Sunday, 27 March 2011

Joepie, 1976: ABBA is conquering Poland (part 2)

In our previous issue, you’ve been able to see and read how the four ABBA members were welcomed by thousands of fans at the airport in Warsaw, how they were escorted to the television studios and how they talked to the Polish press, at the end of the evening. So it was a very busy day and the quartet was very excited about the idea that they would be able to stroll around the Polish capital the next day, completely relaxed. At least, that’s what they thought, because Björn, Benny, Anna and Frida didn’t reckon with the enthusiasm of their Polish fans, who would follow them in a procession through the streets of Warsaw, the entire morning...

Benny didn’t make a fuss about it. “That’s part of the package if you are famous,” he mused. “We don’t have the right to disappoint these people, because they are the ones that buy our records...” In a small van, adorned with ABBA stickers, the driver guided us first through the oldest part of the city. Björn and Anna, who sat next to us in the van, seemed rather impressed and so were we. “I knew that Poland was a poor country, but I didn’t know that it was this bad...” Indeed, Poland is a couple of years behind compared with us. In the streets, you don’t see anything else but old vans and cars. Old houses in a row, people who are dressed less trendy, soldiers on every street corner, those are the main ingredients that make up the scenery of the city. In short, not a paradise dream for a Westerner. “Although I have to admit that the people are extremely nice and that life is very cheap here,” Björn added. Our first stop was in front of the Royal Palace that was destroyed in the war and that they are now rebuilding again. “The population of Warsaw is paying for the rebuilding,” our guide explained. “Somewhere on the big market there’s a collecting box, wherein people can put money for the rebuilding. I can assure you that an amount of money is scraped together every week.” From there, the ABBA company (closely followed by an increasing crowd of fans) walked via the big market to the old city walls. Björn and Anna were leading the way, Benny and Anni-Frid somewhat kept to themselves. “On stage, we are a foursome,” Benny explained. But off stage, we try to be two separate couples as much as possible. We see each other when we have to work, and that’s more than enough. Believe me, that’s the best strategy if you want to keep going as long as possible...” But even that explanation couldn’t prevent us from thinking that both girls don’t especially get along. During our entire stay in Poland and Sweden we rarely – if ever – saw them talk to each other. A coincidence? Only ABBA knows the answer to that... Fifteen minutes later, we were back in the van and – to brighten things up – Björn and Benny started to sing some Scandinavian folk songs. They were laughing and we were laughing along, although we couldn’t understand a single word. “You have to learn how to speak Swedish, guys,” Benny smiled. “It’s going to be the language of the future.” To round this little trip up, they paid a visit to the Palace of Culture, more or less the historic monument of Warsaw, like our Atomium and the French’ Eiffel Tower. As it happens, good times don’t last long and before we knew it, it was time to catch our plane again, back to Sweden. Our umpteenth torture in the air...

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thank you , for all those brilliant Abba articles and photos . Great work with the translations . One of the best blogs ever .

Iris

Monica said...

There are some wonderful never seen pictures before I especially love the one with Agnetha's pappa so wonderful. Thank you for taking the time to translate these wonderful articles for us to enjoy.

Anonymous said...

Thankyou so much.......Some great articles and fabb rare pic's brilliant blog as always

JS

Anonymous said...

Yes I agree with every one of these comments, this blog is essential to ABBA fans, especailly those born after ABBA's heyday. Thank you for your hard work and dedication. : )))

Ellie

Ivana said...

Loving the pics! I have seen many pics from Poland, but don't remember seeing these, especially the one of Frida and Benny.
Thank you for your gem articles, Michel. :D

George said...

This blog amazes me each time I visit it - the care with which the translations and scans are done is just unparalleled.
OUTSTANDING!!!

Michel said...

Thank you all for your nice comments!