Marcel Jacob
Marcel Jacob
Birth name:
Marcel Karl Jacob
Born / Died:
January 30, 1964 in Stockholm, Sweden – July 21, 2009 in Kristineberg, Stockholm, Sweden
Active in the band:
First appearance on a EUROPE album:

"I once was accused of trying to be cool using a so called 'artist name', and that my real name supposedly was Marcus Jakobsson. At first stunned by this accusation, thinking I could have done 'better' coming up with some sort of pseudonym, after a couple of seconds I burst into laughter realizing this person obviously had been in some sort of heated discussion or other with people about me... ludicrous. But then again, that's what you get for doing this sort of thing."

Marcel "Marre" Jacob started his musical career at the age of 13. "I was at a rehearsal some former class mates held in the auditorium of my old school, when they had a 'heated argument' with their bass player, who promptly left them in a huff. When the rest of the guys chilled down and became aware of their predicament, one of them suggested they take me as their new bass player, stating he thought I looked the part. They made me take home a bass and practice a couple of parts (being a sort of tribute to Rainbow/Deep Purple-band I was starting with 'Smoke on the Water', of course). It took about a day for me to realize that this was my calling."

When Marcel was 15 years old, he hooked up with guitarist Yngwie Malmsteen and together they formed the band Rising Force. The fact that Yngwie was the boss in the band and wanted to make every decision, led to a lot of switching of members in the beginning. Marcel was the one who stayed in the band for the longest time, but after a while he too became tired and decided to quit in 1981. That's when Yngwie asked John Levén, the bassist of another Swedish band, FORCE, to replace him. When Levén joined Rising Force, Marcel joined FORCE. During his time in FORCE, Marcel co-wrote the song "Black Journey for My Soul" with vocalist Joakim "Jocke" Larsson, later known as Joey Tempest. Marcel only remained in the band for three months and two concerts, though. "It was too much for me to travel outside of Stockholm and not rehearse because the guitar player John Norum didn't show." Meanwhile, John Levén had issues with Rising Force, so he and Marcel decided to trade places once again. "Only a couple of months after I quit, they won that damn competition," Marcel said, referring to the fact that FORCE, who had just changed its name to EUROPE, won the national talent contest "Rock-SM" in December 1982. "Black Journey for My Soul" was later renamed "Scream of Anger" and included on EUROPE's second album, Wings of Tomorrow.

After that, Marcel joined the band Power. They released one demo tape in 1983 before Marcel decided to leave. He was replaced by another former FORCE bassist, Peter Olsson. In 1984 Yngwie asked Marcel to come to the USA to be part of his band again. Marcel accepted and joined the band for the recording of Yngwie's second album, Marching Out, which was released in 1985. At that time Marcel met Yngwie's vocalist, Jeff Scott Soto, for the first time. A tour followed the same year. Due to issues with Yngwie's management, Marcel became disillusioned and left the band in November 1985.

Marcel toured with the nationally acclaimed 70s jazz rock group Wasa Express in the summer of 1986. At the end of that year, John Norum called him up. Norum had just left EUROPE and wanted to make a solo album, so he asked Marcel if he was interested in a collaboration. The two of them started working on Norum's first solo album, Total Control, which was released in 1987. "I had written a lot of music over the years," Marcel said, "And because of John's fledgling song writing skills he wound up using mainly my material including the hit-single 'Let Me Love You'. We made a deal, he would get song writing credits if I got royalties from the album. Economically it made no difference, but perhaps it was a mistake artistically." Norum didn't agree with Marcel's story: "He always says things like that. If you asked him if he wrote Deep Purple's 'Smoke on the Water' or Led Zeppelin's 'Stairway to Heaven', he'd probably say yes."

Marcel played on Total Control and was a natural member of Norum's solo band. The band went on tour from February 12 to March 19, 1988, ending with an opening act appearance for former KISS guitarist Ace Frehley at the Hammersmith Odeon in London. It was there that Norum met former Deep Purple vocalist and bassist Glenn Hughes. Norum and Hughes decided to collaborate and since Hughes was both a vocalist and a bassist, that meant that Marcel and Norum's vocalist Göran Edman were out of the band. "It gave me the incentive to work hard at writing songs," Marcel said. However, Norum and Hughes only made one appearance together, at Rock-SM on May 21, 1988, before the collaboration fell apart. Thus Marcel and Göran were brought back to Norum's band for a summer tour. "Our relation was a bit damaged by the turn of events. And when I played John my latest songs and he said they sucked, I wished him the best of luck with writing for himself and managed to land a solo deal based on the strength of the songs."

After Marcel got that solo deal with Electra Records, he started working on his own album with the songs he had originally planned to give to Norum. Göran Edman had sung on the demos and was supposed to sing on the album as well, but in the end he ended up joining Yngwie Malmsteen's band. "I had a deal, but no singer." But then he met Wasa Express guitarist Cary Sharaf, who suggested that Marcel should call Jeff Scott Soto. Marcel and Jeff hooked up in Stockholm in February 1989 to record what was to become the debut album for their new band, Talisman. "We hit it off famously, and kept in touch on a regular basis." However, Electra Records went bankrupt right when the mixing of the album was finished, so the album release was delayed. Meanwhile, Jeff and Marcel went to the USA to record the first album for Jeff's other band, Eyes, who had just gotten a record deal. Around that time, Marcel auditioned for the legendary rock band Dio, but he didn't get the gig. Marcel jokingly said it was because he was too tall. Dio vocalist Ronnie James Dio denied this, but also said that he didn't want any guy on stage "towering over the Marshall amplifiers." Finally, in February 1990, Talisman's self-titled debut album was released by another record company, Airplay. The song "I'll Be Waiting" became a big hit in Sweden and the album sold more than 30,000 copies. Talisman continued releasing albums and touring throughout the 1990s and 2000s and was Marcel's main priority of his career.

Concurrent to his role with Talisman, Marcel made guest appearances on several albums and compilations, such as the Lion's Share song "Nothing's Free", which was included on a Belgian compilation in 1992, and Thomas Vikström's solo album If I Could Fly and the Billionaires Boys Club album Something Wicked Comes, both released in 1993. In 1994 he played on The Johansson Brothers' self-titled album. Marcel and Jeff started another project, Human Clay, in 1996. Jeff played the keyboards and Marcel played the rest of the instruments, including guitars and drums, on the self-titled album which was released the same year. The album also featured a guest appearance by Yngwie Malmsteen on the song "Jealousy". In return, Marcel made a guest appearance on a cover of "Carry On Wayward Son" on Yngwie's cover album, Inspiration, also released in 1996. Human Clay released two more albums, U4ia in 1997 and the compilation Closing the Book On... in 2003.

Marcel Jacob was found dead in his home in Kristineberg, Stockholm on July 21, 2009. He was 45 years old. Jeff Scott Soto issued the following statement: "It is with deep regret and remorse I, along with fellow members of Talisman, am announcing our brother, longtime colleague and overall greatest musician we've ever played with, Marcel Jacob, is no longer with us as of today, Tuesday July 21, 2009. Marcel took his own life after many years of personal and health issues he was battling."

"I've lost my friend and the best bassist I've ever played with," Talisman drummer Jamie Borger said, "Now there is no future for Talisman."

Both Jeff and Jamie had spoken to Marcel only a day before he committed suicide. "We were mere days from starting what would have been our 8th Talisman studio album together, celebrating the 20 year anniversary of the band," Jeff said, "I spoke with him just yesterday about finalizing the details that would get us started only to get the news this afternoon that my friend merely gave up on it all."

"One of my best friends has passed away," John Norum said, "I'm shocked! We have lost one of the world's most gifted and talented musicians of all time. A terrible tragedy. My thoughts are with his family. Rest in peace."

"It is a great tragedy," Ian Haugland said, "He was a very competent musician and songwriter. We are many around the world who will miss Marre."

"He was a good friend of EUROPE," Joey Tempest said, "He was a funny guy, intelligent guy. Good songwriter and bass player. He's sadly missed."

"It is far too early to say anything now," Jeff said, "But I plan to organize a memorial for his legacy, although not known by the masses, the ones who do see him as the genius I know he was. R.I.P. my friend, you will be sorely missed, you will be in my heart forever & I'll see you on the other side...I hope now you will get your dream & jam with Phil Lynott!!"

Marcel's funeral was held on August 20, 2009 and was attended by John Norum, John Levén and Mic Michaeli. Later that evening Levén performed "Scream of Anger" with the remaining members of Talisman as part of the memorial night that was held at Pub Anchor in Stockholm.

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