Per Gessle – En vacker kväll in Fredrikstad, Norway – 23rd July 2017 – #9

The 9th show on tour was a festival gig in Norway, the first concert outside Sweden. A handful of hardcore fans decided to go and see Per and the band there too and what a good decision they made! The gig turned out to be even more wonderful than the one in Gothenburg. Honestly, when you think Mr. G and his gang can’t surprise you with an even better show than what you had already experienced, they just do. And this coming on a 3rd day in a row when they have no days off, just gig after gig. Fantastic! They rule!

The festival crowd seemed to be in great party mood already before Per & Co came up on stage, so it was predictable they would be a loud audience for the main act too. Loud? It’s not even the right word to describe them. Ass-kicking crowd for an ass-kicking band. People cheering during the whole show, singing along all the time and clapping, whistling, dancing, jumping, whatever you can imagine.

There were several memorable moments at the concert, but just to highlight some most fab ones, I mention 2.

This was the first time Chris didn’t play a Per-song-related intro before The Look. He played In the Hall of the Mountain King (he played this as intro to Joyride already in 2011 when Roxette had a tour stop in Norway). Before he could start playing, the crowd was so loud he had to tell them ”Shhhhhhh!” Haha. Too cool!

After Sommartider, before Per could start performing Småstadsprat, the audience went ”oh-oh-oh-oh-oh”. Such a great crowd reaction, such a sweet acceptance of love from Per and the band! Watch it HERE! Says it all how the whole Månefestivalen gig was! Pure awesomeness!

Still is from Üli Car’s VIDEO of those magical oh-oh-oh-oh-oh moments!

Per’s most enthusiastic comment after a show on this tour so far:

FREDRIKSTAD, NORWAY JULY 23, 2017! Hallelujah! My Gosh what a gig. Slightly shorter version due to it being a festival but HOLY COW what a crowd! We love you! Thanx for singing along and making our lives exploding with joy! Been riding on the tour bus three hours now and we still talk about you!!! Lots of love + see ya soon!!!! /P.

   

All photos in the article are taken by Sandra Knospe, except for the still from Üli Car’s video. Thanx so much for your cooperation, girls!

Setlist

1. På promenad genom stan
2. Vilket håll du än går
3. Juni, juli, augusti
4. Det hjärta som brinner
5. Segla på ett moln / Första pris
6. It Must Have Been Love
7. Honung och guld
8. Kung av sand
9. Här kommer alla känslorna (på en och samma gång) / Flickan i en Cole Porter-sång
10. Ljudet av ett annat hjärta
11. Spegelboll
12. Gå & fiska!
Band presentation
13. The Look (with In the Hall of the Mountain King as intro)

Encore:
14. Varmt igen (with Queen of Rain as intro)
15. Tycker om när du tar på mej
16. Joyride

Encore 2:
17. Sommartider
18. Småstadsprat

Videos:

Juni, juli, augusti: 1; 2;
Det hjärta som brinner
It Must Have Been Love
Chris playing the intro to The Look & The Look
The Look
Tycker om när du tar på mej
Joyride
Sommartider: 1; 2; 3; 4;
Don’t miss out on Per’s before-the-show backstage videos on his YouTube channel either! 1; 2; 3; 4;

Articles, pictures:

Fredrikstad Avisa
Månefestivalen FB: 1; 2;
Gaffa
Fredrikstad Blad (for subscribers only); this one is not only for subscribers
Ringdalen
Artist Pictures Blog
Photo Lasse Ljung

 

Per Gessle – En vacker kväll in Göteborg, Sweden – 22nd July 2017 – #8

A hot, sunny day in Gothenburg, a beautiful park, some most enthusiastic Per Gessle fans and a tight band were all together to create a fantastic 8th concert night. You could feel there was something in the air in the city when already during the technicians’ soundcheck there was a guy who was dancing(?) to each and every sound Micke N-S and Jakob created on the drums and on the guitars. It was a very entertaining half an hour or so. Later there was no soundcheck for the band, so we could be kind of sure there was no new song planned to be played that night.

Lots of fans (even from Brazil!) were waiting outside the park which closed at 3 pm because of the concert and the gates opened again at 6 pm. This time we had to try if our running shoes were still working fine, since both entrances opened at the same time. Still all hardcores could find a decent spot in front of the stage.

Göteborg is usually different to any other Swedish cities and towns when it comes to concerts. People there know how to party and what the concerts are about. No picnic, no 15 meters’ distance left between the front row and the 2nd row until the support acts start playing. They are gathering in the front right after being let in. And it always feels good and promising.

Per had the same support acts with him as in Grebbestad. Alex Shield and Charla K started playing at 19:30. Now Alex was not that nervous anymore as on Friday, even talked more to the crowd. There was a little low sound problem with his guitar, but even that he took easier than in Grebbestad, just by mentioning he got a bit unfocused by this. I don’t have to mention that he sounded fab again. Charla K was also acting more, now taking off the mic from the stand and moving around a bit. She sang wonderfully again. Strandels came at 21:10 and Tova, the singer made the audience cheer for Gessle several times. She is also more and more talkative to the audience.

The stage and instruments were getting ready for Per & Co’s performance and while the technicians were busy with all this, Anders Roos set his many cameras at several places. Mr. G and the band hit the stage some minutes after 21:00. The crowd was already cheering for them several times before 9 pm.

 

The opening song was Min plats and it got a huge applause from the audience. Per talked to the crowd and said it’s always wonderful to play in Gothenburg. It’s almost home ground for him. He also said it’s the first time for him to play in Trädgårdsföreningen. Well, this is not really true, because in 1996 he played there twice with Gyllene Tider. Återtåget Live! was recorded at that very place. But being a hardcore live artist, one can forgive him for not remembering each and every place he played at. Haha.

The next song was På promenad genom stan and Göteborg let its voice heard. Heavy sing along on this one and dancing even in the back.

The first Gyllene Tider section with Juni, juli, augusti made the crowd clap & sing along heavily and they were even jumping along.

This time I streamed Segla på ett moln / Första pris live on our Facebook page. You can watch the video HERE.

While keeping the ”new” song /(Hon vill ha) Puls / they added to the setlist the day before (it rocked in Göteborg too!), Tittar på dej när du dansar got back and we enjoyed it so much! This song should really stay on the setlist forever. I know… I can’t mention it enough times. 😉

The crowd loved It Must Have Been Love and of course were singing along loudly. Kung av sand was also a loud hit.

Before Honung och guld, which Per wrote in the spring of 1982, Mr. G mentioned he was looking for songs he had never played live before and found like 500. Haha.

Här kommer alla känslorna (på en och samma gång) / Flickan i en Cole Porter-sång was such a blast that while grooving around in the front part of the stage, Per stumbled over his monitor. Thank God he could keep his balance and bounce on, so he didn’t fall off the stage or anything serious happened. We don’t want to see Dave Grohl’s throne on PG’s stage, right? 😉 Micke N-S recognized very quickly that something was wrong and he rushed to the monitor to set it back to its place.

 

The great vibes didn’t end here. Starting with Ljudet av ett annat hjärta it was onehelluva party section until Per and the band went off stage before the first encore. Spegelboll rocked big time again and the crowd didn’t stop jumping and singing along during Gå & fiska! either. The band presentation was much fun this time too and after Chris psychedelic När vi två blir en intro, The Look made the crowd go wild.

Göteborg people shouted, whistled and were clapping loudly to have the gang back on stage. The first encore with PG appearing in white was magical as usual. Varmt igen and Tycker om när du tar på mej sounded extrawonderful on Saturday. DFS was skipped, just like on Friday and the band went on with Joyride which put the crowd in party mood again. So much that until the second encore they didn’t really get silent. Then bang! Andreas came and sat behind his drums. Started the intro to Sommartider. We all loved it! PG asked the band if they were ready for more, if the guys and girls for ready for more and if Göteborg was ready for more. The crowd just went wild for this.

The set ended with Småstadsprat and the audience cheered the band while they were saying goodbye.

This was definitely one of the concerts that you didn’t want to come to an end. If I said in Grebbestad Per & Co gave 120%, in Göteborg they gave 150% at least, but not only them. The audience too! Everyone was all smiles on and off stage during the whole concert. All fans (even those who attended Töreboda) thought that Göteborg was the best gig so far. The band thought so too.

We could see a lot of PG-Chris, Ola-Chris, Ola-Chris-PG, Ola-PG, PG-Magnus, PG-Malin-My, PG-Helena, Malin-My-Magnus, Malin-My-Clarence, Helena-Malin-My, Malin-My-Chris, Andreas-Ola, Chris-Ola-Andreas, Magnus-Chris-Ola, Chris-Magnus, PG-Magnus-Chris actions on stage. One just couldn’t decide which squaremeter to watch to enjoy the visual experience of the gang’s fabulous playing together. One of my favourite actions is when Ola gets close to Per during Det hjärta som brinner and they play their guitars back to back. PG was throwing a lot of guitar picks on Saturday and by checking each other’s caught picks, we realized that there is now a Space Station 12 plec he plays. A black one with white little stars and the SS12 logo on it. Lookin’ good! /Update on 25th July: as Per says: “TO CLARIFY THINGS: There are NO OFFICIAL Space Station 12 guitarpicks made whatsoever. If you see one it’s an unofficial one. /P.” Weird thing… Now where those picks were flying from then? Hm. Anyways, good to know they are not part of the official set./

Per had so much boogie in his shoes that he was often back to his mic late when he had to sing. It was so funny and cool at the same time. He was swaying his hips all the time, doing his left leg stomping as well. Among his black outfits, the most sexy is the one he was wearing in Gothenburg. The shirt with silver stars and the trousers with silver stripes. Looks so hot! Oh and Helena! 1 or 2 concerts earlier I realized she wears no shoes on stage. She is rocking around barefoot! Too cool she is!

All in all, Göteborg never disappoints! I can’t really remember any concerts in Gothenburg that didn’t work. This city rulez! If there is any recording planned for this tour, it should have happened on Saturday. But still, let’s keep our fingers crossed that at least one of the shows will be recorded and released for our pleasure later.

PG after the show:

Mindblowing gig in Gothenburg. Wish you all were there!!!

All photos in the article are taken by Patrícia Peres.

Setlist

1. Min plats
2. På promenad genom stan
3. Vilket håll du än går
4. Juni, juli, augusti
5. Det hjärta som brinner
6. Segla på ett moln / Första pris
7. Tittar på dej när du dansar
8. (Hon vill ha) Puls
9. It Must Have Been Love
10. Honung och guld
11. Kung av sand
12. Här kommer alla känslorna (på en och samma gång) / Flickan i en Cole Porter-sång
13. Ljudet av ett annat hjärta
14. Spegelboll
15. Gå & fiska!
Band presentation
16. The Look (with När vi två blir en as intro)

Encore:
17. Varmt igen (with Queen of Rain as intro)
18. Tycker om när du tar på mej
19. Joyride

Encore 2:
20. Sommartider
21. Småstadsprat

Videos:

Min plats
Segla på ett moln / Första pris: 1; 2;
It Must Have Been Love
Ljudet av ett annat hjärta
Gå & fiska!
Varmt igen
Tycker om när du tar på mej
Sommartider & Småstadsprat

Articles, pictures:

Göteborgs-Posten
Rockfoto

 

Per Gessle’s guitar pick haute couture

The last time the PLECtionary got updated was in August 2015, right before the last show of the European tour leg. Now one tour leg later, an update is due again. We hoped for new picks for the South African shows, but we couldn’t be sure there would be any new plectrums until Per posted the photo of the guitar pick they designed especially for South Africa (Roxette FB, Per IG, Roxette IG).

107_SK_600x339It wasn’t clear at first sight whether it was only one pick and Mr. G showed the 2 sides of it or it was 2 different picks, but soon it turned out they got back to the roots, making it more limited, so it’s only one pick with the South African flag on one side and GESSLE ON THE ROXXX on the other side. Looking good! Haute couture, as the master says.

Sandra was there in South Africa and she could now take photo of it to include the plec (No. 107) in the PLECtionary. More than that, thanks to her we can also add Per’s guitar technician’s, Micke N-S’s new pick (No. 108) and in the meantime Sandra could obtain one of the Night of the Proms plectrums (No. 26) she had been looking for since a long time, so it’s now in the PLECtionary as well.

Besides these 3 new additions, you will find a separate section for the misprinted picks. The misprinted ones mean something went wrong during the production and e.g. the design or the text is missing on one side. With this update you see 2 misprinted plecs, No. 77 and No. 96.

Huge thanks again for the updates, Sandra!

See the PLECtionary HERE!

Exclusive interview with the Man, the Myth, the Legend – ”I keep them proud and polished in my archive. They’re all part of my family tree.”

© Patrícia Peres
© Patrícia Peres

If anyone had told me in the past that one day I’d have the chance to do an interview with Per Gessle, I would have surely told them they were insane. But life proves, you should dream also those dreams you don’t dare to dream! Getting myself together after the positive shock, I must say that it continuously gets confirmed that I’m a fan of the most amazing and most caring Artist in the Universe and the fastest on Planet Earth! Well, what else could I expect from the Son of The Fastest Plumber in the West?

It’s an interview done via e-mail to keep Mr G’s quotes correct. Per, thanx a million again for spending your precious time with this! It’s much appreciated and you definitely made me feel being the luckiest, happiest and most grateful person on the Globe. Also thanks heaps to D&D Management for their cooperation!

The interview is about the customized plecs, info about the customizing process, stories connected to the picks, some details about the phrases on the plectrums, Per’s thoughts about the picks in general and how he is using them etc. So everything you wanted to know about the plecs and more! Don’t forget to check the PLECtionary again, because some ”Trivia from Per” can now also be found at the picks he talked about.

Now the intro is over. Go and read the real deal, Roxers! Enjoy!

 

Base pic © Sandra Knospe
Base pic © Sandra Knospe

Patrícia Peres: – First of all, thank you very much for taking your time and I hope you won’t get tired by all the plec questions, but we, Roxers are very curious about any tiny detail about these precious little items and stories related to them. We got very positive feedback from the fans and we are very happy that you also like the PLECtionary. Sandra did a fantastic job with it and we are very grateful to her that she made it possible to see all the picks at one place. She has an amazing collection! How does it feel that there is such a dedicated fan of your plecs?

Per Gessle: – It feels, of course, most rewarding. I encourage every form of extreme and meaningful hobby, like collecting rare snakeskin-boots or grey square Russian cars.

PP: – Haha. Rare snakeskin-boots! Now that you say it… When and how did it all start for you? I mean having your own customized plectrums. What was your very first idea to print on a guitar pick and which became the first customized PG-plec?

PG: –  Oh, I can’t remember. In the old days it was very rare that you’d find customized picks. I think I hooked up as soon as I heard it was possible. It’s a great way of sharing a joke and showing off your humble personality!

PP: – Do more plecs exist besides the ones you can see in the PLECtionary?

PG: – No, I think everything is covered in the article. It’s a shame in a way but the sad and plain truth.

PP: – Have you kept at least one of each of your plectrums over the years?

PG: – Yes, I think so. I’ve looked for the ones Sandra is missing but can’t find any extras. Only the ones I keep in my archive. If I find more of them I will of course give them to her. She deserves the best. The best and the complete. I consider it a mission to help her find Plectrum-Nirvana.

PP: – Wow! I’m 1000% sure Sandra is gonna be extremely happy to hear this! I was just about to ask if you have those plecs she is missing.

PG: – Yes, like I said, I keep them proud and polished in my archive. Clarence pops in once in a while to sniff them. He likes the smell of vintage success.

© Patrícia Peres
Jonas Åkerlund’s plec photos in Hotel Tylösand
© Patrícia Peres

PP: – How should we imagine where you keep your plecs? Are they in a box in a drawer or maybe in a big glass bowl in the hall or they are just lying anywhere around your house / apartment? OK, knowing how pedantic you are, this latter one is surely not applicable.

PG: – Oh, they are kept in a red Ferrari-box in a metal cupboard in my office. Next to the diaries I always write when I’m recording. I try to keep my life tidy and in order. My cupboards are holy ground. If you open them things will never be the same.

PP: – Ferrari-box, metal cupboard, diaries. Aaah, sounds like holy ground indeed. When it comes to brands, are you more into Dunlop or Fender guitar picks? Or does it matter at all? What kind of plecs were you playing the guitar with before you started customizing the picks?

PG: – It never mattered. It’s the feel that decides. On stage I have a softer pick for the acoustic guitars, in the studio I rarely use picks at all when I play acoustic. I don’t like my picks to be very thick. Then the sound becomes too hard, too rough. I lose the touch.

PP: – So no thick picks for Gessle. OK. Is it always your actual guitar tech – earlier Falken, now Micke N-S – who is in charge of making the plectrums designed and produced or did it work in a different way in the past?

PG: – Yes, in the past I ordered them myself. The Party Crasher-one (with the sleeve on it) I ordered myself from Australia. Nowadays, MNS is taking care of business. I tell him what kind of slogans or messages I want and then he comes up with zillions of suggestions and colours etc.

PP: – How does the whole customizing process work? Micke N-S mentioned in the interview I did with him during the GT tour that you usually give him a few lines you want to see on the plecs and he does the rest. Is it totally up to him how the design (plec colour, font type) will look like in the end or does he send it over to you several times during the development phase to check and confirm if you’re OK with it?

PG: – Yes, he comes up with layout suggestions most often based on the current tour logo etc. It can, for instance, be the same logo on my picks as Pelle’s got on his bass drum. I guess you’ve noticed. I know I have.

Scan of an old interview (source unknown)
Scan of an old article (source unknown)

PP: – Haha. Well, you can’t have all the stars just for yourself. Regarding the phrases we can read on the picks, there are some quite obvious ones, like ”HELLO YOU FOOL I LOVE YOU” or ”HOW DO YOU DO!”, but other phrases are rather filled with humor, which is even more fun. For example, there are those early plecs with the catchy money reference: ”MONEY NEVER SLEEP$” or ”ANOTHER DAY ANOTHER DOLLAR” or ”CASH BOOM BANK”. I think I also read ”WE ARE IN THI$ ONLY FOR THE MONEY” somewhere, however, I’ve never seen a plec like that. Did it exist?

PG: – No, I’ve never heard of that one. It’s a bad phrase, too clumpsy, not my style.

PP: – True. It doesn’t sound too Gessleish. What was that about the money those days?

PG: – The ”money-picks” came from an idea to harass the Swedish media who always considered me / us to be too commercial and never could read between the lines. ”Money never sleeps” came from the ”Wall Street”-movie (a quote by Gordon Gekko), ”Another day, another dollar” was a phrase our American lawyer used all the time. It’s always rewarding to try to make fun of reporters, I think every artist agrees on that. Come to think of it, most humans probably do.

PP: – ”ART FOR ME IS JUST SHORT FOR ARTHUR”. Knowing you are very much into art, it’s too funny to read something like this from you. Is there any special story behind this phrase?

PG: – Yes, it’s a quote from Keith Richards. I thought it was pretty cool at the time. It’s very old. I wouldn’t use it today.

PP: – All the plecs are real gems, even if they only have the text ”ROXETTE – PER GESSLE 2011” on them. But there is one which we don’t know too much about. It says: ”TEDDE GOES 50! – WITH LUV FROM THE GESSLES”. Can you tell us who Tedde is?

PG: – He’s a dear friend to me and my family. We gave him a Les Paul as a birthday-gift and of course he needed his own guitar pick! Doesn’t everybody?

PP: – So now Tedde plays that Les Paul with another pick. Different number of plectrums were designed in the past and nowadays for one tour. Do you have lucky numbers? Or how do you decide on how many different picks to produce for one tour(leg)?

PG: – No, I suggest a few lines or slogans and then suddenly MNS comes up with 25 different suggestions. He likes things plenty. I think we should slow it down a bit in the future.

PP: – Talking about luck, do you have any plec you consider as a lucky charm? Do you believe in such things at all?

PG: – No, I only try to hit the right strings with them.

PP: – And you do it so right. At least most of the time. By the way, how many pieces of each plec are produced nowadays? Was it the same amount per plec in the past?

PG: – No, the editions are much bigger nowadays. We use them as giveaways a lot, I throw a lot of them out to the crowds. In the past it was more of an internal thing. Like those hidden messages on the vinyl records. ”Don’t forget you’re a rocker” etc.

PP: – Which is the all time favourite plec of yours and why?

PG: – They’re all part of my family tree. No personal favourites. Sorry.

PP: – I can completely understand you. Is there a guitar pick of yours you like the least? We know, for example, that you don’t really like baby blue plectrums, as you gave some of them to Chris to play with.

PG: – It’s not really true, I like blue plectrums. The thing is that I prefer lighter colours (white, for instance) because when you play, often in the dark on the stage, it’s really hard to know / see what you do with black picks. I’ve hit the wrong strings far too many times because of this. It makes you feel silly. And it sounds shit.

PP: – Now I’ll pay more attention to the shitty sounds next time you are playing the guitar with a dark plec on a future tour. The plecs related anyhow to Åsa are usually the nicest or coolest ones. E.g. the latest ”WOODY – VEM FAN ÄR VERA?” is one of your funniest picks ever. The design with that marbled blue base colour and that silver print looks fab! What is Åsa saying about the Woody / Åsa picks? I bet she likes them a lot.

PG: – She ordered them. I had nothing to do with those. It’s something she and MNS came up with.

PP: – Ahaaa, now that’s really cool! Well done, Fru Nordin! She was also the one who made the ”Ta mej… nu är jag din! / Åsa” plec produced as a surprise for you. Can you tell us a bit more about it? How many plecs like this were produced?

PG: – Oh, I dunno. There are always some goofy ones like that on every tour. It makes us smile.

© Patrícia Peres
© Patrícia Peres

PP: – Thanx to you, I’m a lucky owner of one of those misspelled ”WODDY / HEJ DIN TOK JAG ÄLSKAR DIG” picks. Which year is that from exactly? What’s the story of it and what was your first reaction when you saw the misspelling? Rumour has it, you gave these plecs to MP to use them. How come?

PG: – Can’t remember. It certainly wasn’t me who ordered them, I know howh too spel.

PP: – Yeah, sure you do! Was there another production of these plecs with correct spelling?

PG: – No, I don’t think so. We were poor in those days, one edition was enough to crash the budget.

PP: – Talking about MP and also Chris, did you encourage them to have their own customized plecs or was it them (or maybe their technicians) who came up with the idea to have their own picks?

PG: – Yep, it was their guitar guys who came up with those picks. It’s not really neither MP’s nor Chris’s cup of tea to order personalized plectrums. Trust me.

PP: – I trust you, Sir. Were there ever customized Marie Fredriksson plectrums back in the days when Marie was also playing the guitar? I remember a TV show – I think it was in Argentina – when the hosts found 2 ”HELLO YOU FOOL I LOVE YOU” picks after your playback was over. So that means Marie played the guitar with the same customized plec you played it with. Was it always the case?

PG: – Yes, I believe so. She used anything. Or wait. Maybe she had one of her own. It rings a bell. Let’s keep it ringing for a while….

PP: – Oh! It sounds exciting! Anytime the ringing is over and you find it out, just let us know. Sandra mentioned the gauge of the plecs you used in the early years was heavier than nowadays. Micke N-S said in the interview with him that he is using one gauge thicker plec than what you are using, because it’s more accurate to tune with. What makes you decide on what gauge to use? We can see you use the thin plecs for the acoustic guitar, but what about the medium and heavy ones? Does it make any difference to you?

© Per Gessle (or Micke N-S? - pic taken from Roxette Official)
© Per Gessle (or Micke N-S? – pic taken from Roxette Official)

PG: – Yes, I hate thick ones. It makes your playing very clumpsy and too ”masculine”. I like medium gauge for electric and light for the acoustics on stage. I’m a delicate guy! A ballet dancer. You know that.

PP: – A ballet dancer? Dunno, but a left leg stomper for sure and a delicate guy indeed. When you post pictures of the plecs on Facebook, fans get very excited and you can see many comments regarding how much we want to have them or how awesome they look like. You even mentioned in your 2012 Xmas message on roxette.se that ”… loads and loads of autographs signed, letters written, stamped and sent, guitar picks urgently needed by all of you. How does it feel that we are so crazy about these tiny little picks of yours?

PG: – I think it fits the Roxers really well to spend quality time on stuff like that. I can fully identify with it. Groove is in the heart.

PP: – And we stomp on a stoop when we hear your pop loop. Now this might be a stupid question, but take into consideration that I’m not a pro when it comes to how to use plecs properly. What happens to the plec when you lick it? I think you did it the most often at the Snowpenair concert in Switzerland, kind of once in every 5 minutes. No clue whether it has anything to do with the cold or it makes a better sound or it just sticks more to your fingers.

PG: – It sticks to the finger. Normally (not necessarily at Snowpenair) you’re very sweaty everywhere (including your hands) so you tend to drop the pick if it doesn’t stick. It has happened a lot.

PP: – Ah, OK. Thanx for the clarification. Do you chew on plecs while writing songs or doing demos? I mean chewing like others chew on the end of pens.

PG: – No, I never use picks when I write. I actually never use picks at all playing acoustic guitar at home or in the studio, I only use my nails to get the right feel. On stage however, you need a pick to get the volume.

PP: – We often comment on Facebook that it would be great if you could include your plecs in the merchandise. Do you plan to include them in the future?

© Patrícia Peres
© Patrícia Peres

PG: –  Well, yea. We try to come up with new things for the store all the time so custom made guitar picks, why not? We had guitar picks with the Gyllene Tider-cartoons on for sale last summer, didn’t we? In a tiny black box. I have a few of those in the cupboard.

PP: – Yes, that special pick collection is very cool. I have one of that tiny black box on my holy shelf, too. Well, OK, the more difficult to obtain the plecs, the more precious they are for us. I remember a chat where someone said he got a plec from you in Karlstad and asked how much you think that plec would worth in 20 years. You replied: ”The question is what Karlstad is worth in 20 years.” That’s a good one. There are people (mainly not fans, but traders) who are selling your plecs at a ridiculously high price on eBay, Tradera etc. and of course there are fans who are buying them. What do you think about this fact?

PG: – It’s like you say, the more rare an item is the more people want it. I don’t really have an opinion on this, some people sell, other people buy. The wheels keep on spinnin’!

PP: – Talking about catching picks at the gigs, you throw much more plecs these days than earlier (and definitely much more plecs than towels). During the GT tour Micke N-S even put an extra plec holder on the mic stand after some gigs to have 18 picks there instead of 12. Do you throw more just to make more fans happy or is it just cool throwing the plectrums and you do it automatically?

PG: – I throw them because I know a lot of people want them. And like I said earlier, MNS orders so many of them I might as well distribute them myself.

© Per Gessle
© Per Gessle

PP: – Keep throwin’ them! The adhesive tape on the guitar is of great help to have some plecs always at hand. Does it happen often that a plec falls out of your hand and you can’t pick another one quick enough during a song, so you have to play the guitar with your fingers / nails? OK, your nails are surely touching the strings as the nail polish almost disappears by the end of a show.

PG: – It happens but not that often anymore. I lick ’em!

PP: – Yeah, now we know lickin’ is of great help, too. There was a video you posted after Brisbane show in 2012, where Christoffer’s hand and guitar were covered with blood. Ouch! It has also made it to the Roxette Blu-ray. Did it ever happen that your fingers got hurt badly while playing the guitar?

PG: – Oh yea, many times. For me the most common injury is that I crash my right arm very hard into the body of the guitar when I try to look cool and do a massive sexy move hitting some adrenalin-droolin’ power chord. Oh, it hurts. It hurts to be alone. The plan’s gone wrong like a runaway train going down.

© Patrícia Peres
© Patrícia Peres

PP: – OK, Mr G… I can imagine all Gessle Girls are now sliding down a dream when you are mentioning your massive sexy moves in the same sentence as adrenalin-droolin’. Ehm… Come back to the original topic, PP… Last summer we saw a girl in Tele2 Arena at the GT gig picking up a Woody plec from the floor. She just found it there and the concert hadn’t even started. Do you usually throw plecs during the soundchecks, too? Checking how it works at the certain venue or how far you have to throw the plecs?

PG: – I was probably aiming at Pelle or someone who was running late for the soundcheck.

PP: – It must have been Micke Syd then. When it comes to throwing distance, do you pay attention to it before the concert starts? Do you try throwing your plecs into the crowd at venues where the distance of the crowd from the stage is quite long (e.g. China)?

PG: – Yes, it doesn’t really matter. I don’t have a system, I just throw them. Or I don’t. If the feeling’s right those picks have to go.

PP: – Was there any memorable moment for you regarding your throwing the plecs? Maybe 10 fans jumped on each other just to catch your pick or anything else?

PG: – No, not really. Most of the time it’s hard to see from the stage where they land. I try to throw them up in the air so I don’t hit anyone in the eye. Or in the mouth. Or, God forbid, what would happen if I make a scratch on a smartphone?

Screenshots are taken from Gyllene Tider's "Man blir yr" video
Screenshots are taken from Gyllene Tider’s “Man blir yr” video

PP: – Trust me, if you would scratch any fan’s smartphone with your plec, that smartphone would become one of the most precious items of that fan’s collection. Oh, and that throwing moment at the end of Man blir yr video looks so hot! How many times did you have to record it to be this perfect?

PG: – It’s a first take. Of course.

PP: – Of course, silly me! Until now I asked you about YOUR plecs and those related anyhow to the Rox World, but I’m curious about the coolest guitar pick you have ever seen in your life. Could you describe it? Whose plec was it?

PG: – We have a great collection of Jonas Åkerlund’s photos of guitar picks at Hotel Tylösand. All of them are fab! Nikki Sixx’s ”Fuck The Fucking Fuckers” is pretty spot on, don’t you think?

 

© BandGuitarPicks.com
© BandGuitarPicks.com

PP: – Haha. A fab one, but let’s say I prefer your phrases on a pick. I’m not a Mötley Crüe type of girl. As a last question: do you have plectrums from any of your idols? Tom Petty or David Bowie maybe? Or from any other guitar players? If yes, how did you get them and where do you keep them? If no, would you love to have a pick of theirs one day?

PG: – I don’t actually. A Dylan-pick or a T.P.-pick would be nice. Or from Nick Lowe. But I don’t lose any sleep over it.

PP: – That’s nice to hear, but in case insomnia is reaching you because of this, I suggest you go to their concerts and stand in the front row. You might get lucky! Thank you very much again for taking your time. Can’t wait to see your next set of plecs (coming hand in hand with a next tour) and update the PLECtionary with them!

PG: – That makes it two of us! Cheers!

 

Update on 2nd February, 2014: Per shared 2 pics of a box in which he keeps plectrums in the guest bathroom. Check out pic No. 1 and pic No. 2.

 

Interview with Sandra Knospe – ”I would rather get my ass burned before I would leave any of them behind in case of a fire.”

00_coverFrom the title you might guess that the interview is about the plectrums. 😉

While we’ve been working on the PLECtionary, I did an interview with Sandra and she happily shared some more details about her passion, the guitar picks, as well as some further nice stories related to these precious little things. Enjoy!

 

Patrícia Peres: – First of all, huge thanx for your hard work with this PLECtionary. It’s awesome to have all plecs’ photos and knowledge at one place. How did it all start for you? Which is your first memory and which was your first plec?

Sandra Knospe: – You’re welcome. It was fun to do it.  I love going through the plecs once in a while. It all started in Helsingborg 1996 at the second Gyllene Tider concert from the Återtåget tour. That was also the day when I got my first plec. I found it after the show, somewhere on the dirty ground. I saw Per throwing the plecs away during the gigs and I was just curious if I could find one. I knew chances were low. It was like searching a needle in a haystack together with all the other fans who knew that there might be something to find on the floor that’s worth to pick up. And it felt like a triumph when I finally succeeded, it was kinda thrilling. I was surpised to see that it was customized. I didn’t know that before. That made it even more interesting, of course. But back then I did not really start collecting in the way I do it today. I was just happy that I found it. The wish to make my collection as complete as possible came later in 2003 when I received an envelope from Per with 10 different plecs including real rare ones from 1989 and 1991. So I had a few different ones thanks to him and also from the Rox tour 2001 and Mazarin tour 2003 which I attended as well. I liked the design and little phrases on them and I wondered how many customized plecs by Per exist at all and wanted to find out how they looked like and from which tours they were. So I started some investigations. From then on the hobby turned into a passion.

PP: – So the first plec you got 17 years ago. Wow! How many picks do you have actually? How many of them are Per’s plecs and to whom are the others related?

SK: – Oj, need to count… Without the doubles it’s 114 different plecs (and 3 of them in different gauges). 71 from Per plus 2 from him which are not customized, 17 from MP, 4 from Christoffer plus 1 from him which is not customized, 4 from Micke N-S, 1 from Jakob Johnzén, 12 T&A studio plecs and 2 plecs of which the origin I don’t really know. One of these two could be a tech plec as well and the other one is dedicated to someone whose name is Tedde. No idea about it really, but on the other side it says ”WITH LUV FROM THE GESSLES”. So I guess it comes from Per at least. All together (including the doubles) it’s 224.

PP: – Who would have thought that there are so many plecs related anyhow to the Rox World. I know the whole collection is very close to your heart, as one day when a friend asked what you would take with you in a hurry if there would be fire in the house, you replied: ”The plecs, the plecs!” But which is the most precious item if you can choose only one? What is your story behind it?

1_SK_300x170SK: – Urmmm… I would rather get my ass burned before I would leave any of them behind in case of a fire. A fav plec? Hard to say, it even changes from time to time. Maybe the ”LOOK SHARP! / IT’S ONLY PLAYBACK” plec, because it’s probably the oldest one. Even if mine is not in top condition. I got it from a friend with the right connections. But then again, it could also be one of the plecs that have a more sentimental value to me, like the plecs Per sent me in 2003 that made me start collecting more purposeful. They are indeed very special to me. Tough question. So many goodies, really can’t decide. Sorry.

PP: – I can totally understand you. I can’t choose any favourite either, as all of them are beauties. Is there a pick you don’t like at all? Maybe because of the design or anything else.

SK: – I wouldn’t say there is a pick that I don’t like at all. I’m maybe not so much into the latest GT picks with the record and the cassette on one side and the GT emblem on the other. That might be because I am not a fan of pictures on plecs. I like it simple. A cool phrase is better than anything else. The ”WOODY / VEM FAN ÄR VERA?” pick for example is a great one. Great colour of plec and print and a cool note on it. Simply perfect.

Read moreInterview with Sandra Knospe – ”I would rather get my ass burned before I would leave any of them behind in case of a fire.”