1980 didn’t end very joyful for ABBA: the threat by an up till now unknown faction to kidnap Agnetha and Björn’s little daughter Linda has put a severe pressure on the Swedish quartet. Strict police protection, house arrest, problems. What should ABBA do now? Although there haven’t been any new threatening letters, the Stockholm police is taking this case very seriously and the threat remains weighing heavy on the four – five, counting Linda – shoulders.
All trips have been cancelled for the time being, and this at a time when a couple of very important trips had been planned. Because it is namely inevitable that – even as one of the most popular pop groups in the world – after having just released a new album you can’t sit back in a lazy chair and wait around how it’s going to sell.
No, promotion has to be done: interviews, radio and television performances, it all comes with the business, if you want to remain the centre of attention. Where the performances in Germany and England had already been cancelled and the scheduled television broadcasts had to be set up via a satellite link with Stockholm, it remains to be seen whether they will be able to go ahead with the other promotional trips.
And this is damaging ABBA’s career: it’s something completely different to see a group actually perform live, rather than on a television screen from Stockholm or – in the worst case scenario – not at all. ABBA’s Swedish record company told us that they are more or less desperate. The insecurity about the group’s safety is ruling all decisions at the moment.
Another problem: due to all the difficulties surrounding the group, the intended distribution of ABBA shares on the Stockholm stock market has become uncertain as well. The insecurity about the future doesn’t make future investors very keen on spending money.
We hope it will all be resolved in the near future. At the moment, the turn of the year is a period of worries and questions for ABBA. It’s our wish – and most probably your wish as well – that 1981 will turn out to be more peaceful for ABBA.
The problems surrounding ABBA seem to be serious: in an interview with an Irish newspaper, Björn Ulvaeus stated: “If they keep on pursuing and threatening us in Sweden, chances are that we will be moving to Ireland.”
Björn and Benny have already spent several holidays in Ireland and it suited them splendidly. Certain spokespersons in that country are even claiming that the foundation has already been bought, whereupon the ABBA houses are planned to be constructed.