Friday, 18 March 2011

Muziek Expres, December 1977: Anni-Frid and the inhuman side of success

No fairytale without its downside. ABBA sure knows something about that. When Sweden is asleep, Björn, Benny, Agnetha and Anni-Frid are working extremely hard on a new chapter in their success story.

Actually, Anni-Frid can’t really deal with it. When she knows that she has to get into the studio for a couple of days, she is in a bad mood long before that moment arrives. And when the time has come, the others know that they will have to do everything in their power to spare vulnerable Frida. The later it gets on a day like that, the more often Anni-Frids grabs every opportunity to give her exhausted body some rest. While the other three keep themselves going with litres of black coffee, she falls asleep. Simply because she needs a normal dose of sleep, unlike for instance Agnetha.

“Oh well, of course it doesn’t help all that much, this sleeping,” she confides in us. “You don’t get any rest at all on such a chair or a couch. Especially because you know that it will only be for a very short while. That’s why I am completely exhausted at the end of a day like that. I will never forget that one time when we kept working without interruption for two days and two nights in a row. That’s right, after that I was sick for three days. That’s why the doctor gave me the advice to never do something like that again. But that’s easy for him to say. He is not a member of a top group.”

Björn, Benny and Agnetha realise that Anni-Frid is not putting on some act whenever she lays herself down.
Anni-Frid: “That’s why they always wake me in a friendly way. When I wake up, I mostly don’t even know where I am. And when I see all these laughing faces around me, I always think at first: yuck. Because I realise all too well that I’m expected to sing a couple of songs with a beaming face. At first, I always have to restrain myself. That’s why the first attempt mostly doesn’t turn out very good. I simply have to take some time to get myself going again.”
The downside of success. Actually, everyone who is infatuated with ABBA should be able to witness a day in the recording studio once. To see with their own eyes under which circumstances fairytales come into being.

4 comments:

Ivana said...

Michel, thank you so much for this article - what a gem!! I've waited to see these pics in particular in their true "shape" for a long time, and now you've made it possible.

Dear Frida.... she needs a lot of sleep so she would like to be in bed by 10. ;))) It is always good to be woken up gently. Given her fiery temper, the three knew they shouldn't even consider waking her up abruptly. :D

Monica said...

haha...what a wonderful story I liked it. Yes it would have been wonderful to have witnessed the magic and hard work as it was happening.

Anonymous said...

I think these lovely pictures just prove one thing: how hardworking and ORGANIC ABBA were. There were no computers to do their job. They had to work hard on every song-and this obviously labored effort can be heard in all of the masterpieces they created.
thank you so much for sharing this.

Angela said...

I know what its like to be jet lagged I snaped at someone in singapore we were stuck there for 9 hours all I wanted was to go Home.