Saturday, 14 June 2008

Pop Foto, April 1981: Will ABBA ever find real happiness again?

Just try it. Close your eyes and imagine you’re a famous pop-star. Giant stadiums, filled with thousands of people screaming, yelling, begging to hear you play or sing. And you make a lot of money as well, so you can buy whatever you like. Be honest: doesn’t that seem just wonderful?

Agnetha, Björn, Benny and Annifrid once had this dream as well, in which being famous only seemed to have advantages. At night, they woke up in sweat, only to find out they weren’t celebrated on a big stage, but had fell beside the bed. In the evening, they had to perform again in a small café on a tiny stage, while Benny had to make use of an out of tune piano. Still, ABBA’s dreams turned out to be very accurate predictions. It all started with two couples in love: Björn with his Agnetha and Benny with his Annifrid. Love was much more important than music. The music really only came second. And nobody knew that would change eventually...

You all know how Björn and Agnetha’s marriage went wrong. It was a shock for a lot of fans, and especially the pretty Agnetha has had difficult times. In those times it was Annifrid, who tried to support and encourage her friend and colleague. But only a few weeks ago it was Annifrid who needed Agnetha in return, because in the meantime her marriage to Benny had ended as well. Still, Agnetha can’t help Annifrid. She wouldn’t know how. It’s difficult enough for herself. What is the deal? All four ABBA-members are kind of depressed at the moment, and the cause of that is primarily that the group is so incredibly busy.

When reporters ask questions about the private lives of the ABBA-stars, they get answers like: “You don’t have the right to ask questions about that.” Fortunately, most reporters don’t get angry in these cases. They know very well how the fame has affected the once so happy lives of Agnetha, Björn, Benny and Annifrid. Benny Andersson, ABBA’s 34-year old pianist, says that freedom is very important to him and that he is happy he doesn’t have to work for a boss. Benny should realize that there’s no boss in the world, who would demand so much time and effort from him, as his own ABBA is doing right now.

Benny spends day and night in the studio. He and the other members of the group have to undertake exhausting tours to perform all over the world. And during those performances, they still feel genuinely happy, because the response of the ABBA-audience is always fantastic. But apart from all this, there are also the ABBA-possessions to worry about. Because the four stars are also the presidents of a big international company, that admittedly is doing really well, but is also the cause of several tensions. Those tensions are the reason that the word ‘happy’ is written in tiny letters in the ABBA-dictionary these days. Just like the little, but oh so important word ‘love’. Agnetha, Benny and Annifrid are having difficulties with that. Björn as well, although he has re-married recently with the woman, who he hopes can give him peace and satisfaction.
Pop Foto hopes, together with the many fans, that there will come a time that ABBA can really smile again. Because there’s no doubt about it that these four sympathetic and talented people deserve a bit of fun. Better sooner than later. Especially Annifrid closes her eyes once in a while and thinks: “I wish everything could be like it was in the old days. We weren’t very famous then, but at least we loved each other and were very happy...”

No comments: