Once again, the most successful pop group in the world is in the midst of the wildest speculations. ‘ABBA soon to be a duo!’, ‘ABBA is going to break up!’, ‘ABBA farewell tour!’ – Sweden’s million dollar quartet is being covered with a torrent of rumours. The result: millions of ABBA fans all over the world are worried about the future of their favourite group. So, what’s the truth?
At the end of this year, the ABBA contracts with the German and Swedish record companies will expire – in the middle of 1980 ABBA’s British contract will expire as well. “I’m already working on the draft of new contracts,” the ABBA boss confirms. “I certainly wouldn’t waste my time on that if I wouldn’t be convinced that the group will continue!” It hasn’t been decided yet if the group – that is a guarantee for a turnover of millions – will sign a contract with the same companies. Anyhow, it is clear that behind the scenes it will come to a tug-of-war for ABBA involving millions. Because whoever gets the Swedish group in his stable, won’t have to worry about his future. For instance, in Germany, more than 250.000 copies of the new ABBA album ‘Voulez-Vous’ were sold within eight weeks – that’s a gold album. Likewise, Sweden, Finland, Denmark and Holland were reporting ‘Gold for ABBA’ already after a couple of weeks.
The cause of speculations was the fact that the group didn’t spend their holiday together this year. Agnetha was in Florida, USA, together with her daughter Linda and her nanny. Björn and Benny stayed in Sweden and Anni-Frid travelled to the Greek island Rhodes together with her two children Hans and Lise-Lotte for a couple of relaxing days.
“After the demanding recording sessions for ‘Voulez-Vous’, each one of them wanted to unwind in his or her own way,” Stig Anderson explains. “Agnetha spent her days in America lounging, Björn and Benny wrote new songs and discussed the upcoming world tour together and Anni-Frid enjoyed the sun together with her children. It’s only natural that four people who are usually together almost day and night, need some relaxation and recovery at some point. If Björn, Benny, Anni-Frid and Agnetha would spend their holiday together, firstly the press would be there as well within a couple of days and secondly they would only talk about the business again.”
After their divorce, Agnetha and Björn have been the most wanted victims of the gossip columns. Numerous romances were attributed to the both of them. Allegedly, Agnetha found comfort with the psychiatrist Hakan Lonnback and Björn was paired off with someone else almost every week. The truth is that the formerly married couple had a very difficult time coping with the divorce. Neither Björn nor Agnetha was aiming for a quick adventure after these trying times. Now, both of them seem to be ready for a new love affair. Agnetha’s new boyfriend is Lars-Erik Ericsson, he is 29 years old and he is one of the most famous ice hockey stars in Sweden. The blonde Lars-Erik is playing in the national team of his country and he is a dead ringer for his predecessor Björn! Björn is sharing his mansion in Lidingö with a new love as well! It’s the 29-year-old Lena Källersjö, one of Agnetha’s best friends. Stig Anderson about the new circumstances: “The whole thing is having a positive effect on all concerned parties. There are no problems whatsoever in the group. Björn, Benny, Agnetha and Anni-Frid have never been on such friendly terms as they are now!”
In the first week of August, Björn, Benny and both ABBA girls will get together in Stockholm to make scrupulously precise preparations for their major world tour. The four Swedes will dig themselves in their studio for about two weeks and rehearse day and night. Anyone who is familiar with ABBA and their manager knows that the group won’t leave anything to chance. The stage show, the orchestra, the song sequence, the costumes, the journeys from one concert venue to the other – when the ABBA gang arrives in Canada in the middle of September, the smallest details should be taken care of. The kick-off of the tour of the year will be in Edmonton, Canada on September 13. Four concerts in Canada, sixteen concerts in America, then it’s off to Sweden, Denmark, France, Holland, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Belgium, England, Scotland and Ireland; when Björn, Benny, Agnetha and Anni-Frid give their last concert on November 15 in Dublin, Ireland, one of the most successful tours in show business will come to an end. The demand for tickets is already so high that there is hardly any doubt that all 41 concerts of the super group will be sold out. After the two-month tour, ABBA wants to unwind first. “Perhaps separately again,” Benny admits derisively. “But no worries, we will stay together. The end of our group isn’t in the cards yet!”