The day that changed everything
Found my old (handwritten) diary from 1988…
And read the entry I wrote the day I was recruited to write about heavy metal for one of the biggest newspapers in Sweden. I was just a teenager, this thing was so HUGE to me!
DECEMBER 14, 1988
This is unreal. Everything is like a dream, and I’m waiting to wake up from it. For years I’ve been dreaming about this, and now that it’s happening, I just don’t get it. I’m shocked, to say the least. And all I did was WRITE LETTERS!
Now… my own column/page every Friday, my own mailbox, free records, free concerts and interviews that I’m getting paid to do. Yes, I’m getting paid for something that I would happily have done anyway, it’s insane!
There must be a catch somewhere. I mean, here I am, a nobody from out of nowhere, ending up at one of Sweden’s main newspapers where it’s basically IMPOSSIBLE to get in… and I get my own… I can’t believe it, it can’t be real.
I wonder how long it’s gonna take until I fully comprehend this, before I understand how much this actually means.
When they called, I thought that I might go with them and interview Europe, as that is closest on the concert schedule. Only THAT would have been incredible, I never even thought beyond that! And NOW…!
I went there today on my lunch break, dead nervous and aware that it was a question of life and death. If I screw this up, I might as well go and jump into the canal. But Magnus, whatshis name, at work, read my stuff and said “I think you’re a good writer!”
The next step was a byline-photo. The editor called someone on the fast line: “Get a photographer over here NOW, I need one right away. We have a nice young lady here who’s gonna be writing about hard rock for us.”
Holy shit, photo too…
I got 500 kr for the article. And I will get my own letterbox in the newsroom. They will be paying my phone bills from now on. And I’m having dinner with them on Monday.
I was dazed, just said thanks and left to go get a burger, fries and a Coke. The old bitchy woman was being rude as usual, but I didn’t bitch back because I was in a good mood. I called my mom from the phone booth to tell her the news. And then I told everybody at work.
On my way home, on the bus, I was blasting Yngwie really loud on my freestyle. Two metal dudes were sitting right behind me, and I thought to myself “Just you wait, soon you’ll recognize me”…
[This is what we called a “freestyle” back in those days!]
When I got home, I told them everything, and Renata (my sister) made a funny card for me.
Everybody in my German class was really happy for me.
Well… I need to get some sleep and clear my head…”
[The drawing my little sister made for me when she heard about the news :)]
If they only knew, at Kvällsposten, how their decision to take a chance and hire a teenage girl who was fresh out of senior high school, would change her whole life!
I was 18 when all this went down, was one of those kids who lived for rock’n’roll, loved it beyond anything – and I got THIS opportunity….
And here I am today, 25 years later, still loving this life as much as I ever did. The only difference is that now I know what I’m doing. :-) Back then I had to make a lot of mistakes before I learned how this business works.
Now, I’m a part of it, and have been my whole adult life.
I’m just so grateful for that. I love my life, I always have. Some people have a mission, a calling in life, and this is what I always wanted to do and what I was blessed enough to get the opportunity to do. Many people have the dream but are not as lucky. I’m more than thankful, that’s for sure.
It’s been a long journey, and it’s far from over yet. :-)
It just felt kind of touching for me personally, to see where it all began and how I felt about it the very day that it happened. And to see who has been supporting me all these years, and the new people that are joining me along the way. It’s humbling and flattering and I can only say thank you for reading! :)
[One of the early articles, when Painkiller came out, and I got to talk to KK Downing… I remember he called one day and I wasn’t home, so he had to speak with my mother – and she left a message on the kitchen table with his number in Spain, saying “Call Kay Kay Dawning at this number”. Lol!]