by Suzana Petkovic

I deeply wanted, I deeply wished to be in Oslo on November 6th 2012.
I was thinking about this Ceremony during two months. Restlessly.
Hopefully, the Ceremony was “opened” to fans.
I had the great chance to be chosen by random drawing.

I never won anything around a-ha.
I went to fan-parties, and I was never the lucky one.
But I was happy for the others.
In every game, there is one who wins, and one who loses.
When I think about all the stuff I never won, I let all that go.
Because I won the most valuable thing… to attend a Ceremony where my favourite band, my one and only, will receive the Order of St-Olav, which will make them Knights…!
Life can be surprising sometimes…

I planned my stay without knowing anything.
The travel was perfect from the first to the last day.

On the day of the Ceremony I went through emotional roller coaster.
At a moment, I was calm inside, at another moment I felt that my blood pressure was higher.
It’s a strange feeling… beautiful and bizarre.

In my hotel, before leaving I was excited to be there, and nervous because not knowing the behaviour to have in front of the Royal Family (in case anyone of them would have been there). I never had to interact with such people.
I always think that there is no VIP. I hate that acronym.
As on my humble point of view, each and everyone is important.
Respect is the most important thing between people.
So I said to me “keep calm and let’s see”.

While walking from my hotel to the venue Gamle Logen, I was calm, I was happy going towards a place where Morten, Magne and Pål would be.
When I thought about Pål, my heart was beating quicker, because I really wanted to see him. It’s been almost two years without seeing him with my own eyes. (I saw Morten on concert, I saw Magne at the Trafo Galleri, and I needed to see Pål).

Once arrived at Gamle Logen, I was still calm, and seeing a-ha friends helped me to stay calm.

Once I gave my name at the entrance, my heart started to beat faster again. Seeing my name on the official guest list confirmed me that this was true, that this was for real, that it was not a daydream.
Once going upstairs, a kind of pressure just popped up. What if Pål wasn’t there ? (sigh).
a-ha is not one or two persons, but three. A Mystery, An Alchemy.
The three of them needed to become Knights in a same moment.
I was praying all Gods that Pål be there…
Once leaving my coat at the wardrobe, I was calm again. People there were smiling… it helped me in a way…
And now, I was in the room were people gathered before entering THE celebration room. I was talking with a-ha friends, looking around me searching for another a-ha friends I knew, but they were not there…
I just saw two very familiar musicians Karl Oluf and Erik.
Then I saw P.A. Stenersen, and I saw Magne’s Mum, and one of Morten’s brothers.
I was a “nice and strange” feeling, it was like waiting for a concert… :- )
I think that feeling was “due to” and/or “thanks to” Karl Oluf and Erik.
I enjoy believing in that.

Then, the doors of THE room were opened, we came in.
I was wondering where to have a seat…
I went a-head, as many people did.
Two rows on each sides were reserved, and no mention for fans’ seats.
So, I thought we can have a seat anywhere…
I found one free on the left side, on the fourth row.
Gosh, I thought about a-ha’s concerts…
My ever-closest one was in Bobino, 2009, Paris. (3rd row).
And now I was seating on the fourth row.
I was wondering how this was possible…
I imagined someone coming towards me and saying me :
“I’m sorry but you can’t have a seat here”.
But nobody came. I remained at my seat.
And again, no more calm. I don’t know why…
It’s weird to say, but I would have felt disappointed if Pål was not there.
Suddenly, Morten, Magne, AND Pål appeared…
It was like I saw them for the first time in my life…
They were about to become Knights…
Magne took a seat on the left side.
Morten and Pål took a seat on the right side.
All of them on the first row. I was on the fourth…
So far…
So close…
My musicians…
My forthcoming Chevaliers…

Calm again… I loved the two musical interludes played.
I always liked instruments (strings, wind, percussion).
God bless the one who invented music…

Friedrich Nietzsche wrote :
“Without music, life would be a mistake.”
For sure, mine would have been a mistake…

I wrote this one year ago :
« a-ha…
with your words,
with your musical notes,
with your voice,
you have reached…
the smallest indivisible particle of my heart,
the smallest indivisible particle of my spirit,
the smallest indivisible particle of my soul.
I love you…
I miss you… »
This is true. Forever.

How strange, it looks like a tree… I love wood, I love trees.
When I see one tree being cut, it seems to me that a part of me is cut too…
Anyone to explain me why ? Should I call Morten…? :- )

I did not understand the four speeches in Norwegian, but I did understand the one in English…

It was nice to see another member from Bridges : Viggo Bondi.
Magne was really surprised to see him there.
Bridges album is really great. I’m proud to have an original vinyl.

What has said Terry Slater is so true :
“a-ha had a dream and a vision”
I loved his words.
Did anyone here attended the sessions in Oslo in 2011 with P.A. Stenersen and Christopher Hopkins ?
Do you remember when they showed us a picture where it was handwritten that their aim, when a-ha started, was to play at the Royal Albert Hall in London ?
a-ha had a dream, and they made it, thanks to a so huge amount of work…

As said Terry Slater, it’s not so easy to write songs.
Anyone can write a song “I love you baby”.

Two musical interludes, five speeches…
And …
And, Morten, Magne, and Pål came on stage…!!!

Oh God, what a marvellous feeling…
Oh God, but it wasn’t for a concert…
Oh God, how I was happy to be there…

Morten, Magne, and Pål !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Together !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
For some minutes…………………….!
These were GOLDEN minutes !!!!!!!!!!

My heart was beating loudly inside of me.
I enjoyed this moment so deeply.
I was so proud for them three.
I was so proud for their family.
I was so happy that their parents could come.
I was so happy that their wives and children came.

If we miss a concert, it’s a pity ! But another concert could be seen later.
But this ceremony is once in a lifetime.
It was a really special day.

I loved what Morten said :
“We have stayed true to what we believed in.
Together and on our own”.

Do you know what missed me so much ?
Just a few words from Magne, and a few words from Pål… (sigh)…

Morten, Magne and Pål, as a-ha, they more than deserve to received such an award.
It’s a recognition of the whole country, which they needed to leave to have their dream achieved.

There is a French proverb :
“No One is a Prophet in their Own Land”
In my opinion, a-ha would have deserved more recognition, and should have sold more than “only” 35 millions of records.

They are so great, the songs they created will remain forever.
a-ha sound is unmistakable. I really miss it.
a-ha do have powerful music.
a-ha do have so sincere, thoughtful and deep lyrics. Each word is on its right place.
a-ha do have astonishing videos.
a-ha played around the world.
a-ha inspired many artists.

a-ha played the biggest paying audience ever (196000), Rio de Janeiro, 1991.
Morten holds the longest recorded note for a male voice! (Summer Moved On : 20.2 seconds). 2000.
Stamp designed by Magne, 2002.
East Timor (Morten), 2003.
Indian Ocean (tribute to the victims of the tsunami in South Asia, in Aceh) (Magne), 2005.
a-ha performed for Live8 in Berlin, 2005.
a-ha in “Make Some Noise” : The Campaign to Save Darfur, 2007.
Dugnad for Haiti, (Morten), 2010.
a-ha offered 4 millions krones in scholarships to 4 promising Norwegians artists, in Oslo, Kristiansand, Bergen and Trondheim, 2010.
a-ha reunited on August 21st 2011, for the National Memorial Ceremony…after attacks in Oslo and on Utøya (they performed “Stay on These Roads”), 2011.
Time Capsule (Magne), 2012.
The Voice Norge (Magne), 2012.
Many great soundtracks from all the three of them.
and, for sure, so many other things…

a-ha coloured our lives with their music.
I still wonder what would have been my live without them…

a-ha changed our lives.
Many of us had the chance to travel to Norway in 2010 for the last-ever a-ha concerts.
Many of us fell in love with Norway.
Some of us (me not yet) have moved to Norway.
(I met so far 3 fans…) I’m amazed by people who can take such decision to leave their country for another one with a totally different language. (My parents did that, they moved to France).

For me it was a big chance, a great honour and great privilege to attend and to be part of such a Ceremony.

As said by one of my friends [a-ha = Passion, Addiction, Obsession]

They were, still are, and will remain forever three Angels.
Now, they are three Knights.
It’s written in the History.

a-ha is loved worldwide.
a-ha is part of history of Norway, and part of my own history.
I am so proud to have witnessed this historic ceremony.

a-ha, I LOVE YOU !!!

Morten, Magne and Pål
Wonderful artists, musicians, lyricists
I deeply love, appreciate and respect your work
since the very first day

Paris, France
November 13th 2012

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