“Ordinary” Per may be singled out as extraordinary in Halland’s history

HALMSTAD – As reported earlier this week, Per Gessle has been nominated as “Hallander of All Time” (Tidernas Hallänning). This contest-of-sorts is being promoted by both of the newspapers serving the Halland region. It is designed to create interest in a new exhibition on the cultural history of the region that will open at the Museum of Halland on February 29th. This is the same museum the will house a Gyllene Tider exhibit this summer.

  The six nominees are:

• Bockstensmannen (1300’s, first half) A man who lived in Halland in the 14th century. His well-preserved corpse was found by a farmer in Varberg in 1936.

• Olof Von Dalin (1708-1763) Journalist, historian, poet and illustrator.

• August Bondeson (1854-1906) Doctor and writer who portrayed the lives of common people.

• Beda Hellberg (1869-1945) Created the May Day flower campaign to benefit tuberculosis treatment and research.

• Ernst Wigforss (1881-1977) Politician, professor and writer.

• Per Gessle (b. 1959) Artist and songwriter.

  Among the finalists nominated, Gessle is the only one still living, while the nominee who dates back the furthest is “Bockstensmannen,” a man who lived in the early 14th century and whose well-preserved remains were discovered in a local bog in 1936 by a father and son out on a hike.

  Ballots have appeared in the newspapers, with readers encouraged to mail in their selection to the museum. The winner will be revealed at the opening reception.

  When Mårten Samuelson, Hallands Nyheter’s reporter contacted Per just over a week ago, he was involved with the recording of Gyllene Tider’s new record and in a very good mood.

  “He he he, what a gang!” says Per when informed as to who the other nominees were. “It is of course flattering to be named along with the Bockstensman. The others I’ve heard about, but who is Beda Hellberg?”

  Ted Holgersson and Judith Seuma contributed to this article.

Hallands Nyheter: What do you think about having been nominated as the Hallander of All Time?

Per Gessle: It sounds like a rather strange contest…but you’ve got to take it for what it is: entertainment.

HN: You’re the only living person whose been nominated. Do you think you should take advantage of that and vote for yourself?

PG: Yeah, that what I’ve gotta do next. Ha ha ha!

HN: You’re one of Sweden’s most written-about celebrities. Is the media’s picture of you something near to the truth or do you believe that people have a misconception about you?

PG: I don’t know. It’s hard to say. What is the picture of me? In any case, I don’t really feel misunderstood. Yet there are some clichés like that I sit and read Billboard word-for-word every week. I quit doing that ten years ago… too much hip hop. But in principle, it probably appears I’m a rather ordinary guy who likes his job and what I do. For the most part, that’s probably true. At the same time of course, I live a rather privileged lifestyle and don’t need to think so much about a paycheck coming on the 24th of every month. But my approach to things is quite ordinary.

HN: Who do you think is the Hallander of All Time?

PG: I have no idea… A fantastic Hallander who’s alive is Bengt Johansson. I think he’s done fantastic things as the leader for the national handball team. That’s the only one I can think of. Besides my mother of course.

This article was written for an earlier version of The Daily Roxette.
Technical errors may occur.

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January 31st, 2004

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