Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Story, June 1981: Will Agnetha’s love problem mean the end of ABBA?

Gossip article about ABBA’s marital problems from Dutch magazine Story.
Only with the utmost effort, Agnetha is able to bring a smile to her face. The blonde singer of the successful Swedish group ABBA is dealing with a big love problem. She’s wondering if she is still able to pay the high price that she has to pay for her success.

And they lived happily ever after... Most fairytales end with these words. Unfortunately, for the members of ABBA, it doesn’t look like their group, that started out as a fairytale as well, will live happily ever after. There’s a lot of turmoil within the so successful Swedish group. Therefore, it’s getting harder and harder for manager Stig Anderson to keep the quartet, that’s worshipped all over the world, together. The personal problems of Agnetha, Benny, Björn and Anni-Frid are heating up to the extent that they are a serious threat to the unity of the group.
After Agnetha and Björn’s divorce, everything seemed to be serene. “Our personal problems have nothing to do with our work,” is what Björn claimed at the time. “ABBA goes on. However, Agnetha and I have come to terms with the fact that it’s impossible to be together twenty-four hours a day. It just doesn’t work out. That’s why we decided to put an end to our marriage.”

Agnetha’s reaction was clearly more sensitive: “Björn is a slave to his job. I’ve tried everything to save our marriage. At the advice of our family doctor, I even went to see a psychologist, together with Björn. He came along once and after that single visit, he said: “I don’t have time for this nonsense.” After that, I went to the consultations alone.”
Psychologist Hakan Lönngvist convinced the blonde singer of the fact that it would be better for her to end her marriage. Shortly after the divorce, it turned out that the psychologist had started an intense relationship with Agnetha, but a long lasting love didn’t evolve from that.
It’s clear to see that blonde Agnetha doesn’t feel very happy. The recent emotional tensions have had a physical effect on her as well. She’s complaining about headaches, pains in her chest and stomach. Only with the utmost effort, she is able to bring a smile to her face.
Agnetha is suffering from her love problem. She says: “For us, it’s practically impossible to start a new life. What do you have to offer to someone else? Being away from home for months on end! You simply can’t build a relationship when you spend most of your time on rehearsals, television performances and tours abroad. Anni-Frid and the boys don’t think it’s that bad, although they are dealing with these problems as well. They see it as a price for our success. But I’m starting to doubt more and more whether this high price is all worth it...”
Although Agnetha claims that Anni-Frid is dealing with her problems more light-heartedly, it turns out that the dark-haired singer’s life is not a bed of roses either. Two years after Agnetha and Björn’s divorce, Anni-Frid and Benny announced that they couldn’t cope living together any longer either. Anni-Frid, who had already experienced a failed marriage before she met Benny and now has to deal with the problems surrounding a divorce a second time, is still not able to conceal her sadness.
“I don’t want to talk about my first marriage ever again,” she says. “It was downright awful. It wasn’t until I met Benny that I experienced true love. He was so understanding. And that’s exactly what I needed at the time. I had a very difficult time after my first divorce, because my children had been taken away from me as well. My first husband was given custody of them, because they assumed that I wouldn’t be able to give them enough attention due to my busy schedule as a singer. This caused me a whole lot of grief. I found comfort with Benny.”
Still, it turned out that Benny and Anni-Frid weren’t able to spend day and night together either. Problems started to arise on a business level, and they turned into personal dissatisfaction. Anni-Frid: “Added to that, Benny started an affair with a 37-year-old TV-presenter. That was the last straw for me. Our marriage could not be saved anymore. In all fairness, we ended our relationship, but we agreed on one thing: we will continue working with ABBA! With Björn and Agnetha, we had already seen that it is possible to be divorced and still work together.”

“The music keeps us together,” Benny says. “Music is communication. You create an effect on other people.” Björn, with whom he composed all of ABBA’s hit-successes, completely agrees with his colleague. The two ABBA-men are truly possessed by their work. Preferably, they withdraw on their small island, where they can work on new songs in peace and quiet. Most of the time, they don’t even notice what’s going on around them.
However, slowly but surely, tensions are starting to arise for the ABBA-men as well, that are a threat to the unity within the Swedish group. After the break down of their marriages, new love problems are starting to appear.
“Obviously,” according to Agnetha. “You can’t lead a personal life when you’re travelling around the globe for the most part of the year. Is that nice for the one you’d like to spend your life with? No, of course not. That way, a relationship is bound to fail. I don’t believe in fairytales any longer...”


George said...

One thing I never understood in all those complaints is "a lot of travelling". In reality, ABBA didn't travel much, neither for promotion nor for concerts. And after 1979 tour they hardly travelled at all.
Have they ever checked what other performers of their popularity level did?
Very odd complaints!

Iris said...

I think , Agnetha is right . Aside from the 2 big world concerts tours , respectively in 1977/79 , they were constantly on the road for promotional trips . In the 10 years period of their active time as a group ,they did an awful lot of traveling, and ultimately only the 4 members of Abba know what it needed to survive such a stress .



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