Thursday, 1 July 2010

Pop Foto, 1979: The tension is rising with ABBA!

Despite the smiling faces of Frida, Agnetha, Benny and Björn, the tension in the ABBA headquarter is rising. They are working extremely hard, because this year it has to happen! This year, the group is going to show something so big and astounding that the – only yet to be conquered – continent America simply will have to surrender to the musical charms of the Swedish quartet. Whether they want it or not...

The lazy life that Benny, Björn, Agnetha and Frida have been able to lead the past few months is over and done with. There is work to be done. Which means that they will have to rehearse from early in the morning until late in the evening. Rehearse extremely hard! Because the four ABBA members want to be as well prepared as possible later on during their confrontation with their millions of fans. Not in vain, ABBA has proven in all those years that perfection is their priority. And they want to keep that reputation. Not a single concert during their two-month-long tour through America, Canada and Europe can be a failure, every single fan should get his or her money’s worth, those are the words that you will hear from Stig, Benny, Björn and of course both girls. And there’s nothing wrong with that, is what we thought. Apart from that, the upcoming tour, that will kick off in Canada and America on September 15, will have to secure the definitive breakthrough on that immense continent.

Because half of the globe may have fallen unconditionally for the outstanding compositions by Benny and Björn, up till now America hasn’t enthusiastically taken part yet. And now it has become a matter of honour for the popular Swedes to achieve a breakthrough in the land of Uncle Sam this year. Because if they won’t succeed this year, they never will, is what ABBA boss Stig Anderson thinks – perhaps rightfully so. That’s the reason why the group doesn’t leave anything to chance in these six weeks of preparation. And that’s also the reason for this mysterious behaviour in the apartment building in the middle of Stockholm, that is rebuilt from a hotel into a headquarter. The security people are taking special precautions. They have to make sure that not one single unauthorized person can find his way in. And even for the assembled press the doors remain hermetically closed. Still, Benny, Björn, Anni-Frid and Agnetha are having a lot of fun together in this busy time. Because they really do everything together, including having breakfast, lunch and dinner! That’s how the bunch found itself in a fancy restaurant in Stockholm. One of the waiters got so nervous due to these – in his eyes – ‘highly distinguished guests’, that he suddenly dropped the dinner plates for the ABBA girls out of his hands. The man made a thousand apologies, but for ABBA this hilarious occurrence was a welcome interruption in these stressful times. This intense preparation makes it clear for an outsider that there can hardly be any talk of a possible break-up of the group in the coming year, a nasty rumour that startled every true fan. When we discuss this disrupting rumour quickly with Stig Anderson, he and his secretary Görel start to chuckle in advance. “They keep on trying, don’t they?” they react unaffectedly, “as long as ABBA has existed, there have been people that can’t stand the success of the boys. It’s simply a matter of jealousy. And it seems that people like that just love to get as much negative reports about ABBA as possible into the world. But we won’t let that get to us! You can count on that...”

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