(Blogger note: Except for 2013-14 updates below, much of this website was written between 2009-11. Reader update: All 'abba4ever' forum hyperlinks (within the blog's text) are defunct. (Forum has closed.))

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Ms. Fältskog's 1996 biography

As noted elsewhere, this blog focuses mainly upon the English solo music of ex-ABBA singer Agnetha Fältskog. However, it also occasionally "strays" into other public (not private) aspects of her long successful career, especially post-ABBA. There is some commentary here and there, based primarily upon reading of prominent books and interviews (about and with the singing star).  (Including portions of this entry.)

Readers who freely stop by and sample information presented here are certainly welcome. However this detailed, music-oriented blog (about Ms. Fältskog solo music, mainly from a number of years ago) is unlikely to draw large numbers. A limit is that very few can contact or have a dialog with the star (subject) herself. 

This blog effort is clear in its admiration for Agnetha and her "impressive pop instrument". (I.e., her distinct voice.) But it's important for a more balanced presentation to - in a necessarily indirect way - make sure the star "has a say" here, too. To briefly provide interested readers with some clue about her.... Maybe give us a glimpse. (One such (fairly recent) indication (of the 'real person'): This 2004 interview available on YouTube (link). Also, pls. see the end of this post for a 2010 update...))
We cannot ask her, but she has done such a thing - for all of us - via her 1996 biography, As I Am. Written with Brita Ahman, the book alternates between Brita's writings/impressions and (what appear to be) small sections directly 'penned' by Agnetha herself. 

I have read a copy of this biography and a general reaction or "take" is included elsewhere here, for those who may care. Some of the portions written by Ms. Fältskog (in the book) are especially worthwhile for fans interested in the person.(Side note: And here is a link to one review of this effort, from 1997.)

Understanding that the book was created some fifteen years ago - quite awhile ago now - I'd still like to attempt to include one particular excerpt. It is from page 84, (As I Am, ABBA Before & Beyond, Agnetha Fältskog with Brita Ahman, Virgin Publishing, 1996). (Aside: If it is material, I note that this blog (being read) is generally a commentary, criticism and a research effort. It is non-commercial; no money is earned (from it). Therefore, excerpting a few (of the following) paragraphs for illustrative purposes (here) may constitute 'fair use'.)

From my reading of As I Am, I believe that the following speaks volumes about adult Agnetha and how she handled aspects of her life, as ABBA (and her marriage to Björn Ulvaeus) came to an end. (In the late 1970s/early 1980s.) It is an interesting "snapshot". Please see if you agree. (And pls. take time to visit some of the (supporting) links located throughout this post.)  Note: The following is, of course, written from Ms. Fältskog's perspective. It may or may not represent the complete "story" 

Agnetha writes (from the time):

"...When I chose to put the children first it wasn't to escape to a cosy, safe little world. I tried to follow my heart and take responsibility for their lives, to see that they would get to grow up in conditions as normal as possible, with a secure place in the world where they were often caught in the spotlight because of their parents' fame...."

"On the whole, I have taken the main responsibility for (the children). Once (their father) had moved to London and the divorce had gone through I strongly felt that I was the children's only security...."
Ms. Fältskog goes on (page 84) to describe her concerns about being a single parent and a single woman. But she then writes this revealing paragraph, perhaps a glimpse of the adult woman that she "became" (at least in part):
"However you really aren't complete as a woman just because you have a man at your side. Solitude can also be extremely stimulating. You feel a sense of liberty and are especially sensitive to outside ideas...You develop as a person and learn to tackle so much more than you thought you could. Even practical things like battling with the boiler, the pool units and suchlike. So you become what you become: an independent woman."
(Old image, Google/LIFE archives, freely available.)

This post wraps up with the following commentary

 Such words seem to reflect an eventful journey  from the young, Swedish teenage singing star, who once wrote songs such as "I Was So In Love". (Jag Var Sa Kar, her first single song, recorded in 1967 (age seventeen).) Note: In later interviews Ms. Fältskog seems to enjoy hearing such early songs, but distances herself as well, saying that (the) lyrics were "naive".

Agnetha uses the word "practical" in a slightly different sense here, but it might be applied as a descriptor for the person, too. (I.e., for the life situation described (via the excerpts).)  (However, those interested in Ms. Fältskog might also take note of unsettling developments that occurred (with the person) in the 1990s....)

Was this a glimpse at "the real", adult Agnetha? That is left for interested readers to consider.
Thank you for taking the time to read.

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

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