Micke Syd Andersson on Made in Halmstad

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

An evening for Marie Fredriksson

Gothenburg, Sweden, 20th January 2020. Stora Teatern. I don’t know how many times I was walking past this theatre over the years whenever I was in Gothenburg. Since I’m a fan of theatres, I sometimes checked the schedule outside on the wall to see what plays they have to offer. I never thought that it would be a totally different event when I once sit in the audience in that building. At a concert. A tribute concert. For Marie Fredriksson.

The event was organized by SVT and it was broadcast a few days later on TV. Now you can watch it HERE.

The theatre has the capacity of appr. 600 people in the audience. After the invitations were sent out, 10 days before the date a couple of remaining tickets went on public sale. The event got sold out very fast.

Rehearsals for the concert started 1 week before it happened and day by day we got to know more and more about what to expect and also who to expect to perform. First it was announced that friends and members of Sweden’s artist elite gather to celebrate Marie’s fantastic music act and the event, En kväll för Marie Fredriksson would feature songs from Marie’s and Roxette’s song catalogue under the direction of Christoffer Lundquist. From the performing artists Per Gessle was among the first ones announced and together with him a list of musicians who collaborated with Marie were also mentioned in articles: Clarence Öfwerman, Jonas Isacsson, Anders Herrlin, Micke Syd Andersson, Pelle Alsing, Dea Norberg and Staffan Astner. A few days before 20th January some more names were revealed: Eva Dahlgren, Lasse Lindbom, Linnea Henriksson, Agnes Carlsson, Petra Marklund, Maja Ivarsson, Helena Josefsson, Anne-Lie Rydé, Sanne Salomonsen and Maja Francis.

While already in Gothenburg the day before the event, we met some of the musicians and they all prepared us for the concert being very emotional. They said they are focusing very much on their playing instead of what is on the screen behind them, old pictures and videos in the background, not to lose it. They were all sad and enthusiastic at the same time. You could see it means a lot to them to be there and do this for Marie. Sad and enthusiastic, heartbroken and excited, I could identify with these mixed feelings so well. On one hand, it’s terrible to see these words in one sentence connected to each other: tribute, event, for Marie. It should have never happened, she should have never left us. Not so early! On the other hand, there were all these great artists, fab musicians all of them to perform in memory of a wonderful person we all love so much.

The band was a mix of Marie’s solo band and Roxette’s bands from several periods. When was the last time you could see Jonas Isacsson and Per Gessle on the same stage, for example? Pelle Alsing and Micke Syd on the drums next to each other. Eva Dahlgren singing her friend’s most beloved song, Sparvöga. Lasse Lindbom performing another big ballad of Marie, Ännu doftar kärlek. So many other wonderful artists and details there.

In the audience there were many well-known faces. Just to mention a few, Mats MP Persson, Magnus Börjeson, Sven Lindström, Göran Fritzon, Thomas Johansson, Kjell Andersson, Lars Nordin, Helena von Zweigbergk. And of course many fans who came not only from Sweden, but Austria, Brazil, Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, Hungary, the Netherlands, Poland, Russia and Spain.

SVT wanted the audience to arrive at 18:00 to make sure they pick up their tickets and find their seats in time to be able to start the recording at 19:00. By the time we got in, the stage was ready, the cameras were set. The theatre is beautiful on the inside. The first 2 rows were taken away because of the cameras and stage setting, so the 3rd row was the 1st. Cameras were all around. In the front, on the stage, above us. We could see Marie Dimberg, Åsa and Gabriel Gessle to arrive to their places on the first balcony level. Åsa kindly waved back to the friends and fans who recognized her.

Before the concert started, a guy from SVT came up on stage and gave some information about how the recordings would work. He said it would be a 1.5-hour-long show on TV and they try to record it altogether, but there would be pauses between the songs to set the stage for the next song. He kindly asked us not to clap before the songs, but of course we were welcome to give an applause to all the fantastic artists after they performed. He was nice enough to tell some words in English too, knowing that there were several international fans.

After some directions for the light and sound technicians, as well as the camera men, the guy disappeared and it all started with Kattis Ahlström (Swedish journalist and TV presenter) coming up on stage, talking about Marie and introducing the gala. They recorded 3 takes of this intro. Kattis told that on 9th December 2019 we lost one of our absolute biggest and most beloved stars. Marie had a unique voice recognized not only in Sweden, but also all around the world. For over 40 years she was singing and writing songs that became part of our lives. No one else could write lyrics that could comfort us and give us hope. She could also describe the meaning of life and melancholy. But she could also laugh, dance, party and rock ’n’ roll. Kattis said there would be Marie’s friends, her musicians and some of Sweden’s best artists on stage. She also said there are many friends, colleagues and fans from around the world in the audience and she promised a very special evening.

Then the concert started. With which song? Tro. How the choir, Solid Gospel appeared on stage, Clarence started playing the keyboards and a young girl, Agnes Sarafian started singing, I lost it already at the beginning and burst out into tears with many others in the audience. It was such a touching version and a very strong start into the show.

The next performer was Linnea Henriksson, a Halmstad-born singer-songwriter whom most fans know from 2013 as she was the support act during the Gyllene Tider tour. She is a popular artist in Sweden and Marie was an inspiration to her. Actually, Marie had an impact on so many people’s lives. No matter if you are an artist or not, if you bumped into her or listened to her music, she never let you forget her. Linnea’s version of Efter stormen sounded great and you could hear she was so touched.

Between the songs there were short videos from Marie’s old interviews, performances, also pictures from the past appeared. The reporter in the docu part said it’s fascinating how some artists become more than their music. Marie was one of those artists who were not just recognized, but you could also look up at her. In an old video Marie says truth is important to her. She can’t hide her feelings. We probably didn’t know Marie Fredriksson. She was very private when she was off stage, but when you went to the concerts or listened to her songs it felt like she is a friend. In another old interview she says her heart is beating for the weak in society. When she was a little girl, she already thought back then that one has to help others. One can’t only think of oneself. It’s a natural feeling to her towards people. It has always been. She says she got letters where people wrote they didn’t feel alone anymore, her songs helped them. Marie sang better than most of the singers, but not only that. It never mattered in which genre she was singing, she could fill the melodies and lyrics with real emotions.

Ett hus vid havet, another beloved Marie ballad was next, performed by three ladies, Helena Josefsson, Dea Norberg and Maja Francis. I couldn’t hold my tears back again, thinking of Marie singing it on her solo tour just 6 years ago. When she made us all smile with her måsarna and båtarna and sang ”och göra som jag vill” with a strong emphasis. Unforgettable. The trio did a fab job, their voices fit together perfectly.

There was a short video interview with Petra Marklund next. She told she discovered Marie, an amazing artist when in their music class they got to perform Tro. The song is still so actual. From that day Marie became a big source of inspiration to her. She feels honoured to be here and sing.

After 3 Marie solo songs it was time for a Roxette power ballad, Listen To Your Heart. Thinking of the fact that we will never ever hear it again from our dear Marie… I know, I know… We already knew we wouldn’t hear it live again from her since 2016, but still. Now it is 100% sure and it breaks one’s heart. Petra Marklund was singing it in her own style, not trying to imitate Marie.

A short video docu part was coming again showing old pics and videos from Strul through Marie’s solo career to Roxette. The reporter said Marie loved to sing and perform on stage, but whenever the mic was changed to an interview microphone, she became shy and cautious. Media was never really her thing. On stage she became a supernova again. It was great to hear Miss Effe’s vocal range in this part.

Sparvöga, one of, if not the most important songs to Marie was definitely one of the biggest highlights during the event. Marie’s long-time friend, Eva Dahlgren singing it in her own style was heart-warming and heart-rending at the same time. Eva wrote on her Instagram that she has probably never cried so much backstage as on this gala. She could barely sing and she was holding Marie’s mic stand so tight. Everything is still unreal to her and will remain so.

Roxette came next. Things Will Never Be The Same was performed by Maja Francis. I’ve never heard about this girl before, but from the short video interview before the song it turned out Maja met Marie appr. 10 years ago when she moved to Stockholm. She was a classmate of Marie’s sister’s son and they were hanging out together. When she turned 20, they were out to eat something and she was asked if she could help Marie’s family out. She became a nanny, an assistant to Marie’s family for a year. They became Maja’s extra family and she always looked at Marie as a rock fairy. Marie taught her that one can be soft and tough at the same time. Maja said it’s tough to sing the song she goes up on stage with. She still hasn’t realized that Marie is gone. She is still here and she will be there when Maja is singing the song. She is everywhere. Maja did a special version of the song and Christoffer Lundquist was also singing on TWNBTS and he also sounded wonderful.

To my surprise, there was an interview with Efva Attling, also very close friend to Marie. This interview was not shown in the theatre, but it was done inside the theatre, probably backstage. It’s a nice addition. Kattis and Efva are standing in front of some of Marie’s paintings. Marie was interested in painting and her first exhibition was of charcoal drawings, then she started using colours. One of the drawings is very special to Efva. She was at a sunglasses fair in Paris when Eva Dahlgren (they are a couple) called her and told she bought a drawing at Marie’s exhibition. Title of the drawing is ”Kära Efva” (Dear Efva) and it of course portrays Efva. Efva tells she met Marie in 1981 when she was doing backing vocals for the Lasse Lindbom Band in Stockholm. She wanted to help Marie a little with her hairdo and make-up. They went to the dressing room and Efva took out scissors. Marie’s hairdresser said she shouldn’t show her eyebrows, but Efva liked them, so she cut Marie’s hair. Back then there was no hair mousse, so they used shaving cream and they created a cool hairdo. When they went out in town, she introduced her to everyone saying here is my new friend. She is from Halmstad and she is a fantastic singer. Marie only said Oh my God. Efva says Marie was so much love and she had such a good sense of humour. They laughed a lot, but they were also fighting sometimes, like real friends do. Efva says family was very important to Marie. She knew exactly when Marie fell in love. Once Marie told her she met Mikael Bolyos on a tour. Efva went on tour with Roxette to the US, that was her present when she turned 40. She went to San Diego, San Francisco and Los Angeles. Micke came to Los Angeles too and then Efva told Marie she will leave the room for them then. Haha. They went to a restaurant and Micke told Marie she should try the scampi. Marie agreed and then Efva knew she was in love, because she never ate seafood. Marie always said she is so thankful for her family. Efva finishes the interview with Marie’s words, ”Thank God for booze, make-up and hydrogen peroxide.”

Right after this there came a video interview with Anne-Lie Rydé who told she met Marie at Atlantis in Stockholm, a late night in 1982. They met in the ladies’ room and while Anne-Lie was looking into the mirror she heard from behind her Marie asking if she is Anne-Lie Rydé. Anne-Lie said yes, it’s her. And Marie introduced herself. Anne-Lie didn’t know what to say, because she was mad at Marie. She had no clue about who she was, but she had stolen a duet song Anne-Lie would have been making together with Lasse Lindbom. They recorded it, everything was done, but then she heard it on the radio and it was Marie singing. Anne-Lie just thought who the hell is Marie Fredriksson. So their first meeting was wonderful. One could never get angry with Marie. They became friends right then. The strongest musical memory is when they were on the Badrock tour in 1988, sitting on a little beach in Borgholm and Roxette was soon to release their next album. They hadn’t break through yet internationally, but they were huge in Sweden. Marie wanted to show Anne-Lie their new single and Anne-Lie thought it was such a good song. It was Dressed For Success. She said it feels good to perform this song here tonight with another fantastic woman on stage.

So the next one was Dressed For Success, performed by Anne-Lie Rydé and Sanne Salomonsen. They are still rocking and with all respect to Sanne, I was really grateful to her, because I could have a rest from all the tears I cried before. Once this recording took place, I found the fun part in the event too. There were 3 takes of this song. Anne-Lie started singing her part with full energy, she was amazing. Then Sanne entered the stage and she forgot the lyrics. Dea tried to help her out, but it took a bit of time until Sanne found her way back. She came to the front rocking, not really caring about the missing words. Actually, here I have to tell again what I already mentioned during the last Roxette tour that Dea is just amazing how she as a backing vocalist feels the vibes of all the artists and makes their performance even better. She immediately helps wherever she can. Her support is wonderful. Always was so supportive towards Marie too. After the first take of DFS, the same SVT guy who talked to us in the beginning came up on stage and told it was so good they would do another take of it. Anne-Lie stood at her place and started again with the same full energy as for the first take. Sanne came up on stage, but this time somehow she couldn’t enter the song at the right spot, so she stopped the recording and asked to start again. The SVT guy came and told they are happy to do a third take. We all laughed when Anne-Lie said she is not 60 anymore. Haha. But who cares, she still rocked it big time and the third take turned out to be fantastic. I was amazed that the typical DFS clapping choreography supported by Micke Syd and Dea in the background worked out so fine too, with the seated audience. And that during the third take was the strongest, so in the end it’s great they had to start it all again 3 times. I think we all needed that.

Marie’s great collaboration with Lasse Lindbom resulted in several wonderful songs. Actually, they wrote 26 songs together. Ännu doftar kärlek is one of them. The lead single of Marie’s debut solo album is one of the most beautiful ballads, still played on weddings all around Sweden for example. Pictures of couples were shown in the background. Couples of all possible combinations. Because love is love. Lasse was there to perform this song. He was moved you could see and hear it. He started it alone, with a guitar in his hand, the band playing and later Linnea Henriksson also appeared to sing the second half together.

The next performer was Maja Ivarsson, Swedish singer and lead vocalist of the indie rock band The Sounds. In the short video interview with her she told about her band’s break-through in the US and that one blonde already did that before and it was Marie Fredriksson. Marie had a big impression on Maja, she always thought Marie is a fantastic singer, she had great stage presence and she is a fantastic songwriter. That they all miss in Sweden these days. She thinks Marie was a very cool chick with attitude on stage. When Maja entered the stage, she went to the mic stand and said it was Marie’s, but now it’s hers. I’ve never heard of her before and this way I never heard her singing, but how she performed Sleeping In My Car, oh wow. She ruled the stage, the mic, the audience. At the end she dropped the mic and it was absolutely cool. A real rocker! After the event I read in articles that it was Per who picked her to perform SIMC. Good choice, I would say.

In a short video before the next song, Dea Norberg and Christoffer Lundquist were talking about being on tour with Roxette and the hundreds of hours they spent backstage with Marie, singing together, warming up for the concerts. Dea says she has always been impressed by Marie’s strength and power. Chris says she impressed many people around her, also the fans. She was so present all the time. The duo performed an energetic version of Om du såg mej nu. Marie wrote this song to her father who died prior to her achieving any success.

There came a docu block again, showing old footage of Marie receiving awards and talking about the ’80s and ’90s, her balancing between Per’s pop hits in English and her more personal Swedish solo albums, the break-through, the 4 US No. 1’s. The energy in a sold-out stadium with a sing-along crowd is one of the most powerful things. Probably that was one of the things that made her come back after years of illness and rehabilitation, to travel around the world with Roxette again. It was the stage where she felt the most at home. And although we probably didn’t really know Marie, it seems she knew the audiences well. In an old interview she says music is what she lives for, it’s her way of conveying what she feels.

Per Gessle. The time has come. And it was the hardest time for all. Per entering the stage, stepping to his place, a mic stand next to him without Marie behind it and an old pic of Marie and Per shown in the background. The saddest moments during the whole event. There was no way to hold the tears back when Per started singing It Must Have Been Love. With only an acoustic guitar played by him and Christoffer accompanying him. The pause after the first chorus also had its depressing effect on me. Then the background changed to dark with lights like stars over there and Agnes Carlsson walked in. The only song I knew from Agnes was Release Me. I never thought she had such an amazing, powerful voice for ballads. She was not trying to imitate Marie at all, but her voice was the closest to Miss Effe’s. I can’t imagine how hard it must have been for her to step into Marie’s place in this song, but she did it with all respect and humility. It was heart-breaking to see Per on stage while Agnes was singing. His facial expressions said it all. And the tears were just falling from my eyes. Another song that reminded me that we won’t ever hear it in the way we loved it the most. Per looking at Marie or putting his hand on Marie’s shoulder before she started singing ”Lay a whisper…”, like they did on all concerts during the past tours. A touch that won’t ever happen again, a voice we won’t ever hear live again, two most beloved people we will never see standing next to each other again. The applause at the end of the song was so loud. It deserved it.

After IMHBL Per stayed on stage, changed the guitar and performed their first US No. 1 hit. The song they broke through with internationally. Helena and Dea also came to the front for The Look. I loved the way they entered, hugging Per, ensuring him he can count on their support. And do I have to mention it was fantastic to have Jonas Isacsson there? THE king of riffs indeed. Amazing! The continuous clapping by the audience, still on during the fake ending… it was overwhelming. Goosebumps! Then Per and Chris playing their guitars like they do on tours, back to back to each other, enjoying the vibes, it was lovely to see them so. Per said thanks to the audience after the song and went off stage while the crowd was still clapping loudly for a longer time.

The planned ending of the concert for the TV broadcast was how it started, with Solid Gospel on stage. We could hear Marie’s original vocals and the choir joined in. They performed a wonderful version of Den bästa dagen. No dry eyes at this point either.

The event should have ended, but then Christoffer told the recording for TV is over, but they thought they would perform an extra song for the crowd. The musicians on stage played it with Roxette on tour, but never at the same time, since they are parts of the band from different eras. He asked Clarence to start it. The extra was Fading Like A Flower and Helena and Dea performed it. Guitar solos were played by Chris, Staffan and Jonas and there was a crowd singalong too. I saw the cameras were still recording it and hoped for it to appear on TV too, if not as part of the broadcast, then maybe as an extra video. Fortunately, it still fit in the schedule, so it’s available for everyone to watch at the very end of the video. It was worth recording and sharing it, because it was a great version.

After the extra song we all got up from our seats in the audience and gave a very well-deserved standing ovation. It lasted for minutes. All in all it was a magical evening, an extremely emotional tribute to our dear Marie Fredriksson. Hats off to all the artists, musicians, the choir, the technicians, the band’s crew, the TV crew, the theatre staff for making it happen and for Christoffer an extra hats-off for the arrangements.

It was hard for all the artists who have always been close to Marie to be there and perform. Some of them I already mentioned above and I have to add Anders Herrlin who was there on stage during the whole concert, playing the bass in the front, being the most visible next to the performers and Christoffer. It must have been tough for him, you could see the emotions on his face all the time. Clarence, Pelle, Micke Syd, Staffan and Jonas were less visible, having their spots a bit further in the back, but their musical addition to the concert showed they were also moved. Seeing them on TV you can sense they had a hard time too. It was probably also tough for those who were maybe not so close to Marie, but had her as an inspiration, to kind of step into her place and sing her songs. For the audience it was difficult too. But as tough as it was, it was so beautiful at the same time. Not wanting to use any clichés, but it really felt like we are one big family. One could feel that huge dose of love spreading on and off stage.

Many asked if Marie’s family was there. I didn’t see them and I’m sure it would have been too much for them in their pain, but whenever they will decide to watch the TV version, I’m sure they will also feel the love and magic we all felt there.

The most emotional songs for me were: Tro, Sparvöga, It Must Have Been Love and Den bästa dagen. Per said in a radio interview the day after the event that it felt like a farewell. It did feel like that indeed. But Marie lives on. In our hearts, ears and minds forever. The most awesome singer on Earth and beyond won’t ever be forgotten.

Setlist

  1. Tro (Solid Gospel)
  2. Efter stormen (Linnea Henriksson)
  3. Ett hus vid havet (Helena Josefsson, Dea Norberg and Maja Francis)
  4. Listen To Your Heart (Petra Marklund)
  5. Sparvöga (Eva Dahlgren)
  6. Things Will Never Be The Same (Maja Francis and Christoffer Lundquist)
  7. Dressed For Success (Anne-Lie Rydé and Sanne Salomonsen)
  8. Ännu doftar kärlek (Lasse Lindbom and Linnea Henriksson)
  9. Sleeping In My Car (Maja Ivarsson)
  10. Om du såg mej nu (Dea Norberg and Christoffer Lundquist)
  11. It Must Have Been Love (Per Gessle and Agnes Carlsson)
  12. The Look (Per Gessle – with Helena Josefsson and Dea Norberg)
  13. Den bästa dagen (Marie Fredriksson and Solid Gospel)

Extra

  1. Fading Like A Flower (Helena Josefsson and Dea Norberg)

 

All pictures in the article are stills from the event broadcast on SVT.

You can watch the video on SVT Play until 23rd July 2020.

Gyllene Tider – avskedsturnén documentary on TV4

During the tour we could already sense there would be a GT40 documentary later because of the filmings at each concert and with more cameras out at Ullevi and in Kalmar. Gyllene Tider – avskedsturnén (Gyllene Tider – the farewell tour) premiered on TV4 on 26th December. The story about a pop band that conquered Sweden. Again. And again. And again… 1979-2019. Unfortunately, as usual, it is available only in Sweden, but here you can read an English translation of it and see some screenshots.

The documentary is of premium quality both recordings and soundwise, as well as in terms of content. There is a lot of footage from the GT40 tour, interviews with the Golden Guys done by the mighty Sven Lindström, footage from the rehearsals before the tour and the studio in France, old interviews, photos and private videos, Pappa and Mamma Syd, as well as Micke Syd’s then girlfriend talking about the old days, Niklas Strömstedt, Lasse Lindbom, Kjell Andersson, Marie Dimberg also talking about Gyllene Tider’s greatness. Grumpy Productions did a fantastic job once again.

The documentary starts with Per telling it was Micke Syd who came up with the idea to finish GT with this latest tour, because with their habit of doing a tour every 6-7-8 years, who knows how they would be next time when they are 67-68 years old.

 

It’s amazing to see cuts from the 1981 Parkliv version of songs and the 2019 tour next to each other. It’s the same energetic band as ever.

Right at the beginning when Per talks on stage about Harplinge and Micke Syd’s mom who had a hairdresser salon, a part of the Mamma Syd interview is cut in where she says when Per was there for the first time, he had a long coat and a hat on. He looked a little special. And she laughs. Sven asks Per about the period when he became a teenager. Mr. G says he was a music and pop nerd. He never thought he could play anything, but he just started writing lyrics or rather poems. MP says when he first heard about Per was in the first grade at high school.

Anders says the first time he met Micke was when they started playing football together. Micke Syd says those who lived in Harplinge went to school in Halmstad. Göran says he asked his music teacher if he knew anyone who played in a band and got the phone number to Anders. He called him and asked what they were up to.

 

Mr. G’s classmate, Peter played the bass in MP’s band. They met more and more times and Per and MP became best friends. Micke and Anders were best friends too, Mamma Syd says. They listened to albums together and went to the record store every day. Anders and Micke decided to get more involved in music and left football. Their trainer told them they would never succeed.

 

Per describes his experience of hearing MP’s band, 4 guys playing at the rehearsal studio in Harplinge as a fantastic noise. He felt he also wanted to play in a band.

Pappa Syd visits the old Tits & Ass studio in Styrdal. Someone else is living there now, but he lets Ingemar in and he shows which room the recording studio was. It has changed a lot, but the the studio window is still there. Per says he spent a lot of time on sending out cassettes to all possible places: local radio, journalists, newspapers, etc. When they recorded their yellow EP, it went out to all record labels. Kjell Andersson (EMI) says when he heard Billy, he got stuck to it, because the singer reminded him of a young John Holm who was his favourite those times. Lasse Lindbom says he and Kjell were running around Stockholm clubs and listened to punk bands and they realized the guys in GT knew what music was about.

Sven asks MP if he would thought when they recorded their first album that they would become one of Sweden’s greatest pop bands. MP says not at all. When they were there in the studio, they were not thinking like this, but there was a supernatural driving force in all of them. They were dreaming with the songs, they rehearsed a lot to become better.

Per says that in January 1979, Kjell from EMI called him. He lived at his mother’s then. Kjell says Per’s mom picked up the phone and said his son was still sleeping, but she could wake him up, it was 12 am after all. Micke Syd says when Kjell called them, it felt like winning the lottery, the Nobel Prize and becoming the father of 4 at the same time. Lasse Lindbom went down to Halmstad to see if they could play. Lasse met Per at motel Hallandia and says Per was quite nervous, he had sweaty hands. Micke says of course they were nervous. Recording an album at a big record label with Lasse Lindbom! Per took Lasse to their studio and when they were there altogether, they became more confident. All other bands who rehearsed there went to see Lasse Lindbom. Pappa Syd says Lasse listened to the guys in the cellar of the old nursing home. Lasse then went back to Stockholm and told Kjell he wasn’t totally convinced. He was a little sceptical about the singer’s pop star status. But there was something in Per’s lyrics and how they could perform their songs. They were talented musicians.

Per says it was magical that they could record an album, but still no one knew who they were. As small town boys they felt quite lost in the big city. In the ’70s all record labels were in Stockholm. Those days there were only 2 TV channels and 1 radio that played pop music. Laila Berger, a childhood friend says the guys didn’t have an image. They came from the countryside, in clogs, jeans and T-shirts to EMI in Stockholm. Lasse says the first to get out from the taxi was Göran. He was showing the receipt and asked if he gets money for that. At that moment EMI probably didn’t think of them as future pop idols.

They recorded the album at EMI’s little studio 2 in Skärmarbrink. The studio was so small they could hardly fit in all five of them with the instruments. Micke says they got the small studio because Björn Skifs was recording in the big one. Per says there was something magical in all this. No one knew them, they didn’t have any success, they just wanted to record their album. They went home at nights and shared a room. Per, MP and Anders were in a triple room. They were sitting there and listened to the cassettes to hear what they recorded during the day and they thought that was the best they ever heard. Revolver upp, Sista gången jag såg Annie, those songs. Mr. G says he thinks the record label didn’t really know what they wanted to do with them when they recorded their first album. They picked Himmel No. 7 as the first single with Flickorna på TV2 on the other side. Lasse Lindbom says they had to change the sides and re-release it. Kjell says it was Niklas Strömstedt who first saw the qualities of Flickorna på TV2. In the summer of ’79 he was a DJ at Atlantic, a club in Stockholm where all the hip people were going. Niklas says his first impression of GT was that they were quite curious, nice, a little clumsy guys from the countryside.

The first time MP went to Atlantic he was wearing clogs. The security guy was so nice to him he said he can lend him his private shoes so he can change his clogs and pick them up when he is leaving. After this, MP’s clogs were left home for good. Susan Hübel, Micke’s then girlfriend says Anders and Micke went to Ullared and bought the most awful clothes ever. Göran says he was only 17 and he went to clubs like Atlantic and Victoria.

Per says they had to learn how to handle fame. Even if one thinks it’s cool to become famous and have fans, they were not prepared for it. It was very strange. They were super happy of course, but also surprised that it happened so fast. Teenage girls were screaming and fainting, it was hysterical. They did only 6 live performances in front of an audience before they became No. 1 with Flickorna på TV2. Micke says they suddenly had everything they dreamed about. Attendance records, screaming girls, guys were showing their middle finger to them while girls were falling in love with them.

Pappa Syd enters Börjes konditori where the GT guys were hanging around a lot to eat or drink something, but also to meet friends. He says Harplinge was a vivid town, but after the railway disappeared in 1986, the town became kind of dead.

Per still lived with his mom and says when they were hanging out his washed clothes they got stolen by fans. But not only that. Anything that could be moved was gone. Even the registration number plate from the car. Mamma Syd confirms that girls were totally crazy. They were sitting in the ditch outside the house and were waiting for Micke to come home. Susan remembers she once received a pillowcase from a girl with a letter to ask Micke to sleep on it and send it back to her. Micke was so nice that he did sleep on that pillowcase.

Lasse Lindbom says he was surprised by the monumental success of GT, but not because he didn’t believe in them, but because one never thinks that something can become so huge. These things just happen. Kjell also says he never thought they could be so huge. At least not that fast.

Niklas thought that the guys could accompany him on his first album in 1980, but GT became so big that they didn’t have time for that. So he had to find another band.

When Per had his 22nd birthday in 1981, he received more than 3000 letters in 2 big bags that were waiting for him in front of his mom’s house.

Even if the guys became famous, they weren’t popular in Harplinge and Halmstad. People were shouting at them not to think they are now something and ”you fag!”. Göran says it was just jealousy. For Anders it was so hard to deal with the reactions that he moved to Stockholm quite early.

Micke says that after their break-through, there came a 2-year-long touring. Per says when you have such a huge succes, you lock yourself into your job. Of course, people recognized them when they fuelled the car or outside the hotels it was filled with people when they were touring, but they worked even more focused.

Micke says he started playing the drums when he was 5. He took a pair of knitting needles and played on an ashtray. Then he built a drumset from O’boy cocoa and coffee cans and played on them. Lasse says Micke wanted to be a pop star. That was his thing. Niklas says to say that Micke is a photobomber is an understatement. He likes to be in the front, in the middle of attention and he is not ashamed of it. Marie Dimberg says Micke Syd is a bit of an all-over-the-place guy. He is doing 800 things at once. Lasse says he was driving a truck and was a pop star at the same time. He could cope with it. Mamma Syd says Micke had his first job as a truck driver and when he was eating together with the others, he was constantly drumming. They told him he should stop drumming, otherwise he can’t eat together with them next time.

 

MP says back in the days there were only 3 radio stations, P1, P2 and P3. 95.4 was the highest frequency, so he thought to use the frequency somewhere between 99 and 100. He used a tape,  so he had 45 minutes to borrow his dad’s Amazon and put the radio on and listen if he can hear what he put on and it worked. Then he was driving around in Harplinge to check the range. Niklas says MP is one of the most musical people he has ever met. According to Lasse, MP is a musical genius, but also a very odd character. He was the one Lasse thought of the least that it could work outside Halmstad. Kjell says that one night on a tour MP knocked on Per’s door. Per opened it and MP told him he had solved the riddle of life. Then he closed the door and in the morning he couldn’t remember anything.

Göran tells that they had a pump organ at home and he played it when he was 4 years old. He always liked music. He was wild and always happy. He had a lot of energy. He was selling beer and soft drinks at the age of 14-15. Niklas says Göran likes to be on stage. It’s fun to see him now. He doesn’t look like he did in 1979, but he is the same on the inside.

Per says he was much of an introvert. The world of pop was very interesting for him. More exciting than his real life. He was ranking all songs on LPs, band members as well. He had lists of the nicest covers, best hairdos, coolest clothes, etc. Susan says Per was a pop star right away. He was the first guy she saw using nail polish and eyeliner. Per says he was selling Christmas magazines and stuff like this and bought records from the money he got. When he was 10, he already had 100 LPs. Kjell says Per has always been the engine and the driving force in all this. Marie Dimberg says he is a leader, a quite responsible leader. He is hard-working, pedantic from head to toe, meticulous, professional and organized. He has a good sense of humor and knows what he wants. And even if he is a world star, he is incredibly down to earth. It’s only his cars that are extravagant.

 

Anders says he bought his first bass guitar in secret and was hiding it under his bed so that his father couldn’t see it. He and his father worked at the same place, but Anders left the job when Gyllene Tider had their first show in Kalmar. He thought his father would die. His dad had never said anything regarding GT in his life. He wanted Anders to have a real job. When Anders was in Nashville with Per to record an album, he found some clipping from a newspaper that his father had kept and it was bewildering. Niklas thinks Anders is a divinely gifted pop bassist. According to Kjell, together with MP they are probably the most skilled musicians.

Per says that everyone who is coming from a small town eventually doesn’t want to come from there, because there are no possibilities. There is only one common dream: get out and succeed with your music.

After a couple of successful years they thought the next step should be to release an album in English to be able to hit the international market. They sold a lot of albums, so the record label invested money in them and they could do whatever they wanted. MP says they lost the grip, he doesn’t know why they recorded an English album. They thought they had already done what they could, so they had to find something else. Anders says it was a flop in all senses, productionwise as well. Lasse says an English album was not what anyone wanted from Gyllene Tider. Micke says they wanted to succeed abroad too, but with this they went away from what they actually were. But they didn’t know it back then. Anders felt that something would happen because they were getting far from what the direction in the music world was. Duran Duran came out with Girls on Film which was hypermodern and they were standing there asking how the hell they are doing it.

The guys had a tour that wasn’t too successful. Nothing really worked and it was the first time since their break-through. Then Per had the idea to get back to Swedish. The 5 of them had a dinner at restaurant Svea, in Grand Hotel, Halmstad. Per had a list with him of what they should do. Per presented it, but Anders said they can do it, but without him. No one expected it to happen, that Anders would leave the band. There had been no signs of it before. They weren’t pop stars anymore. It was hard to deal with it in the beginning. Everything you were so far disappears. Göran didn’t know what to do, Micke didn’t know it either. All they knew was that they didn’t want to go on with the band without Anders. It wouldn’t have been the same without him.

Anders got a job in a music store in Stockholm. Suddenly there were cheap computers and sequencer programs, so one could make music with synthesizers in a simple way. So he learned everything about it.

Per started working with Marie. Here comes a part of an old TV show from 1983 where the reporter asked him if Marie was his new support in life. Per said of course and kissed Marie on the hand. Per continued to work and write songs together with MP and recorded all his demos with Mats. They wrote together Listen to Your Heart, Spending My Time and Queen of Rain. Anders became producer for Roxette together with Clarence Öfwerman when they recorded The Look.

When Listen to Your Heart became No. 1 on the US Billboard Hot 100, Per called MP to come over because they had to celebrate something. MP was surprised because there were journalists and cameras all around. It happened so fast and it was hard to take in for MP.

When Roxette went on tour, Anders became member of the band and he was programming all they needed and played the bass. Per says he didn’t escape from the GT guys. Göran and Micke were less around, but he worked together with MP and Anders.

Per remembers he was sitting in a dressing room in Tokyo and wrote Det är över nu for Gyllene Tider, because they were to release a compilation album, Halmstads pärlor and they needed new songs for that. He wrote Kung av sand for that too. Both songs became big hits. Per was free after the Roxette tour and they decided to do a tour in 1996 with GT. They also decided for recording an EP for the tour. There was Gå & fiska! and Juni, juli, augusti on it and these songs became big hits too.

Sven asks Anders what makes Gyllene Tider sound like Gyllene Tider. Anders says it’s like a secret sauce. Why is a chocolate cake better than the other? Micke says you can set 10 drummers with the same drumset to play Gå & fiska!, but it is only him who sounds like that. And it’s not about how good Micke is. There is some kind of chemistry among them one can’t explain. Per says he can’t put his finger on it. They learned it all together. Niklas thinks GT could manage to create some kind of mix of commercial pop and humorous lyrics, fun arrangement and pop they could never hear in Sweden before Gyllene Tider.

Sven asks Per if they know why they became so big. Per says he has no clue. They didn’t sound like anyone else. They come from another planet and have another DNA in their sound. Per thinks his songwriting is special and MP’s input too. Micke and Anders are a bit younger and come from another route. And Göran too. It became a hybrid that could sort out what they were good at, so it became a special sound.

While they are in the studio in France, Per says they had been a power pop band from the very beginning. Then they tried to develop their own sound while they wanted to keep their identity. But on the last album they wanted to take a step back. They wanted to record clean guitars like on Moderna Tider. They thought there was no reason to find out something new at the age of 60. So Samma skrot och korn became nostalgic and sad. Even in terms of the lyrics. Per wanted it to sound like this band had been together for 40 years. They grew up and they love pop and this is what it has become when they are now around 60.

 

 

 

Marie Dimberg is asked about how GT can always succeed with their comebacks. That they can be away for 10 years and then make success again. Marie says it’s exactly because of that. Because there is this ”How can we miss you when you won’t go away?” thing. They go away and let people miss them. At the same time, their hit catalogue finds new audiences every time. And they are associated with tons of lovely things, including summer.

Sven asks when they will come back for a next farewell tour. Per says in 4-5 years maybe and laughs. They are in the peak of their lives, so they are doing a little finale now. One can never know. Marie Dimberg is also not sure that it was the last time last summer when they were on stage together. It felt like that in the very beginning though. Micke says there are people who still can’t believe it was their last tour, but he still thinks it was. Göran says it was the last time, because they decided it. MP says the same. Niklas thinks one can’t just stop. Maybe there comes a day when they think, shit, we have all these songs. Wouldn’t it be fun to play them again?

Towards the end of the documentary, when När alla vännerna gått hem is playing, there are cuts of the song from Parkliv 1981, Återtåget 1996, GT25 2004, DATPR 2013. And when the 1996 part comes, it’s Marie singing for a few seconds and you just can’t hold your tears back.

 

 

Micke Syd says the pride stays with them, but he will miss being on stage knowing that only they can do it together. MP says a better tour than this was can’t be done. One couldn’t feel in their playing that it was a farewell tour. It’s just an absolutely incredible feeling. Göran will miss the fans the most. They are the reason why GT existed at all. Why they became so big. Without the fans it wouldn’t have happened.

Most live footage is from Ullevi (but there are cuts from e.g. Dalhalla and Piteå as well) and it’s amazing to see the band and the crowd in those parts of the docu. I miss hearing the songs in complete and the flow of a complete gig, but I assume, we will get that on a DVD later. Would be just awesome!

 

All stills are from the documentary.

Thanx for the technical support, János Tóth!

Update: there is a YouTube upload of the docu.

Gyllene Tider 2.019 – en sista refräng

When earlier this year, months before the GT40 tour it turned out that there would be a book about Gyllene Tider written by Jan-Owe Wikström and photographed by Anders Roos, I knew the end result would be fab. This duo created another wonderful book, Alla tiders Gyllene Tider 6 years ago, but not only that. Jan-Owe already wrote a book about the band and another about Roxette many many years ago and actually, he 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. Anders’ work we also know from other Per Gessle related projects. His amazing photos we could see from several tours and studio sessions over the years.

Jan-Owe and Anders visited the Golden Guys in France when they recorded their last studio album, Samma skrot och korn and were following them on their farewell tour to catch and eternalize the magic around this boy band 40 years after their break-through.

Already by looking at the cover, one can be sure that what’s inside is of high quality. The front cover shows a pleased and proud gang in 2019, while when you turn the book around, the back cover shows a young, promising band in 1981. Wonderful. And this time travel appears inside the book too.

I don’t know how others start reading it, but to me the book shouted out for a start from the end. Which is actually the beginning of all. You will read about all the important years in GT’s life, how MP and Per met and decided to become pop stars, how Anders and Micke met and how Göran with his Farfisa came into sight and how all 5 of them got together to establish one of Sweden’s, if not the greatest bands ever.

In between the historical happenings over the decades, the break-through, early tours, studio sessions, the break-up, the come-backs detailed by Jan-Owe one can read a couple of fan stories about what GT means to the fans. Stories from the ’80s, about Gyllene songs being played at weddings or even funerals, hunting the guys and their autographs. Things what only fans can understand.

Besides all these, you can also get to know what albums and bands had an impact on Per, MP, Micke, Anders and Göran and what their Top10 GT songs are. The lists are not so different, but there isn’t one single song that you would find in each band member’s Top10. How strange.

After the past, you turn the book around again and arrive to 2019. The Intro and the Outro, before and after the very last Oslo gig give a great frame to the whole GT40 farewell. The chapters guide you through the complete process from what happened between the last concert on the GT tour in 2013 and the first thoughts of an anniversary tour, through the creative process of recording a last album and creating the set for the last shows, till the very last performance of the greatest Swedish band of all times.

Besides the Golden Guys’ feelings and actions, their stories of how they met their wives and how their families (their parents and their close families now) supported them over the years, the book also tells you about other important people around the band. You can read about what BoJo’s (Bo Johansson, Live Nation tour leader) job is on a tour as per logistics and organizing all details, what the head of crew has to do and that a gig couldn’t happen without the best crew. You get to know how Malin-My Wall and Dea Norberg came into sight for this last tour and how they contributed to the shows, but you can also read about veteran Fredrik Lilliestråle Stéen and Micke Syd’s friendship that resulted in the fact that GT invited a group of policemen, firefighters and ambulance, as well as defense veterans to thank for their service at each GT40 concert in Sweden.

The fans’ part in 2019 is represented by a handful of hardcores. Thomas Evensson (an essential establishing member of TDR) is there from almost the very beginning of Gyllene Tider. You get to know how he got involved and became the creator of the non-official GT website. You meet Bradley Coverley from Australia, who represents all the non-Swedish speaking fans from around the world and shows that distance is nothing when it comes to your idols. Jan-Owe and Anders travelled together with Sandra Knospe who saw now more than 250 GT, Roxette and PG related concerts in her life and travels thousands of kilometres on each tour to follow the band to as many places as possible. She can also compare how touring life of a hardcore fan was in the ’90s and how it is nowadays. Nowadays I join her in this ”craziness” and travel together with her. The GT40 tour was the first one for me when I had the chance to attend each gig and added my reviews show after show on RoxetteBlog.

In the book, almost all stops on tour are present. The emotional ending in Halmstad with all the TACK signs held up by fans couldn’t be left out either. Including the tears on and off stage, of course. Per’s words to the crowd at the last concert in Sweden: ”Thank you for following and supporting us for 40 years. Without you, we would be nothing.”

Anders Herrlin is right about what GT’s essence is.

Gyllene Tider is like a mud pie. There are lots of different recipes for mud pie, but here I, Micke and MP are the bottom of the cake with our own way of playing together, while Per’s voice and Göran’s Farfisa are the topping on the cake. However, how much you add from each element, that recipe is a secret and is locked in a safe in Harplinge.

This book is really a must have for all the fans, but also a good reading for anyone who has ever bumped into Gyllene Tider’s music. How Jan-Owe writes down the discussions it feels like you are there with guys in the studio in France or the final rehearsal before the premiere gig or at the concerts themselves. And the photos taken by Anders Roos give you a visual to all this, so you have kind of a movie playing in front of your eyes.

Yeah, now we need a DVD too. To be able to relive the GT40 magic as many times as possible.

 

 

 

 

Gyllene Tider’s Sommartider is the best Swedish summer hit

As we already informed you in May, Gyllene Tider was to be on a Swedish TV program, Sveriges Bästa. It was broadcast last night on TV4. Title of the show was ”Sveriges Bästa sommarplåga” (Sweden’s best summer hit). The recordings took place on 22nd May and it was Per, Anders and Micke from the band who were guests among other musicians on the show, GT being one of the top 10 candidates for providing Sweden’s best summer hit. I don’t think anyone would be surprised by who won the award. I can tell you it’s enough to watch the first seconds of the show where you would get to see the guys backstage for some moments and then fast forward to 35:07 to see them talking after we could see some old photos and footage from past tours. Of course, Sweden’s No. 1 summer hit is Sommartider, soundtrack to Swedish summer.

Per, Anders and Micke represented the band and program leader Gry Forssell handed over the award to PG. After he thanked for it, he did some weight-lifting exercises with it. Haha.

Gry asked the guys how Sommartider was born. Per told the story that they were recording their 3rd LP, Puls and their record label loved the album, but didn’t find any first singles on it. Per got pissed, went home and wrote Sommartider. Gry was surprised that the happiest song was written out of anger, but Per told her it’s not the only one. He wrote Sleeping In My Car the same way for Crash! Boom! Bang!. It was the same record label that couldn’t find a first single on that album either. Micke Syd said it’s a good recipe for creating hits.

Per said from the beginning they thought this song should be a drum-based track. He was also joking that the song came out in 1982 when they were 12-year-olds.

Gry asked how it feels to play Sommartider. Anders said it’s very cool to play in front of an audience, but they never rehearse it. Per said it makes no sense without a crowd. It’s not because they are tired of it, but the song is built on the energy and communication with the audience.

Gry asked the guys if they could share any secret memory from GT’s many summer tours. Micke Syd said they are real worthless rock idols. The worst thing he did was smashing a mirror with an extra bed at the age of 20 and he thought it would bring 7 years of bad luck. He also mentioned an after party in Lysekil in 1980-1981 when they sprayed something on the walls and threw out a bag saying ”shrimps on the roof”.

Footage of some early live performances were shown, big hits from the past and the guys laughed at how they looked. Per also shared the story that they had 6 live performances before they became No. 1 with Flickorna på TV2. Per was the oldest, he was 20 then, Anders and Micke were 17-18. Anders said it was quite brutal. Per mentioned Anders was voted Sweden’s most good-looking guy in 1982 and Micke Syd added he was voted for Sweden’s kindest pop idol.

The funny thing is that the recording of this program was on 22nd May, so well before the tour started, but Gry asked the guys how did it feel to do a farewell tour after such a long time. The guys laughed and Per said it was nice, Micke Syd said they are sitting here and are happy. Per said it’s unbelievable that so much time passed and it’s also unbelievable that so many people were still following them. There was a short footage from Ullevi 2019 when Gyllene Tider and the crowd were singing Sommartider together and then Gry congratulated the guys on their career and winning the best Swedish summer hit award.

Stills are from the show. It can only be watched in Sweden HERE.

Thanks for the technical support to János Tóth.