Guitarist Ronni Le Tekrø of Norwegian/British hard rockers has released the following statement regarding the passing of the band's keyboardist, Dag Stokke:
"My world fell apart some days ago, but luckily I got to see you and speak with you just before we lost you. I'm so grateful that we could have that last goodbye and that I could touch you and kiss you.
"You mystical, strange, warmhearted and beautiful soul.
"The first time I met you, you were four years old (I was seven) and you were visiting my school with your mother that was my music teacher.
"My childhood was filled with your presence. We had the same humor. We attended the same schools, we had common friends all over. We were scouts together and I gave you your first lessons in guitar playing, but it was a grand keyboard player you would become.
"You were 19 when we asked you to join TNT and we spent countless hours together on the road. We saw the world together, Dag, and we experienced things that most people never will.
"In 1990 we started Studio Studio together, and worked hard on building the studio complex while producing albums at the same time. You had such a stamina and moral work-wise, and I will always respect you for that.
"Spiritually, we experienced some of the most musical, magic, supernatural moments together. We'll keep them secret and in our hearts.
"I can assure you that this planet won't ever be the same for me again after your physical departure, but I am convinced that you're waiting for me and our friends in room 302 in heaven. Like you said, 'It's a relatively short distance to the reception.' That was typical of our way of communicating. But we agreed on room 302 many, many years ago, and we were dead serious about it.
"Thank you for being a part of all my projects: Studio Studio Nyhagen, TNT, VAGABOND, RYPDAL & TEKRØ-BAND, MAGIC LANTERNA. And thank you for every mile and minute we spent together. I don't regret a second of it.
"I miss your smile and laughter and your great musicality.
"I love you forever, Dag."
Dag Stokke, who has played keyboards for TNT since 1987, lost his battle with cancer early on Wednesday, April 27. He was only 44 years old.
TNT drummer Morten "Diesel" Dahl told VG Nett about his bandmate, "He was simply a wonderful human being — very positive and [full of] life."
Former TNT singer Tony Harnell wrote on his blog, "I can't believe I am writing these words. Sadly, this morning I have to say goodbye to Dag Stokke, my longtime friend and keyboardist for TNT, who has left us today way too young. He fought a hard battle with dignity, courage and optimism. I will always see him in my mind, smiling at me from across the stage. A gentle giant, a huge spirit, truly an angel on this earth. I loved him very much, as did so many that he touched in his brief time here. My thoughts are with his son Jonathan and his family and friends. Have a good journey, my friend. I will miss you dearly."
Stokke's last performance with TNT took place in early March at the House Of Metal festival in Umeå, Sweden. He also played with the band at Rockefeller in Oslo, Norway in January around the time when he was first diagnosed with cancer.
"It is a terrible disease," Dahl told VG Nett. "We had all hoped and believed that he would be able to beat the cancer. Everything happened so incredibly fast. It is simply brutal. We are completely devastated."
Dag Stokke first started working with TNT in 1987 during the band's "Tell No Tales" tour.
"We toured the world together," said Dahl. "He was a unique musician and human being"
Stokke owned an online mastering service called OnlineMastering. He played on every TNT album from "Realized Fantasies" (1992) to "A Farewell to Arms" (2010). However, he was never a permanent TNT member.
"I'm cool with my position in TNT," he said in a 2010 interview, "Some people ask me why I'm not in the pictures and why I'm not spotlighted [like the other musicians in TNT]. That's just the way it is, and I'm completely OK with that. I got to experience the rock star lifestyle so much in 1987 and especially in 1989 and a little bit into 1992, so that dream has been fulfilled. If I'm not [featured in any of the photos], that's totally cool, because I know I've been part of all this."