June 30, 2008
The memoirs of the recently late, wonderful actress Mona Seilitz is about to reveal the untold story about her secret affair with Marco Donatello in the early and mid 80’s. They met during the shoot of Swedish TV-series “Sincadus”. In her memoirs, who is still without a publishing deal, she also reveals some of the facts and clears the rumours behind the “Big Bonus” EP affair:
“The idea to press the vinyls off a cocaine solvent was all Ulrich’s idea. It was a product of the simple, one-way-thinking and at the same creative mind of a genuine asshole. Still, you had to give hime some credit – I mean, it almost worked, and what better way of combining the two things you love the most? He was a pusher and a record maker, period. Don’t trust any of those guys unless you’re the same. Of course Marco was in on it, he was just into cocaine as any of them at the time. Their deal was to sell a third of the records, the rest was for big business purposes – the big bonus if you want to. Gleen would probably had agreed to the scheme as well, if only someone told him about it. He was just out of his head, not a real threat to anyone, but no real help either. I guess they didn’t wanna jinx it too much, it was a maverish stunt to pull of anyway, and he just couldn’t keep his mouth shut. As simple as that. Turns out though, Ulrich’s vanity almost led to their downfall, as he boasted on and on about his genious venture. It came to a point where they didn’t know who knew about it and who didn’t, cause words where spreading real fast even though it was all very hush-hush. And eventually, when they tried to abort the whole thing, it was all too late, the records were already pressed and ready to go. Next thing I knew, the records were just missing. Vanished into thin air. Who did it? Marco didn’t take them, I know that for sure. If so, he and Ulrich would have used it for what it was meant for and everything would have been peachy for a long time. After that, Marco was always looking for blow, and he wasn’t that good an actor, so he couldn’t have tricked me. Did Gleen get a hold of them? Hardly, he just couldn’t get his hands on anything cause he wouldn’t let go of his cock.”
Note: Ulrich Jonson Von Roy was the head of Wall Street Records, until it was terminated in 1984 when Ulrich realized he was HIV positive. Very little is known about him. The track records of hospital Östra Sjukhuset in Gothenburg says he spent his last days in a coma, when someone from the outside pulled the plug on him. Mona Seilitz concludes: “Ulrich was a man of many enemies, it could have been anyone, including me.”
June 25, 2008
In addition to the story below about Donatello’s brief career in the entertainment industry a reader just mailed us telling that Gleen Asp tried his luck as film actor. Apparently Asp auditioned for the role as the psychopatic police Kjell Göran Hedberg in Mannen från Mallorca (The Man from Majorca) – Bo Widerberg’s filmic adaptation of Leif GW Persson’s Grisfesten (The Pig Feast).
The anecdote about the audition was obviously noteworthy to such a degree that Swedish entertainment business chronicler Uno ”Myggan” Ericson referenced it in his Myggans Nöjeslexikon (Uno ”The Ant” Ericson’s Entertainment encyclopedia) on pages 456-57 in Volume II.
Ericson’s source is the actor Johannes Brost who auditioned at the same time as Asp in a casting office in Hammarbyhamnen in Stockholm 1982. Brost was waiting for his turn when he heard some serious brouhaha going on behind the audition door. A moment later two big men in fishing vests – apparently camera men – emerged through the door dragging behind them a blond, long-haired fellow with what Brost described as ”the stare of a full blown lunatic”. This guy was identified as not other than future JACKPOT member Gleen Asp.
– ”Wtf is happening?”, I thought, Brost recalled years later.
What in fact had just taken place was that Asp, who at the time was out of his mind from not having taken his daily insuline shot, had pulled a gun believing that this would give his performance more credibilty. It should be noted that the gun Asp pulled was only a so called ”knallpulverpickadoll” – a fulminating powder gun for kids. One would have expected the casting director to see this but apparently he was flabbergasted to the point of mental breakdown shouting at the top of his lungs ”Everybody down, he’s carrying a piece!”.
In any case, two camera men, both impressively built from years of carrying heavy equipment, who also was in the room, overpowered Asp. The police arrived and threw the confused Asp in a custody cell. The role as Kjell Göran Hedberg went to distinguished actor Rico Rönnbäck, later nationally famous and loved for his role as the labor-union official Conny Rudberg in the TV series ”Varuhuset”.
And what about Asp? Well, after having spent a night in jail, the story goes, he decided to make his first prison tatoo – the word ”Jackpot” inscribed in semen-like graphical style. This later became the obscure disco duo’s special trademark.
June 25, 2008
Remember the Alf (hairy inhouse alien 80:s tv sitcom) episode where Alf himself didn’t have a single line? It is well known among sitcom connoisseurs and commonly inpreteded as a reference and homage to silent movie.
Age Hammershöi from Bergen emailed and told us that during the local film festival he had drinks with Swedish actor Alexander Skarsgård, who recalled the following story:
On the Zoolander set, the C cinematographer assistant told Alexander this anocdote: Donatello, who had fled a bunch of trouble in Europe, found himself working as a set constructor in Hollywood. One day he suddenly had to jump in and replace the original Alf actor Paul Fusco who normally spent his days in the fury dress, since he was urgently brought to intensive care for wasp stings. Donatello, however, was such a lousy actor/in bad shape that the director was forced to erase all Alf’s parts from the script. The silence was never explained in the episode, but “comically” covered by lots of brow winking and shoulder shrugging.
The kids in the set audience were strictly forbidden to get closer than three meters from Alf, whose blurry sight and methadone smell made him unreliable.
The point was (but not for our research) the actors’ union’s harsh but confused response, which is said to have influenced a major clouse in the following year’s negotiations.
This anectote is confirmed, to some extent, by “John Belushi” by Bob Woodward.
June 25, 2008
We just received this picture from Adam Holmberg, member of the group behind Holiday, Stockholm’s premium summer club. Holmberg suspects it shows Marco Donatello of Jackpot on the Ivory Coast sometime around 1979.
It is known that Donatello traveled extensively in the late 70s and lived with a group of natives on the African coast for two years. In what in an uncanny way parallels the destiny of Marlon Brando’s character Kurtz in Francis Ford Coppola’s film “Apocalypse now”, Donatello took on the role of tribe leader.
He also experimented with drugs unknown to Western science that the tribe’s medicine men made from secret recepies. It was only due to an Italian journalist that in 1980 found Donatello in the deep woods in a delirious state that Donatello got out of Africa with his mental health relatively undamaged.
June 25, 2008
In an interview with Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter monday the 14th of October 1982 the famous Swedish wrestler and playboy Frank Andersson mentions an incident which involves Gleen Asp.
Andersson who lived in Gothenburg at the time was evidently seriously hungover during the interview. When the reporter asked for the cause of Andersson’s bad state he answered with typical dryness that he had downed one or two drinks the night before.
– Me, “Hoa Hoa” Dahlgren and some other guys was hanging out in my friend Gleen’s studio on Linnégatan. There were good amounts of tequila and Czech beer. So, I’m kind of a mess today.
The reporter was of course curious about the musician with the studio.
– Gleen Asp, a really wild guy but good fun to hang out with. Impressive drinker. He tends to wake up in my apartment on my sofa after long nights of drinking. I think he’s been recording stuff lately with that punk band Cortex but he’s also into disco stuff, which is more my kind of thing.
Whether it was Gleen Asp of JACKPOT Andersson’s talking about is not confirmed but it seems pretty likely. Asp also lived in Gothenburg in the early 80s and had a studio where some of the major players of the underground scene recorded.
June 24, 2008
The surviving member of enigmatic Swedish new beat disco duo Jackpot Gleen Asp is allegedly working on new material in a studio at Ingstön on the Swedish West Coast. At least that’s the conclusion the Swedish IRS has drawn.
Asp is wanted for tax evasion and has been under surveillance by the IRS for some time. Apparently an IRS representative spotted Asp last week outside a boat house that is rumoured to be a recording studio. We can only hope that this means Asp is recording a follow-up to the groundbreaking EP “Big Bonus” from 1983 and, of course, that he finds a solution to his tax problems. The “Big Bonus” EP is already infamous for the rumour it gave rise to in the 80s that the record were pressed off a cocaine solvent.
June 24, 2008
They’ve been called one of dance music’s best kept secrets: JACKPOT. In 1983 the Italian experimental sound artist Marco Donatello and Swedish synth pioneer Gleen Asp made recordings together. Their ambition was to put sound to an art-project but the result was an erotic cocktail of italo-esque melodies, ebm rhythms, and filmic arpeggios.
Legend has it the music was an excuse to press records off a narcotic solution in order to smuggle drugs, and that a mishap during the operation explains why we haven’t heard these tracks before.
In any case, this is part of an unknown story of Swedish dance music.
This blog will tell the yet untold story – if there is one – about Jackpot and the early days Swedish club culture and dance music. We will research – all tips are welcome! – and post gathered information here.