John Norum

John Terry Norum (born 23 February 1964 in Vardø, Norway) is a Norwegian/Swedish[2] rock guitarist and one of the founders of the Swedish rock band Europe. As an infant, he moved with his parents to Upplands Väsby (a Stockholm's suburb) in Sweden, where he grew up and has spent most of his life. Concurrent to his role with Europe, he also maintains a career as a solo artist.

John Norum
Norum performing in 2009
Background information
Birth nameJohn Terry Norum
Born (1964-02-23) 23 February 1964
Vardø, Norway
GenresHeavy metal, hard rock, blues rock, glam metal[1]
Occupation(s)Musician, songwriter
InstrumentsGuitar, vocals
Years active1978–present
Associated actsEurope, Dokken


During his career in music, Norum has played with Eddie Meduza & the Roaring Cadillacs, Dokken, Don Dokken's solo band, as well as collaborations with other well-known artists in his solo albums, including Glenn Hughes, Kelly Keeling, Peter Baltes, Simon Wright and Göran Edman. His influences include Gary Moore, Michael Schenker, Frank Marino and Ritchie Blackmore.[3][4]

In 1978 John Norum formed Force, first name of Europe, along with vocalist Joey Tempest. Europe participated and won the "Rock Sm", Swedish championship of rock, in 1982 transmitted by the television, with Norum chosen better guitarist and Joey the better vocalist. The championship prize would be the recording of a studio album by a small Swedish label.

The album Europe was released in February 1983 and became a hit in the band's home country and in Japan. In February 1984 Wings of Tomorrow was the next album, and the band was beginning to become very popular on the Swedish scene, making tours throughout the country, and also gaining recognition in Japan.

The band signed to Epic Records in 1985 and the album The Final Countdown was recorded at the end of the year. In May 1986, "The Final Countdown" was released, and was quickly achieved success in the countries of Europe, Japan, United States . A series of disagreements began to occur even before the tour began between John Norum and the band's manager Thomas Erdtman, which led the guitarist to decide to leave the band in October 1986.

John Norum has signed a solo contract with the same Europe label for 3 studio albums. In October 1987 came "Total Control". Norum sang almost all the songs, and Goran Edman, participated in 3 songs, and the album was successful in Sweden, getting in #4 Sweden charts and winning platinum disc (the single "Let Me Love You" #4 in Sweden charts and the ballad "Back On The Streets" at #34 Billboard Us Rock). Norum took all the music awards of the year in the country in 1988. The band toured Sweden and the last show was at the Hammersmith Odeon in London, England, in late 1988.

John Norum's talent as seen in albums with Europe and his first solo album sparked the interest of vocalist Don Dokken of the American band Dokken , which ended in 1988. "Up From The Ashes" came out as Don Dokken's 1990 album, and they went on a tour in 1991. In 1990 John Norum released a mini ep live, recorded in 1988, "Live In Stockholm".

In 1992, the album "Face The Truth" was released. The album was already a project with former Deep Purple Glenn Hughes, and Glenn sang practically all of the songs. There was also the participation of the singer of the Europe, Joey Tempest.

In 1995, the album "Another Destination" was released, being his last work with Epic Records, and a tour in Sweden happened, with a new vocalist, Kelly Keeling (who sang in the album). In December 1996, another album, "Worlds Away" left (with Keeling singing), by a new record company, Mascot Records, and the following year, a show in Japan was recorded (with a new singer, Leif Sundin), later to the album "Face It Live". At the end of 1997 John Norum did 15 shows with Dokken in the United States, replacing George Lynch who had left the band.

In 1999 came the last solo album before his return to Europe, "Slipped Into Tomorrow", with Norum singing. Norum went on tour in Scandinavia, with guitar player Brian Robertson playing Thin Lizzy songs.

At the turn of the millennium, John Norum participated in the presentation of Europe for Swedish TV after 14 years. Also in 2000 John Norum once again joined Europe, this time at the Hard Rock Cafe in Stockholm, to play Rock The Night.

In 2001 John Norum joined Dokken as an official member. They toured the United States in 2001 and in 2002 released a "Long Way Home" album, and during the Europe tour, not satisfied with Don Dokken temperament, he decided to leave the band. In 2003 Europe announced the return of the activities, and after 17 years John Norum returned to the band. He refused a UFO proposal before joining Europe (Norum had already accepted a call from the UFO in 1996, plus Michael Schenker who had left, upon learning of the fact returned the band).

Since 2004, Europe has already released 6 studio albums and John Norum their sixth and seventh studio album, "Optimus" in 2005, and "Play Yard Blues" in 2010, singing in the 2 albums. A new solo album will be out in 2019, more focused on blues rock, a style that the guitarist has been playing in Europe for the past 10 years.

Personal life

Norum started and developed his musical career in Sweden, but has also lived in the United States for a few years, where he met and married Michelle Meldrum in 1995, founder and lead guitarist of the all-female hard rock band Phantom Blue and the Swedish metal band Meldrum.[5] The couple had one son, Jake Thomas, born on 22 September 2004. Michelle died on 21 May 2008 from a cystic growth in her brain.[5] On 16 April 2012 he had a son, Jim Henry, from his Swedish fiancée Camilla Wåhlander. The couple had also a daughter, Celine Margareta, born on 28 July 2014.[5][6]

Norum is the older brother of singer Tone Norum.[5] and his stepfather is Thomas Witt,[7] a former record producer, Columbia executive and drummer for Eddie Meduza[8][9]


His guitar goes through the Wah into the chorus pedal, from where the separate outputs connect to the two amp heads, with the delay connected in the effects loop of the JCM 800 only.[10]




  • Tegnér A., Johansson, M. Europe - den stora rockdrömmen, Wiken, 1987, ISBN 91-7024-408-1
  • John Norum. En biografi ver en Svensk gitarrhjalte, Sony Music Ent. Sweden, 1992. Contained into the Swedish special edition of "Face the Truth" album.
  • Bevilacqua F., John Norum's biography, 2010, last update December 2012
  • Bevilacqua F., John Norum's discography, 2012, last update April 2012
  • Stern M., Europe Biography, Agosto 2006


  1. "Allmusic". Allmusic. Retrieved 24 June 2008.
  2. "JOHN NORUM OFFICIAL WEBSITE". Retrieved April 22, 2018.
  3. "Europe's John Norum: my top 6 tips for guitarists". MusicRadar. October 24, 2017. Retrieved October 10, 2018.
  4. "EUROPE - "Originality is important" - "Walk the Earth" Interview with JOHN NORUM - GuitarMania". GuitarMania. January 6, 2018. Retrieved October 10, 2018.
  5. Bevilacqua, Francesca. "Biography". Retrieved December 30, 2012.
  6. Nilsson, Christoffer (2014-07-30). "Dubbel bebislycka för Europe" [Double baby happiness for Europe]. Retrieved 2016-08-17.
  7. "John Norum official BIOGRAPHY". Retrieved 2016-08-17.
  8. "John NORUM's DISCOGRAPHY: his works with Eddie MEDUZA & The ROARING CADILLACS". Retrieved 2016-08-17.
  9. Wibacke - Berger, Mia (2014-03-04). "Witt lever för sin musik i Sundbyberg". Magasin Sundbyberg. Archived from the original on 2014-03-04.
  10. "John Norum GEAR". Retrieved 2016-08-17.
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