Back in 1988, when I started out as a young rock reporter, writing about hard rock for one of the main evening papers in Sweden, I didn’t know any other girls that shared the same passion. That was to happen later, but up until then, I was “one of the boys”. It was just the normal state of things.
During that time, the era before Internet and e-mails, I used to receive letters from my readers. There was always a big envelope in the editorial office, containing letters, or sometimes, such as when I dared to write something unflattering about Paul Stanley, a big sack full of angry letters. :)
Some of the letter writers stood out because they revealed a genuine curiosity, passion and interest in music, and they would write to comment on articles, suggest bands that should get more attention in the paper or simply to ask for more information on artists whose work they admired. One of those writers was a girl named Ozzie.
She was mainly very passionate about guitar virtuosos, her letters would often mention the likes of Steve Vai, Joe Satriani or Yngwie Malmsteen for instance. I thought it was incredibly cool with a girl who was genuinely into rock for the same reasons as myself.
I don’t remember exactly how we met up, but we started going to concerts. We went to see Skid Row on their tours of Sweden, keeping the costs to a minimum. At one point, another girl who was also going to those gigs, booked a cheap room for one person at the fancy Park Avenue Hotel (it led to Skid Row!) but then a whole bunch of fans, including me and Ozzie, crammed ourselves into that room to get a few hours of sleep. Somebody was in the bed, someone slept in a chair, some on the floor – there were people everywhere.
Another time I remember sleeping on a kitchen table at some girl’s place on one of those Skids-tours. We were young, we didn’t care much about convenience, it was ALL about the concert experience!
In 1992, Ozzie and I went to England for the Monsters of Rock festival at Castle Donington. That was quite an experience. I remember having interviews scheduled left and right and at one point I was double-booked and was supposed to be at two different places at the same time. Blackie Lawless of W.A.S.P was on the interview list in one city while Skid Row were holding a press conference in Nottingham I believe it was, at the same time.
So Ozzie stepped in and did the interview with Blackie. She saved my a** and did a great job.
It was also Ozzie that taught me how to create a web page in the early ’90s when the internet was new and still wasn’t in everyone’s homes. It required html-knowledge and she showed me the basics. She was a bit of a pioneer with that, cause she caught on early on those things. I created my first web page thanks to her tips and tricks and it became a very well visited page in the early days of Internet.
Fast forward to 2021. When life gets in the way, friends also go their separate ways sometimes and we have been busy with our respective lives the past few years but when I read that she had now finished and published her first book, I felt really moved, happy and proud.
The band is lucky to have her do this, because I don’t know anyone who is as thorough as Ozzie, or as passionate and disciplined about something when her heart is all in.
We Came To Rock – The Official Pretty Maids Journals by Ozzie Adenborg is out now. She’s followed the band for a long time. We used to go to their shows back in the day, and then obviously she’s seen many more on her own but it’s such an amazing accomplishment, I can’t wait to read this cover to cover!
She had a book signing today, at a very cool record store in the south of Sweden called Gantofta Skivbörs.
It was great to see her and her “baby”.
The book is in a landscape format rather than the traditional standing format. “I hate it when there’s a great photo in a book and it’s spread over two pages, because it just looks weird. I wanted the entire photo to fit on one page like it’s supposed to be viewed. And most live photos are landscape format so this seemed like the best option“.
See? Why hasn’t anyone thought of that before? It IS annoying with a photo that’s 50/50 on a spread instead of in full on just one page.
It looks fantastic, a great deal of work has been put into this and the result is magnificent!
It’s inspiring to see this and she deserves full attention for this book. I got a copy today and will enjoy reading it now when the dark fall is here. Perfect book-weather!
If you want your own copy, this is where you can get your hands on it: https://www.prettymaidsjournals.se/
My own pass from the show pictured in the book above.
I didn’t go to Sweden Rock Festival this year, my “home” that I haven’t missed one single time since the mid 90’s, but this year I had to for personal reasons. I had to go to Croatia to take care of a few things that couldn’t be postponed any longer.
So I’m really glad that I’ll get to experience THIS festival, SKOGSRÖJET instead, cause it’s brand new to me.
Some of my favorite artists and bands are on the bill, so it’s like Christmas! I originally only got myself a ticket because they announced YNGWIE, my guitar hero since I was a teenage rocker. He hasn’t played in Sweden since god knows when, so that was a major treat! Then they announced APOLLO – Sweden’s Tony Martin, the man with the massive voice.
Then came all this other stuff, it’s gonna be a party-weekend to remember!
Not only that, but some of these acts bring old friends, Loudness with a long-time friend Anett from the Jon Oliva-days, Apollo from the Firewind and post-Firewind days, Pretty Maids with “little brother” Chris Laney on the keyboards and guitar…
And kickass live acts within their respective fields – THUNDER is an AMAZING band! I first saw them at the Donington Monsters of Rock back in the early 90’s with Iron Maiden, The Almighty, Slayer and W.A.S.P among others. They kicked ass.
Then I made a reaquaintance with them when they played with Whitesnake on their UK tour a few years ago – and then played Sweden Rock Festival. Incredibly solid band, great songs, just a wonderful vibe all the way through. And now they’re back in Sweden – then, if I feel that I STILL haven’t had enough of them, they’ll also be rockin’ the boat at the Monsters of Rock Cruise next year!
[this is from the Whitesnake tour a few years ago]
AMARANTHE kick ass at what they do, they’ve done their own thing from the very start and whether people loved it or hated it, they still carried on with their unique style.
Never mind the fact that all guys go goo-goo-gaa-gaa over Elize, she’s an incredibly talented singer – all three of them are. And there’s fireworks, laser and stuff, enough to feast your ears and eyes. :)
And D-A-D…! There is not a festival, gig, stage, ANYTHING that won’t start rockin’ to the CORE when these guys plug in their guitars and turn everything up to eleven! I love, love, love them to death! It’s genuine, it’s rough, it’s tough, it’s rock’n’roll the way it’s supposed to be, it’s a show, tons of humor and there’s just nothing not to like about these guys, Denmark’s greatest pride and joy!
If you haven’t heard them or seen them, it’s never too late and I can’t imagine anyone not having a fantastic time at their shows! :D
Hardcore Superstar, another one of those solid bands that have so much energy on stage it’s exhausting just watching them. :) It just hit me that a lot of these great acts are all from Gothenburg, Sweden – and Liv Sin is another one to add to that list.
When I first saw Sister Sin, they were opening for some major act, don’t remember who it was, but I remember thinking when I saw that petite, little leather-packaged chick in fishnet stockings: “…probably another one of those wimpy girlie singers that focuses on image and can’t sing for shit“…
Boy did I regret thinking that for even one second! SHE was the real deal – no doubt about it! She had a powerful rock’n’roll voice, like she’s been eating barb wire for breakfast, she was ALL over the fuckin’ place, rockin’ like the 100% pure rock chick that she is!
She’s never disappointed me since – she delivers at every show. Some people were just born to do what they do, and Liv was born to rock the asses of everybody.
And Yngwie – well… he doesn’t need an introduction. Just call him Maestro. :) Nobody comes close, he is simply amazing. Yeah, he’s mister Attitude and all that, but strip away all the bullshit and it comes down to the greatest guitarist I’ve ever heard. There might be others that are technically better, but Yngwie’s got the whole, complete deal – the melodies, she showmanship, the “feel”… It’s a zillion notes per second but it’s not ONLY that, unlike most other shredders. Love the guy. For his playing. I mean listen to this and tell me he’s not fantastic!
Second day – Apollo, Ugly Kid Joe, Pretty Maids, Backyard Babies, Black Star Riders…and old school NWOBHM heroes Saxon. :)
APOLLO – you’ll hear his voice on so many records, he’s one of the most sought-after vocalists in the country and there’s no doubt why. Apart from being an impressive singer, he’s also a super nice guy. This clip is from his days with Evil Masquerade. A favorite of mine. :)
PRETTY MAIDS – been around for ages and they’re only getting better!
What’s not to like?! I can’t wait for this weekend, that’ll be my dose of rock’n’roll for this month! :D
The Monsters of Rock Cruise, MORC, last year was a memory for life.
I’ve always loved the sea, so being out there, surrounded by the Carribean sea with a light breeze blowing through my hair was wonderful.
There was music and good times everywhere from morning to evening, but at night, it was all peaceful and quiet.
I had a balcony cabin and I felt incredibly privileged when I fell asleep watching the bright moon light up the water surface like a mirror, and then woke up early in the morning to almost complete silence, only the sound of waves splashing against the ship, to watch the sun rise. It was spectacular.
Apart from that, I’m at home on a boat full of rockers. That’s my “tribe”, that’s where I belong. :)
I was there for Madam X, first and foremost, I love their passion and energy, and they’re just simply great people and great musicians.
They rocked that ship.
Then of course there was another good friend, Gus G and “his boys”, all of them great guys that I’ve gotten to know through the years. He kicked ass as well.
I didn’t think I would get to do it all again, until the announcement for 2018 Monsters of Rock Cruise was made recently. The lineup made me lose my breath, pretty much. It’s like tailor made for me. :)
Madam X again – don’t miss it! They have the most dedicated fan, there were people from all over the planet who came to see them on the cruise. And they didn’t disappoint anyone, those shows were loud and freaking awesome!
Lita Ford – my number one role model, inspiration, idol. She had a lot to do with the person I am today, because she was the only female rocker back in those days who was successful but embraced her femininity. All other female rockers all looked like dudes and I couldn’t quite relate. Lita was different and I loved her for it. I still think she kicks ass – and I’m still stoked that she included a photo from our interview – that was in this blog – in her biography. :)
The Quireboys – the BEST live-band I can think of. I’d say that the only competition they’ve got would be Whitesnake/David Coverdale. Other than that, they blow me away, every single time. There’s something genuine about this band, a love for what they do and a spark that never dies. Spike is the ultimate frontman, he’ll probably die on stage. I was so impressed when he managed to engage a whole audience all alone, a capella at Sweden rock – sitting on a chair with a broken leg! Well, he moved everything else that he was able to move, and did it with the biggest grin ever. That band is a GUARANTEE for a good time and I’m so excited that they’ll be on the cruise!
Pretty Maids – another kickass liveband that never disappoints their audience. After almost four decades of kicking ass, they KNOW their business better than anybody. And I happen to know that it’s 100% genuine, it’s a love for rock’n’roll that shines through. As if that wasn’t enough, my “little brother” Chris Laney joined the band last year and he’s handling the keyboards, guitar and vocals. I’ve known that guy since he was a teenager and he’s got music running through his veins, incredibly talented musician and a wonderful guy, so that’s a band I won’t miss on the cruise, for sure!
Thunder – wow and wow. The finest of the finest of British hard rock. Amazing musicians, great songs, great live performances… They opened for Whitesnake a few years ago, and gave the snakes a good run for the money. The hair is shorter and “greyer” nowadays but you forget about all that once they start doing their thing. I love this band!
Doro – she’s adorable, a powerhouse metal queen with a love for rock’n’roll that you just can’t miss. I admire her in so many ways. She’s really dedicated her whole life for music and she lives it, one hundred per cent. Won’t be missing her this time either.
L A Guns is one of those bands I remember from wayyyy back in the day. I met them for an interview in London once when they were opening for Skid Row – sat with Phil Lewis and Kelly Nickels and both left such a bad, arrogant impression that I couldn’t stand them for years. However, I can’t deny that they’ve done some pretty great songs, so I’ll bury the hatchet and go check them out. :)
Loudness kicked some good ass at Sweden Rock, that will be cool to see again. And, yet another friend of mine is handling booking and management for this band so I hope to see many familiar faces on this cruise as well. :)
It’s the ultimate escape from everyday life. You get all this fantastic music, all this “let’s kick ass and have a great time“-energy, all day and all night, you let it charge your batteries, fill your heart & soul with love and joy, while the sun is burning your skin on pool deck. :) What could be better than that?
It’s really like being in a dream for a few days, and in case anyone wants to know if it’s worth the money: Hell YES!
I can’t wait to do this again. :) Miami, Haiti and Jamaica, can’t wait to see you! :D
It seems that my schedule has been a little too hectic to stop and post a blog after every concert and/or trip. But, I’m home sick today, feeling pretty crappy, so I have a second to catch my breath and recap at least a few of this month’s happenings.
November was the month where I had something planned for every weekend – but two of those plans fell through. Was supposed to go to Amsterdam to see Billy Idol. I had my flight booked and everything but I didn’t go due to jetlag after visiting Madam X in Detroit and also battling a slight flu. Something had to go.
The next weekend however, I was on a plane to Milan, Italy to see Billy Idol. I met up with my friend Ania and had a great time in Milan. Also met Daniela (nice name! ;) ) who follows this blog, it’s pretty amazing how you meet people from all over the planet that you have something in common with thanks to the internet. :)
The venue was very cool, apparently it’s mainly used for techno-dance events, stuff like that, but it was a perfect concert arena with a light show you don’t usually see elsewhere. Billy was amazing as always, and Steve Stevens is simply the coolest guitarist there is. What a perfect combo.
The weekend after that was supposed to be Metal AllStars-weekend in Leipzig and Berlin, Germany. Once again, flights, hotels and the whole works, booked and planned… but the whole thing had been postponed until 2015… At first I wasn’t sure if I should cancel my trip once again, but then I thought – I never do the “tourist thing”, why not take the opportunity to go and just enjoy not having anything planned at all, just go with the flow.
It was the right decision. I ended up going to Neues Museum and the Nefertiti-exhibition (I love anything Egyptian and if there is a museum with an Egyptian exhibition in the city I go to, I try to go). I also managed to find the Halford rock cafe. Of course, it was closed when I got there but at least I kind of visited it. :)
Spent my Sunday walking around at the Christmas fair at Alexanderplatz, which was pretty amazing with all its unique foods and drinks, the Glühweins, the smoked salmons and all kinds of “wurst”.
I finished my Sunday in the TV tower where I had reserved my VIP table with a guaranteed window-view. You can see all of Berlin from up there and it rotates, so you REALLY get to see every corner of the city from up there. The food was fantastic too. I ordered a glass of slightly more expensive red wine than usual, but I figured that since I was deprived of a good concert, I might as well comfort myself with a glass of nice wine. :)
A few days ago I was invited by my friend Maj-Louise to the Pretty Maids annual Christmas concert at Vega in Copenhagen, Denmark. That was a great gig, that band always delivers.
Another nice surprise was that they invited a guest on stage, mr Soren Andersen. That guy has played with everybody. Last time I saw him was at the Marshall 50 years of loud show in London, sharing the stage with Yngwie, Paul Gilbert, Zakk Wylde, Joe Satriani – the whole creme de la creme of guitarists. He’s played with Mike Tramp, Glenn Hughes, Joe Bonamassa – you name it. So that was a cool surprise.
(I forgot my own camera so this is the only video clip from that show that I’ve been able to find on Youtube)
December will be a quiet month though. Then in January, I’m off to Detroit again and Madam X.
Like I mentioned in my last blog, I’m not even in the band, but I’m really happy and excited to see how well their comeback has been received. 6000 views in about a week and not as much as one “dislike”, that’s pretty rare and says a lot!
The song is great, the video rocks and we’ll see what comes next. It’s different with this compared to most bands, this is a band that gets a second chance after so many years, and it just seems that the timing is perfect because the songs are better, the musicianship is better, everything is simply better than it was before, so this will be great to follow.
Thursday – June 4th……
It was hotter than hell – the absolute opposite of the rainy night we had endured the night before. I got there early, cause I was meeting up with Pontus Norgren, the guitarist of Talisman, to hand over his custom jacket from our own Swedish rock’n’roll designer Svanlund, who couldn’t make it to the festival himself. Pontus needed the jacket for his gig the next day.
There was nobody anywhere, it was almost two hours before any bands were due on stage. Walked with Pontus chit-chatting to the VIP-area where he went his way and I went to the press tent. That tent is my favorite place at Sweden Rock sometimes. I can get away from the noise, stress and drunk, annoying people, I can rest for a while. I can eat without being pushed and shoved. I can work and charge my camera batteries, cellphones, laptop…. It’s just my favorite place when everything else gets “too much”. :D
Anyway, an hour later, after getting breakfast at one of the many stands without dealing with long lines, I walked back to the Rock Stage and Jake E Lee’s Red Dragon Cartel. There’s been so much talk about these guys, and after all… IT’S JAKE E LEE…! :)
The band was on stage sound checking and some of the technical problems they had then, haunted Jake throughout his whole set. I felt bad for him, he had to cut the show in the middle of a song three or four times. He took it pretty well though, if he was annoyed he didn’t let it get the best of him. I can think of a few people who would have stormed off the stage for a lot less. Kudos to Jake and his band for handling the (bad) situation like real pros.
I went straight to the 4Sound-tent after the show to get in line for the Jake E Lee signing session. That place is another one of my favorites. Since they don’t announce the signings anywhere else but on a sign outside the tent, there aren’t that many people (there are, for some of the artists, but not like the “official” signing sessions a few steps further down).
I did manage to catch a bit of Pretty Maids gig at the Festival stage. One of the best live acts around, I had to at least try to see a bit of their set. Great performance – as always!
Was first in line for the Jake-signing but let another guy cut in cause he was definitely a bigger fan than me. He had a bunch of albums that he wanted signed. Jake showed up right on time, smiling. I briefly said “Bad luck with the gear today huh?“. He looked up, laughed and said: “Oh, you SAW that?”. Well yeah – me and a few thousand others. ;)
After the signing I ran off to the next gig I didn’t want to miss – Robin Beck. I love female rock’n’roll voices, and she’s g ot one of the best, for sure. There was a sound check going on there as well when I got there, and I could tell that she definitely still had her voice intact…!
I think that her show was the one I have most pics and videos from, she was brilliant! :)
Unfortunately. that’s pretty much where my festival-day ended. I think I just walked around the area, talked to some friends and colleagues at the VIP area and then went home. It was just in the nick of time too because just after Robin finished, the rain was pissing down – and I mean REALLY bad.
I was soaked by the time I got to my car. I had to leave early, eventhough it was absolutely KILLING me, cause I SO much wanted to see Rob Zombie. That would have been the highlight of the festival for me, but I had an interview with Rob Halford of Judas Priest that had to take place that evening so… It was an unusually short day for me. Luckily, there was more action the next day!