Per Gessle on Nyhetsmorgon

Per Gessle was one of the guests on Nyhetsmorgon, TV4 this morning. He entered the studio after Jubël (Sebastian Atas and Victor Sjöström), a Swedish duo originating from Halmstad performed their song, Someone. Per mentions how good they are and shows thumbs up to them. Program leader Jenny Alversjö asks Mr. G if they worked together and Per tells that for example, in 2018 they wrote music together for Name You Beautiful, the official song for the World Table Tennis Championship in Halmstad.

Jenny asks Per about Christmas. PG says it was calm of course. It’s been a quite long, boring time for everyone, Per thinks. Then Jenny tells there was the Late Night Concert on TV4 in December and it came as a consolation in the darkness when we needed it most. Per tells it was fantastic. They’ve been sitting isolated for such a long time and couldn’t play and even if there was of course no audience for this event, it was fun to rehearse and meet the band. It was fun to play in an acoustic arrangement, he thinks it’s always special. It was like finding new ways for the songs and certain songs fit this intimate format, e.g. Tycker om när du tar på mig or Listen To Your Heart. He tried to pick songs from Roxette, Gyllene Tider and his solo career. It was exciting for him.

Jenny asks how it works not to strip down something that is the core of the song. Per says the core things in his songs are most often the lyrics and the melody, so this way one can even put these elements more into focus.

Here they show some parts of the concert and Jenny tells it was incredibly nice. She asks Per how he picked the songs for this event. For this concert Per says he tested 10-15 songs, maybe more and he simply chose the ones that felt best. One can feel it that some songs just don’t work in a toned-down version. The Look, for example, would have been quite meaningless to be played there.

Jenny tells Per has Billboard No. 1 songs and sold millions of albums and she is curious about Mr. G’s relationship to music today. Per says it’s quite unchanged. Music has always been his thing and he has never thought of music as his job.

Jenny asks Per about his plans whether he is thinking about new things or planning to work with his already existing catalogue in the way we could see him at the Late Night Concert. Mr. G says partly this and that. He thinks he has always had a very good setup: Gyllene Tider, which is a certain type of power pop, Roxette, which is a totally different style also productionwise, his solo stuff, which is more lyric-based, more of a singer songwriter style and Mono Mind, which is also a totally different music. He used to say there are different things on the same tree and it fits him very well, so he can do diverse things.

Jenny asks Per whether he had done everything he wanted to do or there is still something he dreams about. Mr. G says he has no special dream, he just wants to keep going with all what he is doing and wants to see what happens, be curious and test things.

Jenny asks how Per finds inspiration and where his creativity comes from. Per says it’s his way to express himself. He expresses his personality and creativity through music and texts, so it comes by itself in a way. Many think that he ”goes to work” at 9 and plays the piano and the guitar for 6 hours, but it doesn’t work for him like that. He writes down just what he must write down and it’s when he has something that must come out. It can be a melody or an idea or a text.

Jenny asks Per about the secret of being a hitmaker and if he feels it when he writes a song that it would become a hit. Per says it’s been long since the last time he wrote a hit. Pop music has changed so much and he sticks to his roots, so he is not a modern hitmaker anymore. He says there are so many things that have to work for a song to become a hit. It’s not just the song itself, but it’s also about timing, cooperations, luck and a thousand other things that should work at the same time. Regarding certain songs, e.g. The Look, when they recorded it in the studio in the 80’s it felt that it was very special, but that it would become No. 1 in 30 countries, you never know in advance. It Must Have Been Love was a very good ballad and then it became part of the movie, Pretty Woman and it became such a monster hit. Coincidence also plays a big role, Per says.

Jenny mentions Marie passed away more than a year ago and is curious how it is to play Roxette songs without Marie. Per says it’s terrible that Marie is not there anymore, but he feels that the music lives on and he sees that all around the world. He still wants to play these songs, they are such a big part of his life, more than 30 years of Roxette. He doesn’t want to close that door, but it will be different and he will never replace Marie. Jenny asks Per about griefing and missing Marie. Mr. G says it’s a constant feeling. You can never call her or talk to her again. Now Pelle Alsing, their drummer also passed away before Christmas and it also feels incomprehensible. It’s tough.

Jenny says she also knows Per is working in the studio now and is curious what the future brings. Mr. G says he is recording an English pop album and it sounds a bit like Roxette’s origins. It’s a bit difficult to write uptempo pop songs at his age even if he wrote so many of such songs before. He simply took the challange to write an awesome pop record. Jenny thinks it’s very exciting and Per agrees. He has no clue when the album is out, but he plans to release it this year. When it’s ready.

Stills are from the interview.

Per Gessle to release Late Night Concert

This year’s surprise of Per Gessle on his birthday is that he releases his unplugged Late Night Concert recorded at Cirkus in Stockholm on 19th November 2020 without an audience, broadcast on TV4 on 16th December 2020. Besides being available digitally from 15th January on YouTube and all streaming sites, it will get a physical release too. Available on CD from 29th January and on vinyl from 12th March.

Tracklist

  1. På promenad genom stan
  2. Tycker om när du tar på mig
  3. Listen To Your Heart
  4. Småstadsprat
  5. Honung och guld
  6. I din hand
  7. Segla på ett moln
  8. It Must Have Been Love (Christmas For The Broken Hearted)
  9. Ömhet

So it includes all 9 songs played, but the order of them is different to the order in which we could see the beautiful performance on TV4.

Listen to the album on digital platforms from Friday and pre-order your physical copies HERE!

Fab news! It’s really worth a release to be able to enjoy this concert anytime we want to!

A very happy birthday to Per!

Per Gessle at Late Night Concert

Late Night Concert is a collaboration between Live Nation and TV4, which premiered this spring and was recorded at an empty Gröna Lund. The format was born out of the current situation when live music has fallen silent when concerts have been forced to scale down and is based on the idea of spreading live music out into the country and home to the TV couches.

The second season was recorded at Cirkus in Stockholm without an audience and is broadcast on TV4. The program can also be seen on TV4 Play and C More.

Per Gessle’s Late Night Concert day was 16th December. You can watch it HERE (if you live in the EU or can use VPN)! When we are on tour, we expect more and more people to attend the shows and now… we can be happy for concerts where there is literally no one in the audience. How weird this 2020 is. At the same time, we can be grateful that at least this way we can enjoy Mr. G’s performance. Who knows when it will be possible to go on tour again.

Per chose to perform an unplugged set and what a great decision it was! It’s not the first time he plays unplugged. We all remember MTV Unplugged from 1993. It happened at the same place, Cirkus in Stockholm and Mr. G was wearing a similar wild cat shirt. Now there were less instruments and no John Lennon sunglasses.

Helena Josefsson, Clarence Öfwerman, Christoffer Lundquist and Magnus Börjeson joined Per on stage. They played 9 songs (2 Roxette, 1 Gyllene Tider, 6 Per solo).

Setlist

  1. På promenad genom stan
  2. Småstadsprat
  3. Listen To Your Heart
  4. Tycker om när du tar på mej
  5. Ömhet
  6. I din hand
  7. Segla på ett moln
  8. Honung och guld
  9. It Must Have Been Love (Christmas for the Broken Hearted)

All songs sounded wonderful in this arrangement. I’m a fan of rock concerts and jumping in the crowd, but hey, I want this acoustic set in real life! Not the first time I’m dreaming about an acoustic tour, but now I crave it even more. I mean Per’s vocals were so emotional and Helena was singing beautifully and Clarence, Chris and Magnus were playing so softly, all that absolutely fit the intimate atmosphere. 3 songs put me into tears. Listen To Your Heart… before you tell her goodbye… Gosh… Then Segla på ett moln for whatever reason and then of course, It Must Have Been Love. Oh well, music and its effects. It was amazing to hear songs live from Per’s latest solo album, Gammal kärlek rostar aldrig.

Between Småstadsprat and Listen To Your Heart Per talked about his MTV Unplugged 1993 experience. He said he played Cirkus several times, but he remembers most of all the MTV recording. They were the first non-English or non-American band that was invited to play on the program. He remembers that he was wearing a leopard shirt back then and that’s why he is wearing a leopard shirt now, to celebrate it.

Before playing Ömhet, Mr. G talked about being isolated due to the pandemic and that he thought to record an album based on his old material written in the 80’s, 90’s and 2000’s. His idea was to play all instruments himself to make it as personal as possible. He tried to breathe new life into those old songs. He thinks it became a pretty cool album.

Before It Must Have Been Love, Per talked about the story of it. He says it’s a super special song. It started out as a Christmas song in 1987 and it was a success in Sweden. The story behind is that their German record label advised them to write a Christmas song so they might get airplay on German radio, because they couldn’t manage it with their debut album, Pearls of Passion. So they recorded IMHBL, presented it to the German, but they didn’t like it. Then in 1990 they were asked to cooperate in the soundtrack of a movie then called 3000. They were travelling around the world with Roxette then and didn’t have time to record a new song. They thought to use IMHBL, just changing Christmas day to winter’s day in the lyrics, recorded a new intro and mixed it differently. The title of the movie was changed to Pretty Woman and became a huge success. IMHBL became Roxette’s probably biggest hit.

The concert was beautifully recorded from great camera angles. I could have lived without the ads in between the songs and it’s always better to see the support acts before the main act comes on stage, but other than that, concentrating solely on the PERformance itself, it was really a fab recording.

Dear Covid-19, don’t you dare ruin our 2021 as well! Besides many other things in a so called normal life, we need tours too!

Thanks a lot to Live Nation and TV4 for bringing Per Gessle into our living rooms and thanks Mr. G & Co. for the beautiful interpretation of these 9 songs. We want more of this! I just had to watch it again right after it ended. And I guess I will give it some more plays. Did I mention it was B.E.A.U.T.I.F.U.L.???

Stills are from the program.

Per Gessle’s opinion about the recordings:

Had a blast recording the Unplugged Late Night Concert at Cirkus in Sthlm. My favourite players and singers around me. Wunderbar.
Missed you guys out there, of course, but that’s the way it is on Mother Earth right now. Hope you liked it too and didn’t find too slow or too cozy. I wanted it to be intimate since we couldn’t interact with any audience.
If you missed it I’m sure you can catch it on TV4 Play. Love to you all! Stay safe + sound! /P.
For those outside the EU, TV4 uploaded Listen To Your Heart to their YouTube.

Per Gessle on Efter fem on TV4

Per Gessle appeared on Efter fem on TV4 today. Program leader Tilde de Paula Eby started with telling that many say ”Roxette is the soundtrack of my life”. Roxette has 4 US No. 1 hits, sold 80 million records, there is a new release with Roxette’s so far unreleased songs and a new solo album by Per Gessle. Many things are going on. Per says it fits him perfectly. Tilde asks her colleague to continue. Axel says it’s not too easy to summarize Per Gessle’s career in two minutes, but he tries to.

We go back 40 years in time and Axel shows a pic of Gyllene Tider as the first band Per broke through with. Then he started Roxette with Marie Fredriksson in 1986 and they broke through internationally in 1989. They reached No. 1 on the US Billboard Hot 100 charts with 4 of their songs. Per’s most memorable solo album is Mazarin from 2003. Now he released a new solo album, Gammal kärlek rostar aldrig.

Per says he is very proud and happy about all of these. It’s a long career. Tilde says Per is the type of person who is always working on something new, but she is curious if Per looks back on his past experiences every now and then. Per says not intentionally, but when he e.g. hears Roxette songs at the airport or wherever, he is of course reminded of all what happened. But he doesn’t start reading books about himself.

Tilde asks Mr. G if he is excited when he hears his own song on the radio today. Per says he can’t listen to Sommartider. If it comes on the radio, he turns it down. Haha. He says of course, when he hears any of his songs on the radio he is proud.

Tilde asks Per to tell her about his new album. Mr. G says it was recorded thanks to the pandemic. He was isolated in Halmstad, he didn’t have much to do, so he went to the studio and he had the ambition to play as many instruments as possible himself and record an album. He didn’t have new songs though, so he started digging in his archives. He found stuff he liked from the 80’s and 90’s mainly. He found songs that were forgotten, songs that were recorded in quite clumsy versions and songs he gave to other artists. He tried to find 12-13 songs that still feel relevant. The album is very much acoustic and sparsely produced. He tried to play as many instruments as possible, so there was a little hey-ho in between. He also asked help from local musicians in Halmstad. He thinks it turned out to be nice.

Tilde asks Mr. G what he thinks about himself when he is listening to his songs from the 80’s and 90’s. He doesn’t know, but the songs get another meaning when he sings them now as a 60-year-old. So a love song he wrote when he was 23 gets another meaning. When he sings it now, it becomes sentimental, it feels like looking back on his youth. The text gets a different point of view and that’s exciting.

Tilde is curious if Per was nervous or if there was anticipation when he released this latest album with songs from the past. If the feelings were the same as his experience in the 80’s when he released them. She also asks if it feels safe for him. Per says he feels safe, otherwise he wouldn’t have dared to play those instruments himself. It feels different now than back then. Also it was different with their international career. Back then they were checking the positions on radio charts. Those times are over for him.

With Roxette he also releases almost 50 songs now. Per says those are mostly unreleased demos or songs that disappeared when streaming became popular. There is also an acoustic session from the 90’s from Abbey Road Studios. There was more material than he thought he would find. It will come out on 4 volumes.

Tilde asks Per how he feels when he goes through the Roxette archives or watches the pictures in the video of Let Your Heart Dance With Me. Per tells the clips in the video were recorded by his wife who travelled with them on tours. It’s great fun to see them. That was an incredible journey. They had their heydays between 1988 and 1995, then Marie had her second child so they took their first break.

Tilde says Marie passed away almost a year ago. She asks Per if he still feels the same grief. Per says there is emptiness, but he is reminded of Marie every day. Them two are Roxette. When he sees all the pictures of themselves or is checking the archives, he is happy. It’s a fantastic journey they did together and it’s only the two of them who could chat about it. He misses it, but he gets happy everytime he hears Marie singing. She was fantastic.

Per always has ongoing projects, but this Swedish album wouldn’t have been released if there was no pandemic. Tilde says it must have been a lot of work to go through the archives and rewrite songs. Per says it’s much fun. He has yet another project besides all the others. Mr. G is working on an English album. He is recording it now. It will be released when it’s ready and it’s ready soon. It might be out next spring. It’s an exciting project for Per. Tilde asks if there are Billboard songs on that album in the making. Per smiles and says he doesn’t know, no, but we will se… One more No. 1 wouldn’t be bad.

Stills are from Efter fem.

Per Gessle on Hellenius hörna

Last time Per Gessle was on Hellenius hörna was almost exactly 3 years ago. That was a fun show and so I was looking very much forward to it this time again.

Yesterday’s program you can watch HERE, but only if you have Swedish access to it.

At the beginning of the program there is a teaser where Per is on the phone and imitates that he is talking to someone. His text is made up from his song titles. Host David Hellenius urges him to come, because they soon start, then goes out of Per’s dressing room and bumps into Laleh, the other guest ont he show. David asks her if she noticed anything strange with Per. She says no and her replies are made up from her song lyrics. Then Per appears with a fishing rod and tells them ”Jag går och fiskar!” (Gone fishing!). David runs after him.

Per is the first guest on the show. David introduces him as the one who put Swedish pop music on the world map with Roxette. He sold more than 100 million records and he is the only Swede who reached No. 1 on the US Billboard charts 4 times. There is footage from old shows where Per is playing with Gyllene Tider and Roxette, from his solo tours as well and we can also see award winning moments.

David welcomes Per and tells him it’s high time they celebrate Father’s Day together [it’s Father’s Day in Sweden on 8th November]. He asks Mr. G if he still gets present from his son. Per says no and he never got one. He thinks Mother’s Day and Father’s Day are for gathering the family. David understands one doesn’t have to give a lot of presents.

David tells Per released a new album recently, Gammal kärlek rostar aldrig. He is curious if it’s a self-experience record. Per tells he didn’t know what to do in summer, it was very quiet and he thought it would be fun to make an acoustic album on which he plays as many instruments as possible himself. He never did that before. Then he realized he doesn’t have songs. David says it’s difficult to make an album without songs. Per agrees, but says he realized that he has been writing songs for more than 40 years, so he got back to his songs from the 80’s and 90’s. David asks Per where he is keeping all his songs. Per laughs and says in a little drawer. He even demonstrates it. David asks what is written on the drawer. Per says: ”Ajajaj.” And they both laugh. David asks if Per sorted them out, but Per says on the contrary. These are songs that still mean a lot to him. David thinks one could say Per saved the best for last, but nah, he is not that old. Per says it’s a bit like that. Time flies and the songs he wrote in 1982-83 mean something different to him now than back then.

David asks Per about the songs Mamma and Pappa, if he wrote them a long time ago. Per says these two songs he actually wrote this year. He wrote Mamma for Mother’s Day and he thought he should write a father song too. He doesn’t know why, but that just happened. Then these two songs became the catalyst to the whole album. Mr. G says he did acoustic videos for his YouTube channel and he thought it was fun to play and sing. He played all the instruments except the difficult ones. David tells it’s smart and a good plan. He starts enumerating the instruments: guitar, bass, piano, but Per interrupts him and says bass is a difficult one. David says he thought it’s easy to play, there are only a few strings on a bass. Mr. G says a good bass is hard to play. He also doesn’t play the drums, but he plays almost everything else.

David tells Per has another special project he started in 2017, Mono Mind. At the beginning no one knew it was Per. He sounded like a robot. David asks him to explain it. Those who don’t know may think ”What happened to Per? Now he has stuck completely.” Per smiles and says it started earlier. In 2017 he reached No. 1 on the dance charts and stayed there for 6 weeks for everyone’s surprise. But he started that project in 2014. It was because he was tired of his own voice. They were sitting in the studio and tried to find effects. David asks if Per was tired of hearing himself. Mr. G says yes, because it was always the same. One intones in the same way. David says he understands it perfectly, that’s why he left ”Let’s Dance” [TV program]. He says he can’t say cha-cha-cha anymore. Mr. G says they started fiddling around on the computer and in the end he was singing one octave lower than usual. Then they fiddled with it. One can write the melody and add a little soul bounce to it. It was exciting and something he never did before. And it made him happy. They show a short part from the video to Save Me A Place. Then David informs Per called himself Dr. Robot. It’s almost like a children’s program, but it became mega huge. He asks Per how it felt to have a world hit without anyone knowing it was him. Per tells when someone is in the music business for as long as he is, it’s hard to enter the younger niche of pop music. There is a little age fascism in pop. David asks if Per feels it. He confirms he does. And since no one knew it was him behind Mono Mind, so he got in the fast lane. It was a little experiment. David says now it’s a little older man who is still there, everyone thought it’s a younger robot. David asks Per if he felt ”There you got it, all of you, who wanted to shoot us away”? Per says not really, but it was interesting. If he went out and said it’s a Per Gessle album, it would have been difficult to make it happen. This way he had American radio supporting him and it was a big hit in France too.

David says Per turned 60 last year and asks what he thinks about getting old. Whether he accepts it or tries to apply a brake. Per thinks it’s OK. You feel that you are getting older. David asks what’s good in it. Experience, Per replies. And that he doesn’t take his job as seriously anymore. He doesn’t need to do everything to become No. 1. David asks what is the worst in getting old. Grey hair and the body gets older, Per replies. David says Per is on stage a lot and that physically strains his body. He asks if Per feels any difference, if he can do the same things as before. Mr. G says he can and he even thinks he became better. David says ”Per Gessle, 60, more vigorous than ever”. David asks if he is training. Per says no, training is the most boring thing. David asks if he tried it. Per says he tried, but it doesn’t work for him. David starts asking if he tried yoga, Per continues pilates, personal trainer…, but it doesn’t work. He is rather walking.

David thinks when you are getting older, you can end up at a crossroads and one way is to become an angry man, the other is to become a cuddly man. He asks Mr. G if he had ever stood at that crossing and if so, which way he chose. He also asks if he gets slightly irritated by anything. Per says he recognized that. You get a little short-tempered as you get older. So he warns David that this is what is waiting for him. Haha. David says he would ask Per some questions and is curious what Per thinks about those things. Mr. G gets a sign which has ANGRY written on one side and GRUMPY on the other. He has to hold up the sign he finds relevant, so it will turn out if Per is an angry man who is purely pissed or a charming cuddly man who is just cursing a little.  Per says he sets it to the ANGRY side immediately.

  1. Bad language and spacing between words – GRUMPY
  2. Electric scooter – ANGRY – Here Per’s facial expression says it all, but David asks why angry. He is angry about the fact that people leave it all around. One has to climb over them on the sidewalks in Stockholm. David is curious if Per is so angry that he told this to anyone. Mr. G says he was thinking about throwing one into Nybroviken. David says it’s nice, there wouldn’t be any headlines about it. David says Per could say ”it wasn’t me. It was Dr. Robot.” Per says he could also say ”it was David”. Haha.
  3. This one David heard that Per gets damn mad at: telephone queues – ANGRY – Per says the worst is when you call a company or authority and you have to push 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5 and you eventually push 4 and they say that you are No. 31 in the queue. It feels like your whole life is on hold. David agrees, but he says if you are lucky, you can have a Per Gessle song playing in the background. He asks if it has ever happened. Mr. G says it never happened. David says: ”You are No. 127. Sommartider, hej hej… Then you get even happier.” Per tells they have such PG songs at Hotel Tylösand, so you can listen to Gå & fiska! for example. A bit awkward. David says it’s perfect, so one can just ring them if they want to listen to some songs.
  4. Tabloid headlines – ANGRY – Per says if he has to choose from these two options he picks ANGRY, because it’s bad journalism in a way. David asks if he bothers to click on them sometimes. Those headlines are for more clicks – e.g. ”Per Gessle – bathing-trunks disappered”. Per says he stopped reading them, because he gets irritated. It’s the decay of mankind. It’s so ridiculous.

The game ends with this and David says Per is rather a charming cuddly guy, he is not so dangerous.

Before the break, the live band plays Gå & fiska!, but with a rewritten text about the break.

After the break, a tough topic is coming. This part you can watch on YouTube. David tells it’s almost a year ago that Marie Fredriksson, Per’s close friend passed away. He asks Per how this past year was for him. Mr. G says it was terrbile what happened, but at the same time, they were prepared for that. Marie was sick for a long time, so it was more of an end in a way. David says they had known each other since more than 30 years. He asks what was that special thing about them. Per says he doesn’t know. He gets this question often. They both came from a small town, they shared the rehearsal studio in the 70’s, they came from the same roots and had this dream together and completed each other perfectly. She was a fantastic artist and singer and a leader in Roxette on stage, while Per was OK at writing songs. So there was a very good balance. He is missing that of course. David asks if they already had those big dreams when everything started and they stood there on the stage. Mr. G says they didn’t dream about what exactly happened, but when they started Roxette they wanted to succeed abroad. But back then they only thought it would be cool to go to the Netherlands, Germany or Denmark. Then it was actually the US where they broke through, so it became a bit bigger than they thought. David asks if there was a monent when they understood that now something happens, something that they couldn’t even dream about. Per says it was when they started talking about the fact that Roxette entered the US radio charts and then it went so fast with The Look. You can’t enter the Billboard Hot 100 if your song is not commercially released, but they were on a lot of radio charts, so they rush-released The Look as a single and sent it out to record shops. Then in 8 weeks they reached No. 1. It happened so fast.

David asks if Per has a best memory. He knows there are many, but he is curious if there is one special memory from those times. Per says there are tons of such memories, but he tells one. When they recorded Dressed For Success, Marie and Per quarreled for some reason. Per complained about Marie’s singing and Marie became so angry with Per that she went in to the studio and sang the song in one single take. From anger. Then he also thinks of the concerts. She was fantastic there. In all those huge football stadiums in the 90’s. A short clip is shown on the screen from Johannesburg. David says it’s incredible, what a career! Per adds: what a blonde hairdo! David asks Mr. G what he is missing the most when he sees this clip. Per says he is missing that part of his life when Roxette became big. All that romance that you have always lived with in pop culture. He lived in that since he was a kid. He misses those stages where there were 60.000 people in front of them. He misses being involved in it. He is still partly in it, but not in the same way. David asks Per if he is the kind of person who can enjoy things when they happen or rather only when he looks back at them. If he could understand it when they stood there in front of thousands of people. Per says he enjoyed the whole circus back then, but they worked a lot. It was tough during those 8 years. They toured, they recorded an album and then again, without a break. It’s a long time, so when you are in it, you don’t really realize what you are doing, but then there is a break and you look back and ask what happened. It was fun back then and it’s also fantastic to look back on it.

David asked Per if he still had his first guitar and Mr. G brought it to the studio. Per’s mother bought it for him in 1976 when Per was 17. David asks Mr. G whether he started playing it then or he took some guitar lessons before. Mr. G says he never went to a guitar school. He learned some piano playing for a week or so, but he learned to play the guitar by himself. David sees that something is hanging on the guitar. Per says it belongs to it. It’s a cat crocheted by his mother. David says how cute is that and it has held up well. A nice memory from Per’s mother. Mr. G says it’s cool that his mother bought the guitar. It’s a Swedish one, a Bjärton. It cost 1500-2000 SEK at the time. It’s a lot of money for a guitar for someone who can’t play it. David laughs but says it paid off. Per says once you give an instrument to someone, it has to be played. It was easy to tune and it has the right string distance as well. David asks Per if he remembers the time he started playing the guitar. Per says he was lucky because after school he was unemployed like anyone else at the time. Then he and another guy got a job as troubadours employed by the city council. They were playing at nursing homes for old people. David asks if they were payed for it. Per says they were. It was a temporary job for 3 months. They played Drömmen om Elin and Svarte Rudolf. It was a good school for him, to play in front of those few poeple. It was then when he started writing songs. He thinks he tested one of them on 108-year-olds at the nursing home. David asks how they reacted. Per says they never really reacted. They laugh and David says: ”Then you decided, I’ll be an artist!”. Haha. Per says the fun thing was that they got a schedule about when to go where. Once the schedule changed and they had to go to the long-term care at the hospital in Halmstad. They had never been there and when they got in, there was no one there. So they just entered a hall, put two chairs in the middle, sat down and started playing. It was quite a big hall with two beds and two patients on the two sides. Suddenly a nurse came in and wondered what they were doing there. They said that they were sent to play there. The nurse said there must be some misunderstanding and she threw them out. Just then, one of the two guys woke up. It was a young guy who had an accident and had been in coma. They played Proud Mary or something and so he woke up from the coma. Then many doctors and nurses rushed in. David jokes and tells: ”And you held up your hand and said it was me playing.” Per says they were sent out so he doesn’t know what happened after. David says he should try it again, to play and wake people up from coma.

David asks if there is any classic song Per wrote on this guitar. Per starts playing and says it was one of the first songs he wrote. It’s När alla vännerna gått hem. He is singing 2 verses and the audience cheers him. David says his mother is not there anymore, but it’s one hell of a luck that she bought this guitar and crocheted that cat.

Here the part with Per ends, but he stays in the studio until the next break. Laleh is the other guest on the show.

All stills are from Hellenius hörna.

Thanks for the technical support, János Tóth!