I think it's very important for us ABBA-fan s to remember how much Stikkan and his family contributed to what became one of the biggest pop groups in the world. Sadly, Stikkan left us way too early, due to his private problems. But his and (Gudrun's -his wife) is definitely worth sharing with all new and old ABBA-fans.
Aftonbladets' reporter Anita Olofsson met Gudrun Andersson, 66 to talk about Stig "Stikkans" life and death.
Gudrun is the woman who always was there for the recordcompany-king Stikkan Anderson. The woman he could lean on. His wife, mother of their three children and an assistant at the office. But the past few years were difficult. For both of them. Stikkan was very ill.
-I think that it was good that his life ended, Gudrun says.
Last fall Stikkan Anderson, 66 years old, died. The children are grown up and they have moved away from home. Now Gudrun lives alone.
-How has your life been?
-It's been good. But it's been difficult the past few years. Stikkan was so ill and he lost the zest for life. He didn't want to see people anymore and he didn't want me to go anywhere. Not even to go shopping.
They had known each other for a long time, Gudrun and Stikkan. When they were young they met at Ingesunds folkhögskola (a highschool) in Värmland, where Stikkan was performing together with Bengt Bernhag and Börje Crona.
In 1955 they got married.
A few years later a completely different life started when Stikkan presented his song "Vi hänger me" to the Swedish people. Later the success with ABBA happened. Gudrun took care of the finances, planning and book-keeping - at the office. And the family - at home. Just like so many other women.
-It was easier for us to keep things this way, because as many of you might know it can be difficult to be a mother and work at the same time. Stikkan understood that sometimes I had to stay at home to take care of our sick children.
-Also, it was me who made sure that they had all they needed, Stikkan was always busy with something.
"Stikkan wanted everything"
The business was good and the money kept rolling in. But in 1985 the divorce was a fact.
-Stikkan met another woman. Maybe I had figured that out, but I didn't want to realize it. It's as if I was wearing blinkers. This was so difficult, we worked together.
-I wanted a divorce. But Stikkan...wasn't sure. Like so many other men he wanted everything. It was a very difficult time and extremely hard to go through. A divorce is almost worse than when somebody dies.
Stikkan moved out and Gudrun lived by herself in the big house. But after a while Stikkan wanted to come home again. To Villa Ekarna, where he liked to be. But he and Gudrun never remarried.
Just wanted to look forward
-When he came back to me, he didn't want to talk about our problems. We just could look towards the future and leave the past behind us.
Stikkan's illness kept getting worse.
-To socialize with friends or invite them for dinner wasn't easy. I never knew if we would have that dinner or not or how things would turn out. -But he had a good memory. We used to solve Svenska Dagbladet's crossword together. That's a good exercise.
Gudrun is the oldest of six siblings. She's independent and strong.
-I've managed to get through life well. My parents were farmers in Sunne in Värmland. My mother had no money of her own, except what she made by selling eggs and vegetables. That's the way it used to be. But she was a fantastic mother. And she wrote poems.
-When she died my father became very lonely. That's the way things are with men, they have a hard time making it on their own.
-Often they don't have a male friend they can talk to or confide in.
-That's the way it was with Stikkan in the end. When I put on my outdoor clothes he asked where I was going. He didn't even want me to go shopping.
-But sometimes I went out to see my friends. I had to have a life of my own too.
-I think that it was good that his life ended.
-He didn't think that anything was fun anymore.
Name: Gudrun Elisabet Anderson
Lives: On Östermalm in Stockholm
Family: The children Marie, 40, Lasse, 39, and Anders, 31. Five grandchildren.
Education: Textile teacher
Drives: Volvo S70 1997
Earnings: Latest assessed income 714 500 SEK. Taxable capital 34,4 million SEK
What did you want to become when you were a kid: Nothing special
The most important thing right now: To turn the study into a livingroom