Monday, 24 May 2010

Joepie, November 1980: ABBA is preparing a new hit assault!

ABBA fans never knew how incredibly close to a split the quartet came when they had reached the peak of their success. It wasn’t until now that it was revealed how a last minute decision kept ABBA together. For the first time, Joepie reveals what happened behind the scenes.

The marriage between blonde Agnetha and Björn found itself on quicksand three years ago. Their private differences immediately endangered the continued existence of the quartet, that has been on top in show business since ‘Waterloo’ in 1974. Benny was extremely worried when he found out that Björn and Agnetha weren’t getting along anymore. Right away, he saw ABBA’s professional future in danger and he lost several nights of sleep over it. Benny took the bull by the horns and paid a visit to Agnetha and Björn. “I won’t beat around the bush,” he told them, “but I would rather see the end of ABBA than the end of your marriage.”
Agnetha and Björn were stupefied. They didn’t know what to think. For days, they talked about their difficulties. And then they decided that ABBA had to keep existing, regardless of their break up as a married couple.

Agnetha says: “Björn and I thought that we couldn’t go on as a married couple any longer. It was a joint decision. We both didn’t take the first step. The end of a marriage doesn’t have to mean the end of a group as well. For that matter, Björn is still a good friend. You can’t spend eight years together, have two children together, without still having some feelings for each other. The only thing that I can say is that our music had absolutely nothing to do with our marital problems.”

Nowadays, Agnetha and Björn only meet each other when they are working on new recordings in the studio or when they go on tour. “Agnetha and I have both bought a house,” Björn says, “it’s hardly a five minute walk from each other. We primarily did this for the sake of the children. We think it’s essential that the children are able to see a lot of both of their parents when they grow up. It would be hopeless for the children if we would live hundreds of miles away from each other.”

Björn’s new girlfriend is the thirty-one-year-old Lena Källersjö, a divorced woman, who looks a lot like Agnetha. “They give the impression that they are very happy,” Agnetha says, “and I think that’s alright.” It’s obvious that the gossip press is lurking around. They are hot on the heels of Agnetha’s whereabouts. “Everyone wants to link me to a new man,” she smiles, “if only for the exclusive pictures in the newspapers. And that’s not much fun. There really isn’t a new man in my life.”
Frida, the cool member of the quartet, makes a joke about it: “I will find you a husband, honey!”
“I used to get a lot of letters from young girls,” Agnetha says, “but lately I get piles of marriage proposals from men. Sometimes these letters are quite touching...”

At the moment, Björn and Benny are putting the finishing touch to a new ABBA album, the seventh in a row. This is happening in their own recording studio in Stockholm, a former cinema, that they had rebuilt for 70 million Belgian Francs (4,6 million Dutch Guilders). “We know that this is the best recording studio in the world,” Benny grins from behind an impressive mixing console, “we have the perfect equipment at our disposal.”
Their new album is called ‘Super Trouper’. For that matter, it’s the nickname that insiders have attributed to the central spotlight in a theatre.
The title track will probably be released as a single. In December and January, a new ABBA invasion is expected on the international charts. Some pedantic music critics have described ABBA’s music as ‘sugary and tedious’. “That doesn’t bother us anymore,” Benny says, “especially since millions of people all over the world keep on buying our music. We serve our customer, the only one who decides what’s good or bad. I think it’s less fun to hear, after having spent a whole year working very hard on a new album, that you didn’t make an effort. But we even learned to live with remarks like these.”

“Our wildest dreams have become reality,” Benny continues, “we have nothing left to prove. We have more than enough money to spend the rest of our lives in retirement. But you have to have a goal in life. Otherwise you’ll wither away. For a while, we thought about leaving Sweden because the tax burden became too high. But despite everything, we will stay in Sweden. Sweden is a beautiful country and we have to think about our future as well. We’ve found a solution to the problem. We avoid taxes by investing all the money that we make.”
And this doesn’t always work out for the better. Recently, they invested millions in crude oil. But then the prices suddenly dropped and ABBA took the blow. With a coolness like Dallas’ J.R., Björn plays down their bad luck: “It’s not a big deal. We will manage all right without this oil disaster.”

3 comments:

Danny said...

thank you. your blog is amazing. the best abba blog ever.

Michel said...

Thanks Danny for commenting.

katrina said...

go Agnetha