Saturday, 23 April 2011

Privé, November 1980: ABBA troubled by divorce distress!

ABBA’s Björn Ulvaeus is unhappy. During a private filming session in Stockholm, Privé discovered that the strong man from ABBA has not been able to deal with the sadness of his divorce. His new blonde girlfriend Lena seems to be nothing else than a ‘surrogate’ for his true love, Agnetha...

Europa Film Studios in Stockholm, Friday evening ten o’clock. Outside, no one would guess what’s going on inside this somewhat deteriorated film studio: a happening with the world’s most loved group ABBA. When Privé enters the studio, everything becomes clear. In the midst of one hundred and fifty frivolously dressed people, the super group is waiting to be photographed by European photographers. The girls, Agnetha and Anni-Frid, have become skinny. They look fantastic in their long, white evening dresses. Björn and Benny, also dressed in white, protect ‘their’ women from the impending hassle from the photographers. In the studio, there’s a penetrating smell of horses and make-up. Circus music is being played and smoke bombs are being blown up. All one hundred and fifty people are smiling and singing. The ABBA members seem to be a little lost. It all seems to pass them by. For the umpteenth time, they have to show a fake smile...
Their hearts are clearly not in it. Between the photo shoots, Agnetha concentrates on totally different things. Björn keeps calling her to order. “Agnetha, Agnetha, please pay attention. They are coming for you!” he says to his ex wife. The only thing that’s important to Agnetha is that her little daughter Linda (7) is not being tread under foot by these hundreds of people.
It’s apparent that photo sessions and interviews are not important to ABBA any longer. The four artists are overwhelmed by the sudden invasion and they hold on to each other convulsively. On each picture the same smile...
The only one who thinks this photo session is a party, is Björn. At moments like these, he is able to hold his ex wife close to him. For him, the promised thirty minutes are too short. He wishes this could last forever. However, the truth is different than that. Agnetha doesn’t want Björn anymore. She was the one who insisted to get a divorce. Married life didn’t suit her any longer. This came like a bolt from the blue in the small ABBA family. Indeed, a couple of months earlier Agnetha had given birth to her son, ‘born from love’, Christian, now two and a half years old.

It was a heavy blow for husband Björn as well, who loved her very much. He has had to deal with enormous grief due to Agnetha’s decision to live her life without him. Until this day, he has not been able to cope with this sadness. His new girlfriend Lena Källersjö, a dead ringer for Agnetha, is not more than a ‘surrogate’ for the woman that he truly loves, Agnetha.
Agnetha doesn’t even want to consider a new relationship with her ex husband, whom she has known for ten years. She is enjoying her life of freedom and her many lovers. “I do still love Björn,” she confesses. “But I would never want to marry him again. Too much has happened. I didn’t choose to be free without a reason.” Agnetha’s freedom doesn’t have the meaning that it should have. Less than one kilometre from her house, Björn is living with his new wife. The former couple still has the same friends. Every other week they take care of the children. On top of that, Björn and Agnetha still have contact on a daily basis. They still go on tour together and rumour has it that they still share the same hotel rooms...
“This way, Björn will be able to accept the divorce,” friends of the former couple are saying. “He would fall apart if he wouldn’t be able to see Agnetha anymore. He still loves her dearly!”
This state of affairs keeps ABBA alive. However, apart from that, Agnetha is recording solo albums as well. These albums don’t get much publicity. They are only available in Sweden...

Many ABBA fans are wondering how it is possible that Björn and Agnetha are able to come across as a normal married couple to the outside world. “Björn enjoys it,” intimate friends are saying. “He simply doesn’t want to let go of Agnetha.”
Lena Källersjö is not present during the filming session. Björn is determined to keep her out of the spotlight, is the explanation. He doesn’t think it’s pleasant for Agnetha to see them together either. Lena is waiting at home for the man she loves in their luxurious mansion in Lidingö, an island just outside Stockholm. She tries to fight the attraction that Agnetha still has to her lover. For that matter, Björn’s sadness doesn’t leave Agnetha unaffected. Often, they talk to each other for hours about the future and the past. Thousands of times, Agnetha had to explain to Björn why she decided to divorce him. Björn still can’t understand it. Everything was going so well, didn’t it...
A few weeks ago, no one was aware of Björn’s sadness yet. To protect himself and Agnetha, he tried to keep his secret to himself. Until the moment that ‘The Winner Takes It All’ became a worldwide hit. The public thinks that it’s Agnetha who puts the melodramatic divorce across as her own experience. But the truth is a different matter. It was Björn who wrote the song and uncovered his own feelings. He wasn’t ashamed any longer to show his fans that he was still grieving. But in the promotional film, it’s Agnetha who is looking sad and Björn seems to be having fun.

‘The Winner Takes It All’... That winner is Agnetha. She got what she wanted, she is living the life that she wanted to live. In a sensitive way she is singing: “Does she really kiss like I used to kiss you. Does it feel the same, when she calls your name...”
Björn is putting his biggest fear into words here. Will Agnetha ever be able to love someone as much as she loved him? He wants to know it all, despite the fact that he is torturing himself.
In the Europa Film Studios, the promotional film is made for the new ABBA album, the album that includes ‘The Winner Takes It All’ as well. Polar, ABBA’s record company, has hired one hundred and fifty people from Circus Safari from Germany. All good friends and acquaintances of the group are dressed in circus outfits too. Horses and dogs, fire-eaters, clowns, women-with-beard and other typical circus characters are running through the studio, surrounding ABBA.
Why a circus? “Up till now, only ABBA’s faces have been seen on record covers,” Görel Hanser explains. “Now they wanted to try something different. A circus seemed the obvious possibility. At first, we wanted to do the photo and the filming session at Picadilly Circus in London. But this caused some probems with the police in England. Then we decided that we might as well do it here in the studio. We don’t know yet what the title of the album will be. It will definitely be something concerning a circus, or a dream. In any case, with both titles we will indicate what ABBA really is: a big circus, and still a dream for Agnetha, Björn, Anni-Frid and Benny...”

7 comments:

Angela said...

If this was true Agnetha was mad to leave him.

Jes said...

what a pile of nonsense...the press simply wrote anything just to sell more copies...but thanks for uploading...i really havent read so much crap in a long time LOL ;)

Ellie said...

Nearly threw up reading this article, lol. What a load of bollocks! (excuse my french)

Iris said...

The pictures are amazing and the article is entertaining . Thank you once more , Michel , for your hard work on this blog . Happy Easter .

Iris

Monica said...

Yeah terrible story all seems to be made up just to sell more papers/magazines. Thanks Michel and Happy Easter

Anonymous said...

Now we can see why the members of ABBA used to (and still do) get annoyed by the utter lies that are printed out them. I am currently re-reading the Carl Magnus Palm biography of the group. The pressure they were under was terrible. And articles like this just made it worse for them.

juliec said...

Lol i enjoyed reading this except Agnetha was left with two small kids and he remarried a week later and makes her sing the winner takes it all! Anyway she looks and sounds wonderful now great job with latest cd