05 May 2006

Agnetha kissing her new man

Just after we have 'recovered' from the new pics of Frida at the Swedish king's 60th birthday party there are some new pics of Agnetha out dancing. I'm not sure, but the guy looks like the same one she danced with in December 2005, on this occasion.

TV4's site KÄNDIS (Celebrity) reports:

For the first time Agnetha reveals her new love. The world famous star were partying at the popular restaurant Plaza Club on Friday morning and was not shy to cuddle with her boyfriend on the dance floor.
- The were cuddling and kissing. Agnetha seemed 'head over heels' in love, an witness testifies.

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06 April 2006

Gert arrested outside of Agnetha's home - AGAIN

Bad news, Gert is back in Sweden. The following article is from Expressen.

2006gert
The "Agnetha-man" Gert van der Graaf, 40, was arrested on the ABBA-star's home. He was released the day after and Agnetha Fältskog was forced to celebrate her 56th birthday in fear yesterday.
     - I feel great discomfort and fear, said the ABBA-star during the interrogation.

The 40 year old - who she earlier had a relationship with - has turned the last seven years of Agnetha's life into hell. Gert van der Graaf has sent her letters, called her on the phone and time and again appeared at her home, the farm on Ekerö.

RESTRAINING ORDER
1999agnethatedEven though the 40 year old earlier has been convicted of the many cases of stalking, and a restraining order was issued, he has returned again and again. Two days ago, on Tuesday, it happened again. Several people saw Gert van der Graaf in the area and called the police. Yesterday afternoon he was charged for disturbing Agnetha again through letters and phone calls during the last two years. However Solna Tingsrätt decided to release Gert van der Graaf. In connection with this the prosecutor Henrik Söderman forced van der Graaf to signed an agree to a new and increased restraining order.
     - If you do not follow this you will get arrested and charged immediately. Do you understand that? the prosecutor asked van der Graaf.
According to the police and the prosecutor there was no coincidence that Gert van der Graaf recently left Holland and turned up in Sweden - just a few days before Agnetha Fältskog's birthday yesterday.

"IT WAS HER BIRTHDAY"
      - I came here because it's her birthday. I wanted to talk to her for five minutes and assure her that she doesn't need to be afraid of me.
Agnethahouse_1In court van der Graaf assured that he will leave the ABBA-star alone from now on. When Expressen met up with him after his release he said something different:
     - I want to stay in contact with her, to know how she is. She is a special human being and I am a special human being. We belong together. I'm not a terrorist that she needs to be scared of.
Do you want to find love with her again?
     - If she wants to, yes. If we only could have talked it could have been something again.

04 February 2006

Agnetha met up with some friends

2006agnethaout On the evening of 2 February Agnetha was out having dinner with some friends, among them Tomas Ledin (who she recorded the duet "Never Again" with in 1982) according to TV4. She went to the very fashionable restaurant PA&Co on Riddargatan in Stockholm. 2006agnetha2feb She was seen having some drinks with people like Tomas Ledin (who she recorded the duet "Never Again" with in 1982)  and Peter Le Marc. An eye witness said that she looked brilliant. After a couple of hours she went home in a taxi.

Good to see that she is enjoying herself and having a good time!

11 January 2006

"Young and sweet, only seventeen"

A couple of weeks ago, Expressen's weekly magazine Hallå! published some previously unknown photos of a very young Agnetha. They had been forgotten for 38 years...

1967agnetha17uppslag_2 When Bibbi Wangström cleaned out her attic she made a discovery. Pictures of a young Agnetha Fältskog, who was dreaming of being discovered.

In the spring of 1967 Agnetha Fältskog had just turned 17. The world seemed a distant place, but the dream of a break through in Sweden is present in the young teenager's heart.
     Agnetha has already become a vocalist in the local band Bernt Enghardts Orkester in Jönköping where she sings her own song "Jag Var Så Kär" every Saturday night.
     1967agnethajump_3 The song became Agnetha's first hit and went straight to number 4 on Svensktoppen. It was around that time she made an appointment with local Jönköping photographer Ragnar Eriksson for a series of portraits and full figure shots. Mostly because she wanted to have some pictures of herself in her new fashionable clothes.

THE PHOTOGRAPHER DIED LAST SPRING

The photos have been forgotten for a long time and were almost thrown out when it was time to clean out the attic in the house were the photographer Ragnar Eriksson had lived. But someone spotted a box of negatives tucked away in a drawer.
     - Ragnar, who took the pictures, was my uncle, say Bibbi Wangström who was there in the attic when the negatives were found.
     - He lived in Norrahammar, south of Jönköping where he worked in the mills. But his passion was photography. In 1963 he acquired a photo studio in Jönköping and changed his career.
     And here she is, Agnetha, who just has turned 17. Make-up, hairstyle and clothes shows that the Carnaby Street fashion has found its way to Jönköping. White net stockings, Mary Quant shoes and a short girly dress.

1967agnethapose1 A GAP BETWEEN HER TEETH
Make-up and hairstyle are typical of the times. A 60's make-up with faint lips which is1967agnethapose2 in style again right now. And the characteristic gap between her teeth was of course present already back then. One of the pictures Ragnar took ended up on the cover of Agnetha's second single "Utan Dej" with "Slutet Gott Allting Gott" as the B-side. These two songs were also written in her room at home in Jönköping. They were typical songs for the time and they laid the foundation for her future world career.
     - Both of them have that characteristic second voice pitch which made people compare me to Connie Francis, Agnetha has said.
     1968utandej Seven years later she was married to Björn Ulvaeus and on her way to conquer the world together with ABBA. Something she couldn't even have imagined on that afternoon in Ragnar Eriksson's photo studio in Jönköping.

You can see more of the pictures in the Agnetha photo album!

10 December 2005

Update on Agnetha's "new man"

1976bertilwedding In Expressen today the identity of the man Agnetha was seen with a couple of days ago is revealed. His name is Bertil Nordström and he is 61 years old. According to Expressen he is very close friend of the Swedish king. The king and queen of Sweden are godfather and godmother of his children. Bertil is divorced now and living with a new woman. He is not very happy with the previous article in Expressen.
     - This is not a fun thing for me. You will have to speak with my lawyer, Bertil says to the newspaper.
A "friend" (always these friends...) says the following about Bertil's night with Agnetha:
     - He and a couple of friends went there (to the Plaza Club) to have a beer. Agnetha arrived with three girl friends. He talked to her a little and they danced.

Seems to me Bertil was caught doing something his new woman wasn't happy to hear about. The picture above show Bertil and his first wife at their wedding in 1976 with the king and queen attending.

09 December 2005

Agnetha partying with new man

Agnetha was spotted at the restaurant Club Plaza in Stockholm last night. The following article comes from Expressen. Nice to see her enjoying herself. And she looks good!

2005agnethaplaza_2 Here is Agnetha partying last night. The ABBA-star was dancing very closely to an unknown man late until the early hours of the morning. At the Club Plaza in Stockholm the shy world star broke her isolation.
The usually shy Agnetha Fältskog was enjoying herself in the crowd. The star openly showed her feelings for her new friend, an unknown middleaged man. The two danced closely together and kissed in front of all the guests at the crowded restaurant.

SAT CLOSE
Agnetha and her new friend sat close together. The star was holding his hand for a long time. It seemed2005agnethaplaza2 like the ABBA-star never wanted to leave the wild party with her friends. The guests at Club Plaza, which used to be the famous club Alexandra, in central Stockholm, became witness to a sensation.
     Agnetha Fältskog has been isolating herself for a long time in her house on Ekerö. She lives alone, rarely goes out and always has a body guard with her. At the opening of "Mamma Mia!" i February, which was supposed to be an ABBA-reunion, Björn, Benny and Anni-Frid wasn't able to even speak to her. Agnetha was hiding with her body guard next to the stage, she didn't go inside until the lights were out and she lifted her hands to cover her face. As soon as the show was over she fled to the waiting limousine.

THE OBJECT OF LOVE TERROR
The reason for her behaviour was Gert van der Graaf who Agnetha earlier had a romantic relationship with. In 2000 the Dutchman was sentenced to leave Sweden and a restraining order was issued after he had been stalking his idol with his tragic love terror.
     - I have been robbed of my freedom for over a year. He has been watching me everywhere, standing waiting on my driveway, going through my mailbox, Agnetha has said describing what happened.
After that she has been scared to death to go out. Until last night. She ended the evening with dancing to the romantic ballad "I Will Always Love You" by Whitney Houston. The couple was among the last to leave the restaurant just after three o'clock this morning.
BY ÅSA ASPLIND JILL SJÖLUND

09 November 2005

"I kissed Agnetha for more than 3 minutes!"

2005magnuskrepperHere is the actor Magnus Krepper. He has done something very few even will get close to do - kissing Agnetha Fältskog, ABBA-Agnetha. And on film even, with his mouth open for more than 3 minutes.
     - We kissed for 3 minutes and 27 seconds to be exact, Magnus says. Magnus Krepper, 38, who now is appearing in Swedish Television's latest drama series "God morgon alla barn".
     But back to the record kiss. Because it is a record.
     - Agnetha and I have the record for the longest kiss in a film, 3.27 as I said.
     - It was a really hot kiss and I remember it like it was yesterday. The mood was very nice. The kiss took place during the making of the documentary "Agnetha". It was then 17 years since she last opened her mouth - to the sound of "What Now My Love" from her latest album.

2004agnethakissmagnusAre you still in contact with Agnetha?
     - No, no not at all. It was only a movie kiss, but of course it was special. Because I have always liked ABBA and their music, says Magnus who is married to Sanna Krepper, 33, who is an actress working at Stockholms Stadsteater.
     - We met at the theatre school in the late 90's and we have two small children now.
     - If my wife got jealous? No, she is not that type of woman. This was just a job I did, even though it was a bit unusual and pretty pleasant, Magnus says and laughs again.
The film kiss will also be released on video.
     - Nowadays I'm working with completely different things, I'm in the middle of making the sequel to "Tusenbröder" for Swedish Television. And right now you can see me in "God morgon alla barn" where I play the passionate pizza baker Einar.

BY TOMAS LARSON, HÄNT EXTRA 8 NOVEMBER 2005

20 October 2005

Agnetha in the studio 1984

This is a radio interview by Staffan Dopping for Radio Stockholm in the fall of 1984 when he visited Agnetha and Eric Stewart in the Polar Music studio, where they were recording the "Eyes Of A Woman" album.

1984ericagnethaparis_1The weather has been lousy all day, and now the rain is pouring down. But in here there will hopefully be some music being made that will bring both joy and some money. I walk pass the reception. I nod a little nonchalant like I usually do and continue to the big studio. It's quite dark in here and I can hear music. Two people are sitting in front of the mixer table and I think I recognise the woman, so I walk in there.

Hello, I'm from Radio Stockholm, I hope I'm not interrupting anything...
- Hi Stockholm!
Agnetha Fältskog! Hi, what are you up to?
- I'm recording a new album,
How very wise of you, about time. The last one wasn't much of a succes! (laughs) Now it's about time you made some money here. This dark stranger here, who is he?
- It's my producer, his name is Eric Stewart, from 10CC.
How do you do, Eric Stewart?
- How do you do, Stockholm?
Do you like Ms. Fältskog here?
- Do I like her? Well I can't tell you about things like that.
Alright. Is this my cup of coffee by the way?
- I think so, one of them (Agnetha says).
As you know I really like coffee and I thought we'd have a cup together here in the Polar studio. How far have you come with the album?
- We have made 14 or 15 backgrounds in 14 days and now we have started to record the vocals, I have done two songs now and we are in the middle of the third today.
How much do you get to decide when it comes to choosing songs, I assume you don't just show up here when it's time to record the vocals?
- I have been here all the time. I'm always here when we record the backingtracks because I like to have my say about it. It's here you decide in what key the song will be. It's like giving birth to a baby every time.
That's beautiful! (laughs) Is it often the practice to record more songs than would actually fit on an album? Do you do this, just in case, if some of them aren't as good as the rest of the songs, so you can eliminate them afterwards?
- This time we have mad 15 backgrounds and I think there will be 11 or 12 songs on the album. And the remaining songs will be used as B-sides on the singles.
How do you choose the songs, who writes them, how does it all happen to get the right material to choose from?
- Well, it's not just me who chooses. We are lucky enough to get lots of demotapes from all around the world. People who write songs for me, and that's something I'm really happy about and thankfull for. Then I pick some and Eric pick some and Stikkan Anderson too, who listens to the songs and comments on them.
Who are the songwriters, can you give me some names?
- It's our technician, Paris Edvinsson, he has written one song for example.
Have you written any song for this album?
- Yes, I have written two songs and I think they will make it on to the album, and Eric has one that will be on the album, I think. And then there are a lot of different song writers who have contributed.
Unknown?
- Well...
You have some papers in front of you here: "Just One Heart"
- We are recording that song today, and yes it's called "Just One Heart". It's written by Paul Muggleton and Robert Noble.
Who are they?
- I really don't know! (laughs)
1985agnethaHow does this song sound, can you sing a little for me?
- (sings) The fever's running in the city (big laugh). It will sound much better when it's completed.
Well, we certainly hope so! (laughs) Agnetha Fältskog, this is the first interview in your life, I think, were we won't compare you to Anni-Frid Lyngstad.
- Oh, what a relief! It was about time!
Yes, that must feel good for you. What's that sound, can we hear some more? (a snippet of the backing track of "Just One Heart" is played). So this is live music only partially mixed, from the Polar studio. Is this "Just One Heart"?
- Yes, it is.
Who are the musicians?
- We have used some English musicians Eric choose. Do you want me to tell you all their names?
No you don't have to do that!
- It's mainly English musicians and a few Swedish ones like Rutger Gunnarsson playing bass.
The Polar Music favourite - Rutger Gunnarsson!
- Yes, he and I are the only ones who have worked together before. So all the others are new to me. The work is progressing fine and we are having a wonderful time!
Someone, was it Mike Chapman, who produced your previous album? And now it's Eric Stewart. Is it the producer who makes the sound of the album so special? Is that so important? And why do you change producer even if the producer before did a great job?
- Not everyone changes producers from record to record. But it is exciting to try different producers and they have the utter responsibility for the album coming together. And I could never be my own producer, because I'm way to critical of myself and I would go on changing everything I do over and over.
So they have to stop you?
- Yes, Eric stopped me yesterday about a thing I wanted to change. That's what a producer does and a lot of other things too, of course.
How many copies did your last album sell?
- Around 1,2 million copies.
Does it mean a lot to you if the album is a hit or not?
- It means more that I'm able to do what I like to do best, and I really love this studio work. So if the album sells one or two million copies doesn't matter.
One or two millions? How modest of you! Sounds like a woman who says "I don't care what my husband does, if he is the king or a president"! (laughs)
- Maybe that sounded wrong, but what I meant is that the number doesn't mean anything, it's not something you are thinking about when you are working.
But surely you must feel some pressure?
- Yes, definitely, but not in terms of how many copies my album will sell. The pressure I experience is that I want to make a better job all the time.
What on the last album, "Wrap Your Arms Around Me", was the best thing you wanted to continue developing on this new album?
- I guess it was the satisfaction of coming back to work as a solo singer again. To be able to sing in a lot of different styles. I'm allowed to vary my voice a lot more. I can sing both ballads and more up tempo songs, a little rockier.
["Can't Shake Loose" is played]
This was one of the songs from the latest album that was released two years ago. But that was the previous album. By the way, Agnetha, what is the name of the new album?
- We haven't decided the title yet, but we think it will be "Eyes Of A Woman", which is the song Paris has written.
A woman's ice?
- No, a woman's eyes! (both laughs)
Oh, I see, sorry. And it's your eyes of course?
- Of course, it has to be.
1984agnethaericEric Stewart, you're standing with your hands in your pockets. Seems like an easy life producing this album?
- It's a luxury, yeah.
You were one of the members of 10CC. Today you are mostly a producer, right?
- Yes, I'm mostly into production, working with other people on their albums.
Talk about Agnetha Fältskog in 30 seconds!
- In 30 seconds? She's a very good looking lady, she's got a wonderful voice, she writes very good songs and I really enjoy doing this album with her here in Stockholm. It's really gonna be a fabulous album.
You have of course listened to her first solo album. What did you think of it?
- I thought her voice was great, but I thought the choice of some of the material was pretty poor.
Which song did you like best?
- The single, which was "The Heat Is On" and I liked Agnetha's own song "Man". A beautiful ballad, a really good love song, beautiful words, the sort of thing everybody likes to listen to and understand.
You have been working here in the studio for a couple of weeks. How do you get along, how do you cooperate? How is the music coming along?
- We brought over musicians from England. We worked for three weeks every single day and night until we completed all the backing tracks. And everyone threw in ideas, we get ideas from the engineer, Paris, and we get ideas from Agnetha plus my own production ideas. It's like a chemical reaction of people and chemistry that works together. And I'm really knocked out about this studio here.
What is so special about it?
- It just has a great sound, very, very natural, live sound. Good engineers and a lovely ambience. Everybody who works here, not just in the control room. The people in the office, the girls at the front desk. It's just a very good and happy team. I'm very pleased to be here.
Don't you miss the daylight, it's almost like a cellar in here?
- We have begun to take on this grey colour after a few weeks, but Paris has booked us in at a solarium, so we're going for a solarium and a massage with a big Finnish lady, not Agnetha, no! Some big Finnish footballers are going to give us a massage.
If the album sells less than two million copies, will you be disappointed?
- I'd be disappointed and very surprised, because we've got about five hit songs here.
And you are being serious now?
- Yes, I'm very serious. It's going to be difficult to choose the songs because we have so many and Agnetha told you, we got tracks written by wonderful writers from all over the world. And we've asked people to write specifically for this album and for Agnetha. And we're very surprised and pleased by the reactions we've had from these great writers.
Thank you, Eric Stewart!
- Thank you!
On my right here sits Paris and he is mixing a track. How important are you in this? They tell me you are important.
- I'm trying to contribute with everything that I can.
How late are you working at night?
- We usually go on until midnight, one o'clock or so.
1985agnethablueAgnetha, about the tabloid press. Is it true that you have applied to join Stadsteatern (Stockholm City Theatre)?
- No, where did you hear that?
You joined their boycott of the tabloids.
- Yes, I supported them with all my heart.
You started this boycott thing a couple of years ago, didn't you?
- I don't think I was the one who started it. It was Anders Wall who had enough and that made me react finally. And I hope that it will make a difference. It's a really sad part of this business, I think.
When the album is finished will you fly around to promote it or will you stay at home in your rocking chair and let it sell itself?
- Well, I don't know how I'm going to do it this time. We have been discussing it since I don't fly anymore.
You are completely determined not to fly again?
- Yes, unfortunately I am. And it's really sad because it limits me. Not just when it comes to promoting an album, but also in my private life. I can't travel anywhere on my holidays.
You poor thing!
- Yes, but I can take the car. I will drive to France and Italy later.
And you're not scared about doing that?
- No, I don't feel any fear at all when I'm driving. Even though I'm very aware that it's a much more dangerous way of travelling. But that doesn't change my feelings about flying.
Eric is totally excited about this album and your voice and the fact that people from all over the world has written songs for you when they got to know that you planned to make another album. That is a fantastic situation.
- Yes, I feel very privileged, since I don't know if it's the same for many singers. But both Frida and I have been given this opportunity to choose from a lot of material and I'm very grateful for it.
Will you release a new album every year from now on?
- I can't promise one every year. Maybe one every other year.
When will this album be released?
- It's going to be released in the middle of February next year. The studio here is booked until the first week of November.
I know it's not allowed to say "good luck" in your business, so I say "break a leg" and thank you, Agnetha!
- Thank you!

18 August 2005

Agnetha's remasters are here!

2005wyaaminsYes, today I received two of the three Agnetha Fältskog Polar Music albums; "Wrap Your Arms Around Me" and "Eyes Of A Woman" (no more Eyes Of a WOMEN on the spine of the CD!)
      I couldn't bring myself to buy the third one, the Christmas songs album. Ah well, maybe for Christmas. The two I got look great. They are designed in the same style as Frida's three albums earlier this year.
     2005eyoawinsThe sound is good, rich, a lot more bass, very crispy and fresh. Pity they couldn't find the master tape for "It's So Nice To Be Rich", so they had to master it from a vinyl single. Not too bad though. I read in the forum on www.abbasite.com that someone thought this song was in bad taste. I guess not everyone knows that it's a song from a Swedish movie called "P&B". And I read somewhere that "The Way You Are" should be longer than the 3:45 it is. I dug out the old vinyl single and the version of the song there is 4:10. I don't know what happened there.2005wyaambackAnyway, here are some scans 2005eyoawbackfrom the covers. I hope you enjoy them! Click to enlarge if needed.

20 July 2005

Agnetha, aged 23 in 1973 "Sometimes I get scared"

1973agnethatonr"Sometimes I get scared"
It really is like fairytale. The fairy mother held her magical wand over the girl - and suddenly all the dreams came true. Six years ago I was a shy switchboard operator in the darkest of Småland. Now I am working as a singer, I am married to Björn Ulvaeus and the mother of the most lovely little girl. I have a villa, a summerhouse, car and a boat. All of it just appeared at once. That is why I sometimes stop in my step and feel petrified. It just can't go on like this. What if I'm not appreciative enough, until it's too late? I am being spoiled. You see happyness as something normal. Now, something REALLY big has to happen for you to even react and to be able to develop and change. In that area Linda has of course already changed my life. Now I am able to see a lot of the world through her eyes. Having a baby was something so fantastic. We had waited and waited for such a long time. And then suddenly, the test results were positive! All through my pregnancy I felt fine. But of course, towards the end it was a little heavy. Especially since she decided to be a couple of weeks late. But when the midwife put her on my belly - then I experienced my happiest moment in my life. Especially since I had wanted a baby girl all along and everyone else around me were rooting for a boy.
     Agnetha took a breather in between two recordingsessions. At the same time she had time to admire Linda's wobbly one-year-old walk. And she had time to tell us about her life..The Wedding to Björn Ulvaeus was as romantic as schlager lyric. But what happened then?
     - I have never had any specific ideas on how to be a mother. That's a good thing, but because of that I can never be disappointed. Our marriage is just like any other couple's. Sometimes it's up, sometimes it's down. To both live and work together has it sides. Positive things are the strength and understanding. We know each other. But that can also be the opposite. Imagine the long summer tours. You are tired and annoyed. I don't have to be very social towards Björn. With him I can be almost overnatural. At the same time we are starting to get on each other's nerves we also feel very connected. You know exactly how the other person will react. To be married to a non-artist must be very different and bring completely different problems. This business is special, even if you're not looking for the luxurious and party kind of life you get drawn into it.
     - I, myself, prefer to be at home. But don't think I'm the ideal housekeeper. Decorating and renovating gets boring very quickly. Cooking is much more fun. Right now are we eating a lot of Chinese food. But that is never as good as hommade cabbage pudding with lingonberries! Linda prefers her formula best of course. After two bottles she is asleep. Then she will sleep for 12 hours.
     - Our method for upbringing has no rules or regulations. We are only using common sense. What's important is that Linda feels secure so that we can both laugh and cry together. You can't 'act' in front of your child. If you are upset, you must be allowed to show the child that you are. Kids understand so much more than you think.
     - It's only natural to make comparisons to your own upbringing. You don't want to repeate the mistakes your own parents made with you. But I mostly have very fond memories of my childhood. And I am still very close to my parents. When something's wrong - I will call my mother. Especially when Linda was a new, tiny baby it was very comforting for me to be able to call my mother and get her advice. I was so scared back then. The first couple of days I hardly dared to touch her. She felt so small and fragile. Now I'm longing to have more children. But not too soon. I want to spend some time with each child before the next one comes along. A few years inbetween is probably good. My own little sister, Mona, is five years younger than I am. We have gotten along fine. Now this fall she has been living here helping us taking care of Linda. That has been wonderful. Because now it's time to record again. In November my new single "En Sång Om Sorg Och Glädje" will be released. That one have I even produced myself. And soon the winters second record will be released, a full album. On that one i have written the songs myself. Of course it's difficult when you have a husband who is a professional. But I never ask him for any help with that. Just the same way he never asks me to help him with his music. We need to be able to separate our work. It's important to me to be able to bring out my own material. It helps my sefesteem. When I'm around here at home it's nice to be able to sit down by the piano and find a new melody. Linda likes to help me. She seems to like music allready. But then again, she should, both of her parents being musicians.
     Agnetha is working on many levels. After Christmas it's time for the second ABBA album. Mr and Mrs Ulvaeus has reconnected with their neighbours Anni-Frid Lyngstad and Benny Andersson.
     - ABBA mainly came to buy an accident. That "Ring Ring" should become such a big hit was a real joy. Now it's available in both, Swedish, English, German and Spanish. The last language was like Hebrew to us. We had to sing with a phonetically written lyric. But the Spanish people seem to understand it, because the recordsales there are very good. Germany has also become a huge market. Just before Christmas we went down there and did a TV-show. Another recording is also planned. It's in the recording studio where I feel I'm the best. In front of an audience I feel inhibited.
     When mamma Agnetha has been talking a long time with me Linda pops up and joins the conversation. A few hugs later she returns back to Auntie Mona.
     - Imagine! I can't believe that this little bundle of joy is mine! Sometimes I think it's not true. Every morning when I see her I get so happy. She is growing so quickly, you can almost see her grow. I have several times tried to write songs about Linda. The results have ended up in the wastepaper bin. They have been really bad. And I find it more difficult to compose nowadays, the demand is increasing. Years back, I just wrote a song, just like that. Now I constructe them in a completely different way. I always start with the music first. Then the lyrics in English comes. That language is the easiest to work with. The trick is to get together a really good Swedish lyric. So I try and stay away from the most obvious rhymes like 'hjärta - smärta'.
     Agnetha has big plans for 1974. There are 2 LPs to hope for and for the summer it's tempting to go on a folk park tour.
     - Of course, the job means a lot. But what is most important is that Linda shall be allowed to grow up to a harmonic, playfull child. Right now she is the spitting image of her father. And she has a big voice enough for both of us. It will definitely be enough to be a telephonist - or an artist.

ARTICLE FROM HEMMETS VECKOTIDNING 1973

11 July 2005

Earlier this year we got Frida's albums
now it's Agnetha's turn

I'm talking about the remastered reissues of the Agnetha Fältskog solo albums on the Polar Music AB label. Universal has announced that the three albums:

  • Nu Tändas Tusen Juleljus (the duet album Agnetha made with her daughter Linda)
  • Wrap Your Arms Around Me
  • Eyes Of A Woman

will be reissued in August.

The first one, the duet album Nu Tändas Tusen Juleljus, will not have any bonus tracks added to it.

Wrap Your Arms Around Me will have no less than 5 bonus tracks:

  1. Never Again (the duet with Tomas Ledin)
  2. It's So Nice To Be Rich
  3. P&B
  4. The Heat Is On 12" (Super Dance Music Mix)
  5. Ya Nunca Más (Never Again in Spanish)


Eyes Of A Woman
  will also have 5 bonus tracks:

  1. You’re There
  2. Turn The World Around 
  3. I Won’t Let You Go (Extended Version)
  4. The Way You Are (duet with Ola Håkanson)
  5. Fly Like The Eagle (duet with Ola Håkanson)

These releases will be available in Sweden on 14 August and a little later around the world. Check with your local record store for details.

Agnremasters_4

25 June 2005

Agnetha interview May 1979

An inteview from VeckoRevyn published on 29 May 1979. Written by Jackie Lindberg.

1979agnethacoverUp close and personal
with Agnetha Fältskog

Agnetha Fältskog is not easy to get hold of for an interview. The whole world's press can agree with that. Recently the world press gathered outside her villa on Lidingö after the divorce. The begged to get an interview. But nothing helped. Agnetha wanted to be left alone.
     She doesn't think that she has very much to say. But she is also a naturally shy person, which makes her avoid journalist who often asks not so very important questions, she says.
     So why she agree to give me an interview I don't know. Maybe I just happened to ask her at the right time.
     For the first time she talks about her childhood, her upbringing, how she got her breakthrough, how ABBA was born, love and divorce. Her own way of expressing herself shows what an insecure and searching person she is. She has been through a difficult crisis, but now she sees the light at the end of the tunnel. So the picture of a very much alive fellow human being who is plagued by guilt and wants to stand on her own emerges.
     There's one story that wasn't included in this interview. I can tell it here. It says alot about what a modest person Agnetha Fältskog is:
    Agnetha and I has decided on the phone to meet at a Chinese restaurant in Stockholm. Somewhere we got our wires crossed. I ended up at China Garden on Karlavägen while Agnetha was waiting at China Park on Birger Jarlsgatan.
     It too me half an hour to realize the mix up. During that time Agnetha had called my house and asked my wife why I hadn't shown up. My wife said I left a long time ago and that I'm usually very punctual.
     - I thought he had forgetten about me, said Agnetha. But that's OK, I'll wait a little longer.
     Forget about a world famous celebrity! Forget a dinner with Agnetha Fältskog! I was astonished when I heard about her reaction.
     I didn't dare to believe that she would still be there. But she was - when I came running, out of breath. I could name at least 50 other celebrities who would have left the restaurant after five minutes if the reporter didn't show up. But that's how she is, Agnetha Fältskog. So far from a diva as could get.

You have just been through a crisis in your private life. How do you cope when something like that happens?
     - I have some security in my self. When a problem occurs I just want to go home to my parents. I'm so glad they are still around. I think them a lot, and my childhood. It's there everything starts, isn't it? I grew up in Jönköping. My dad is an administrator at the electricity company, my mother is a cashier at Konsum (a food store), but when I and my sister were young she was a stay at home mom for several years.
How was it at home?
     - It wasn't a quiet home exactly. Everyone talked with each other. Dad - a real joker - was something like a entertainmentdad for the whole town. He wrote New Years' shows and played the piano. Mom is also musical. Early on I developed a taste for entertaining. When I was a teenager I toured with a dance orchestra and sang, I wrote my own songs which were successfull. I had a lot of freedom. But of course I had to be responsible. I had to be punctual and not stay out too long. At the same time I worked in an office. I was the girl on the switchboard. It didn't give me much, just a feeling of being an outsider. When the phone wasn't ringing I was thinking of what to do with my life. I was a dreamer and fantasized a lot, but at the same time I realized that I had to get an education. But the music got in the way. A boyfriend broke up with me and I wrote a sentimental song called "Jag Var Så Kär" (I was so in love).
1979agnethavr1And then the adventure started?
     - The band leader's wife knew the rock singer Little Gerhard (Karl Gerhard Lundqvist) in Stockholm. The orchestra decided to send him a tape with some songs. We really wanted to make a record. I got a personal reply, which was positive. I couldn't belive it at first. That's how convinced I was that I would never amount to anything. It resulted in a recording at the Philips studio in Stockholm, but not with "my" orchestra. Dad came with me and held my hand. I was more nervous than I have ever been. I was shaking and my mouth was dry. We recorded and released two singles which was unusual for a debutant. My idol at that time was Connie Francis. They said that I sounded a bit like her. "Jag Var Så Kär" became a hit. The adventure had started.
1971agnbjo1How was ABBA formed?
     - ABBA was formed out of love, you could say. Björn and I was in love. And so were Benny and Anni-Frid. We all were in love and excited especially when we worked together. We became world famous, but that doesn't mean anything to us. We are Swedes and Swedes are firmly planted on the ground. Björn and I lived together for three years, then we got married. We had been married for seven years when we divorced. It didn't end abruptly. It was a long process. But ABBA didn't have anything to do with it. We would have divorced even if we didn't work together. We developed in different directions and the problems started. I felt like I didn't have any freedom in the marriage, locked in. We just fell out of love and we annoyed each other until we decided to live apart.
Why?
     - There's something weird about being married. You devote all your time to your partner and you forget about your friends. After a while you feel locked in and you wonder what has happened. You haven't grown as a person and you start to panic. Can I make it on my own, will I destroy it for my children? What do I want to do with my life? Is the grass greener on the other side? Your conscience haunts you, as well as your fears for the future.
     1971agnbjo2_1- When Björn and I reached that level we contacted a psychologist, quite like you go to the doctor if you are physically ill. Nothing strange about that. But the tabloids made a big deal of the fact that we were seeing a psychologist and even insinuated that I had an affair with him.
Was that just a lie then?
     - A divorce is something terrible to go through. But it's even worse to be subjected to the tabloids lies in articles where they present them as the truth. You're powerless. It doesn't help if you appeal to them to be left alone. There are some magazines that writes exactly what they want and they use you to increase sales.
1979agnethavr2So now you had crisis meeting within ABBA?
     - Once we had decided about a separation this naturally led to meeting within ABBA. What will a divorce mean to ABBA? We all agreed that it wouldn't have to mean anything. We were going to go on as usual and now we've been doing that for six months. And it works fine.
When will ABBA split up?
     - If ABBA splits up it will not be because of internal love affairs, it would be because Björn and Benny don't want to write songs anymore. It takes a lot of strength, they worked, isolated for weeks every time they write something new. It's only reasonable that the inspiration will disappear eventually.
How do you spend your free time?
     - I spend all my free time with my children. Linda is 6 years old, Christian 1. We play, go for walks, go to Skansen, listen to music. The children are the most important in my life. It's important to get enough sleep. That's not always the case when you have small children. If I only get four hours sleep the following days is completely ruined for me.
Have you received a lot of letters (from the fans)?
     - A lot of letters comes, not least from abroad, after our divorce. The writers are upset about what has happened, they want to comfort and help. I think it's amazing that so many people can get so involved just because I'm a singer. Some of them wonder if we're getting back together. But I'm afraid that will not happen. We have hurt each other so badly, so many things have been said. Why are we so careless about love? By the way, Is it possible to live without love? No, I can't.
What did Stikkan Anderson say when he got to hear about your divorce?
     - Stikkan became really sad when I told him that it was decided. He was also worried about ABBA, but mostly he was sad for me and Björn.
And what were you thinking?
     - I wonder how attractive a single mother of two really is? I don't think it's very easy. I question my whole existence. But within my music, I'm strong. But I don't write lyrics anymore. The reason for that could possibly be that I think that life itself is like a schlager lyric.
Are you happy now?
     - It has said in the papers that I'm happy after the divorce, that I'm jubilant and active within the Women's right movement. That is not true. I had that article read to me before it was published and I approved it. But I have a weakness: I want to please everyone. That's why I didn't ask them to remove that.
     - Happiness, what is that? I can wake up one morning and feeling really excited... And in the evening I can be prepared to go and hang myself. Happiness only exists in the moment. Happiness is writing music. Sometimes I get a melody stuck in my head after I've gone to bed. Then I get up and sit down at the piano. But usually these melodies don't measure up. The music that is good enough I have to struggle to get to. It's hard work. But it's some sort of happiness just the same. It's also hard to find inspiration since I hardly ever hear any good music. If I turn on the music radio I'm disappointed. They seem to talk more. Melodiradion sucks!
1979agnethavr3Do you feel unconcentrated?
     - Periodically I feel very unconcentrated. I never have enought time for my own music. ABBA takes most of my time and the children. Sometimes I have thought of staying at home. But I also want to do something else, otherwise taking care of the children would absorb me. And I'm lucky enough to have a nanny, a friend really, who helps me with the children, she has been with us for a year and half now.
Are you active within the Women's rights movent?
     - I have nothing to do with it I really don't understand it or what it is for. Female liberation is good. But it mustn't be exaggerated. Aren't we equal enough now? If I understand the Women's right movement correctly they want total independence. And there is no such thing. We all depend on each other.
Do you believe in love - despite everything?
     - Yes. Love between man and woman and between people.
The guys they must be chasing you?
     - Now - after the divorce - the guys are chasing me. I get flowers and tickets. But I'm very carefull and I won't fall easily. Living together is so complicated. If I fall in love again I will be very careful with that love. At the same time I know it's impossible to find a perfect scheme for your love life. Crisis will appear eventually. The reason being that you never really know another person and that the daily routine within a marriage contains a lot of traps.
A marriage contract - is that for you?
     - Marriage contracts are unrealistic. You don't sit down and tick off each others good and bad qualities on a form before you get married. A marriage is like a white piece of paper, which can be filled with scribblings.
Are you interested in power?
     - Through success you gain power. But I'm not interested in a power position. It pains me when people see me as a star, when they can't interact with me naturally. I notice that they are tense, so I get tense. Though I think I have learned to make it easier for them. I myself aren't impressed with anyone. I'm a person who is driven by emotions, I act and judge others very much from how I feel. I have tried to get over my failed marriage for a long time now. I've been working with myself. And in the process I have developed a sense where I can see if someone has been through a divorce. It leaves irreverseable marks, it's in the atmosphere around that person.
What do you reach with your intuition?
     - Mostly it's used to feel if a song will be a hit or not. But I'm also that kind of person who can turn around on the runway from a flight. - The more I fly, the more anxious I get. I think it's challenging higher powers and I always say a prayer just before start or landing. I would prefer to stay on the ground. But we do travel around the world quite a lot. I enjoy it, for a while. Then I want to get home to the children, the kitchen zink, the jeans, the spaghetti bolognese. I prefer the simple life over the life in luxury, I have difficulty to feel like a millionnaire. Our money mostly gets invested in real estate and other things and then the taxes are huge - so we never really see the money.
Are you still living in the villa?
    - I intend to stay in the house on Lidingö that I and the children moved to when we decided to break up. Its location is a little to visible, but I will get help to get a fence up to avoid people looking in.
And ABBA's island - what will happen to that?
     - I will leave ABBA's island in the Stockholm archipelago for good. But the others will continue to be there just like before. The island never really meant that much to me. It's nice to be there when the weather is nice. But that's not always the case and then you only feel isolated. You have to depend on boats to get there and back and I only drive them into the bridge. I just cannot learn how to dock the boat.

22 June 2005

Agnetha's breakdown, the new lonely life outside ABBA broke her.

I find that it's very difficult to find old articles about Agnetha that are positive. So many are just focusing on her being alone, abandoned, sad etc. Going through many magazines and clippings I'm quite surprised that these negative articles started so early. But I'll keep digging. Anyway here's an example from VeckoRevyn 17 October 1979.

Agnetha got sick from missing her children
1979agnethabreakdownIt wasn't only air sickness and stomach problem that broke Agnetha down i America. A large part of it was the fact that she felt lonely and no longer a "real" part of the group. And the longing for her children.

What was it that really happened to Agnetha Fältskog, over there in America? Air sickness, stomach flu and high fever were reported. Agnetha had simply become ill by many different reasons, so sick she had a breakdown which led ABBA to cancel their concert in Washington.
     But all of us who have followed the tour closely, couldn't ignore what we saw, something was very wrong with Agnetha Fältskog, even before the horrendous plane flight between Los Angeles and Washington D.C.
     Agnetha was serious, gloomy. She suffered in silence, from the very first day in Edmonton, Canada until her total breakdown in Washington D.C. 20 days later.
     At first she had big problems with the time difference between Europe and the US. Then she started to miss her children, who were at home in Sweden, so badly . Agnetha became a loner on this tour. When the rest of the group rented a yacht to go sunbathing on for a day, Agnetha stayed at the hotel pool. Alone.
     1979agnethalindaThis was the first big tour in two years. Two years that has meant a lot of changes in her life. Agnetha Fältskog divorced Björn Ulvaeus, several young men has been pointed out as "Agnetha's new man". In an interview in VeckoRevyn in May this year she said the following:
     - ABBA was brought together by love. Björn and I was in love. And so were Benny and Anni-Frid. We were all in love and happy. Not at least when we were recording our music, when we were working together.
     That was not the case in America. It wasn't the "in love" ABBA who crossed the American continent. Agnetha stated from the start that the only thing she really thought of and cared about was her children, Christian, 2 and Linda, 6.
     - The children mean everything to me. My stomach hurts when I see other children playing in the pool, when my children are so far away. I missed them terribly, so intense. I just can't be away from them for this many days, that's just how it is.
     1979agnethafridaAfter a few days in America the first sign of Agnetha not coping appeared. One night she broke down and cried. But that incident was kept quiet. Nothing was allowed to ruin this the most important concert tour in the band's history.
     But the story came out when they were in Los Angeles. Agnetha was fragile, she had had a nervous breakdown. But now at least, she got to see her daughter Linda again who had travelled there from Sweden with Lena Källersjö (Björn's girlfriend), Stikkan Anderson and his wife Gudrun and other family members.
     In Los Angeles Agnetha could live a "family life" again. She lived in an apartment hotel. Linda spent the nights in Björn Ulvaeus and Lena Källersjö's hotel room and her days with her mother Agnetha. And then came the problems with Agnetha's flying. Flying, this horrible way of transporting yourself from city to city is just hell for someone, like Agnetha, who suffers from a terrible fear of flying.
     1979agnetharelaxingBack in May, when VeckoRevyn interviewed Agnetha about flying she said:
     - The more I fly, the more anxious I get. I think it's challenging higher powers and I always say a prayer just before start or landing. I would prefer to stay on the ground. But we have had to fly a lot in our line of work. I quite enjoyed it in the beginning. Then I wanted to come home to my children, put a pair of jeans on and take care of the daily chores.
     1979abbaentourageNow all of that happened at one time, her fear of flying, not having her children with her, and she is no longer Björn Ulvaeus' wife. Agnetha talks about the divorce:
     - Björn and I lived together for 10 years. We were together for 3 years before we were married and then we were married for 7 years. But then it crumbled. We developed into two completely d1979ulvaeusdisneyiffent kind of people. I didn't feel free, I felt trapped. We just ran out of love and started annoying each other, and we argued. Finally we made the decision and got a divorce and moved away from each other. And with doing so, Agnetha felt that she wasn't as much of a part of ABBA as she had been before. I wanted to get away from it all. The islands in the Stockholm Archipelargo she no longer visits. The other three are still there during the summer. The big question now is how much ABBA will matter for Agnetha in the future. She has already stated that when Linda starts school next year, Agnetha will be a stay at home mom. And nothing can make her change that decision. Not even the biggest, best, most profitable ABBA tour ever.

11 June 2005

Another Agnetha dress

2005agnethasdress1I don't think I have written about the dress Agnetha wore for the2005agnethasdress2_1 cover photo of the "ABBA"-album in 1975. It was recently up for sale at www.tradera.com a Swedish auction site.
It was sold for SEK 15.500 (approx USD 2.240 GBP 1.100). It still looks fantastic as you can see from the pictures of it here. I also include the seller's story about how she got the dress. Very interesting.

This unique dress was made for and worn by ABBA's Agnetha Fältskog during the photo shoot for the cover (both sides)of ABBA 1975 (record no 549 952-2). The dress is tailored by Hertzbergs Konfektion in Katrineholm Sweden, and was returned by the record company Polar after the photo shoot. The dress has never been used since, nor washed. This dress is one of a kind.

09 June 2005

Agnetha's dress

2005agnethanybok_1Another article about Agnetha, this time in Hänt Extra, 31 May 2005. The same story2005agnethadress_2 as here in Aftonbladet.

But what I thought was interesting was the picture. This must be the "closest" one I have seen from that evening.

What is it with the dress she is wearing? Almost see-through at some points. Is it knitted? Is she wearing a black bra under it (the shoulder straps looks double...)

Ladies, (and Gents) please help me out here. On the photos I had seen before I thought it was much thinner, a bit like the "night gown" she wore in the interview with Lasse Bengtsson. But that was at least indoors. So maybe this dress wasn't too cold after all. All insights in ladies' dresses are welcome! Click on the picture to the right to enlarge it so you can see the details better.

21 May 2005

Agnetha: "- I was crushed by the fans"

Today in Aftonbladet this article was published. It seems to be some strange mix of old and new stuff as it almost always is with Agnetha facts. This article is based on an article in the Daily Mirror which is based loosley on the new German book "ABBA - Ihre Ganze Geschichte". I find it strange that Agnetha would say that after ABBA she (and Frida!) couldn't stand to listen to any other music than ABBA? Wasn't it it the other way around - they needed a rest from ABBA? And I do think Frida had a stereo! Ah well, take it for what it is - another article from the tabloids with quotes from a lot of different interviews...


Agneta200I WAS CRUSHED BY THE FANS

Agnetha talks about nightmares and  yearning.

After years of silence she tells all. For the first time she explains why she fled her fame. - I dreamt that I was crushed by the fans, she says - and she is longing to meet the right man.

She felt hunted and stalked and like a bad mother. The fact that she was loved and praised by the whole world didn't help. While the other members of ABBA have continued to live public lives Agnetha Fältskog has lived secluded and avoided all publicity.

SILENT FOR 13 YEARS
- After the band broke up I didn't sing one note for 13 years. I didn't even have a stereo at home. I know it was the same for Frida.
- We had lived so intense and long with ABBA that we couldn't stand to listen to any other music, Agnetha says in the soon to be published biography "ABBA: The complete history". Not even the authors Frederic Tonnon and Marisa Garau got to meet Fältskog. According to Daily Express they received a CD from Agnetha with her replies recorded.

Agneta2"I WAS AFRAID"
In the book Agnetha tells openly about how bad the success and hysteria surrounding the group made her feel. She was scared by the fans and had nightmares.
     - I dreamt that the fans would get hold of me and never let go or that I was crushed by them. I was afraid of them and she continues:
     - People scratched us, sometimes brutally, and we used to scream by fear as we were rushed into the waiting cars. During the years the unbelieveably loved blonde felt bad from the touring and all the time that ABBA demanded. She felt guilty for not being there for her children.
     - I felt guilty about the kind of mother I was. I didn't think I was a good mother. I found it more and more difficult to be away with ABBA for weeks, be away from my home and my children.

HASN'T FOUND THE RIGHT ONE
Agnetha, who has been stalked by a Dutch fan, says that she hasn't found the right man.
     - People who find love and can keep it are very lucky.
     - It's good to long for love. I'm still longing.
Agnetha also tells in the new book how she has learned to relax.
     - I have found that yoga helps me. The years after ABBA was a time for me to think and find myself.

 

14 May 2005

Two peas in a pod

An interview at home with Björn and Agnetha from 1971 in the Swedish weekly magazine "Allas" from 31 May. A "cute" interview, no depth at all. They both seemed so young, sweet and innocent.

1971agnethabjornallas_1They believe in love at first sight - Agnetha Fältskog and Björn Ulvaeus. They met on TV and they fell in love immediately. Now they are planning their summer wedding!
TWO PEAS IN A POD
The old saying "like to peas in a pot" still seems valid, at least if you meet Hootennany Singers' charming man Björn Ulvaeus, nowadays composer, producer, lyricist, singer and a real handy man in his four room flat together with his beloved Agnetha Fältskog and his sweet younger sister.
     Hootenanny Singers, the Swedish people's favourites, constantly on "Svensktoppen" started their career when they still were in school in Västervik and their career has just kept going. After they graduated they have parted - Hansi Schwarz is studying in Lund, "Totta" Roth and his friend Carlberg in Linköping. Björn Ulvaeus, who already knew that he wanted to go into the pop music business as a producer, composer and singer, went to Stockholm. During the summers they toured like crazy throughout Sweden. The girls were screaming hysterically from joy when the four turned up on stage.

1971agnethabjornuppsl_2FELL FOR EACH OTHER IMMEDIATELY
And last year it happened when Björn was doing a TV-show and he found the Girl. They both fell in love immediately. Don't say that there's no such thing as love at first sight. The girl with a capital G was already famous in the pop music world, her name was Agnetha Fältskog from Jönköping and she was a successfull composer and singer.
     The more time the couple spent together they realised they had so much in common. So they decided to live together. And Björn took his younger sister with him. The result became a very happy household.
     We are just talking about this and that and I soon realise that there's a line of privacy they won't let me cross. They are both used to journalists by now and know where to draw the line. During our conversation a lot of issues comes up that they both agree completely on. World war for example, they both think it's the worst thing. So where would they like to live if they were financially independent?
     - Sweden, Björn says immediately. I couldn't stand any other climate. But here Agnetha disagrees. Agnetha says that she would like to live in Gambia, the small west African country south of Senegal with long beaches and palm trees. But it would be very hot there. The reason for Agnetha's choice is probably that she and Björn was there in November when it wasn't too hot. After May no Swede could stand the heat there.

HATE INTOLERANCE AND LIES
We talk about what they  dislike about people: Björn hates intolerance and Agnetha hates lies. When it comes to music they both agree that Tjajkowskij is great and Björn adds Beethoven and Lennon/McCartney. Agnetha adds Burt Bacharach and George Harrison! But which historic person do they admire most?
     - Winston Churchill, Björn says immediately.

1971agnethabjornkitchenBJÖRN - ABSENT MINDED AND SLOPPY
    - Well, Björn, what are your worst qualities? I ask Björn and he thinks long and hard about it.
    - It's must be being absent minded and sloppy, he says. That's probably what's most annoying to others. Agnetha, on the other, looks as if she doesn't mind running around picking up stuff after Björn. I never get to know what Agnetha's worst qualities are. What I do learn is what kind of flowers they like. Björn loves roses and Agnetha yellow fresias. When it comes to birds Björn prefers house sparrows and Agnetha the blackbird, because "it sings so beautifully". Neither of them have much time to read books but Björn's favourite author is Ray Bradbury and Dan Andersson. Agnetha loves Shakespeare - especially "Romeo and Juliet" - Daphne de Maurier and Karin Boye. And before I know it the blond beauty starts reciting a poem by Karin Boye. She does it so beautifully I almost get teary eyed.
     Young Ms. Ulvaeus acts as hostess and Björn and Agnetha sit down on the floor and start playing on a strange looking instrument which they have brought from Africa.

TOURING TOGETHER THIS SUMMER - AS HUSBAND AND WIFE
It's very unusual that they both are at home at the same time. Mostly Björn is composing with his friend Benny Andersson somewhere and Agnetha is away singing. But this summer that will change. They are going to tour together and they are looking forward to it. It all seems so stable and nice Agnetha looks so much in love and Björn looks as smug as a cat.
     1971agnethabjorncloseup- We are getting married on 6 July in Verum' church in Skåne, Agnetha shouts from the closet. In April they went to London and not long ago they were in Paris. They don't spend much time at home, Agnetha loves chinese food (but Björn prefers a home cooked meal) so Björn takes her to the restaurant Hongkong and in return she goes with him to see a movie.
     Their apartment is beautifully decorated and very comfortable. A mix of memories from trips abroad and modern furniture from IKEA. A very nice and welcoming place to come home to after spending many nights in hotel rooms during their tours.
     They are a very charming and talented couple, they definitely have what it takes to become successfull in the pop music business.

05 May 2005

Agnetha bashing - again!

The Swedish press continues to portray Agnetha as a victim, scared and alone. I wish they would leave her alone. This week in Svensk Damtidning this article was prublished:

Agnethasvdamtidn_1ABBA-Agnetha is getting more and more scared...
She is sensitive to sounds so she stays away from the city. She hasn't left the country for over 15 years, since she has a fear of flying. She doesn't like to talk about herself in public since she is afraid people will dislike her. She thinks she's being stalked so she always has bodyguards protecting her. When someone tries to take a photograph of her she puts her hands up to hide her face... and she has always been shy, in the past and now at the age of 55.
     A more scared and frightened person than Agnetha Fältskog is hard to find. She seldom leaves her home at the farm on Ekerö, outside of Stockholm and if she does it's always with a body guard accompanying her.
     But sometimes she can't avoid the public life. When "Mamma Mia!", the musical, opened in Stockholm this winter she was there. A separate room had been prepared for her. She stayed there until the show started and returned there right after it ended and then slipped away through the back door.
     Last year though she had to do TV-interviews to promote her new album "My Colouring Book". On TV4 she tried to explain her fears:
     - I can't travel around to promote my work as I used to before. It is just to painfull and scary for me... I get too nervous, too anxious. She describes her fear of flying:
     - It's that feeling I have inside that something catastrophic will happen. There's good reason for her to be worried about being stalked. Eight years ago she had an affair with a Dutch man. When she wanted to end their relationship he started stalking her. The police arrested him and he is no longer allowed to come to Sweden. But Agnetha is still scared that he or some other man will come close.

CHRIS CEDERLÖF, SVENSK DAMTIDNING #19, 2005

04 April 2005

Agnetha & Frida interview June 1975

In view of the previous entry here, the 1975 tour, I thought it could be interesting to read this interview with Agnetha and Frida from the same month, June, in 1975.

1975agnfridajuneHalf of ABBA are sitting opposite me with their hands in their laps. Agnetha Fältskog has a blue denim outfit with flowers dancing over the bellbottoms. Her blond, long hair falls down on her shoulders. With her healthy skin and her clear, blue eyes she is the typical Swedish girl. Anni-Frid Lyngstad, in white pants and a white blouse, has a more dangerous look. Her eyes sparkles,  sometimes they look happy, sometimes melancholy. Her red-brown hair curles around her forehead. We are sitting and discussing the other half of ABBA Bjorn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson. Bjorn is married to Agnetha and Benny lives with Frida. How can they live and work together?

Frida: ­ Sometimes you're not in the mood or even angry, but it's OK to be that. Just like in a family. And we're always in a good mood when we are performing. You have so many other things to concentrate on then. You don't have the time to be angry.

Agnetha: ­ Bjorn and I fought much more before, but that was probably because we didn't know each other that well. I think it's the same with the group. We learn to accept and tolerate each others differences. Both Frida and I temperamentfull, with very big mood-swings. But we are seldom angry for long. We may get depressed sometimes and it's a funny thing it usually happens at the same time for me and Frida.

Frida: It's strange, but I'm more often depressed now than I was before the Eurovision Song Contest [when they won with Waterloo]. Now the pressure is bigger. We have to work much harder both in Sweden and abroad.

Agnetha: Yes, we have to work even when we're ill. During the long European tour last summer, we only cancelled once. It was when Frida got a very bad throat infection and couldn¹t sing at all.

Frida: ­ Wait, we're not miserable all the time. We have a lot of good times in between. And we don't feel that the success has come too soon or too easily. We have, all four of us, worked very hard in the music business for many years. But of course, you get tired of yourself sometimes. I mean in this job you look at yourself in the mirror all the time. You have to look your best. And on top of that you see your face in almost all the papers almost all the time. Sometimes I really want to change my looks - create a new Frida.

Agnetha: ­ Yes, it's not very vigorating to be on tour. You get nervous, your skin, your hair, everything looks terrible. Mostly because of the lack of sleep I think. It's really hard being on the road. Sometimes I think it cost a lot more than it's worth.

Frida: ­ In these situations it's important that we stay together and keep our spirits up. The sense of security in the group is essential ­ it has to become your home. But this summer will be different. The folkpark tour is carefully planned. We start on Midsummers Day (21 June) in Skelleftea [in the northern part of Sweden] and then we work our way down to the southern parts. During 17 days we will do 14 concerts. That means we will have three days off. I'm really looking forward to meet the folkpark audiences again. We haven't met them since we became ABBA.

Agnetha: ­ Now with all the success and attention we're getting the demands on us gets a lot bigger. Björn and I have been married since 1971 and we usually spend our summers with our daughter Linda (she's two and half years old now) on the island in the archipelago of Stockholm. Frida and Benny has a house too on the same island, not far from us. I always feel very guilty when I'm away from Linda. I have an au-pair who stays with her when we are away. And I always promise myself that when I come home I will spend all my time with her. But that never happens, I have so many other things I have to do even when we are home. But sometimes I just sit with Linda at the piano and we sing and play together.

Frida: When it comes to the children, I¹ve had it a little easier than Agnetha, I think. When I divorced my husband I had nowhere to go so he got the custody of the children. Hans is 12 now and Lise-Lott is 8. The hardest time of my life was when I had to leave my children. But they have always been very happy with their dad. And now they visit me as often as possible.

Benny has two children from an earlier marriage, Peter 11 and Helene 9. His children visits us regularly too so we are quite a big family occasionally.

Agnetha: ­ Benny's and Frida's kids come over to our house on the island and they take really good care of Linda.

Frida: They sing a lot together. Hans has a marvellous voice. Lotta is more of a listener I think. At the moment she is writing a little book.

Agnetha: Frida and I are quite different on stage. I'm more shy, something I have to work very hard with. But I think it's easier in a group like ABBA, where we know each other so well. And we are always very well received whereever we perform, and that helps a lot when you are shy.

Frida: I love the stage. It's the happiest time of my life when I go on. On the stage I'm completely open and willing to give all. It's so wonderful to meet the audience. But in my private life it's quite different. I don't like be recognized in the street.

Agnetha: I think it's something you have to learn to live with. I hate it when I'm standing in line buying groceries and I see how everyone around me notices exactly what I'm buying.

Frida:I have realized that since we have become a success even some of the people you thought were your friends start treating you strangely. I really hate it when people are smiling with their mouths but their eyes are very, very cold.

Hänt I Veckan 5 June 1975

27 March 2005

Agnetha pic!

Agnethaapplause_1Here's another nice pic of Agnetha at the end of the Mamma Mia! show on 12 February 2005 in Stockholm (click on it on to enlarge!). It looks like she enjoyed the show!

26 March 2005

HAPPY EASTER! GLAD PÅSK!

1969agnethaeasterwitchI wish all of you, ABBA-fans or not, a very happy Easter! The pic here is of Agnetha from around 1969, she is the girl on the left. Here in Sweden we have a tradition of "påskkärringar" (Easter witches). Kids dress up as påskkärringar and they go around the neighbourhood asking for candy, quite similar to Halloween's Trick or Treat. The other girl is another Swedish singer named Mona (I can't remember her last name right now). It was Mona who performed the "Spara & Slösa" song with Frida on the Charlie Norman show a couple of years later. Sweden is a small country...

24 March 2005

The Dancing Queen has gotten old

The article below comes from the Danish issue of Se & Hor, a Scandinavian gossip magazine. My Danish isn't the best but here's my attempt to translate it:

AgnethasehorThe Dancing Queen has gotten old
UGLY CHANGE
The former ABBA-singer has in just one year transformed from a beautiful woman into a shy recluse. Fair as a Swedish summernight, with a pure singing voice and a couple of fascinating blue cat eyes. Agnetha was the girl every girl wanted to look like. Then things begun going backwards, not financially. All three members of the former ABBA has more money than they can spend. Agnetha is not alone in becoming a recluse, she has also started to look very worn out. She is, despite the fact that she is only 54 years old, so these pictures of a tired, old Agnetha has both shocked and surprised. Last year she made a come back from her secluded life with a new album. The pictures of her showed a beautiful Agnetha,who hadn't been touched by old age at all. But when you place Agnetha far from the photo studios, make-up artists and the ever-so-forgivning Photoshop program, reality is a completely different story.

23 March 2005

Even MORE pics of Agnetha & Anni-Frid!

Just as always, with newsreports, it's not always the best pictures that are used in the magazines and papers. So now more pictures of both Anni-Frid and Agnetha has surfaced. I have put them together here below. Just click on the pic and it will increase in size. You will probably be as surprised as I was when there seems nothing but smiles going on.

Enjoy!

2005afcollage_4

06 March 2005

Agnetha interview December 2004

2004agnetha18dec6_1On 18 December 2004, to everyone's surprise, Agnetha agreed to give an interview to TV4's anchorman Lasse Bengtsson. I personally think that this interview was a way for Agnetha to, once again, change the public image of her. Brita Åhman, her co-author of her book "Som Jag Är" ("As I Am") 1996 has said that she will sell her working material to a TV-production company. By giving this interview things that might turn up from Brita's material will seem more untrue. Anyway, here's the transcript of the interview.

(Playing part of "Om tårar vore guld")
-
Well, Agnetha, as I was driving the other day and listened to this song and your other old songs. Hi by the way.
-
Hi Lasse!
- Then I thought, what good songs you wrote.
- Yes, I did.
- Where are they nowadays?
-
Somewhere in here, inside me and up here. (Points to her head)
-
But you don't compose anything nowadays?
-
No, I don't compose much these days.
-
Why not?
-
It's as if I got it all out of me during that time. I was very productive then, with my own music and lyrics. So there was a lot to get inspiration from then.
-
But they're all so sad. Why are they so sad?
-
Well, I don't know. Later on somebody else wrote the lyrics. I became too self critical.
-
Oh, you did?
-
Yes, I was very critical.
-
Have you always been critical of yourself?
-
Yes, I have. Very much. Especially when it comes to my lyrics I think. There are very many that I'm not so fond of, lyrics that I think are very naive.
-
But then last spring you released your first album in a long time.
-
Yes.
(Playing a snippet from the video of "If I Thought You'd Ever Change Your Mind")
-
What do you think of this one when you hear it now?
- It's good.
-
How did you reason when you chose to make a come back with an album?
-
Well, it was quite a long process, it took two, three, four years from me getting the idea until we began recording. I felt that I didn't think I was all done yet, that I had to make some more music and record another album. I'm very fond of these 60's songs and it was a lot of fun, it was a nostalgic trip for me. And old songs that I had forgotten came back to me. These songs had made such an impression on me, it was like taking them out again. And of course you remember things that took place around that period in your life.
-
What is it that makes a song make an impression on you?
-
I think that these songs, they came along when I was in my teens and that is a very sensitive period when you're very open to impressions of what's happening.
- What were you like as a teenager?
-
Well, I think I was like most teens. There were guys, there were dreams and by then I already worked a lot. I began to sing and tour with a dance orchestra as a 15 year old.
(Playing part of "Utan dig")
2004agnetha18dec1_1-
Do you remember that time, what dreams and thoughts did you have about music then? What were your goals with your music in those days?
-
In those days I probably just wanted to perform because I felt I had a voice and it was fun to see that people liked dancing to our music. But my ambition later was to eventually get to make a record, to become a singer, it was my dream.
-
Why did you want that?
-
Well, it was probably in connection with feeling that I had a voice, many others told me that. And then I knew how to compose and write songs and even lyrics sometimes, so I felt that this was probably the job for me.
-
But you weren't shy in those days, were you?
-
I was very shy.
-
You were?
-
Yes, I still am today. It's probably a lot because of that I feel a bit anxious about doing an interview like this. It's not exactly at the top of my wish list.
-
Yeah, I've figured that out.
-
Yes, exactly.
-
But still you do it?
-
Yes, still I do it. Because I don't want to seem strange when I have something new to present, then I also want to talk about it. It's when you get too close to my private life that it starts getting uncomfortable.
-
But what was it like to break this isolation, you could say, or that you had retired and then step back into the limelight again. How did you think that was?
-
I was a bit concerned in a way since it had been so many years so I didn't know if my voice would still be there, and it was difficult with my voice at the beginning and it's easy to build up a fear of the microphone as well, because you're so close to it when you sing that every noise and every breath can be heard. So there's a certain technique and a certain obstacle to overcome.
- And I guess it was demanded that you had to appear in public a bit in connection with this.
-
No, there were never any demands. Instead I made it very clear by saying that I can do this and this, and I want to do this and that but I can't travel and appear on TV and work the same way I did in the past, because it simply wears me out. It's too hard for me. And I think everyone has understood that.
2004agnetha18dec2_1-
So that is why you didn't give a lot of public interviews and hold a press conference and so on?
-
Yes. Because it easily gets too much and I can't handle it these days.
-
What is it that wears you out, in what way does it wear you out?
-
I don't know really. There are too many nerves in a way. It's anxiety and I also want to present a good image of myself and so on. And then it doesn't always work out that way. And then media is still in charge of the image of myself and many times it can be rough since that image isn't correct. And then I feel like "God, now I have to try to correct it and show how I really am", and that's really hard.
- Do you think that you are treated badly by the media?
-
Yes, I think so, now and then. And there has also been a lot of fact that has been incorrect and it gets exaggerated.
 - Do you have an example?
- Well, what can I say. I've been through alot I think.
-
What is the worst one?
-
I don't really know which one is the worst. But one thing was when we were on our way home, from England and I was travelling in a bus because I didn't want to fly . Then we got into an accident with the bus and the bus tipped over and I flew out through a window and it became a big story in the papers. At the time I was making a film with Gunnar Hellström, "Raskenstam", and it said that I was pregnant and then they interviewed some doctor and they wrote "Can an unborn child be injured if you're in an accident like this?". But it was in the movie that I played a pregnant woman. But this was turned into reality so people were made to believe I was pregnant in real life. And it's incorrect stories like this which make people believe it if they're time after time presented with an image of someone. It's been written about me for example that I've locked myself in, isolated myself out on Ekerö, but I haven't. Instead they've created this image of me locking myself in since I'm not visible that often. But that is not the way it is.
- But since you think you're misunderstood, how would you describe yourself?
-
Well, it's very difficult for me to say, but I think I'm very much the same person I've always been. Very down to earth. Of course I also have my flaws, but I'm a very nice person. Down to earth. Normal. Curious about life and I don't like stress. I try to keep it very quiet around me, as good as I can. It's not so easy nowadays. But I easily get stressed and I'm also a very anxious person.
-
What worries you?
-
Everything! No, not everything, but I easily get anxious in various situations. I'm afraid that something may happen to someone or something. I easily take things personally. I'm a huge animal lover. It's difficult for me to look at pictures of animals and children being mistreated, I can't deal with that emotionally.
- Well, Vilma (the reporter's dog who is relaxing on the floor) notices that you are a real animal lover.
-
Yes, she's very calm as she lies there on the floor.
-
She likes you. But this talk about Garbo, you don't like that either from what I understand.
-
No, it's not something I have said, but once again it's something that the media has created because, well, why they have, I don't know. But it's probably a punishment because I don't show myself in public enough. And then I usually say that I'm rather an original than a bad imitation.
-
I wonder what happens when you agree to an interview, because from what I've understood, it's not completely uncomplicated for you.
-
No.
-
Tell me what happens!
-
Well, I've tried to be very consistent and I receive a lot of requests, not only from Sweden but from abroad as well. And I think it's even more uncomfortable to give an interview in English and not have a good command of the language. But that is my own fault.
-
Do you feel that the English language is a problem?
-
Yes, it really is. My tongue really gets tied then. So I rather decline. And what happens is if I accept doing an interview during the years that have passed, then immediately 9-10 others want me too.
-
What is an average day in your life like?
-
Well, these days it's pretty calm. I enjoy being outdoors, going for a lot of walks and I try to spend a lot of time with my children, I also have a grandchild and it's an incredible experience.
-
Recently?
-
She will soon be four years old. So it's an incredible joy. Really. Then I read a bit and watch TV.
-
What do you read?
-
I don't read as many books as I used to, but I read newspapers and I like watching news programs and stuff you can learn something from.
-
Do you watch movies and what kind of music do you listen to?
-
I don't watch TV very much, but once in a while I enjoy going to the movies. It's very, very rare that I go to the movies. It's been quite a while since last time actually.
-
Have you seen a movie you remember and that you liked?
-
No, but there are many that I would like to see, but I'm a bit behind.
-
For example?
2004agnetha18dec4_1-
For example "Moulin Rouge" with Nicole Kidman, I would like to see that one, I still haven't.
-
But what happens, do you ever go in to Stockholm, can you walk around freely I wonder. Do you walk around among other people?
-
Oh yes, I do. Absolutely. But of course I have to be observant sometimes.
-
What happens when you appear in public?
-
Not that much really. I notice that people react and recognize me but often it's very calm. Sometimes someone approaches me if I'm in a restaurant to ask for an autograph. But there are no problems. There's no commotion.
-
But do you think it's uncomfortable to be out in public in a big city for example?
-
No, not really. But it's nothing I long for either, but it can be fun to go shopping sometimes and meet some people. And I also do that. But like I said earlier, I think it's nice when it's quiet and I think there's too much noise (in the city).
-
Are you sensitive to sounds?
-
Yes, I'm very sensitive. Especially if there's a lot of noise at the same time. Then I get incredibly stressed.
-
Where does that come from? Has it always been like that?
-
No, it's something that's been happening more and more. I can listen to music at quite a high volume, but I can't deal with a lot of sounds mixing together. I'm very sensitive towards that.
-
What do animals mean to you?
-
Animals? Animals mean a lot. They mean calmness and harmony and nice to be with.
-
Do you have a special relation with animals? Can you talk with them?
-
Yes, in a way I think I can. You have some kind of understanding for each other, because I live with a lot of horses in my surroundings.
- Can you hear what they say?
-
Well, that would be saying too much. I probably shouldn't say I can speak with horses too because then there may be problems.
-
But almost?
- But almost, yes. And if I'm in a certain kind of mood, it can be nice to go and talk a little with the horses.
- I wonder, making friends for Agnetha Fältskog and creating new contacts, new friends, is that difficult?
2004agnetha18dec5_1-
Difficult? That's a tough question. It might be. You never really know what people think about you and maybe they have preconceived notions about you. I don't really have a great need for having a large, large group of friends, instead I'm probably a bit of a loner in a way. I actually use to compare myself with the bull Ferdinand sometimes, who sits under the oak tree. So it's probably a bit like that.
- Are you subjected now to strange people? We've read in the papers that it has happened to you.
-
Well, that's also an unpleasant aspect of this occupation and this fame, that you have to put up with a lot, not only I, I know I share this problem with many different categories of work. So I receive very many letters and strange things from people who are a bit unwell.
-
From all around the world?
-
Yes. You have to screen them, you can't take it personally. Not all letters I receive are nice. But it's important to not take it personally, but that you understand that this is a person who is not well.
-
This man who stalked you, are you still subjected to him?
- I don't know if I can talk too much about that, I don't think I will. I can't due to security reasons.
-
Is this something that's bothering you?
-
Yes, it is. But it's like this, if you've been around for this long, then you get quite hardened in various situations, so you can take very much, you have to take a lot too. And it feels very unfair sometimes, that there's so much that comes along with success.
-
Have your children been affected?
-
No, I think that things have gone well. But of course, they've been small once, it was a bit rough for them then, it was for all of us since we became a divorced family. They were very young, they were only 5 and 1 year old. But that was a long time ago.
-
But when you look back in the rearview mirror, do you think that you should have done things in another way? That you shouldn't have withdrawn as much? Do you know what I mean? To not have this hysteria that's surrounding Agnetha Fältskog after all. That it's such a big thing that you're not visible very often.
-
Well, at least it's not something that I have created deliberately or calculated, that I would have made myself very mysterious, instead it's an image which has been created due to, as you say, me not being very visible. But it's because it's actually not my thing to sit like this and talk. But then, the older you get, the more you let go/give of yourself in a way.
-
In what way do you mean?
-
Well, you may be able to talk about things that you couldn't before. Because it feels as if you also must be able to share your experiences in life. That maybe you can show that I'm really not as mysterious or strange, but I'm a completely normal person.
-
Are we supposed to interpret this as some kind of return of a more public Agnetha?
-
No, things aren't that well.
-
How do you explain the phenomenon ABBA today? What do you think of the phenomenon ABBA?
-
It has meant incredibly much to us all of course. And there I also feel an enormous gratitude for having been a part of it because things only went like this (very high). And there was incredibly much work during the 10-12 years that we kept going. And it went very fast, so if I could have slowed it down a bit and continued for 5 more years, I would rather have done it that way.
2004agnetha18dec3_1- To take things a bit slower and stretched it out a bit longer?
-
Yes, exactly.
-
Was it that everything became too intense?
-
Yes, it was very intense.
-
What do you think was most difficult?
-
It was the travelling.
-
Because you were afraid of flying.
-
Yes.
- Are you still?
-
Yes, I'm still very afraid of flying. It is also something you've read a lot in the press, that I'm afraid of flying. And it's this inherent fear that I have, which I told you about earlier, that a catastrophe will happen or something like that. That's what I feel. It's not that I don't have the ability to understand how safe it is flying, but it's the insecurity within myself when I finally sit there. That there's nothing I can do about it. And maybe it's because I'm a bit of a controlling person.
- You are, you want to be in control of things?
-
Yes. And it's difficult to let go of it. But I think that I'm in some way trying to learn to become a little bit different. Maybe I will fly one fine day, you never know.
-
When did you fly last?
-
It was probably 15 years ago, I think.
- Seriously?
-
Yes. Maybe 10.
-
So you never travel abroad?
-
No. But you can also travel by car.
- But what was the most fun thing about ABBA? Which is your single greatest memory? Because it wasn't just hard work, there was joy as well.
-
There was lots of joy. We all shared the heavy tension before going onto stage, and there were lots of nerves involved. It felt good that all four of us were sharing this, helping to bear the burden. And if one of us felt a bit ill the other one was pushing and doing more on stage. Frida and I had different registers, and concerning singing we helped each other, although we at the same time were competitors on stage.
- There were sometimes talk of a differences and rivalry between you and Frida. Was that right?
2004agnetha18dec7_1-
No, that's another media thing. Most of the time we were very much in agreement. But, being different personalities, of course it happened that we got annoyed with each others qualities. And we were
-
Is there a particular moment, Agnetha, with ABBA that you feel like "this was really fun"?
-
Yes, then I'll probably have to say that it was when we won with "Waterloo". It was really incredible.
- But you don't miss getting that kick today?
-
No, I don't.
-
That was a definite answer.
- Yes. No, I don't. But it's really nice to look back upon it and sometimes I can't really comprehend it. It feels like another life, in a way a different part of my life and it really is.
-
But explain, what was the reason for ABBA breaking up?
-
It was because we didn't think it was as fun anymore. I know that we were recording an LP then. It didn't feel like it had in the past, instead it was quite tough. And we were divorced, both couples, so it wasn't the same thing, but we continued even after our divorces.
-
But it wasn't as good after the divorces you mean?
-
No, it wasn't.
-
What is the best song that ABBA made?
-
The best song? I think "The Winner Takes It All".
-
Why?
-
It is so complete, it has a good flow, from beginning to end. And then I think the song is very good. I think the lyrics are excellent.
-
It has quite a tough message.
-
Yes, it does. But I like to sing about that.
-
You do?
-
Yes, I like to interpret lyrics like that.
- But, I understand, you thought ABBA were better in the recording studio than on stage?
- Yes, that's right. But that is, once again, the self criticism. I don't like to see us perform on stage. I think it's much more fun to hear us than to see us.
- Do you keep in touch with the others nowadays?
- Yes, we do, a little. But we don't socialize.
- With Björn?
- Yes, of course since he's the father of my children.
- How often do you see each other?
- Us in the group you mean?
- No, Björn.
- Well, I don't know, I don't really keep track of it. But it happens every now and then since we have a little grandchild.
- The money... Do you still make money from ABBA?
- Yes, I do.
- A lot of money?
- Yes, enough for me to live on. Of course.
- Even if it's Björn and Benny who makes the big money as songwriters of course, but there is a steady income for the rest of you?
- Yes. And we have also done other things. Frida has also made singles, what am I saying, solo albums, and I have as well, so you make a little bit of money off that as well.
- What does money mean to you?
- It's such a sensitive issue. So it's almost as if I would like to say that I don't want to talk about money, I don't want to talk about politics and I don't want to talk about religion. So I'll say that.
- Why is it so sensitive?
- You have to give such a good answer that people believe in what you say. Because it's one thing to be in a position where you have money and another to be in a position where you don't. So you have to position yourself on a good level with the money so you don't, well, so it doesn't. what am I trying to say?
- You're beginning to approach this subject anyway.
- Yes. But I'm glad that everything has gone so well. And then if I were to say that the money doesn't matter, then everybody would realize that she is lying because of course it does. I'd rather live a life where I can buy the things I want instead of being a poor person. But you can be rich and poor in so many different ways. It doesn't always have to be about money either. But you can be rich because you have a rich life (a lot of experiences). And I'm probably such a person. I think that I as a person am the same today as I was when I was young. And I grew up under smaller living conditions with my mother and father. I didn't have my own room when I was young. So I know what it feels like growing up and not to be poor, but maybe not have what you want.
- What about the future? What will happen with Agnetha Fältskog in the future?
- Well, who knows? I don't know. Sometimes I feel that this was probably the last album I made. But then I know how I can be, and can get a new idea. And I know that there are many who think it would be great if I wrote my own songs again.
- Yes, I think so too. Can't you do that?
- No, I can't promise anything. I'm not going to make any more promises.
2004agnetha18dec9_2- This book, "Som Jag Är", came out in 1996. The author of this book has now said that she's considering auctioning material from your conversations and meetings that haven't been published before. What do you think about that?
- It would be terrible if she did, but I currently don't know what's going on. But would be a terrible crime if she did, because when you work on a book together, you tell things in confidence. And then the two of us really worked on this book, having meaningful conversations about various subjects. And then I wanted to be a part of the editing, so I deleted lots that I didn't think should be a part of it. And that's probably what will come out now.
- Have you been in touch with her regarding this?
- No, and I don't want to either. My advisors will be. Unfortunately. That's how it can go.
- Are you a happy person nowadays?
- These aren't easy questions.
- They all shouldn't be easy.
- Yes, I'm happy with a lot of things. That's how I can formulate myself. Is that enough?
- Now you're going to read something before the new year, something you have chosen yourself. Tell me why you chose it.
- Well, I found a little book, so I thought that since I won't be singing anything. I will read something instead and then I found a poem by Dan Andersson. It's called "Nyår" ("New Year"). This is how it goes. different. We also had different lives because we had recently separated. Björn and I separated during the years with ABBA and we even continued afterwards. Then we had our small children who only were 5 and 1 year old, so the whole time I had a guilty conscience that they were home. And it was quite tough and still having to do what we did. But, we were not away all of the time. We were at home quite long periods as well, to spend time with the children, which really made a contrast situation - to go from the luxury hotel suites and the fabulous touring life back home to the washing-up and the children.

Du nyår som susar med vingar av glänsande snö,
som blandar med glittrande solljus den bittraste vind
och tänder mer flammande rosor på jungfrulig kind
och kramar än hårdare bröstet på den som skall dö -
jag hälsar dig nyår med glänsande vingar av snö!
O giv att all världen till slut måtte bliva som då
när Herren ej ännu befallt någon gräns mellan vatten och land,
när ännu ej djurögat stirrat mot rymdernas blå
och ännu en svagling ej rivits av tass eller hand,
och kärleken ännu ej kommit att locka och slå -
O giv att all världen till slut måtte bliva som då!

- How will you spend Christmas?
- I'm going to relax. Spend time with those nearest and dearest to me and probably eat some Christmas food.

- Merry Christmas, Agnetha, and thanks for agreeing to this interview.
- The same to you. Thanks for having me.

End

02 March 2005

Assorted close-ups of a star

I have read a lot lately about Agnetha's friend Brita Åhman, the journalist who helped Agnetha write the book "As I Am" in 1997. Somehow they seem to have had a falling out and Brita Åhman has sold all her research material to British ITV who will use it the material to make a "true" Agnetha Fältskog documentary. In this interview below I find it hard to believe that it has come to this. What's in Brita's material that Agnetha so desperately wants to keep private? I guess we will know soon.


1996agnethabritaWhen Agnetha Fältskog breaks the silence after ten years she does it with a book and a greatest hits collection. The book is written by Agnetha's friend Brita Åhman. Here she talks about how the work was done.

The winter 1995/1996, when Agnetha and I was finishing the book, was extremely dark and cold. Snowstorms and hard winds made the streets very slippery.
   So it was mostly Agnetha who drove between her home on Ekerö and my home on Lidingö on the other side of Stockholm. Her big Volvo was better suited to deal with the weather than my old Nissan Micra from 1986.
   She was often very cold when she arrived, so I put out my sheep skin slippers, lit the candles and started boiling the tea water.
   Neither Agnetha nor I are big breakfast eaters and definitely not early risers. So I often made sandwiches with smoked salmon. We are both enormously fond of salmon and we stuffed ourselves with the sandwiches during the afternoon.
   We often started our working sessions by listening to Agnetha's favourite songs from the ABBA days, from her solo career before ABBA or from the period after.
   At this stage I had decided how to make the book work; I wanted narrating chapters and I-chapters. Agnetha did not approve of the latter. She was afraid it would be too personal. But after a lot of discussions and when she saw how it worked she gave in.

1996agnethabrita2No abandoned tragic diva
That wasn't the only time we didn't agree. Sometimes she showed her claws. The public image she has been given of being a shy, weak, sad, tragic diva, with tears in her eyes is definitely not correct. She is very straight forward and knows when to put her foot down. That is very obvious in the chapter about the press...."
   "It has become an instinct for me to stay away from the press and the media. So much that I have stopped talking to them all together."
   "It's strange that the papers don't see the connection between their false description of me and my need for privacy and security..."
   "In the tabloids I meet someone I don't recognise, someone who I can't identify with. They say I'm weak. But I am strong and down to earth. They describe as some stupid unintelligent girl who is always alone and abandanoned. But I have never ever been abandoned!"
It's because all of this, that the official image of Agnetha has gone out of control, she has decided to break the silence which has lasted for over ten years. She is sick of it and wants "to give some close pictures of my life to my readers, something of my reality and my thoughts.
   It's of course not an ordinary biography. "I will have lots of more experiences, many more miles to walk in this life" she says in the foreword of the book. And it's not a scandal book.

1996agnethabrita3Doesn't want to hurt
Agnetha is careful with other people. Doesn't just take the chance to hurt someone in her book just because she can, even if she doesn't like them. She prefers to just add a couple of lines about that person or simply not write about the person at all. For example, she is not writing anything about the men in her life. She knows from experience how that could hurt them.
   But then suddenly she can tell me some surprisingly stuff. For example when I asked her who her favourite singer is out of all the ones she has heard or met around the world, she doesn't come up with a popsinger, no - an opera singer Placido Domingo.
   She also talks openly about the tours with ABBA, especially the last world tour in 1979, when Björn and she were divorced.
   "It was important (the tour) and it was a success. But for me it was horrible.

A lot of people ask me how I managed to get such a private person as Agnetha Fältskog to open up and talk. I would say that i mainly was possible because our relationship was built on trust. After 14 years Agnetha knows how I work and function as a journalist and an author. I would never reveal the secrets about her that I know. Apart from that it's quite simple. I quote her correctly and check the facts. There's nothing else to it. Apart from the fact that you need to have a lot of patience.

The first chapter of the book can't be more describing of how Agnetha is today. It's a mature woman we get to meet, in the middle of her life, not Agnetha Fältskog the mega star. The children are her focus. The grief in her heart after losing both her parents not that long ago.
   But in spite of all of that she has turned a new leaf and makes an unexpected comeback with both the book called "As I Am" and a CD-box called "My Love My Life". It contains almost all of her songs before ABBA, quite an impressive collection. Agnetha remembers this period especially:
   "When I look back is this, the first time something of the funniest that happened in my professional life. Even more fun than the ABBA success that came later.

When Agnetha now breaks the silence after ten years, she also tells us of how the music went silent for almost ten years.
   "I was tired of singing, tired of composing. I didn't feel any challenge in the music anymore. I didn't even get a proper sound system for my home.

Agbook

Enjoys music again
The ten silent years have gone by. Today Agnetha feels that she can enjoy it again, her own, and ABBA's, and others as well.
   She is open for something new. The book and the CD box has given her a good start on her way to something new. This is how she puts it herself in the book:
   "When so many myths are created about me - like the Garbo thing the media is trying to apply to me, it could mean bad things. People might believe that I have closed all doors to everything. But I haven't closed any doors, not on myself, ideas, movies or my singing. I'm not afraid of changes. They are part of our lives. But I have got to be me.

Brita Åhman Sköna Dagar 10 - 1996

17 February 2005

"I have been terribly ashamed of my parents"

This article was published in Hänt Extra 1 February 2005:

2005lindaandjensekengre_2Today is Linda Ulvaeus, 31, a star on her own. At the moment she is playing Honey in "Who's afraid of Virginia Wolf" at Lorensbergsteatern in Gothenburg. But having two of the most famous Swedes, the two pop icons Björn Ulvaeus and Agnetha Fältskog, has affected her life. Sometimes the kids at her school taunted her by singing ABBA-songs.
- It upset me terribly. And let me tell you, if 'normal' kids are embarrassed of their parents, I have been terribly ashamed of mine. Between the age of 13 and 17 she suffered from bulimia and her teens were troubled.
- I was quite the wild kid and it felt like I didn't belong anywhere. I started hanging with a bad crowd.

MOVED TO THE COUNTRY
What saved her was a pony, named Mr. Jimson and moving to the countryside. Later on she became interested in acting. Half way through the acting programme at Dramatiska Institutet in Stockholm she realised that she was pregnant.
- Yes, there I was doing my ballet classes being eight months pregnant. 1976agnethabjornpresscon_3But in the end the pregnancy was welcome. Linda took a break from her education and stayed home with her daughter, Tilda, who is three years old today. Tilda's father is Jens Ekengren, a "completely normal guy in a suit who works at Vodafone". Linda met him at the local videostore at Ekerö 11 years ago. They have been a couple ever since. But Linda remembers that Jens first meeting with the "in-laws" was a sensitive affair for all involved. [Why? What happened? Micke's remark.] But today Linda is secure and safe and when she is going through something difficult she has her own method of curing anxiety:
- Driving the tractor is a very good therapy. It's a very concrete way to shake off your problems and worries.

16 February 2005

The Expressen article about Agnetha

This article was published in Swedish tabloid Expressen on 14 February 2005.


Mmsthlm8_3AGNETHA FLED
FROM THE REUNION

This was the night when ABBA was supposed to reunite for the first time in many years. But when the curtain went up for "Mamma Mia!" Agnetha sat alone, Frida sat alone and Björn & Benny sat together. And afterwards Agnetha fled surrounded by guards.
– Oh, Agnetha was here? Well good for her, it must be the first time [she's seen the musical], says her ex-husband Björn Ulvaeus to Expressen.

Agnethahysterical_2ABBA ended 23 years ago and the four members Agnetha Fältskog, Anni-Frid Lyngstad, Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus have not shown themselves together for 19 years. The last time all four were together was at Görel Hanser's 50th birthday in 1999. Last night the musical "Mamma Mia!" opened at Cirkus in Stockholm. Agnetha Fältskog and Anni-Frid Lyngstad were invited. As Expressen revealed last week Agnetha had accepted and was coming even though she was hesitant to go out in public.

SELDOM OUT ON HER OWN
Agnetha Fältskog, 54, lives alone in her house on Ekerö outside of Stockholm and seldom goes out alone without a body guard. One reason is Gert van der Graaf, a 39 year old Dutch man who had a relationship with Agnetha in the late nineties. He is obsessed with Agnetha, he bought a house next to hers, he has been peeping through her windows and he has written numerous letters to her. He has been punished for violating the restraining order.

Frida12feb2005_2AGNETHA CAME - BUT THERE WAS NO REAL REUNION
She arrived with her bodyguard David Maloney and she really made an effort to look relaxed and happy as she walked down the red carpet. But immediately inside she hid in a room next to the stage and did not take her seat until the lights were out. During the show she had three bodyguards around her so noone could get close to her.

"MAMMA MIA"
Agnetha Fältskog was seated to the right in the theatre, about 50 metres from Anni-Frid, who was seated to the left, while Björn and Benny sat at the back. Agnetha was dressed in a black sequined dress, she was seen singing along in songs like "Waterloo" and "Mamma Mia".

SCARED OF THE CAMERA

Benny12feb2005_2Immediately after the show Agnetha displayed her famous shyness. A man in the audience pointed his mobile phone/digital camera at her to take a picture and she immediately lifted her hands to protect her face. As the curtain was coming down she quickly escaped, protected by her bodyguards, to a waiting limousine. Björn Ulvaeus didn't get a chance to talk to her. Benny Andersson said [on the red carpet]:
- I don't know if the girls will be here. I don't keep track of them, I haven't kept track of them for many years. I haven't seen Agnetha in a long time, but I see Frida every now and then.

by Tommy Schönsted

I love old magazine articles

1950_agnetha_as_a_baby_1One of my favourite things with collecting ABBA stuff is when I find really old magazines that has articles about the four ABBA members. The older the magazine the more exciting do I think it is. I bought this little gem from a fellow Swede on www.ebay.com  It was a copy of Swedish weekly magazine "Allers" from 15 July 1973. It featured a cute little article about Agnetha and Björn and their first child, baby Linda Elin. Here's my translation:

Who does Linda Elin take after, Agnetha or Björn?
Ring, Ring!
  We ring the doorbell to the Ulvaeus family home in Vallentuna, outside of Stockholm.
It is Agnetha who answers the door.
- Hello and welcome! I assume you want to see the little "miracle"? She has 'overslept' by an hour, so we are running a little behind.
- Of course we want to see the baby, that's why we came.

1973bjrnagnethalindaal_2 It was the 23rd of February (1973) when Linda Elin came in to this world. She was so welcome.
- For over four years have we been trying to get pregnant. So no wonder we are really excited now, says Agnetha as a very proud mother.
Björn, who is out in the kitchen preparing a bottle for the baby, is no less happy.
- I took part during the whole delivery and it was the most fantastic thing I have ever experienced.
Even though some months have passed since Linda was born, he is still touched about this fantastic experience.

Agnetha and Björn say that they will raise their daughter with common sense and lots of love.
- We are hoping we will be able to give her a stable home. To have a mother and father who like each other very much is probably one of the most important things for any child. We think that can go a long way.
- But of course, says Björn, we will bring Linda up to be independent as soon as possible. We will try not to be too overprotective. It's important that she learns that there's a consequence to every deed. This "blame-someone-else-mentality" that is so popular now is not a good thing. Sure, it's easy enough to put the blame for bad things that happen on the school system, the parents, society and so on every time something goes wrong.

It wouldn't be too surprising if Linda turns out to be musically talented. If she would want to become a performer when she grows up, would you let her?
- Of course, we want her to be able to do what she wants to do. If she is talented enough, then I don't have anything against it. As long as she is not trying to use her parents fame. If she makes it on her own then it would be fine.
Agnetha doesn't share Björn's opinion.
- I would rather see that she gets a good and proper education when she grows up. Being an artist is such an unreliable situation to live in. Before you know it, your popularity dies and what do you do then? You need to have some skills you can fall back on.

1945bjornasababy_2So, well, who does Linda look more like, you or Björn?
Before Agnetha gets a chance to answer Björn says:
- Linda is created in my image. She has my eyes, my nose and my mouth. Sometimes I'm not even sure Agnetha is the mother.
- HA! says Agnetha.
After this little domestic dispute we leave the question about who Linda looks more like to our readers. Who do you think she looks more like?