Gunnar Bernstrup

A short background

Gunnar´s life has indeed spinned around his creative ability. As the second youngest of four brothers, his youth was filled with fantasy and filling one sketch block after another with drawings. During the first years in school, he had to show every new drawing made for the class. He did start learning how to play the piano during these years in Lund, a University town close to Malmö in Skåne - the landscape down south in Sweden.

But the family moved to Malmö and the piano lessons came to an end. His father died when Gunnar was 14 years old. Life changed. Music had to wait.

He discovered soccer (football) and used every free minute for the game. Dreams of a career as a sportsman started to grow in his mind. Though he tried quite a few different sports (Even boxing for a while), soccer became the most important. So he started to train and play for one of Malmö´ s important clubs. However, during this period he started playing the guitar and after a year or two this took all his time.

He formed "The Chimneys Hootenanny Trio", a group that made great success in the mid 60´ties. The group signed a record contract but never recorded. The trio did split up and Gunnar worked on as a solo artist. As a trobadour and singer/songwriter. Lesser and lesser time was spent on playing soccer.

But he - of course - continued to follow his favorite team Malmö FF in the team's attempts to win the Swedish championships. Malmö FF (MFF) is the most successful Swedish soccer team, with a pile of championships, cup titles and medals. MFF reached the European Championship final in 1979.

Back in Malmö, after a couple of years in Gothenburg studying Journalism, he took up soccer again. Talking jobs as a freelance journalist, music played the biggest roll. Gunnar was then well established him self as a solo artist, singer of contemporary and older folk music, blues and his own songs. He had performed in folk music clubs in Ireland and Britain and made his debut as a recording artist, His first single contained his own songs celebration his fabourite soccer team. MFF!

1972 he as well became a member of "The Werup-Sjöström Group" performing avante garde music and poetry. During the same period, he acted in student revues and started making comedy shows for the Swedish Radio Broadcasting. He joined the group "Visa med Skägg" and toured Sweden singing contemporary folk music, blue grass and hootenanny. The group recorded two albums.

He started a successfull cooperation with Stellan Sundal, performing and writing songs and children shows for the radio which resulted in lots of radio series a couple of albums too. In 1976, Stellan and Gunnar started making this comedy radio show "Byteskomik" that changed everything. Gunnar and Stellan became popular comedians and soon after the break through as well started making comedy shows for TV, working very much in the british comedy tradition.

Though Gunnar wrote most of the music numbers for the shows, the public now knew him as a comedian, not a singer and musician. Gunnar and Stellan´s tremendeous success resulted in many shows nationwide, records and comedy books that sold in big numbers. The two finished working together after 12 years, when Gunnar decided to go back to work on his own; as a program leader for radio and TV shows, a writer, actor and putting more effort into his music. His first books where published in the mid 80´ties.

Since then, Gunnar has written a number of books, theatre pieces, songs and coloumns of his own in a number of papers and magazines. He has acted in many plays and revues and entertained thousands of people in many different roles. Today, writing takes most of his time.

After the break through nationwide he was chosen member of the celebrity team, "The TV-team", which toured Sweden for many years during summer time, playing matches raising money for charity. In this team, well known artists and retired star players mixed together and met local teams for very entertaining matches. This way, Gunnars dreams as a youngster in a way was fulfilled. He has been a team mate with all the "big shots" in Swedish soccer and really enjoyed life as a sportsman this way! He was as well chosen member of MFF "Goldteamers" - retired MFF-players - and has played many matches with the team.

Gunnar still plays soccer in Limhamn where he and Eva lives in a old fisherman's house. He has been a member of the "Oldboys" team for quite some years now, playing in series managed by the Swedish Football Association. He plays tennis regulary and squash has been a favorite game since the early 70-ties as well. In other words; Gunnar is trying to stay fit!

He might need it, cause he loves a good beer among friends in his local and has taken great interest in cooking and good food. Actually, Gunnar usually cooks meals at home, trying to make every dinner worth remembering. He loves the Mediterranian kitchen, Spicy food with lots of garlic and hot peppers. Håkan, the drummer, has inspired him into the Cajun tradition. During lots of visits to London, he has learned to love Indian food and of and on cook a Tandoori chicken served with Saffron rice, Nan and a hot Chutney sauce. During the outdoor season, the garden becomes the family living room and kitchen as well. The grill goes hot almost every evening. Steaks, onions, corn is often on the menu, but as well; with inspiration from Portugal, fish or hot shrimps marinated in olive oil and piri-piri are put in the grill.

And often, family and friends play boule (or petanque) after dinner. Gunnar used to play boule more frequently for a while, participating in national and other championships. These days its competition for fun. Every summer since 1980 a Saturay in July is spend with lots, really, of friends, good food and drink to play for the "Golden Globe"! That's playing boule the way it should be!

Beside this, Gunnar has traveled to most countries in Europe, USA, The Caribbenas, North Africa, India. London has been his favourite city for many years, Lissabon and Portugal too. The CD "I don´t care anymore" brougt him to Australia to introduce the music. Today, the CD has been frequently played in radio stations "Down Under". 2001, he and the accordeon player Lars Holm visited USA to perform the songs with American musicians and made great success in a festival i Atlanta, Georgia, Fort Lauderdale, Florida and elsewhere.

Gunnar is reading a lot and takes interest in comic books as well as heavy novels and daily politic life via TV and daily papers. Though never politically engaged, he has stirred the debate a few times, writing down his views on the developments in Television Entertainment or the planning of the surroundings nearby his home. Obviously not afraid of speaking up. Loves to play games, cards.

Gunnar collects die cast models. The collecting started when finding the remains of his and his brothers childhood in the attic a his mothers home and include hundreds of old Dinky Toys, MG models and other cars. But primary buses. Gunnar is the owner of quite a big collection of model buses. To say the least. The bus collection contains up to a thousand bus models these days.

And Cutty, a Springer Spaniel named after the local pub "Cutty Sark" where Gunnar is found late afternoons and where he and "Good Music Band" made its debut, is the third dog in the family. "Nessie" was a lively Flat Coated Retriever and "Simon" a steady and very friendly Labrador Retriever.

So what do you get when you sum it up?

A friendly (he refused to be a soldier wearing weapon), still sometimes difficult and worried, social, competitive fellow. A lover of the good life; food, friends and drinks. Travelling. Eager to express himself in text and music. Proud father of Sofia (married to Christer) and grand father to Birk, happily married to Eva since 1969 and really enjoying life during the summer season when he drives his MGB letting the wind blow through his hair!

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