JAN ERIKSEN – 40 år med Pretty Maids
BAND URL: http://forlagetmomenta.dk/nye-udgivelser/
Quite by chance I stumbled on a copy of this hugely entertaining book on the Danish hard rockers/heavy metallers Pretty Maids while vacating in Denmark, and although it was published late last year, I simply had to do a short review on the piece. The two founders and sole original members, Ronnie Atkins (vocals) and Ken Hammer (guitars), guide us through the outfit’s 40-year career with warmth, humor, and a solid dose of sarcasm. From their inspired first meeting and early rehearsals at the dawn of the 80s to supporting Black Sabbath on the Scandinavian leg of the Born Again tour in 1983 and further on to their commercial breakthrough and wider critical acclaim with Future World in 1987 and beyond, it feels as if very few stones are left unturned here. Intervowen with each and every tour, recording session, or perhaps a meeting with other bands, musicians, producers, managers, or promoters, there is usually a wildly funny or interesting anecdote relating to the encounter. All eras of Pretty Maids are covered and that includes all the highs and lows associated with them too. Candid and honest but always with a witty or ironic approach to things, this is a refreshing and crazy ride with one of Denmark’s finest and a comprehensive overview of everything relating to the band’s history.
To the best of my knowledge, it is only available in Danish, but one can only hope that an English translation will see the light of day at some point. On a final note, the Maid in Japan – Future World 30 Anniversary live album from 2020 re-ignited my interest in the group as did Atkins’ superb solo offering titled One Shot (2021) of which the latter is a career highlight to these ears, and I was thrilled that both releases were discussed in the book. Like I said, this is one entertaining chronicle that is bound to put a smile on your face simply because there is nothing pompous or contrived about it. Reading it is akin to enjoying a conversation with Sirs Atkins and Hammer over a handful of beers at your local pub, and that is arguably its greatest strength.