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If not a silly but at least an unexpected answer came in the fall of 1986 when Kee Marcello (Kjell Lövbom 20/02/60) was asked to join the band - he said no!

"Kee Marcello's name was an early option," says Haugland. "Harry Cody (Shotgun Messiah) and Anders Wiklund (Treat) was another suggestion. We wanted a Swedish guitar player, but could go with a foreign if all else failed."

"Kee had just recorded an album with Easy action and I remember that we got a copy of it before it was out," says Levén. "They took the cover photo the day after we asked him so you can see in the photo that his mind is somewhere else."

1986 - Kee Marcello's first official performance with the band, at "Peter's Pop Show" in  West Germany.
1987 - Kee Marcello's first concert with the band in Bergen (Norway) on January 24th.
Kee declined the offer because he believed in the new Easy Action album. "He felt bad for the other members of the band and their record company and he was the most important writer in the band," says Levén, "but we didn't push him. We gave him a week and eventually he called back and accepted."

Kee was thrown into hectic promotion touring and his first gig was 'Peter's Popshow' in West Germany. In January 1987 they embarked on a European tour and April 15was the start of their US tour at Whilton theatre in San Francisco. That tour was an experience everyone involved remembers with great joy especially since EUROPE by that time had sold several million copies of 'The Final Countdown' in the US. 

"That tour was exceptional," says Haugland. "We were headliners playing venues that held around 2500 people, not the 'enormodomes' but a good level. The production was arena suited though. And afterwards Tommy Lee and Vince Neil of Mötley Crüe were there and we shook hands with them (Haugland imitating Vince Neil) ' Hey man whenever you're in L.A let me take you for a ride'. Yeah right, said by the man who killed Razzle of Hanoi Rocks a few years earlier."

Adding to the excitement of the US tour was the fact that the band flew in a private plane between gigs. "But that was a bad deal," says Haugland. "The idea was to save time to do more promotion in every city. At that time it was said that the record company was gonna pay the difference between commercial and private flying. But we ended up with the whole bill making it cost more than it was worth."

"We saw a figure once on the amount the plane cost and I don't dare think about how expensive it was," says Levén. "But at the time you didn't think of things like that. Someone said we should fly private and we just thought 'Cool - our own stewardess bringing pizza every time you get on the plane'. I mean how good can it get? But they forgot to tell us the important thing: 'by the way - you're paying for this'."
1987 - At the Philadelphia airport with private plane a couple of hours before the last US gig of 'The Final Countdown' tour.

1987 - A well deserved dip in the blue lagoon of Iceland
EUROPE's success changed the way the record company looked at them. From having being one band amongst many others they were now top priority second only to Michael Jackson when it was time to record the follow up album.

How did you deal with the pressure?

"I guess Joey was the one under most pressure," says Michaeli. "He was the one writing most of the material. We did our best in backing him up. Guys in that age usually don't show their weak sides to each other. It went more on instinct. I remember Joey being in Denmark for awhile writing songs. I went to see him to lay down some keyboards and test some ideas. Although nothing was said or shown something was in the air, without having to say it you knew that repeating a success was the main thing."

And that success was allowed to cost a lot of money?

"Yes 'Out of This World' was extremely expensive to record," says Levén. "I don't dare to think about how much it was. If you've sold 6-7 million copies of an album the record company dictates the budget for the next one. But they are forgetting - once again - to mention that you're the one paying for it. That way you will gladly pay 4000 dollars for a hot dog, but that's how the 80s was. The more expensive the better. The record company however always makes sure they get their money back."

With the release date getting closer EUROPE managed to make one good deal. "The second tour in the US was in the summer of '88 with DEF LEPPARD," Haugland tells us. "When we made the deal with Leppard their 'Hysteria' album had started to drop in sales so they wanted someone to join them to help sell tickets and asked us if we wanted to do it."

The normal procedure is that the opening act pays the headliners for taking them on tour but since DEF LEPPARD asked EUROPE to be special guests on the tour they managed to make some money on that tour.

"Just a week after we've signed the deal they got a hit with 'Pour Some Sugar On Me' and everyone including the devil and his brother bought 'Hysteria'," continues Haugland.

1987 - Tempest and Levén during a EUROPE concert at a very big amusement park in Dallas, Texas.
1987 - LP signing in a music store in Boston.
"Looking back I guess they didn't need us but we got maximum exposure and made some money at the same time. The funniest thing was that they asked us personally if we wanted to go with them on their indoor tour in the fall but we were already booked for an Asian tour so it meant breaking all those contracts plus our management thought that tour was more important. Lesson learned is that if you get a chance to tour with a DEF LEPPARD going up, you take it."

A strong impression however was left with the LEPPARD boys. DEF LEPPARD have on several occasions testified about the Swedes' partying habits calling them the most decadent band they've ever toured with including Mötley Crüe.

"That sounds fantastic I guess I'm responsible for that," says Haugland. "It was around that time I had my pants more often down than up. There was a lot of parties but we weren't like Mötley Crüe, we didn't shoot heroin or any drug scandals. We were more like Swedish Vikings drinking booze and beer."

You were the most far-out one?

"I was the drummer, the clown you know."

Where were the others in that scale?

"Joey was the furthest from me. At that time a lot of people thought he was cocky and haughty but he was more shy and kept his private life to himself. Mic was an enigma. 'What happened with that chick last night'? ' know...What time is it?' Then there was Kee and John Levén but I was the worst. Today I still feel that I'm a crazy bastard but those rock'n'roll lusts have been lived up during that tour. Been there done that. It's still fun as hell to party but not like that anymore."
1987 - Ian Haugland is hanging out with Mötley Crüe's Tommy Lee after the first USA gig in San Francisco.
1987 - Levén trying to switch the video on during a flight to Eugene, Oregon.

What's the dumbest thing you did?

"The stupidest thing I ever did was in L.A during Halloween. We had a pre-party at a friends place and after that we all went out. Since it was Halloween and one should be in costume I pulled down my pants and let my Johnson hang loose walking down Hollywood boulevard. Nothing happened but if a cop had seen me I would have been arrested. And now, I wasn't sober..."

"I think a lot of bands have tours like that," adds Michaeli. "On our part I thought we peaked during that tour. Some do it for several years but you get tired and older so you can't keep up anymore ha ha. I remember my first gig with EUROPE. I was really disappointed when no one wanted to get drunk afterwards. Throwing out a TV is a must and the best thing is the second it breaks and bounces into the swimming pool!"

The European tour kicked off in Malmö (Sweden) January 10, 1989. The shows in Scandinavia were completely sold-out and there was great attendance in the rest of Europe also. But at this time the sales of "Out of this World" had stopped at somewhere around 2 million albums. A great number today but in the 80's and after a success such as the one EUROPE had with "The Final Countdown"' this was regarded almost as a fiasco. 

"'The Final Countdown' was released at the exact right time. There was room for a band like us and we had the song that gave us the attention," says Michaeli. "We were, and are a damn good band but I actually don't think we are a band that should sell 6-7 million albums. We would have been better off on that level 'Out of this World' reached. "
1989 - EUROPE at Milton Keynes.

"Two million is not a fiasco, but it made us start thinking of how record companies really reasoned. If you have sold 6-7 million copies of an album its gonna be hard to top that. 'Out of this World' was a wake-up call."

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