an article that was published on 25th July 1985 about GT’s break-up, but he says it was rather a longer break. The the guys came back in 1995, 2004, 2013 and now in 2019. Per says 1995 was the first time they realized how big they became in Sweden. Their hits survived and he had the power via his international success with Roxette.

Now it’s time for another tour that will take the band from Malmö in the South to Piteå in the North with Stockholm and Gothenburg in between, where the concerts were moved to bigger venues (Stockholm Stadion and Ullevi). The 51 songs the guys took on the rehearsals have to be narrowed down to 25-30, including 18 must-play songs.

Jan-Owe asks Per what he thinks makes GT attractive through all generations. Per says the only way to survive as a band for 40 years is never to be trendy. Then they can come back time after time, as they did.

Jan-Owe also asks Mr. G about how it will feel to play the last song on the last concert. Per says he doesn’t know, they won’t die or stop playing.

 

Per’s summer feelings

Childhood summers: ”Far too short. Always.”

Teenage summers: ”I spontaneously think about Fammarps Mushroom Cultivation. I was biking there from Villshärad and weighed mushrooms during some summers. We were 2 guys and more than 300 girls. Good enough.”

Adult life summers: ”Tour. And more tours. And even more tours.”

An unforgettable summer: ”The GT-25 tour in 2004. Awesome. That summer we had more than 25000 people in the audiences per night. How did it really happen?”

The summer I absolutely want to forget: ”There weren’t any bad summers. Or if so then I blanked them out.”

Being on a summer tour: ”Intense.”

The best summer song: ”Summertime by George Gershwin and DuBose Heyward. A masterpiece.”

The best own summer song: ”Juni, juli, augusti, På promenad genom stan and Min plats. They are OK.”

The best summer concert in Halland county: ”My memory is short, but Wilmer X was awesome the last time they played in Solgården at Hotel Tylösand. I wish I could say Sex Pistols in Östra stranden in Halmstad 1977, but I wasn’t there. MP and I were sitting outside in his Amazon. We didn’t dare to go in.”

The best own concert in Halland county: ”Gyllene Tider on Stora torg in Halmstad 1995 was special. That was the first time we realized how big we became in Sweden. Our hits survived and I had the power via the international success with Roxette.”

Professional expectations before summer 2019: ”To be able to say hi to the crowd.”

Private expectations before summer 2019: ” To be able to say hi to family and friends.”

Why to choose Halland in the summer: ”It’s Sweden’s front side.” (”Sveriges framsida.” -> it’s a Swedish idiom and is associated with the West Coast and Gothenburg. The reason is the geographical situation, which allows direct connections to the international shipping routes via the port. /PP)

This is how summer smells: ”Chips och grill. Näst intill.” (Part of the lyrics of (Kom så ska vi) Leva livet meaning ”Chips and grill. Almost.” /PP)

Pic of Per Gessle is taken in the studio in France by Anders Roos.

 

Thanx for your support with the printed version of the interview, Anne Rosvall!

New Gyllene Tider book in the making

As Hallandsposten informs, there will be a new book about Gyllene Tider. It will be written by Jan-Owe Wikström (Wicke) and photographed by Anders Roos. Both names guarantee a wonderful end result. Title of the book is said to be Gyllene Tider 2.019 – en sista refräng.

6 years ago, Jan-Owe and Anders created the book, Alla tiders Gyllene Tider. Anders says it was like being a fly on the wall while he was around taking photos of the band on tour and in the studio and he thinks it’s awesome to have the guys’ confidence so that he can do his job calmly.

Wicke is the person who actually wrote the very first Hallandsposten article about a young band, Gyllene Tider more than 40 years ago, on 8th July 1978. He has been following the guys ever since and wrote books, as well as a lot of articles about them.

Jan-Owe and Anders spent some time with GT in France this year while they were recording their last album and will be there with Per, Micke Syd, MP, Anders and Göran on tour. They will accompany the Golden Guys on several shows, especially in key locations like the premiere gig in Halmstad, then Ullevi in Gothenburg and they go to Stockholm as well. They of course won’t miss Fredrikstad, Norway, the last concert either.

Wicke says the book will be a time travel, about all the years passed and since a big part of GT’s history is about others’ experiences related to Gyllene Tider’s songs and concerts, they will also ask other artists to share their memories.

It’s not only artists who will be asked to tell what GT means to them. Fans can also contribute to the book by sharing their personal memories. Anders says they already got appr. 70 mails. They will choose some stories to be published in the book, but it’s important that those picked anecdotes represent various events and happenings. As a fan, you can send your stories to: minnen@gyllenetider.com. Per says any craziness is encouraged! 😉

It’s going to be an intense summer not only for Gyllene Tider and their fans, but also for Wicke and Anders who have GT’s full support in this project. Per says it feels safe and great to have exactly this duo writing about the band. He looks very much forward to the book and hopes he can get a signed copy. Haha.

 

Per Gessle about the bright and dark side of life

On the release day of ”En vacker natt” (28 April), an interview with Per Gessle was published in Hallandsposten.

Jan-Owe Wikström asks Per about those great musicians (David Bowie, Leonard Cohen and Prince) who passed away last year. He asks Per if he ever met them. Mr. G met Bowie before a concert in Lyon, but they just greeted each other, never talked. Cohen he never met and Prince either, even if Roxette played on the same gala when MTV Europe opened in Berlin. But as soon as Prince moved, there were 18 people around him. Per says he was in Prince’s studio though, Paisley Park in Minneapolis shortly after R.E.M. had been there to record. Everything was white and in the middle stood a giant bird cage. They even saw Prince’s private apartment above the studio and it was just as you imagined Prince. A heart-shaped bedroom, much purple and a sliding roof over the whole apartment.

Jan-Owe asks Per if Bowie was his greatest inspiration. Mr. G replies that musically he doesn’t know, but Bowie is definitely the artist who has meant the most to him, because he came into Per’s life when he was the most influenceable, at the age of 13-14. Per says Gunilla was Elvis, Bengt The Beatles and he was Bowie.

Jan-Owe asks Per about how it has affected him, losing his brother Bengt, his mother Elisabeth and his sister Gunilla in a short time. Per says it’s clear that you get a new view of life, to appreciate the moment, to take care of your loved ones. He tells Bengt had lung cancer, but didn’t tell anyone. Per thinks he was on tour when Gunilla visited Bengt in the hospital and after leaving, she got a phone call that Bengt had died. Per says you come to a time in life when you know more people who die than who are born, which obviously makes you think.

To the question if he believes in God and a life after this, Per replied he has not really decided. Sometimes maybe. It would have been nice to have a strong faith and both his mom and Gunilla were very religious. Gunilla even educated herself to be a priest, but started working at hospice instead. Per says he doesn’t belong to anywhere yet, but who knows. He is thinking, maybe when you grow older, you become more religious.

Jan-Owe asks Per, while they are sitting in Per’s house in Halmstad, drinking coffee and eating sandwiches, if he thinks the roots become more important when such serious things, mentioned above, happen in life. Per thinks even if he is a restless soul, that’s probably the case. He travelled around the world, but still always ends up in Halmstad. And that’s nice because everything is so much easier there. It’s closer to nature, it’s calmer…

Jan-Owe asks Per if what’s happened has affected his songwriting. Mr. G tells there are no lyrics that are directly related to it. But one is certainly affected by such happenings. Per says he doesn’t believe it was better before and it doesn’t necessarily have to be negative to get older, in case you are healthy. On the contrary, he is using that experience in his writing artistically and creatively.

Jan-Owe says he saw a survey which showed that those between 60-75 are the most satisfied with life. Per agrees. He says you have your family, have peaked in your career and are hopefully happy with what you’ve done in life. You have nothing left to prove. Per is soon there and could therefore make such a record that builds more on moods than single songs. A blank paper. Acoustic, Swedish, lyrics-oriented and country-influenced without being country.

Per tells Hallandsposten he is the most proud that, after almost 40 years in the music industry, he has done something he has never done before. If people like it, he doesn’t know, therefore he wants to wait before he decides which songs to play on tour.

Song by song comments – En vacker natt

”Min plats”: It was one of two key songs on the album, because when those 2 were ready, I had the pillars. It just felt like having it as the opening song.

”Första pris”: One of the songs which weren’t written for this album but for Roxette, which we never recorded. A little blue tone in the duet together with Helena Josefsson. I almost literally translated the English text.

”Småstadsprat”: It wasn’t meant to be a duet at all. But then we started talking about how rare duets between boys are. If it’s between a girl and a boy, you sing to each other, but boy / boy – then you sing towards a common goal like here with Lasse Winnerbäck.

”Enkel resa”: A fun and odd song. Sometimes I try to encourage MP (Mats Persson) to write songs which he does amazingly well. And he does it every ten years… Here he comes with exciting basslines that I added a melody to.

”Allt gick så fort”: The other central song on the album. I read an interview with David Crosby who told he had five guitars in his bedroom and he tuned them quite oddly. So I started googling and found an odd tone with which the guitar became a completely new instrument. But when we were to record in Nashville, I couldn’t take those grips again so we had to use the demo.

”Tittar på dej när du dansar”: The most poppy song on the album. I tried to avoid having such songs, but at least one is needed for the energy. A little odd, built from two songs in one and one of the few with electric guitar.

”Några glas rosé”: The hardest song to write because it has no chorus and has a narrative text that needs much space. Something like “Billy” without chorus.

”Far Too Close”: Written for Roxette from the beginning and because we had time left, it became the ultimate homage to Nashville, letting a Nashville girl, Savannah Church sing the finale.

Photo from PG’s Nashville archives