Part 3 (of 12): Taking the plunge

Published March 30, 2010

At the time of reading the books by Lewisohn and Rogan, I was feeling a bit lost in life. I was working at a video rental store and although that was nice enough, I felt as if I was wasting my time. I was suffering from low self-esteem and was a bit paralysed, not really knowing how to effect a positive change. In early 1990 I realised that the only way to really break the paralysis, as it were, was to take "a leap out into the unknown", which from the perspective of my Swedish middle-class existence meant quitting my job without having secured another job first. The job situation resolved itself fairly quickly, and I found that I was ready for further changes.

I asked myself: what would I really want to do, if I could choose my line of work without having to consider whether it was "realistic" or not. I had always enjoyed writing, and I concluded that I would like to write about music in some form. However, I wasn't really interested in becoming a music journalist as such - what really attracted me was what Lewisohn and Rogan had done: to really delve into a previously unexplored subject, research it thoroughly, and then present the results in book form.

My very first book was this Monica Zetterlund discography, written in collaboration with Thomas Winberg.But what to write about? I quickly realised that it would probably have to be something Swedish, simply because I'm based in Sweden, and the research would have to be conducted in local archives. As far as music goes, this narrowed down the choice of subjects quite drastically, since I've never been very excited by the Swedish music scene. In the summer of 1990, I decided that I should start with a detailed, track by track discography on Monica Zetterlund, a Swedish singer and actress who was something of a living legend in this country until her untimely death in 2005. The book was researched and written together with my friend and fellow Monica Zetterlund fan, Thomas Winberg. (Read more about the book here).

At the time of starting work on the Monica book I went back to university, studying English (I had previously studied Film as well). Over the two-year period it took to write this book, I was doing my English studies, as well as tying up a few loose ends with my previous Film studies. There were lots of other personal things going on as well, so this was a highly chaotic period for me. Apparently, this was necessary to turn my life around in the way I wanted. And if all this wasn't enough, in the midst of it all I also came up with the idea for my next book: ABBA.