I came home today after a trip to Germany, only to find my Facebook-mailbox full of private messages from friends who wondered if I had heard the sad news. “Stanley is not with us anymore”. One of my friends called me the minute I got through the door because he didn’t want me to get the news “through Facebook”. Sometimes things should be done “old-school”, person to person, not through social media. And I’m grateful for that.
I had a flashback that took me few years back in time, when Stanley’s bandmate from Nasty Idols, singer Andy Pierce, suddenly passed away in the shower at the age of 45.
Now Stanley. I’ve been friends with these guys since what feels like forever. There’s no secret that they didn’t choose to live particularly healthy lifestyles.
But it just doesn’t matter, the reaction and the sadness is still the same when you are faced with the fact that they are simply not here anymore and they won’t be coming back.
Stanley was always a wild child, a person who everybody knew – and much like with Andy, you either loved him or you hated his guts. Or it would go both ways like a roller-coaster, depending on what state of mind they happened to be in at the time, cause they could both “suck people in” in a strange sort of way.
Stanley and Andy had another thing in common, and that was to provoke people. Sometimes intentionally, sometimes it just happened, but I think that most of us knew that they had good hearts – somewhat troubled, messed up souls – but good hearts and that’s why they still had people around them offering their help and support even when they messed up, which was an ongoing thing pretty much.
My very first thought when I heard about Stanley was something he did for me that I’ll never forget – and which defined him as a person in my book.
I was celebrating my birthday and wanted to do something that would be a great memory for me and my friends, so I wanted to take everybody to Tivoli – an amusement park in Copenhagen – and pay for everybody’s entrance tickets and the transport there so we could all have a good time, regardless of anyone’s financial situation. I would pay for all of us, cause I knew it would be a great memory, and that’s what it’s all about, not the money.
Two or three people bailed in the very last minute with bad excuses and I was really angry that they hadn’t told me earlier, because I had already bought their tickets as well, and they knew it.
Stanley was the ONLY person who had a VALID good reason not to go, he was just out of surgery and was in great pain, he should have been at home resting.
But when he heard that people had let me down, he immediately got on the phone and called me and said that he was back on, cause he sure as hell was NOT gonna be one of those who ruined my birthday.
I told him not to do it, it wasn’t his problem what other people did, he was sick and should be in bed! But there was no way I could change his mind. He had already made up his mind that he was going – for my sake. It was the right thing to do and he was determined to do it.
We had such a great time that day, he was so funny and he enjoyed it, dispite having taken god knows how many strong painkillers to make it through the day.
I’ll be forever grateful for that gesture. THAT showed me what he was made of, he was there when he needed to be. He cared. And we weren’t even that close, just long-time aquaintances I guess, would meet at gigs or private parties or whatever.
A few years prior to that, he also showed up to one of my birthday parties with one of the best gifts that I got that day – a box of organic cheeses, crackers, jams, just little goodies that felt a little bit exclusive in all its simplicity. But it was well thought through, he knew what I liked and what I would appreciate and put some effort into it.
You wouldn’t think he was that kind of guy when you saw him, cause he could be such a mess. I’m not saying that to be mean, he knew it, everybody knew it, it was just a fact.
A few years back, I was recording a demo and he was brought in in the last minute because the original drummer effed up. After a few days I was ready to kill Stanley. He was complicating everything, sucking up all my energy and making us all wait for hours (studio time that I was paying for, stressed me out big time).
I cursed him for weeks after that, going “never ever again!” – but the good thing about Stanley was that he could be very charming when he wanted to, so he could win people over – or win them back. :)
We could have arguments but still always with that “twist” where we both knew that we disagreed but we would cut eachother some slack. He would go “oh come on you bitch, you know I’m right” and get the reply “call me bitch one more time and I’ll kick your ass“. And then we would laugh about it.
It was all cool, no hard feelings. It’s a balance act that doesn’t work with everybody but you could do that with him.
Today, Facebook is flooded by goodbye messages from people who knew him – which is pretty much the whole city and then some.
I needed a few hours to even take it in. On one hand I wasn’t shocked that something bad could have happened to him, cause he was often walking on the edge, and willing to take risks. But you are never ever prepared or indifferent once it actually happens and it’s no longer a joke.
You can say a lot of things about Stanley, but he was genuine and didn’t make any excuses for who or what he was. Take it or leave it – he was who he was and proud of it. Sometimes he might not have been, but at least he knew that there was nothing he could do about it anyway.
He was a good person, I can say that much, and my heart and my thoughts goes out to his family and closest friends who are suffering today. He was too young, but I guess that when it’s time to go, you must go, your time is up. None of us knows when that day will come.
Stanley’s time was up and it’s just hard to handle when someone who’s always been around, suddenly won’t be coming around no more.
We will miss you Stanley, I hope you’ve finally found peace, wherever you are….
It’s that time of year again – when it’s time for me to look back on the past 12 months to summarize what I’ve been up to. It’s been a rockin’ year for sure, although it didn’t start out that well.
My year in rock started tucked down in bed at my friend Blackie’s house in Nashville, Tennessee. I had a bad fever and a touch of the flu after visiting another friend in Florida two days before, Kevin from JOP (Jon Oliva’s Pain).
[The first blog of 2014:]
I missed the gig I had planned to go to on New Year’s (Blackie and her bf Ronnie, both from a band called Liquid Courage), but at least I got to see former Savatage-frontman Damond Jinya do his thing with his tribute band Kuzin It in a club before I left.
[Left – Damond with Savatage Right: Blackie, me and the ladies, at the club]
I loved this!! Great cover, well sung, awesome!
It was a fairly slow concert month in January, as always. I did an interview with Gus G for Sweden Rock in January and I think that was pretty much about it, musicwise. Yes, a VERY slow month.
February served the rock’n’roll table at Amager Bio in Copenhagen – first with the PARTY BAND number ONE: STEEL PANTHER (February 14th)!
A week later it continued with ROYAL HUNT taking on the stage. I went cause I love the drummer’s style, Allan Sorensen. He’s absolutely amazing. As it turned out, so was the singer – D.C Cooper. Holy shit…
March was the month when things started to move a bit. Gus G had just released his first solo-album “I Am The Fire” and was kicking off his solo tour with a few shows in Greece with Uli Jon Roth and Jorn Lande – and Mats Levén fronting his own band. I flew down to Thessaloniki which I almost consider as my second home nowadays, met up with my friend Suuded from Germany, and checked out the show.
Had a great time in Greece – as always. Was great to see Gus and the others, we went to this rock bar after the show which is almost a tradition every time he plays in his home town.
But the loud music makes it almost impossible to hear what anyone is saying so after maybe 2 hours everybody left to get some well deserved sleep.
A few days later I was on a plane over to Manchester, UK, to check out the Steel Panther show there. That was all I did – for a change. No interviews, no parties, no nothing. Just fly in, see show, fly home.
The week that followed was graced by the super awesome Danish rockers D.A.D! My friend Henny and I made a roadtrip to Gothenburg and had a great time, getting slightly intoxicated at Hard Rock Cafe – and I hit on the Swedish prince, Carl Philip, literally. I wasn’t looking, as usual, and he and his “gorillas” were passing me on the sidewalk where there was a construction area and not much room. I wasn’t looking and thought “why do I always have to be the one who moves??” so I pretty much shoved the prince, when my friend whispered to me who it was. Whoops…
The cool thing was that he went to Hard Rock as well – and ordered a burger that he enjoyed while Zakk Wylde and Black Label Society was playing from the video screens all over the restaurant! The Swedish prince ROCKS! :) And he’s handsome too – for a short haired prince. ;)
THIS is what I call rock and f***in’ ROLL!!
In April, I got a message from Iréne on Facebook – she used to sing with female rockers Modesty Blaise, a band I used to manage back in the day, and that was reallyyy a long time ago. We lost touch but reconnected thanks to social media. :)
She invited me to come over to the studio where they were recording a tribute to our old friend Andy Pierce from the band Nasty Idols who passed away last year.
It was so great to see everyone again. Sometimes it’s like time stood still, we all had a great time and Andy’s positive spirit was with us the whole time.
And that takes me to MAY and the months that followed that were super-busy concert- and travelwise! Let me catch my breath a little bit here before continuing to part TWO of 2014, cause there’s a lot – a LOT more where this came from. :D Keep checking!!
This statement could be found on the official Nasty Idols page on Facebook today:
On November 16:th last year we gathered on location in Malmö eager to shoot what was going to be the first of two videos presenting the new Nasty Idols members, Andy, Rikki, Zoak and Anton. We had an awesome day filming with Rainer Holmgrenand although Andy sadly left us just a few weeks later here It is.
What was supposed to be a beginning now represents the end and last hoorah!
Rock’n roll, Andy It came out just the way you planned it.. of course.
My first, spontaneous reaction was “cool, a new Nasty video!“. I tend to forget that things are different now – but Andy IS alive and kickin’, in the hearts of us all and now also here with the last video that was supposed to be the comeback of his “baby” Nasty Idols.
It’s a cliche, but in Andy’s case, it really makes sense I think: He lives on in the hearts of so many of us. The feeling of loss is there, but there’s an even stronger feeling of something positive, cause the minute people start talking about him, they laugh. That was his strength in life, and it still is!
It’s great to see that this video was finalized and is now out there for the world to see, just the way he would have wanted. I’m sure he’s watching from wherever he is, going: “Spread the word, suckerrrsss!” :)
Yesterday marked exactly 4 months since Andy Pierce (Nasty Idols) passed away. It left us all in shock and many of his friends felt that they wanted to do something to pay tribute to him. My first thought was to arrange a gala concert. A few of my friends decided to record a song for him, and that was finalized yesterday.
Shortly before Andy passed away, his band (and his “baby”) Nasty Idols had gone through some major changes.
Two of the members that had been around the longest, bassist Dick Qwarfort and guitarist Peter Espinoza, had left the band. Two tours had been cancelled and it looked like it was the end of Nasty Idols. But Andy wasn’t ready to throw in the towel, so he formed a new Nasty Idols with long time friend Stefan “Zoak” Nordeng on bass and young guitarist Joensson. The new version of the band had just started recording two promo videos and were in the middle of planning for the future, when Andy was found dead on December 5, 2013…
The tribute that was recorded, is with the members of the band that he chose, who never got the chance to record anything together – but this is as close as it gets to hearing what they would have sounded like.
Some of the people who used to be in Andy’s closest circle of friends, gathered in the studio to remember Andy and just share memories. I’m really glad that I was invited as well, as he’s been a friend for many, many years.
The studio gathering wasn’t a sad evening, that’s not what Andy was about. He was all about jokes, having a good time, having fun. His spirit was with us as we recorded and mixed this song and I think he would have said that it wasn’t too shabby. Not as good as if HE would have done it himself of course, but it will do. :-)
I’m also glad that I got to reconnect with Iréne, who sings the lead vocals on this tribute. She used to sing with the first and only all-female rock band in Malmo back in the day, Modesty Blaise, and I somehow ended up managing the girls. My first tour experiences were with those girls – I just remember the great times we had back then. When Modesty Blaise split up, we lost touch and I haven’t seen Iréne for years.
[From yesterday’s finalization of the tribute for Andy: Stefan “Zoak” Nordeng (bass), Lotta Nordeng (backing vocals), Rikki Dahl (drums), Anton Joensson (lead guitar), me (backing vocals), Iréne Nord/Engdahl (lead vocals) and Matti Engdahl (engineer, hammond – he also worked with Nasty Idols on their last two albums “Boys Town” and “Kalifornia”)]
So something good comes out of everything. Her and I reconnected, I got in touch with lots of people that I haven’t seen since the early 90’s through Facebook, got to know new people and shared a few laughs while hanging in the studio finishing this old Nasty Idols classic.
It was all done with respect. Nobody was there to try to boost themselves, which is often the case with musicians. It was a good cause and a good thought behind it, which is why it feels so right to have been a part of it.
The song is for free, but if you want, feel free to donate to the Swedish heart & lung foundation.
We raise our glasses for you Andy – wherever you are – this one is for you:
One of my best friends sent me a short message on Facebook that just stated: “Andy Pierce is dead!”
I just looked at it, wondering what she meant, was that some sort of joke or a new album or what?! It simply didn’t occur to me that he could actually be gone. But two seconds later, another friend of mine sent me the exact same message. “Did you hear the news about Andy?”
The Andy they were talking about was Andy Pierce, lead singer of the Swedish sleaze-band Nasty Idols. A guy I’ve known since 1987 when they played their very first gig. I actually didn’t know it was their first gig until 20 years later when he told me that it was. Their performance there was so professional that I thought they were big stars already. What did I know, I was 18 and they blew me away.
[From that very first Nasty Idols gig in 1987, bassplayer Dick Qwarfort]
That was where it all started. The story is too long – I’ve been friends with these guys ever since. For 26 years we’ve somehow “followed” eachother – they started out at the same time as me. I got my first job as a rock reporter in 1988, they released their first album around that time as well. I’ve written countless Nasty Idols-articles and reviews, seen numerous Nasty-shows…
And I was really glad that they agreed to perform on my private birthday party a few years ago, when they really weren’t playing anywhere else at the time. A promoter tried to book them after that gig and they turned down the offer. When asked howcome they played at MY event, Andy answered: “Because it’s HER!”.
That says it all I guess. It counts for something to have known someone for that long.
I’ve got so many memories flashing through my head right now. I could go on forever about Nasty Idols, but for now I’m really just remembering Andy as a person.
When someone passes, everybody paints up this picture of a perfect, angel-like person. Andy wasn’t perfect. Far from it. He had his issues, spent time in jail, lived the life of a rock star with the drugs and booze and that whole deal.
But that was not his only identity, and that’s definitely not the guy I remember. I remember him as a guy who played two roles – one of those being the rock star everybody expected him to be. There was a line in one of the lyrics (48 Hours) on the album “Boys town” – “I’m standing in the bar, playing the role of a rock’n’roll star”…
He would surround himself with “sleaze chicks” but the minute they turned their back he would shake his head and go: “They look trashy, what’s with those fishnets with big holes everywhere?” He definitely was 2 people in one body.
He was crazy funny too – a wonderful sense of humor. Anyone who ever met him could tell you that.
At a Christmas party at my place, he made my guests laugh so hard that they totally lost their breath. One of the guests had cancer at the time and he told her that she was strong and beautiful – just exactly when she needed to hear that. And she was so grateful that he got her to forget about her disease all evening, the laughs were the best medicine she could get.
In essence, he was a traditional guy, who was scared to die. He drove like an old lady and talked about living in the country with a garden and all, but he couldn’t really set himself free from the image of himself that he had created. And he never would even if he could. That image and the admiration that he got from people, was like a drug. It was his identity, or the one he wanted the general public to see.
I sometimes thought that he had created a monster – the monster that was Andy Pierce and everything that went with it. Then again, he loved music and art and had an unmistakable talent and taste for good melodies, cool artwork and anything visual. It was all an important part of the package that he and bassplayer Dick Qwarfort, who worked in advertising, created under the name Nasty Idols.
When Andy went solo in the 90s, he tried to do the pop/rock-thing for a short while, and I asked him to reunite Nasty Idols for my club at the time – Hard Break. They played at the premiere and it was a success. It made them realize how much they missed playing together and next thing you know, they were back on track.
They helped me get people to the club on the premiere, I helped them with a comeback when nobody was interested in booking “that kind” of band. And that’s how it was.
This is from that Hard Break premiere – Nasty Idols clips from that night in the beginning and towards the end of the video.
He would get thrown out of the house by his girlfriend sometimes and end up throwing pebbles at my balcony window at 4 am, asking if he could crash on my couch cause he had nowhere else to go.
He stopped doing that after an evening out with a few friends when he and a few people came over here in the middle of the night, being drunk and annoying and I literally threw him out. He thought I was kidding, I remember he was still standing on the other side of the door in the stairwell thinking that I would open it and let him back in. When I didn’t he left and we didn’t talk for a while.
I wasn’t drinking at the time and he was out of control, I didn’t hate him or anything, it was just better to be friends in public spaces where my stuff wouldn’t get trashed. :) He calmed down considerably a few years later.
His problem with alcohol was no secret to anyone. When I did an interview for Sweden Rock when “Boys town” was about to be released, he got so nervous that he got himself piss drunk and had to be escorted home by Dick who was used to handing the situation… Luckily he lived just across the street.
Regardless all this – most of us loved Andy. He was funny, an incredibly charismatic and cool guy, a lot more intelligent than people gave him credit for – because he liked playing the role of the stupid sleaze-star…
As much as we would laugh at his antics, I admired him for what he had accomplished and for his talent as the perfect frontman. And he was a good friend, when he wasn’t being taken over by Demon Alcohol or whatever other shit he would end up taking – I don’t even know why he insisted on doing that, but my guess is that he was way to insecure to do without it.
I am really really sad today. He was a good friend and I will miss him a lot. He left way too early, but in true rock’n’roll spirit, he will always be remembered as the young and wild rocker – just the way he would have wanted it.
Say hi to the Band In The Sky from us Andy – and enjoy the jam…