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.
Another sad post today … Sir George Martin has left us at the respectable age of 90. It may have been more expected than when David Bowie passed away two months ago (see my tribute including my renditions of my favorite Bowie songs “Life on Mars” and “Starman” here). But still. Very sad indeed. We’re talking “the fifth Beatle” (Yes. Discussion over. He’s the one!).
You probably already know what an amazing impact he has had on popular music and if not, begin with checking out for instance these 10 moments. So for now, I will spare you my lecture about his life to some other time.
Also, you probably already know that The Beatles mean the world to me. If nothing else, I made it perfectly clear in my four thousand(!) word long blog post from last year about the day I met Paul McCartney. There you can read about my Beatles obsession including links to for instance when I recorded at Abbey Road. So I will spare you that too.
But just to make it clear: The Beatles mean the world to me (and to many more millions of people). And George Martin meant the world for the Beatles. So in this post, I thought I’d share you my personal memories from my encounters with Sir George Martin.
Already back in 1992 after my band The Merrymakers had recorded our first EP “Andrew’s Store” on Ola Håkansson’s label Stockholm Records we were – like most bands who make their first recording – amazlingly proud of our achievement. So proud that we thought “we just HAVE to let George Martin and Paul McCartney hear this”. Wonderfully juvenile and naive if I may say so myself. We probably already knew when we put the two CD copies in the mailbox back home in Piteå with destination London that the more probable destination was the trash can in some secretary’s office. So you can only imagine our surprise when we got a letter back some time later from George Martin himself!!?
He replied!!! We couldn’t have been more honoured. A “no” from George Martin was one of the biggest moments in our career at that point. It’s true that Bob Dylan had passed on receiving our demo a few months earlier when I tried to hand it to him (another story for the future). His only words were “what is this?”. So with a “what is this?” from Bob Dylan and “I don’t have time to listen” from George Martin one could almost say that we were “dancing with the dinosaurs”. (It wasn’t until our hero Andy Sturmer of Jellyfish – the second best band ever! – decided to work with us a few years later on our album Bubblegun that our luck turned for real, at least for a while, but that’s another story…)
On to the next episode: In 1994, in my last year at the university, I played and sang the role of Paul McCartney in an insanely ambitious project – the world premiere of Sgt Pepper Live. We performed the whole album both in a choir version and in an original version featuring the three of us in The Merrymakers in the roles of John, Paul, and George. We ended up going on tour with an ensemble of more than 150 people from my hometown of Piteå, via Stockholm (with a show at Cirkus) to Liverpool’s Empire Theatre to perform for an audience including John Lennon’s first wife Cynthia and the mayor of Liverpool.
In the preparations for the project back in 1993, together with the other two members of the “Sgt Pepper Board” (who were also my teachers at the time), Mikael Långs and professor KG Johansson, I got the wonderful opportunity to actually meet George Martin at his then newly built Air Studios Lyndhurst Hall. I was twenty-three then. (Exactly half of my age right now by the way). And it was one of the biggest moments of my life that far. Already then I had spent thirteen years completely manic about everything Beatles. And here I was at a MEETING with the fifth Beatle himself.
In the written part of my last year’s project at The School of Music in Piteå (where I work nowadays – see my staff profile here) the full story about our dealings with George Martin can be found. But in short (or actually not so short, sorry… it’s for the grandkids!) this happened:
Mr Martin arrived slightly late for our meeting. He was extremly friendly and nice. A true gentleman. He took us on a tour around the premises. It was a surreal experience to have him show us around the newly constructed Air Studios. At the time, unfortunately, I wasn’t as interested in studio construction as I became later (when we built our own studio and became producers in the 00’s). At that moment I was much more fascinated about being so close to the man who was so close to the Beatles. So it was kind of difficult to concentrate on his demonstration of the studio doors and stuff like that.
Here’s the only existing picture of myself and George Martin:
The studio was not yet quite finished, but very impressive nonetheless. After the tour we sat down to tell him all about our project and about the school. About our musicians and audio engineering program and about our “orchestral weeks”. How we were planning to put up the Sgt. Pepper Live project. That we were planning to direct a lot of teaching at the university around The Beatles and so on.
He noted that it was not an easy task we had taken upon ourselves and immediately got into the more tricky parts: “How are you going to do with a song like, say… Within You Without You?” he asked. (Harrison’s “Indian” track on the album). But of course we had a plan for that as well. KG responded that we planned to bring in musicians who mastered various Indian instruments (including players from Gothenburg and Umeå), and possibly use some samplers and synthesizers as well. (I later bought a tamboura in London only to use in that particular song. Turned out impossible to keep in tune but it looked great!).
He wondered what we wanted him to do if he would come and we explained that it was very much up to him. We told him that we intended to have seminars about the Beatles and that we would be absolutely delighted if he would like to conduct one of those. And that we would love to see him as a conductor at the concert as well. Possibly for some of the works that he himself had written (like for instance the Yellow Submarine suite). He, just like us, did not think any conductor would be needed on the Sgt Pepper songs
He asked if we had seen the documentary about the recording of Sgt. Pepper, which of course we had. (Remember, kids, this was way before everything was available. Long before YouTube, leaked multi track masters, isolated tracks, and all that kind of stuff…).
In the documentary he sat and pulled the faders on a mixing desk and showed what was on the different channels of Sgt. Pepper. He said he would be able to do something like that “live”. For us it sounded like a dream. Talk about a distinguished guest speaker for our sound engineer students!
In any case he would be able to help us with some sheet music, he said. But first he wanted us to send some more information about the school including a recording of the rock band and the orchestra. Before we left he promised to give us an answer before the end of April (this was mid-March). His exact quote was: “If I say yes, you will be happy and if I say no, I will give you a good reason why.” To us, it sounded like the perfect deal.
As if this wasn’t enough, he casually asked us if we were “busy” Saturday. Luckily we weren’t so he invited us to a concert at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, where a string quartet performed works by George Martin (and a few other very famous, but also very dead composers). He had the tickets sent to our hotel by motor cycle courier. When the day arrived it turned out we were seated right next to George and his daughter (luckily we had limited our intake somewhat of pints at the pub earlier that day!). I remember running out to the bathroom just before the concert started and in the empty lobby George Martin himself arrived as one of the last guests. When he saw me, he recognized me from the meeting a couple of days earlier, so he greeted me happily with a smile and a little wave. A big little moment for me. It was like we were sort of “mates” (well… in my mind, that is…).
We had every reason to be pleased with our visit. I was very taken by the whole thing. After we came back we sent him more material as we had agreed upon so he could listen to both the school’s orchestra and a couple of Merrymakers tracks so he would get an idea about our vocal abilities. The following months we were eagerly awaiting his decision. Unfortunately, he didn’t keep his promise to respond in April. Here I will spare you a lot of details about how kept faxing his (very kind) secretary Shirley Burns, how she recommended us to make our way to Malmö in the fall to meet him in connection to a concert he was involved in with the Malmö Symphony Orchestra. (He still hadn’t given us his final decision but he had at one point, just after coming out of the mixing of Pete Townsend’s then recent staging of the rock opera “Tommy”, sent a promising letter saying “he would like to be able to come”. Whatever that meant …).
The event in Malmö was overseen by Swedish Beatles expert Staffan Olander who kindly had invited us there. Unfortunately we got the feeling we were kept at arm-length’s distance (Olander probably wanted to let Martin rest between concerts…?). So we felt obliged, having spent some tax payer’s money to get there, to find a reason to “run into him” in a hotel lobby only to hear (during the somewhat awkard encounter) that he was incredibly busy with upcoming shows in South America and Japan and that he wouldn’t be able to give an answer. So we went home back north, still without knowing what to expect. The chase went on for another couple of months until finally (after many more twists and turns) were were told by Mrs Burns that he wasn’t going to be able to make it. The reason this time was a rather good one. He was again (for the first time since the sixties) involved in recordings with no less than The Beatles … !!! It was Beatles Anthology time!
The good news, except the memory for a life-time that it became for me to have met this incredible man in person, was that he kept the promise to borrow us some sheet music. He offered us to use the original(!!!) sheet music for the Yellow Submarine suite (on Spotify here on the second half of the Beatles Yellow Submarine album). Mrs Burns wanted us to send someone over to London to pick them up. (We didn’t even dare to ask them to put them in the mail). It took couple of weeks before they she had them in her hand though because Mr Martin kept forgetting to bring them into town from his home outside of London. She told us it was the first time the sheet music were lent out without Mr Martin himself being present. I got the task to fly over to London to pick them up. (One of my shortest trip abroad ever). And so, only two days before the project started, I came home with the original score of the Yellow Submarine suite written with pencil by George Martin himself. We thought it was an event worth celebrating or at least made special. So I instead of being picked up by car from the neighboring city Piteå, only a 40 minute ride by car, I was instead picked up at Luleå Airport in a private plane by the other board members (KG and Micke who has a private pilot license).
It was a memory that would last a lifetime for me. And a memory that would last a lunchtime for Georgre Martin (as The Rutles probably would have put it…).
Well, well… since then another twenty-three years have passed. And many other exciting things have happened. But I wanted to have this special memory written down (thanks for making it all the way down here!). I was daring the day would come when George Martin no longer would be with us. And today that day came. All I can say is thank you so much for putting so much incredible music down to tape! It will live on for many generations to come! R.I.P. Sir George Martin. Please say hello from all of us to John and George up in pop heaven!!!
Below you can find a couple of photos from the Sgt Pepper Live concerts. (The home-coming shows at a sold out sports arena in Piteå were recorded on multi-track and filmed by multi-camera. I am working since more than a year on finding a way to have it mixed but unfortunately I haven’t been able to find anyone willing to finance the project yet. An approximate amount of 30-50′ SEK would be needed. The board at the Department of Music And Education at Luleå University of Technology, unfortunately said no when the Sgt Pepper Board applied for funds. And the Curt Boström foundation as well. But I guess if the world have waited more than twenty years for a decent mix it can probably wait a little longer…)
Only hours ago the world received the unbelievably sad news that David Bowie has left us. Only the last couple of days I have given him more thought than in quite a while (see post below). I was once again reminded how much his music has meant to me. Obviously, therefore, it’s a very surreal sensation that suddenly the celebration of his 69th birthday and the release of his new album, suddenly only three days later now turns into grief.
I remember covering “The Prettiest Star” together with The Merrymakers back in 1997 (a rare, somewhat “underproduced”, B-side which has it’s world premiere on-line here today). It was that song that first caught my interest for Bowie when my brother Niklas was playing his records in my child-hood home at loud volume. Such a brilliant melody. But there’s many other songs that are competing about the other spots on my Bowie top 5 (which is always topped by the unbeatable “Life on Mars”). Among them are “Changes”, “Oh You Pretty Things”, “Ziggy Stardust” (which I’ve sung hundreds of times in cover gigs) and “Starman” (see video of my interpretation below). Power Pop Movie producer Justin Fielding chose a few words from that song for his Facebook status update on this sad day which I think describe the new situation very well:
There’s a starman waiting in the sky He’d like to come and meet us But he thinks he’d blow our minds
R.I.P. David Bowie.
(Original post, Friday Jan 8, 2016:)
I was a huge David Bowie fan when I was younger. I still am. In fact he’s among my top 5 musical heroes of all time (if all members of the Beatles – including their solo careers – count as one). But like many others I kind of got stuck into his first half of the seventies period which is absolutely fabulous. Again, like many others, I have had “Life on Mars” as my favorite song of all time since I was a kid. So it’s no surprise that I was absolutely delighted when I was invited to be part of the show “The Golden Years of David Bowie” back in my former hometown Piteå. The people behind these huge tribute shows call themselves GREAT GIG which is a constellation of great musicians from Piteå who were my local rock’n’roll heroes (and still are) growing up.
Since that November day in 2008 I’ve been kind of waiting for a proper documentation of the show, but I think both audio and video got lost among too many of Peter Eliasson’s hard drives. So in order to celebrate David Bowie’s 69th birthday today I thought I’d share whatever little glimpses I have from that show. The sound is taken directly from the mixer which means the levels and balance of the instruments are far from perfect. So please be forgiving in your judgement. Anyway, it’s a great memory for me! Thanks GREAT GIG for having me as your guest!
Ensemble: Dust Radio (Mikael Thurfjell, Gunnar Sundström, Peter Eliasson, Folke Wiklund, Mats Lundberg).
Guests: David Myhr, Stefan Tjerngren, Francis Goossens, Anna Wedin, Maria Juuso, Jonna Löfgren.
If you ever get the chance, I can highly recommend the Great Gig productions. Since then, they have made tribute shows to Queen, U2, Bruce Springsteen, Tina Turner, and more.
I guess it’s no news to anyone that my musical life (if not life?) revolves a lot around the Beatles. And it never stops. One climax was of course last year when I finally shook hands with Sir Paul McCartney! (Read the 4000 word long blog post about that defining moment and more about my Beatles background in general here).
Looking back on 2015 in a Beatles perspective, a fond memory is when McCartney came to Stockholm again. As usual, I felt I had to make something “extra”. So I put together a nice little “super group” (he said humbly), called Myhr, Kvint & Morén. In a “pre-McCartney-concert”-show at Clarion Hotel, Stockholm, we played a bunch of songs that McCartney wasn’t going to play himself and it was of course good fun. I mean, how often do you get to play (or hear!) songs like “Cafe On The Left Bank” live?
Before that day, I was interviewed by the Swedish news agency TT, in the role of “Beatles expert”, about the upcoming McCartney concert and my expectations, as almost a “spokesman” for the Swedish (hard core) fans. The interview was published in many leading Swedish newspapers (and included my list of favorite Macca songs and albums). See articles for instance in Dagens Nyheter, Göteborgs-Posten,
But the BIG Christmas gift this year was of course the news that The Beatles music now is available streaming. So, while digesting the Christmas food I thought it’d be fun to make a few playlists of Beatles songs on various themes.
It features all their greatest hits but also a carefully made selection of the greatest album tracks. All in chronological order. Basically it’s a top 100 list full of evergreens, and masterpieces. It might very well be the “ultimate” 4 hour and 42 minute introduction to their catalogue.
Then there’s three playlists where I have put focus on Lennon, McCartney, and Harrison individually where I have picked out 25 “cool” tracks. Which means they are not necessary their most famous songs (except in the case of Harrison where I had to include basically everything he ever sang and/or wrote within the Beatles).
There are of course many different themes that one could think of. One, close to my heart, is the “rock’n’roll”-theme. It’s sometimes forgotten what a marvelous little rock’n’roll combo they were. I mean the Rolling Stones were OK, but really…!? Just play The Beatles version of “Long Tall Sally” loud on your stereo, and you’ll get my point. 😉
A completely different theme is the one of “beautiful melodies”. What a beautiful melody is, is very difficult to define of course. And the Beatles very rarely recorded songs without beautiful, strong or memorable melodies. Anyway, I tried to use my gut-feeling to pick out twenty-five of my all-time favorites in this category.
The Beatles of course doesn’t need me to reach out to a new audience. But it’s that it’s hard to stop. It’s like I’ve been on a mission since I was ten. The Beatles is my religion and I thought this was a fun new way to “evangelize”. So, feel free to turn of your mind and float down streaming on Spotify with me…
As I’ve mentioned before I sometimes do what I call “the living Beatles jukebox”. It has become an annual tradition for me to play in Stockholm just before Christmas. For a few years at Noel’s but recently also at Upstairs Bar Clarion Hotel. I just got home and I am dying to get to sleep but I thought I’d share you some glimpses into what was going on this great evening. Among the guests in the clips below you will find my dear friends Lisa Backhans and Agneta Höglund (also fellow members of our ABBA tribute band Super Trouper) singing “Two of us”, my friend and student Alicia Carlestam making a version of “Imagine”, and my good friend, fellow Macca-head Peter Morén (of Peter Bjorn and John fame) helping me out with a rendition of “Yellow Submarine” (just what the world needed!). The second half where it got rough, rockin’ and we all went beserk will still have to wait some time before I make it public. Or I might never do it and instead save it as a (hopefully) sweet memory for those who showed up…? Anyway, what you will see below is some songs from the “soft part”. All in all, it was a great night, with great songs among great friends! Thanks everyone involved! I love when we all “come together”!!! Happy Xmas – War is Over!
So, the Melody and Madness adventure was over a little over five weeks ago! At my age it takes a while to recover but now is the time for a small summary. And more importantly – the digital release of the tour EP!!!
As you could see in the video clips from the summer in the previous blog post, my artist/songwriter powerpoppin’ friend and colleague Linus of Hollywood and I had big plans to conquer Sweden, U.K., and Spain armed with our melodies and our acoustic guitars. And a not small portion of madness! The whole thing turned into a great adventure and we are overwhelmed with the great reception from all you wonderful people out there who joined us along the way. It was great! From the start in Stockholm with the visit to ABBA-Benny’s studio and the V.I.P. showing of the ABBA museum (Linus is a HUGE fan with the ABBA logo tattooed on his arm!) including our impromptu karaoke performance of “Mamma Mia” being published on the museum’s offical Facebook page(!) to the last show in Bilbao, Spain, two weeks later it became a memory for life.
So many memories. The opening night in the Old Town of beautiful Stockholm where Peter Kvint was our honored guest, the amazing house concert in Uppsala, the honor to play Eggstone songs in the actual Tambourine studios with the actual Eggstone singer Per Sunding. The stop-over in Denmark where we got yelled at by an angry Australian waitress. The incredibly cosy and intimate atmosphere at the cool Green Note in Camden, London. The smashed toilet door at the great house party in Loscoe. The incredible interview for Spanish national Radio 3. The super cool gig at El Intruso Madrid, the wonderful people at Loco Club in Valencia, the uplifiting house party in Madrid. The list could be made a lot longer but… the big news today is – our limited edition CD is available on-line on iTunes/Spotify etc as of today!!!
The Melody and Madness tour EP was made exclusively for the tour and contains my cover of Linus’ song “Ready for Something Good”, Linus’ cover of my song “Icy Tracks” (written together with Peter Morén from Peter Bjorn and John) and lastly a cover of Badfinger, the song by Paul McCartney wrote for them, “Come and Get It”. This last song you will also be able to enjoy (as of today!) on YouTube in the form of a collage video that Todd Stanton was kind enough to put together for us where you’ll be seeing us in action from the tour from stages in Stockholm, Uppsala, Malmö, Loscoe, London, Madrid, and Valencia.
If you like what you hear, please spread the word, and share to the world!
Lastly, here’s a selection of photos from the tour: