Stockholm, May 10 (IANS) ABBA, the enduring and still growing Swedish contribution to global music, has been further institutionalised with a museum on Stockholm’s idyllic island of Djurgaarden, which is also home to such other iconic features as Skansen, the world-renowned animal park, and Grona Lund, the city’s Tivoli.
The museum, which had been long in planning, was inaugurated earlier this week amidst a glittering galaxy of stars and celebrities.
However bright and beautiful the function, which had been the talk of Stockholm during the weeks leading up to it, it was slightly marred by the presence of only three of the four members of the legendary pop band of the 1970s.
While Anni-Frid Lyngstad, Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus, graced and, as usual, dazzled the 700 strong red-carpeted crowd of pop-disco royalty, the fourth ABBA, Agnetha Faltskog, was sadly missing and very sorely missed.
The miss was due to an unfortunate logistics brouhaha by a recording company, Universal, that has produced and, with her, is promoting her new album “A”.
Lamenting the absence of his ex-wife, Bjorn said: “I am sure that this could easily have been managed in a better way.”
And then, in a brief welcome address, Bjorn, 68, declared: “This is a house that is entirely, solely dedicated to music. And that I am convinced is its strongest feature. And the most appropriate word for this occasion is surely: Thanks for the music…… .”
And then followed lusty rendering by the crowd of the great ABBA hit “Thank you for the music”, accompanied with magical fireworks volleyed in tune with the magnificient music.
While the other two, Anni-Frid and Benny were not married, they lived together. All four have now separate, independent lives and families.
Anni-Frid, after marriage to a Swiss prince, is now Princess Reuss, Countess of Plauen.
The four, however, remain close and are very attached to one another. They have continued to work together with the same intensity as they did during their fabulous years of “Waterloo”, “Voulez Vous”, “Dancing Queen” and the great body of music that so well rocked and charmed the youth.
And ABBA is on record as claiming “our greatest music was created after our divorce and separation.”
ABBA the museum will effectively act as Sweden’s Music Hall of Fame.
(Alfred de Tavares can be contacted at [email protected])