Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Joepie, 1979: A musical on Broadway!

"ABBA won't last forever," Stikkan Anderson returns to the subject of the rumours about a possible end of the group. "We are very well aware of that. But you can rest assured that there's life after ABBA."

However, Stikkan thinks it's very hard to predict what's going to happen to all the separate members. "There is the possibility that the boys will keep on composing together. Perhaps they will guide new talents a couple of months per year in California or New York. That talent could come from anywhere: America, England and who knows, even Belgium or The Netherlands."
"And the girls? Yes, Agnetha writes her own songs. She would be capable of recording a solo album of her own songs. The same goes for Anni-Frid. You shouldn't forget that they were both solo singers before they joined ABBA."

No matter what happens, Stikkan Anderson will keep playing the boss of the big ABBA empire. All those plans are only vague ideas, according to the big boss. "We will start thinking about that seriously when we quit," Stikkan claims. He prefers to occupy himself with other plans at the moment. For instance, making an ABBA musical. That should be staged in America on Broadway.
"No other European artist has managed that yet," he says. Anderson is fully confident that it will all succeed, because he says: "We have the creative ability to do it." The problem with such a musical venture is that ABBA won't be able to be on stage on Broadway every night for three years in a row. They can't leave Sweden for such a long period of time, there are also records to be made. But there's a solution to that problem. The musical has to be a flop, a gigantic failure. Then ABBA would have to perform for one night only in America. "Yes," Anderson cries out in Swedish, "that's a good idea. Then that problem would be solved. But I still think it will be a success."

Anderson wants to execute the musical plan in the eighties. But there are more plans. "We want to do things that other artists have never managed to do."
He adds modestly: "Wouldn't that be fun." With 'fun', Anderson always means 'fantastic', but because of all the previous successes, he is not as sensitive anymore for all these wonderful plans. For him it's business, and business means money.
In the early days, Stikkan used to write songs himself. Now he leaves that job to Björn and Benny. They will have to supply the material for a new ABBA album next year. This year, a double album with old hits is scheduled to be released. The album is called 'Greatest Hits 2'. A new song will be included that is expected to become a hit in the coming months. From the world tour, a one hour long television special will be made, primarily consisting of footage from the London concert. On Saturday November 3, the performance in Brussels will be filmed that will be edited into the footage from London. Stikkan hopes this special will be finished before Christmas. But it's unlikely that it will be broadcast in Belgium around that time too, because ABBA wants to sell the special themselves and that doesn't only involve money but time as well.

Stikkan is keeping very busy. The ABBA business has to go on, even during the tour. That's why he won't come along when ABBA tours through Europe. He sends his personal secretary Görel Johnsen along. Stikkan stays in his enormous mansion on the beautiful island of Djurgarden in the middle of Stockholm, easily accessible for him in his expensive Rolls Royce.
When he is back from America, he will put his attention to the performance on the Red Square. "Because in Russia we have our obligations to the fans too."

On the black market, ABBA's albums are sold for about 200 Dutch guilders. ABBA is extremely popular over there. Only recently, the Swedish embassy was stormed by fans. The door was trampled down and the phones kept ringing. Everyone was asking for tickets for the concert that was rumoured to take place next Saturday, but at the embassy there was no info about this event. The ambassador didn't know what to do and decided to send a telex to ABBA. The content: "Is it true that you will be playing here next week? And if so, then we want tickets as well here at the embassy."
But it wasn't true. Yet another rumour. Stikkan Anderson sighs: "It's incredible how all these outrageous stories see the light of day. Really, I couldn't make them up."

1 comment:

Monica said...

Michel, thank you for all of your hard work in translating these articles.