Sunday, 1 August 2010

Rocky Das Freizeit-Magazin, October 1979: ABBA up close – On stage... and completely private

Even on the black market it’s out of the question: ABBA’s five concerts in Germany are completely sold out. “The tickets were sold out within two days, even two months before the show,” according to the organizers. “If we had to fulfil all the ticket applications, ABBA would have to perform a concert in Germany every night for three months – the demand is that high.”
At the moment, Björn, Benny, Agnetha and Anni-Frid’s super show is blowing away the German fans, who had to wait so long for this event. Not one movement, not one sound, not one joke – nothing has been left to chance. Even the harshest music critics will have to agree that ABBA has put together the most perfect, even the best show of the entire year. To reach this result, an enormous amount of dedication is needed, that only few other groups can achieve and that takes up almost two-thirds of their recompense. However, manager Stig Anderson – the grey eminence behind ABBA – isn’t bothered by that. “What’s most important is that the costs have been secured,” he says, “apart from that, the record sales will benefit from this world tour. We will get everything back through the backdoor.”
Fifty people are travelling along with ABBA: musicians, backing singers, sound engineers, stage workers, even a hairdresser and a lady for the costumes are present. And the reporters from Rocky Das Freizeit-Magazin. ABBA only has one bodyguard, the Swede Bo Nörling, a blonde hero who is claimed to be as strong as five other bodyguards together.

For this tour, ABBA rented the best and most expensive amplifying equipment from a company in the United States – 10.000 dollars per night. Agnetha, Anni-Frid, Björn and Benny only manage to cope with their extensive tour (41 concerts have been planned all over the world, with a possible prolongation to Japan) because they are completely closed off from all the commotion in their spare time. Only their closest friends, their children, their management and our reporters are allowed to get close to them.
In America, ABBA were able to catch their breath in between the shows at the swimming pools of their hotels. Benny spent his time with Stig Anderson, playing a game of chess. Meanwhile, the girls were getting tanned in the sun. Björn preferred cool, alcohol free drinks and hamburgers – apparently his favourite food during the US trip.
He caused the biggest surprise behind the scenes: his new girlfriend Lena Källersjö was present as well. She and Agnetha, Björn’s ex-wife, get along great. “That’s why I brought Lena along,” Björn explains, “if they hadn’t accepted each other mutually, my girlfriend would have stayed at home, to prevent tensions from arising.”
At a press conference, Agnetha caused a sensation. She stated: “Next year, I want to spend more time taking care of Linda, who will start school then. Especially in the first few months, she will need me!” The next morning, the US newspapers appeared with the ominous headline: “Will ABBA fall apart?”
Rocky Das Freizeit-Magazin learned from Björn: “That’s nonsense. We will go on, but we will take things a little easier. Because in the past few years, our private life has always come second.”
ABBA travels from concert to concert in their own Lear jet, a comfortable jet airplane with a telephone, a colour TV, stereo equipment and a big house bar on board. Björn: “If we wouldn’t be able to afford this kind of luxury, we would be exhausted after only one week. Because the shows are extremely fatiguing.”
ABBA will be in Germany for three more days. Anyone who has a ticket can be very pleased. Because who knows when we will see them again.


Monica said...

Some great rare pictures that I have not seen before. Thanks for translating the articles.

Karin said...

I thought I have seen all ABBA pictures, but this article has some great rare pictures, which I have really have never seen before, absolutely great!
Thanks Michel for again a marvellous article.

Michel said...

Thanks for commenting!

Unknown said...

i love these pic go anni relaxing with a cigarette

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