Sunday, 27 December 2009

Pop Foto, November 1979: ABBA is tired of all the gossip!

ABBA’s ambitious world tour has just kicked off with a dazzling concert in Vancouver, Canada. However, before the group packed their suitcases, Pop Foto paid a quick visit to the extensive rehearsals that preceded the trip. Enticed by ominous rumours...

Still, there are these vicious rumours about the impending end of ABBA. Despite strong denials by ABBA’s manager Stig Anderson, the rumours are still going round that this tour will be the last one and that the quartet will go their separate ways after that.
And since Benny, Björn, Agnetha and Anni-Frid were working so intensely and very hard during the rehearsals, that there was barely any time for a chat (just for the accompanying pictures), Stig Anderson took us to his office at the ABBA headquarter under the cloak of: “I’m getting so tired of all this nonsense. I think I’m going to put an end to all these delusions once and for all, by telling more about ABBA’s future plans than I’d actually like to. Then you’ll be able to hear for yourselves that ABBA is not over with at all!”

And that’s why we all sat down and listened to what he had to say. “First, shall I tell you about my big dream?” Stig mumbled. He leaned over and slowly said: “ABBA on the Red Square in Moscow.” He plumped down in his chair and cheered: “Well, wouldn’t that be wonderful?” Stikkan smiled contentedly, he already saw it happening before his eyes. “I think the Red Square has room for at least one million people. Splendid, and that concert could be broadcast on television all over the world directly via satellite.” All of this should take place during the Olympic Games next year. “They would love to see us in Russia. We’ve already had several offers from that country. And apart from that, an American television company has announced that they would be willing to take care of the broadcast and pay for the costs. So the plan isn’t as crazy as it sounds!”
But there are even more plans bubbling in Stig’s mind. Like a tour through South America. “‘Chiquitita’ was recorded in Spanish. The result: the number one spot in the charts in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Mexico and Venezuela. It would be a good idea to perform in these countries. Even today,” Stig says carelessly, “I got a question from Montevideo to let ABBA perform there in a huge stadium.” Talk about football stadiums. Stig Anderson is playing with the idea to do a summer tour in Europe and perform at the biggest stadiums: Wembley in London, the Olympic Stadium in Munich and, who knows, maybe even the Feyenoord Stadium in Rotterdam.
“In short, we have more than enough plans,” according to Stig. “Really, as long as we are still having fun, we will continue!”
Before leaving Stockholm, we quickly took a peak at the rehearsals, where Björn and Benny were fine-tuning some arrangements together with the band leader, where Agnetha, sweaty and exhausted, was sitting in a corner and where Anni-Frid was going through her dance routine for the umpteenth time. Oh well, ABBA doesn’t now when to stop.

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