Another year is reaching its end. Time really goes by quickly. Thanks for a wonderful 2007. Thanks to all of you who have supported my idea for this ABBA-Blog. This illustration comes from my friend Bernd:
Happy New Year to all amazing ABBA-fans out there. Love, Mikael :)
Dear readers, Thank you for all your mails, criticism, cheers friendship I have received this year. I'm proud to tell you that this blog now has reached 300.000 hits since the start in 2005. We certainly aren't a very little group of ABBA fans. The interest is higher than ever before. I'm sure Agnetha, Björn, Benny, and Frida are all really
proud that people still care so much for their music. To get you into the Christmas mood here are four songs from Agnetha and Frida that have connections to the holiday.
Thank you for this year and let's all hope for an even better 2008!Love, Mikael SONG 1 SONG 2 SONG 3 SONG 4
British tabloids have published a gossip story about the UK's Security Minister Alan West having an secret love affair. Now they have pointed out Frida as the woman involved. Naturally Frida was very upset as the reporters came to her in Switzerland for a comment. You can read what she said below....
The anti-terror chief, the girl from ABBA, and his secret love affair
By GLEN OWEN
published in The Mail on Sunday Fresh indignity was heaped on Gordon Brown last night after one of the
female singers from ABBA was bizarrely dragged into a Government sex
scandal. In the latest blow to the Prime Minister's authority, senior sources
told The Mail on Sunday that Admiral Sir Alan West, the Security
Minister appointed personally by Mr Brown to lead the War on Terror,
had admitted to an extramarital affair. The confirmation came after intense speculation about Sir Alan's private life had been sweeping Westminster.
Insiders indicated that there was a crisis in his 34-year marriage to Rosie, an artist with whom he has three children.
Speculation was fuelled by the fact that the 59-year-old former First
Sea Lord had formed an implausible but genuine friendship with
Anni-Frid Lyngstad, 62, the dark-haired singer from the Seventies
And yesterday, with the rumour mill in full flow, high-level sources were forced into action to clarify the situation.
The Mail on Sunday was told that Sir Alan had indeed been having an affair - but emphatically not with the ABBA star.
The admiral disclosed his infidelity "some years ago" during a routine security vetting procedure.
The sources refused to give further details of the affair, including whether it was still ongoing.
The episode was immediately characterised by political observers as a
"Whitehall farce", adding to the series of embarrassments engulfing the
Government. It appeared yesterday that Sir Alan's confession to infidelity had
become fused in the minds of Westminster insiders with their
astonishment at his friendship with ABBA's Frida, as she is known to
millions of fans.
He is believed to have met her at a charity function in London in the spring of 2006.
Yesterday, in answer to questions about their friendship, the admiral
said: "All I'm going to say is I'm not having an affair with her, you
know. "I know her, and I've known her for a couple of years. So I'm sorry, but I'm not going to go there at all."
Asked how they met, he added: "Sorry, but I'm not going to go there.
I'm not trying to be difficult but I just don't like talking about my
private life. "I have a job to do which I'm trying to do very hard for the Government, and that seems to me to be the right focus." He refused to make any further comment. A Home Office spokesman also refused to comment.
Frida told The Mail on Sunday: "I feel awfully sorry about Rosie and
the family. It is very sad. I feel totally sorry. There is no
relationship, absolutely not. "I am innocent. Alan is innocent. We are friends. There is no relationship."
It is the latest in a series of setbacks for Mr Brown's embattled
Government and is bound to draw comparisons with the decline of John
Major's scandal-hit administration in the Nineties.
Initially, Major did well after succeeding Margaret Thatcher, but he
lost by a landslide to Tony Blair in 1997 after the economy hit
trouble, he was pilloried for his weakness and a number of Ministers
were embroiled in sexual and financial scandals. In similar fashion, after succeeding Tony Blair in June, Mr Brown
soared ahead of the Conservatives in the opinion polls. But since then,
his ratings have been on the slide. In the space of just weeks, he has been criticised for his handling of
the collapse of the Northern Rock bank and the loss of child-benefit
records, and has become entangled in the "Donorgate" affair which
erupted when The Mail on Sunday revealed secret donations to Labour of
more than £600,000 by wealthy businessman David Abrahams.
Sir Alan was appointed by Mr Brown in June as part of the Prime
Minister's personal plan to assemble a "Government of all the talents",
known as "Goats" for short. Mr Brown announced that he was creating a life peerage for Sir Alan and
appointing him as a Home Office Minister with responsibility for
advising him on the terror threat to the UK. But the Goats have been hit by a series of controversies: Sir Digby
Jones, the former director of the Confederation of British Industry,
became a Trade Minister, then immediately embarrassed Mr Brown by
failing to pledge his wholehearted support for Labour. Then 54-year-old former diplomat Lord Malloch-Brown, appointed a
Foreign Office Minister, attracted adverse publicity by demanding a
grace-and-favour flat in Admiralty Arch and infuriating his 42-yearold
boss, Foreign Secretary David Miliband, by describing himself as "the
older figure, the wise eminence behind the young Foreign Secretary". And last month Sir Alan himself embarrassed the Prime Minister by
questioning in a radio interview Mr Brown's desire to hold terrorist
subjects for longer than 28 days. One hour later, after a visit to Downing Street, he changed his stance, saying he was convinced by the PM's argument.
He tried to explain away the fudge by describing himself as just "a simple sailor". Although there is no suggestion of impropriety over his relationship
with Ms Lyngstad, eyebrows were raised last night over the wisdom of
the Government's terror chief conducting a friendship with the
thrice-married pop star, who is a tax exile in Switzerland. Sir Alan, who declared during an interview in the summer that he
"admired" ABBA, is believed to have first met the singer at a royal
gala for the anti-drug abuse charity Mentor, held at the Natural
History Museum in London in May 2006. He had retired as head of the
Navy three months earlier. It was one of a number of parties he attended that year, apparently demob-happy.
Some of them were not particularly high-minded: in March he was
pictured at the Oldie of the Year Awards, a famously raffish affair,
with his arms round Carol Thatcher and Sandra Howard, and sporting a
comedy naval eyepatch. And in April he was snapped, eyepatch again in place, with his arms
around author Kathy Lette at the launch of her book How To Kill Your
Husband. Appropriately, Lette had placed a dagger in the top of her stockings.
In contrast, Sir Alan's naval career was marked by heroism and rapid promotion. In 1982, aged just 34, he was the commanding officer of the frigate HMS
Ardent when it was sunk by Argentinian forces during the Falklands War.
His bravery in being the last to leave the sinking ship earned him the Distinguished Service Cross.
A blip on his seemingly relentless ascent of the career ladder came in
1986 when he dropped classified documents about naval cutbacks while
out walking his dog - the contents of which were then revealed in The
Mail on Sunday. But by 1997 he had risen to become Chief of Defence Intelligence, and
by 2002 he was First Sea Lord and Aide-De-Camp to the Queen. His friend Frida amassed a multimillion-pound fortune during her
ten-year career singing with Benny Andersson, Bjorn Ulvaeus and Agnetha
Faltskog. But the members of the Eurovision-winning band had tortured romances:
Frida left her first husband, Ragnar Fredriksson, with whom she had
two children, to marry Benny in 1978 - the same year that Bjorn and
Agnetha divorced. Benny and Frida were then themselves divorced in 1981.
A year later, the group went their separate ways. Six years ago they
turned down an offer of $1billion to reform for a world tour. Since 1992, Frida has been officially known as Her Serene Highness
after marrying a German count, Prince Ruzzo Reuss von Plauen. He died
of cancer in 1999 and she has not remarried. Apart from a couple of moderately successful solo singing projects,
Frida, the product of a wartime liaison between her Norwegian mother
and a married German soldier, has kept a low profile since the group's
demise, devoting herself to work with drug and environment charities. She now lives in an apartment in the Swiss mountain resort of Zermatt,
where she has a small but close circle of friends. Locals say she likes
the tranquillity of her life there. Yesterday The Mail on Sunday spoke to her outside her apartment, which
enjoys spectacular views of the Matterhorn and the Vispa Valley. Dressed casually in a white jacket, snow boots, jeans and a large pair
of sunglasses - and sporting a dyed blonde bob in place of her
trademark brunette tresses - she walked briskly down the road. When asked about her relationship with Sir Alan, Frida said: "It is
nothing to do with you. It is my private life. I feel awfully sorry
about Rosie and the family. "It is very sad. I feel totally sorry. There is no relationship,
absolutely not. I am innocent. Alan is innocent. We are friends. There
is no relationship." When asked to expand on why she felt sorry about Rosie, she shook her
hands and replied: "Go away. I will not answer anything else. Do not
ask me any more questions. I am innocent." Frida, who is Norwegian rather than Swedish like the three other members of ABBA, moved to Switzerland in 1986.
A spokeswoman for the Official International ABBA Fan Club, which is
based in the Netherlands, said: "Since her marriage to her third
husband, who was a prince, Anni-Frid has moved in royal circles. "He has died but she still moves in these circles and she comes into contact with lots of people who move in high society."
The day of Saint Lucia in Scandinavia is an essential part of Christmas in Scandinavia.
Each year on December 13,
Saint Lucia is celebrated widely with candlelight and traditional
candle-lit processions. Lucia herself was Christian and died for her
faith. The December 13 holiday honors her. The eldest girl in the family portrays St Lucia, puts on a
white robe in the morning and is allowed to wear a crown full of
candles. She serves her parents Lucia buns and coffee or mulled wine.
In church, women sing the traditional Saint Lucia song which
describes how Saint Lucia overcame the darkness and found light. Each
of the Scandinavian countries has similar lyrics, in their native tongues.
In Scandinavian history, the night of Saint Lucia was known to
be the longest night of the year (winter solstice) which was changed
when the Gregorian calendar was reformed.
During a dark winter in Scandinavia, the idea of light
overcoming darkness, and the promise of returning sunlight has been
welcomed by the locals for hundreds of years. The celebrations and
processions on Saint Lucia Day are illuminated by thousands of candles.
In 1979 Benny and Frida visited the Swedish radio the day before Christmas Eve and they performed their own version of "Stilla Natt" (Silent Night). Click HERE to listen to it.
"I am personally very concerned if we move to a situation where societies compete for pan-European business from
large music users. This could lead to societies undercutting each other to get more business". These are sentences from a statement by Benny Andersson in the European Commissions hearing in Brussels in June. You can watch the video with his statement here. 180 participants from more than 20 countries met concerning the Statement of Objection to the societies from the European Commission. Several composers made statements Henrik Otto Donner, Finnish composer, underlined that receiving remuneration from the use of his works has had a great importance for his sustenance. He found it somewhat perplexing when the users of his works are more worried about the effectiveness of his authors' right organisation than himself. Robin Gibb, English composer, stressed that solidarity between societies via the reciprocal agreements is crucial for authors and songwriters. He also made a note that there were no objections when he transferred from the Austrian society APRA to PRS in England. Bendik Hofseth, Norwegian composer: "As an author I am not against the idea of pan-european licenses. Indeed, in the Nordic area through NCB we have had positive experience with multi-territorial licensing. What I do not want is for my representation to be handled by another society far away from Norway, uncertain of my representation there, my rights, a foreign language, uncertain about the service level and the commitment to me and my repertoire".
In this week's issue of Svensk Damtidning (#50, 2007) there are speculations about Agnetha's love
life again. Is she romantically involved with this man? The question was raised dure to her participation in TV3's 20th Anniversary party last week. She was seen (and photographed) dancing with, and very close to, Max Lagerbäck, 37 - a manager at TV3. It's the same man she was seen with last year according to Svensk Damtidning. A friend of Agnetha's invited her to come along to the party. Agnetha had a great time and she said: - I don't go out very often. But this party I didn't want to miss, it's great fun to be here, TV3 has had so many fun shows during the years. And it's nice to get out once in a while to meet up with friends.
Thanks to Magda for providing photos. I think Agnetha looks great., looks like she's having a good time.