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Dave and ”the Russian” met on the island of Ibiza in 1973. In a rock bar, where else? The Russian on holiday and Dave was a resident. That was the beginning of a friendship that was to build the Swedish rock music scene, literally speaking.

Ivars ”the Russian” Leimanis is Latvian and not in the least Russian. Born in the Stockholm South General Hospital when “Hovet” was still mainly a skating rink. Dave Edwards from England who on the wings of love, ended up in Sweden in 1981 and stayed, especially because of his friend from the bar in Ibiza. They were to work together for 27 years and still counting.

At that time the “Russian” was working for EMA Telstar and soon Dave joined him. Dave remembers one of the first gigs he worked on , ZZ Top at Göta Lejon in 1981. He met a guy backstage and told him enthusiastically about his new job – dragging loudspeakers on to the stage. ”And what do you do?”, he asked the guy. ”I play guitar”, Billy Gibbons answered ­– the Reverend Willie G – a legend in ZZ Top.

The breakthrough came in 1982, when the guys working for EMA, successfully steered the whole event of the Rolling Stones playing at Ullevi in Gothenburg – the production, security, catering, lock, stock and barrel. One thing led to another (Rod Stewart, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen and others) and in 1986, Event Service came to be with the five musketeers: the Russian, Dave, Tommy Ahlén, Tor Nielsen and Ingemar Larsson in partnership with EMA Telstar. The rest is Swedish rock concert history. Famous artists from the entire world have stamped the stage floor for 20 years. Rocktåget, Rock runt riket, most of Roxette’s concerts in Sweden and so on.

History also tells us how 17 centimetres can be the difference between a success and a fiasco: Elton John was to play at the Globe. His Production Manager inspected the height of the stage with his tape measure. According to the contract, the stage height was to be 150 centimetres in height. It was 133 centimetres. ”I’ll be back in a couple of hours”, he said, turned and left the arena. There was nothing else to do but to tear it down and re-build it.

Dave och Ryssen

The last stage was built at the Globe in 2006 for Red Hot Chilipepper. There’s a dent in the floor in piece nr 953, where they say the guitarist John Frusciantes knocked over his mike stand. Dave’s and the Russian’s stage floor has many such indentations.