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Man behind mystery song found in Sweden

Johan Lindell. Foto: Björn Berglund/SR
Johan Lindell, the man behind the mystery song "Stay (for the second time around)" aka "On the roof". Photo: Björn Berglund/SR

An internet mystery that had thousands of people looking for the band behind a song recorded from a German radio station in the mid-eighties, was solved by Swedish Radio's PP3 this week. The YouTube clip had been seen by over 300,000 people world wide, before radio listeners in Sweden identified it as a song by Johan Lindell.

"I had no idea. I am completely surprised! But I'm very proud," says Johan Lindell, who himself has not heard the song for 25-30 years.

Published onsdag 18 september 2013 kl 20:57

In Germany 1984 or 1986, a man called René recorded a 1,5 minute long fragment of a song on the radio.

René assumed it is called "Stay (the second time around)" and did what he could to try to find out more about the song. Over a decade later, with Internet on the rise, he posted the clip on his website. "Who can help to find it?".

Another few years, in 2007, the clip was posted by an American, Dan Coogan, on YouTube with a plea: "Help us identify the band singing this song".

But it was when the someone on the internet forum Reddit took to trying to solve the mystery a few weeks ago, that people really started getting involved. Dan Coogan got some 500 e-mails over a couple of days with people trying to help solve the mystery.

But still it was unsolved. When radio reporter Sara Kinberg at Swedish Radio PP3 read about the mystery on Reddit over the weekend, she was intrigued. There were loads of speculations as to who the band was, some thought the group itself had posted it, faking this mystery, as a way to create a hype around one of their songs.

Sara Kinberg and her colleagues at PP3 decide to play the song in their show on Tuesday. Before the 2 hour long programme had ended, two people have independently of each other got back to them to say the man they are looking for is the Swede Johan Lindell, and the song, is really called "On the Roof".

"I had not idea at all. I never visit the Internet, and I hardly use the computer, my children do," he told Swedish Radio PP3's Björn Berglund.

A retired actor, Johan Lindell now works as an artist, painting stuff and having exhibitions with his work. His music career is firmly placed in the 1980s. These days, he only makes music for his own pleasure.

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