Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Pop Foto, May 1979: Finally, Agnetha could get things off her chest

A good friend is invaluable. That’s what ABBA’s Agnetha found out the past few, hectic, weeks. Her divorce from Björn, and the enormous publicity surrounding it, was causing problems for Agnetha, that she would love to talk over with a true, honest friend. But who? The solution came from an unexpected place...

Rattling telexes, shrill telephones ringing, stressed reporters, unexpected photographers showing up with their cameras ready, vicious rumours, false newspaper reports and sleepless nights. That’s what Agnetha’s life looked like, after everyone had been able to read everything about the ABBA-divorce. This was also the life that Agnetha hated, that sometimes clutched her throat and that she desperately tried to escape, of course to no avail.
Imagine that the whole world knows everything about your private life, and has more opinions about your personal thoughts than you. That your insecurities, your marital problems, yes, even your very own tears are being captured by cameras in a cold and ruthless way, while you are still full of problems, insecurities and questions, that you want to discuss with a woman. Not with your new boyfriend, or your ex-husband, and not even your mother, because she doesn’t know the music-business, that you are living in. Just a woman who wants to understand you, who wants to give you advice.
You hardly have girlfriends, when you’re way on top like Agnetha, and you’d rather bite your tongue than to confide in a journalist because then you’ll never know what you might read about yourself in the newspapers the next day...

That’s pretty much how Agnetha felt when Annifrid came by Agnetha’s new house in Stockholm, to talk about the outfits that had to be worn in the upcoming promotional films. Completely exhausted and her nerves worn to shreds, Agnetha tried to concentrate on her job, that had to continue, no matter how big her own problems were. Hopeless of course. Just as hopeless as trying to sort out her confused thoughts. Agnetha didn’t notice the fresh cup of coffee that Annifrid had put on the table for her, until the spicy aroma got through to her, and she discovered that friend whom she had longed for all this time, when Annifrid put her arm around Agnetha’s shoulder and quietly said that she understood perfectly well how lonely Agnetha felt. Hadn’t she, Annifrid, experienced such a painful divorce as well? Hadn’t she had as much worries about her two children, about what the newspapers were writing, and what their friends said?
The photographs of the outfits were tossed aside, the kettle was put on for more coffee, the children were sent to their playroom... and Agnetha found out that the lively, always a little distant Annifrid, was exactly the friend that she needed. Just to talk to, to find understanding with someone who knew her life like no other, to be able to discuss women’s issues, that Annifrid understood much better than Agnetha had thought. It was an enormous relief for Agnetha and it gave her new confidence in her future and ABBA’s future, that obviously doesn’t thrive on contracts alone, but above all on people!

No comments: