Sunday 1 February 2015

Hitkrant, 1977: Björn: from bon vivant to businessman

Björn Ulvaeus used to be a bon vivant, who only thought about having fun, someone who could hardly keep himself on the right track. Anyone who talks to him now will see a whole new Björn.

ABBA manager Stig Anderson and Björn have known each other since 1963. At that time Björn made his first succesful steps in pop music with the Hootenanny Singers.

Stig: "He may have been the musical motor of that group, but in fact the other boys always functioned as the spokesperson. Björn was a bon vivant who only thought about having fun and partying. He hated official engagements. At the time he regularly partied until the small hours."

The past few years there have been some changes in that respect. Björn has become more and more interested in the organizational side of show business and rather suddenly he lost his wild oats. Now he knows exactly how record companies work and he works closely together with Stig on choosing agents, publishers, promoters and record producers.
Björn mostly functions as the group's spokesperson and the organization of ABBA is his responsibility. Thanks to an outstanding judgement of human nature he is able to keep the group on the right track. It's understandable that a group like ABBA is exposed to all kinds of tensions: Björn is always the one who talks the problems away.

Apart from that he is very cautious about spending money, he has a flair for languages and he's very intelligent.
The success hasn't gone to his head. He's very reserved about it all and talks in a modest and honest way about the popularity he has achieved. Due to this reservedness you don't get the impression that you are dealing with a world famous pop artist.

Björn: "Oh well, all four of us have been in this business for such a long time and that has enabled us to slowly get accustomed to our success. In my optimistic moods I think that we can go on like this just as long. But when we stop enjoying ourselves, we will definitely quit."