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The Hollies Forum Index » Boys In The Band » Interview with Mikael on Swedish radio
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Agneta Post subject: Interview with Mikael on Swedish radio
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Joined: 29 Oct 2006
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A friend of mine told me about this almost two hour long programme with Mikael Rickfors where he talks about his life and music, in Swedish of course. Fantastic!
https://sverigesradio.se/sida/latlista.aspx?programid=4726
PostPosted:Wed Jul 30, 2014 5:39 am
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Sune Post subject:
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Thank you Agneta. Now we know a Little bit more about why Mikael left the Hollies.
See you in Gothenburg.
PostPosted:Thu Jul 31, 2014 19:00 pm
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Thanks for a wonderful link! One of the best radioshows in years!!
PostPosted:Wed Aug 13, 2014 7:29 am
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hollies Post subject:


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Would any of our Swedish friends care to post a brief translation to give us an idea of what Mikael said.

See you all in a few weeks.

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PostPosted:Thu Aug 14, 2014 14:28 pm
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Sune Post subject:
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He says that there was some languageproblems in the beggining and after spending most of the time on the road and in the recordingstudio he felt that this was not what he wanted to do any longer. So after show in Kansas city USA he was in his summerhouse outside Stockholm and decided to tell the band that he would not go back to the hollies again.

But before he informed them about that he got phonecall from the hollies manager and he told Mikael that they wanted him to leave the hollies.

So hoppfully everybody was happy.
PostPosted:Sat Aug 16, 2014 8:33 am
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Many thanks, Sune.

See you in September

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Best wishes, Rob

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PostPosted:Sat Aug 16, 2014 13:01 pm
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Well, I also found it interesting when Mikael told us how he came in contact with Hollies. It started in Gothenburg where Hollies was the top of the bill and Mikaels group, Bamboo was the startup-group. After the gig Tony Hicks told Bamboo that he was searching for groups he could produce. He also sent a song to Bamboo and they went to London to record it. Mikael said that the song was not good and that Tony wasn't skilled as a producer. Bamboo returned to Sweden and nothing more happened.

A year later Mikael was contacted by Robin Britten and asked if he was interested in being their new leadsinger. There was an audition with up to 250 singers. They all had to performance the same song. A week later Mikael got a call that he was chosen. Immediately he went to London and made his debut a few days later at Top of the Tops.

He said he was a member for 2-3 years, but didn't feel quite comfortable. The members of Hollies were ten years older than him and he felt he was somewhat outside.

i found it a little surprising that he couldn't tell who was his replacer....
PostPosted:Mon Aug 18, 2014 7:07 am
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Gee Post subject:
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His memory is poor ! - he joined The Hollies in December 1971 and had gone by August 1973 (Clarke was back with them by then & recording with them) that's LESS than two years not 2-3 years !

He makes a few 'digs' at Tony Hicks there too it appears....(perhaps as Hicks asked him to leave later ?)

but there is no mention of how his accent created problems for them in the studio increasing studio time & costs....or the onstage concert issues as tour manager Rod Shields once apparently said; 'Trying to find Mike with a spotlight was like trying to find an escaping convict...'

I can understand Mike feeling something of an outsider, and his becoming homesick, but despite two terrific albums & some other excellent recordings the sad truth is the 'Rickfors Hollies' were probably never likely to enjoy long term success - they had the first official UK Hollies 'flop' single sadly & failed to capitalise on the USA success of the Clarke sung LCW (a bittersweet success in many ways), despite the success of 'The Baby' the wider public just didn't seem to accept them minus Allan Clarke back then.

Had 'If it Wasn't For The Reason' been issued as a single things might have been different...(??)

I'm glad Mike found deserved success back home after his brief stint in The Hollies.
PostPosted:Mon Aug 18, 2014 9:31 am
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Mikael has got his version, as it often is when you separate. And 1971 -1973 makes 2-3 years if you don't calculate months, just years. I don't think he was counting months when he was asked this question in the radioprogramme. He was actually hesitating as if he wasn't sure.

Maybe it wasn't so easy to join a band that was hesitating about the future and their musical direction? Obviously he felt a little outside. And when he says there' s an age gap of ten years between him and the band it' s not correct. But I believe he could feel it that way.

In my opinion Hollies created some really good music during this period. It was some kind of new Hollies. Pop was gone, Romany and Out on the road was much more mature.
PostPosted:Mon Aug 18, 2014 10:09 am
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Gee Post subject:
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yes but December 1971 to July/August 1973 simply isn't a full two years is it ?, and certainly not three years !

saying Mike was with them 2-3 Years is rather overplaying the duration of his time with them quite a bit, which was closer to around 19 months than two to three years - Mike never recorded with The Hollies after March 1973.

As for maturity - well most of the songs on 'Sing Hollies', 'Confessions of The Mind', and 'Distant Light' were every bit as 'mature' as anything they included on 'Romany' or 'Out on The Road'
- while the complex 'Confessions of A Mind' was easily more 'mature' than say 'Lizzy and The Rainman' or 'A Better Place' etc
PostPosted:Mon Aug 18, 2014 14:47 pm
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I don't understand what you are arguing 'bout, Gee? It wasn't any big issue for Mikael fast calculating that 1971-1973 was two or three years. It was a rather improvised and cosy chat between two musicians on the radio. He wasn't in any way saying that he had made a big contribution to The Hollies.

And maybe it's the truth that he was the one who phoned and said he would leave and got the answer that he would have been fired anyway.

But I would like to listen to the recording Bamboo did with Tony Hicks as the producer!
PostPosted:Mon Aug 18, 2014 22:19 pm
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Gee Post subject:
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I'm not arguing at all, just stating a fact, Mike did less than two years in the Hollies between December 1971 and at the very latest August 1973 (his last recording studio work with them in March 1973) , so him saying he did 2-3 years in the band is inaccurate as in terms of actual time Mike was with them it was about 19 months or so, certainly under two full years, and never three years.

- you are the one then making a point of talking in terms of 'if you don't calculate months' etc...and taking the 'year' it was when Rickfors joined & left as equating to 2-3 years.

I'm not making any big deal out of it or arguing, simply pointing out when Mike joined & left and the actual length of time it was ....

As I understand it Mike was asked to leave the band because Allan had been invited to rejoin them (- whether he was about to quit or not only he can say), but by the time the US Television show 'Midnight Special' went out with the pre-recorded spot featuring Mike fronting the band they were already back in the studio with Allan recording 'Mexico Gold' & 'Curly Billy' and the second album featuring Mike was dropped for any UK or USA release

- the fact it's general release had been held up since completion over four months back in March 1973 suggests strongly they and/or their record companies (UK & USA) were not satisfied everything was o.k. for the release to go ahead - we know the material was certainly of good enough standard so it hints strongly they and their management and record company had non musical reasons re the hold up - very likely that they knew the group line up was about to change (well before the actual notification to the public of Mike's exit and Allan's return to the band), a change that was deemed would greatly affect the sales potential of the withheld album (i.e. a switch of lead vocalist).
PostPosted:Tue Aug 19, 2014 16:10 pm
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I'm not sure that Hollies really was Mikaels cup of tea. Now he's more into soul, blues and african music. He is also a composer for artists like Santana, Percy Sledge, Cindy Lauper, Carla Olsson, etc.

Maybe Hollies chose wrong leadsinger according to what they wanted to do musically. IF they knew what they wanted to do at the time? And maybe LCW was the smashhit that made it impossible for Mikael to live up to the expectations? Everybody wanted Allan back at this time. LCW without Allan wasn't LCW.
PostPosted:Wed Aug 20, 2014 14:03 pm
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Gee Post subject:
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LCW shooting to the top of the American charts in 1972 curiously for all the belated American success it gained rather shot EVERYONE involved with it in the foot....!

for Mike it was something of a disaster as his predecessor effectively 'eclipsed' him , for The Hollies really an embaressment, and for Allan it was so infuriating !

For Mike - who wasn't the same type of artist as Allan at all - it was something of a millstone, Terry sang it live so The Hollies tour the USA with a new lead singer, who isn't singing the big hit !
they were doing the 'Romany' material which was initially acoustic (not unlike CSN ) then cut some late electric rock tracks (shades of CSNY) and suddenly got a USA tour on the strength of old album material from their old record company never deemed to be a single ! (released by EMI & Epic not by the band)

Mike obviously would have loved to sing the new 'Romany' songs & 'The Baby' etc with just the odd later hit like 'He Ain't Heavy' plus some 'Distant Light' songs, less poppish etc, instead he's singing 'Bus Stop' & they do 'Carrie Anne' etc from the sixties Nash days - a number of live songs being sung by Terry (LCW) & Tony (Long Dark Road), so in retrospect while the newer material they were cutting was excellent, the live concerts were awkward for Mike as most songs were so associated with Allan Clarke

The Rickfors Hollies never attempted a UK tour, and the USA tour was purely down to LCW charting - a great oppertunity, but unexpected and BEFORE they were ready or properly comfortable as a live band with Mike - they sought to 're-arrange' the line up doing 'Magic Woman Touch' all stood in a line, and for 'The Baby' with Tony & Bernie out in front of Terry & Mike etc to try and lose the 'frontman' idea from Clarke days

Allan Clarke did offer to do that USA tour - Tony Hicks turned him down (admitting later he'd made a mistake, but relations between them then were as 'cool' as the long woman !)...Mike must have felt very embarressed re that as 'Long Dark Road' (again old 1971 album material sung by Clarke) rose to No.26 in the USA while 'Magic Woman Touch' flopped in the UK (their first official single chart flop) & in the USA - if Mike felt like going home then no one could have blamed him... Crying or Very sad

while Allan Clarke must have been so very frustrated at seeing his song, his vocal, his guitar...high in the US charts....and he's left out of the picture, missing his second chance at big time American established fame ! (with Terry Sylvester being the 'face' to America of a famous song not written played or sung on record by him !)

HAD maybe 'Won't You Feel Good...' followed 'The Baby', then 'If it Wasn't For The Reason' followed that...then their great cover of The Eagles 'Witchy Woman' as consecutive singles - without any older 1971 album tracks sung by Clarkie getting in the way to distract the public, and (when they were ready) a proper UK & European tour followed....it all might have worked out differently for Mike with The Hollies ?

Meanwhile Had EMI issued 'Drift Away' then 'Born To Run' as singles (and promoted them) things might have worked out differently for Allan Clarke as a solo artist too - he could have put a touring band together doing the 'Arold' and 'Headroom' songs plus the latter Hollies songs he wrote in his shows....

so at the time LCW being a smash American hit was curiously 'bittersweet' in many ways for Mike Rickfors, Allan Clarke, The Hollies...and later even for Terry Sylvester too ! Confused
PostPosted:Wed Aug 20, 2014 17:04 pm
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Splendid analysis! Now we're on the same track. LCW was the windbreaker for all involved. It put everything on it's edge. It was an unexpected but great and longed for breakthrough in the US, and with consequenses beyond imagination. I don't have to repeat what you've already written, I totally agree.
PostPosted:Wed Aug 20, 2014 18:41 pm
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