Sunday, 7 March 2010

Pop Foto, February 1979: ABBA is unbeatable

How do you think an artist spends his spare time? Just being lazy, reading a lengthy book? Every now and then strumming a guitar and every once in a while going into the studio for one day? If you imagine the life of a star like that, you are dead wrong. You wonder how things are really like? Just tag along with ABBA for just one day. Bet that you’ll be just as exhausted as we were?!

Because ABBA’s Benny, Björn, Agnetha and Anni-Frid have one golden rule which is, short but to the point, no fooling around! In ABBA’s Swedish headquarter, every free minute is spent on sports! We followed the four world famous artists from Stockholm just for one day during their daily sports exercises and we can assure you that we were still having muscular pain for many weeks to come. Just take a look at the routine for an ordinary day off! The two ABBA men have a couple of favourite sports to keep them in shape. Firstly, it’s the so called ‘jogging’, toiling at the double for three or four (!) kilometres through the forests behind the ABBA houses. Then there’s their love for the game of tennis; either Björn and Benny are playing a couple of severe matches together, or they are hitting a resilient ball against a brick wall in a specially designed room, that comes back at them at full speed. That’s the ‘squash’ game, that the boys picked up in England. Anni-Frid and Agnetha have a different approach. Most of the time, Agnetha jogs once a day as well, but especially Anni-Frid is a very fanatical practitioner of classical and jazz ballet.

Today, something special is going on because instead of working on their physical training in pairs, the ABBAs are all doing something different. Together with a bunch of studio technicians, Benny has organised a tennis competition and he’s playing (from 8 o’clock in the morning!) until the sweat is pouring from his forehead! Then they jump under the shower and, after lunch, they are off to the highly modern ABBA studios that are appropriately located in an old sports hall. Later on, Björn will drop by there as well, freshly showered. Because after the ‘Lidingö Race’, an exhausting running exercise that he has done that day, thirty kilometres outside Stockholm, it’s time again for the real deal: making music!
And while Anni-Frid is doing her warming up already at nine o’clock in the morning at the ballet studio, to work hard on her jazz ballet exercises until noon, a ballet course that she’s been working on seriously only since last October, Agnetha is getting ready to do some sports as well, after having spent her usual hours with her children Linda and Christian. Today, she is running her 2 kilometres through the woods, before Anni-Frid drops by, to discuss ABBA’s new clothes with Agnetha, because that’s Anni-Frid’s job as well! Both ladies don’t go into the studio until the evening.
So that’s how huge pop stars spend their spare time. And only after they have completed all these self-inflicted sports exercises, they take the time for some cosy relaxation: a nice little game of tennis, playing mixed double! And with a condition like that, ABBA is unbeatable both in the hits area as well as in the sports area!

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