Sunday, 8 June 2008

Joepie, 1981: From first guitar to millionaires-mansion

Part three of the Joepie-series: Björn.
Björn Christian Ulvaeus (36) hasn’t remained single for very long, after his divorce from Anna, whom he had been living with for thirteen years. Only a week later he met his new life-partner Lena Källersjo at a party. In the meantime they’ve gotten married, and Lena is expecting their first child around Christmas. There’s no doubt about it: Björn has overcome the divorce better than Anna.
The blonde ABBA-guitarist was born April the 25th 1945, in Göteborg. When he was six years old, he moved to Västervik with his parents. His father had found a job there, in a paper-factory. On his 12th birthday, little Björn got his first guitar. He learned his first chords from his older cousin, Jon Ulfsäter. At that rather young age, it was the starting-point of his musical career. Shortly after, he started a skiffle-group with his cousin Jon. Later on, the twosome quit that group and joined another group from the area, the Westbay Singers. Their trademark was Swedish folksongs, that they translated into English with success. The Westbay Singers got their break in 1963, when they got to perform in a TV-show. A certain Stig Anderson, who had just founded his own record-company in Stockholm, happened to see the group on the screen and took them under his wings.
Immediately, he renamed them the Hootenanny Singers, because he thought that sounded more Swedish. The success came quickly: already a year later the Hootenanny Singers were the most popular group in Sweden. In 1967 Björn moved to Stockholm, to study economy and law at university. To be able to afford his studies, he worked as a freelancer for Stig Anderson, whose company grew bigger and bigger.
A year before, Björn had met the second ABBA, Benny Andersson. They became good friends, and started to write songs together. He met the third in the line-up, Anna, in a TV-studio. Two years later they got married. The line-up was completed with Frida, Benny’s new girlfriend. The most popular group of the seventies was born.
In the group, Björn is known as the most orderly of the four. His discipline and punctuality are almost legendary. In short: everything he starts, he finishes. Once he wanted to become a teacher. A wish he has repeated several times, albeit smiling sometimes, for example when he came walking out of the studio, after fourteen long hours of hard work.
Björn and Agnetha’s marriage ended in 1978. There were tears. No wonder, according to Björn, when you’ve been living together for thirteen years. Björn immediately left his and Agnetha’s residence, and moved to a mansion nearby. He didn’t want to live too far away from his children Linda and Christian. Björn wasn’t alone for long. A week later he met Lena Källersjo at a party at Benny and Frida’s home. It seems to have been love at first sight. Two years later they got married. And now Lena is expecting their first child. “It’s not important if it’s a boy or a girl,” says Björn. “The most important thing is that the child is healthy.”

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