It's Only Rock'n Roll
Hard work has been the story of my life - I just love it. Biking around on home ground at all times, I started out as a newspaper boy the week before my 10 years birthday, delivering evening papers on a 10 km (6 miles) route near home. Soon after I did also take on the morning papers route. Up way before 6am, an hour of newspaper deliveries, rain or snow, then school, then the same route in the afternoon.
My father told me I had to concentrate on high school, and stop my favorite job as a newspaper boy, at age 16 or so. In the summer of 1971 I had one of many summer jobs, and with the savings I could afford a real record player, plugged to a radio in my own bedroom. Saturday morning early August 1971 I went to the record store in nearby Asker center, listened trough all the albums on display at "Ditlef's Store". I arrived home with The Rolling Stones album "Sticky Fingers". It changed my life, even if I did not know back then. Next Saturday I was back to Ditlef's store, what else did he have with The Rolling Stones? I brought home "Stone Age". Clear as it was yesterday, I do still remember I wondered how many singers there were in the band. So many voices, deep and high, so many variations, from "Brown Sugar" to "Sway", from "Wild Horses" to "Sister Morphine". Then "Paint It Black", "As Tears Go By", "The Last Time"... Mick Jagger were on all these different voices, I realized. Then the guitars, Keith Richards, Mick Taylor, and Bill Wyman, and Charlie Watts. I was completey hooked. Soon I got of their entire back catalogue, back to 1963, albums, singles, EP's, and everyone in my high school class noticed I had one thing on my mind, not school work, but The Rolling Stones. I called myself Charlie.
In October 1973 I took one of three special buses from Kontraskjæret Oslo Norway to the ice hockey arena Scandinavium in Gothenburgh Sweden, for my first ever Rolling Stones show, with my then girl friend, now wife. Such a memory for lifetime! Then the 70's with my own family, wife and children, university work, long days. Pen pals all over the world, writing about The Rolling Stones, getting all the rare items, like The Rolling Stones book complete #1-30, live recordings, bootlegs, and all sorts of merchandise and releases.
In 1982 I was on the bus to Gothenburgh Sweden once more. This time they did two shows at "Nya Ullevi", a football stadium on June 19-20. There were 60 buses from Norway, more than 10,000 fans from Norway went to these two shows. It was great nice summer weather, and I slept on the grass in a park during the night between the shows. My wife arrived with one of the buses to the 2nd show, so we saw that show together, another great memory. I wanted more, so soon after I attended the two shows at Wembley Stadium London UK, June 25-26. It was magic. As we walked out after the shows, they played "Land Of Hope And Glory". That beautiful British hymn is forever tied to my Wembley 1982 experiences, like many many other Stones memories.
IORR was a fan magazine written in Norwegian. After my London trip 1982, I realized few fans in UK knew anything about what The Rolling Stones played, set list, and so on. The IORR magazine changed into English, even if it is not my native language. By the 80's I had more than 1,000 subscribers across the world, a non-profit operation, a full time job, working late hours, and a wife, and three small children. we were dead poor, but I worked hard, I had many friends across the world, and I got to spend my time on what I loved the most, except for my own family - The Rolling Stones.
In 1989 I arranged a fan club travel to see The Rolling Stones live at Shea Stadium in New York City, USA. We were a group of 30-40 fans from Europe, the work with the travel was endless in changes, paperwork and so on, lomg time before Internet and the World Wide Web. We made it, most of the members of my travel group went to 1-2 shows, but I worked hard and managed to get to see all four shows. "Play With Fire" - with a red fire in the shy above the stadium, a great long week-end with fans and friends, I guess it was then I started to go to "all shows", in a city, in a country, or simply of a tour.
In 1990 I started my own company Arena Data AS. Same year, I spent three weeks in UK, for the 10 Stones shows they were scheduled to play there, while my wife and my childred were on holiday in Sweden. No regrets, I was with "my other family", as my own family use to say. By the mid 90's IORR went online. My real work was with Internet and the World Wide Web, so no wonder there was a web site "arena.no/stones" holding the first version of what would later be IORR.org. Then late 90's there was an IORR forum, I named it "Tell Me", after one of my all time favorites. It was all hosted on servers running in my own company IT environment; first on a small box, later with high security firewalls, redundancy and servers keeping up with the volumes and growing complexity of web solutions and security.
By the end of 2022 I closed down my company Arena Data AS, preparing for retirement. For 33 years we had served the market in Norway with one of the most successful services, among others, the product Webtrends from the company Webtrends Inc in Portland, OR, USA. Back in 1996, when I found it at the Internet Expo in San Jose CA, it was one of dozens of log analyzers for Internet traffic. Later on, it grew to be the most advanced market leading web analytics tool for leading banks, insurance, governments, defence, airliners, virtually every large company and public service with a web site was on our customer list. I was so lucky to have dedicated collegues, I could work online everywhere, on Stones tours, my hours were long, some years I had 180 days away from home, on international travels, business or Stones tours, but it was a great life, great products, great customers, great technology, and year after year, Stones concert to attend, a web site to be updated, a forum to be moderated, no time left, just like when I was 10 years old a newspaper boy biking around with Aftenposten newspapers morning and afternoon.
As I retired I never thought there would be any changes, and sure there were no. The workload was the same. Through 2023 I realized IORR is so much larger than any of my paid work, I do still work full days, and more. Some take IORR for granted, and it makes me grumpy, at times when I want to be with my family, especially at holidays like Christmas and Easter, or summer. It has been on my mind for a long time now, and it is a pain to say it, but some way, I have to change IORR, at least how the workload is. I can not burn the candle at both ends forever. It is time for Next Generation IORR.
The New Forum : For a long time I have been thinking of finding the new forum solution myself, but I realize that will not happen. I need help. It should NOT be a forum software package, because that would need technical resources, upgrades, physical or virtual servers, and so on. It should NOT be a solution like Facebook, because these take all your private data, and they are not really forum solutions. Also, they are in vialoation of laws in EU, USAa nd so on. There are plenty of high end Forum solutions available as cloud services. They cost a lot, but I am sure there are ways to find them, either by donations or by advertisements. The task would be to find a list of such systems, based on requirements, then to choose the right one.
Editor & Moderator: A modern forum solution will have a number of editors and moderators. Offensive posts need to be taken away, fights need to be resolved, threads merged, headlines improved and so on. If the task is shared among a group of people, the work involved will be limited. There is no payment, you will be paid in Stones heaven, but for sure your name will be "Carved in Stones", if needed.
The New Forum should be modern, work on all devices, scaling to all screens, and with a future in no need for a soon replacement. It would be linked up to the current IORR.org site, the old forum will still be available, but it will not be posible to post in the old forum anymore.
There will be a lot of Stones activity to come. I need to get the ext generation IORR up and running soon, otherwise there will not be a proper service available anymore.
Contact: Please send me an e-mail if you think you would be able to contribute to the next generation IORR Forum. My e-mail address is: [email protected]
For comments and updates please see the IORR forum pages:
Next Generation IORR
Happy New Year!
Bjornulf (IORR Editor)