|Micke Muster, Sweden's own Fireball
Born 5 September 1962, Svenstavik, Jämtland, Sweden. Among the many singer-pianists who were influenced by Jerry Lee Lewis, Swedish rock 'n' roll star Micke Muster is one of the best. He started playing the piano at the age of four, at a neighbour's house, surprising everybody with the rocking sounds he managed to squeeze out of the instrument. When he was eight, the Muster family moved to Hagalund in Solna, just outside of Stockholm. No piano was available there, but Micke solved this problem by visiting numerous music shops, announcing that "my parents will be here any minute", thus stealing precious playing time before he was thrown out of the shop.
At the age of 13 he finally got his own piano. In the meantime he had discovered the music of Elvis Presley and Jerry Lee Lewis (Live at the Star Club LP) and decided that this was the kind of music he wanted to play.
In 1985 Micke met his idol Jerry Lee for the first time. Jerry was staying at the Hotel Plaza in Stockholm and there were rumours that the Killer might play a few songs at the hotel bar. Fans had gathered around the piano, but when the Ferriday Fireball did not show up, Micke started to pound the keys instead. After about half an hour, Jerry arrived and stood next to the grand piano to listen. Micke explained that he had not intended to take Jerry's place, but JLL encouraged him to keep playing and then invited Micke to play boogie woogie together, to the delight of the crowd. According to his website, Micke was asked to play piano for the soundtrack of the 1989 JLL biopic "Great Balls of Fire", but he turned the offer down and advised that Jerry Lee should record the soundtrack himself, which he did.
Micke's first album, "Rockfire", was released in 1988. By then he was performing all over Sweden, playing at all sorts of events, including TV appearances. His second album, "I Call It Rock 'n' Roll", came out in 1993 and from 1995 onwards, Micke has had a CD release each year, including an excellent live album and a 42-track 2 CD-set in 2003, with one CD devoted to rock 'n' roll and the other to country. He also released a DVD "Micke Muster Live: A Rock 'n' Roll Night", with Linda Gail Lewis as a special guest (2004, playing time 93 times). From this DVD, you can hear / see "Bonnie B" on Micke's website http://www.mickemuster.com/micke_english.htm (go to Records, click on "Micke Muster Live" and scroll down to the bottom).
Barrie Gamblin writes in Fire-Ball Mail: "The whole DVD is a joy from start to finish." I believe that only one of his CD's ("I'm Ready To Rock 'n' Roll") has been reviewed in Now Dig This. Chris Woodford wrote: "Seldom can anyone have come so close to reproducing the pumping piano sound of The Killer. Some of the tracks on this fantastic CD might well pass for previously unreleased recordings by the man himself. They really are as good as that." (NDT 202, January 2000).
One of the strong points of Micke is that he writes much of his own material. On some of his albums, over half of the tracks are his own compositions. And very good some of them are too, though Micke has the habit of recording them over and over again. Check the man out, he's worth it.
By Dik de Heer for "Shakin' All Over"
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