Sunday, 28 June 2009

Privé, January 1979: “We keep our feet on the ground”

An article from Dutch gossip magazine Privé about ABBA’s finances, meanwhile also informing us that ABBA wanted to stop touring for the sake of the children. As it turned out, they went on tour again that same year.
Only on hearing the name ABBA the cash registers start jingling. You can’t listen to a single chart without hearing a song by the Swedish supergroup in there. The members are all multi-millionaires and Benny, Björn, Agnetha and Anni-Frid don’t have to perform any longer. Just making records will bring in so much money that they could lead a very comfortable life. And for the time being there seems to be no end to their success. “But,” brunette Anni-Frid says, “we keep our feet on the ground. Our family is the most important thing for us.”

It happened at the Eurovision Song Contest in Brighton in 1974. With the winning song ‘Waterloo’, ABBA’s name was on everybody’s lips. Since then, things went uphill and today, ABBA is the most successful popgroup in the world.
It’s hard to keep count of the amount of gold records that the group has received in every possible country, even in Japan. The members are all multi-millionaires. Agnetha, Björn, Benny and Anni-Frid, together with their manager Stig Anderson, have ‘arrived’! They are on top. And on top it’s ‘Money, Money, Money’!
ABBA has become big business. The millions are pouring into the ABBA-home in Stockholm with increasing rapidity. About once a week, big companies are making inquiries whether ABBA is for sale. The manager of the group, Stig Anderson, has announced that only serious offers of about 60 million a head are interesting. Only then will he start thinking about starting negotiations. That says a lot about ABBA’s current market value. In 1977, the turnover was more than 50 million Swedish crowns. Stig Anderson says that ABBA will continue as long as the members feel like it. When it comes to performances, the entire year of 1978 was fully booked for ABBA in advance.
What is ABBA doing with all that money? They say they are investing it in solid projects. That’s what they’ve learned from their manager. Currently, ABBA-manager Stig Anderson is the owner of two apartment buildings in Stockholm, that he bought for one million Swedish crowns. He has also bought the luxurious apartment where he resides. Price unknown. His company Sweden Music owns a house that was bought for almost two and a half million Swedish crowns and that was reconstructed for about two million; the ABBA-home where ABBA’s headquarter in Stockholm resides.
Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson, the two men who write the music, are actually the basis of ABBA.
Björn says: “There are moments when we can hardly believe that all this has happened to us.” The most surprising thing about ABBA is that they have remained nice and friendly people, despite their success. Frida – the brunette – says: “Whatever happens, we keep our feet firmly on the ground. We are not completely new to this business and a bit of success doesn’t startle us.”
“We’re very normal people,” Benny says, and Björn adds: “Every now and then we think about how we eventually could escape all this attention, how we could return to normal life, whenever ABBA will stop existing one day.”

Is it true that ABBA doesn’t want to tour again and that they want to concentrate completely on making records?
After the Beatles, once the most popular and successful popgroup in the world, the four from Stockholm now want to realize the same thing as their famous predecessors did years ago?
Björn says that in the world of show business actually nothing is definitely over. But it’s true that they will stop touring. “We’ve neglected our family long enough now.”
For Anni-Frid and Benny, the aspect of the children probably wasn’t that crucial. They both have a daughter and a son, from a previous relationship. Those four children are between 11 and 15 years old, an age at which they become a bit more independent and acquire some understanding. But for Björn and Agnetha it’s a different matter. Apart from their five-year-old daughter Linda, they now have to care for their little son Christian, who is now eleven months old. “It’s irresponsible to leave the boy alone so often,” Björn says. “But no worries, we will keep on producing records.” So the tours are definitely over? Björn doesn’t want to confirm this: “Children grow up. We shall see...”

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Super leuke site heb je toch! Dit artikel herinner ik me nog goed.. Ik vond die koppies in het logo to zo gaaf! Bedankt!