Per Gessle on Carina Bergfeldt’s talk show on SVT

Per was a guest on Carina Bergfeldt’s talk show on SVT on 21st October. Actresses Lena Olin and Tora Hallström were the first two guests on the program, then Mr. G was the fourth, right after opera singer and actress Marianne Mörck.

You can watch the episode online HERE all around the world! Per’s part starts 27m 37s in.

Carina introduces PG as a music icon and before he enters, there is footage from his career shown, starting with him singing Flickorna på TV2 cut from Parkliv! 1981. Fun fact is that Parkliv! was directed by Tora’s father and Lena’s husband, famous director Lasse Hallström. Then comes a shortcut to an old TV report where the reporter tells Per „your lyrics are very much about sex” and Mr. G’s reaction is „well… are they?” Then comes a little Roxette and part of the news from 1989 that they became No.1 in the US. Per says „one of our dreams was to become No.1 in the US. That we have achieved.” From Sweden only ABBA and Björn Skifs succeeded with that before Roxette. Then comes a snippet from PG Roxette’s The Loneliest Girl In The World video.

Carina welcomes Per and the audience is very happy to have him on the show. Earlier on the program they talked about riders, lists of requirements. Carina is curious if Per can beat bathtub and Thai food. Mr. G says he is bad at riders. He doesn’t have any riders anymore, but rather anti-riders, what shouldn’t be in the dressing room. There shouldn’t be candy, because he would eat it up. He has no requirements at all, really. In the past, he tested the organizers a bit, if they could obtain expensive wines, but only one of them could do that, in Switzerland. Mr. G is still good friends with him. [Everyone laughs.] Carina says that considering them being world stars with Roxette, they could have asked such things as Madonna, e.g. repainting the dressing room. PG says they didn’t ask for such unnecessary things. „We came from small towns”, he says. Marianne pats Per on the shoulder and says „good boy”. [Everyone laughs.] Carina asks if Gyllene Tider had any list of requirements. Per’s reply is a no.

Carina informs that Gyllene Tider goes on tour again and asks Per how many times they will retreat. Mr. G tells 2019 was the last time, but then came this terrible pandemic and he had some second thoughts. It felt natural to go on with this band. He missed them. Per started writing songs and felt they sounded like GT songs. It’s a fantastic, lovely band. „I’m so happy that we are still alive and kicking. It’s wonderful.”

Carina says GT is a „democratic band” and is curious what it means. „It means that everyone agrees that I decide.” [Everyone laughs.] Carina says „so you are the president” and Per says „exactly”. Per says they have been working together for so long and they try to make decisions together. No one can be replaced and everyone has to have their say.

Carina asks if Per is as democratic at home as in the band. PG first thinks and then suddenly says of course he is. Haha. „When does your wife get annoyed with you?”, Carina asks Mr. G. Per says „often, I think”. He is quite busy and obsessed with his work. He works a lot. He is in his own little bubble and Åsa says he is giving birth all the time. He carries on his songs and projects and he is his work in a way. It has always been so.

Carina asks Per if he is fond of order and tidiness. Mr. G says he is, it’s good. Marianne asks Per if he is virgin. Per replies no and asks back if she is. Marianne explains she meant Virgo in astrology. Per laughs and says he understood that [everyone laughs] and says he is a Capricorn. Marianne thanks for the answer and explains it’s a sign of Virgos that they are cleaning and cleaning and deal with theatre an music. Marianne is a Virgo. Tora is Gemini, a typical Gemini according to her mom. Marianne asks for changing topic. Carina asks Per how we should imagine order in his home. PG explains he has always liked order and tidiness around him. Vinyls are in alphabetical order, photo books are here, music books are there, magazines are over there, in order. Yellow shirts are here, white shirts are there. Carina asks if Per is cleaning all the time. „Absolutely”, he replies. He always checks if there is a ring left by the glass on the table and he cleans it. Marianne asks Per if he has her number. Per says he got it earlier. [Everyone laughs.] Marianne also explains what order means to her. While she says she can find Christmas greetings from 1997 under her dining table, because she never sets the table (because she doesn’t have guests) and she eats in bed or in the bathtub, Per is not impressed. Haha. Marianne shares the info that on the other side, she prepares the tax declaration in advance and she makes notes of taxi bills with date, how long the way was and to where she went and why she was using a taxi. Here Per nods approvingly. Marianne says she shouldn’t share this info, but she has a collection of almost 40,000 Kinder egg figures and she will sort them out when she gets old. She thinks it’s fun. [Everyone laughs.]

Carina asks Per about what he is collecting. Mr. G says he is not a collector, but over the years there has been a lot of stuff and he has a collection of everything from records to guitars. He is getting old, he says. Carina is curious how many guitars Per has. He replies „way too many”. He doesn’t know, maybe a hundred. Carina says a little bird told her that he has exactly 125. „Was it my wife?”, Per asks. Carina tells she knows they are sorted in a very well organized way with photo and text. Per confirms. He says you have to keep track of your stuff. [Everyone laughs.] Guitars mean a lot to him. Some of them mean more than the others. He has written a lot of songs on them. Each guitar has its own personality and sounds in a special way. He has his favourites of course, which he plays every day, but others he doesn’t even know they exist.

Carina says she has understood that Per knows his life through his records, so she has prepared a test with some single sleeves. She wants to know what year it was released and what guitar was played on it. Per is happy to do the test. First is Joyride. It was released in 1991, recorded in 1990. It wasn’t Per playing the guitar, it was Jonas Isacsson and he played a red Arvidson guitar. Carina asks how life was in 1991. Per tells they had their first big world tour in 1991-1992. Those were crazy times, an 18-month long tour, 2 million people came to see them. Years 1988-1995 for Roxette were absolutely amazing. They travelled around the world several times and it was awesome to be part of the success.

The next sleeve shown is Neverending Love. It’s 1986, the first Roxette single. It’s not him playing the guitar, it was MP from Gyllene Tider and it was certainly a Stratocaster. Per explains he doesn’t play that much on the albums. [Everyone laughs.] Carina is curious about the story behind Neverending Love. Mr. G tells he was asked to write a song for Pernilla Wahlgren who had just been signed by a new record label and he wrote a song called Svarta glas. The record label refused to use it, which then felt tough, but Per translated it into English and that became Roxette’s first hit. Everyone is impressed and cheers Per. Mr. G thanks for that.

Carina asks the others if they have a special favourite Roxette or GT song. Lena points at Per and says they are approximately the same age. She says one of her favourites is „Jag vill känna din kropp emot min” [När vi två blir en]. It hits right in one’s romance and heart. Lena tells when she and Per once met in New York, Lena told Per she loved Här kommer alla känslorna (på en och samma gång). It also hit her right in the heart and it really touched her. There are many other songs, but these two are her favourites. Marianne asks Per if it was him who wrote a song that he wants to sleep with the girls on TV2. [Per’s facial expression is priceless here. Haha.] Carina corrects Marianne: „turn on” the girls on TV2. Marianne says she said it in an older way. [Everyone laughs.] Per also laughs and confirms it was him. „What were you thinking when you wrote that?”, Marianne asks. „It was kind of nice”, Per replies. „Maybe you meant to turn the TV on?”, Marianne asks. „Yes, that was the case.”, Per replies. „Is that a post rationalization?”, Marianne asks. Per replies: „Absolutely not. It’s your fantasy that carries you away.” [Everyone laughs.] „Is that right? You’re getting a little shy, I see.”, Marianne says. [PG’s facial expression is priceless here too. Everyone laughs.] Per says „it’s tough”.

Carina continues with Per’s new album under PG Roxette. Per goes on with Roxette without Marie. Carina asks Per what Marie would have thought about the album. Per thinks she would have liked it, because it’s kind of a cousin to Look Sharp! and Joyride. The style and the sound are very much the late ’80s, early ’90s. Marie really loved that kind of music. Carina asks how it was to make this record without Marie. „At first I didn’t want to do it, but then time passed by and I felt I wanted to go on with Roxette. But it doesn’t work to replace Marie, so I tried to find another form. I used my own voice, but also worked together with the two girls who were in Roxette’s band during the past 8 years when we were on tour. They have taken a step forward and sung when needed. I haven’t thought much more than trying to make a good Roxette record.”

Carina tells Good Karma was the last album Per recorded with Marie before she passed away in 2019. Carina is curious about how the recording session was. Per explains it was complicated. Marie was in a quite bad condition, but at the same time it was awesome that she was an Amazon in the way that she wanted to work all the time. They didn’t stop touring until 2016 and the album was recorded in 2015. It was an amazing session, but it wasn’t easy. Carina asks Per how he and Marie talked about life back then. Mr. G says when they talked about life, they rather talked about the past, the fantastic journey they did together. All their adult life they have dedicated to Roxette. They went through so many things together. They always felt like siblings, the same way as them 5 are like brothers in Gyllene Tider. When you go through so many things together, it’s like that. It’s an amazing feeling to be able to have that relationship in good or bad. Carina asks what Marie has thaught Per. Per says it’s a tough question. Marie gave him self confidence. She always made sure that what Per does gets a little bit better than it is.

A new tour is in sight, a new album is coming, as well as a Gyllene Tider movie and a Roxette musical. A lot is happening. Carina thanks Per for coming on the show.

Mr. G stays sitting on Carina’s sofa with all other 3 guests until the end of the program, so you can see him during the talk with the fifth guest, soccer player Pawel Cibicki and also watch him enjoying music while Hannes feat. Waterbaby play one song live.

Stills are from the TV show.

Per Gessle on TV show ”Robins”

A week ago it turned out that Per Gessle would be a guest on Swedish talk show “Robins” on September 30 on SVT1. We all got excited to see an interview with Mr. G on such a program. It’s similar to the late night shows you can see on US channels and stand-up comedian Robin Paulsson, the host is often called the Swedish David Letterman.

The recordings happened on 28th September and since then we could see many pictures where Per, Robin and the other guest on the show, Keyyo appeared. We couldn’t wait anymore for tonite when a teaser video was published yesterday, with Keyyo getting pranked. Seemed to be a fun TV program and we could already see in that teaser that Mr. G had a good time during the show.

Finally, tonight we could watch the real deal, the complete program with the Per Gessle interview in it. The show starts with Robin telling Per backstage that the lyrics to The Look is a bit confusing. Keyyo starts reading it, then Robin continues. Per says he finds nothing strange in it, but Robin says they don’t understand the text. Then Per says it’s in English. Robin and Keyyo say: aaaah, English, then they can understand the rest too, na-na-na-na-na-na… Haha.

Per enters the studio at around 5 minutes in and gets a huge applause and loud woohoo from the audience. First Robin and Per are talking about the differences between their jobs. Robin says he envies Per, because he can play his songs from the ’80s and people love them, but no one wants to hear a comedian telling a joke from 1981. Per says it might not be true. He saw Monty Python on their farewell tour in London and was wondering if it could be fun to hear a joke what he already heard so many times, the ”Parrot Sketch” and it was much fun even if he knew exactly when the fun part came and what the joke was about. Everyone loved it. Robin says he as a comedian can get tired of certain jokes and throws them away. He asks Per what happens if he is doing a concert and skips Sommartider. Mr. G says it’s good to have some more songs. As a last comparison of their jobs, Robin tells Per he can fill in The Look with nanananana and everyone loves it, but he can’t come up with nanananana in his jokes, people would miss something. Per says nanananana is good, because it’s international.

The guys are talking about Per’s new album. Per tells he recorded 2 albums in Nashville, En vacker natt and En vacker dag. Robin mentions it’s said to be Per’s most personal release ever. Robin asks Mr. G how he means it’s the most personal and Per tells about the tough times in his family, that his mother, brother and sister passed away during the past 3 years and it affected the atmosphere of his music. Robin asks Per whether it is more difficult to write a personal song or a summer song like Sommartider. Per says one of the questions he gets most often is how to write a hit. He has no clue. He never plans to write a hit, he just can’t plan it. Robin is surprised that it means that Per never knows which song would become a hit. Then Per tells him he is the worst at choosing singles. He wanted to leave “Här kommer alla känslorna” off Mazarin. Robin concludes Per is a very good musician, but at the same time also very bad.

Robin says it feels like Per is a normal person despite him being a pop star, very down-to-earth. He asks Per if success has ever gone to his head. Mr. G says he doesn’t know, it’s hard to tell, because he was 19-20 when Gyllene Tider broke through, so he lived all his life in this “celebrity fame”. So he doesn’t know how life is without all this. Maybe he would be unbearable. Robin says he is not unbearable, they met backstage. OK, he had to pay for an autograph, but that’s OK. Haha.

To see how the pop star life touched Per, Robin asks questions and Mr. G has to answer whether it’s typically an everyday thing or a typically luxury thing. If he replies everyday, he has to drink milk, if he replies luxury, he has to drink champagne. Per asks what kind of champagne it is. Haha. Robin says Per is such a gourmet. Ready, steady, go! Robin’s first question: Ferrari or bus? Per takes a sip from the champagne. Next question: Russian caviar or Kalles caviar? Per chooses Kalles and takes a sip from the milk. Next: patent shoes or clogs? Per takes a sip from the champagne. Robin asks if Per has clogs. Mr. G says no, he drinks. Next: Venice Beach or Tylösand? Here Per asks which one is which. Haha. Good question. He chooses the champagne and says Tylösand. Next: watching a Real Madrid or a Halmia match? Per chooses Halmia and drinks champagne. Robin concludes Per is a big fan, but also mentions that it doesn’t go so good for Halmia now as for Halmstad. Per says: soon! Haha. Last question: sitting on a throne in a palace or on a rock by a lake in a forest (på en sten vid en sjö i en skog)? It’s the rock! And Mr. G takes a sip from the champagne and says it’s a good one, the champagne.

Robin says let’s turn back time to the ‘70s. How was it being Sweden’s biggest pop star at the age of 20? Per says it was bewildering. Gyllene Tider did 6 concerts before they became No. 1. They came from nowhere. Robin says 6 gigs are nothing, one can’t become confident on stage after only 6 shows. Per says they weren’t too confident at their seventh gig either. Haha. Robin asks which song was No. 1 then. Per says Flickorna på TV2. Robin says it must have changed Per’s life. Mr. G says totally, it was cool. Suddenly he got 2000 cards on his birthday, people stole his laundry that hung in the garden to dry, everything movable disappeared, e.g. the number plate on the car.

Robin asks Per what the key to success is. Per says the 3T: tur, tajming, talang, i.e. luck, timing and talent. Robin adds hard work maybe. Per says yeah, one has to do his own 10000 hours, but there are a lot of coincidences and you also have to be in the right place at the right time.

Robin says it’s easy to believe that Per’s career has always been going upwards, but there was a period between Gyllene Tider and Roxette, around 1985 when it was a tough time. He asks Per if he could describe that period. Per first says no and laughs. Then he tells Gyllene Tider was over in 1984 and he didn’t have a record contract or a vision what he should do. He started writing songs for others, because he had the reputation as a songwriter. He says the coolest was that he knew Marie Fredriksson since years then as they shared a rehearsal room in the ’70s and they were talking about doing something together. Per wrote a song to Pernilla Wahlgren, Svarta glas, but she has never recorded it. Then Per translated it into English and that became Roxette’s first single, Neverending Love, which was a big hit in Sweden in 1986. They recorded an album from all his refused Swedish songs. Per translated the songs into English and that became Roxette’s first album.

Robin says when he was a child he thought Per and Marie were a couple. Per says many thought so and many others thought he was Marie’s manager and Marie was called Roxette. A TV studio had a dressing room for Marie and they showed the green room for Per.

Robin mentions that It Must Have Been Love was played 4 million times already until 2005 on the radio in the US. It’s like playing it non stop for 35 years. Per says he can talk about this song for long. It was written in 1987. They tried to get on the market in Germany and they were said that it’s easier with a Christmas song. So he wrote “It Must Have Been Love (Christmas for The Broken Hearted)”. When they played it for the German, they hated it. So they released it in Sweden and it became a Christmas hit in 1987. Robin says one doesn’t think about this song as a Christmas song. Then Per tells the story how it became a song for the movie Pretty Woman some years later. Robin concludes Per recycles a lot. Everyone laughs.

Robin asks Per if he has ever felt it’s enough now. Per says he is not done yet. Nowadays he feels more confident about what he is doing than 20 years ago, because back then he wanted to prove things for himself. Now everything is more relaxed and he is doing things for his own sake. It’s more fun now. It was fun before too, of course, but now it’s devilishly fun.

With this the interview ends, but Per stays in the studio while Robin’s other guest, Keyyo arrives. She is a 20-year-old YouTuber who is very popular in Sweden. She is originally from Russia, but lives in Sweden since she was 8. Robin asks Keyyo if she listened to Per, his music. Keyyo says she has to be honest, she didn’t listen to Per, but her mother did and now her mother envies Keyyo a lot for being on the same show as Per Gessle. Keyyo tells a story that when she was 8-9 years old and they were driving in the car and Tycker om när du tar på mej came on the radio and exactly this part: ”Jag tycker om dina bröst i morgonljuset”, she always thought it was so filthy. Haha. She also compliments Per saying he is so normal. Everyone laughs.

Then the show is about Keyyo who also got pranked and you can see Per had a good time also in the second half of the show. It was a nice program. Would be fun to see Mr. G more on TV shows like this. Cool thing!

Watch the TV show HERE!