Monday, 20 May 2013

Das Freizeit-Magazin, 1978: Björn: this is my life

Just like his other three ABBA colleagues, Björn grew up with music. And he had already tasted success in show business as well, before he started his triumph with the Swedish group. "When I was only eleven years old, I started a skiffle group at school," Björn is remembering from the start of his musical career. When he was seventeen - Björn was born on 25 April 1945 in Göteborg - he launched The Hootenanny Singers, a Swedish folk group. Today he has achieved with ABBA what he had always dreamed about as a child. But his private happiness with his family means even more to him than these enormous successes. With his pretty wife Agnetha, little daughter Linda and son Christian.

Because the school wouldn't spend any money on a band for a party, Björn - only 17 years old - took the initiative and founded a folk group, together with three friends. The school party turned out so well that The Hootenanny Singers - that's how the four named themselves - decided to keep playing together in the future. When he was only eleven years old, Björn had already started a very strong skiffle group at school.

Do you recognise the boys from Göteborg on the bottom left? At the beginning of the sixties, Björn achieved the big breakthrough with his group. Here you can see the Singers in a 1964 TV show.

Björn had just started walking when his parents moved from his home town Göteborg an the Swedish southeast coast to Västervik. Björn: "Here I was going to school and I am standing on our old market."

Björn could rarely rest on his laurels in his adolescence. After he had finished highschool he dived headfirst in  a study of law and economics, although he was already very busy as the leading man of The Hootenanny Singers.

Even before his ABBA days, Björn was a popular target for Swedish autograph hunters. "Here I am signing our first record as a Hootenanny Singer for a girl. It was a big hit."

When Björn took this picture of The Hep Stars in 1966, he couldn't imagine that this meeting would actually determine his future. Indeed, that's when he met Benny, his ABBA colleague.

ABBA started with Björn and Benny's friendship. Björn: "We had noticed that we were on the same wavelength musically and tried our luck as a duo in 1970." Later on the two girls joined them.

With 'Waterloo' and ABBA's win at the Eurovision Song Contest in 1974, their string of successes took off. Numerous awards followed, like the Golden Gong that the quartet received at the premiere of the ABBA movie.

And yet another award: the royal couple of Monaco presents the four stars with a music award. In the meantime, ABBA is considered the most successful group of all time.

While both ABBA girls keep themselves fit with daily gymnastics, Björn prefers to swim a few rounds in the water. He was already a great swimmer as a child.

In the 'Waterloo' year 1974, ABBA's headquarter in Stockholm was still a bit modest. Björn and Agnetha's little daughter Linda - only one year old - looks at the camera in wonderment. The little girl doesn't understand anything about success yet.

Björn met blonde Agnetha at a 1969 TV show. The couple got married two years later. This picture was taken in 1977 while shooting the feature film 'ABBA - The Movie'.

Björn and Benny in the studio: when it comes to the music, the both of them won't let anyone butt in. Benny makes sure that the sound is right. Björn is taking care of the lyrics and ABBA's day-to-day business.

Although the four Swedes are not considering to rest on their laurels, live performances like this will become less frequent in the future. Björn: "We need time for our private lives too."


Monica said...

Some rare pictures in this article thanks Michel.

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