Saturday night I went to celebrate Mats Lundgren on his 40th birthday. Mats plays bass and Keyboards in Pineforest Crunch. We have known each other since 1994 or something...He is now in the band Atlas with Ludvig Andersson.
In honour of this big birthday I thought I could share an old war story.
I think it was the spring of 2000. We had put together a package tour in the U.S with three bands Pineforest Crunch, Andreas & Jag and Reminder. We had played a show in Los Angeles at the Viper Room and after the show we ended up at a party with one of the A & R people at Interscope. We were just hanging out drinking beer, listening to music. The Counting Crows were there which was a big deal for the guys in Reminder as they were huge fans. I started to talk with one of the guys in the band and I told him that I was a huge Jon Brion fan so one of the guys dials a number and hands me the phone. Jon didnt answer but I left a very confused message on his answering machine.
After a while there was a lot of commotion at the door and a bunch of police officers stormed the place. Apparently some neighbours had called them about the wild and crazy party we were having. We were very surprised as we thought we were just hanging out.
So the police broke up the party and we all stumbled into the van. Mats was the designated driver so he got behind the wheel and started driving. We told him to get out of Los Angeles and stop at the nearest Motel Six so we could get some sleep.
We all relaxed in the car and people started drifting off to sleep. All of a sudden the car stopped abruptly and someone ripped open the van door. A avalanche of sunlight poured in to the van. We were all pretty groggy and messed up from the night before. But as soon as we fell out of of the van. We saw a very well known building.
After the party Mats had felt pretty OK so he decided that he could drive all the way to San Francisco thru the night. "everybody is asleep anyway and we have a show in San Francisco tomorrow night so I might as well...Drive."
On the back of Pineforest Crunchs third album Panamarenko there is a picture of Jonas brushing his teeth with Alcatraz in the background.
In some small way I think that illustrates (one of the many things) what so great about Mats. He is that guy who sees a problem and sorts it out. In a very softspoken way. He just does it.
And when everyone else is asleep with their heads filled with counting crows, american beer and Jon Brion it feels good to know that Mats is behind the wheel. Driving through the Californian night.