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Saturday, October 17, 2015

Featuring Henry Denander

Call The Police

When we moved in to this flat our upstairs
neighbor still had his three teenage kids living
with him, since then the children have moved out
and it’s very quiet.

They had a lot of parties and were sometimes
really loud. The father was on tour in the summer
and every weekend there was a party upstairs.

But we never complained, they were dancing and
singing and for us there was no real problem.
They were always really kind and well behaved –
just young and happy. The father asked me once
if there was a problem when he was away and I
never grumbled, only told him that please if he
could hide that trumpet when he leaves next time.

One evening I went up there to protest but it was
not a party it was the son Calle playing his
electric guitar with the amplifier extremely loud
and his room was right above our bedroom.

One morning I met Calle and his sister in the lift
and we talked about everything but never
mentioned the party they had last weekend.

Suddenly Calle said:

– I can hear you snoring from below, you must be
snoring really loud.

- Yes, perhaps I do, I said.

I realized I have been too kind to them, I should
have been more militant. They have no respect
for me. Next time I will call the police.

Before they do.

Via Formia

At the train station in Naples we
notice that the next train to
Rome travels via Formia and
that’s where we want to get off.

This was better than we thought,
two hours and we
will be there.

On the way on the train we
are paying for our tickets and
we discover that the train will go
directly to Rome.

But, we say, it said “Via Formia” on the
big sign.

Yes, the train will pass Formia but
it will not stop there.

We had to go all the way to Rome and
then back again.

This is charming when you are on holiday but
this would never happen here in Sweden,
of course.

But here in Sweden there is no
place called Formia,
only places like Eskilstuna and Nässjö,
where trains seldom stop anyway.

Man of many talents

He is one of my best friends and he used to be my boss at the record
company where I worked for many years. He is a remarkable man
with an enormous experience from the music industry, a well-known
authority and a very respected man in the music business all over the

Among his many talents is being able to fall asleep almost
everywhere, especially after dinner but even at meetings that drag on
too long. He is an expert also in this field; the way he wears his
glasses and his upright posture conceal that he is sleeping. At many
late night dinners he has managed to take a nap without anyone

His main accomplishment was at a concert with the band Motörhead,
an early metal band playing with an intensely loud volume. When the
lead singer Lemmy looked down at the front row he noticed my friend
the director of the record company taking a nap in the middle of the

That time it was obvious that he was sleeping. But I think even
Lemmy must have been impressed.

Chet Baker at Fasching

Chet Baker came to Stockholm to play the Fasching Jazz Club.
He called and I went to see him at his hotel. We had spent some
time together in London the year before and he was one of my
jazz heroes.

At the Salvation Army hotel I was shown to his room but Chet
hardly wanted to open the door, he just took the recordings I
brought him and we chatted briefly. He had a friend in there, a
Swedish jazz musician and the hotel room was filled with sweet
and heavy smoke. I left and we said we would talk more at the
jazz club that night.

In between sets at Fasching I tried to get in contact with Chet
but his friend was really nervous and the same sweet smoke
came out of Chet’s dressing room. I said hi to Chet & his band
but soon the Swedish friend closed the door.

I was the financial director of Chet’s record company in
Sweden; I was a bean counter but not a police officer. Chet
knew this, we had been drunk together in London, but his friend
from Sweden maybe thought I was with the drug enforcement

I left them and went back to my friends at the bar and got drunk
on beer and Jaegermeister.

Chet’s playing that night at Fasching was absolutely beautiful,
the tone of his trumpet and voice was so very soft and he
sounded better than ever.

Or maybe it was just because we were
high, Chet and I?

Revenge (in the morning)

I wake up and notice that our son has (as every
night) moved to our bed in the early hours of the
morning. My wife is still sleeping and snoring
softly and William is sleeping with his head five
centimeters from my wife’s face and he is also
snoring slowly.

How come my snoring is always such a problem?
Marie says that they can’t sleep because of my
snoring and William says the same.

If I had been really cruel and looking for revenge
I would have wakened them up now accusing
them both of snoring.

But I am not like that.

Not this time.

Bio: HENRY DENANDER was born in 1952 and shares his time between Stockholm, Sweden and Hydra, Greece. He is an artist and a poet and his latest book “The Accidental Navigator” was published by Lummox Press. He has two forthcoming publications from Pig Ear Press. He has a website with poetry and art at