Going through my ABBA archive I found this rather ineresting Agnetha article. It was written in January 1979 by a woman called Lilian Meiland.
Agnetha Fältskog - who is she? A strong
and selfdependent girl who wants to write her own songs.
Agnetha has moved into a new house. She is starting a “new life”. With the kids and with her own music.
Agnetha Fältskog’s new life will of course be all ABBA-members “new life”. Sooner or later. Meaning that they will start living indiviual lives. Björn and Benny privatly and Benny and Frida professionally.
- We are beginning to see the end of the ABBA-era. Two more albums, and then.... Bnny said abot a year ago. Before the sabatical year Benny also said: Björn and I will do what we have planned. And Frida and I will do it. About Agnetha I can’t say anything yet.
Was that a signal already back then? That there’s someting goin on. But it could easily have been that Benny didn’t know Agnetha’s plans or didn’nt want to talk about them in public. Because if he does he knows what happens. You get smacked. Just like Stikkan Anderson did when he started thinking for Agnetha without asking her first.
Because there is a side of Agnetha’s vast audicence no many know. And she simply hasn’t marketed this girl, just beause she hasn’t had to.
The strong Agnetha. The independent Agnetha. Probably the strongest of the four. Even though she is the most unspoken.
As a girl: She understands how Frida is depending on Benny. But you have never heard Agnetha say things like that Björn. As Björn the superstar.
- Even though she is part of one of the greatest groups in the world she is just as a little a diva as when she came from Jönköping to Stockolm ten years ago. She is very warm, and soft even though she has a temper. There’s no “girlishness” or “catish” about her. No girl nonsense. She won’t die if some other girl gets her yeshadow better applied than her, She thinks to have more important things to think about than that. Says one of the few who even dare to speak about ABBA. Like the members of the group. Björn and Stikkan Anderson has been connected for 15 years now. Even though he is a fine musician he is, just like like Stig, interested in the business side of ABBA. Frida has together with Benny been seen around town and has never minded her ABBA-role and has enjoyed being in focus. Even though it of course has become “ a little too much” even for her. Benny, a stable, very sympathic is the Musician with the big “M” and the “motor” behind the group. But he is adjustable and just like Björn rather cool about being an “idol”. They have both been there before. And they both are just as happy if they can spend time in the studio, away from the world for weeks.
BAD CONCSIENCE FOR THE CHILDREN
Where does Agnetha land? Who naturally been there from the very beginning. But. Things can become more than you wish for. And you can get new enjoyments during the years. The members are now also tied to each other by thoughsands of loyalties and they will be for a long a time. Maybe for the rest of their lives. And noone knows how the contract is written- 183 points in 8 years maybe.
No, it would be stupid to speculate about the eternatl “happniess” within in the company “ABBA”.
Agnetha never liked the attention very much. And since she is a very direct girl she has has taken the “bad things” to heart. Things they other four couldn’t care less about.
What it is important to Agnetha today?
To be with her children, Linda, 6, and Christian almost 1 year old. To be a good mother to them, To be able to give them love and security. She has often felt guilty over leaving Linda.
To work creatively “on her own”. What a lot of people seem to have forgotten is that Agnetha (are there any more?) who published albums with her own material before the ago of 20. She has up to date releaed six albums. The latest “Elva Kvinnor I Ett Hus” came a couple of years ago.
First you adapt to the ABBA-thing. Then you start thinking. Sure, she could have been composing all she wants at home by the kitchentable, and she has done that. But that’s not the same thing that something happens to the material. That someone believes in it, publish and releases it. And no matter how strong you are in the long run it can’t be good for your self confidence to have “giants” like Björn and Benny watching you.
Has Stikkan, Björn and Benny opressed her? Well. They are the ones in charge. Make most of the decisions. But as private guys they are no women opressors. There’s one woman on this earth Stikkan Anderson trusts to 100% - a woman. His wife Gudrun. A very sweet woman. Björn was already 15 years ago a guy with the sympathetic trade of talking to the girls. And the fact that he got hooked on Agnetha was the fact that she was a girl with a will of her own and a strong woman. Björn has been there all the way. Cooked for hours. Better than Agnetha. And has given all his energy to his children.
But “ABBA” itelf has opressed quite a bit. What has been done or actually hasn’t been done for Lena Andersson is half a scandal.
With Stikkan you get the impression that all he does is calculates, if you want to win you want to “win”. And he certainly has “won”.
Becasue treated a talented creative person like Agnetha Fältskog like this nothing could be worse, intended or not.
For Agnetha with her need for integrity it’s not very surprising that she is the shyest of the members. It can take a lot of time.
When she got enegaged to Björn she was 20 years old, on the day. She already had an engagment and a smaller singing career behind her in Germany. She was an established artist and she had already written her first contract with Cupol. Björn always had the attitude towards woman that if they didn’t want to do what he wanted he just left. With Agnetha he even had to say “I’m sorry” from time to time.
Agnetha wasn’t going on tours if it meant her sitting in the wings admiring the idol. And Björn accepted this, the fact that she needed a task.. She demanded, and rececived, full equality. She and Björn were madly and love but they could sure put up a good fight the first years. Besides, Agnetha was romantic and oldfashioned. She wanted to get married, so there was a wedding. Completely directed by her. Of course. She was also very determined about having children. As soon as possible. Björn, five years older, had the same opinion.
There were a lot of opinions and compromising going on escpeically in the beginning when ABBA started out. Björn and Benny took over. Agnetha became “silent”.
Benny and Björn wanted to write musicals together or apart and they are at a working trip at thte Bahamas right now. Frida would love to stay on the stage in some form or other. And ABBA as a group we will will see and hear for a while more.
Agnetha’s new life will not change that much on the outside. She wil stay home, for a while. Who wanted most to be free, to leave? Well. It could be a coincidence – but it was Agnetha who left him. Not the other way around.
She will do her ABBA work perfectly, and in her spare time she will stay in contact with her parents and her sister. Important things in her life. And hang out with her friends. Old and new ones.
She will cut paper dolls with Linda and teach Christian to ride his tricycle and in between she will compose, compose, compose. And more or less stay out of the public. The house she has moved to is huge and Agnetha will more than most say that “my home is my castle”. She is a pretty “ordinary” girl, Agnetha and she has never claimed anything else either. It’s just when it comes to talent, muscially she is a big bit above average..
But now she has a huge security in in area. She has travelled and represented a lot and done it with softness as a “brand”. She is 28 years old and single again and a very pretty woman. Here at home she is the “girl next door” Agnetha. (And she doesn’t mind being that). But abroad, in New York for example there’s a completely different picture of her. Here’s a “rumour” which is a little fun:
Agnetha is a big “femme fatale”. A vulcano under the cool blonde looks that seduces men endlessly. Björn must have had a problem keeping her home in the evenings. “It’s NOT like that?” But you can tell, the way she moves, the look she gives you a guy in Australia said. Agnetha! Little Agnetha who used to work at the switchboard on a carfirm at home in Jönköping. And now a “femme fatale” The Vulcano from Vättern. Well, well, definitely a new image.
In the name of equality all I can say is go for it Agnetha! A telegram from the sisters. To the girl who probably singlehandled could destroy the ABBA-empire, if nobody cares what she wants. But. I’m pretty sure they know that already.