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Swedish guitarist Yngwie Malmsteen to shred The Kate Friday

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I once applied for a job with Swedish shred-guitar warlock Yngwie Malmsteen — and, by the way, that's Swedish for "Hector Tarver."

Of course it's not!

It's Swedish for, ah, Yngwie, which is pronounced "Ing-vay," and Malmsteen is like it's spelled. 

Anyway, what happened is that Malmsteen wanted a collaborator on his autobiography, and my then-literary agent Dave set it up where I'd call Yngwie and he'd interview me to see if he liked me. Malmsteen is known as a bit prickly and rather cocky — sort of like a professional wrestling bad guy if the professional wrestling bad guy was also able to play Paganini-quick guitar licks in a variety of scales that defy mathematics.

But I got on a conference call with the Great Man and his manager and, truth told, we had a pretty good conversation. I actually made them laugh a few times and, a few days later, Dave called. The gig was mine if I wanted it.

The only problem? Yngwie wanted to pay "struntsamma," which is Swedish for "not enough krona to pay for a trip to the smorgasbord," so it didn't work out.

Malmsteen wrote the memoir himself a few years back and I've yet to read it, but I still listen to his music now and again. If you've never heard it, think of what Whitesnake would sound like if Bach was in the band and beat up David Coverdale several times a week just because he could. Malmsteen recently released "Blue Lightning," the latest of a few dozen sizzling hard rock/classic-metal albums with titles like "World on Fire," "Perpetual Flame," "Unleash the Fury," "Attack!," "Facing the Animal" and "In Retrospect, I Wish I'd Hired That Koster Guy to Help with My Book."

Here's something fantastic: Malmsteen brings his band to the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center for a show Friday — and I don't remember something like THAT ever happening. I'm predicting quaint and New England-y Old Saybrook will flippin' just explode. "World on Fire," indeed.

Yngwie Malmsteen with Sunlord and Paralandra, 8 p.m. Friday, Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center, 300 Main St., Old Saybrook; $60-$74; (860) 510-0453.



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