Welcome to the Sitorum section dedicated to you all...

Just a pic, taken after a gig or during a meet&greet, and a few lines to describe

that event and the feelings... Many thanks everyone for sharing! :))

FRANCESCA Glasgow, UK, 13th of May 2005

It was in May, last year. The first time at a concert outside Italy, my first flight -the first of many-, the image of the sky above the clouds which now proposes itself to me again if I close my eyes... A wonderful and memorable set of emotions. The concert took place at The Garage, a club in Glasgow centre able to contain maximum 300 people... I had never seen a concert in a smaller place. But it has been a great show! The boys put their soul in playing and in singing once again, and you could have seen all the genuine fun in their eyes. Everything went well, and later, after the show, some friends of mine and I waited for the boys outside to say hello to them. We knew that they would direct themselves that night to Wolverhampton, where they would have next concert two days later, after a deserved day-off.

The boys arrived about a hour later, smiling and aware to have done a very good performance. I was able to say hello to them all (we were about ten people waiting for them). John has been the last one, even though it was not the first time that I had met him, it was still difficult for me to realize that my Guitar Hero, the guitarist who had been able to make me fall in love with electric guitar and hard rock music, and whose music had entered in my veins, was no farther than two steps from me. And emotion, we know, plays bad jokes... And that time I wasn't able to tell him what I wanted, to thank him not only for the show of that evening but for all the music he wrote and played and that every day takes me in my life; for his comin’ back together with his eternal friends into the band I have brought in my heart for 20 years...

Many thoughts and suddenly shyness and embarrassment in expressing them, despite John was so kind to try to start himself a talk with me... 

Just some words  about the gig, then the pic and a "Thank you!" with all my heart, so strong that I hope it arrived anyway sincere... It is a big regret of mine, I hope a day to have the chance to tell him all that I haven't been able to say yet, and that for the moment I'm trying to communicate through the pages of this site: all the admiration, the devotion and the respect for this ingenious and human artist, who one day, a long time ago, decided to share his passion, the kind of magic in the talent of his fingers, the emotions, the sensations the music was giving him with all of us... God bless his soul, his heart and his beautiful mind...

VALERIE West Springfield, USA, 30th of April 2005

It was probably one of THE best nights I have ever had. A bunch of us were standing outside the Jaxx Nightclub that were part of the meet and greet and chatting and having a lot of fun. Then it came time to go in and meet them. Then I got really nervous! ;)

They were all at the bar, all except John Leven, and our Hero was the last one at the bar. Talk about the nervousness getting greater and greater! But never mind LOL We all went and met each one very quickly and when I got to John, my heart just dropped! I shook his hand and all I could say was "I love you!! You are my favourite guitarist and I just love you!!" Oh boy.

After all that, we all got to spend a few minutes with each of them. I was so nervous and shaking and I was standing back almost like 'Oh man, my heart can't take it!', then one of the girls there pushed me right up next to him! He looked over at me and all I could say was 'Hi.' I had my stuff in my hands which was the famous Fuzz magazine that came out that had him on the cover and some CD inserts (SFTD, Optimus, and WOT).

He then asked me what I had and I handed him the Fuzz mag and he then asked for a pen. My mum was there with me and had a hold of my bag so I nervously went digging for one and he then asked me if I was nervous and I said 'Yes, I am so sorry!' He then said 'you don't have to be nervous' and rubbed my back! OMG! He is THE sweetest and most wonderful man! :)

So as he signed my stuff I was telling him that he is my favourite guitarist and my hero and all and how I have followed him for like 20 years all the way from Solo to Dokken and back again. He thanked me and said that he really appreciated it and all. Then my nervousness went away a bit and I asked him about Jake. I congratulated him about Jake and he was very happy and  thanked me and all and I asked how Jake was doing. He said that Jake was doing very well and that it was a lot of hard work. He seemed to be very happy and excited to talk about him :) He then asked me 'do you know he is 7 months now?' (Note: he was at that time) and I said that I did and that I was so very very happy for him. He then said 'I will give you a hug.' I was so surprised and I would have asked myself, but I was too nervous! So we hugged and then I asked for a photo and my mum took the photos that I have sent you. Then the show happened and I was standing right in front of him and he smiled at me a couple of times too!

There is a reason this man has been my hero and favourite for 20 years and that experience that night just magnified those reasons by 1 Billion times! He is THE most wonderful, sweet, amazing, funny, caring man and I will never forget that night...all because of him!! Thank you John!!

GEORGIE Wolverhampton, UK, 15th of May 2005
I was lucky enough to get a space on the meet and greet before the Wolverhampton show and it was a fabulous time to say a quick hello before the guys had to run off again... what with interviews and sound checks and things... so we had a few minutes to catch up with stuff and exchange a hug... I'd previously met John in November the preceding year after the Hammersmith gig that was filmed for the DVD. It's always an honour to spend time in John's company because he is quite honestly one of the sweetest guys you could share a pint with... Yes I remember "falling in love" with the guitarwork of The Final Countdown album and thinking that John was probably one of the best in the world... and also losing track of him after he left the band. Some few years later I found a highly successful back-catalogue of solo work which was immediately collected (praise the net for e-Bay)... I think the definitive moment I fell in love with John's guitar mastery was when I received the album Another Destination. Now whenever I listen to new music, I throw the cd book in the corner and just listen, 5 or maybe 8 times without even knowing what the track is called or who is doing what... but when Shimmering Highs came on for the first time in my life... I froze. Just exactly that... stood still and let the music run over me... and then I had hit repeat (I never ever do that EVER, I wanna hear the album as it was meant first time) and then again and again... I've been mesmerised by that piece and John's playing ever since. It was and always IS an honour to meet John, from the first time I told him that Hendrix was my god, but that he was my living god (how drunk? very... how embarassed, also - very). There is something in the may John plays his guitar that is magic for me. A fusion of man and guitar that is so rare to hear and to feel... John's music is a place for me to exist when elsewhere is closed. YES I am proud to say that I love John, but not in the whingey immature groupie way; it's because I owe John a debt of gratitude for bringing his art to me - without it there are times I would have not survived. It's as simple as that.

ALESSANDRO Bardonecchia, ITA, 13th of August 2005

When I remind of those nights, shivers run over my skin. Bardonecchia, a place I will not forget so easily. First of all I must thank four fantastic girls without whom I would have never known my idols in person: I'm talking about Monica, Sara, Francesca and Alessia. Without them I would have never got the ticket and I would have never slept in hotel, and moreover I would have never met them, yes, really “Them”, in the next morning. It all happened so quickly, I really couldn’t understand anything any more. I was there, talking quietly in the hall of the hotel, when at a certain moment, from behind me, there were comin’ the “brothers”. I turned and I had them beside me, with suitcases in their hands, walkin’ towards the reception. The ones who were there with me could easily read angst on my face. Getting closer to them and telling incomprehensible words I managed to get from Joey before, and then from John N, a smile and a pic that will remain forever in my memory, and immortalized in the beautiful photos that my friends took for me.

What a day, guys! Thanks, Europe!

SARA Cesena, ITA, 13th of March 2005

When I met John for the first time I didn’t know what to expect; I hadn’t realized yet that those guys were the same that played “my” music, even if I had seen them on stage few minutes before. For me they were just 4-5 pictures of blond guys who looked like the heroes of Japanese cartoons (I was a child when I discovered Europe and the last thing in order of importance was if they were real or not). So meeting John has been like meeting a “common mortal”, a smiling guy in the hall of a hotel, and he turned out to be a very nice man: funny and clever, and very passionate in talkin’ about what he likes (feature that I love the most in people); he joked a lot that night, and told us many funny anecdotes about his and his friends’ life, asking about mine and looking very surprised to have a young fan, but also pleased of that. My friend Monica took some pic of  John and me talking and I am very grateful to her, and also to Fran who took probably the best shot, even it’s a little moved (ihih). At the end I left John that morning with a wonderful sensation of having met someone special, a musician who really loves what he does and who does it for the sake of the thing itself; and also a nice guy who doesn’t refuse to spend his time with fans or people, on the opposite! Probably I haven’t completely realized yet that he’s the one who plays “my” music, but that’s good the same: he knows how to make you feel important, and he knows how to transmit his passion to you; you feel the energy of passion flowing through him to the air and straight to you. And that’s pure rock’n’roll!                                   

CLAIRE Newcastle, UK, 10th of February 2007

It all started in 1986 when I was 12 years old, and I saw Europe on the TV singing The Final Countdown, from that moment I was mesmerised, and I thought "wow who is this guy on this guitar, I want to meet him", obviously being 12 years old these were only thoughts, and never in my wildest dreams did I think they would ever come true, and that one day I would actually get to meet this great guitarist. The first time I had to meet John was on the 15th of May 2005 before the Wolverhampton show at an organised Meet 'n' Greet, but as I was soooooo nervous to meet John, I saved him till last, and finally when I plucked up the courage to go and speak to him, to my dismay he had gone... I found out at a later date, he had gone to do an interview, so I was a little upset that I hadn't actually even said hello to him. The next time that John and my paths would cross was the gig in Liege - Belgium, I went to the show with some friends, and at night went out with some friends, and John was also in the same place as us, with a couple of other guys from Europe, this was my opportunity to explain to him about the Meet 'n' Greet, and how I hadn't spoke to him, this is when he explained about having to go to do an interview, but it was just so nice to be in his company, that I enjoyed that evening very much so, and we all had a great time, and quite a few beers *lol* John to me is very passionate about his guitar playing, and is a great person, so genuine and lovely, and I have to say it is an honour to sit and chat with him, I guess that 12 year old girl finally grew up into a woman, and her dream of meeting John came true.

The next time I got to sit and talk with John was after the Newcastle show this year, at a Meet 'n' Greet that I had organised via the Europe Forum/Management, and I had decided that this time, I would speak to John first, as I didn't want to miss him.  The Meet 'n' Greet was fantastic, but I have to say John came in the room last, after all of the other guys, and I was getting a little anxious thinking, "oh no he isn't coming, I'm not going to get to see him again", but this was not the case, and John came in smiling at everyone, and being the perfect gentleman, he was great with everyone, signed lots of things, and let people take lots of pictures with him, then he came and sat down with me on a sofa, and we chatted, and smiled a lot... or should I say, I smiled a lot.... hehe.  Then I got an opportunity to meet the guys after the London show, and spoke to John again, and all I can say is, that guy is amazing!!! Thank you John for being you, and for all the cuddles and kisses... =D you are first and foremost a fantastic musician, and thank you from the bottom of my heart for all the music you have made throughout the years, you have made me  very happy, and it will always be an extreme pleasure to see you perform on stage live, and of course thank you for your great achievements.

ANNABETH 30th of April 2005

Well, what shall I say first... I had the honour to meet Mr. Norum on April 30th 2005 at a Nordic Storm Meet and Greet with a few of our members/friends. He was sitting at the bottom of the  bar. John was talking with other fans. What I remember best of him was how warm and friendly he was with us.. he made us feel so relaxed...

And in Baltimore on May the 1st  I met John again. I was upset over a phone call I've had and John came up to me and tapping me on the shoulder he told me: "Smile, smile pretty lady"... I replied with a smile and I said "Oh sh**!..." ...He made me forget that phone call and let me having a great time with my friends and with the band..

Thank you  John...

SARAH, 22nd of August 2009

My first meeting with John was very short but unforgettable.

After the gig which began at 3:15 pm, all fans were going to wait for them (Europe band), next to the backstage. Joey, then Ian and Mic are coming out.

Then, we have waited during a long time for 2 Johns to come. Finally they came at 7 pm, and after having asked an autograph at John Leven, I immediately rushed towards John Norum. I was so happy to see him really in front of me!!
When I held a white paper, with an old photo of the band 23 years ago (the one where they are with a Swedish flag), out to him, he took the paper and my black marker pen, and he laughed, pointing this old photo out. It made me all funny and happy to see him laughing because of my paper, because, it proved that he's careful...Being next to him, I realized that he was quite tall, and I noticed, especially, that he was much more beautiful like this than on stage! Until now I thought that Joey Tempest was the best, my favourite of the band, but at this moment I discovered that John was wonderful too; since this day I see him "in a different light".
Then I asked him to take a photo of us, so I put my hand around his back and he put his around my shoulders; I thought he would stay like this for the photo, but I was surprised when he put his other hand around me, to squeeze me. I couldn't believe my eyes. How moved I was! Besides, before having taken this photo, there is another where we can see how disturbed I was early (I make a grimace). He was so nice!
Unfortunately, this moment didn't last for a long time because others fans wanted to take photos with him too, and he had to leave. Before having let him, I thanked him, and he told me something that I didn't understand, but I know it was something nice because he smiled, looking at me with kindness.
Coming to see this gig, I never thought I'd be so close to my favourite guitarist! This moment remains in my heart as one of the best in my life. What a magic day, and man! I hope for live this dream at next gig again!

MARTINA 22nd of August 2004

My first meeting with John Norum was in Switzerland. It was one of the first concerts after Europe's reunion. My boyfriend had discovered it by chance in internet, and, although it was quite far and in a place quite difficult to reach, we decided to go to see our heroes, afraid that they would change their minds about their reunion before we had other chances to see a concert of theirs.
It was an open air of 2/3 days, other groups had played there in the previous days, as Uriah Heep and Toto (but we did not see them).
We arrived on Saturday evening and slept in the car in the camper's area (it was quite cold, since the place was at a high altitude). In the morning we stood up early, we went to the gates in front of the scene at 9 am - we were the only ones already there, with the firm intention not to move until the concert of our idols would have been finished. We saw all the groups before Europe, who were the headliners (but I have to say it was possible to go to the toilet and return to our best position once or twice, people in Switzerland are less fanatic then Italians!!), and finally we could see the concert, and enjoyed it pretty much (actually we were soooo happy!!!). At the end of the concert, we thought our adventure was finished, but a girl whom we had known while waiting for the concert to begin, told us that maybe the band would come out and meet the fans after the concert, we just had to wait with little patience (after over 12 hours standing at the same place, that was definitely no problem). We did not have any photographic device, nor any peace of paper to sign on, we would never have expected to be so lucky to stay so near to the stage, nor to meet our idols!! So we caught some piece of chart paper from one fan, and borrowed a pen from another, and when Europe actually came out and met us fans, we thought we were dreaming! We caught all their autographs (except of Ian's one, whom we did not meet that first time, I don't know why, we simply must have lost him, 'cause other people had managed to talk to him...), and John Norum was actually the kindest among them that night.
He talked to us quite a long time (at least, it seemed a long time to us, who were already at the seventh heaven only for the concert itself, and had never dared to dream about meeting our idols!!!). I remember I told him that Europe were my favourite band since I was 6 years old (so since TFC), and he seemed quite astonished (I hope he was not shocked to see such a grown up girl telling him this: my mother commented that he must have been thinking about his own age....). My boyfriend spoke to him about some technical question about the TFC solo (which he always performs very well since then....).
Unfortunately I don't remember much more. It was only the first meeting with him, but the others are another story.... :)






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