From coast to coast with the leppards

By: Lars Brander            From: OKEJ - No. 19, 1988            Translated by: Louise

The album got the best reviews from the critics, or at least almost. The tour in the USA is going splendid, the concert arenas are filled, and the media is going on and on about how good they are - EUROPE have reached the top! Imagine how often we doubted that Joakim Larsson from Upplands Väsby, when he some years ago went on and on about how EUROPE would certainly make it internationally. That they were going to be big, maybe even the biggest, and that all we saw back home in old Sweden was merely the beginning, in a modest way!

"Eh, hmm, yeah yeah," we said and gave him a nice pat on the shoulder. "That's going to be alright, you'll see, hmm..."

Ability and exoticness
Beginnings can be difficult, as we know, the time schedule got broken again and again, and EUROPE began to get pretty nervous. Among other things, we saw that when we were threatened with a lawsuit once when we said that another band got more audience at their tour. And Japan, in all honor, is the place where all rock bands from the west will break through right away?

Oh well, things turned out right at last for Joakim alias Joey Tempest, John Levén, Kee Marcello, Ian Haugland and Mic Michaeli. "The Final Countdown" was the first big stroke, and now when "Out of This World" is rushing up the charts, and the Vikings from the ice cold North is traveling around in America as special guests to Def Leppard, we have to say that the second large step has been taken.

EUROPE are big in the USA today because of their albums, because of their musical ability and their fresh image, but also because of the important touch of exoticness that a Swedish band touring in America has. I mean, Sweden is a very distant country for the Mid-American. We can put it this way: You know that his president was called Reagan until the election in 1989, that the capital is called Washington, and that it's pretty far between New York and Los Angeles.

But he, or maybe she, thinks that the capital of Scandinavia is called Norway, that we're run by a king who's called Kekkonen, and that polar bears live happily on our streets and squares. If this is because Americans are stupid or because Sweden has a very small role out there in the big world, we'll leave unsaid!

No shortcuts
In any way, now EUROPE is traveling around out there from coast to coast as our ambassadors, driven to arenas which can hold almost 30 000 people. A show in India, for example, more in the USA and later on, a widely planned European tour.

"We're on our way," Joey says, talking about the bands' 26 show long trip from Milwaukee to the finale in Phoenix on August 21. This is how you've got to work if you want to reach the top in USA. There are no shortcuts here, so you just have to work hard, play, play and play again.

"But of course it's a big chance for us! The timing is perfect - to go around on a big tour while you have a new album climbing the charts, that's really lucky. Yet, the best part of it all is that we are getting along so good! We are happy and having fun - I'm sure that this is the real reason for why everything has been going so great lately."

Five happy and satisfied guys put together into a happy band on tour straight through the American summer landscapes in a bus. Not five fifths, but five personalities and five individualists who make a whole. The problems seems to be so small and easy to handle.

"Nah, then it would have to be that Kee can never be on time," someone mumbles. "He's always late. It doesn't help even if you put 18 different watches on him, write notes and call his hotel room to remind him - He'll be late anyways!"

But if that's the biggest problem you get in a band, then you just have to be happy. Or...?

Back to the Articles menu