By Greg Lansdowne
A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…
There was a trio of Norwegians making their mark on the world, who would one day unite a group of discerning souls into collaborating on a fitting tribute to what became the band of our lives.
As one of the lucky ones to have been at a-ha’s ‘final’ concert in Oslo on the ‘Ending On A High Note’ tour, the aftermath was a time to reflect on what the band had meant to me over the previous 25 years.
Like many, there was a desire to ensure the after-life of a-ha would be one in which the music would flourish and be heard by an ever-increasing bunch of followers.
4 December 2010 was not the end…it was just the beginning.
For my part, as a writer an obvious way to do my bit in cementing that legacy was to ‘pen’ a book.
We know plenty about Morten, Magne and Paul but what of those who have remained loyal to the trio over many years…or those who weren’t even born in the Eighties yet have still gravitated towards the band?
Time for a book about the fans of a-ha.
As one of those enthusiasts who had gone through much of the band’s existence from 1985-2010 in a-ha solitude, I now had to seek out that like-minded fraternity.
Thanks to social media and a variety of forums it wasn’t that difficult.
What made it far easier was being given the opportunity to post a message on a-ha.com about the project.
From there it all started to come together.
That missive went up in January 2011..the book will finally see the light of day in March 2016.
When I initially came up with the idea, the plan was to predominantly feature the ‘Ending On A High Note’ tour, with reflections on each concert entwining to encapsulate the mood over that final, emotive year.
As time went on, however, it became clear that a-ha fans had so much more to tell about how they became so ardent in the first place and why they stuck with them through thick and thin.
Just when I thought I’d settled on a definitive narrative, along came a huge curve ball in the shape of an a-ha reunion.
It was almost as if the lengthy process had been for a reason.
In essence, a platform has been provided in this book to express what a-ha represents to that contributor – through words and pictures.
With the help of academics in fandom, the book attempts to answer not just what it means to be a fan of a-ha but a fan in general.
There are also contributions from band collaborators (such as Leif Johansen, Ian Wherry, Jørun Bøgeberg, Per Lindvall and Frode Unneland) and journalists who have interviewed the band – all helping to get the book to the heart of why so many have such a passion for a-ha as well as pondering on what it might be like to be inside that goldfish bowl looking out.
I deliberated on the title for much of the process but, after a few alternatives that didn’t quite hit the right note, it became clear what this book was quintessentially about…
‘Living A Fan’s Adventure Tale’.
I would like to offer a heartfelt thanks to everyone who has contributed ‘in so many ways’ towards making this book a reality.
Patience was most definitely a virtue when it appeared the project was dragging its heels…
I was obviously waiting for the day a-ha came back!
Without you all there would be no book – you have made it what it is.
Here’s to another chapter being written in the life of a-ha and its fans in 2016.
‘Living A Fan’s Adventure Tale – a-ha in the eyes of the beholders’ is published by Wymer on 4 March 2016 and is available to pre-order now from the publisher, through Amazon (UK, Germany and USA) and other selected booksellers:
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