My name is José Peralta and I am from Lima, Perú. Personally, Roxette meant a safe place in the midst of the rock scene of the nineties filled with acts involved in scandals and which made headlines in police-related incidents so to me it was proof you could make it musically without having to act rebellious. Roxette was pure music and talent and that for me was enough.
Roxette had a very big impact in my life. I studied grammar school in a small local catholic school with very basic training in English. For high school my mother decided to transfer me to a bigger school with a much stronger training in this language considering it was better for my future (here in Perú, English is a foreign language). The admission test taker decided to spare me the embarrassment of an English test but little did she know I would become the laughing-stock of my classmates because my understanding and vocabulary were very limited. My mother signed me up for courses of English but I had to start from almost zero while at school the teacher was going full throttle in communication. I aced most of those courses and improved my fluency thanks to a classmate who showed me her cassette copy of Joyride and the little lyric book that came with it. By that time I was already a Roxette fan but I had never seen a songbook like that before. Most band albums came with pictures but I had never seen such carefully published lyrics. I immediately begged my mother to buy me a copy of it and I started singing along the tunes (thus learning pronunciation and intonation also improving my listening skills) and studying the words and expressions (grammar and vocabulary).
Not only did I successfully finish high school and recovered my self-confidence but also I graduated first in my class in English and now I teach this subject to young people and adults with (of course) Roxette songs as extra-credit practice which they find to be enjoyable and educational at the same time. Whenever I run into someone who looks disappointed in his/her grades I share with him/her my little story stressing that only music like Roxette's could have helped me the way it did.
Speaking of, let me tell you a couple of anecdotes: Roxette was the first major international act to come to Peru when no other bands wanted to come due to the internal war we had during the eighties and part of the nineties. I remember the whole city was in shock that such popular band would come. Of course I was first at the front ( I was 17 years old back then) my brand new camera got stolen by one of the security people but I enjoyed the concert nevertheless.
Last year I travelled to Santiago, Chile to see them live cos I thought they were not coming to Lima. This year they came in April but a week before that I booked a trip to Quito Ecuador for the concert there (a friend of mine said he could perhaps pull some strings so that I could meet them backstage but it never happened). I took two flights and travelled by bus to get from Lima to Quto and the same route back to be in Lima hours before their concert at the national stadium here (two Roxette concerts in one week, wow!). So far I have been to four of their concerts. I know there are people who have been to many more but for someone from my country and my generation it is quite an achievement. I am also proud to appear in two scenes of the Really Roxette documentary. My family was very happy for me when they saw me there.
Best regards, José