Bosse tells the story...
The early years
It all began when my
parents enrolled me in the Local Music School when I was eight years
old. The first semester, I didn't play any proper instrument. We did
little rythmical excercises and I still remember the small rice-filled
tin jar I used as a Maracca.
The next step was a test to check my ear for music. They told me that I
should play the violin. Which I guess was a good result. However,
luckily enough, I told them I wanted to play the piano. And piano it
My parents bought me a grotesquely heavy upright, with a cast-iron
soundboard. It weighed like a grand and sounded like one. I sat there,
practicing my weekly homework. My first teacher was the archetype for a
dull piano teacher. I was on the verge on giving up when she was
replaced by a Frenchman, Yves Mondain. He was a painter who couldn't
make a living from his art. So he took piano teaching as a bread job.
And what a job he did...
Yves actually was the one who taught me how to play music by ear. He
sat down and played a number, often a blues improvisation. He then
showed me and the guy I shared lessons with how to do it. We never got
any sheet music but more like a sketch showing how he saw the music.
One of the big regrets in life, I didn't save any of these little
pieces of art. We went home and tried to play our version of what he
had played for us. All of a sudden, I could improvise and listen to
songs and play them, just like that!
A few years later, Yves had a mental breakdown and disappeared from the
Local Music School scene. And I was back with another archetypical,
dull piano teacher. And sixteen years old, I quit the lessons. That's
when i really started to play.
Champion Jack Dupree and Otis Spann were blues guys I listened to and
was inspired by. A little later, Keith Jarrett became a big idol. But
what had me absolutely blown away was the first Mahavishnu Orchestra
album, 'The Inner Mounting Flame', released in 1971. On it was Jan
Hammer and when the next Mahavishnu album, 'Birds of Fire' was released
early 1973, he played the MiniMoog. The same year, Hammer appeared on
Billy Cobham's 'Spectrum' album. In my opinion, still the best fusion
album ever made. In 1975, I borrowed money from my mother and bought my
first MiniMoog. I went straight home, plugged it in and put 'Stratus'
from the 'Spectrum' album on the stereo, full blast, and tried to
imitate what Jan Hammer did.
The touring years
In the spring of 1977,
I became part of Monica Törnell's New Band. We toured all over Sweden
for the next few years and recorded two albums in Monica's name. On the
first one, 'Jag är som jag är', we recorded a song that I wrote,
'Svensk Sås'. It's a salsa number which I originally named 'Salsa
Sueca'. Since the entire album was in Swedish, Monica insisted the song
title was also in Swedish. Hence, 'Svensk Sås'.
In the beginning of 1980, we finally had to quit touring with Monica.
She was pregnant with her second son and when the birth got close, it
was impossible to go on gigging. A few of the best years of my life
came to an end. During that summer, the rest of the band toured with
Anders 'Captain Zoom' Linder, and another few best months were added to
my life. A fantastic person and musician! I don't think I've ever
laughed as much on stage as I did with Anders. A few times, I was lying
over my Rhodes piano, laughing, that's how funny he was.
I also did a few studio and live gigs with other artists during 1980.
Göran Fristorp, Roffe Wikström, Totte Wallin, Kenta, Kaj Hansson to
mention a few. But then, in the Fall of '80, there I was with the
question, what to do with my life? Start playing in a dance band and
slowly (or rapidly) going crazy? Or having music as a hobby and get a
proper job? I chose the latter, became a cop and continued playing,
both alone in my home studio and with others. Different cover bands,
keeping a low profile and generally enjoying myself.
The present - the Norwegian connection
The years went by and
some royalties flowed into my account. The amount diminished from a
small but steady stream to a trickle. The last few years, whatever
royalties I received, came from Norway. Norway? I couldn't figure out
why, but all enigmas have a solution. So did this one...
In the summer of 2014, I received an e-mail from Terje Olsen, a
Norwegian AKA Todd Terje. Given my age, I had never heard of him...
Todd told me he had used 'Svensk sås' over the years, when working as a
DJ. Ah, that explained the Norwegian royalties. He then told me he had
recorded a cover of the song on his first full-lenght album, 'It's
album time'. There's a YouTube link to his version on the 'original
music' page. It's fast, much faster than our original version, but made
with skill and a lot of humour.
The reason Todd e-mailed me was that he was planning to release 'Svensk
sås' on a 12" vinyl single, and wanted to have our old version on the
B-side. He wondered if we knew where the old master tapes were, if they
All this of course was great news. And when I told my grown-up kids, it
turned out they had danced to Todd's version of 'Svensk sås' in clubs.
He was a bit more well-known than I had guessed. When I finally
received a link to a YouTube clip from Todd, I realized how big he is.
The clip was recorded at something called 'Øya-festivalen' in Norway.
Todd and his band play my almost forty-year-old song live for 15.000
people. Kids, the age of my own two oldest, dancing like crazy...
However, it doesn't stop there...
The present - the US connectionA
few weeks after Todd Terje's e-mail, I received another one, this from
some strange e-mail address in the USA. I thought it was spam and
deleted it. Two or three more e-mails arrived from the same address. I
deleted them as well. But when the fourth one landed, I noticed that
Todd was also on the send list. So I opened it and holy smoke...
It turned out that there's a young American singer named Niykee Heaton.
She had recorded songs and posted them on YouTube. Which landed her a
contract with Universal Music for an EP. One of the songs on the record
was called 'Villa' and is written by Ms Heaton. But when recording it,
the producer had found Todd Terje's version of 'Svensk Sås'. They had
sampled it and used it in 'Villa'. Or to be more exact, wanted to use
it and asked me and Todd if we were willing to let them do so. Todd
said no and I said yes.
This meant they could use my song, but not Todd's version of it. So in
the end, some musicians had to re-record those parts, making them sound
Anyway, I got an MP3 of 'Villa' and timed the parts that are 'Svensk
sås'. Almost exactly one third of her song was my song. So I simply
said, 'I want one third of the royalties'. And to my surprise, the
reply was 'OK!' You can say much about Americans, but when it comes to
immaterial rights, they are heavenly to work with!
In the wake of this, I was contacted by two other US-based companies.
One was converting music to mobile phone ring tones. The other was
producing a TV series about young African-American girls going to
college. To make a long story short, Villa/Svensk sås is a phone ring
tone and can be heard for like 15 seconds in an episode of the TV
series 'Sorority Girls'.
All this, both the Norwegian and the US tracks, makes me feel like
Rodriguez, the artist whose life is portraied in the movie 'Searching