Per Gessle - They call us artists (PART 1)

Per: In the program “Dom kallar oss artister” of this evening you will follow me, Per Gessle, into the studio.

Christoffer: What guitar is this one? There are few guitars, just to choose one of them.

Per: But now it’s difficult.

Christoffer: This has made you famous, look!

Per: Really? (laughs) I am thinking to play my absolutely favourite song of all 874 songs that I have written.  We can leave it here. It’s not so bad, right?

Per: If you want to try to make the songs concrete and effective, then we have a list here with things you should think about: that it’s a single, think freely, there are no rules, think about the best intro, and we have also for Christoffer a TV program, Psykakuten, to get rid of the stress. He should take the phone number to them, too, that is also here on the list. Just because he thinks it is a bit difficult.

Rep: Have you called Psykakuten?

Per: No, I haven’t dared it, actually.

Per: But what do the others say?

Christoffer: I was near to do it last week. But we managed without J  

Per Håkan Gessle was born about 50 years ago in Halmstad. Already at the age of 20 he was on tour in the Swedish summer and became the idol of the teenagers in the group Gyllene Tider.

Rep: Welcome… Per … Gessle!

Per: Thanks.

Rep: Gessle you pronounce your name.

Per: Yes. Thank you.

Rep: You come from Halmstad, as all the others do.

Per: Yes, Halmstad and the surroundings.

Rep: Do you live there now?

Per: Yes.

But Sweden was not rich enough at the end of the ‘80s. He started to conquer the world with Marie Fredriksson as Roxette. Just one thing to say: Listen to Your Heart has been played for over 4 million times at the radio in USA. That was the most important chance for Per Gessle in pop music.

Per got a new kick in music few years later, after visiting the countryside in Skåne. That time he was inspired by his first LP The Kink Kontroversy. But that was then.  This is now. We are on the way to Vallarum and to the recording of Gessle’s new album.

Per: We have done quite many disks in a quite short time. And it was not something that I proposed. Even if it was like that in the ‘70s. That is not the right tempo that is recommended to keep.

Per: This one is a CD, it looks like that in my world. I was thinking to show you how it is with one more song. Here I have for example a red note, with a proposal of how the song should be. And this text I record on my recorder. There is a melody somewhere in the text, I don’t really know where it comes from. Many times I sit and listen to this mostly for myself, then I play it with Christoffer and Clarence. Then I don’t do too much, we just sit and discuss what we shall do with this song. So my job becomes quite passive as it is a lot for Christoffer and Clarence to work on it.

Clarence: Me and Christoffer are always in this studio to record and play. We have different things to do, we have worked with Roxette many years. For example, if we must insert a tambourine, we call a percussionist to get a perfect sound, instead of doing it by myself. 

Christoffer: Per doesn’t play so much on a Roxette-CD.

Clarence: No, he has never played. He can play a bit guitar, but he can sing good. And me and Christoffer must play a lot.

Rep: Does he play a lot on this latest CD?

Clarence: No, not much. He didn’t play anything.

Christoffer: You must change, in case you have played something bad.

Rep: Why?

Christoffer: It’s funny. I should be attentive when he’s here, not to press a wrong key.

My archive

Per: Wow, now I am talking about a Per Gessle who is 6 years old in Halmstad and that is amazing. The disk The Kink Kontroversy I bought from by brother who is 7 years older than me and was a smoker and needed money to buy cigarettes. So I bought this from him for 5 crowns. And since then, it became my ego. The disk that totally changed my life. First of all the song Till the End of the Day, which is one of the best songs that I know. Fantastic sound, fantastic guitar, a masterpiece. Are you ready? Oh! Fantastic. Couldn’t have been better.

Per: I remember when there was a CD-shop in Halmstad and the guy who owned the shop, who was 40 years old, said that it was fantastic when I came with my huge headphones, listening to music, I was absolutely the youngest client of the shop. So a single cost 5 crowns, I used to save all my money; I used to cut the grass, to deliver newspapers, to do everything possible. All the money was just to buy CDs. I remember that I had 100 CDs when I was 10 years old, which were the most in the district. You have to fix the safety belts, for God’s sake J Here it comes! It cannot be better than this in life, really great. I have to listen one more time. So pop music has such a great power that conquers you. It happened many times in my life when I used to wonder what was happening, it was a kind of erotic feeling mixed with… I don’t know exactly how to explain, it is something that captures you in a way.