"GOTHENBURG EXPLODES AND I'M AT GROUND ZERO"
- 19 May, 2016
In the summer of 1987 Jörgen moves to Gothenburg, by and by luring Kent and Gunnar along.
Having tried their luck in various combos, they restart the Psychotic Youth in January 1988. Fellow exile Northlanders Magnus "Nypon" Nyberg and Erik Danielsson join on guitar and bass, and the band gains some local reputation as a fine wild live act. However, the new bass player suddenly disappears without a trace (nobody's heard from him since) and so Gunnar trades in his Farfisa organ for a Rickenbacker bass. As a four-man unit, the Psychotic Youth embark on their first real tour in November, 1988. Jörgen tells about it:
"It was totally incredible. For the first time, we were treated with respect. We had a tour manager and got to sleep in hotels! The clubs we played had real PA systems, and they gave us unlimited amounts of booze! Besides, we met with amazingly good response. There were actually people coming to check out an almost unknown band from Sweden."
In January 1989, the band feels ripe to get into the studio again, for the first time in almost two years. Chips Kiesbye (of famous band Sator) agrees to produce the record, originally mostly as a favor to his fellow Northlanders, but pretty soon realizing the potential of the songs. One night Chips brings his band mate Kent Norberg along to sing harmonies, and everything falls into place. The Sator laddies succeed in persuading their record company, Radium 226.05, that "this is the hottest thing since Elvis"; an additional ten songs are written and recorded at a furious pace. The single "Julie" brings some media attention, and radio man Lars Aldman, the closest thing Sweden's got to a John Peel, gets his eyes on the band. An album called "Some Fun", mixed in five days at the Music-A-Matic studio by Chips and Michael Ilbert, is released in the autumn of 1989, for the first time establishing the Psychotic Youth on the national rock scene. The label "surf punk" firmly fixed to the band, members are forced to practice harmony singing for hours and hours in order to be able to play the new songs live. The problem is partly solved by reinforcing the live act with singer-showman-teen heartthrob Per Dahlberg.
The following year, they play about 70 gigs, including the classic Danish Roskilde festival and tours all over Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Germany, Austria and Holland. There are plenty of amusing anecdotes from this period, such as "The Story Of The Wheel Falling Off The Bus On The Way To The Hultsfred Festival" and "The Story Of The Band Arriving Two Days Early For That Festival In Austria". The episodes of "Free Booze In Freiburg" and "Meeting M-Rock Of The Stonefunkers Aboard The German Ferry, Whereupon Much Frolic Takes Place" are also fairly entertaining. Oh well.
However, Radium Records proves to be deep in financial shit, despite having successful bands like Sator, The Stonefunkers, Union Carbide Productions and Blue For Two on their hands; thus, the release of the intended summer single "It Won't Be Long Before We See The Sun Shine" is postponed to February, 1991. At least there's a sunny video, made by Henrik Schyffert, shown infrequently on Swedish television.
In the spring of 1991, the Psychotic Youth start working on their fourth album, "Be In The Sun". Produced by Pär Edwardsson, who functions as an engineer and general cheer-up-guy during the "Some Fun"-sessions, this record is somewhat more relaxed than its precursors, what with everybody being older, more mature, more successful and everything. Perfectionist Edwardsson polishes the Beatle-ish harmony arrangements to an almost absurd perfection. The single "Nice Girls" is a modest radio hit, and "Be In The Sun", released in February, 1992, sells pretty well. The Psychotic Youth Tour Machine rolls on; however, by autumn its gears are beginning to show signs of wear. Guitarist Magnus starts the hardcore band Mary Beats Jane; Gunnar gets a gig playing theatre music for a stage play; Kent is building trucks; Jörgen locks himself into an old sailmaker's factory out by the sea trying to straighten out his private life. The bathing bays are freezing, the Conservatives rule Sweden and the never ending summer seems to be over. But...