In the rearview mirror – YNGWIE MALMSTEEN

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The year was 1990 and I had my own heavy metal radio-show at Radio MCB.
Yngwie Malmsteen was one of my absolute idols and I was still new in the game. I had only been working as a rock-journalist for about a year, maybe a little longer, when Yngwie called the radio station, live on the air, during my show.
It was a spontaneous, exclusive thing, cause he was only home on vacation and nobody even knew he was there. So how did that happen?
Connections. Isn’t that how everything happens usually?
I was working at this weekly called Hemmets Journal (FICK-Journalen) at the time and somehow, I don’t even remember how, I got to know the mother of the Johansson-brothers (Anders Johansson – drums, who is now with Hammerfall, but used to play with Yngwie back then, and Jens Johansson – keyboards, who is now with Stratovarius, who used to play with Dio and Yngwie).
Else Johansson was a tough and determined lady and I remember talking to her a few times when I called the house to set up an interview with Jens or Anders, which happened quite a lot back then because they had so much going on all the time.
She liked me. I think that was my luck, because she was more than happy to “pull some strings” even when I didn’t ask for it.
The Yngwie-thing was one of those things. 
She asked if I knew that he was home and that he got engaged to his girlfriend Erika “yesterday”. She knew that I was a big fan of Yngwie and few journalists back then actually LIKED Yngwie.
He was constantly involved in bar fights and stuff, so he was great to follow if you wanted a scandal to write about. But very few actually cared about his music, it was always about what a stuck up diva he was. So Else thought he should be happy that he had someone in his corner, who actually liked his music.

She said she would have him call the radio station. It’s so long ago now that I don’t remember all the details anymore, but sure enough, Yngwie called!
As far as I know, that was the only thing he bothered to do on that short visit to Stockholm.
It’s all in Swedish but it’s still a cool thing to have, cause it’s as exclusive as it gets. :)
Apologies for the poor audio-quality, but this is from a worn out cassette that’s 21 years old. If we sound like Donald and Daisy Duck it’s for that same reason.
Still, it brings back nice memories. Yngwie RULED back in those days, I wish I could go back in time and re-live his absolutely fantastic gig at Olympen in Lund, Sweden, 1988. Those were the days..! Kär


  1. Ronnie Soo

    I don’t understand a thing! :D Don’t suppose you’ve got a transcript handy (yeah, f you had you’d have posted it, I know!)I only saw Yngwie live once and that was when JLT was singing for him, pity that didn’t last cos the album that resulted (Odyssey) was very good. Was he really always getting into bar fights? That’s not very clever when you’re a lead guitarist – ask Brian Robertson! :D

  2. Daniela

    He got himself in trouble all the time back in those days. I don’t even remember all the details anymore but the tabloids in Sweden were like hyenas, following his whereabouts to get something nasty to write about.I hope he’s matured a little since his crazy rockstar-days. :)About the conversation with Yngwie, I didn’t actually think he WOULD call, so I wasn’t prepared with “smart” questions. It was more of a chit-chat. I was just a kid, didn’t have a whole lot of routine back in those days.So, I just asked him what he was doing on his “vacation” in Stockholm, if it was true that he got engaged (which it was so I congratulated him), introduced his (then) current single and the next single he was about to release, asked him about his (then) girlfriend Erika who was also getting her singing-career going at the time… Just small talk really! :)

  3. Ronnie Soo

    The press are just as bad over there as they are in this country, then! Mind you, I remember Kerrang! printing a story alleging he got caught in bed with his singer’s (not JLT) girlfriend and getting a kicking for his trouble, which he later dismissed as BS. Small talk like that works better on radio anyway since it would come across as less scripted, it was probably a relief for him not to be asked for the umpteenth time about that flattened fifth apreggio or something! (fails to sound like he knows what he’s on about!) :D

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