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.
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.“
Last weekend was busy on Swedish TV for all Gessle fans. On 26th November Per appeared on TV4’s show, Hellenius hörna. The recordings took place on October 4, so almost 2 months ago. During the past few days we could see some teaser videos to the program and they promised a fun show. Unfortunately, it can only be watched online in Sweden.
The program starts with showing Per taking care of the other guest’s, Carina Berg’s hair when David Hellenius, the host of the show enters the dressing room and says Carina should already be in the make-up room. Per says he has full control, he took care of Carina to look modern and nice. Oh well, she got a very similar hairdo to that of Mr. G’s. Ta-da! David says it’s Per-fect! Funny enough that Per DOES look like a fab hairdresser. Haha.
Carina is the first guest, so she gets interviewed by David. Per, Sweden’s biggest pop star is welcomed by David as the second guest. David asks Per if he has any thoughts on what he heard from the show so far. Per says Carina likes talking a lot. David asks Per if he got a bit nervous now. Per says actually a bit.
David asks Per if he has any relation to Carina, if he saw any of her shows. Per says, actually he hasn’t. Everyone laughs. David says Carina moved into the house of many (because of her TV show, Berg flyttar in), but not into Per’s house. Carina says Per is a little secret. David asks Per what he is hiding, what he doesn’t want to show. Per says he is hiding kind of everything. Carina says rumor has it Per lives like a Russian oligarch, building something huge, 7 meters high, art all around the house, big balconies. David tells Carina she is lovely, but totally crazy.
David says they were talking about bravery and asks Per if he likes to expose himself to scary stuff. Per jokes and says well, he is married. Everyone laughs. David asks Per what the bravest thing is he has ever done. Mr. G tells that once when he had his birthday, Åsa’s gift for him was to ride a horse. It didn’t go too well, because the horse trotted out of the ring and stood in its stall with Per on its back. Bored. Per was terrified.
They talk about Per’s amazing career, a career one can only dream about. They look back on those almost 40 years by the help of old pictures and short footage from TV shows, interviews and concerts. David asks Per what he thinks about it all. Per says it makes him start thinking he is getting old. Nah, he is kidding and says he is of course super proud. A part of what they saw feels like it happened ages ago. It has been a fantastic journey and he is very fortunate.
David asks Per if he can enjoy it when he is standing on stage in front of 50000 people, if one can take it in at that very moment. Per says one can actually enjoy it. He tells that it happened to Marie and him that during Roxette times they looked at each other and they knew they were thinking about the same thing: ”Is that really happening?” One can be in Lima, Taipei or Sydney, this is what is so awesome with music, the power of music. They come from a small country and play songs that work everywhere, regardless of religions, cultures or skin color. Everyone knows their songs. It’s absolutely fantastic.
David asks Per if being Per Gessle is a normal thing for him, being such a great artist. If he can walk on the street and think, ”Shit, I’m Per Gessle”, if he ever forgets it. Per says it has never happened.
David mentions that Per has written almost 1000 songs and asks Per which he thinks is the best or which is the one he is the most proud of. Per says he doesn’t know. He has a lot of good songs and half good songs. David forces Mr. G to choose one. Per thinks ”The Look” is good. David asks if there is a hit song Per doesn’t like, when everyone is jumping and he thinks ”it’s useless, stop singing along”. Per says he is bad at choosing singles. Those songs that are liked by the wider mass he had often rejected earlier. He wanted to leave Här kommer alla känslorna off Mazarin. He had a big song with Roxette, Wish I Could Fly. He wanted to leave it off as well. David says Per is good at writing songs, but his judgement is so-so, he asks if Per lets others to choose then. Mr. G says there are a few people, a little team he is listening to, who he counts on.
David asks Carina if she has any favourite song. Carina chooses It Must Have Been Love. David asks Carina to sing it while Per is playing the guitar. Carina says she learnt the song when she couldn’t speak English, so she says she hopes her English is the right text. Per says all good, he wrote the song when he couldn’t speak English. Then the 3 of them, Carina, Per and David perform IMHBL.
David mentions that in the beginning of last year Roxette did their last concert and asks Per if he really thinks it was the last Roxette concert ever. Per says he thinks so, it’s history now (the last concert, not Roxette – PP). David asks what Marie means to Per. Mr. G says they met at the end of the ’70s. They shared a rehearsal room and socialized a lot. So they kind of grew up together and had this fantastic journey together. They are like siblings. They have had awesome years, more than 30 years in their career. He says Marie is an awesome girl. David asks if there is a personal memory that only Per and Marie have. Mr. G says in 2009 it had been 7 years since Roxette wasn’t on stage. Then he did a solo tour in Europe and Marie went to his show with her husband in Amsterdam. Before the show Per asked Marie if she wanted to sing a song with him. Marie said she didn’t, but Per saw in her eyes that deep inside she wanted to, just didn’t dare. Then they rehearsed It Must Have Been Love and then Marie said, ”OK let’s do this one, just the two of us”. So for the first encore she came up on stage and the crowd was dead. Per says he had never seen so many people crying. It was incredible. They performed It Must Have Been Love and the venue exploded.
David says Per broke through with Gyllene Tider earlier and asks if Per has ever had a plain job. He was an elementary school teacher for some months, he was very good at that. David asks what his strength was, to comfort the kids or the time table. Per says his strength was that the kids could do whatever they wanted to. David asks Per: 9×9? Per is fast with the answer, 81. Mr. G says he had to finish that job because of GT’s breakthrough. There were no more lessons, just signing autographs.
Regarding other jobs, Per tells he and one of his friends worked as troubadours and played for example ”Svarte Rudolf” at nursing homes for old people. It was really awesome. David asks if Per also worked at the check-out. Mr. G says he never sit in the check-out, but he worked at ICA, packing at the check-out and collecting milk. David asks when was it. Per jokes it was in 2016.
David asks Per if he has always dreamt of becoming a pop star. Mr. G says when he was a child, he always gathered his friends and they used cue sticks and mimed to songs of The Monkees or The Beatles. He was standing in the front and was miming the most.
David asks Per if he was good at school. Per tells school was pretty easy for him, but he got tired fast. It was hard, because his family moved a lot, like each third year and so he always ended up in a new school, a new class with new mates. He never enjoyed school. They moved because of different reasons. His father had asthma so once he needed sea air then forest air, then he had to live under water (he jokes). Talking about his father, David asks Per about what kind of father he himself is. Per says he is a fantastic dad. Of course. David asks Mr. G what Gabriel thinks about Per Gessle being his father. Per thinks that Gabriel thinks it’s OK, but he has never asked. David says he can’t imagine Per baking buns and selling them in the bazaar. He asks if Per has ever been a class parent. He hasn’t. A lot of that responsibility was on his wife. She is fantastic. David asks if Åsa has ever got angry and asked him to bake something. Per says no, she is happy that she doesn’t have to taste what Per bakes.
David asks Per if Gabriel likes his music. Mr. G says he didn’t dare to ask that either, but when they were on the Room Service tour in 2001 and played in hockey arenas, they always had a room full of games for the kids. Then Gabriel always wanted to come out for the 8th song. It was Real Sugar. He was totally uninterested in the rest. Gabriel is 20 now and still lives at home. David asks if he has to pay a rental fee. Per says it’s a good idea. David asks Per if he thinks it’s important that Gabriel goes to school, thinking of how Per’s relations to school were. Per says he tried to convince Gabriel to skip school and hang out with him in the studio, but he didn’t want to. He doesn’t want to be a pop star.
David tells he checked Per’s Instagram and he realized that it follows a pattern. Per sitting in different cars. Per says he was searching for those shoes he is wearing on one of the pics. David says it’s funny, the car costs 10 million and he is searching for a pair of shoes that cost 300. David tried to find out how many cars PG has and he found an interview where Per said he doesn’t know, 11-12 or so. Per still has the same answer. David asks how many car a pop star has to have. Per says 11-12 maybe. Haha. David asks if Gabriel can borrow the cars. Per says he can use whichever car he wants, but he didn’t drive any of them yet. David realizes Gabriel lives his own life. Per says he has his own scary old BMW. David asks about the customized registration numbers. Per says all his cars have it customized. They show the LALALA and David thinks it’s from a song, but Per explains it’s a LaFerrari, so he thought it’s fun. David says it’s car humor then.
In the last part of the show David asks Mr. G how much he cares about how he looks on stage. Per says he is doing his best, but on stage he has quite limited possibilities, because he is sweating as he is moving a lot on stage. So he can’t have lots of clothes on. It’s always a shirt, trousers and sneakers. David asks if Per is vain. Per says his wife says so. David asks if Per gets angry when he hears that from Åsa and tells her ”leave me alone, I don’t care at all”. Per says she thinks he is in the way in front of the mirror. David asks if Åsa is right. Per says she is.
David asks Per about hairdos and mentions he heard that Per cut the hair of Barbie dolls in the past. Per says he had a little doll collection when he grew up and he styled their hair. If the hairdo wasn’t good, he just cut the hair off. David hopes Per doesn’t do the same with his wife’s hair. Mr. G confirms he doesn’t. Both Carina and Per changed their hairstyles a lot of times in the past and here comes a test. David shows pictures from different eras and they have to find out which year it is. A picture of Per is shown from 1993, another from 1987, a third from 1991. Per can guess the years right and he wins the contest.
The show ends with Per and John Holm performing Det är vi tillsammans together with the band (Malin-My Wall, Christoffer Lundquist, Ola Gustafsson, Martin Höper) and a children choir. Yet another beautiful live performance of the song, which is sadly cut before it ends, in the middle of the children choir part.
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!
Dressed For Success
How Do You Do!
Fading Like A Flower
Wish I Could Fly
It Must Have Been Love
Then christening itself on the stage.
Things Will Never Be The Same
Crash! Boom! Bang!
She’s Got Nothing On (But the Radio)
Run To You
Spending My Time
The Big L.
Listen To Your Heart
* 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.
As we already wrote about it in March, a film about Badrock (“Filmen om Badrock”), where Marie Fredriksson and Per Gessle performed as Roxette for the first time, premiered in Swedish cinemas on 7th March. From a March TV4 interview with Björn Skifs (who is behind the whole Badrock idea) it turned out that it would be worth watching by Roxers, because besides Badrock concert material from the ’80s in Borgholm and backstage moments where we can see Marie, Per, Roxette, we even get to see Marie looking back at those times and hear her talking about her experiences.
Now the film had its TV broadcast premiere on 3rd June on TV4 (can be watched in Sweden only). Better said, a TV cut of it, because the original movie is 1 hour 55 minutes long, the TV cut is 66 minutes only. So a lot is left out and this way there might be even more Marie and Per and Roxette in it. Let’s hope the movie is out on DVD in the near future and we get to see the whole thing.
The TV cut contains footage from the past 30 years (Badrock history: 1986-1992; 2016), on-stage moments, backstage moments, rehearsals, how the concerts were recorded from the air, the royal family’s visits at the shows, as well as interviews with several artists, Marie among them. Interviews are with Björn Skifs, Anne-Lie Rydé, Marie Fredriksson, Pernilla Skifs, Anders Berglund, Nina Söderquist, Tommy Nilson, Leif Larsson, Lena Philipsson, Lisa Nilsson, Sharon Dyall, Marie Bergman, Peter Milefors, Mats Ronander.
Marie says Badrock was huge and there were a lot of good artists and the weather was incredibly warm. She says she is happy she could work together with Anders Berglund, it was easy to work with him.
Per in a short 1987 Öland Radio interview says Badrock is fun and playing tennis with Peter Milefors is cool. Mr. G says he and Marie created a group called Roxette and they would first perform at Badrock. Then there is a Marie interview cut again and she says, ”Like Lovers Do” at the beginning was a big song for Roxette and she was incredibly nervous to perform it. Everything was so new, but it was an awesome experience.
Sharon Dyall says when she was singing together with Marie and Sanne Salomonsen, it was real girl power. Marie says they had a powerful song (”Girls”) and she always thought that Sanne sang so damn good and she was wondering how the hell she could join in, but in the end it turned out to be really good and they had so much fun. Those times were really amazing.
It’s great to see Borgholm then and today, so beautiful. It will be a pleasure to see Per playing there this summer, but also sad to think about the fact that Roxette AND all the fans missed the chance to have a concert and see Roxette playing there in 2015. Would have been an out of the world experience both for the band and Roxers for sure. And of course, we still don’t give up hoping for the complete 1989 Roxette gig in Borgholm to be released one day.
Surprise of the year is that a new jazz song will be released by Marie Fredriksson on her birthday, 30th May. It’s released on Amigo, a division of Cosmos Music under exclusive license from Amelia Music AB. The song is 4 m 31 s long and the title is ”Alone Again”. It’s featuring Max Schultz and Magnus Lindgren. Marie already worked together with these 2 musicians in the past. Max Schultz played guitar on Marie’s recordings and the latest cooperation with Magnus Lindgren was the song ”On A Sunday” on Magnus’s album ”Souls” in 2013.
Marie mentioned it earlier that she would love to make a jazz album. Let’s hope there is more to come! So exciting!
In yesterday’s issue of Aftonbladet Söndag magazine there is a Per Gessle interview on 6 pages, including some killer shots of Mr. G. The interview is done by Monika Israelsson, the photos are taken by Maria Östlin.
Nashville, autumn 2016
This time Per Gessle ended up in Nashville, Tennessee, in T-shirt weather in October. Per tells Monika that if he needed a harmonica in an odd key, he would have just walked five minutes to find one in Nashville. Mr. G brought his closest gang with him and a bunch of demos. Per says he thought they should record acoustic sketches only and then bring in local musicians and see what they bring. He asked the owner of the studio if they could take a pedal steel guy and Dan Dugmore got there, an old hero. He was so good. The result is two albums, first out ”En vacker natt”. Strings and steel guitar provide a classic country sound, yet the white sand dunes and an empty beach appear (referring to Halmstad). On the album cover there is a girl in a headscarf, singing at the sea in winter.
Stockholm, April 2017
The photos were taken in Ölandsgatan in Södermalm, Stockholm. At one moment, when a car was getting closer, the stylist shouted at Per and the photographer to beware, but they weren’t stressed. It turned out the car didn’t want to hit them, just stop by and ask Per how Marie is. Per walks to the car, leans down and says she’s just fine. They chat a bit, then the car is leaving. Per looks happy and is joking there was no selfie asked. Though it happened yesterday. And the day before yesterday. Since Per was at Skavlan a few weeks ago and said that he “gets depressed if no one wants to take a selfie”, there are even more requests.
They walk back to the record company’s office and there Per says his existence basically depends on what people think about the things he does. The new albums are not mainstream radio compatible. Per says to Monika that when you are used to meeting the public, you will be disappointed if you don’t get the cheering. At a concert he then thinks: “Why don’t people scream like they do usually?”. But if they scream extra much, you feel “calm down, you all”. Haha. He says one is analyzing things to death.
Per keeps his private life safe and people don’t know much about him. This is how he wants it. He says he won’t ever be on Parneviks (Swedish show that features golfer Jesper Parnevik and his family as they welcome celebrity guests to stay at their mansion in Florida for a few days) or on Så mycket bättre (Swedish reality TV show in which each artist attempts to do their own version of another artist’s well-known songs, with each person getting an episode featuring all of their songs being performed by the other musicians). He doesn’t know what he could win with it. He is very pleased that ”Tycker om när du tar på mig” means something for people, but he or his life doesn’t need to mean anything to anyone. He doesn’t feel the need to show his home or his cars or where he buys bananas. Åsa and Gabriel are the same when it comes to such things.
Regarding himself being a small town guy, Per tells Monika that there is a difference in growing up in a big city and a small town, and there was even greater difference in the ‘60s and ‘70s. That small town mentality has colored him so much that it lies in his personality. He grew up in Furet district of Halmstad with his mother who was a teacher in porcelain painting and his father who was a plumber. He was a trailing child and a loner. He was more into lonely stuff, like painting and drawing. He always felt more like an outsider. His brother introduced him to rock music: The Beatles, The Kinks, Joni Mitchell, Leonard Cohen, who became a direct channel to another world, much more exciting than Furet.
Per tells Aftonbladet Söndag that he went to a tough high school. There were a lot of drugs, a gang that broke the seats in the bus. Being good at school was the worst thing one could do. His dad drove him to school because he didn’t want to take the bus.
He started to play in a band with Mats MP Persson. Per asks Gabriel if he knows what one misses when he doesn’t play in a band. There you have your friends and you can play together the same song and that sounds damn good. That thing is sensational. It brought him a kind of gratitude. He and MP started as a punk band that sounded terrible and developed into Gyllene Tider. Per was purposeful and he covered Halmstad with leaflets and sent cassette tapes to record companies. They succeeded when EMI offered a contract and they recorded their first album in 1979.
The early Swedish texts are like a highway into a teenager’s head and body. Over the years, the songs have become more thoughtful, but still they take off in everyday happenings, often including sadness. A fishing trip, a rainy morning on the beach, an old love on the bus. Per says he usually tries to keep a fairly high minimum level of texts. Sometimes a song is so contagious that the text doesn’t play an equal role in the context. But when the music is more naked and crisp, the lyrics become important.
Monika asks Per if he can really put himself in the lives of ordinary people, with his luxury cars and private jet. Per says he doesn’t write about townhouse life or a night on the subway. He thinks that just because you tell a story, it doesn’t mean it’s true. If that means something to someone, he has succeeded. Then whether he has experienced it or not, it’s quite uninteresting.
To the question why he doesn’t write sorely or about politics Per replies he doesn’t think he has had any political substance to come up with. Besides that, he doesn’t think it would be interesting enough. He is more towards the dreamy stuff. He thinks all people are political in some way when in a society. Mr. G thinks it’s unacceptable not to vote, it’s a democratic right so it’s better to vote for anything in that case. But he doesn’t really know how to use it.
Monika asks Per about his musical self-esteem. Per sayst it started at minus 100, he thought he sang damn badly. He started singing in Gyllene Tider because no one else would. Now he has learned that this damn voice is an asset. Everything that stands out is good.
Per thinks of himself as a kind of director. He always choose to work with people who are much better than himself. That can help him to pursue any kind of vision he has. He knows something will be fine, but he doesn’t know how to get there. He has always thought Marie Fredriksson is the best in the studio when Per is there. Mr. G means he thinks he makes Marie take one more step.
Per met his wife, Åsa in the mid ‘80s. The early years were significant in their relationship. Gyllene Tider’s English album and Per’s second solo album flopped. When looking at Roxette and his actual life, it’s easy to think that it has always been so. But it has not. He was a ”has-been” when he was 24 and it was damn hard for him. He lived on Åsa’s salary from Vingresor and had no real master plan. When Roxette had its break-through, it was evident that Åsa, with her professional background took care of the gang’s trips. This way Per and Åsa didn’t spend much time apart, despite long tours around the world. She often documented with a cam. The films became raw material for the Jonas Åkerlund documentary, Roxette Diaries (2015).
Per’s voice is shining when he talks about the ‘90s, the years when Roxette had several songs on the Billboard charts in the US for 4 years in a row. Per remembers playing Joyride for 200 radio directors in the US. It wasn’t even released, but they came to them to congratulate on their next “number one”. If you’re lucky, you have this success once in your life. Back then Roxette was exactly what America wanted. Nevertheless, they were never completely in the heat. The US record company wanted them to move to the United States and they would replace musicians in the band. But Per and Marie said no. Per says it’s one of the things he is most proud of, that they kept their gang. They created the Roxette sound together.
When Per is listening to old songs today he can be knocked out. Marie’s voice is amazing, Per says he can feel “damn how good she sings”. He smiles and says back then he didn’t sense it, it was more like “sing better!”.
Monika and Per talk about the times when Marie got ill and that Mr. G among others thought it was the end of Roxette. He started to work with Gyllene Tider and did solo projects. Then in 2009 Marie and Micke came to Amsterdam and Per asked Marie to come up on stage to sing Listen To Your Heart. He thought people would die for it. Marie didn’t want to, but Per knew she wanted, so it took like 15 minutes to convince her and she said OK, let’s try it.
Per is grateful for the Roxette tours and albums during the past years, saying he felt something of a “brotherhood responsibility”. Today they talk regularly.
There is a deep melancholy in the music on Per’s new album. In recent years, Per has first lost his mother and then his brother and sister, who both passed away in cancer. Mr. G says when people die around you, you grow older sooner. There is a thoughtfulness and one is thinking more about everything. He says he has to stop himself so that he doesn’t only write about what has been, but about what is and the future too. When his sister died, her son found a box of old diapositives from 1966. It is Gunilla who stands by the ice and sings. Per has selected some of the pictures for the albums. It felt like they fit the record.
Per’s replies to special questions:
5x the last time I…
… cooked: ”Scrambled eggs. I’m miserable in the kitchen.”
… bought something extremely expensive: ”A dulcimer, a string instrument. Pretty expensive but very fine.”
… loughed out loud: ”Quite a lot of times last week, when I was watching Dag, the TV series.”
… felt ashamed: ”I’ve stopped doing that. No, in fact, I feel ashamed just now about this answer of mine.”
… took a selfie with someone: ” Yesterday in a car shop. Then you just have to be in for it!”
3x the coolest cars in the world:
Ferrari Dino: ”Cars don’t have to be practical. And they don’t have to drive at 350 km/h, because you never drive that fast anyway. However, it’s important that they are beautiful.”
Mini Cooper: ”Classic, the one Austin Powers drives.”
Rolly-Royce Corniche: ”So incredibly beautiful car. This is the one of these 3 I don’t own.”
3x people about Per:
Marie Dimberg, manager: ”Per, like most other artists, is hard-working, creative, target-oriented and focused. What distinguishes him is his amazing songwriting that gave him three careers: Gyllene Tider, solo and Roxette. I don’t think there is a big difference between the private and public Per. He is immensely positive and thinks fast both inside and outside the job. And he is just as bad at keeping the time in both cases…”
Marie Fredriksson, artist: ”Per is extremely creative, focused, positive and cheering in the studio. This is how he is as a person. We’ve had so much fun together through all the years. We had a lovely dinner together just the other day. There were many memories that came up and it’s obviously nice with such a long friendship that it continues even outside the stage and the studio.”
Mats MP Persson, band member in Gyllene Tider: ”My first impression of Per was that he was a real artist, translating Leonard Cohen’s and David Bowie’s lyrics into Swedish, and he had a tape recorder with microphones that could be used to play and record. He also had great visions. I thought it was really exciting and once we started doing covers with Per’s translated lyrics, for example, Doctor Feelgood. We did everything on our own and called us Graperock, if I remember right…”
3x this is how I wrote the song:
(Dansar inte lika bra som) Sjömän (Gyllene Tider, 1980): ”One summer I was weighing mushrooms. There were over three hundred girls and two guys. When we had nothing to weigh, we sat in our Ford Transit, where I wrote the text and then we made a song of it in the evening. Just because I could. In a way it was like solving crosswords.”
Allt gick så fort (En vacker natt, 2017): ”This song wrote itself. I was in France on a beach, a woman was picked from the water. I don’t know what happened to her afterwards. It became a catalyst for the fact that life goes fast.”
Neverending Love (Pearls of passion, 1986): ”I wrote a song for Pernilla Wahlgren, Svarta glas. Then I accidentally heard that her brother Niclas had recorded it and that was not the idea. I made an English text instead and recorded it with Marie.”
There are captions next to the photos in the article including Per’s thoughts on Roxette was the second pop group ever to play in Beijing. The concert in 1995 was met by both criticism and praise. When they played It Must Have Been Love, there was a banner in the audience saying ‘one world one unity’. One felt they became their longing for a Western life. The whole band went out and cried afterwards.
Another caption says that despite his worldwide success, Per Gessle remains a small town guy. He has never left Halmstad. By many, he is still perceived to be private – and that’s exactly how he wants it.
In a third caption it’s written that Gyllene Tider’s first hit wasn’t obvious. Per says they were told that the first single must have a certain pace to make it disco comaptible. But just then Frank Zappa happened to have a hit with Bobby Brown and that was very slow. So some discos in Stockholm started playing Flickorna på TV2, which had the same pace. Slowly but surely people began to recognize it. An organic hit, that’s the best kind.
The article closes with Monika’s thoughts that among the memories flowing from Per, names, places, anecdotes, she can’t find the right moment to ask why Per makes new records and gets out on exhausting tours when he has millions on his bank account. But eventually it becomes irrelevant. It is clear that Per Gessle lives and breathes music.
As we could already read it in press releases, a film about Badrock (“Filmen om Badrock”), where Marie Fredriksson and Per Gessle performed as Roxette for the first time, will premiere in Swedish cinemas on 7th March. So far we didn’t know what exactly the film would contain, but this morning TV4 had an interview with Björn Skifs (he is behind the whole Badrock idea) and they showed some parts. AND… AND… AND… besides Badrock concert material from the ’80s in Borgholm and backstage moments where we can see Marie, Per, Roxette, we get to see Marie looking back at those times and hear her talking about her experiences. How absolutely fantastic is that!
In the TV4 cut you can hear Per on Öland Radio in 1987 saying he and Marie created a group called Roxette and they would first perform at Badrock. Then you see Marie talking, as natural as only she can be, in her stylish black leather jacket. She says, ”Like Lovers Do” at the beginning was a big song for Roxette and she was incredibly nervous to perform it. Everything was so new, but it was an awesome experience.
HERE you can watch a video where you can see Marie with your own eyes. Watch it mainly from 3:07. 😉
Let’s see if the film is out later on DVD as well or if it will be broadcast on TV. And if it contains much more than what we could see in this short video. Would be cool!
Thank you, Carola Lindberg for watching the TV this morning and that you let us know about it!
2016 was a sad year for music fans, many “big ones” left us, artists like David Bowie, Leonard Cohen or Prince that influenced Marie and Per in a way or another.
It hasn’t been a perfect year for the Rox-world either. Roxette officially started in 1986 with the release of Neverending Love and they were celebrating these 30 years together with an amazing tour that had started in 2014 and took them all around the globe – once again and for the second time since Marie’s came back on stage (with Roxette) in 2009. They were about to embark on the last leg of the tour and meet the audience in Europe once again when the bad news came: touring if over for Roxette. News that we all somehow expected one way or another, but it hurt when it eventually happened.
And I won’t deny it, I think I still haven’t gotten over it and finally understood that there is no more Roxette live anymore. There will be Per performing Roxette songs, as it was already in 2009, but it will simply not be the same. It’s nothing against Per, I loved the 2009 shows and I will surely love the upcoming tour. It’s just not the same without Marie. Roxette are two great friends making magic together and there is nothing that can replace that.
But not everything were bad news. And since I like to concentrate on the positive, here is a summary of what happened in 2016 (hope I didn’t forget any highlight) and what we can expect in 2017 (that we already know of):
Roxette visited South Africa early 2016 and gave five concerts there, including two sold out ones and new plectrums that you can find on the PLECtionary.
The RoXXXette on the road tour photo book was released in June. It even came with a special edition for Roxers, limited to 300 copies, numbered, signed by Per – all packed in a nice box. We are collecting pictures of all of them here, so if yours is still not featured, send it in!
Roxette released an amazing new album in June: Good Karma. Three singles have been released so far off this album. Roxette also recorded a very nice video for the first single “It Just Happens” and asked fans to participate to make the “Why Don’t You Bring Me Flowers” video, probably inspired by Jakub and Dawid who recorded a funny fan video for “Some Other Summer”.
Per launched a new record label, Space Station 12, together with Marie Dimberg.
We also interviewed Per a couple of times, regarding Good Karma and SS12.
Marie’s book was published in German with an additional chapter for this version where she tells she is fine and working on the issues with her leg. We wish her all the best!!
Following the announcement we gathered thank-you messages for Marie. Kirsten also organised a surprise for Marie’s birthday, with the participation of tons of fans it was possible to send her bunches of roses. Marie responded with this video on her Facebook page <3.
In the background many things have happened to the website, we have had some hiccups with the server but nothing that couldn’t be solved. I had to postpone the project to redesign/update the website due to an accident but … let’s see what 2017 will bring 🙂
2017 so far…
More or less out of the blue but somehow expected, Per announced a new album and tour for 2017. The album is planned for Spring, the tour will be (for now?) in Sweden and will start on July 6th in Helsingborg, check the tour dates here
A DVD-box containing Roxette live recordings will be released this year. In connection to this, fans got busy and creative already on January 2nd as you can see on this article.
Sounds exciting huh? As always, thanks for reading and participating! See you on the road latest in summer.
As already announced back in May, Marie’s biography is about to be released in German in Germany, Austria and Switzerland by Edel Germany. The final release date has now been set to November 21st (the book can already be found in some stores in Germany though).
The biography “Listen to my heart: Meine Liebe zum Leben” has been translated by Ulrike Brauns and is 256 pages long. You can preview the first pages of the book (in German) here. A digital version is also available.
Fans can look forward to the biography as it was in Swedish plus a new chapter written in summer 2016 after Roxette decided to stop touring (Kirsten posted a translation of the chapter on our FB page) as well as new/different pictures that were not included in the Swedish version.
You can (pre)order the book on the following stores (many more available) or just walk down to the next book store and get it there on Monday.
Exactly 150 days have passed since Roxette cancelled their summer tour 2016 and in the same second ended their career as a touring band. 150 days until September 15th, a day that means a lot to many people.
I wasn’t even aware of the date until I read about it this morning on Facebook. I don’t really connect it to Marie’s illness. Yes, it was the day they let us know about it, it was a Sunday, never will be forgotten. But she knew before and everything happened before this day (in my world), so it’s not really a day of significance to me. Maybe September 11th, maybe not.
However, 150 days have passed since finally happened what was supposed to happen. We all knew it would happen, and many of us were actually waiting for it, not being able to see Marie struggle on stage any longer. It was a relief, it was a disappointment. It was the saddest moment in the history of Roxette for many fans, it was yet a step that made many of us just sit and nod silently in understanding and sympathy.
Now, 150 days later, finally the feeling of finality got to me. I woke up two days ago and missed Marie badly. I did before in these 150 days, but this was different. I thought of her, the many concerts I was able to join, her smiles, her voice, her moves, and suddenly I realized we will never have this again. Never.
I thought of this before, but I never felt it and now the feeling got to my heart and I couldn’t breathe for a moment. How silly, really! She’s not dead, I thought. Get over it! You have your own life to live. But still, she was and still is a part of my life. For 25 years and for the rest of my life. She is part of my system.
It feels like she was kind of a battery that never ran low, she always provided strength and gave me energy to move on, even in the darkest hours of my life and even in the darkest hours of HER life. She never failed to do that and suddenly it feels like someone unplugged me from this battery. There is no more energy to come from this source; the source I got used to so much during all those years. I wondered why it felt like this, we had times of no messages, photos and concerts before. I remember seeing her now and then in the Swedish newspapers when she attended a concert or something else: even when she was ill.
But this is different for a significant reason: We had the best six years of our fan life. We saw Phoenix rising again, we saw her getting stronger and better again every night, we certainly helped her doing it, we connected with our favourite band in a very new and very special way. Somehow it felt like we finally became a family, as strange as it sounds. We became a family until the day we didn’t. The day we realized we didn’t – because not even family couldn’t prevent April 18th from happening. And while I was so disappointed that fate didn’t let them at least end their 2016 tour, now it’s about feelings. Här kommer alla känslorna på en och samma gång. Yes.
And even when she struggled so much last year with all the travelling – she still sent her waves of love, power, strength to the world and reached thousands of people. Yes, I miss her. I hope she is doing fine, enjoying the quiet and good life she of all deserves the most. Sitting on a table in the sun with her red roses and her beloved ones. That’s maybe all we can wish for.
We still hope for a life sign now and then. A photo, a video, a message. Don’t we? No, she doesn’t owe us anything. But you won’t deny your joy when we got that lovely little video 108 days ago, will you?
And while I am still trying to get over all of this, I hope that she thinks of us now and then with a loving smile on her face. We certainly do.
If you feel up to, send us your best meeting story or photo with Marie and let’s celebrate this special kind of love. The photo you see in the article has been taken in Amsterdam 2011. Marie came out and was in a great mood. She hugged almost everyone who stood there and it felt like she was very happy to see us. We gave her roses, talked to her and enjoyed every second, so did she. Gaby was quick enough to take this photo when she hugged me.
Another fab interview popped up in Elisabeth Elle Sandberg’s archives. Some weeks ago she shared an interview she did with Per Gessle in 1985 and now it’s Marie’s turn. Elisabeth did an interview with her in 1984, probably on 15th May, just some days before Marie’s 26th birthday. How awesome it is! Thanks a lot again, Elisabeth for sharing such gems with the world!
The interview starts with the intro telling that Marie Fredriksson has recently released her single ”Ännu doftar kärlek”. It is a ballad that Marie has written together with Lasse Lindbom. On the back side there is a song written by Per Gessle, ”Tag detta hjärta”. What happens in the future will depend very much on how the single is received. The upcoming LP is released when it feels timely, possibly in August.
Marie tells Elisabeth that it was planned that the LP would be released this spring. They wanted to wait a bit, so they had time to write some more material. She says she will go to the studio again in June and record 3-4 songs that they have written now. Possibly they release another single in summer and it depends on how it goes with it. She will probably record a video and it will be very exciting.
Marie also talks about the fact that most of the material on the LP she wrote together with Lasse, but there are also some songs that she herself has written both music and lyrics to. Martin Sternhufvud also made a song that will be included on the LP which is damn good and Marie is very proud of. Per wrote a song that is the B-side of the single. Marie also worked together with Björn Holmgren, who is a director in Halmstad. He is very good at writing and has written some children’s plays. On the LP there is a song he wrote the text to and Marie wrote the music.
Miss Fredriksson tells Elisabeth that she is happy that Lasse and she have been able to write so well together. They didn’t know it, just tested it for fun and it worked damn well. Everything is exactly as Marie imagined, but she says they have to see if it sells. You’ve done what you could, you’re only human. But if people don’t want to buy it, you have to do something new. Marie thinks the mmost important is that she is satisfied and she 100% is.
Elisabeth asks Marie if she can make a living on music. Marie says it’s OK. She was on tour with Gyllene Tider and she got paid. She managed to have her apartment in Halmstad. Later in the summer she will tour with Lasse Lindbom Band. She will be there as a guest, just as she was on the Gyllene Tider tour. In autumn, when her LP is released, she will go on tour and will go with Lasse and they will have the same band. Marie says they should not work as Dan Hylander and Py Bäckman, but Lasse does his songs and Marie hers. There will be two performances, so the audience get double value for their money. Then they do the end together. After that she decided to go on a bigger tour. It will be her first thing, which she is in charge of. The musicians will be Pelle Andersson and Pelle Sirén from the X-models. They are not known, but very talented. Probably Janne Bark as well, but it is not decided yet. Even Backa Hans (Eriksson, Elisabeth’s comment) who have played with Lundell and perhaps Göran Fritzson from Gyllene Tider. It’s a great mix that feels very fresh, and there are some new people.
Elisabeth asks about the band Marie played with last summer. Marie says unfortunately she doesn’t play with them now, but it was fun and they are thinking about doing some gigs together this summer, maybe in August. They have some contacts in Kungsbacka and Falkenberg, who would like them to come back. But with them she does only covers, no own songs.
Elisabeth is curious about how it feels to be on tour with Gyllene Tider. Marie says she had a blast and it was really fantastic. It was very fruitful for her. This spring she learned a lot about stage experience and how to talk to the crowd. She performed one song as a guest. They were on tour for 5 weeks and they became like family, so it was sad when the tour ended. And it’s not only the band, because Gyllene Tider you meet every now and then as they also live in Halmstad, but also the crew who take care of everything from sound to lights, they won’t see each other for a long time.
Marie is asked what she thinks about Swedish female rock singers? For example, Py Bäckman and Anne-Lie Rydé. According to Ms Fredriksson, Anne-Lie Rydé is really good. Py Bäckman is a wonderful text and music writer. Her latest LP is very good. She has also written a text for Marie and she is now making music to it. Marie says she saw Anne-Lie Rydé when she was in town last time. She is very good on stage. But Marie likes Py Bäckman’s depth. Elisabeth asks about Efva Attling and Eva Dahlgren and Marie replies that she liked Eva Dahlgren’s latest LP ”För väntan”. Marie thinks Efva Attling is very professional on stage. Marie says if she goes to a concert or is listening to an album, then she wants to feel something.
Talking about Swedish male singers Marie says Mikael Rickfors is very good. He sings very well and writes good songs. Marie thinks that Mikael Rickfors and Lasse Lindbom are the best male singers in Sweden. She listens closely to the voice and the feeling in it.
Elisabeth asks Marie if she remembers her first gig. She does and it was very interesting. No one has ever asked it so far. Marie’s first performance was horrible. She was 7 years old and was singing for many people. There was her mom and a lot of old ladies. It was kind of a celebration, some sew meeting. “Oh, then little Marie could sing”. She was singing Rönnerdahl. She was standing there in a nice dress. She did not look at the audience, but at the floor all the time while she was singing, so the ladies didn’t hear a damn thing of what she sang. She was so nervous and afterwards she started crying, came home and was completely broken.
After that, Marie was singing in a lot of children and youth choirs while she went to school. She often sang in churches. Then she went to learn music program at a college for two years, where they sang a lot. Then she started singing jazz. Marie will never forget the first time she sang to a thousand people. It was with Strul, which was the support act to Eldkvarn. It was the first time they had a really big audience. Earlier they had crowds of 400-500 people. When they walked up on stage, everyone cheered when they started to play. It’s probably the best memory she has of Strul. Then there was an occasion when they played for 450 people with several other bands at Kattegattskolan. They played last and it went so well they got to do more than one encore. Marie thinks it was in 1977. These are wonderful memories and Marie is grateful.
Marie ends the interview with saying one shouldn’t be giddy with success. You must be able to be with ordinary people, otherwise you can’t write. If she becomes a diva, it won’t work. Then she couldn’t write. You must live the everyday life to get inspiration for new songs. Marie thinks that one person is not worth more than others just because she made an album. She thinks it’s important to think this way. You should be just like you were before.
It’s almost a year now since we reported that a song by Marie Fredriksson was supposed to be featured on the Swedish movie “Krigarnas Ö” by Emil Jonsvik (who directed Marie Fredriksson’s video “Sista Sommarens Vals“). The movie is out in Sweden since May and now it was time to ask Emil about the song and the movie again since we weren’t able to watch it until now and haven’t read anything about Marie’s song anywhere yet.
The demo version of “Kom vila hos mig” is what you can hear in the credits of the movie. Emil wrote us why he chose it:
“It’s a naked beautiful song of Marie Fredriksson and the tune written of Mikael Bolyos and it makes everyhing come together. I’m always happy to work with so genius musicians as Marie and Mikael.”
So, technically, when the movie was being shot, the song was still new. Right now, Emil is trying to make the movie available worldwide. Until now you can purchase the movie in Scandinavia only:
The film is right now released with the big company SF, SF anytime in Sweden, Norway and Denmark. (Se it on SF anytime, Telia, comhem, Xbox 360 app, bredbandsbolaget …) We hope to plan a world wide release later this year.
Roxette’s tour photo book we’ve been looking very much forward to is now already listed at Bokus and Adlibris. It will surely be available at other distributors as well, hopefully worldwide. So eXXXciting! Release date is 16th June.
The title is RoXXXette On The Road. According to Bokus and Adlibris, the book consists of 320 pages and it’s in English. It’s full of wonderful pics taken by master photographer Anders Roos on Roxette’s XXX tour and it also includes 41 reflections by our very own Per Gessle. The cover shows a photo of Marie and Per performing in front of a beautiful crowd on the steps at the Sydney Opera House in February 2015.
This is what Per said about the tour book project back then:
XXX ROXETTE WORLD TOUR BOOK info:
Yep, the plan is to have Anders Roos onboard in the studio, in green rooms, backstage, on stage, on trains, planes and in fast lanes just to document the real vibe around the Dynamic Duo and our fab entourage. Which we consider you to be part of!!!
Anders, as you might know, took the pix in the Gyllene Tider-book 2013. He’s a very nice guy, don’t be shy if you’ll spot him with his camera in the alleyways next to your seat! He might take your picture!
This is what the description of the book says, found on Bokus and Adlibris [translated from Swedish by PP]:
New exclusive photo book
”RoXXXette On The Road”
In the spring of 1986 a small hobby band was formed by two friends who had talked long enough about doing something together alongside their ordinary careers in Sweden.
30 years later, we follow the same band’s anniversary tour in the book “RoXXXette On The Road”, where Roxette’s songwriter engine Per Gessle adds his own reflections, flashbacks and anecdotes while photographer Anders Roos’s snapshots capture a global and apparently indestructible Swedish music phenomenon on tour.
The result is a unique opportunity to follow the group in the front row during their 30th anniversary celebration along with tens of thousands of fans night after night, both in Europe and on the other side of the globe.
The contrast to how it once started could hardly be greater. When Marie Fredriksson and Per Gessle recorded their debut single “Neverending Love” under the name Roxette, they had certainly set their sights on trying to reach out internationally, but in practice, they knew that the chances were slim.
Roxette started at a time when Swedish pop music rarely managed to get outside Scandinavia, with Abba as the biggest exception to the rule. At best, they might reach out to the Scandinavian countries and Germany, but hardly to trendsetting pop countries as England and the United States.
Music without borders
But Roxette became at least as big exception to the rule. With their global breakthrough in 1989, with their unprecedented success, the group registered themselves both in Swedish and international music history, while also paving the way for what in the ‘90s was called “the Swedish music miracle”.
But despite all the talented artists and songwriters who have come from Sweden since then, no one has managed to repeat Roxette’s success, especially considering that the band both on stage and records have managed to touch several generations all over the world with their music. It is simply because Roxette’s greatest songs – and here we are talking about more than 30 hits – know no borders.
Or as Per Gessle writes in the book:
“Roxette has always been a live band. I feel quite safe and psyched in the studio, but Marie is definitely born to be on stage. During our first recordings, I was always surprised when she agreed to do a second or third recording of the song. She preferred to put in all at once, as if she was on stage. Her vocals to “Dressed For Success” were basically recorded directly during one utterly brilliant recording. Like “Soul Deep”. And “Cry.” The list goes on and on.”
Join the trip
With nearly 300 images on as many pages “RoXXXette on the road” takes the reader on a tour to Australia, where Roxette among other places performed with the mighty Sydney Opera House as their background.
We get backstage passes that take us all the way from inside the airplane, into the dressing rooms during the preparations before the concerts and to the very front of the edge of the stage where the musicians are pumping out songs like “The Look”, “Listen To Your Heart”, “It Must Have Been Love” and “Joyride” in front of an ecstatic crowd.
Furthermore, we get unique insights from the recordings of Roxette’s tenth studio album, “Good Karma” in the isolated studio, “Aerosol Grey Machine” in Österlen, Skåne.
In short, “RoXXXette on the road” is the backstage pass you always wanted to have, either you belong to the global gang of dedicated “roxers” who follow the group around the world or just curious about how daily life might look for a band that 30 years ago decided to see how far they could get. Part of the answer is here.