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My Story

Lasse Ahlberg alias X popgun - my story

Hi! This is my promotion page  – as artist X popgun alias Lasse Ahlberg from Stockholm, Sweden. It’s also my life’s story in short. You can read it and you can listen to my songs via the mp3:s or Spotify links.

Right now, 2022, I make both covers – new versions of older hits – and original songs of my own. When I don’t make music in my home studio I like singing karaoke, or in a cover band, and work out my body among other things. Singing has always been the no 1 kick in my life.

About me: I have been in the game of making music for a long time, since the 1980’s. But my way into music actually began already when I was 2 years old and spontaneously started singing and dancing in front of the family’s radio. I was the only child back then.

My father bought a state of the art Grundig tape recorder, started training me and recorded a big bunch of songs with me. I was treated like a star, my father took great joy in the fact that I could sing almost perfect at such an early age. Since then I have always loved singing and I have never been shy about singing for anybody who wants to listen.

Killed my interest in music

A bit later on, when I was 7, my other parent, without intention of course, (I love my mother) started to kill my interest in music for a long time by making me play flute and clarinet at a public music school – and learning notes. It was the most boring thing I had ever done in my young life. I quit when I was old enough to dare to say no to my mother. I was about 10 years old then.

Roger Borg, Eje Öberg och Lasse Ahlberg med gitarrer och bas.

I made a comeback into the music world when I was 13. A popular guy in my school had begun playing guitar and figured out how to play and sing popular songs of that time. He inspired me to start playing guitar, taught me chords and to sing and play covers of Bob Dylan, Beatles and the Rolling Stones among others. I got hooked to music again. The lust came back. My parents bought me a nice brand new Ibanez western guitar – a copy of a Gibson Hummingbird

The years went by and it was on and off with the music. I was a bit confused in my teens, didn’t really know who I was or who I wanted to be, couldn’t figure out the meaning of my life. My father also got seriously sick and sort of disappeared mentally in alzheimers, died at age 60. I moved away from home as soon as I could, at age 18. Got a super small apartment inside the city of Stockholm.

For a while I tried to become a writer (I’m quite good at writing), but I didn’t get much done in practise. I hardly had any friends at all, was often depressed. Instead I started to travel to try to find joy and meaningfulness in my life. I went all over Europe and the US to find people like me. I felt I was different from ordinary people (I really am, I have ADHD and I’m bipolar type 2 as well) and I needed bigger kicks. And I certainly did get bigger kicks, partly because I started with drugs at the same time as I started traveling.

Lived hippie life in San Fransisco

jag´-hippie-coke

When I was 20 I lived hippie life in San Fransisco for a year, with psychedelic drugs and the whole package. The drugs didn’t make me confused, they made me clear in my head and gave me lots of aha’s and visions of who I could be (at least I thought so). I found out that if I wanted to be SOMEBODY it would be a rock star. My best friend in the US was an old hippie who, besides being a drug dealer, also was a very talented artist who played and sang at my favorite bar nearby. He took me on and taught me things on the guitar that I never dreamt of doing before. For instance playing Beatles ”Here comes the sun” in every detail.

Anyway, I couldn’t stay in the US for more than a year, I was out of money among other things and also started to miss my home country Sweden after all. It’s a more forgiving and caring country than the US. If you are not a qualified worker in the states you will have a hard life indeed. All of my friends there did, most of them couldn’t even afford to go to a doctor when they got sick. I once helped a friend with a very serious stomach problem to bluff his way into a hospital. 

Back in Sweden I started working as a substitute teacher and at the same I made a serious attempt to start a music career and become a rock star. I bought a 1979 brand new jubilee Stratocaster (that I fell in love with at first site) and a used Marshall amp – and started practising every night. I soon became singer and guitarist in a number of different rock bands. I switched bands a lot for a while. For sure music was the kick no 1 in my life (enhanced a little bit by some drugs) and I thought if I could become a rockstar people would respect me and like me. I would get lots of new friends and perhaps be admired for what I did – instead of being a loser.

Lasse Ahlberg playing at Långholmen Music Festival With Niagara. June 17, 1980
Playing at Långholmen festival with my band Niagara, June 17, 1980. It was the same day at the legendary concert with Bob Marley on Gröna Lund in Stockholm. I went there with a lady I picked up after our concert. Feeling like a rock star!

But the fun didn’t last more than one and a half years. Without knowing what it was I got seriously burned out, my body suddenlly could’nt do what my mind wanted it to do anymore. I got very very tired, depressed and paranoid. And I had some terrible anxiety attacks. I thought seriously that I was dying or had gotten alzheimers like my dad did when he was only 50 years old.

After being isolated in my apartment for a year I had to submit myself to hospital care and couldn’t live a normal life for almost two years. Not until I was 25 could I restart my life. I started with transcendeltal meditation (like Beatles) and sports (instead of drugs) and also started studying economy. Step by step I could go back to a normal life and met a steady girlfriend.

I made a career as a worker in food stores, as book keeper and then salesman. I had a talent for selling and because of that I became CEO for a company that worked with graffiti sanitation. It only lasted a year, I wasn’t really happy as a CEO. I wanted to become an adman and work with marketing and advertising instead of selling and leading the graffiti cleaners. I started my own company and I had some success. It lasted a couple of years, then business went sour because of an economic crisis and at age 35 I switched again, went through a journalist education and after that I became a writing reporter.

I got at job at a magazine for the media- and advertising business and worked within a big media corporation called Bonniers. Four years later, my magazine needed a man who could go up on stage and sing a song with a band at a big Christmas party. I put on a dark wig, dressed as Bono and made a cover of ”With or Without you”. It was a huge success, people screamed and gave my long applouds. Some people told me it was really awesome.

jag-som-bono-01

It felt so good, and I got so inspired, that I had to start with music again. I arranged with a home studio and soon I was working in it almost full time and freelancing a little for a music magazine. I tried my best to get a recording contract. But I failed in the end, a destiny that 999 persons out of 1 000 also have faced. it’s a super hard competition indeed. After that I tried to become a song writer and among other things win the Swedish part of Eurovision Song Contest. But I failed with that too. 2002 I faced two hard disk crashes and lost the major part of my recordings. I gave up my music career and started a Data Recovery company instead, which luckily became a success.

I started working like crazy with Data Recovery and made millions, bought a Lamborghini and a BMW M3. Went on luxurious trips among other things. For the first time in my life I could buy pretty much anything I wanted. I spent 90 percent of the money I made on things I didn’t necessarily need. 2009 I built a new home studio and started with music again. By then I had qualified and trustworthy employees that could run the business for me. Myself I was burned out and could’t work full time anymore.

jag-och-joline-med-gitarr

Now, the year 2022, I’m hyper active again with my music. I record covers that I publish on Spotify and also make my own songs. I still hope deep inside to make The Hit that can make me famous – maybe as the oldest person to debut as a professional radio artist ever in history. I’m 63 by now. I don’t know why I can’t really kick that hope. Perhaps I am a bit crazy. I have never been a totally realistic person. I don’t stand steadily on both feet, I need some adventure.

One thing I never quit during all the years was singing. My voice is still completely intact and I sing every day. When I had no home studio I was singing karaoke and was also a guest singer in a couple of cover bands. 2014 I made success in New York when I sang my favourite song of all times ”With or Without you” by U2 at a bar next to Times Square. People got crazy and I got so much love that I was totally overwhelmed. What a kick. I have also sung in a cover band in Thailand for a while. It’s a lot of fun to sing for a live audience, even if it’s only is in a bar. Right now I’m trying to find a new cover band that plays rock and pop – that I can join.

If you have a band and need a qualified singer that knows hundreds of songs, don’t hesitate to contact me.

Cheers everybody!