Sunday, 7 September 2008

Story, December 1982: Agnetha and Frida: "Because of ABBA our marriages failed"

Is ten years of ABBA something to celebrate? Björn, Frida, Agnetha and Benny have their doubts about that. They not only look back on big successes, enormous fame and financial prosperity... ABBA destroyed their private lives as well. The foursome, once made up of two close couples, has memories of sorrow and loneliness as well.
ABBA has been together for ten years! So it seems, reason enough for the members of the group to have a celebration. But whether Agnetha, Frida, Björn and Benny will actually do this? In an exclusive interview with Story, Agnetha and Frida reveal how ABBA destroyed their private lives...
It’s amazing how things can change in ten years time! In 1972, Agnetha Fältskog, Frida Lyngstad, Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson recorded their first song. And none of the four dared to dream that they’d be famous all over the world a few years later, as the group ABBA. That first record, called ‘People Need Love’, applied to the foursome very much. At the time, Björn was madly in love with Agnetha. And Benny couldn’t keep his eyes off of Frida. And their dream was for the four of them to be happy and famous. And that dream came true. Because in 1974 the young group ABBA won the Eurovision Song Contest with the song ‘Waterloo’. And from that moment on they scored hit after hit. In the meantime, Björn and Agnetha had gotten married and Frida and Benny had tied the knot as well. “The four of us are so extremely happy in our work as well as in our private lives, it’s sometimes scary,” is what Agnetha once told a journalist. Their happiness seemed to last. Björn and Agnetha had two children together, Linda and Christian. And Benny and Annifrid made a happy family with Hans and Liselotte, the children from Frida’s first marriage.
And then it suddenly went wrong! Enormous problems started to arise for Agnetha and Björn. “Björn was absorbed completely by the music, he hardly paid attention to me anymore,” Agnetha says now, three years after the divorce. “Characterwise, I’m a very homely type of person and I can’t imagine anything more wonderful than sitting on the couch with my husband, watching a good movie on television. When we were just married, Björn felt the same way. But while ABBA was doing better and better, our relationship was getting worse. Towards the end, we only saw each other in the recording studios. I got more and more depressed and eventually I saw a psychiatrist almost every day. Together with him I came to the conclusion that I had to end my marriage to Björn as soon as possible, before I would become a mental wreck. Björn wasn’t surprised at all when I told him I wanted a divorce. He had seen it coming, but he didn’t know how to save our marriage. For Björn, his job will always come first.”
And as if there hadn’t been enough tears shed, a while after that, Frida and Benny’s marriage ended as well. “We’d had some problems for a while,” Frida explains honestly. “But in the beginning we wouldn’t face them. We just ignored them. You can keep that up for some time, but eventually you really have to do something about it. As time went by, Benny and I had made a life of our own and eventually we only came home to sleep. Some time after that, I discovered that Benny had an affair with the 37-year-old TV-presenter Mona Nörklit and from that time onwards he didn’t come home at all anymore. Well, why stay married then? Isn’t it much better for the both of you to start all over again? Since that time, I feel it’s a relief to be alone again. My two children are living independently. Hans is 19 years old and he has made music his profession as well. And Liselotte, aged 15, is attending highschool in America. I finally have time for myself. I love it! I travel a lot and, as you know, I recorded a solo album. What more could you want!?“
Björn and Benny claim to be very happy in their private lives as well. They have both remarried and become fathers again recently. A proud Benny is walking through the ABBA offices with the nine-months-old Ludwig, but when our photographer wants to take a picture, he says sternly: “No pictures, please. I want to keep my private life out of the media as much as possible.”
But Agnetha wants to share something about her children. “I’ve promised myself to spend all my spare time on Linda and Christian from now on,” she says decisively. “In the past, I’ve had to leave their upbringing to the nanny too much. That won’t happen anymore. They need their mother. I don’t want to do any tours anymore either, that will take me away from home for too long. I would have the feeling that I’m failing them and I definitely don’t want that. I took Linda with me to America once, but we both didn’t enjoy it. When I’m at home with Linda and Christian, I’m perfectly happy, so I want to keep it that way.”
So it seems that the fairy tale of ABBA will have a happy ending after all.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Christian don't look like Bjorn.....in fact I think is looking more than Benny!