Story 1997-05-05 Stockholm, Sweden

05.05.97 Stockholm, Sweden, intro to ´The Ghost of Tom Joad´
´´I was, uh, thinking of trying something by the Three Tenors as Mr.(?) suggested this afternoon (chuckles) but I’ve had a few Swedish toasts (chuckles) and, uh, Princess Lillian has suggested I stick to my own material so….´´

05.05.97 Stockholm, Sweden, intro to ´Thunder Road´
´´Tack, thank you…..thank you, I have a speech here (?) I’d like to thank your Majesty, uh, Princess Christine, (?) Magnussen, Lillian and your excellency, Stig Anderson, members of the Royal Swedish Academy of Music, members of the Polar Music Prize Committee for honoring my music tonight with this award….it’s been an additional source of joy to receive this award alongside Mr.Ericsson, uh, his choral music, particularly the chamber choir, seem to be, uh, filled with the intensity and the soul of his country, in music I’ve also tried to give people a sense of the country that I come from, its physicality, its landscape, its people, its blessings and its curses….when I started out I wasn´t concerned with, uh, instantaneous success or biggest hits as I was with making music that would find its way into people’s daily lives, that would become a part of them and I wanted to, uh, illuminate those lives, to provide companionship, if I could, and to provide a tool for making sense of the world that we live in, uh, a map made from whatever I´ve gained from my own experience, uh, something that I could pass on and, and, and share….I wanted to find my audience, my spiritual community, my blood brothers and sisters, somebody I could talk to, who shared my concerns and my obsessions….little did I expect to find that audience not only in my hometown but thousands of miles away across oceans, language barriers, cultural differences and for a long time now here in Sweden and that´s why I´m here tonight to, uh, to thank that audience, for it´s the audience that gives my work its deepest meaning, uh, somewhere in our search for the things that we share and that we hold in common, there´s a small glimpse of a perfect world…..whether it´s in the everyday heroism or the people that I´ve sung about for 25 years or in the impossible beauty of the voices in Mr.Ericsson’s choral work, there´s a sense of a higher place, a more humane community, a deeper love and understanding of one another, that’s the artist´s job and it´s in his audience that he finds his work´s fulfillment…. I´ve been received, uh, very warmly and made to feel at home here in Sweden since 1975, my only regretful performance was in 1985 when, a rumour has it, my concert destroyed the foundation of the stadium at Gothenburg, you know (chuckles) but uh….supposedly, you know, the entire audience dancing in unison to an exhuberant version of ´Twist and Shout´, uh, we had a good time doing it but I assure you the damage was mainly unintentional and uh (chuckles) I was initially concerned that the repair bills might be taken out of my Polar Prize money but, uh, Mr.Anderson has assured me that that won´t be the case so (chuckles) but, uh, I´ve never received an award for my body of work before, I feel like a bit of a youngster for this but I thank you for your generosity and your graciousness and I promise to continue to provide you with some fun, entertainment, laughs, something to dance to, to vacuum your floor by, to make love to your baby to (chuckles) and to provide you with a little company on your own trip down Thunder Road so I´ll accept this award as a pat on the back for a job well done in this, this early part of my career and I (chuckles) hope to follow in, uh, Mr.Ericsson’s footsteps and I’ll see you when I’m 80, alright (chuckles)(applause) skål (chuckles)….´´

Compiled by : Johanna Pirttijärvi

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