Greetings from Lufthansa Airbus somewhere above Poland. We are going back home from Kaiserslautern, Germany, where we played a little festival together with the Swedish hit machine Roxette.
The summer has been REALLY nice. We have played 1-2 shows per week and the rest of the time we’ve just been relaxing and recharging our batteries for the future battles. Everything has gone pretty ok, well, I overslept my flight last weekend on Sunday morning to Vienna and we almost missed our show at the legendary Donau Insel Fest, one of the absolute highlights of year. I thought I gave myself 10 extra minutes in bed in the morning, but instead I had switched the alarm totally off. Our manager Mikko called me from Helsinki Airport as the plane was boarding and asked if I’d soon be there… Luckily I made it to Vienna with an afternoon flight through Frankfurt and we enjoyed the huge show together with the Austrians. We had even planned a helicopter for me from Frankfurt to Vienna in case I would have missed my second flight since the first one was a bit late. I would have paid ANYTHING to get there. And it would have been worth it!
Back in 1989 I went to a shop near our summerhouse in Lohja, Finland with my dad to buy some groceries and stuff for the summer holidays. I had heard this catchy song called “The Look” from a Swedish new band called Roxette on the radio and I bought their new C-cassette in the store. It was the very first C-cassette I had ever purchased. Usually I copied music from my friends on recordable tapes because we weren’t the wealthiest family in town and the cost of an album was much more than these days. Sometimes we went to a huge shop called Maxi Market with my friend and our drummer Seppo (The band name was FMG – Full Metal Gigolo’s, don’t ask…) and we brought the shopping carts back to the store from the parking area where the families had left them. I guess you got 0,20 Finnish marks from each cart and you had to bring 100-200 carts in for an LP album or cassette. Seppo bought only Iron Maiden, Bon Jovi was my thing.
History info to the youngsters: C-cassette is a plastic tape case sized of an iPhone. On the most advanced ones you can record music up to 90 minutes! After playing the tape enough, the quality goes bad because the tape starts stretching. I wasn’t able to grow up with thousands of mp3’s
Anyway… Yesterday we played a show together with Roxette at the Kaiserslautern football stadium. It’s amazing how many memories came into my mind during their show. I used to have this gray-blue Datsun 100 A (yes, google the model with these self-made speakers that sounded like crap. I actually had wunderbaums (smelly little perfumed trees) and all the stickers in the world glued all over the car. And Roxette was one of the bands on my power play list. I had long hair; a 60 cm ponytail and I wore boots, a cowboy hat and jeans most of the time. “The Look” didn’t really fit my appearance… When the band started “fading like a flower” last night, I imagined myself back into that gasoline smelling dirty wagon with some “lucky” girl somewhere near Helsinki by a lake in the night… It’s not every day I laugh out loud with a few tears in my eyes. I love those memories. So little did I know about life, ladies or anything. And I still have a lot to learn.
The other place the band’s songs took me last night was Southern Spain in 1998-2002. I clearly remember one day buying two albums at the El Corte Ingles in Marbella. Bryan Adams “On A Day Like Today” & Roxette’s “Have a Nice Day.” I know every chord and word of those albums. Even though my four-year trip to Spain was hyper cool and exciting with all experiences I’d rather not talk about to my future kids someday, I was sometimes feeling very lonely and I will never forget smoking cigarettes alone somewhere up on the Marbella or Mijas mountains and listening to “I wish I could Fly” and really wanting to get back home to my loved ones. It’s amazing just how many hits they have from so many albums. Respect! And thank you for last night Marie & Per & Gang!
Again to the youngsters: In 1998 email account was not too common. FaceBook didn’t exist. When you were gone, you were really gone. Even a text message from Spain to Finland was very expensive and luxury. Am I starting to sound like an old sailor remembering his life, right?
Ok, back in 2012.
I am already sitting on my balcony at home and the weather is so nice. I will go bicycling with my new bike (since some full-body-f**k-face stole the old one) and I will sleep like a baby tonight. I gotta get back home to the Spain-Italy football game to see who will be the European champion this year. I wonder if Finland will be in the tournament some day…
Thank you all for all the great moments already this summer. We have much more to come before they close the ice cream bars in Helsinki. Next week we finally travel again with a tour bus in Germany and Lichtenstein instead of the planes and vans and we’ll live real festival life. Three shows. Me like.
PS. My mom sold my dear Datsun finally to an old guy from outside Helsinki. I guess I had done something really bad and I had to let it go. My mom was the one who had bought it at the first place. After one week the car burned down in front of an alcohol store somewhere while the guy was shopping booze and he was pretty mad, of course. The car’s nickname was “Hemuli”, like one of the creatures of the Finnish cartoon Muumi’s. R.I.P. Hemuli. Our memories shall never die…
PPS: It was the very first time ever that I missed my flight. We’ve had more than a thousand flights with the band after 2006, so I guess it’s kind of ok. Most of the trips we start around 6-8 AM so we can travel together with the crew, so it’s no wonder the artistic guys miss their morning ride once every 1000 times. Sami and our former keyboard player Jukka made the same mistake once too. Who’s next?