Jacob Truedson Demitz

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Jacob Truedson Demitz
Jacob Truedson Demitz 1993.jpg
Demitz at his Mae West Centenary dinner given at Berns in Stockholm, Sweden, August 17, 1993
Background information
Birth name Lars-Erik Jacob Ridderstedt
Also known as Lars Jacob
Born (1948-08-13) August 13, 1948 (age 68)
Origin Sweden, United States
Genres Entertainment director, writer
Years active 1961–present
Associated acts AlexCab, Wild Side Story, Westites & Maeniacs, CabarEng

Jacob Truedson Demitz (born Lars-Erik Jacob Ridderstedt on August 13, 1948[1]) is a Swedish-American writer and entertainment director who wrote a 1996 book about Scandinavian kings and, as Lars Jacob, has directed underground cabaret shows in the United States and Europe since 1972. He was born in Sweden, grew up in Illinois, and has since lived in Sweden, Florida and California.

Origin and names[edit]

Demitz was born in Örebro, Sweden,[1] the son of singer Birgit Ridderstedt and C. Erik Ridderstedt, and first arrived in the United States as an infant. He lived in and near Chicago until the age of 13; his father headed a crafts and gifts import business[2][3] and his mother produced entertainment ventures.[4]

Not wanting to be mistaken for a cleric uncle also called Lars Ridderstedt, who had gained notoriety in Sweden, he decided in 1969 to use Jacob as his first name. In 1980, after noticing for many years that Americans had difficulty pronouncing his parents' last name, he adopted the surname of Demitz,[5] which had been the original name since 1693 of the extinct House of Ridderstedt before they were ennobled.[6] He was the first in 300 years to revert to that name.[5]

His patronymic Truedson, which he added in 1990, stems from a Scanian great-great-grandfather, Trued Abrehamsson,[7] whose lineage has been traced back to the 1640s when the area and the family were Danish, and whose descendants live in many parts of the US.[8]

Writing career[edit]

In 1996, after more than 30 years of research, Demitz published Throne of a Thousand Years,[9][10] an account of the rulers of Sweden that has been appreciated particularly for its English-language name forms for Swedish royalty and lack of nationalism.[11] The book has been acquired as a reference work by many libraries,[12] including the national libraries of 73 countries.[13] It has been out of print since 2001.

Demitz in 2009 while photographing royalty portrayed on the medieval altar at St. Canute's Cathedral in Denmark

Demitz's 500-volume historical library has been accepted in advance for posthumous donation to the Folke Bernadotte Memorial Library at Gustavus Adolphus College, making him a member, as of 2005, of the college's Gustavus Heritage Partnership,[14] named for King Gustav II Adolf of Sweden.

An STIM member since 1970, Demitz has scripted and directed Max von Sydow[15] for television in English and written special lyrics for major corporations. In 1996–1997 he wrote a regular half-page editorial column for Nya Ludvika Tidning[16] and has written many other press articles[17] and for information websites like Find A Grave.[18]

Demitz's published song lyrics[19] started with a record album for EMI in 1970 that had good reviews,[20] and a single for Odeon the following year, both of which included his Swedish version of Burt Bacharach's "Close to You".[21] Other adaptations include "Santa Baby", "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot" (both in Swedish), and an original company song in English for SAS Group called "Flying Time".[22]

He also has written as a human rights activist, and his complaints led to the censure of one of the Sweden's top judges in 1993, over erased trial tapes of testimony,[23] and in 1995 to a nationally publicized debate[24] over the use of young children to sell lottery tickets, commented on by a Cultural Minister in agreement.

In later years, Demitz has reviewed and rewritten English text for Swedish individuals and organizations, including Karolinska Institutet in 2005.[25] From 2013 to 2014 CabarEng published recordings featuring over 50 of his song lyrics (also in 2015 a list of them)[26] in Swedish, as well as special underground cabaret lyrics in English, mainly with Yaiya Sacasios and other young members of the group, and in a few cases more established personalities like Kjerstin Dellert,[27] Kim Anderzon,[28] Gunvor Pontén[29] and Christer Lindarw.[30] He has worked as a lyricist with composers such as Ian Whitcomb, John Groves,[31] Berndt Egerbladh and Harald Lindell, and has collaborated occasionally with Örjan Ramberg and other co-writers on the lyrics.

Cabaret and other career activities[edit]

Lars Jacob and his AlexCab cabaret ensemble at Alexandra's in Stockholm, September 1975
James Brown and disc jockey Lars Jacob in Tampa in 1972

Demitz debuted as a solo singer at the age of nine in one of his mother's programs on WTTW,[32] was active in music and drama in school and began mainstream stage performances in a short-lived Swedish musical in 1968.[33][34]

Demitz graduated (Studentexamen) from Mörby Läroverk, a junior college in Danderyd, Sweden, specializing in languages and the musical arts. Less than two years later, he moved to Florida, where he attracted interest as a model of free-spirited European youth.[35] In 1972 he was a featured guest on the talk shows of Herb Hunt[36] and George Michelle.[37]

As Lars Jacob, Demitz was a Stockholm and Gothenburg disc jockey[38][39] and dance leader in the early 1970s, and choreographed disco scenes in an avant-garde motion picture, More from the Language of Love.[40]

Returning to Sweden from Florida, he soon was Director of Entertainment for nightclub queen Alexandra Charles and in 1975–1976 put on shows for her in Stockholm[41] and in Gothenburg[42] that he had created earlier in Miami Beach. Fans of his cabarets included the members of ABBA and tennis champion Björn Borg,[43] who saw rambunctious new ground broken in domestic Swedish entertainment.[44] His position at Charles's famous club gave him the opportunity to have a long-lasting effect on some genres in Swedish entertainment.[45]

Lars Jacob’s spoof Wild Side Story had more than 500 performances in 1973–2004 in Florida, Sweden,[46] California[47] and Spain.[48]

Demitz hosted a formal celebrity dinner at Berns on the Mae West Centennial in 1993,[49] but his planned show extravaganza there a month later was cancelled because of new demands from the restaurant due to insufficient sales of the SEK 1,000 tickets.[50]

That same year and in 1995 he did some of his most appreciated performances as the "Preacher" in an outdoor musical event called Farmer's Wedding (by August Söderman) performed in his mother's native town of Ludvika[51] and at the Stockholm Water Festival[52] in the royal Kungsträdgården park.

FamSAC's Trued Family reunion led by Jacob Truedson Demitz in Blair, Nebraska on June 3, 2007

The F.U.S.I.A. cabaret school (1998–2005), which Demitz co-founded with Agnes Källström and where he was creative director, received a Skandia "Ideas for Life" grant in 2001 for a youth project called Läckerhetsvakten (a pun on 'security guard' for youthful health and attraction), awarded by Alice Bah, as of 2014 Swedish Minister of Culture and Democracy.[53]

He has also lived in Salzburg, Austria, where in 1968–1969 he studied voice with Grete Menzel,[54] has English and Swedish as primary languages and speaks fluent German, French and Spanish plus dialects and phrases of a number of other tongues.[35] Being multilingual, and his entertainment background, worked for Demitz in 1999–2000 at the 5-star Palm Oasis resort (belonging to Interval International) on Grand Canary, where he became a successful timeshare agent and defended ethical practices in that field. He was mentioned negatively in severe criticism of timeshare by the Swedish newspaper Expressen.[55]

Eurovision Song Contest winner (2015) Måns Zelmerlöw and Lars Jacob when the former was in a musical at Göta Lejon Theatre and the latter was directing cabarets next door at Blå Skåpet on Götgatan in Stockholm in 2010

Since 2005 he has been Chairman of the nonprofit foundation Southerly Clubs[56] and since 2006 Deputy Chairman of FamSAC,[57] an international society of some 5,000 relatives, among them Stanley M. Truhlsen, Mattias Klum, Erland Brand and Siri von Reis. Demitz has arranged and hosted international family reunions and commemorations in the Swedish capital and provinces of Sudermania, Scania[58] and Dalecarlia[59] as well as in New York City, New Jersey, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska and Wyoming.

For the CabarEng ensemble and its producer Emil Eikner,[60] from 2009 until his retirement in 2013, Lars Jacob directed Tuesday night cabarets such as CaCa Bleu[61] and ÄngelCab (2013)[62][63] in Stockholm. He went on tour in 2011 with the group doing A Tribute Westward and Cabaret Large A-Cup[64] at venues in Manhattan, Washington DC, Annapolis and Boston.[65] In retirement he is still consulted by cabaret groups and occasionally writes or lectures as a freelance inter-cultural communicator.

Lars Jacob's ensembles, recording projects and cabaret orchestras have included Logan Carter (stage debut 1972), Thomas Dellert Dellacroix (stage debut 1975), Anders Eljas (debut as band leader 1975), Steve Vigil (stage debut 1975), Christer Lindarw (stage debut 1976), Ulla Jones, Graham Tainton, Christina Schollin, Berndt Egerbladh, Camilla Henemark, Johanna Lind (TV debut 1993), Chesty Morgan (band), Max von Sydow, Jimmie Kersmo (stage debut 1998), Helena Mattsson, Mohombi Moupondo (stage debut 2002), Yaiya Sacasios, Kim Anderzon, Gunvor Pontén, Hans E. Wallman and Kjerstin Dellert. He lived with Vigil from 1974 to 1982.


Demitz with his front desk staff in Beverly Hills in 1982

Formally, Jacob Truedson Demitz wears The Beverly Hills Hotel's five-year gold pin, from work 1976–1984 as Front Desk Manager and Duty Manager there,[46] and a small decoration awarded in 1993 for various deeds in his Dalecarlian motherland by Sveriges hembygdsförbund (sv).[66] The latter is the Association of Swedish Homelands and has over 1,900 homeland societies from all parts of that country as member organizations.

With Dustin Hoffman on the set of Lenny in Fort Lauderdale in 1974


  1. ^ a b Swedish Tax Authority's Skatteverket public records
  2. ^ Expressen (Stockholm), July 19, 1953 p. 3
  3. ^ (18 December 1955) "Swedish Vase Will Be Placed in Boys Town" Chicago Sunday Tribune sect. 3 p. 7
  4. ^ Chicago Tribune, October 10, 1985, p. 4:14.
  5. ^ a b Sälgström, Karl-Gösta (May 23, 1989). Dala-Demokraten, p. 18.
  6. ^ Sveriges Ridderskaps och Adels Kalender 1936. Stockholm: Bonniers. p. 907.
  7. ^ Kristianstadsbladet, May 9, 1989, p. 11
  8. ^ "Descendants of Abrehamsson, Trued". FamSAC of Stockholm & Blair. Retrieved January 18, 2008.  Descent especially through his immigrant son Niels Truhlsen (1847–1921), daughter Anna Hansen (1851–1922) and grandson John Ridderstedt (1875–1952); note: residence is listed on each individual descendant's page; the site has no geographical tables yet.
  9. ^ (ISBN 91-630-5030-7): "Throne of a thousand years". Library of Congress. Retrieved December 18, 2008. 
  10. ^ Scandinavica. 36: 283. 1997.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  11. ^ Kyhle, Lars (May 29, 1997). Dala-Demokraten, p. 3. Swedish: "Det roligaste – för rolig är den – är nog kunga- och drottningnamnen i den engelska delen. Dessutom är det uppfriskande och för många nynationalister mycket nyttigt att se vår stolta historia genom främmande ögon." English: "What's the most fun – because fun it is – is probably the names of kings and queens in the English part. It is also refreshing and for many new nationalists very beneficial to see our proud history through foreign eyes."
  12. ^ "Throne of a Thousand Years, All About the 1996 Book". Ristesson Files. Retrieved 2008-12-18. 
  13. ^ See online catalogs of each library.
  14. ^ Gustavus Heritage Partnership Membership 2009 (catalogue) published by Gustavus Adolphus College p. 4; Commons:Image:Gustavus Partnership JTD.jpg
  15. ^ Rosencrantz-Bergdahl, Karin. (February 10, 1996). Nya Ludvika Tidning, p. 8. Swedish: "... Anders Zorn. Jacob regisserade den nya inspelningen med Max von Sydow." English: "... Anders Zorn. Jacob directed the new taping with Max von Sydow."
  16. ^ February 12, 1996 p 2, February 22, 1996 p 2, April 15, 1996 p 2, June 17, 1996 p 2, August 12, 1996 p 2, October 3, 1996 p 2, October 7, 1996 p 2, December 2, 1996 p 2, February 3, 1997 p 2, April 7, 1997 p 2, June 7, 1997 p 2, November 24, 1997 p 2, December 30, 2000 p 2 (Debatt)
  17. ^ Språktidningen, June 2008, p. 78.
  18. ^ Contributor page specifies almost 400 articles.
  19. ^ Aftonbladet August 17, 1969
  20. ^ Aftonbladet December 21, 1970 p 28
  21. ^ LP # E 062-34245 and single # A72-0154 at SLBA.se, both performed by Mia Adolphson (sv).
  22. ^ The 4 lyrics mentioned in the paragraph are registered with STIM as works # 550101, 1624022, 7677932 & 185670 verifiable through a free log-in procedure for members, a paid log-in for non-members or by emailing STIM
  23. ^ Decision published by The Swedish Parliamentary Ombudsman for Justice (JO) on December 7, 1993, and related media coverage based on a Tidningarnas Telegrambyrå article the next day
  24. ^ Expressen September 15, 1995, cover story
  25. ^ Ehrs, Per Olof (2005). (PDF). Stockholm, Sweden: Karolinska Institutet: 41. Retrieved 2008-12-18.  Missing or empty |title= (help); |contribution= ignored (help)
  26. ^ CabarEng Acknowledgements on YouTube
  27. ^ CabarEng Unnergrahn (June 9, 2016). "Min sång 2015". Retrieved June 19, 2016 – via YouTube. 
  28. ^ CabarEng Unnergrahn (September 12, 2014). "Galen i en grabb". Retrieved June 19, 2016 – via YouTube. 
  29. ^ CabarEng Unnergrahn (September 20, 2014). "Är man för ung?". Retrieved June 19, 2016 – via YouTube. 
  30. ^ CabarEng Unnergrahn (September 16, 2014). "Ögontjej". Retrieved June 19, 2016 – via YouTube. 
  31. ^ Polydor – 2379 173
  32. ^ TV Guide, June 6, 1959, p. A-38
  33. ^ Svenska Dagbladet March 25, 1968
  34. ^ Expressen April 5, 1968 p. 17
  35. ^ a b Perry Fulkerson (November 11, 1971) "Lars Jacob speaks [besides English as in the interview] Swedish, fluent French, German, Danish, Norwegian, Spanish and some Russian ... Besides having been a disc jockey in some of the major discothèques, Lars Jacob has been a free lance model, a dancer and an actor, not to mention a bit of work in song writing." St. Petersburg Evening Independent, The Scene (entertainment section), cover & p. 14D-15D; follow-up story Nov 24 "Lars Jacob Ridderstedt a Swedish disc jockey featured in The Scene two weeks ago, presented Richard Carpenter with a tape of some of Carpenter's music ... translations [Jacob] made for European records."
  36. ^ (Herbert R. Hunt a.k.a. Johnny Rebel), Open Mike November 1, 1971, WLCY Radio Tampa, now under WTSP and WWMI "We have a special program this evening. It's what is known as an inside program in the business. Radio people are going to enjoy it, anyway, and I'm sure all of you will as well. And my guest is Jacob Ridderstott [sic, name issue straightened out in following conversation] who was a disc jockey in Sweden.", audio tape on file
  37. ^ Today in Florida on WFLA-TV Channel 8 Tampa
  38. ^ Göteborgs-Tidningen April 6, 1970
  39. ^ VeckoRevyn (Stockholm), September 1, 1971 p 20 "discjockeyn Lars Jacob Ridderstedt, ledande man bland huvudstadens innefolk (disc jockey Lars Jacob Ridderstedt, leading man of the in crowd of the capital city)"
  40. ^ 7 minutes & 28 seconds into the film, which can be rented easily in Sweden (2008), there is a choreographed disco dance scene of just under 2 minutes' length featuring Lars Jacob and his group of 8 dancers from discothèque Mia in Stockholm; recent photos of him viewing this on a television screen are at Commons:File:Language Love Grp & LJ1adj.JPG & Commons:File:Language Love Grp & LJ2adj.JPG; the exact address of the film set and names of other participants are given here: Commons:File:Language Love Dance Grp.JPG
  41. ^ Re: Lisbeth Borger-Bendegard (September 14, 1975 p. 20) "Man borde vara två Alex[andra] och Lars Jacob ... cabaré specialdesignad för stället och dess publik av Lars Jacob. Lars Jacob har förflutet som disc jockey och eftersom endast det bästa är gott nog åt dagens unga män lät han sätta upp sin första show i Miami Beach (It is well to be two Alex[andra] and Lars Jacob... cabaret specially designed for the place and its audience by Lars Jacob. Lars Jacob has a past as a disc jockey and since only the best is good enough for the young men of today he produced his first show in Miami Beach)" Svenska Dagbladet's section I vimlet
  42. ^ Pseud. Lasse (November 21, 1975) "Jubelshow!... härlig krogshow... många genomarbetade och proffsiga nummer... nummer var burleska på gränsen till det dekandenta, men alltid roliga... skickliga imitationer... efter den här cabareten ska Lars Jacob sätta upp en parodi på West side story (Show of cheers!... wonderful nightclub show... many professional numbers well worked through... the numbers were burlesque verging on decadent, but always fun... skillful imitations... after this cabaret Lars Jacob is going to put on a parody of West Side Story)" Göteborgs-Tidningen (Gothenburg) p 16
  43. ^ Alexandra on the Rocks by Alexandra Charles (Stockholm 1986), ISBN 91-7684-105-7 p 60-61 re: Lars Jacob & his shows; p 66-67 re: Agnetha Fältskog & Björn Ulvaeus as regulars; p 95 & 101 re: Anni-Frid Lyngstad & Benny Andersson as regulars; p 114 re: Andersson & Ulvaeus as regulars; p 112-113 re: Björn Borg as regular; p 18 & 45 re: King of Sweden as regular.
  44. ^ Kalle Westerling (Normal, Stockholm, 2006) La Dolce Vita ISBN 978-91-85505-15-9 (the ISBN printed in the book—978-91-855805-15-9—is invalid) extensive coverage of decadent new show types by Lars Jacob p 20-22, pictures p 80b
  45. ^ Christer Lindarw and Christina Kellberg in This Is My Life ISBN 978-91-7424-533-2 pp. 75-76, 122 & 264
  46. ^ a b Eva Norlén (July 21, 1997) "Åtta handplockade artister lovar en helvild kväll" Aftonbladet p 37 [from article:] "Lars Jacob huserade på legendariska Alexandra på 70-talet med storslagna shower. Han började 1973 i Miami Beach och jobbade med kubanska flyktingar, satte upp shower här 1976, fortsatte sedan i Los Angeles tills han började sitt jobb med chefsposition på Beverly Hills Hotel (Lars Jacob was housed with his grand scale shows at legendary Alexandra in the 70's. He began in 1973 in Miami Beach and worked with Cuban refugees, put shows on here in 1976, then continued in Los Angeles until he began working in an executive position at The Beverly Hills Hotel)"
  47. ^ Michael Kearns (November 30, 1979) "When told 'this is going to be the most unusual thing you've ever seen,' I wanted to respond 'You don't know what I've seen!' However after seventy-five outlandish minutes of Wild Side Story, I concede. ... this new wave production is attracting a cult following including celebrities too numerous to mention." San Diego Update (California), L.A. Life section p 13
  48. ^ Island Connections (Los Cristianos), April 7, 2000 p 2 "Lars [Jacob's] background is show business and hotels. With a theatrical career spanning nearly three decades and connections with stars like Londoner Danny La Rue and actor Max von Sydow."
  49. ^ Betty Skawonius (August 18, 1993). "Mae West långt före sin tid. Sexsymbolens hundraårsjubileum firas på Berns". Dagens Nyheter. Stockholm. p. B03.  [from article:] "Mannen som vill fira Mae West med en artistdag på Berns för tusen kronor kuvertet heter Lars Jacob. (The name of the man who wants to celebrate Mae West with a day of performers at Berns for a thousand SEK per seat is Lars Jacob)"
  50. ^ "Mae West för dyr för stockholmare (Mae West too Expensive for Stockholmers)". Dagens Nyheter. Stockholm. September 14, 1993. p. B04.  [from article:] "Enligt Jacob ställde Berns i förra veckan ett krav på 50 000 kronor i förskott från ensemblen. Eftersom det var omöjligt att få fram denna summa fick föreställning ställas in (According to Jacob, Berns last week demanded SEK 50 000 in advance from the ensemble. Since it was not possible to raise that sum the show had to be cancelled)."
  51. ^ Dala-Demokraten August 3, 1993 p 17
  52. ^ Nya Ludvika Tidning June 15, 1995 p 8 "...prästen spelad av Lars Jacob med en övertygelse som gör att man verkligen ifrågasätter om han egentligen inte är präst i det civila (... the preacher played by Lars Jacob with such conviction that it makes one wonder if he isn't really a preacher in civilian life)."
  53. ^ Diploma at Commons:File:FUSIA Skandia Grant 2.JPG and photo from ceremony at Commons:File:FUSIA Skandia Grant.jpg
  54. ^ Photo at: Commons:Image:Grethe Menzel et al.jpg
  55. ^ Expressen "Stanken från timeshare... (The stink from timeshare...)" February 6, 2000 p 8 article & interviews by Lasse Olsson
  56. ^ "Southerly Clubs on Facebook". Facebook.com. January 20, 2013. Retrieved 2014-04-14. 
  57. ^ FamSAC website re: organization & position
  58. ^ Norra Skåne (Hässleholm), May 8, 1989 p front & 5
  59. ^ Borlänge Tidning August 11, 1993 p 9
  60. ^ CabarEng on Facebook
  61. ^ Stockholm City 2010-03-22 p. 2
  62. ^ Metro Stockholm 2013-02-08 p 18
  63. ^ Aftonbladet/Nöjesbladet 2013-02-08 p 25
  64. ^ "Metropolitan Room online listing". Metropolitanroom.com. October 2, 2011. Retrieved 2014-04-14. 
  65. ^ Online article about Yaiya Sacasios in NSD 2011-10-03
  66. ^ Commons:Image:Sv Hembygdsförb Demitz.jpg "...for extraordinarily good work with visitor service, writing & translation, family and photo research, office and locale planning, documentation, interior design and artistic decor" at Ludvika Old Homestead and Museum Park