Sunday, 13 December 2009

Story, January 1981: ABBA’s Agnetha: “I wanted to be sure of Dick’s love.”

A gossip article from Dutch magazine Story about Agnetha’s relationship with Dick Håkansson.
Agnetha, ABBA’s blonde singer, is going through difficult times. After her divorce from Björn, she kept having problems that seemed to be solved when she fell in love with Dick Håkansson. But after a few weeks, Agnetha found out that she was mistaken...

Never before had the staff of the Metropol hotel in Stockholm seen so many beautiful women together as on that evening. Whence all this female beauty? Dick Håkansson, owner of the exclusive Dots Design boutiques, had organised a fashion show in which his latest collection was being shown. The most famous models presented Dick’s designs to the selected guests. Somewhere among the guests was the, to Dick Håkansson, most beautiful woman: Agnetha Fältskog, the blonde singer from the group ABBA. A few months ago, you’ve been able to read in Story that Dick was Agnetha’s new love. At that time, they were more than happy with each other. Unfortunately, after a few weeks Agnetha discovered that she actually wasn’t ready yet for a new man in her life. After her divorce from Björn, the problems for Agnetha had not been completely solved.

“Obviously, Björn and I didn’t get divorced head over heels,” Agnetha explains. “Until the very end, we’ve tried to give our marriage a chance. Both of us wanted to make the best of it. We even went as far as deciding to have a second child, that could perhaps bring us closer together again. To our regret, we didn’t succeed and after having been married for nine years, we eventually had to cut the knot and we both went our separate ways. But you mustn’t think that all difficulties were over and done with after that. Since we kept working with ABBA, Björn and I still saw each other every day and that didn’t make things easier. Especially in the beginning, I found it very difficult to sing together with Björn as if nothing had happened. To be honest, I got more and more depressed and I even thought about leaving the group. Of course I changed my mind about that, because then I would be disappointing my colleagues as well. Still, I was more and more down-hearted. And at that time, I got to know Dick. He talked to me for days, or rather: he listened to me. I started to see a brighter future. Dick had a little daughter from a previous marriage and she got on perfectly with my children, Linda and Christian. And I felt happy with Dick. After a couple of weeks, he already moved in with us and it seemed as if all problems had been solved.”
For a while, Agnetha stops talking. Thoughtfully, she gazes in the distance, but then continues: “Still, that wasn’t the case. Without giving it too much thought, I had started a new part of my life, while I still hadn’t dealt with the previous part. It all went much too fast. Perhaps you can compare it with starting to read a new book, when you have just finished the previous one. So that you haven’t been able to digest the first one in a proper way.”

“I’ve told this to Dick as well and he understood completely. The situation was different for him. He had been divorced for several years and rarely saw his ex-wife, if ever. I explained to him that I cared a great deal for him and that I probably wouldn’t be able to live without him, but that I didn’t want to start a new life with him until I was really ready for it. Now, I’m telling all this in a businesslike manner, but you can take it from me that I burst into tears, everytime I talked to Dick. He was so sweet and understanding that it caused me a lot of pain to talk to him about my mixed feelings. Another man probably would have said that I’d have to choose and that he’d leave me otherwise, to never return again. Dick’s reaction was completely different. He said that he would go to his own house and that I could reach him day and night. As soon as I had straightened myself out, I had to tell him and then we would start talking again.”
Agnetha grabbed this opportunity with both hands, which left her alone with her two children once again. Still it was completely different from the first time. During rehearsals with the other ABBA-members, she was cheerful and upbeat again and since then, she was able to talk to Björn in a normal way and sing with him as well. Several weeks passed by, which gave Agnetha the opportunity to put things in perspective. She came to the conclusion that Dick had started to mean so much to her that she missed him already.
“And all of a sudden, his invitation for the fashion show was lying on my doormat,” Agnetha continues. “My first reaction was not to go, because I didn’t think it was the most suitable place to talk to Dick. On the other hand, I understood very well that it would be a very important evening for Dick, and that he would love to have the woman he loves by his side. That’s how I walked around for days, not knowing whether to go or not. In the end, I decided to go at the last instant. I thought it would be better to not go on my own. That’s why I brought a girlfriend, who is also Linda and Christian’s nanny, along. As soon as we had entered the big hotel doors, I saw Dick standing in the hall and a few seconds later, he turned around and looked me straight into my eyes. I can’t describe what went through me at that moment, but I had the feeling that a swarm of butterflies was flying through my stomach. He walked up to us straight away and I could see in his eyes how happy he was that I had taken his invitation. Obviously, there wasn’t much time to talk, but we got that opportunity after the show. I still can’t say how our relationship will develop. I’ve taken the first step by going to his show. That has to be a sign for Dick, concerning how I think about our future. I will now leave the rest up to him...”

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