GT25 Special – Timeline
Per Håkan Gessle is born Jan 12.
Mats Arne Persson joins the world February 26.
Micke “Syd” Andersson sees the light of day March 12.
Anders Herrlin does the same on September 17.
Göran Fritzon, the youngest of the golden herd, is born April 28.
Per starts his first pop group in Furet – Pepcis – that lip-syncs to The Animals and Tages. Sticks and kitchen utensils form the “instruments.”
MP starts playing the trumpet and joins the Youth Guard.
Per writes his first lyrics and dyes his hair red like idol David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust. Göran joins a classmate and starts taking organ lessons at the Hagström music school. A few years later, he also takes lessons in classical music from Bert Möller who tells him about Anders and Micke’s group.
Anders and Micke both start taking drum lessons from Bert Möller.
MP starts playing the same instrument.
MP also starts playing the guitar. Even though he’s a southpaw, he uses a right-hand guitar, something that his grandfather taught him.
Per buys an acoustic guitar and a Tandberg reel-to-reel tape recorder.
Peter “Pedda” Nilsson introduces his classmate Per to MP from his group Audiovisuellt Angrepp. They all attend Kattegatt High School. Per, who the year before had left school, takes the same classes as Pedda while MP takes four years of technical courses.
Micke and Anders form the group Dad’s Army together with Martin Ovik.
Per and MP form the duo Grape Rock January 19 playing, in particular, Dr. Feelgood covers.
Dad’s Army changes its name to Yggdrasil and is expanded with Göran Fritzon on a red, out-of-tune Panther organ. They play rock with lyrics that criticize society, like “Skolan, skolan” (“School, School”) and “Under diskbänken” (“Under the Sink”), written by Martin Ovik’s mom!
Micke “Keef” Andersson, Yggdrasil’s drummer, and his friend Janne Carlsson, bass guitar (left-handed like Paul McCartney, Per observes contently), join and Grape Rock becomes Gyllene Tider named after an instrumental tune. Martin Brandqvist, son of the church cantor in Harplinge, replaces Micke on the drums in Yggdrasil, which changes its name to Tellus Anima. Fritte buys his first Farfisa organ, the VIP 233 model.
“Swedish rock toward Gyllene Tider (Golden Times)?” News item in Expressen by Mats Olsson April 28. The day before, Per’s father Kurt dies of cancer.
Live debut May 12 in the movie theater Reflex in Getinge. Their closest friends and some 50 others attend. Per struts around in morning slippers on stage and the band plays “Ernst é full,” “Tre sekunder,” “Billy” and the 12-minute-long Pink Floyd-epic “Syndafloden”.
The first article about GT appears in Hallands Posten on July 8. Per loses big in poker when he wakes with MP waiting for the paperboy at his brother-in-law’s in Simlångsdalen.
The recording of the yellow EP in Studio CMP, a rebuilt garage in Kärleken, commences at Per’s friend from the mushroom-weighing times at Fammarp, Per-Olof “Peppi” Andreasson. The work is interrupted due to thunderstorms and goats that can be heard in the microphones. “M” is enhanced with the girl trio “Matchsticks” with the Kempff sisters – later known as “Chattanooga”, while “När alla vännerna gått hem” is recorded at the nearby Studio 38 in Getinge since the grand piano won’t fit in CMP.
Björn Borg’s Wimbledon finals, bicycle world championships and a lost tape by the station – finally the half-hour long recording of Gyllene Tider goes on the “Bandet går vidare” radio show hosted by Jacob Dahlin.
Per gets his first royalty check from STIM: 117 kronor. Tellus Anima breaks up and Anders and Göran lose touch, temporarily.
The yellow EP is released after printing and distribution problems. The town is pasted with pink A4 posters with the text “Gyllene Tider doesn’t have six (SEX) but five songs on the new EP Buy it!” SEX (six) was of course many times bigger than the rest of the text. The businessman Gessle had introduced himself.
Christmas concerts in Getinge and in Halmstad with the first tour posters and a mimeographed twelve-page “Souvenir Programme” by Per. It sells for five kronor and has info about the members, the songs and an offer to join the Gyllene Tider Fan Club, Dept. Europe. The membership fee is 500 kronor, 2,000 for jazz freaks.
Per does not get along with Janne but is too chicken to fire him. Instead he leaves Gyllene Tider and starts Hjärtekrossaren (after Tom Petty’s Heartbreakers) together with Anders Herrlin and Göran Fritzon. Three days later, MP and Micke decide to follow. Gyllene Tider is kept as the name, and the group takes over Tellus Anima’s old rehearsal space in Harplinge’s school. When Janne arrives to an empty room in Skintaby, he realizes it’s over for him.
Kjell Andersson from EMI calls Per and tells he likes “Billy” and wonders if Per has any more good songs. Per does. Lasse Lindbom, who produced another Halmstad band, Sydkraft, arrives to a slushy Harplinge and is as impressed as the members are by his red sneakers.
Per sends 10 songs plus a little odd number that doesn’t really count, “Flickorna på TV2”.
Per changes his hair color again, this time drastically, from jet-black to platinum blond.
The LP-recording commences in EMI Studio 2 at Skärmarbrink in Stockholm. “När ni faller, faller ni hårt” is finished first. Just days before the journey to the capital, Tider has performed a free concert at Bastionen. Almost 1,500 attend!
After a dress rehearsal at Åled’s National Guard farm, Gyllene Tider performs for the first time outside the Halmstad county line at Village in Stockholm where a cassette of “Flickorna på TV2” has become a cult hit. The day before, there’s a release party for the Christmas compilation “Glitter, glögg & rock’n roll” where “24 december” becomes Gyllene Tider’s first song on the Parlophone label.
“Flickorna på TV2”, at first a flip side, but due to a printing error… a double A-side with “Himmel No. 7,” becomes a national megahit. The TV debut is on Måndagsbörsen and it takes second place on Poporama before it’s disqualified when it’s discovered that Per has bought a surplus stock of old postcards at the bookstore Pyramiden, and then exhorted all his friends to vote. But the goal is reached – good publicity.
The debut album “Gyllene Tider” – the first pressing in yellow vinyl – is released. Before that, Per and MP as Peter Pop & the Helicopters have released “After School”, a pastiche of Factory’s “Efter plugget”. The real names of the group members were supposed to remain secret, but a newspaper journalist slipped with his pen.
Gessle/Persson debut as composers in the Swedish leg of the Eurovision Song Contest with “För dina bruna ögons skull”, performed by the Lasse Lindbom Band. The song finishes last, while Tomas Ledin had already had T-shirts made for his winning contribution “Just nu”.
Per sends an English version of “Ska vi älska, så ska vi älska till Buddy Holly” to Paul McCartney, who owns the rights to Buddy’s material. But there is never any reply.
Gyllene Tider goes on a summer tour surrounded with hysteria. Gold records for both the LP (50,000) and the single (25,000). The group has chosen the small company Showringen instead of the giant EMA Telstar. When the money starts rolling in, Janne Beime comes into the picture [as a financial advisor].
The new single “När vi två blir en” sells 100,000 copies, stays at #1 for 16 weeks and pulls the debut album back to the #1 spot.
“Moderna tider”, first named “Självutlösning (hence the camera on the sleeve), is released. Soon the album will become the group’s best selling ever with its 390,000 copies.
Pop hysteria prevails and audience records are broken wide. But on Walpurgis Night, three youths are killed in the stampede at the entrance of the Kristianopel concert area. Shocked and downhearted, the members cancel the three following concerts – one of them back home in Halmstad.
“Parkliv”, directed by Lasse Hallström is filmed.
Anders and Micke record an album with MaMa’s Barn (Marie Fredriksson and Martin Sternhufvud).
Gyllene Tider records the Christmas single “Ingenting av vad du behöver” for the pop magazine Schlager, with Marie Fredriksson singing backup.
“Puls,” the group’s third album, is released.
MP, Anders, Göran and Micke are drafted. Per, having mentioned numerous phobias, doesn’t have to go. He starts recording his first solo album.
Per Gessle releases his solo debut, at the same time as it starts creaking in every joint of Gyllene Tider.
The group decides to continue… but in English. A house in Styrdal becomes the new rehearsal space and later the famous Tits & Ass studio.
“The Heartland Café” is the name given to the English debut. But sales in Sweden of 45,000 copies seems like nearly a flop to GT.
The last tour – so everyone thought – rolls out with Janne Bark on guitar and Marie Fredriksson doing backup vocals.
Launch abroad with a mini LP. But instead of Golden Times or Modern Times, Roxette is the new name, after an old Dr. Feelgood song. In an interview in HP, Per says “In two or three years I think we’re selling 100,000 copies again.” But it was, of course, not that Roxette he meant…
Anders gets sick of Per’s solo project that is taking too much time and delays a new Gyllene Tider album. The planning meeting before the upcoming project, where Per has brought a folder with suggestions, ends with them breaking up the band. On the way out, the emptiness comes sneaking in when they realize what has really happened.
Per Gessle’s second solo album, “Scener,” is released. But the interest is cold and Gessle is considered a has-been in the business; something that is confirmed when he’s overlooked when Tomas Ledin and Mikael Wiehe arrange a gala for Amnesty.
At EMI boss Rolf Nygren’s request, Per writes English lyrics to the song “Svarta glas” that was rejected by Pernilla Wahlgren, but almost ended up on her brother Niclas’ album. The title becomes “Neverending Love” and Per records it with Marie Fredriksson under the name Roxette. This is the beginning of the successful fairytale that a few years later had generated four U.S. #1s and sold millions of albums all over the world.
Per turns 30 and at the “kid’s party” at Norre Kavajeren back home in Halmstad, Gyllene Tider is reunited for a night. At the same time, “The Look” has started getting heavy airplay in the USA.
Gyllene Tider celebrates their 10-year anniversary and releases the compilation “Instant hits 1979-1989”, a double LP which contains along with 15 old songs, six new ones, among those “Småstad” under the name Pers Garage. The album goes platinum!
The CD-box “Kompakta tider” with the live CD “Parkliv” as a bonus is released.
Gyllene Tider releases “Instant hits” again – but this time as a CD named “Halmstads pärlor”. The group is reunited at the release party at Penny Lane in Halmstad and the pressure of a real comeback rises.
Gyllene Tider on Stora torg. More than 17,000 attend and a magical evening at the “Halmstad All Star Festival” where Micke is the opening act to himself as a drummer in The Husbands. People from all over Sweden and abroad make a pilgrimage to the city and the ones that can’t get in fill the rest of the streets.
The EP with “Gå & fiska!,” “Juni, juli, augusti,” “Harplinge” and “Faller ner på knä” is released and is soon enough #1 on the singles charts. At the same time, as a bonus EP, it pulls the CD “Halmstads pärlor” back up to #1. Again.
Sneak premiere “at home” at Per Gessle’s Beach Club at Tylösand. Two days later, the Återtåget rolls out together with Wilmer X and Love Olzon. At the castle ruin in Borgholm the concert gets a royal shine as the King and Queen with children attend. All of them get a “Harplinge” T-shirt and a road map of the small community. Per shows Queen Silvia the chords to “Kung av sand” on the guitar and King Carl XVI Gustaf leaves the concert wearing a red Leif hat. Later this month the peak is reached when 32,000 attend the Stockholm stadium concert. Only U2 and Bruce Springsteen have attracted more and the flag of Halmstad flies over Stockholm.
Återtåget reaches its final destination with double sold-out concerts at Brottet in Halmstad. By then, almost 300,000 people have seen the biggest triumphal procession in Swedish pop history ever.
Tits & Ass moves from Styrdal to Mats “MP” Persson’s basement in central Halmstad.
Roxette releases the new album “Room Service”.
When Roxette goes on a European tour, the concert in Karlstad is the first on Swedish soil since 1994.
Per sends around a demo with new material that the rest of Gyllene Tider feels is better suited for a solo album. But discussions about an anniversary tour and new GT-material have started.
The recordings of what will become “Mazarin” commence unpretentiously down in The Aerosol Grey Machine at Christoffer Lundquist’s home on the Skåne plains.
“Mazarin” is released and Per plays at his own release party at Leif’s Lounge in Tylösand with all the Gyllene Tider members there. “Här kommer alla känslorna (på en och samma gång)” has already become a national megahit and soon enough even competing record company bosses will send letters of gratitude and e-mails because Per’s “Mazarin” drags people into the record stores again.
Per Gessle leaves on his first ever solo tour. Joining him are, except for his own solo songs, Anders Herrlin on bass and a number of Gyllene Tider hits.
To avoid further speculation, it becomes official that Gyllene Tider will go on an anniversary tour the following summer.
The recordings commence in secrecy in The Grey Aerosol Machine studio for what will become Gyllene Tider’s first studio album in 21 years, “Finn 5 fel!”. At the same time, Halmstad County gives a green light for a concert(s) at Örjans Vall.
The opening show at Örjans Vall on July 14 sells out in a few hours and the same goes for the extra concert. The concert in Göteborg is moved to Ullevi and is also immediately sold out. More than 300,000 tickets are sold in a boom that makes Återtåget and other large Swedish concert arrangements look pale in comparison. Gyllene Tider celebrates 25 years by releasing the compilation “GT25 – samtliga hits”.
The double A-sided single “Tuffa tider (för en drömmare)” and “En sten vid en sjö i en skog” is released as a teaser for the forthcoming album and at the same time the tour is extended with four new concerts, of which a closing concert at Örjans Vall is one.
“Återblickar,” the county museum’s anniversary exhibition about Gyllene Tider is opened on June 6 and will continue on to October 31, and the new album is released only three days later.
“GT25” – the biggest tour a Swedish band ever has done domestically is opened with two sold-out concerts at Örjans Vall in Halmstad, and is followed by among others Idrottsparken in Norrköping, Ullevi in Gothenburg, Stockholm stadium (x2) – to be finished back home in Halmstad on August 18. In total, more than 400,000 people will see these concerts.
Translation by Thomas Evensson for TDR
Technical errors may occur.
July 6th, 2004
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