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.
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
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!
"The Final Countdown"
"Rock The Night"
"Open Your Heart"
"Let The Good Times Rock"
"I'll Cry For You"
"Halfway To Heaven"
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
[on songwriting] "If you play every day you're bound to come up with
"'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
[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."
[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
[before going onstage] "I need to have black socks. I tried to wear
white ones once, and I forgot the order of the songs."
[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
"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."
"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
"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
"We're nice guys, but we're not angels."
"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
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!