(This page last updated: 24 April, 2007)
Joey Tempest, circa 1988; provenance unknown
Joey Tempest

Europe was one of those bands that I somehow managed to miss totally for a long while; I had heard of them, but never anything by them until we got VH-1 Classic. It's really all their fault--they put the video for "Carrie" on one evening when I happened to be watching, and the progression of my thoughts, through the initial keyboard intro and then when the lights come up and the camera starts to zoom in on Joey, was something like this: "Nice song... and whoever that guy is, he's got great hair. And--oh, my, listen to that voice. Can he possibly look as good as he sounds...? Yes, I do believe that he can. And he even wears leather pants!"

And another crush was born. laughing emoticon

Happily, after a little further investigation, I have discovered that I quite like Europe as a band, as well. They took some flak, back in the day, for being neither fish nor fowl, so to speak--they definitely weren't a pop band, but they weren't a strictly metal band, either. But as far as my own personal feeling goes, Europe, like Def Leppard, managed to find and linger in that "sweet spot" between the two genres; these guys could rock pretty hard when they wanted to, but they took the "melodic" part of melodic rock seriously. I don't have a copy of their debut album, and I'm not a big fan of Wings of Tomorrow (if I'd heard it without knowing who had done it, I would never have guessed that it was them--I don't know if it was the production or what, but Joey's voice sounds really different) but everything from The Final Countdown onward is great. You can definitely see the evolution, both of the band itself and of Joey's songwriting from album to album, but it was a case of starting off good and only getting better.

And, quite frankly, Europe has to be one of the most photo- and videogenic bands that ever existed. Everybody looked good, though I do have to admit that I prefer the lineup with Kee Marcello on guitar; John Norum was a good guitarist, but Kee is just as good, and better-looking to boot. Of the five, however, Joey is definitely my favorite. If ever there was a man who was born for the "pop metal look," he's it--there aren't many others who could (or did) make a perm and pair of leather pants look so good...

Favorite Songs & Videos
Favorite Songs:
I'm not going to list them all, because it would just be copying the tracklists from The Final Countdown, Out Of This World, and Prisoners in Paradise; I like 'em all!
Favorite Videos: "The Final Countdown"
The only video they made while John Norum was still with the group. This is one of my very favorites; Joey looks fabulous, and he can twirl a mike stand with the best of them!
"Carrie"
My introduction to Europe, and still my favorite of their videos
"Rock The Night"
I get such a kick out of this--it would never happen outside of the "music video dimension," of course, but it was still a cute idea. The part where the waitress brings Joey a microphone is hilarious! laughing emoticon
"Superstitious"
Very spooky and mysterious... Joey looks wonderful, of course...
"Open Your Heart"
The obligatory "warehouse" video
"Let The Good Times Rock"
I have to admit, I am very put out that I never got to see a Europe concert way back when... they kicked some serious arse live!
"I'll Cry For You"
Everyone was looking great, as usual... the top hat was a bit much, though, Joey... laughing emoticon
"Halfway To Heaven"
Oh, my. I love this video, if only because Joey was wearing a very medieval-looking shirt that laced up the front AND his usual leather pants... drooling emoticon (And was Kee Marcello aware that he had a big split in, ah, rather a compromising location on the back of his jeans??)
Favorite Joey Tempest Quotes

[on how the band got its name] "When I was planning the band, I was thinking about a big and interesting name and I just came up with it. I don't know why or really where I got it from. I just thought it was interesting."

[on songwriting] "If you play every day you're bound to come up with something."

Rather like fiction writing, that!

"'The Final Countdown' wasn't written to be a pop song. I still don't think it is. We can't help the way that we look, and we don't have to apologize for being successful."

"...Rock and roll needs to have a blend of instruments, including keyboards and guitars. Most American bands tend to have only guitars as lead instruments, and that naturally limits a band's sound. We don't believe in that."

[on how Europe got their first record deal] "...We won a big rock contest in Sweden and the final broadcast was on television. We won and the prize was our first album. People were shocked. We were singing in English with long hair and everything."

[on success] "I don't know when you can say you've made it. As long as you play and you're happy, that's the most important thing."

"I think the day that I stop worrying is when it's all going to fall apart."

Poor thing, I know just how he feels...

[on image] "Do people want us to go out and look ugly? The dirtier you look, the more drugs you take, you gotta have a bottle of Jack Daniels in the picture and then you're hip? That's not the way we are."

And a good thing, too... I much prefer a bunch of tanned, handsome Swedes to the other!

[on being famous] "I'm not a social person, I sit at home. What I like is to put on a show, I like to be in front of cameras, in front of people. It's flattering, it's nice, but sometimes I would rather be unrecognized."

[before going onstage] "I need to have black socks. I tried to wear white ones once, and I forgot the order of the songs."

laughing emoticon Whatever happened to not being superstitious, Joey?

[on why he went back to Sweden to do some of the writing for the Prisoners In Paradise album] "I have to go back to my roots. America is great and good fun. But in the long run, California is so superficial that it kills my creativity."

"I don't drink so much because of my voice. I don't smoke. [The rest of the band does] the partying."

"We're a bunch of guys who like to have fun together, who try to do a good job, be nice to the people we meet. We have a lot of fun. Ian [Haughland, drums] and Kee [Marcello, lead guitar] are the crazy ones. Ian is a maniac."

Drummers always are... I think it must be in the job description...

"All we are is a group of musicians who've had a bit of luck over the last couple of years--but we haven't forgotten what it's like to struggle."

"It's hard to describe a person like myself who's a frontman and a songwriter without boasting. I like to do a good job; I like when people respect me. I always do my best in all situations. I'm a bit shy too. I like to show people how I am instead of talking about it."

"I'd like to be remembered as having good music and being a good live band."

"We're nice guys, but we're not angels."

That's okay--we like you a bit naughty, Joey. bouncygrin emoticon

"Europe is a band that has something for everybody. We don't think that only girls like us or only guys--that would be wrong. We feel the same way when people call us a metal band. We are in some ways, but we're a great deal more. We don't want to be limited in what we can do."

Joey Tempest's Astrological Sign

Date of Birth: 19 August, 1963

Western Zodiac: Leo (Fire)
Chinese Zodiac: Rabbit (Earth)

The passion and exuberance of Leo paired with the intelligence and style of the Rabbit--no wonder this boy had such sex appeal!

The Chord & Sorcery Angle

If Joey Tempest were a character in a fantasy novel, he would be:

Hmm... I can see him as a scholar, but a kind of Renaissance man who's interested in everything and actually gets out into the world, rather than one who just buries himself in books... there might be mage-talent involved there, as well...

The fantasy/period outfit I would most like to see Joey Tempest model is:

Something that shouts "Romantic poet," I think... billowing shirt, maybe with a jerkin or vest over it, and--as with Kip Winger--those leather pants are just too good to cut out of the picture! winking emoticon

Like this page?
Sign the site guestbook and tell me so, or
check out the C&S message board!

Valid HTML 4.01 Transitional Valid CSS