KEE MARCHELLO

Country Sweden

Style Hard Rock

Kee marcello

At the age of thirteen me and my buddy Anders Hedlund was playing squash towards a garage door on a parking lot in the small town of Umeå in the north of Sweden when one of us came up with the brilliant idea of turning the racket around, playing it as if it was aguitar. At the time I had no idea what an impact this would have on my future! We were heavily into Deep Purple and Uriah Heep, and we decided to form a band then and there. Unfortunately we didn’t have a dime to our names, neither any musical instruments, so the dream was seemingly impossible to catch. After weeks – months of relentless persuasion of my parents into buying me an electric guitar, my prayers (read brainwash) seemed to have panned out. On Christmas eve 1973 I opened the case and laid eyes on my very first guitar – a second hand Hagstroem Impala.

It was love at first sight. Six years of practising and playing in bands later I’d discovered that I was outgrowing Umeå. I packed my guitar and bags and took off for the bright lights – big city: Stockholm. I got a job in a hospital emptying trash with hepatitis infected syringes and tran-sporting dead people to the morgue. It wasn’t a great job, but it had an obvious upside … if I did my ”stiff runs” fast enough I would get lots of time over to go down to the dressing room where I kept a guitar in my locker. Thanks to those corpses I got lots of invaluable practising done every day during fully paid working hours. Thank you dead guys. Or as Alice Cooper would have put it; I love the dead.

When I joined the glam/punk act Noice in 1982 I got my first taste of the rock’n’roll life style. The platinum selling band was creating hysteria, pulling major crowds wherever we played. The tour I did with them has gone down in history as ”the tour of scandals”. We ended up in the tabloids more often than not, and we had to get police escort back and forth from almost every gig. During this tour I learned how to play a guitar solo while running and ducking for eggs, tomatoes and even rocks, because not all the guys in the audience appreciated the effect we had on the women in the crowd. I got along especially well with the bass player, Peo Thyrén, and it wasn’t long before we started scheeming on ideas for forming a new band, since we felt that Noice was doomed to fall apart anytime. A lot of this had to do with the keyboard player Freddie Hansson and his self destructive way of life. Between gigs me and Peo started to hang out in London, picking up the club vibe and listening to bands like The Southern Death Cult (later just ”The Cult”), Killing Joke and The Specimen.

Back in Stockholm we hooked up with vocalist Zinny Zan, former drummer of The Nymphomaniacs (whom later became Hanoi Rocks), Freddie Von Gerber, former drummer of Intermezzo and Noice and Danny Wilde (later to form Road Rats with Conny Blom from the Electric Boys). This five piece band felt ultimate and we were psyched, completely ready to take on the world.

In 1983 the self entitled album by Easy Action was released on SIRE Records world wide. Our music was a witches brew of hard rock, metal and punk, and you could hear influences from Alice Cooper, David Bowie and The Sweet but also from The Clash and Ratt. Our manager had met record industry legend Seymour Stein at the Midem fair in Cannes, and we subsequently became the first Swedish band to ever sign a US major label world wide recording deal. Danny Wilde decided to leave the band and was replaced by Chris Lynn, who had quite a reputation for his mean riffing in the band B-Films. We did a lot of touring in Scandinavia and loved every minute of it. Lots of people came to the concerts and we had some memorable pyrotechnics going on in the show. At one point a girl ended up in the hospital after trying to get up on stage when she got too close to the Bengalian fires.

Easy Action (and Hanoi Rocks) created the Scandinavian glam wave that a lot of US bands were influenced by, but for some reason we never got properly credited for it. Zinny Zan later moved to Los Angeles and formed Shotgun Messiah, while I found a new singer named Tommy Nilsson, who just had moved back to Sweden from Paris, France where he had a million selling record. With this amazing singer and a state-of-the-art production of the album; That Makes One, we know got lots of interest from US Labels and David Geffen of Geffen Records was keeping the hot line open with EA:s manager Niels Kvistborg.

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Marcello had previously collaborated with Europe vocalist Joey Tempest on the hugely successful single “Give a Helpin’ Hand” for the charity project ‘Swedish Metal Aid’. Marcello produced the platinum selling record and subsequently gave Tempest his very first hit single. The success of this collaboration was probably instrumental for the decision of asking Marcello to become the new guitar player. When he joined Europe in 1986, the band had not done any extensive touring outside Sweden, but that was about to change when “The Final Countdown” eventually reached number one on the singles charts in 25 countries. In 1987, Europe embarked on “The Final Countdown World Tour”, their first world tour. In 1988, Marcello recorded his first studio album with Europe, Out of This World, atOlympic Studios in London. Later that same year they embarked on the “Out of This World Tour”, which started off with a US leg together with Def Leppard. Ex-Thin Lizzy keyboardist Darren Wharton’s group Dare supported the band on the European leg of the tour. Marcello, who in 1987 emigrated with the rest of the band to the Caribbean in an attempt to escape the then ferocious Swedish margin tax, was spending most of his time in Los Angeles when not in Providenciales on Turks and Caicos Islands. The writing and preproduction of the next album took place in LA and San Francisco. It was recorded in 1990/1991 at Enterprise Studios in Burbank, California. Prisoners in Paradise was released in 1991 and shortly after they embarked on the “Prisoners in Paradise World Tour”. After the tour the band decided to go on hiatus in 1992.

In 1993, Marcello joined former Easy Action drummer Freddie Von Gerber in the band Red Fun, and released a self-titled album that featured a melodic metal sound with heavy blues influences. In 1995 Marcello released his first solo album Shine On, in the singer/songwriting tradition and therefore a take off from his previous work. During 1997-2001 Marcello produced and wrote/cowrote songs for various artists in his own studio, “GEM Studios”, in Gothenburg, Sweden. Namely, Canadian band The Moffats number one hit single “Bang Bang Boom”, the title song for R&R Hall Of Fame inductee Percy Sledge’s 2004 album Shining Through the Rain, and 3 consecutive platinum albums for Swedish singer Pandora in Japan. He also did several guest appearances as a guitar player, (like on the1999 In Flames album Colony, contributing the second guitar solo on the song “Coerced Coexistence”). In 2005 Marcello also helped and produced Supergroupies album “Supergroupies”.

In 2003 Marcello released the album Melon Demon Divine under the project/band name Kee Marcello’s K2. The power trio consisted of Ken Sandin on bass and Snowy Shaw on drums. Over the following years of touring the band went through some member changes, with the exception on of bass player of Ken Sandin, who is in the band to this day. When Europe reunited with John Norum later that year, Marcello decided not to be part of the reunion. “I told them I didn’t want to participate in a [new] studio album because musically, I want to go in a different kind of direction than the music Europe stands for,” he said in an interview, “Then we talked for a while about doing a six-piece tour – it didn’t turn out that way because of different reasons.” However Marcello also made it clear he’s happy that Europe reformed and are touring without him. “I think it’s really great that the guys are travelling around playing all those songs to a lot of happy fans.”

Easy Action reunited for a gig at the Sweden Rock Festival in 2006 and re-released their debut album Easy Action with some previously unreleased live recordings. Kee Marcello’s K2 toured extensively all over Europe and the East during 2008-2009 and performed in the 2007 Swedish Eurovision song contest with Alannah Myles. In 2009 Marcello signed a management deal with Gerry Helders (TMS Management), and started working on two new albums, due for release 2011/2012. He also became an endorsee of Gibson Guitars that year.

After having more that 2.000 applicants, Marcello and TMS Management put together an audition for members to his new band at Little Halings in London November 2010. The band have been doing showcases at Midem in Cannes, France, and ILMC in London, and will embark on their first tour in 2012. However this tour was cancelled because of problems with management and sponsors

On October 19, 2011 Marcello’s autobiography, The Rock Star God Forgot, was released in Sweden, with graphic details about Marcello´s drug use. An English translation will be released worldwide in 2012. His third solo album, Redux: Europe, was released on November 11, 2011 in Sweden and will be releasd on January 13, 2012 worldwide. It contains the brand new title track as well as re-recordings of Europe and Easy Action tracks.

Also in 2012, Kee Marcello and TMS Management attempted to set up a festival, KeeFest with “a lot of major world famous acts” for June 28–30, 2012 on the Åby Racetrack inMölndal, Sweden, right outside Gothenburg with a capacity of around 100,000 (however the attendance record for the racetrack is 17,401). The “major acts” were reported to include Kiss and AC/DC and the festival was going to be a multi-stage set-up with ” separate kids festival stage, a youth disco, a gaming center and even a child care center”. However the festival was cancelled because of construction on the racetrack restricting the capacity to 20,000 only. Marcello’s fourth solo album, Judas Kiss, was released on April 5, 2013.

DISCOGRAPHYdiscography

KEE_MARCELLO_SO KEE_MARCELLO_MDD1 KEE_MARCELLO_REDEUR KEEMARCELLO_JK

– Shine On [1995]
– Melon Demon Divine [2003]
– Redux: Europe [2011]
– Judas Kiss [2013]

Notes from the artist

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