I remember time was running out. I was hurrying from one concert to another by sailboat. The weather was nasty, the waves were high, and the festival soundcheck was scheduled in two hours, across open sea. The last few nights we had anchored up by a desert Island, and my cat had developed from skeptic to queen of the island during that period. Now she had gone into hiding somewhere in the bushes due to the wind, and if we didn't take off now, I would't reach my own perfomance with Di Derre and Jo Nesbø. We had to leave without her.
Being a musician, concerts rank before cats, family members, birthdays, friends, weddings, health, comfort and romance. And though it wasn't easy to leave my cat all by herself in the wilderness: She's a hunter. A clever veteran, used to the outdoors. She had the whole Island to herself, and she wasn't going anywhere. Of course we would find her later.
It was also time for me to choose one of Jørn Hoel's songs to perform in the TV show 'Hver gang vi møtes'. I had all the other songs picked out, and I was in a hurry to go through Jørn's hits, while the boat engine and the wind was howling. Needless to say, I was a bit occupied, and couldn't pay full attention to the lyrics, when I heard a melody and some harmonies appealing to me. I decided in a heart beat: this was the song I was going to play to honor Jørn! I wrote down the title 'Elsk mæ sakte' (Love me slowly), and I guess I should've reacted on some level, but I had too much practical stuff to worry about at the time.
Everyone in Norway (above a certain age) know of Jørn Hoel. Either through music, his skills of food and wine, or his flirtatious humor. He was once titled 'Norways sexiest man', and women would be screaming when he entered stage. My first encounter with Jørn was at the age of 18, when he played an intimate concert for the volunteers at a charity event in Oslo. I was sitting on the floor, I knew who he was, but I was not a fan. I remember him singing a slow love song, and he came down from stage with a rose in one hand and the microphone in the other. He walked among us, kneeled down, and gave the rose to a young girl. He gave it to me. After that, I definitely became more aware of Jørn Hoel.
Through the years, Jørn and I have met many times, and gotten to know each other a little better. But staying at the farm during 'Hver gang vi møtes' helped me learn what a warm, generous, including and generally nice person he is. Easy to be with, honest, funny and with a huge portion of self irony, he's become 'Onkel Jørn' to us all. We've learned about his cool parents, his voice problems as a child, and which music truly plays within him.
After making it in time for that summer festival concert, we went back to the island to find my cat the next day. The weather was unruly, and it took me an hour of calling and searching to find her. Of course she was all right. She was glad to see me, but only until it was time to enter the the boat. Because of the wind and waves, she would prefer to stay on, make a different life for herself and change her diet to mice permanently. She didn't have that choice, and neither did Jørn Hoel when he was titled The Most Sexy Man in the Kingdom. Right there and then, he knew his musical dreams was fucked (his own words), and his image as a womanizer and a singer of explisit love songs was semented.
Back on shore with my guitars and my cat, I finally sat down and listened to the song I had told the TV crew I had chosen, to honor Jørn Hoel. And then the lyrics hit me. There's no way around it - the song is about making love, quite vividly. I guess it's a first time for everything, but I blushed, and imediately wondered what I could do to arrange this song away from the sound of steaming hot sex from the 90's. I came up with a few ideas, and must admit the band helped me out a lot. I would like to thank the band in general for all the fabolous backing they have provided throughout all the programs, and especially for helping me out of this performance. I knew I risked something doing this song, but we landed on our feet.
Thank you Jørn, for being such a sport, and a good guy. Thank you, all the fantastic musicians, for your time and devotion, profesionalism, great taste and good spirit!:
Marie Klåpbakken, Haakon-Marius Pettersen, Truls Hval, Kristian Kvalvaag, Lars Christian Folkvord, Thorstein Lofthus! <3