Five Records That Changed My Life, Part 81: Carl von Schewen

Carl “Calle” von Schewen is a cult legend in the Swedish music industry who has been involved in the careers of many Swedish and international artists. He was one of the co-founders behind the House of Kicks record shop in Stockholm in the 1980s and early 1990s as well as the record label TCP Records. Carl’s activities evolved into the Sound Pollution group of companies. At Sound Pollution, Carl and his business partners Johan Hargeby and Johan Haller manage everything from record labels and music distribution, via PR and song publishing, to a terrific record store in Stockholm. Roppongi Rocks’ Stefan Nilsson checked in with Carl to find out about the records that polluted his world.

Alice Cooper “No More Mr Nice Guy” (1973)

“This was the first record I bought with my own money! Yes, it’s a 7” single, but for me, at that time it was as important as a full-length album! Alice Cooper opened up a new world for me! On the flip side of the singe was ‘Raped and Freezin’’… For a few years, Alice Cooper, KISS and Nazareth were the music for me.”

Ramones “Leave Home” (1977)

“And then came the Ramones… I was knocked out by their first album. ‘Ordinary’ guys without makeup and high-heel shoes did what we all had been waiting for. Then came their second album, ‘Leave Home’. That album is still the best album ever made. I sold all my KISS albums, there was no need for them anymore. I saw Ramones in Stockholm in May 1977. Was it after that show I decided to work with music? I don´t know but after that night nothing was as before.”

The Only Ones “Baby´s Got a Gun” (1980)

“I was lucky enough to have a friend of a friend who worked at Sony, so I got a Walkman very early. I had ONE cassette in the player for what felt like a VERY long time (although I guess it was just a few weeks). On Side A, it had the English band The Only Ones’ third album ‘Baby´s Got a Gun’. I know all the lyrics. The artwork was an inspiration when I started up my ‘first’ record company TCP Records. With tracks like ‘Why Don´t You Kill Yourself’ and ‘Oh Lucinda (Love Becomes a Habit)’, it is an all killers, no fillers album! On Side B, it had Johnny Thunders’ first solo album ‘So Alone’ (1978) on which you hear echoes from the New York Dolls and The Heartbreakers. Peter Perrett from The Only Ones played an important role on that album. Did I say that I nearly got ruined from buying all those AA batteries for my Walkman?”

Sonic’s Rendezvous Band “City Slang” (1978)

Another 7”. Yes! And this is actually the best single ever! I bought my copy in New York, years after it was released, but I finally found my own copy! At that time, I had started to hang out with the youngsters from Entombed and Dismember. I liked their stuff and they were also into punk! So, one drunken night – there are two versions of that night – I ‘clearly’ remember that it was just Nicke Andersson and myself, Nicke has ‘a good’ memory that the guys from Nomads and a few Entombed guys were there a well. Anyway, I said to Nicke, ‘I will play the best single ever made!’ He probably thought I was kidding. I played it once and then he said, ‘Hey, Calle, can you play it one more time?’”

The Hellacopters “Supershitty to the Max!” (1996)

“There are so many memories around this album that I don´t know where to start. I was lucky enough to play a small part in the making of this classic Swedish album. The deal was that we had to do a vinyl version to be released before the CD version. In 1996 NOBODY did vinyl… But we did and the rest is history. A year later the band had a Swedish Grammy Award, their own car (Hellamobilen) and had opened up for KISS…”