TDR reviews RoXXXette on the Road
In 1986 two friends met and said "Hey, let's start a band and conquer the world?" Said and done. Now 30 years later they are still around, more so than ever perhaps...
Anyway, to cut the story short, the band became a Big Thing all over the world, and has basically stayed there ever since. Now in 2016 it’s been 30 years!
Photographer Anders Roos, also a southern Swede, followed Gyllene Tider around in 2013 to document their tour. Anders tagged along Roxette around the world documenting their XXX tour. I imagine this book was in the back of their minds even then. The book starts with the rehearsals in Alby, Sweden, goes through all of Australia, most of Europe and ends in Dalarna, Sweden. I assume that since South Africa wasn’t planned to be the last stop of the tour, Anders didn’t go, therefore the book ends in Sweden. An amazing journey by an amazing band. The book “Roxxxette on the Road” is a terrific book any Roxette fan should, nay: must, own. Even if you aren’t a Roxette fan and only like great photos, this book is for you. “RoXXXette on the Road” is a gift to Roxette’s dear fans. From fans jumping in the front row, to meet & greets in Dresden, to our own TDR guy at Sydney Opera House interviewing Per, this book encapsulates the whole touring experience!
There will be a “Roxers Edition” of the book as well, with 16 additional pages (the regular one consists of 320), signed “in silver” by Per Gessle, it also contains one of 15 different enlargements signed by Anders Roos. It all comes in a nifty box and is limited to 300 copies – worldwide.
Being a photo book the photographs in this book are stunning. Anders has a certain style that pleases me. He shoots dark photos, with lots of contrast, slightly faded. Or his black and whites which often are blueish. Very stylish. And the book is smack full of them. What’s even better is that they aren’t just from the shows, sure there are a few from the shows, but most are from backstage and from other places. Per all alone with his MacBook in a lounge in Brisbane for instance. Or Marie contemplating in her dressing room. Much like Jonas Åkerlund’s “Roxette Diaries”, this book captures those rare, off-guarded moments and preserves them in a glossy, stylized form, forever preserving those special Roxette memories that cannot ever be erased – this book almost picks up where the “Roxette Diaries” documentary left off, an exclusive and thrilling backstage pass to a poignant time in Roxette’s career, a continuation of their triumphant 2011 come back as a global touring band – but also, in a bittersweet twist of fate, the mammoth XXX Tour which would of course become their very final Joyride around the globe.
Photos aside, fantastic as they are, what really knocks me down is Per’s notes. There are 41 notes – reflections – in this book and for once (may I say that?) Per has been quite personal. Thoughts and wonderings which we normally don’t get to hear. Of course there are Per’s normal comments as well, Roxette’s treasure box of songs… But why not? He also thanks Roxette’s amazing fans. “We would be nothing without you.”
One reflection I found particularly funny was Per going to LA and when talking to immigration the TSA officer asks Per, after Per saying he was a songwriter, “Oh yeah, written anything I’ve heard?” to which Per points to the ceiling saying “Sure, I wrote that…” Playing over the speaker system was “It Must Have Been Love”. The officer told Per he was welcome to the US.
All in all, a very nice book to add to your Roxette collection, limited or not. If I could choose, I’d seen it even bigger than the size we got it in, 22 x 28 cm (8.5 x 11″), but it works. The reflections are in English, and I doubt there will be any other language released.
I talked to Anders, and he mentions he took “around 38.000 shots in Europe and Australia”…