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Thursday, May 21, 2009

For my summary post: (Pre-)Qualification, plus more info.

As I belatedly learn more about super Swedish pop group ABBA and its members, it is becoming apparent that I should read Carl Magnus Palm's 2001 biography, "Bright Lights, Dark Shadows: The Real Story of ABBA". Though unauthorized, it appears that the book is well written and researched. And Palm is described as "the world's foremost ABBA historian".

So I'll be doing that. Catching up with many of the rest of ABBA fans, via the 2008 updated paperback version..

In the meantime, to be considered along with my next ("summary") post entry (5/21/09); an interesting excerpt follows from a "TV Week" review of the book, published by a commenter on this web site. Note a couple of the insights from Palm about Agnetha Fältskog here. It seems like some of my initial impressions (laid out in my summary post) are in accord with the author's. I especially like this succinct observation: “Of the singers, Agnetha was a reluctant sex symbol for whom fame became a poisoned chalice..." (Succinctness....something I could definitely learn from Mr. Palm.)

Excerpt from "TV Week", Sept. 29, 2001, pages 12-13, "ABBA: The Way We Were – Super Troupers":
"The group members have always shied away from intrusive publicity, but a revealing new, unauthorized biography by Swedish writer Carl Magnus Palm called ‘Bright Lights, Dark Shadows’ (Omnibus Press, $55) presents a portrait of ABBA’s dramatic rise and fall.
It looks into the members’ childhoods, their musical backgrounds before forming ABBA and their personal battles once fame arrived.
“Of the two instrumentalists in ABBA, Benny was a self-taught musician with a streak of determination that carried him and the group all the way, and Björn, a gifted songwriter whose talent was inherited from his grandfather,” Carl explains.
“Of the singers, Agnetha was a reluctant sex symbol for whom fame became a poisoned chalice, and Anni-Frid was an orphan who carried on reinventing herself until she became, quite literally, a princess – after her divorce from Benny, Anni-Frid married a German prince called Ruzzo Reuss von Plauen who was an architect.”
Although Frida and Agnetha found love and security with Benny and Björn, the relationships were far from simple.
Frida and Benny both had children by previous marriages, and the guilt Frida felt at leaving her family behind to pursue her singing career in Stockholm weighed heavily. Agnetha was just 21 when she married Björn, and her new life in the spotlight (which eventually led to her current existence as a virtual recluse) was at odds with her desire to be a “normal” housewife and mother.
“They were held up as being two perfect, happy couples,” Carl says. “But in Swedish papers they were quite open and honest about their differences and their volatile relationships.”"
(Some additional excerpted info. from the book follows, here.)

Also: Additional good info./stories: The outstanding "ABBA Annual" website has the following two articles from "back in the day" which revealed much about ABBA members, particularly the two women. The astounding thing about the first revealing article (link) is that it's from mid-1975. Both ladies already sound more than a little tired and uncomfortable with their new roles, new fame. Imagine how much worse that must have gotten(!). Did they have any fun? Let's hope so. The second article (1981), you may take for what you want. It could be trash, but some of it seems (to have been) true, or close. (If so, poor Agnetha! Stop "punishing" yourself...Let's hope she finally did.) Also, makes me again wonder about that Björn dude. What exactly did he want in a wife? But, it usually takes two to "tangle"....This all apparently written about (quite well) by Björn in his fine ABBA song: "One Man, One Woman".

The ABBA members certainly were talkative that time in 1981...

Blog note: This addendum is backdated to better fit with the overall list of posts here. (And, it actually now precedes (and therefore is meant to qualify, or be considered along with) my 5/21/09 "Summary, to date..." entry. Its creation date is 7/7/09. -- Mr. D. Tails

Link to my full blog: http://star4abba.blogspot.com/

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