I've been very lazy with the translations lately, but I have a good reason - we are experiencing one of the hottest summers in years here in Sweden. And I have tried to be outside as much as possible. Anyway, I hope you forgive me. Here's an article from VeckoRevyn #26, 29 June 1977 about Frida's and Benny's wedding plans. Now we of course know that they didn't have a big wedding after all. Quite the opposite.
Anni-Frid's wedding dress has been hanging in her closet for five years. And now it finally looks as if she is going to use it. The rumours about Benny and Frida getting married this summer are getting more intense.
- And you can count on that it will be a party to remember, they say.
This summer it will happen! The rumours are more intense than ever. Not that either of them think that getting married is very important, more because it's a great excuse to have fun. And one thing is for sure: It's going to be a hell of a party. On that Anni-Frid and Benny totally agree and they have spoken about it to VeckoRevyn's reporter many times.
- The day we get married it will not go unnoticed, you can bet on that.
- The guests will not only gather for the ceremony and dinner. We don't want people to leave us alone on the wedding night. No, we shall be together. We will be dancing and singing and playing together the whole night. Wake up together the following morning, eat good food and then spend some more time together.
- Preferrably it will be an old fashioned wedding.
THE WEDDING DRESS IS READY
And already five years ago Anni-Frid sewed what she planned to be her wedding dress. It was a beautiful dress in champagne coloured crèpe material. A long dress, a high neck line and long, wide arms, exquisitely manufactured.
- I made it at Tillskärarakademien and it will hang in my closet until the day we get married, she told VeckoRevyn.
A marriage between her and Benny will mean a slight change in the in the internal ABBA-image. Björn and Agnetha has always been portrayed as the secure, petty bourgeois stay-at-home couple. They have a four year old daughter, Linda and a second child arriving in November. They spend most of their free time at home.
Frida and Benny on the other hand are both parents of two children from previous relationships. Both of them started families at a very early age. It's probably safe to assume that they both were "burned" by their previous relationships and that is why they have been hesitant to sign a marriage license again.
Benny and Frida has also been the part of ABBA that have embraced the "star roles", the celebrities that were always seen at the hip restaurants and the gala night openings.
They met briefly in Malmö. At that time they didn't connect. That happened a little later when they both were on the Flip or Flop panel judging newly released pop songs on Åke Strömmer's radio show on P3 "Midnight Hour" and after that they wanted to see more of each other.
GOT MARRIED AT THE AGE OF 16
At that time they had both been in serious relationships for a long time. Frida had children and got married at the age of 16. It happened in her home town Eskilstuna and her husband was the band leader of the dance orchestra in which Frida was the vocalist. He was a carpet dealer and his name was Ragnar Fredriksson. Her son Hans is now 15 and his sister, Lise-Lotte is 13.
Benny was already a star in his old band Hep Stars when he got engaged and had his children Peter, now 13 and Helene 11. He was only 19 when he left his children's mother Christina Grönwall.
- It was the success of Hep Stars that opened a completely new world for me, he has said. It was a huge world. I can't defend my actions, the only reason I can give is that I was so young.
An often spread "fact" in the matter has to be denied - it wasn't the attraction between Benny and Frida that broke up their respective relationships. They had both left their families before they even met. And they have the most agreeable relations to their ex-partners and children nowadays. Frida's son Hans lives with her and Benny in the castle like villa on Lidingö because he has a better opportunity to get the education he wants there. Their three other children each have their own rooms in the Lidingö villa and often come and stay with Frida and Benny. The main part of their school holidays during the summer they spend together with Frida and Benny at Viggsö, ABBA's secret secluded island in the Stockholm archipelago.
Any children of their own haven't Frida and Benny wanted to get.
- Well, we have thought about it, we have wanted to have children together, Benny said already five years ago.
- But we simply haven't been blessed with any, yet. And for the time being maybe it's for the best. A child doesn't solve any problems between a couple. On the contrary. And that wouldn't be fair on the child.
Frida has often testified how much Benny has meant to her, both as a woman and an artist.
- Benny is the best thing that has happened to me, better than ABBA, she has said.
For one thing it was Benny that made her appreciate pop music, something she earlier frowned upon. She just to be mainly a jazz singer before that. Competent and talented, but not very commercially successfull.
Once he had gotten her into pop music he persuaded her to - together with Agnetha Fältskog - to sing background vocals on his and Björn's album. And after that we know what happened...
Benny and Frida have made no secret of the fact that their relationship has been far from free of conflicts, even though the conflicts don't happen as often nowadays. They are both persons with very strong wills. But their friends think that their strength as a couple is thanks to their strong personalities.
- Yes, sometimes we have a lot of difficulties together, Benny said when they had been a couple for two years.
- Our dilemma is that we love each other and want to be together, but we don't really work very well as a couple. Maybe it's because we are so different, that it sometimes felt like we spoke different languages.
- But when we are good together - it's like Heaven. And we wouldn't be that happy if we didn't experience the opposite sometimes.
And Frida felt that Benny gave her a sense of security that she never had experienced before. Also as an artist - in the 1972 interview she told us that she seriously had thought of not ever going back on stage again.
Now it seems that they have decided that their "test period" is over. When the wedding bells will chime for them, it's up to finding the time - ABBA's busy schedule mustn't be disturbed.
And one thing is for sure - they can afford to have a BIG, sensational wedding party.