Frank Zappa - The Nordic Stories
Erland Berkelund, Cege Berglund, Matti Laipio, Ole Lysgaard

Absolutt Forlag
2020 December 21
ISBN 978-82-999975-8-4
252 pp, hardback, 28,5 x 21,5 cm

The book is a collection of stories, interviews and anekdotes, accompanied by over 250 unpublished photos from the Mothers' first visit to Europe in 1967 right up to Frank's last ever tour in 1988. For hardcore fans, you will also find a lot of rare memorabilia, as the book contains set lists, ticket stubs, posters and much more. Here, the entire Nordic region is represented, each with its own chapter.

Erland Bekkelund at Norwegian Absolutt Forlag took the initiative. He has written the Norwegian chapter. Matti Laipio is responsible for Finnish, Sören Gaden and Ole Lysgaard for Danish. Cege Berglund, who saw the very first Zappa concert in the Nordic countries, has been responsible for the Swedish part.

The first edition in December 2020 was a limited printing of 300 numbered and signed copies.

April 2021: This new and second edition of the book (300 copies) has some minor changes and corrections but also includes some extra pictures. And Hans Annéllsson's story of recording 'Penis Dimension' and getting the permission of Gail Zappa to record it.

April 2021: The book is sold out everywhere in Norway. However we are considering printing a third edition in a limited of 100 copies. I have done some changes and improvements. There will be some new pictures and I am considering some new anecdotes that has come lately. However I can take pre-order and if there is enough interest I will print. If not you'll get your money back.


Review by idiotbastard
Review by Jan-Erik Østlie


pp 48-49
pp 234-235


Frank Zappa - The Nordic Stories
Erland Berkelund, Cege Berglund, Matti Laipio, Ole Lysgaard

Absolutt Forlag
2022 January 21, 4th edition
ISBN 978-82-999975-8-4
256 pp, hardback, 28,5 x 21,5 cm EEnglish

Frank Zappa - The Nordic Stories:
Thought it was time to reveal the Contents in the book: General – Author/Publisher Erland Bekkelund took the initiative for this project. This has been a collaborative project between Zappa experts from Denmark, Sweden, Finland and Norway. We have stalked Zappa from the first concert in Gothenburg in 1967 to the last in the north May 1st 1988 in Stockholm. Between there have been almost 80 concerts. The book is richly illustrated with about 250-300 photos from concerts, unique backstage photos and from press conferences, most of which are unpublished. Lots of pros but also decent guerrilla photos. The book is also spiced up with tickets, posters and even something from "The weird department". We have aimed to make as accurate book as possible, packed with facts and other snacks.

The book is in English so that our Finnish friends and Zappa fans all over the world can get the perfect benefit from this magnificent book .

Chapter 1. Preamble: The chapter contains a review of each Nordic tour with concert dates, set lists and reviews. In addition to stories and anecdotes, the chapter is richly illustrated with photos, posters and tickets. The chapter is written by Erland.

Chapter 2. Is about Zappa in Sweden and contains interviews, stories of people who met him. About concert experiences and much more. We get interviews with the warm-up bands, among others. Spotnicks which was the very first warm-up band at the very first concert on Nordic soil in Gothenburg in 1967. We get the story of Anne and Hannes and what happened in Tullinge in 1970. The musicians Morgan Ågren and Mats Öberg tell their story about when they got the chance to to play with Zappa and the band during the concert in Stockholm in 1988. The chapter is written by Cege Berglund.

Chapter 3. A special chapter on Zappa in Finland. It is written by Matti Laipio who was one of the main characters who brought Zappa to Finland. He tells about his experiences with Zappa with whom he developed a friendship. As a result, he was invited to live with him in Los Angeles for a period in the mid-1970s. This was during the time when Zappa worked on the albums Zoot Allures and Studio Tan. Matti tells why and how he provided Zappa and The Mothers' notes for the Finnish tango Satumaa. The result can be heard at The Helsinki Concert which is part of the You Can’t Do That On Stage Anymore series. We get the story of "Uncle Eric" who inspired Zappa to write the song Mrs. Pinky. The chapter is illustrated with some fantastic photos taken by photographer Henrik Schütt.

Chapter 4. Is about Zappa's visit to Norway. How did he end up at the Kalvøya Festival (Isle of Calf) in 1973?. We get the story of how Zappa became friends with the composer Arne Norheim. Guitarist Steve Vai, who played in the band on the tour in 1982, was interviewed in 2017 about the concert in Drammenshallen. Steve explains why his new guitar technician was sent home to Los Angeles immediately after the show. We get anecdotes about the famous Audience Participation and how the band worked on tours. The chapter is written by Erland.

Chapter 5. We get to know Denmark's greatest Zappafan Ole Lysgaard who eventually became a friend of Zappa. By almost "stalking" him on tours, we get a unique insight into the person Zappa and how the musicians around experienced the tours. Among other things, we get the story of how Zappa's bodyguard John Smothers gave Ole access to the "inner circle". He became friends with several of the musicians. We get the stories of many of Zappa's references to some of the songs. What about the references used in the song Dong Work for Yuda?. The chapter is richly illustrated with unique backstage photos, posters, tickets and much more. The book ends with an 18-page unpublished interview from Copenhagen in 1979. The chapter is written by Søren Gaden.

This 4th edition has some minor differences with the first edition. The order of the chapters has changed. Here and there some pictures are changed. In total the 1st edition had 252 pages, the 4th edition is 256 pages. The list of people pre-ordered the first edition is deleted. Following short stories are added:

p 51 Soundchecks
p 59 The singing attendant
pp 67-69 Frank in Lund
pp 78-79 Don't go away Zappa said
pp 112-113 It should be sung by a girl
pp 162-163 A novice's first meeting with the legend
p 181 Audience participations