If you have read this previous post and this previous post you know a lot about my new single “Spellbound” which is a song I’ve written together with Jimmy Lagnefors that is featured in the Swedish feature film Flykten till Framtiden. Now it’s time to enjoy the official video!
It was made by a talented team consisting of Hans Montelius, Nikita Rönning Ledström, and Erik Sandström. The shooting took place on the famous street Sundsgatan in my former home town, Piteå, in the north of Sweden. I spent a few drunken weekends in my youth going back on forth on the sidewalks of Sundsgatan while watching the “raggare” driving back on forth on the street with their American cars, playing loud music. It was they way we knew party life before we were old enough to be let in to the local pubs and discos. Little did I know then that I was going to be cruising back and forth in a ’73 Volvo thirty years later miming to my latest single release. Some scenes were also shot in front of a green screen at the TV-studio of The School of Music in Piteå where I also teach.
It’s out on YouTube here:
And on Facebook here:
I look very much forward to your reactions on both platforms. Thumbs up or down? “Like” or “Angry face”? Share it to the world and help spread the word or keep it to yourself? All up to you of course!
Today The New Yorker wrote in this column: “The election of Donald Trump to the Presidency is nothing less than a tragedy for the American republic, a tragedy for the Constitution, and a triumph for the forces, at home and abroad, of nativism, authoritarianism, misogyny, and racism.”
In my state of a a slight hangover, and with the above worrying news from the USA this morning, I right now prefer to take a little break from the telly and instead look back on yesterday when all our troubles seemed so far away. The thing is I was fortunate enough to be invited to the gala premiere of Flykten Till Framtiden (My Future Love).
There I got the chance the hang with my good friend Jimmy Lagnefors, film music composer, and responsible for the movie’s (great!) soundtrack (available here through my own label Monogram Recordings!).
It was together with Jimmy I wrote my new (highly ELO/Jeff Lynne flavoured) single ”Spellbound” (see my previous blog post) which is featured heavily in the movie and plays when the credits roll. Also present was my new friend, the talented musician/artist Pontus Snibb who co-wrote no less than six songs with Jimmy on the soundtrack. Below you’ll find pictures of the three of us directly after walking out from the cinema, and also at the reception afterwards.
At the reception I also got the opportunity to congratulate directors Ulf Malmros (huge ELO/Jeff Lynne fan himself!) & Jaana Formin, and producer Jan Blomgren, to a fantastic movie (it was really good – go see it!), as well as meet & greet with main actors Henrik Dorsin, Elias Palin, and Victoria Dyrstad who all spoke very kindly about my little contribution to the movie in the form of a song. I also had a good laugh together with side role actor Henrik Kursula and his girlfriend Jenny. Henrik does a fantastic character in the movie and does it amazingly well!!! Very funny guy! All in all, a very fun evening!
I would like to take the chance express my deep gratitude to Jimmy Lagnefors for inviting me in for the second time to help him out with movie songs. The first time was when we wrote ”Vänta inte på mig” (which became my first single in Swedish, see blog post here) and ”Superman” for the film Micke & Veronica a couple of years ago. Also, to his sweet girlfriend, my friend Tia Tuhkunen who always makes me feel welcome at their home and who is very supportive of our music. Tia also made yesterday’s event flow smoothly also after the free drinks were over (including making sure the new ones were paid!). Here’s a picture of the company at Nada Bar where the party continued.
In a couple of days the movie will have the official premiere for the public but not only that. The OFFICIAL VIDEO for “Spellbound” is going to be released as well!!! Stay tuned!!!
On an end note, about the situation in the U.S.A. I would like to quote the first two lines from “Spellbound”: “We’re at the end of time. It’s either fall or climb…”. Please let me suggest the latter! Peace and love everyone!
The time-travel themed narrative is partially set in 1973 and for this composer Jimmy Lagnefors was hired to create a soundtrack authentic to the period. When the director specifically requested a song that “sounds like Electric Light Orchestra” Lagnefors brought in songwriter/artist David Myhr to collaborate.
Myhr, with his background in the 90’s power pop combo The Merrymakers and, in particular, his 2012 album Soundshine (Lojinx), has demonstrated a knack for creating fresh, modern, pop music with roots firmly in the classic tradition of McCartney & Lynne. It was no surprise that Myhr jumped at the chance. (Read more about David’s relation to Jeff Lynne here).
Lagnefors and Myhr were also behind the song “Vänta inte på mig” (“Don’t wait for me”) in last year’s Swedish box office smash Micke & Veronica. With the new song ”Spellbound” the songwriting duo has managed to create “”the song that E.L.O. never made”. It features heavily in the film and plays when the credits roll.
Here’s a video from the flight between Stockholm and Chicago on Aug 28 with me and famous Swedish reputable drummer Andreas Dahlbäck who I was fortunate enough to have with me on the first part of the trip. (He also played drums on my solo debut album Soundshine).
Once we got the Brad Jones’ studio Alex the Great Recording we started to fool around with the various instruments that were lying around:
Once we had slept off our jet-lag we had the first producer’s meeting with Brad at his home kitchen table:
Time for tuning up the instruments. Here I’m singing ”Nobody’s child” (once recorded by the Traveling Wilburys):
While setting up in the studio we put on a kettle of coffe and I was warming up the voice and getting in the the country vibe of Nasvhille by singing ”Country Dreamer” by Wings:
Later the same day we had laid our first track down. A song co-written with Linus of Hollywood called ”Lovebug”. Producer Brad Jones’ evaluation of the take is ”time for lunch”:
A little later into the recordings I finally got to pick up Brad Jones’ wonderful 1970 Gibson Les Paul Deluxe Gold Top with mini humbuckers. I was in jingle-jangle guitar power pop heaven!!!
Between takes there’s always time for more goofing around. Here with hired gun, and famous Nasvhille session musician, Pat Buchanan. Too much fun!
Here’s from one of many so called ”playbacks” in the studio. Here of a song I’ve co-written with my hero from the area of academic research within songwriting, and my assistant supervisor as well, Professor Joe Bennett. The song is called ”Egyptian Blue”.
During the weekend when Brad had to go on a tour to Colorado. As Brad put it: ”Zookeeper’s away, Monkeys will play…..”. Here’s Andreas trying out an idea on his Theremin on the iPad. With us during the weekend was my good friend Javier Piñol:
After Andreas had gone back to Sweden I was sometimes left all alone in the studio at night-time. So I took the opportuinty to try out some background vocals. Here with my new TG2 pre-amp that I had bought from Vintage King Audio:
I’m really excited with the result from these recordings and I look forward to finishing everything off during the next days, weeks, months, years…? Time will tell! Stay tuned!
On the days when I’m not active as an aspiring pop star (which are many!) I attend my day job as a senior lecturer at Musikhögskolan i Piteå (The School of Music in Piteå) under LTU (Luleå University of Technology). (See my staff profile here). It’s a job where I get the opportunity to coach young and talented songwriters, teach music business knowledge, and try to build ”bridges” between the students and professionals within the music industry. As a part of my job, I also conduct artistic research as a doctoral student where I deal with a great passion of mine – the process of making melodies.
My project is called Pop into my head – The making and shaping of melodies in popular music. To be able to take a closer look at the process I’ve documented (on video and audio) the actual moment of the making of a bunch of melodies. For this purpose, last year (February 3-18, 2015), I made a research trip to Los Angeles, Nashville, and New York where I had the great pleasure of working with some of the writers that have inspired me with their work. In L.A. I worked with Linus of Hollywood (known from the Melody & Madness tour) and Lojinx stable mate Blue. (See Facebook video blogs: Hello from L.A on a sunshiny day… and Video blogging from the car…).
After Nashville I finished the trip in New York where I wrote with Scott Klass (The Davenports), Danny Weinkauf (They Might Be Giants) (which, surprisingly, resulted in this kids song), Steve Schiltz (Long Wave, Hurricane Bells) and Young Hines (although in his case it was an on-line collaboration). (See Facebook video blogs From the streets of New York, From the SKAP apartment in New York).
The great news is that from these session a bunch of new songs for my FUTURE SECOND ALBUM was written!!! More about this (including yet another bunch of link video blogs) in a blog post coming soon!
Here’s a few pictures from the co-writing trip (including one of me and Steven Tyler of Aerosmith fame at Nashville airport, who I unfortunately didn’t get the chance to co-write with…)
Graham Nash is one of my all time favorite artists. I love his amazing (often high) vocal harmonies in the Hollies, and then later in Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. But also his wonderful songs! “Our House” just to name one classic that easily can move me to tears. But what I love most about Graham Nash is his solo debut album “Songs for beginners” from 1971. My brother Niklas had it on vinyl and when The Merrymakers used to start coming to Stockholm in the early 90’s we always (always!) played it at every after party we ever had. And since then I’ve always come back to the record. We also included it in the booklet of “No Sleep’ til famous” as one of the ten “other compact discs that will give you guaranteed listening pleasure”. Make sure though, if you check it out on Spotify for instance that you avoid the 2008 Stereo mix. It sounds terrible to my ears. (Almost as bad as when they remixed the great albums by ZZ Top from the seventies). So just follow this link and you’ll be fine.
OK, so yesterday i gave a so called “recital lecture” at a conference called Research in Music Today 2016 (Musikforskning idag 2016) at Linnaeus University (Linnéuniversitet) in Växjö, Sweden. It was called “‘Men det här låter ju precis som…’ – Om låtskrivande efter given förlaga” which in English means “‘But this sounds just like…’ – About songwriting after given model” (or something like that…). The thing is I’m a doctoral student at the Department of Art, Communication and Education at Luleå University of Technology where I teach (see my David Myhr staff profile) and part of my training is to do stuff like this.
I talk about writing after “briefs” and give examples from my own artistic practice from writing for other artists (including Puffy), jingles for commercial radio spots, and writing for movie soundtracks including my future single (fall of 2016?) “Spellbound” which is written in the style of E.L.O.(!). (As you blog followers know I’m a big E.L.O. fan!!!)
The presentation is in Swedish so I’m afraid those who don’t understand Swedish may have a hard time understanding since it’s in… yes, that’s right… Swedish… but one day I’m sure I’ll do something similar in English! Or maybe Spanish…?
I must say the whole thing was a positive experience and I had lots of fun hanging out with music researchers from all over Sweden and it turned out Växjö was a really groovy town. Not least because of Kafé De Luxe which was a great place to hang out. And “of course” I took over the piano for a while and did my living Beatles jukebox thing… and the people of Växjö were shall we say…. “flabbergasted”…?
You may be aware about my obsession with Jeff Lynne. Not least after this wonderful memory and this somewhat tragic post. Not to mention my obsession with Tom Petty who I talked about in this post. And of course George Harrison who I sang a little tribute to here and who once played in the same band as this guy. But now it’s time to celebrate the hero of all these guys, their fellow Traveling Wilbury – Roy Orbison! He would have turned 80 years old today had he been alive! Congratulations Roy!!! On the same day as Shakespeare died by the way (but 400 years ago) but that’s another story. Anyway, I picked up my new Guild 12-string guitar and bursted out a version of “You Got It”. Enjoy!
As my old band The Merrymakers once sang: “It’s so sad. When you’re losing what you never had…”. (On Spotify here)
This is still a bit painful to talk about only hours after the fact. But I could really use some sympathy right now. Since my wife and I were in the UK anyway for this event that I talked about in the last blog post I had also signed up for the “one in a million” chance to win super exclusive tickets to Jeff Lynne’s ELO’s ”the day before the world tour premiere” show in front of an extremely small audience in Liverpool. It was so unlikely that we would win so I had kind of forgotten about it.
Imagine, then, my incredible excitement when an e-mail came saying “Congratulations – you have been successful in winning a pair of tickets to the exclusive Jeff Lynne’s ELO event today, Monday 4th April. Your name will be on the guest list on the main door.” I was kind of shaking in a way I haven’t since the day I met Paul McCartney when I realized that we could be one of a hundred lucky people watching from only metres away the full production of this first world tour in decades. The tour that we (and 49,999 others) were partly responsible (according to Jeff himself) in making happen through participating in the legendary Hyde Park come back show two years ago (see us singing along with Jeff here). I could go on forever about how Jeff Lynne, his E.L.O., as well as his productions from ”Got My Mind set on You” (George Harrison), ”Free Fallin’”, ”I won’t back down” (Tom Petty), and ”Free as a bird”, ”Real Love” (The Beatles!) among many many others has formed an enormously influential part on my own musicianship since I was a teenager.
Now, try to imaging the horror realizing that we should more or less ALREADY have jumped on the train from London to Liverpool in order to have a fighting chance to be in time for the 4 ó clock(!) showtime. Why not 5? Why not 6? Why didn’t I read my e-mail an hour earlier? WHY WASN’T IT SENT OUT A DAY IN ADVANCE? (I saw the e-mail when we had just ordered some sushi a little bit after one). In a moment of despair I called a woman at the PR agency behind the send-out in hope she would say that it would actually start an hour or two later that would make it all possible (or at least that it would still be possible to get in even an hour into the show). Instead, she only confirmed my three biggest fears. That it would start at four. That there would only be 100 people (can it get more exclusive?) in the audience and that any latecomers wouldn’t be able to get in. She could probably hear the increasing pain in my voice and she told me (only to increase the pain even more) that the first e-mail send-out had “bounced back”(wtf!!!???) and that she ”was sorry” about the late notice.
Jeff Lynne is my biggest musical hero after the Beatles (on par with Tom Petty and Jellyfish) and it would obviously have been a memory of a life-time. Did my eyes tear up when realized how close we were? Yes. Had I preferred not being contacted at all considering how it all ended? Yes. Do I hope that ANY MEMBER OF JEFF LYNNE’S TEAM OR MANAGMENT OR BOOKING AGENCY sees this, feel incredibly sorry for me, and decide to contact me in order to compensate us with a VIP experience on an upcoming show on his tour? YES!!! (Worth sending out a prayer anyway…).
Thanks everyone for reading and comforting me in these “troubled times” (as I once sang here). You can’t win them all, can you? See you some other time Jeff! Best of luck on the tour! Come to Sweden! Peace and love!
As you know from earlier posts about my (lifelong and obsessed) Beatles interest – not least The Day I met Paul McCartney and recording at Abbey Road myself – this seemed like an opportunity not to miss. And where better to see something Beatles related than at (“now they know how many holes it takes to fill the”) Albert Hall?
I soon found some incredibly expensive VIP tickets for the (already sold out) world premiere and somehow managed to convince my wife Paula to celebrate her birthday there. (She does love the Beatles, but still…).
And so, the day before yesterday, on April Fool’s Day (a day I once sang about here), it happened!
My expectations were realistic, not to mention even somewhat pessimistic. I certainly knew it wasn’t going to be like watching the Beatles themselves (or even a solo Beatle) in real life. And having been involved in many Beatles tributes myself, I’m fully aware of many of the challenges in making the illusion (even remotely) believable. But I was pretty soon relieved to see that they had captured the ambience of the inside of the Abbey Road studio really well. The John impersonation on “All You Need is Love” which kicked off the show wasn’t entirely believable though. It had something to do with the pronunciation, and also with the fact that John’s very distinctive voice has always been a tricky one to find sound-alikes for. But when they went back to the beginnings and kicked of a rockin’ “I Saw Her Standing There” it became clear that this was going to be a high-quality performance. Above all the Paul sound-alike offered quite a few “wow” moments. He sometimes sounded more like a twenty-something years old Paul McCartney than Paul McCartney himself does nowadays. So, songs like “Yesterday”, “Blackbird”, “She’s leaving home”, “Magical Mystery Tour”, and “Helter Skelter” became some of the evening’s finest. But in the end, all performers did a really great job. “George”, for instance, did a beautiful acoustic version of “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”. That was one of the many moments when I just leaned back, “enjoying the show”, thinking about how much The Beatles mean to me and how big part they’ve played in my life. Which of course is nothing new. I’ve even come across on Swedish radio talking about how The Beatles are my religion.
So, to sum it up, the show was highly entertaining and if you’re a Beatles geek, make sure NOT to miss any of the upcoming shows on their tour. It was extremely well-done and accurate in detail. The George Martin character was spot-on (almost as good as this one). It was so good that I have no problem in disregarding the fact that they had gotten the order wrong in the solos of The End, which (as we all know, right?) should be Paul, George, John and not George, Paul, John.
Anyway, just to be anonymous (although fake “VIP” through paying a ridiculous amount of money) and be a “regular” guest doesn’t really suit me. Having met the great Sir George Martin, and performed for Cynthia Lennon, taken selfies with James McCartney, Olivia Harrison (after a McCartney show in London in 2009), and with engineer Ken Scott in Abbey Road Studios (in conjunction with a lecture by the writers behind the incredible Recording the Beatles), it only felt natural and almost strangely “logical” that I would bump into the show’s supervisor Geoff Emerick himself in the corridors of Albert Hall. The sound engineer on Revolver (the best record ever made!) among many many others. A very important person in developing the sound of the Beatles. As concert producer and promoter Stig Edgren says: “Geoff is instrumental to the aspect of authenticity because nothing that you see or hear in the show is fabricated. We’re not fictionalising what it was like in the studio. For every song we have a schematic drawing on where the members of the Beatles were, where the vocal booths were, where the instruments were.”. So, as you can understand, Geoff Emerick is THE GUY. I can certainly recommend his book Here There and Everywhere: My Life Recording the Music of the Beatles. It’s an amazingly entertaing book who brings you inside the studio with the Beatles in a way that no other book that I can remember does. It doesn’t deal with family histories, groupies, business, tours, drugs, and all that other (also interesting) stuff. It focuses on the recording of the music in a unique way. And I don’t think you have to be a musician to enjoy it.
When I spotted Geoff, of course I asked (kindly, I hope) for the possibility of a selfie together with him. He was very nice, and willingly accepted to pose in a picture. I presented myself as a “musician from Sweden” (which is true, right?) and I handed him my flyer for my debut album Soundshine. He looked at it and jokingly said “–I will frame this!”. So I’m hoping that beside his multi-platinum discs for Revolver, Sgt Pepper, and Abbey Road he will now have on his living room wall, framed, the flyer of the Paul McCartney of Piteå, David Myhr.