On the straight
everything went wrong
Imagine what a single line
in Gyllene Tider's Harplinge song has confused a whole
"I just denna kurva
har MP haft bekymmer
" (In just this curve MP
has had trouble..)
-I have no idea of what he
means and have never had troubles there, Mats Persson
smiles and looks against Per Gessle, well aware of that
the original text was "I just denna kurva har MP
bränt sitt gummi". (In just this curve has MP
"burned his tires")
But all of a sudden he
-But for nine years ago it
could have gone really bad some hundred metres down the
straight directly after that curve, he comments.
And tells about that he at
the entrance to Studio Tits & Ass almost got hit from
behind. The car was thrown over to the other side of the
road and was wasted. The fuel tank was broken without
ignition and MP injured his head and had to have a number
-That affected me for a
long time ahead. During a period of two years I always
looked back several times extra when I was about to make
a left turn and turned on a safe place several kilometres
later to get a right turn instead.
-But it had to be some
meaning that my car didnt ignite. Otherwise I
wouldnt be alive today. So you sure get a different
view of live after such incidents even though I believe
that you older you get - the more you care about and
enjoy the small details.
Now we come in on the
subject of belief. And destiny.
-Yes, I believe in God in
some form. On the contrary I am more uncertain that if
fate all together should be written somewhere. At the
same time I sometimes have a feeling inside that Im
waiting for something to happen. It can be both a good
and bad thing.
-Like when I was pretty
fed up after five years playing the trumpet in a youth
gang and suddenly, as a flash from the sky, got into my
head that now I shall begin to play the drums. It
wasnt anything I had seen or heard. It was just
such a strong feeling, almost a incredible passion.
Then it all happened.
Status Quo and the whole 70´s-rock with Deep Purple and
Nazareth came in picture. First band Audiovisuellt
Angrepp was formed with for example Pedda Nilsson and
And a year later brought
Pedda and Per together.
-Per and Pedda wanted me
to help doing a recording with acoustic guitars at Pers
house in Vilshärad. I took a long a copper-bit and
-But as soon as the next
time just me and Per met. It was an unspoken feeling that
we could give to each other something.
MP started to learn how to
play guitar. And the 19th February 1977 was
Grape Rock formed.
-I was curious about all
instruments and if I couldnt fix something I
trained until I could. Thats it.
-We were beginners and
extremely creative. There was no such thing as how to do
things. And therefore all that time was a way to find my
identity. Four years studying technique at Kattegatt was
a blind choice.
So much that he with bad
grades after two years, decided to take a year off and
work as a builder for his father.
-After that I studied a
two year long course "electric and
telecommunications technique" instead. It was more
my thing and I have use of that even today.
MP had already shown in
young age his technical and musical talent. Four years
old he sat and played on the piano and took some songs
-Dad got pretty suprised
when I got the lawn-mover started which he had failed to
do. Then I was six, MP says.
Later he pulled apart his
tape recorder and put all on plywood to see how it worked
and got famous as Harplinges best moped trimmer.
-There were many who did
that. But the mopeds I trimmed was the fastest. And that
was perhaps all that counted.
He was an only child in
the family shy and a little bit withdrawn. And almost
never played some tricks.
-Well, once, when I was
six, seven years old. Me and a friend went to a house
they were going tear down where a farmer kept seed-sacks.
And went berserk. But we were caught and was punished,
after that hurting lecture I watched myself not do it
It was MP who suggested
his old class mate from 4th grade to second
year of college, Janne Carlsson on bass when Grape
Rock-duo expanded to Gyllene Tider-quartet.
And which therefore got in
a hard conflict situation when Per through a casting saw
that Janne, which didnt go down too well with
Janne, he decided to get out of the picture.
-I never understood that
it was like that. But realised in the long run that it
wouldnt work with two strong wills in the band. So
to some part I had a bad conscience towards Janne.
But I was also the only
one in the band who talked with him afterwards and that
MP himself has after two
occasions felt let down.
-Yes, once when Gyllene
quit 1985. I was extremely disappointed and completly
lost of what to do. All of a sudden I didnt know
what was going to happen and all the visions just
-Then Jonas Isacsson
became Roxette's new guitarist in spite of me who has
been playing on "Neverending love".
-But on the other hand I
had a lot to do in the studio and when Per and I started
to write songs again for Roxette, then it all felt OK.
-Then I was actually
thinking about, beside the aeroplane, all my jobs had
been projects. OK, it is more unsafe. But much more
MP, who isnt friend
with the iron, has no problem with cleaning, dishes,
doing the laundry and dealing with organisd chaos, not to
say it is finished for playing for Gyllene Tider.
Just another break.
-Well, now its time
to take on the other projects again which were put aside
because of the Gyllene-tour. As in my case Watherwhirl
which means a lot. And Back on Stage on Mallorca where MP
joins on the 15th august for three weeks
-But when that was decided
was the thought that we should play for ourselves after
having mixed Husbands a whole summer.
That didnt really
happen. A whole Återtåg (Triumph Train) came in the
© Photos &
Layout: 1996 Hallandsposten
© Translation to
English: 1997 Fredrik Sundqvist & Paul Rands