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ACE OF BASE'S SECRET NAZI PAST
Vice ^ | 4/24/2013 | Benjamin Shapiro

Posted on 04/24/2013 2:05:51 PM PDT by nickcarraway

The internet has left us with unprecedented skepticism toward innocence. In the age of Eliot Spitzer and Anthony Weiner, it seems literally impossible for any public figure to exist without at least one skeleton clawing its way out of the closet. We even expect simple pleasures, like reggae-inflected Swedish pop group Ace of Base, to have a few secrets kicking around.

Well, they've got one.

Ulf Ekberg, a founding member of Ace of Base, started his career as a neo-Nazi skinhead.

Not only that, he created a platform for his ideals through his Nazi punk band, Commit Suiside, which sang songs with "explicit racist lyrics." How explicit you might ask? Here's a little example:

"Män i vita kåporna på vägen tågar. Vi njuter när vi huvudena av niggrerna sågar/ Svartskalle, vi hatar dig! Ut, ut, ut, ut! Nordens folk, vakna nu! Skjut, skjut, skjut, skjut!"

Translation?

"Men in white hoods march down the road, we enjoy ourselves when we're sawing off niggers’ heads/ Immigrant, we hate you! Out, out, out, out! Nordic people, wake up now! Shoot, shoot, shoot, shoot!"

In addition to performing with Commit Suiside, Ekberg was also a member of the Sweden Democrats, a political party that has publicly "rejected" any ties to neo-Nazism. This is interesting, considering the fact that the group was founded by Nazis, and active members still maintain connections with contemporary hate groups. For example, Anders Klarström, the former head of the Sweden Democrats. Funny enough, Klarström was also a member of Commit Suiside with Ekberg. Around the time that the band disbanded in 1986, Klarström was convicted of illegal firearms possession, as well as sending death threats to a Jewish theater director and entertainer named Hagge Geigert, who was publicly outspoken against racism and neo-Nazism. At the time, Klarström referred to Geigert as a "Jew pig," and threatened to burn him.

In 1998, a small Swedish record label called Flashback Records released Uffe Was a Nazi!, a limited-edition collection of Ekberg's output with Commit Suiside. The cover is a photograph of Ekberg giving the Nazi salute. Although only 1,000 CDs were produced, it was an extremely damaging attack on Ekberg's Nazi past and has become a major collector's item. Uffe Was a Nazi! includes five songs, like "Rör inte vårt land," which translates to "Don't Touch Our Country," and "Vit makt, svartskalleslakt!" which translates to "White Power, Black Skull Slaughter." It also, amazingly, finds the band rethinking the white-power, skinhead-punk act Skrewdriver's "Smash the IRA," translating the lyrics to German and renaming it "Smash the VPK." The VPK, or "Left Party," is a socialist and feminist party in Sweden:

Here's how Ekberg found his way into Ace of Base. In August of 1990, a Gothenburg musician named Jonas Berggren was hours from playing a show with his band, who'd been performing for several years as either CAD, Tech-Noir, or Kalinin Prospect. At the last minute, their bass player decided to ditch the show to go watch the Rolling Stones on the other side of town, so Berggren asked his friend Ekberg to fill in. A few weeks later they dubbed their new lineup Ace of Base, and the rest is history: "All That She Wants" blows up, Happy Nation/The Sign sells 23 million copies, and the group becomes one of the decade's most beloved pop acts.

It's unclear whether or not Berggren, or the rest of Ace of Base, knew about Ekberg's previous dalliances with neo-Nazism when they asked him to join. For some reason it's not really spoken about today, so when you tell your friends about this stuff, you can expect some jaws hitting the floor. Ekberg's response has been fairly noncommittal. In a 1997 documentary, he is quoted saying "I told everyone I really regret what I did. I've closed that book. I don't want to even talk about it, that time does not exist in me any more. I closed it and I threw the book away in 1987. I took the experience from it, I learned from it. But that life is not me. It's somebody else."

Today, according to his website, Ekberg is "a visionary leader and an eminent businessman." Ekberg is still in Ace of Base, but he's also working for a strategic-marketing company called Result, which has teamed with partners like BMW, Fiat, IBM, and LinkedIn. In 2002, Ekberg founded another entertainment-marketing company called Legion Network (now defunct), and worked with Canon, Motorola, and Nokia. From 2002 to 2005, he was an advisor to Nokia on their global music and fashion strategy.

But things get even more cryptic. Ekberg is also an active member of the German Marshall Fund's Asia Program think tank. Keep in mind, the GMF was formed in the spirit of (and named after) the Marshall Plan, the post-WWII, US-led economic-incentive program geared toward preventing the spread of Soviet communism and opening up recovering nations to democracy.

What does all this mean? It's simply incredible that this stuff hasn't gotten out, especially since it's hidden directly in plain sight. While researching this article, I spoke with many other journalists who had never heard this story. In fact, I've never heard anyone make reference to this secret history ever in my life. Not to get all Conspiracy Theory about it, but I just can't imagine a full recovery from this sort of hatred. What's also frightening is that Ekberg has now carved himself a position of extreme authority and influence. For many years, he was directly responsible for the ways in which brands and consumers connect, and is currently involved in a grant program specific to geopolitical ideology.

Did Ekberg use Ace of Base's success as an opportunity to wipe the slate clean and erase his neo-Nazi past? I'm not sure, and part of me doubts it, but at press time, I can safely say I'll never be able to enjoy "The Sign," "Don't Turn Around," or "All That She Wants" in the same way, ever again.


TOPICS: Music/Entertainment
KEYWORDS:
Hasn't it be 20 years since anyone even heard of these people, why would anyone care? (As bad it is, it's still not worse than their music)
1 posted on 04/24/2013 2:05:51 PM PDT by nickcarraway
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To: nickcarraway

Nowadays, Swedish nazists are more like Ralf Wadmann. Who joined Al Shabaab as one of their leaders.


2 posted on 04/24/2013 2:12:49 PM PDT by Hardraade (http://junipersec.wordpress.com (Vendetta))
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To: nickcarraway

The band went downhill further when they tossed the two original ladies out.
One wonders what the deal was.


3 posted on 04/24/2013 2:13:17 PM PDT by Darksheare (Try my coffee, first one's free.....)
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To: nickcarraway

Somebody saw the sign.


4 posted on 04/24/2013 2:13:25 PM PDT by dfwgator
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To: nickcarraway

Oops, forgot my / sarc sparc


5 posted on 04/24/2013 2:13:37 PM PDT by Darksheare (Try my coffee, first one's free.....)
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To: nickcarraway

I remember them. They were supposed to be the next ABBA.
Very gay music but they must have been a smash in Europe.

We are lucky enough to be shielded from much of the Euro-tras because it would never make it on our charts. If Hasellhoff can get gold records in Germany then anything goes in Europe, not accounting for talent.


6 posted on 04/24/2013 2:16:32 PM PDT by submarinerswife (Insanity is doing the same thing over and over, while expecting different results~Einstein)
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To: nickcarraway

I find it rather amusing that the Swedish music scene consists mostly of throwaway pop acts and extreme metal bands.

I’d expect to hear something like this about a member of, say, Amon Amarth, but not about a guy in Ace of Base.


7 posted on 04/24/2013 2:16:54 PM PDT by ZirconEncrustedTweezers (Some people take there grammar way to seriously.)
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To: submarinerswife
They were supposed to be the next ABBA.

Speaking of ABBA, Frida's father was a German Wehrmacht soldier who was stationed in Norway during the war. Of course, that wasn't exactly a way to be very popular in Norway after the war, so that explains how she ultimately wound up in Sweden.

8 posted on 04/24/2013 2:18:35 PM PDT by dfwgator
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To: Darksheare

Ace of Base WAS the two ladies. The guys were just the background music.

I had heard this story more than 10 years ago. It is not a big secret.

A sad thing I heard was that the lead singer (the blonde) was stalked or threatened by fans or something like that and she started to put herself in the background in later videos. It was just some thing I heard — not sure if it really happened or not.


9 posted on 04/24/2013 2:19:40 PM PDT by 3Fingas (Sons and Daughters of Freedom, Committee of Correspondence)
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To: submarinerswife

They were the next ABBA or Roxette. Luckily, I don’t think there have been any other since then.


10 posted on 04/24/2013 2:20:19 PM PDT by nickcarraway
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To: nickcarraway

The Cardigans.


11 posted on 04/24/2013 2:22:33 PM PDT by dfwgator
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To: dfwgator

I wouldn’t out the Cardigans in that category at all. Or Annie, or Peter, Bjorn, and John.


12 posted on 04/24/2013 2:24:28 PM PDT by nickcarraway
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To: nickcarraway

I remember a few years back there was a Swedish band called “The Hives” that had a song I liked called, “Hate to Say I Told You So.”

I just remembered the video because the bass player looked kind of like Ron Jeremy.


13 posted on 04/24/2013 2:26:15 PM PDT by dfwgator
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To: dfwgator

I kinda liked the Hellacopters for a while.


14 posted on 04/24/2013 2:29:46 PM PDT by ZirconEncrustedTweezers (Some people take there grammar way to seriously.)
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To: dfwgator

15 posted on 04/24/2013 2:30:03 PM PDT by liberalh8ter (The only difference between flash mob 'urban yutes' and U.S. politicians is the hoodies.)
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To: dfwgator
"Somebody saw the sign"

....and it apparently looked like der fuhrer
16 posted on 04/24/2013 2:32:00 PM PDT by The_Sword_of_Groo (My world view is accurately expressed in the lyrics of " The Fightin' Side of Me")
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To: ZirconEncrustedTweezers

Amon Amarth is viking metal. Rage Against The Machine is far more towards the KKK than Amon Amarth are.


17 posted on 04/24/2013 2:32:15 PM PDT by wastedyears (I'm a gamer not because I choose to have no life, but because I choose to have many.)
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To: 3Fingas

Yeah, teh ladies later sued teh guys for using “Ace of Base” for their name, so some slight band name alteratiosn were seen.


18 posted on 04/24/2013 2:34:34 PM PDT by Darksheare (Try my coffee, first one's free.....)
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To: nickcarraway

Especially since this was known 20 years ago!


19 posted on 04/24/2013 2:41:29 PM PDT by dangus (Poverty cannot be eradicated as long as the poor remain dependent on the state - Pope Francis)
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To: nickcarraway

Why hold his past against him? If those things were in his youth then let it be.


20 posted on 04/24/2013 3:15:18 PM PDT by MeganC (You can take my gun when you can grab it with your cold, dead fingers.)
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To: nickcarraway

FWIW most young musicians are whores to whatever is going to get them a payday.


21 posted on 04/24/2013 3:27:17 PM PDT by Ouderkirk (The Government is actively preparing to go to War with a significant portion of its own Citizens.)
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To: nickcarraway
What's next?

A-ha guilty of war crimes?

The Cardigans sentenced to death in absentia?

Come to think of it, for some people, Mamma Mia was a crime against humanity.

And what was Roxette trying to tell us with that whole black leather fixation?

22 posted on 04/24/2013 3:49:57 PM PDT by x
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To: Ouderkirk

If you charge $2500 to play covers at a wedding, but play your own material for next to nothing at a club.... you might be a professional musician!


23 posted on 04/24/2013 4:02:41 PM PDT by ZirconEncrustedTweezers (Some people take there grammar way to seriously.)
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To: nickcarraway

Well, this guy obviously was/is (?) scum, but Mr. Shapiro could look into the lyrics of many a U.S. band to find racism.


24 posted on 04/24/2013 4:25:04 PM PDT by Amberdawn
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To: nickcarraway
Did Ekberg use Ace of Base's success as an opportunity to wipe the slate clean and erase his neo-Nazi past?

Well Kurt Waldheim was able to pretty much erase his Nazi past to become Secretary General of the UN.

25 posted on 04/24/2013 4:26:16 PM PDT by dfwgator
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To: Amberdawn

What did you have in mind? Toto? REO Speedwagon? Air Supply? (I know, they are Australian)


26 posted on 04/24/2013 4:43:46 PM PDT by nickcarraway
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To: ZirconEncrustedTweezers
but play your own material for next to nothing at an empty club...

Fixed it....been there done that, night after night, until I finally wised up and went to engineering school.

27 posted on 04/24/2013 5:20:41 PM PDT by Ouderkirk (The Government is actively preparing to go to War with a significant portion of its own Citizens.)
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To: nickcarraway

The best comment about the group was someone who wondered why, at the tail end of the video for The Sign, one of the girls appeared to flick a booger. At the time, he described them as “the biggest thing since ABBA”, except for the booger flicking thing.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DNPjeIamsck


28 posted on 04/24/2013 5:54:37 PM PDT by yefragetuwrabrumuy (Best WoT news at rantburg.com)
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To: x

I wonder if Annie Lennox has returned to her own planet.


29 posted on 04/24/2013 5:59:29 PM PDT by yefragetuwrabrumuy (Best WoT news at rantburg.com)
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To: yefragetuwrabrumuy

I thought Lennox was from China?


30 posted on 04/25/2013 11:27:42 AM PDT by nickcarraway
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To: nickcarraway

Close. Aberdeen.


31 posted on 04/25/2013 11:36:03 AM PDT by yefragetuwrabrumuy (Best WoT news at rantburg.com)
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