Friday, 3 June 2011

Joepie, 1979: ABBA’s last world tour – If it’s up to Agnetha...

On the eve of ABBA’s world tour – that will take the Swedish top group across the United States and subsequently Europe and that will last for more than two months – singer Agnetha has revealed something quite shocking. If it’s up to her, it’s going to be their final goodbye to live performances, regardless of how the group will keep existing after the expiration of the ABBA contract in the middle of 1980...

But for now, these contractual changes – according to which ABBA would continue as a female duo before they stop existing altogether – are not the reason to never go on tour again in the future. Blonde Agnetha simply wants more time off to spend with her two children Christian and Linda, especially since she divorced their father, ABBA singer and composer Björn Ulvaeus.
“I don’t mind the performance in itself but the amount of weeks and months that we are away from home and have to perform is what’s primarily bothering me,” she says. “My children miss me too much and I have to admit that I have the same feeling. I can’t take this any longer as a mother, that’s why this is going to be the last time that I’ll be away from home for such a long period.”

Apart from these family problems, especially the enormous pressure of a tour that goes on for months and performances day in and day out, were the reason that the upcoming tour remained a question mark for such a long time. Indeed, the tensions during their last tour, now two and a half years ago, were the main reason for Agnetha and Björn’s marital split.
“It had been such a nerve-racking experience that it became doubtful if we would ever go on tour again,” according to Agnetha. “You have no idea how much pressure weighs upon you during such a tour. Every night performing 20 songs during a two hour long show. Do you know what that means? And by day, you don’t even have the time to recover because you have to get to the next city faster than the speed of light, where new promotional duties and interviews are waiting for you. We are not used to that rhythm, it can break you. I still don’t understand how we have been able to keep our voices in shape!”

Despite their worries and fears, the four from ABBA are convinced that their upcoming tour is going to be the most successful from their impressive career. Apart from that, it should give them the same gigantic success in the United States that they’ve become accustomed to in Europe.
“Indeed, ‘Voulez-Vous’ is doing rather well on the American charts,” Agnetha ascertains with pleasure. “Our tour will hopefully make it our first number one over there. If we have achieved that, we have gone all around the world with our super hits and wouldn’t that be a wonderful moment to put an end to these gigantic but exhausting live performances? I’d rather leave that to the unattached pop boys who don’t have children or a home base. As a mother of two children, I demand to have a family life.”

Meanwhile, the four remain much wanted guests on all kinds of festivities. More and more in their own country as well. When the construction of an enormous shopping and office centre commenced in Stockholm – wherein the Europa Film Studios will be housed as well – they were invited to immortalize the prints of their right hands. These clay imprints will be turned into bronze hand prints and they will be used as ornaments at the entrance of the building. Manager Stig Anderson, Anni-Frid, Björn, Agnetha and Benny didn’t mind doing it, especially since it was a welcome interruption in their busy rehearsal schedule in the big studio of Europa Film in the same area. Each member has his own way of relaxing during the many rehearsals for their ’79 tour. As you might have guessed, Agnetha relaxes with her children. Anni-Frid threw herself into rollerskating. Meanwhile Björn and Benny – slave labourers and perfectionists as they are – are coming up with new musical ideas at the last minute with which they want to pleasantly surprise their thousands of fans later on.


Monica said...

Yes it is amazing with the grinding tours and interviews and the demands on them that the ladies were able to sing well every night with not much rest.

Ivana said...

I wonder if there are as many interviews with Frida in Dutch magazines about ABBA as there are with Agnetha ... I have read like next to none.