News Archives: March 2006
Written by tevensso on March 27, 2006 to Exclusive.
STOCKHOLM - Roxette… multiplied by 20 years, that’s a milestone most bands never reach. How do you feel about it really Per, the best and the worst of these first 20?
“It feels excellent even though we’ve slowed down some these last few years. The best thing is of course the huge response from our audience, everywhere on planet Earth; different religions, skin color, political values… they all like ’The Look’ and ’It Must Have Been Lunch’. Amazing. The worst things are that time passes so fast… and that I never learn how to play solos.”
What do you miss accomplishing with Roxette? Roxette has accomplished so much, but maybe you have an unfulfilled dream?
“No, nothing really, it would be fun to play more concerts and record more albums. We’ll see what happens.”
So, the RoxBox, can you tell us a little about what will be in it? Remixes, live, demos?
“It will contain the best of what we’ve accomplished so far, plus hard-to-get stuff, (like the Abbey Road Sessions ’95). A DVD with, among other things, hopefully MTV Unplugged from ’93. And possibly a bonus-CD with 20 demos…”
Benny and Björn (from ABBA) hate releasing demos, you are quite the contrary, why is that?
“I didn’t know they felt that way. I think demos are interesting so you can figure out how a song came to. I guess I’m a bigger nerd than they are.”
Written by Remco on March 27, 2006 to Fans.
STOCKHOLM - Marie Dimberg, manager of Roxette, has put out the following message:
After many discussions we have decided not to have an official fanclub. We hope that the existing websites will be sufficient communities for the fans and through these we will do our utmost to supply information and activities to keep everybody happy.
Sites she refers to include Sonofaplumber.com, Roxette.se, Gessle.com and Gyllenetideronline.com. Additionally, Per said in the Swiss chat the other week that they also support The Daily Roxette (which remains an independent news site).
Written by Lars-Erik_Olson on March 27, 2006 to Roxette.
STOCKHOLM - In an ongoing series called “The Greatest,” which introduces some of Sweden’s most eminent figures through time, Radio Sweden has recently asked its listeners to decide if Roxette or The Cardigans are “the greatest.”
On their website, they wrote:
In the late 1970’s Marie Fredriksson and Per Gessle first crossed paths but their own successes meant it wasn’t quite time to get together. In 1986 they merged their music.
International success came with a stroke of luck… an American exchange student returned to America from Sweden and urged a radio station in Minneapolis to play ”The Look”.
Lovefool catapulted The Cardigans from cult favourite to international stardom. The song was included on the blockbuster Romeo and Juliet film soundtrack and topped UK and U.S. charts.
Two Swedish Groups who have made their musical mark both at home and on the international stage …. The 80’s supergroup or the Swedish sweater set? Who’s the Greatest…you decide.
Roxette’s success story is chronicled, and prominent mention is made during the 13-minute program of the fact that this is Roxette’s 20th anniversary year and that the group is getting back together.
The program invited Claus Olsson, editor-in-chief of Sweden’s music trade magazine NMB, and Billboard magazine’s correspondent in Sweden, Jeffery DeHart, to serve as commentators.
“He’s such a master at finding melodies and catchy tunes and hooks that people like, that he’s kind of made it into a sport,” said Olsson of Per Gessle.
DeHart, who said he’s never been a big Roxette fan, spoke of attending a Room Service concert. “It was amazing, I was really surprised…I didn’t really expect it to be so well polished, but it was. It was flawless. Very professional, great musicianship, very good band. It was very impressive,” he said.
While both ended up at the end of the program choosing The Cardigans, it wasn’t without hesitation.
Radio Sweden is the English-language service of Sveriges Radio, available via shortwave radio broadcasts and on the Internet.
- Radio Sweden’s Roxette vs. Cardigans audio program (requires RealPlayer)
- Radio Sweden’s “The Greatest” program page (in English)
Written by Lars-Erik_Olson on March 26, 2006 to Fans.
MELBOURNE - The Swedish postal service honored Roxette by issuing a postage stamp with their image back in 1991. But how many Roxette fans have been similarly honored?
Of course, the King and Queen of Sweden have appeared on a multitude of Swedish postage stamps, and all the members of the royal family are known to enjoy the music of both Roxette and Gyllene Tider, especially Queen Silvia and Crown Princess Victoria. But there’s another fan, from a country well known for their love of Swedish pop, whose image has appeared on a postage stamp.
The Daily Roxette has uncovered that Olympic gold medalist Michael Diamond, 33, a target shooter from Australia, listens to Roxette. In fact, he recently mentioned the group to Melbourne’s Daily Telegraph as one of his secret loves (along with gardening) when the paper asked several Australian athletes to share their “secrets.”
Diamond succeeded in winning the Olympic gold medal for trap shooting both in Atlanta (1996) and Sydney (2000).
Written by Jud on March 23, 2006 to Per Gessle.
MADRID - EMI Spain has announced in a message on the Son of a Plumber website in Spanish that Per Gessle will visit Spain next month as part of his promotion tour, which has already taken him to cities like Cologne and Vienna.
Per will be in Madrid on April 5 to present “Son of a Plumber” to the Spanish press. “Per doesn’t forget the country that has always welcomed him with open arms and where he has experienced, together with Marie, so many good and happy moments,” reads the note.
The album “Son Of A Plumber” is out on March 27 in Spain.
Written by administrator on March 22, 2006 to Per Gessle.
VIENNA - The Daily Roxette, along with other members of the media, participated in a round table discussion yesterday with Per Gessle who was in Vienna as a part of his Son of a Plumber promotion tour. Amongst the others present, were reporters from Austrian radio stations Krone Hit Radio, Radio Arabella and Welle1.
We met a talkative Per at the hotel Das Triest in the center of Vienna to talk about the release of SOAP in Europe, which is being positively received. "I'm really pleased because people like the record a lot!" he says with a big smile.
He went to explain why he released the album, which is very personal. "It all started when I transfered my album collection to my iPod, it took about six months, and I found many songs I had forgotten about, songs I grew up with, it brought me back to my childhood '60s, '70s… and I decided to make a tribute to that era."
Why Son of a Plumber?
"My father was a plumber, his name was Kurt. He has a song on the album, because he was the fastest plumber in the west. I think you have be older to be able to make this album, have to have this history and background behind you. I couldn't have done it like ten years ago, you have to have this experience. I didn't make any demos, I always make these complicated nice arrangements for my demos, here I played songs to Clarence and Christoffer, if they liked it, we worked with it."
You can hear from the album that you had a happy childhood.
"I have an older brother so I spent a lot of time on my own, listening to pop. I had 100 LPs when I was ten, all the money I earned selling newspapers and such, everything was for records, records, records. Then as a teenager I started to write songs, but couldn't play anything, I had the melodies in my head, then I started to play guitar, and started my first band"
Did you choose the first single?
"Actually I let EMI choose which single they wanted to release first. In Sweden it was 'Jo-Anna,' and I think here it is 'Jo-Anna' as well, but other countries chose 'Mr DJ.'"
Written by tevensso on March 21, 2006 to Roxette.
STOCKHOLM - EMI Sweden confirms all the articles about Roxette’s coming projects in a press release today. Roxette will release a Greatest Hits album with one or two new songs that Per Gessle and Marie Fredriksson will record together this summer. “It will be really great to go into the studio with Marie again,” Per lets us know from Vienna, where he’s doing Son of a Plumber promotion at the moment. “It’s been a fantastic journey and I’m so happy to continue it together with her.”
In addition to this Greatest Hits album there will be “The Rox Box” a collector’s item with the substantial Roxette history: the hits, previously unreleased material, et. cetera. It will consist of three CDs and a bonus DVD. “Twenty years, it feels like yesterday,” Per concludes. “Time flies when you’re having fun!”
The releases are planned for October.
Written by Lars-Erik_Olson on March 20, 2006 to Roxette.
NEW YORK (UPDATED) - It’s finally started!! While The Daily Roxette has been reporting this story for months now, the first reports heralding the return of Roxette from other news sources have begun to appear. Roxette’s 20th Anniversary – that many fans have been almost afraid to start celebrating… for fear of somehow jinxing it – can begin to get underway!
With a headline of “Roxette Announce Comeback,” Contactmusic.com, a website devoted to entertainment industry news, published a story today, one of the first of what’s sure to be many to come.
“Swedish pop duo ROXETTE are heading back to the studio later this year, singer and guitarist PER GESSLE has announced. THE LOOK stars took a break from music-making when singer MARIE FREDRIKSSON was diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2002. But having received the all-clear, the band will now record new material, Gessle reveals. He says “We haven’t written any new songs yet, but we’ll definitely go back to the studio this summer.” Roxette, who are considered the most successful Swedish band since ABBA, launched their career in the 1980s and hope to mark their 20th anniversary with the new material.
Rheinische Post, a German newspaper, published a similar article. Meanwhile, Per made a firm promise during an interview on Swedish TV4 yesterday (while presenting his new “Hey Mr. DJ” video) that this anniversary would be observed with new Roxette material. “It feels like we are not really finished with what we’ve started yet,” he said.
Aftonbladet also writes more or less the same thing, but adds that Per and Marie will go to Christoffer Lundquist’s Aerosol Grey Machine studio this summer to record “a few new tracks.” Per also tells Aftonbladet that a tour could be in the cards. “You never know,” he says.
Anniversary logo by Jorge Diaz for The Daily Roxette
Written by roxeteer on March 20, 2006 to Per Gessle.
MADRID/HELSINKI - In Spain, EMI has launched a Spanish Son of a Plumber website. Currently the website only hosts the same promotional material that has already been published in English.
EMI Finland announced today that Son of a Plumber will visit Helsinki on April 8. Per Gessle and his band will be playing on the live TV game show Huuma. The show is broadcast at 20:00 EET on MTV3.
Written by tevensso on March 18, 2006 to Per Gessle.
STOCKHOLM - The video of “Hey Mr DJ (Won’t You Play Another Love Song),” directed by Daniel Börjesson, will be finished on Thursday and will have its world premiere on TV4’s Nyhetsmorgon on Sunday.
“All of the band is in the video, except Jens who was sick. Gabriel and his friends are in it too, they play strings and horns in some sort of orchestra,” Per explains. Per also describes the video to TDR and he says it tries to capture the spirit of the “Party in My Head” sequence of the short film. Christoffer wears a top hat for instance. “The whole setting is a freak show, there’s a knife thrower (me), Clarence is a weight lifter, Helena is a puppet on a string, kinda cool really.” Daniel has also edited together a video for “Jo-Anna Says” with footage mainly taken from the short film. “Also great, to my surprise,” Per adds.
Nyhetsmorgon starts at 08:59 CET and ends at 11:00. The agenda of the show will be posted on TV4’s website, but usually not before midnight the day before. Per will be a guest on the show appearing at approximately 10:15 and he will present the new video.
- Nyhetsmorgon (In Swedish)
Written by tevensso on March 16, 2006 to Per Gessle.
STOCKHOLM - Bad Hair Day is back, this time with… well, we'll let The Plumber himself tell.
Liar! Yes, I know… but I thought I told the truth when I told you I didn't have any more demos from the SOAP-project. But look what I found! The first version of Jo-Anna Says with a totally different verse (Clarence hated it!). I re-wrote just in time for the real recording… Sorry ‘bout this f##k-up… but better late than never…
P. (no brains left…)
Sthlm, March 16, 2006
PS. By the way, just came home from a couple of days of promo in Germany & Switzerland. I had a blast. Great day yesterday, I did 14 (!) interviews in Zurich and Jo-Anna is happening on the radio!!! Hallelujah!
- Download here (Son of a Plumber.com)
Written by tevensso on March 14, 2006 to Per Gessle.
ZÜRICH - Per will chat on a Swiss website Bluewin tonight, between 18:30 and 19:30 CET. Apparently, you will be able to choose between a text chat and a video and voice chat. The site will also host live webcam images from the event.
Written by Lars-Erik_Olson on March 13, 2006 to Fans.
NEW YORK (UPDATED) - Roxette's "official" fanclub (ORFC), located in the Netherlands, seems to have come to a full stop. While there have been numerous other times over the years when the fanclub became dormant, only to spring back to life so it seemed to some when there was something new to sell or a series of concerts to attend… this time it appears that – as one of their members put it – "the lights are out and the door has been locked."
Even with the fanclub's history of sporadic activity in mind, many fans are once again expressing concern because there has been no outward communication from the ORFC "team" for quite some time and no news updates on their website since November.
One only needs to listen to the chorus of complaints and comments appearing in The Daily Roxette's SmallTalk section and on the Run to Roxette forum (a site operated in cooperation with TDR) to quickly understand that this lack of communication has been interpreted by many as the fanclub having gone out-of-business.
"We can't say anything about it yet," said Iris van der Staaij, one of ORFC's officers, when contacted by telephone yesterday by TDR. "We're negotiating with others who might want to take on a larger role."
The fanclub announced curtly in November that their "fanshop" was closed. No explanations were given, and apparently, no merchandise has been shipped since. Frustrated, angry and nervous fans have reached out to EMI, d&d Management and this newspaper to investigate what has happened, since they have already paid for their merchandise. For months now, no one has been able to get a response from anyone in charge, even though TDR has learned that some members of the fanclub staff have continued to regularly visit these online forums.
d&d Management sent out a message in response to some fans the other day, saying that they are looking into the matter but that the fanclub staff does not reply to mails, and that they therefore need more time to investigate.
"Unfortunately we are aware of the situation and are desperately trying to reach the people responsible for the fanclub to find out what's going on," the management firm wrote in an email to Sandra Muller of the Netherlands. Sandra is still waiting for Marie Fredriksson's "Kärlekens Guld" box set which she paid for back on September 6th. She says she feels "as if she's been cheated."
Tobias J of Sweden tells TDR "they owe me €20 that I probably never will see again, and I know for a fact that they owe many other fans a lot more. What makes me really upset is that they don't seem to care at all." Tobias ordered a video from the fanclub in May last year and paid for it in advance. He then received a mail saying that the video was no longer available but he would get "store credit" for the amount paid – something he says he really didn't want, but had no say in. Tobias ordered a few singles in September, and after that he has heard not a word from them. "I've mailed them lots of times, and looked for them in every forum I know they use, but nothing. Oh, I got one reply once, saying that they had had mail server problems. But if a mail server is down, the mail bounces," Tobias concludes.
Tobias' and Sandra's cases are just the tip of the iceberg. Many other fans report unfulfilled orders totalling 30, 60 – even 100 Euro.
Iris claims otherwise, saying that she thinks "the people complaining are quite a small group." She does, however, admit that the outstanding orders "have been delayed quite a long time."
"You can assure people that everyone will get what they deserve," she told TDR. A meeting is scheduled next month at the home of Eugène Commandeur, the group's current president, to discuss their future. "The only thing that's clear," Iris states, "is that the outstanding orders must be sent, of course."
Should the ORFC choose to disband, it wouldn't be the first time an "official" Roxette fanclub has done so. Running a fanclub can be a very time consuming process, and many such "clubs" are actually operated as for-profit businesses. Such an "official Roxette fanclub" in the United States folded over a decade ago when Roxette's star faded a bit in the U.S. and the club was no longer a profit center for the company running it. Some fans suspect that for a long time now, the perceived rewards no longer seem to merit much of an effort from the ORFC.
Eugène, according to Iris and Ronald den Ouden (with whom TDR also spoke), is currently on vacation, and was therefore unavailable for comment.
Update Jan 30: After this article was published, Official Roxette Fanclub released a message about the subject on their website.
Update Feb 13: The two weeks that the fanclub staff requested and promised to have news out have passed. However, there's still no news.
Update Feb 19: Three days after our latest update the fanclub posted a new message on their website. While the message doesn't give any new information about the fanclub's situation and future, customers with pending orders are promised all their items will be shipped "next week." This means, in some cases, more than six months of waiting for items ordered and paid for. "I won't believe it until I have my CDs in my hands," says a customer from Germany who prefers to stay anonymous, "I have received the same messages from the fanclub before and in the end they never shipped what I ordered. I hope this time it's for real, though."
Update Mar. 3: Not a single order has been reported as having been delivered yet (either directly to TDR or on our affiliate forum, R2R).
Update Mar. 13: According to a message from Sarah, a fanclub spokesperson on the R2R forum, they discovered today that two large bags of merchandise being sent out to fulfill pending orders have sat dormant at the post office for a week and a half due to "a strange miscommunication between the FC and TPG-post (dutch postcompany) about financial issues." Apparently, there was a lack of funds in their account to pay the postage. Sarah reports this issue is being addressed "as soon as possible."
Additional reporting by TDR News Editors Thomas Evensson and Judith Seuma.
Written by tevensso on March 13, 2006 to Gyllene Tider.
HALMSTAD - HBK - Halmstad Bollklubb - has recorded a single at studio T&A. While the name of it is unknown (but probably is “Varje dag som går älskar vi HBK” (“Every Day That Passes We Love HBK”)), the song itself is the old classic “California Sun” by The Rivieras, or rather “Tylö sun” by Gyllene Tider. HBK’s players help singing the chorus on the single together with Svante Karlsson (who also wrote the lyrics) and Micke Syd Andersson. Micke also sings two verses lead, plays the drums and is also featured on backup vocals. Mats MP Persson plays the rest of the instruments. Björn Anklev from HBK is featured on the “Ramones guitar” and Halmstad comedian Thomas Pettersson sings one verse lead.
The song arrangement is very true to the Gyllene Tider version, which presumably also is the intent.
Soon this song will be released as a single by HBK and “Hopefully there will be a video that will be shown on the Jumbotrons at the home games,” Micke Syd tells TDR.
Written by ally77 on March 12, 2006 to Fans.
LONDON (UPDATED) - After a long period without such a get-together, a small group of UK Roxette fans are organizing a fan meeting here and they’re hoping to attract a crowd. With low weekend airfares available to London, perhaps this might be the excuse you’ve been looking for to schedule a visit. The working title for the two-day event, scheduled for April 1-2, is “Meet, Greet & Get Drunk!”
“We’ve set a meeting place and time,” says Alison Marie, one of the event organizers. “This is something that many fans have wanted for a long time and finally we’re trying to have one big party for us all. This will be a great opportunity to meet people and what better time that the 20th Anniversary year of Roxette,” she concludes.
Plans are still being formulated, but further information is available on Ailsa Plain’s website and Roxette.net, where webmaster Steven Howlett has set up a page, or you can email the event organizers: Alison (ally77) or Paul (pwbbounce). Both of them say they’ll be happy to help!
Update March 12: An auction will take place during the Fan Meeting “to raise money for Cancer Research UK in respect of Marie Fredriksson and her battle with cancer,” explains organizer Alison. “I was aware that Per once donated some items to a similar auction the German fans had a long time ago and I thought I could repeat the idea!”.
Marie Dimberg, Roxette’s manager, sent a parcel full of Roxette, Per Gessle and Gyllene Tider items signed by Per Gessle and Roxette, which will be auctioned off during the two-day fan meeting. Among these items are four copies of “Finn 5 fel!” promo CD, two copies of “I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend” 7” single and various Roxette singles and postcards.
A reserve price has been put on the items to ensure a good amount for each item “in order to raise the money for charity,” tells Alison. The items not sold during the event will be listed on eBay afterwards “to give Roxette fans all over the world the chance to own something signed and also to raise money for the important charity Cancer Research UK,” explains Alison to The Daily Roxette.
If you wish to donate any Roxette or related item for the auction please contact Alison.
Written by tevensso on March 11, 2006 to Per Gessle.
STOCKHOLM - The Plumber is back from wherever he was at (vacation again?). In a fresh message on his site he announces that the European promotion will commence next week. Per will travel to Germany and play “Jo-Anna Says” on the show “Chartbreak-Hotel.” After that he will go to Switzerland to meet the press for a day. “All in the name of colourful entertainment!” as he states it.
Per also wishes to remind everyone about the Formula 1 season that starts on Sunday.
Per finishes off his message with “And more to come…”
Written by roxcyn on March 8, 2006 to Roxette.
WROCLAW, POLAND - In what many Roxette fans are sure to consider the worst cover of a Roxette song ever, the Polish heavy metal band Elysium has covered Roxette’s “How Do You Do!,” renaming it “How Do You Die.”
Their cover song, which appears as a “hidden track” on their last album, starts off with about a 15 second clip of the original version (you hear Per’s voice) followed by their death metal approach. There are incoherrent voices and references to death, murder and knives – and a few more short samples of the original.
Last month, The Metal Observer reviewed Elysium’s album from 2004 entitled “Deadline.” In the mixed review, they wrote “even the re-lyricized ROXETTE cover “How Do You Die” … does not save much anymore.”
The link below offers a free download (log in to their mp3 zone with the password and username given, find the album called “Deadline,” and download “How Do You Die”).
Reported by Scott Johnson with additional reporting by Lars-Erik Olson.
Written by tevensso on March 5, 2006 to Fans.
GOUDA - After more than ten years of serving fans, the Roxette fanclub located in Gouda, Holland is shutting down. “Due to many issues, we have decided in an unanimous vote to stop,” they write on their website today. According to the message from the staff, all pending orders have been sent out and more news will be posted on how to sort other financial issues out.
Apparently, there are plans to form a new “Fanclub” with the endorsement of the current leadership team. They indicate, however, that “if this new fanclub should start, they will NOT be taking over our fanbase,” in their goodbye message.
Written by tevensso on March 1, 2006 to Gyllene Tider.
STOCKHOLM - Gyllene Tider’s own little drummer boy Micke Syd Andersson has recorded a new single together with Mats MP Persson. The single is called “Du och jag och Glenn Hysén” (“You and I and Glenn Hysén”) and will be released in April, May. Micke describes the song “A little summer ditty with Gyllene vibes. At the age of 45 it’s about time!”
Glenn Hysén is a Swedish soccer player (center half) that was huge in the late ’80s to the early ’90s. Hysén has played for IFK Göteborg, Liverpool, PSV Eindhoven and Fiorentina.
Micke Syd’s singing career consists of singing the first version of “Tylö sun” and “Min tjej och jag” on Gyllene Tider’s “Moderna Tider” in 1981 (the two tracks were supposed to form Micke’s first single, but was scrapped), and finally releasing Mungo Jerry’s old hit “In the Summertime” in 1997.