The enigmatic surviving member of Italian-Swedish new beat duo Jackpot tells about his life today in his first interview for Swedish media since 1987.
What is a life? Most people see their lives evolving in a continuous fashion from one phase to the next. But seen in retrospect bizarre turns and events that affects how we turn out to be can be spotted. Could you have become Christer Fuglesang instead of the member of a forgotten new beat duo in the 80s?
The gravity of these existential questions have been quite real for Gleen Asp. After months of searching we localized the elusive, now 54-year old musician in Lysekil on the Swedish West coast where he currently lives with his 26-year old girlfriend. Today Gleen owns a music café in the town center where he organizes gigs for young, unsigned bands.
So, how did you end up in Lysekil?
It’s a long story but basically I winded up here because of Sara, my fiancée. I met her a few months ago during the Match Racing World Championship for women. She was as a volunteer, distrubuting information sheets for Preem, the main sponsor. And I was responsible for the sound. The sponsor had this turntables that renowned DJs played on. That guy from Service Records who re-released the first Jackpot single was one of the DJs, I remember. You know, the one who’s always wearing v-necked t-shirts. He played there at least four times. And begged for a fitfth gig but Åke Cato was in town and wanted to spin some Lasse Dahlqvist records. So, the choice of DJ was easy.
And because of Sara you decided to stay in Lysekil?
What was it that triggered the release of Cupid’s arrows?
Well, how does these things happen? Damned if I now. I guess they kind of just happen, don’t they? Take my first wife. How would I know back in -86 that I would fall in love with a stripper? Of course, I would be lying if I said that I didn’t hang out at the strip joints on Andra Långgatan in Gothenburg in the 80s. But that I would eventually marry her? That’s just crazy. Life is crazy, man. Well, with Sara I knew that something was going on when she came to work one day and had bought a gigantic shrimp sandwich that she wanted to share with me. And that was one and a half month ago. We’ve been inseparable ever since. I love her very much.
What are your plans for the future? Working on any new Jackpot material?
There are plans, believe me, but I am not sure whether I can disclose them yet. I have a studio in a boat house at Fiskebäckskil where I record some music. Don’t know yet what will become of this. But I can reveal this: I’ve landed a sound gig for a variety show at Nya Parkteatern in Örebro. Half a year, good money. It will be a challenging task, though, especially since I’ve never worked with theater before. I’m looking forward to it. And it’s an honor to work with Peter Flack.
And at last, what do you say about the revival of Jackpot through the release of Uno Dos Tres and soon Ragazza on Permanent Vacation?
It’s great fun! But also … You know, it’s weird to hear this music now since I’ve moved on musically. I’m a much better musician today, know a lot more about harmonics, composition and production. The recordings Marco (Donatello, ed.) and I did in the early 80s sounded like shit, to be honest. And also, I’m a much better person today.
What do you mean?
Well, back then I was just so stupid, you wouldn’t believe it. Doing drugs, not respecting people, having casual sex, constantly picking fights. I was a boozehead and a moron and had no way or plan what so ever for my life. And not to disrespect the dead, but Donatello didn’t exactly help me out of that jam. Rather encouraging bad behaviour, I’d have to say. Today I’m a good Christian who loves his girlfriend and enjoy the tranquility of an early morning walk with his dog.