Per Gessle on Top 2000 in the Netherlands

There was a short interview with Per today about The Look on Top 2000 (Dutch music program). The program is available in the Netherlands only, but hopefully, they will soon upload it to their YouTube channel as well.

The interview was done on 19th November at Baggpipe Studios (the old EMI studio) in Stockholm. Per tells they recorded a lot of Roxette songs there and shows the place where e.g. Jonas Isacsson was sitting, playing the guitar, where the drums were, etc. Per says it’s a magical place for him.

Mr. G thinks Pearls of Passion was a good album, but he wanted Roxette to be a bit more programmed, digital and modern. There was a conflict between him and the original producer of Look Sharp!, because the producer wanted to use his favourite musicians. Per was lucky in the end, because their engineer broke his leg and they got another engineer. He was an amazing porgrammer and digital guy. He, Per and Clarence wanted Roxette to go to the computer world. Per bought a synthesizer with a sequencer and started learning how to use that. He wrote The Look on it. 3 chords, 1 finger. It was written for Marie, that’s why he was singing ”he’s got the look” in the demo. Marie liked the demo, but said she can’t sing it, because there is no melody. It’s almost like rap. But then she said ”I can sing the nanana part and I can do the answering in the choruses”.

Per was against releasing it as a single, because the whole idea behind Roxette was that Marie was going to sing the songs and Per was the main songwriter. So in Per’s world it didn’t really make sense to release it as a single.

In 1988 there was an American exchange student in Sweden and he became a big Roxette fan. He moved back to Minneapolis and on his favourite radio station, KDWB there was a show where listeners can call in and ask for their favourite songs or they can leave their records there. He went there and gave them the Look Sharp! album. It was lying around for a couple of weeks and he went back to pick it up again. The program director was there at the reception and thought that’s a really cool album cover. Because it looks like a magazine. So he put on the album and the first song was The Look. He thought this is an amazing song. He put it on air and as soon as he did so, the phone started to ring and people were asking what’s that. They rush released the single because it was all over the radio and it took 8 weeks until it became No. 1. It changed their lives of course.

Per explains all the Nordic countries have great traditional melodies. That’s in their DNA. If you listen to old classic Swedish songs from the 19th century, it’s very beautiful melodies and they grew up listening to that kind of music. You can hear it in ABBA’s music, you can hear it in Per’s music.

That particular Roxette sound was created in the old EMI studio, in Stockholm, with Swedish people. EMI in the US wanted them to move to Los Angeles or at least to New York or at least to London, to be part of the international music scene. But they said no, because if they moved to Los Angeles, they would have sounded like Richard Marx or what was happening at the time in the US. Roxette sounds special because it was made in Sweden.

Still is from the interview.

Thanx for the technical support, Ludo van Denderen! (Until the original video is available on the Top 2000 YouTube channel, you can watch Ludo’s recording of it HERE.)

Update on 13th February 2020: Top 2000 a gogo uploaded the video to YouTube.

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!

 

Per Gessle at Allsång på Skansen 2017

On June 13th it was announced that Per Gessle would perform at Allsång på Skansen on 4th July. The day has come and Per collected his new band to appear on stage at Skansen. During the day he showed the new tussilago drumhead on insta and also posted a pic of himself and Sanna Nielsen, singer, presenter. We could see some instapics and instavids from the rehearsals where we could hear the band playing Sommartider and Småstadsprat. We heard they also rehearsed Här kommer alla känslorna (på en och samma gång). 2 hours before showtime SVT shared a photo of Mr. G posing backstage. He had a new stage outfit on. Black shirt with red stars on the shoulders and black trousers with red stripes on the sides. And Per must have come from the hairdresser, haha, his hair is freshly cut. Ready for tonite, ready for the tour!

The show started at 20:00 and it was available live online. You can watch it HERE! First Sanna Nielsen was singing and introduced the artists who would perform at the event. Per had a chit-chat with some in the crowd while waiting and people were of course taking pictures of him. Mr. G was walking towards the stage after Sanna Nielsen introduced him, waving to the crowd. He was the first to perform, Sommartider. Hej hej, it was a fab starter! All from 3 to 99 in the audience loved it and sang along. So many happy faces all around, all smiles. Per left the stage after Sommartider ended, but Sanna told he would be back later.

We had to wait until 20:50 to see Mr. G again. Sanna said Per wrote more songs than she could count and she started singing It Must Have Been Love, asking the audience to sing along, while PG was getting up on stage again. Per loved to hear the crowd singing IMHBL. Then he and the band started playing Småstadsprat. Now the cameras showed close-ups of the band members too. They sounded fantastic together again. The part Lars Winnerbäck sings on the album version was sung by Sanna Nielsen this time. The crowd didn’t really sing along to this one. They need to practice a bit more or check their booklets thoroughly next time.

After Småstadsprat Sanna asked Per about a tour memory he would never forget. Per said there are many, but he remembered and told the story when (he believes) in Mexico City he tried a sexy move on stage, but he stumbled over a lamp and his pants got torn. Marie and the front row thought it was funny, but Per thought thank God there were no mobile phones back then. He said anyway it’s great to be on tour and play to fantastic crowds like this here. The best is to be waiting for 22 hours to be 2 hours on stage.

Then he and the band performed Här kommer alla känslorna (på en och samma gång). The whole crowd got on their feet. With this song the show on TV ended. All artists came up on stage and got a sunflower in their hands. Not a tussilago. Haha. They were singing Stockholm i mitt hjärta together. We hoped for more PG in the last 30 minutes that were broadcast online only, but he didn’t perform more.

Per’s thoughts about tonight:

Allsång på Skansen! Tack alla som sjöng med. Tack för en underbar kväll i ett härligt sommar-Stockholm. Grymt band, Sanna var fab på “Småstadsprat” och publiken…. wunderbar!!! Syns på torsdag. Då smäller det! /P.

The tour starts in 2 days! Come and join Mr. G for En vacker kväll or more! 😉

Pics:

Aftonbladet
Expressen

Per Gessle and Gyllene Tider – Allsång på Skansen history:

PG 2003
GT 2004
PG 2007
GT 2013

 

Per Gessle interview and single performance on Skavlan

As you already know, Per Gessle appeared on Skavlan talk show tonight. From the video teasers (selfie; desert island) we saw on SVT’s website during the day we could be absolutely sure that the show was going to be much fun. The recording took place on 15th March and 2 hours before showtime Per shared a rehearsal video from his 14th March get together with the band and Lars Winnerbäck on his YouTube channel (GessleHomeVids), which we hope he will keep alive for a longer time and share even more content in the future.

The first 2 guests in Skavlan were Annika Falkengren (actual President and Group Chief Executive of the Swedish bank, SEB) and Jo Nesbø (Norwegian writer, musician). Mr. G was the third guest, his part starts at around 25:40. Before he entered the studio, some old concert and TV show footage was shown from Per’s early and later career (Gyllene Tider, Roxette, solo) and after he sat down, Fredrik Skavlan, host of the show was chatting with all 3 people, asking interesting questions.

Since Annika is one of the guests, Fredrik asks Per what type of bank client Mr. G is. He says he is a weak banker. Then Fredrik goes on asking who Per was before he became a musician. Per says he can’t remember, it was so long ago, but he thinks he was a shy and lonely guy. Music became his life quite early. Already at the age of 6-7-8 he was listening to The Kinks and then The Beatles.

Fredrik asks Per what his father thought about him choosing music. Per says his father died in 1978, but he wasn’t fond of his musical efforts. He heard one song on the show Bandet går and thought Per was singing like shouting badly. Fredrik asks Per if he would have chosen this career if his father wouldn’t have died, but Per doesn’t know the answer. He says his mother always supported him. His dad died the same day a big article about Gyllene Tider appeared in Expressen.

They talk about Per being called a mom’s boy and that she and Per’s brother and sister died during the past 3 years. Fredrik asks Per what his mother would say was the peak in Per’s career. Per tells she lived with her mother for a long time and she witnessed all the weird things during the golden age of Gyllene Tider, like getting 3000 postcards or fans stealing the drying clothes from their garden. Then it was different with Roxette, it was more of a global thing. But he tells his mum was very proud of him.

Fredrik says people talk about Per as the boss. Per says he is more of a control freak. Fredrik asks if it has always been easy to work together in Roxette. Per replies ”piece of cake” and laughs. He says they started from nowhere and it was a fantastic journey with Marie. But of course, there were conflicts. Per always wanted to work and when they finished something he wanted to work again, but Marie didn’t think the same way. And probably Per’s control freakness also caused some conflicts. Fredrik asks if Marie has ever told it to Per and Per replies he read that in Marie’s book and laughs.

Fredrik Skavlan asks Per if he is a pedant. Per says he is. If Fredrik goes to his home he would for sure think a pedant lives there. All records are sorted on the shelves in alphabetic order, for example. He was like that already as a kid. He tells his friends think it’s fun to push some books in on the shelf when they visit him. Here Jo Nesbø says all guys put the records in alphabetical order but asks Per if he also puts the records in chronological order for one band. Per says no, he doesn’t do that. Jo says then everyone can calm down. Haha.

Fredrik says both Lars Winnerbäck and Per Gessle are introvert guys. He is wondering who talks most. Per laughs and says they sit silent. Then Fredrik asks Mr. G what small town talks (småstadsprat) Per knows about himself. He says he loves Halmstad and he really feels that Halmstad is proud of him. He says it’s always fun to fuel the car. Then Fredrik asks if he drives the cars Per has in his collection. It’s like having a horse inside the house. Per says of course he drives them. Mr. G talks about how it is to drive his Ferrari to the ICA (Swedish supermarket) to buy strawberries. He says he thought a Ferrari is a girl magnet, but it’s not at all. Everytime he leaves the shop, coming back to where he parked the car there are like 30 guys filming his Ferrari.

Per also talks about that since he was 20 he got used to the fact that people recognize him. He can’t leave his apartment without bumping into people who want to take a selfie with him. Actually, if nobody asks for a selfie, he gets very depressed. Then Fredrik comes close to PG and they pose for a selfie.

Fredrik asks Per what kind of car Annika’s husband should buy when they move to Switzerland and Mr. G suggest a 2-seated with no roof. Here Annika tells Per once she was sitting behind Per on a plane and Mr. G was reading a car magazine. His wife and son were sitting on the other side. She asks if it happens often. Per is kidding he is surprised Annika saw them travelling on the same class.

Then comes a little game. Fredrik asks his guests which 3 albums they would bring to a desert island where they would spend a long long time. Jo Nesbø asks Per who he prefers, John Lennon or Paul McCartney and Per chooses John Lennon. Jo and Per can agree on taking The Beatles’ Revolver album. Annika couldn’t really get first what revolver they are talking about, then out of the blue she suggests why not taking Julio Iglesias with them. LOL. Per’s facial expression is priceless. WTF? Haha. Then Annika goes on with Demis Roussos and Per can’t keep it to himself, he says he hopes it’s a big island. Haha. One must love his sense of humor. Per says the 3 albums he would take are Revolver, The Ramones’ first album and Joni Mitchell’s Ladies of the Canyon. Jo agrees on The Ramones’ as well, but he would take Rocket to Russia from them.

With this the PG talking part is over (at appr. 40 minutes in), but a fourth guest is coming, Susan Faludi, an American Pulitzer winner author and feminist. It’s worth watching this part, too, because Per stays there in the studio and is listening to Susan’s stories, paying a lot of attention.

Then at appr. 53:20, at the end of the show Per performs his new song, ”Småstadsprat”, a duet with Lars Winnerbäck. Lars is of course there as well. In the band you can see Clarence Öfwerman, Christoffer Lundquist, Helena Josefsson and some new faces, Ola Gustafsson, Malin-My Nilsson and Martin Höper. How they perform Småstadsprat live is pure awesomeness! Just magical! H.e.a.v.e.n.l.y.!

What a wonderful and interesting show it was! We would love to have more of this, wouldn’t we?

Still is from the TV show

 

Per Gessle in Tack för musiken?

Niklas Strömstedt posted a photo on his Instagram account some hours ago with this text: ”Tack för musiken…originalet. Stay tuned!” This is pure awesomeness!

Marie Fredriksson was a guest of the show in 2013 and when Niklas had a Q&A session on AskFM on 21st January 2014, I asked him which part of Tack för musiken with Marie he liked the most and I couldn’t help asking the question if he was planning to invite Per in the future to his show. He said he liked it very much when Marie was singing Sparvöga and to the Q regarding Per he replied ”well…, we will see”. Then seeing the list of guests of the 2014 series I was a bit sad that Mr. G wasn’t there, but now this instapic of the guys looks very promising.

The episode with Marie was incredibly fantastic. Read our summary of the show HERE. For that Tack för musiken we were able to apply for tickets to be in the audience and Marie was very happy to see some familiar faces in the front when the show was recorded in August 2013. Now it seems this option didn’t exist or at least we haven’t heard about it, because for sure there was an audience. It would have been cool to attend such a fab TV recording. If we are talking about it in past tense. But what if it’s a future happening? Fingers crossed!

In 2013 the recordings happened in August-September and the first episodes were broadcast in December. It’s not yet published when the next series of Tack för musiken will be on air on Swedish TV, but hopefully, it is announced very soon and we can watch it still this year. It’s already too exciting to think about what songs Per will perform live and who will be his guests in the show. If it’s really a complete episode about him and he wasn’t ”just” a guest for some other artist. Haha. But no. That’s impossible. He surely has a complete show. Or is this pic about Tack för musiken, the show at all? Or was it a real music show Per and Niklas attended last night (Peter Jöback & Helen Sjöholm’s I Love Musicals maybe) and Niklas just commented the pic with “thanks for the music” referring to that event? Oh, well… Too many “or”-s and “if”-s. 😉 Looking forward to some more details, aren’t we?

Oct 11th morning update: Niklas deleted the photo, which makes it even more interesting. Hm. And it seems that the event last night was Marie’s book release party. 🙂

 

PG_NS_TFM
Pic by Niklas Strömstedt (Instagram)