About My Blog

I created this blog to help share ABBA information with other fans and to show off my new collection items :)

Be sure to check out my website for a whole lot more ABBA !

www.abbafanatic.com


Please note: Collection item photos are from my own personal collection. These are not stock photos. If you wish to use any of my photos elsewhere, please have the courtesy to ask first - Thank you :)

Saturday, 1 October 2016

My Life With ABBA - A Fan Story





My life with ABBA.

My life with ABBA began in 1975.

At that time my household consisted of my Mum (Lynette), two older sisters (Donna - 12 and Shirelle - 11), a younger sister (Belinda - 4) and myself (Roxanne - 6). We lived on the Central Coast in New South Wales.

There was always music playing in our house. Mum was very much into music - she had a wonderful variety of records which we could put on the record player at any time. She also bought us our own records – and never complained about us playing them over and over – she liked the 70’s music as much as we did. If it wasn’t records, it was the radio – and we watched every music program on TV.
From the time I was a toddler I loved music – and always had my favourite songs. Music was an emotional experience for me. The songs I loved as a child still touch my heart when I hear them now. I became quite attached to songs when I was little – but not necessarily to the artists – until ABBA.
Our first experience of ABBA was seeing the ‘Mamma Mia’ film clip on TV. It was after dinner and as was common, we were all sitting together in the lounge room watching a music program. There was silence in the room as we watched in fascination. But as soon as the song finished, the discussion started. I remember everyone talking about this new group who were different to every other group at the time. I remember talking about the outfits the girls were wearing – and the blonde one’s figure when she turned side on. I remember the conversation about the choreography – whether it was deliberate or accidental that the girl’s did the same movements. I do recall that only one of my older sister’s thought it was accidental. I remember the speculation about who they were – and hoping to see the clip again soon. 



I remember that from that moment, I was smitten.

We just couldn’t get enough of ABBA – and were thrilled every time a new song was shown – which as most Australians will remember, was quite a few in the following months. We were very surprised to find out they were from Sweden – and that English was not their first language. We delighted in the fact that they were two couples. Needless to say, everything about ABBA was fascinating to us.

By the time ABBA were coming to Australia for the TV Special in 1976, I can say in all honesty that I was obsessed.  Mum had already bought the LP’s which we played constantly – and we already knew the lyrics. ‘The Best Of ABBA’ Bandstand Special was the most enthralling show I had ever seen – knowing that ABBA were actually in Australia was beyond exciting and the show itself was magical. 

With every repeat of the program on TV, my younger sister and I learned more and more of the choreography and staging of the show. By the end of 1976, Belinda and I were putting on ABBA shows for Donna and Shirelle  and their friends – at their request usually ! It was during this time that Mum bought me the Bugs Bunny amplifier with carrot microphone for performing these shows. Thus started my love of karaoke !



It was not long after the Bandstand Special that Donna and Shirelle took Belinda and I to an under 18’s disco at the newly constructed Shopping Centre in our town. At the disco, the DJ played ‘Ring Ring’ – to which Belinda and I did the appropriate choreography of course. The DJ was apparently very pleased and amused by this and told us to come up on the stage where he presented us both with a copy of the ‘Dancing Queen’ single which had just been released in Australia. Thrilled does not cover how I felt – not only did we receive recognition for our little show, but we were given an amazing gift – a new ABBA record – with a picture cover ! The first picture cover single to be released in Australia. It was so beautiful – and a moment in time that I will never forget. I still have my single – with my name clearly written in the frame area around the ABBA image. Ah, life was good.



The production of ABBA memorabilia in Australia went into overdrive in 1976, as did the collecting. I find it hard to put into words just how wonderful it was to be able to get so many things with so many new images of ABBA. Before the memorabilia, all we had was LP’s, a couple of picture cover singles, and the photos printed in magazines and newspapers. Now we had everything you could imagine. The bubblegum cards were by far my favourite – so many pictures of ABBA – including images of them performing in some unknown far away place. I thought the pictures were so exotic - how I wished to see those performances ! Not to mention the fact that on the reverse, the cards made two amazing posters – both from their trip to Australia – there was nothing better than those cards to me. The fold –out poster books were also a delight – beautiful pictures and such large posters ! Those poster books were duly cut up and pasted all over my bedroom walls of course – as everyone was probably doing back then - and I think many of us still cringe at that particular memory.



Mum was obviously quite indulgent with this love of ABBA – the piles of bubblegum cards alone that I carried with me through the years were an indication of that. I do remember Mum wearing her ABBA T-shirt though – I think it definitely helped that she loved them too.

But there was something even bigger  than all of this to come – with the announcement of an Australian Concert Tour in 1977. I am not sure who was more excited – Mum, or us kids !

There was never any question about us going to the concert. To not go would have been unthinkable – no matter the cost or effort involved for my Mum. The moment those tickets went on sale in October 1976, Mum was on the phone ordering 5 tickets. And the countdown to March 1977 began.



ABBA in person – no words to describe the feeling at the thought of that.

None of us had any idea of what we were about to experience – could never have imagined what it would be like. We had never been to a Live concert before – not us kids anyway – and Australia had never staged anything of this scale before. We were about to be a part of the most astounding and crazy Tour to ever happen in this country !

There were many preparations required for the trip to Sydney for the concert. Travelling by train from the Central Coast to Sydney in 1977 was an experience in itself – and as the train schedule was quite different back then, it meant staying in Sydney overnight as there were no trains late at night to get back home. Luckily we had an Aunty who lived in Sydney and plans were made to go there after the show.
Mum knew in advance that we would have to be at the Showground in Sydney very early in the morning to ensure a good spot in the line. So, a full day outside the venue plus an overnight stay with four young daughters meant packing a suitcase with clothes and food. The night before, everything was ready. Bag packed, alarms set, taxi ordered for the morning – and everyone to bed early – although I doubt some of us got much sleep – more exciting than Christmas !

We were up at 4am on the morning of the concert – and on our way to see ABBA.

We arrived at the Sydney Showground at around 7am and already the line was quite long. It was obvious some people had camped overnight. Everyone was calm, friendly, orderly. We took our position in the line and there we sat all day – enjoying the novelty of this whole thing.

As the day passed, the crowd swelled to huge proportions. The thrill of the wait was almost too much to bear – the buzz in the air was electric.

As it drew nearer to the time for the roller doors to open into the showground, people started to ready themselves. Everyone was standing now, and moving forward towards the doors – we were not too far back from those doors now. Still, everything was calm and orderly – with the excitement building more every second.

However, just before 5pm, bus loads of people arrived and were let out of the buses right at the doors at the front of the line. Those who had been camped and waiting in line all day were suddenly not so calm anymore.

The crowd surged towards the doors. The excitement became panic for those at the front – as they were now being crushed against the roller doors. People started calling out for everyone to stop pushing – there were many children among the crowd ! But it was too late – the push from behind was constant.
Mum , Donna and Shirelle did what they could to protect myself and Belinda from the crushing crowd. They made a kind of circle around us, holding people back. Mum showed no fear, nor did Donna or Shirelle, so we felt no fear. We simply felt the adrenalin building in anticipation of getting into the Showground – hopefully getting good seats – and of seeing ABBA. I can feel it now !

By the time those roller doors started to open, you could barely breathe – it was all too much for some. Mum recognised what was going happen as the doors went up. There was too much pressure from behind and if you were not fast enough, you would be knocked down.  So she told us “When the doors go up, RUN!”  

And that is what we did.

Mum and Shirelle had Belinda between them, and Donna took my hand. As Donna ran, my feet did not touch the ground. We then all had to stop again to go through the turnstiles where we handed in our tickets – then we were running again – me flying along behind Donna.

We reached the lawn seating area and continued to run – all the way to the front rows. We made it into the second row ! But we were there alone – the other 3 hadn’t caught up yet. So Donna laid along the seats to save them – no one else was getting those seats !

Not too long later Mum, Shirelle and Belinda joined us and we settled in for the next 3 or so hours – happily eating the food Mum had packed, and staring at that huge stage. Were ABBA really going to be right there in front of us ?

It finally started to get dark – and the wind and rain started – it poured down.



Did we care ? Absolutely not – it was time !!

Lights flashed on the stage – music boomed out of the massive speakers either side of the stage – and suddenly, there was ABBA, right in front of us ! Pure magic.



I think I was lost in a trance from that moment – and Mum herself says she felt the beaming smile on her face immediately – and it never left her face for the whole show.

I remember standing on the seats so we could see over the adults standing in front of us. Mum decided that was not good enough so moved us all around to the front row where we stood right behind the line of Police who were supposed to be guarding the stage but couldn’t take their eyes off ABBA. I was standing on the beloved suitcase to try to see over the Police – and a Police Officer lifted Belinda on to his shoulders for the rest of the show. She had the best view !

We saw Frida fall  – face down flat on the stage – and were horrified at how much rain was pouring in on that stage and the equipment. We saw Frida raise herself up on to one knee and spread her arms sideways as if to say “I’m ok”. What a magnificent woman – so professional.



That rain ! It did stop for a short time – and everyone got covered in bugs – including ABBA – then it started again. We didn’t care.

The music was so loud – ABBA were so wonderful. Nothing could have spoiled it for us.

After the show, we arrived at my Aunty’s, soaking wet but still buzzing from the whole experience. She was terribly worried about us being wet and cold – and was trying to stop us from talking and get into a warm bath. But we were still too hyped and couldn’t have cared less about a bath. My Mum told her, “We don’t care about being wet – we just saw ABBA ! We would have stood up to our waists in mud to see ABBA.”

To this day, we still feel the same. 

There is no doubt that ABBA mania existed in Australia in the 70’s – it was certainly alive and well in my own family. Over the years, the mania has settled – but the love affair has never ended.

All these years later I am an ABBA collector because I still get that thrill from seeing items with ABBA on them – and to be surrounded by ABBA gives me pleasure on an emotional level. Listening to and watching ABBA evokes something much deeper – that deep emotional connection created way back in 1975.

My name is Roxanne Dickson, nee Hodgson, I am 48 years old, I am Australian, and I am an ABBA Fanatic.











Thursday, 29 September 2016

Benny Andersson To Record Solo Piano Album 2016



In an interview with icethesite Benny announced that he has decided to mark his upcoming 70th birthday with the release of a solo piano album.

“I’ve actually been thinking about it for a while but haven’t had the time. Now I do and it kind of feels right,” Benny said. “I think it’s going to be fun!”

Although he has not chosen exactly which tracks to record yet, they will all be his own melodies and he says that he intends to include pieces from every phase of his musical career from 1965 through to 2016.

“Some pieces, such as Mountain Duet from CHESS, are really suitable as piano solos whereas others, Waterloo for example, just don’t work,” he said. “It will depend on what feels good in my hands when I play.”

Benny hopes to start work on the project next week, but as he wants to record the album on the piano that is currently in his office rather than the one in the studio, he needs to get it moved first.
“My office piano has electro-magnetic sensors which makes editing easier,” he explained. “I fear that I am getting rather particular, but I don’t want to hear myself playing sounds that are too perfect,” he said.

Benny doesn’t plan to feature any other musicians or an orchestra on the release, making it the solo recording that many people have hoped he would make for a long time.

The album will be released on vinyl as well as CD and digital file formats. In addition, a book of sheet music will also be made available.

“I like the idea that anyone who can play a little, young or old, talented musicians or otherwise, can take it home and give it a go themselves,” Benny told us.

Benny is not sure if he will get the album completed before his actual birthday on 16 December due to the pressure of other commitments.

“Probably not, but we’ll see,” he said. “It would be nice if I could, but Spring 2017 is more likely,” he concluded.

http://www.icethesite.com/2016/09/benny-andersson-solo-album/



Monday, 19 September 2016

ABBA Facebook Group - ABBA Said And Done



Just a little post to let you know about a great ABBA Facebook group called 'ABBA - Said And Done'.

It's a fast paced interactive group with wonderful admins - Petra, Marc, Greg & James - who ensure a happy, friendly and spirited environment for everyone. They are super nice, super crazy and very welcoming :)

You can share everything ABBA related there - videos, photos, your collection, news, information - anything at all.

No harsh rules - no fighting - no bitching - no hectic restrictions - just plenty of fun & conversation.

Be sure to check it out, join the group and meet the gang here:

ABBA - Said And Done

The Welcome message:

Hello and welcome to Abba - Said and Done.
We would like to introduce ourselves as your Admins.
James Buck is from the USA and his favourite Abba member is Agnetha Fältskog. His favourite song is The Name of the Game.
Greg McDonald is an Australian living in Bahrain and he also nominates Agnetha as his favourite of the Fab Four. Greg's favourite song is The Winner Takes It All.
Marc Vanhaeren resides in Belgium and he adores Frida Lyngstad. Marc's favourite song is also The Name of the Game.
And I, Petra Sabina live in Australia and I adore Benny Andersson. My favourite song of all, is Hasta Mañana.
If you are looking for something rare by Abba and having no luck, please feel free to ask one of us to try and find it for you. We will do our very best.
All posts MUST be Abba related. We are on Admin Approval so we will refuse anything that we feel is inappropriate. Anyone trying to post porn or anything else of that nature will immediately be removed from our group.
Please refrain from posting from 'gossip magazines' as the information is very often inaccurate and can cause arguments which we want to avoid.
If you have any complaints to make against another member, something posted that offends you, if anyone abuses you in public or if you receive messages from other members that are upsetting, please message one of us straight away and we will deal with it for you.
We do not allow the selling of merchandise or advertising in our group - even if it is Abba related. However you are allowed to advertise your Abba groups and pages with us.
Our Admin Team reserve the right to remove any posts or abusive comments that we may see. We also reserve the right to remove a member who blocks one of our Admin Team.
Our group is on privacy setting 'Closed' so all posts and comments will be seen by members only.
On that note please enjoy our group.

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

ABBA 'Arrival' 40th Anniversary Releases Confirmed ! Picture Discs Plus More !!

OMG !!

The releases for Arrival's 40th Anniversary have been confirmed and they are fabulous !!

A limited edition 7” box set will feature the four singles from the album – the worldwide No.1 smash hit ‘Dancing Queen’, along with ‘Money, Money, Money’, ‘Knowing Me, Knowing You’ and ‘Fernando’ – all on coloured vinyl. This box will only be available through ABBA The Museum Shop and D2C shops.

You can pre-order all items at the following sites:

ABBA The Museum

The Sound Of Vinyl

uDiscover Music

‘Dancing Queen’, ‘Money, Money, Money’, ‘Knowing Me, Knowing You’ and ‘Fernando’ will be released separately as a limited-edition picture disc.
Finally, a 2LP, half-speed mastered, 45rpm cut of the original album will be released. This rare and specialised technique transforms difficult to cut high-end frequencies into relatively easy to cut mid-range frequencies. The result is a cut with excellent high frequency response and very solid and stable stereo images. In short, half-speed mastering produced a master of the highest quality that enables the pressing plant to produce a superlative record. The album reissue will include new liner notes including a brand new interview with Michael B Tretow, ABBA’s acclaimed producer and “fifth member”.


All products will be released October 7th 2016.








Saturday, 3 September 2016

ABBA 'Arrival' 40th Anniversary Releases Coming Soon !


Well, it appears that 'Arrival' is going to be released on a Limited Edition 12" vinyl to celebrate the 40th Anniversary - release date is October/November at this point.

But wait, there's more ! 4 singles from the album will also be released on 7" vinyl and in their original Polar sleeves.

Singles being released are:

Dancing Queen
Fernando
Knowing Me Knowing You
Money Money Money

The Deluxe Edition of Arrival has also been re-issued in a jewel case.

The LP and singles can be pre-ordered now from WOWHD and Amazon as far as I can tell but will update information here as it comes to hand.

The LP is listed at over $70AUD so let's hope it's going to be something special !

Pre-order the vinyls here:

WOWHD

And don't forget to check out ABBA The Museum for the Anniversary T-shirt and badges !

ABBA The Museum Shop



Singles to be releases:








Sunday, 28 August 2016

Update To ABBAFanatic Website



For those who may look in on my website sometimes, be sure to check it out in the upcoming weeks.

I am working on updating the site with lots of changes and plenty of new content.

It's a slow process but it really needed a major overhaul after being somewhat neglected for quite some time.

I appreciate those that have continued to visit the site even with all it's issues and I hope that it will be an enjoyable place to visit once I have completed it :)

You can follow the changes right now !

Check it out here:

www.abbafanatic.com


Tuesday, 16 August 2016

New ABBA Collection Items - Bags, Posters, Mugs, Cassettes And More !



Well it's been a little while since I've done a post showing new items added to my collection, so I thought it was time for a little update.

A bit of a mixed bag of items here - and after going through my images to see what is new, it appears I have been quite busy - but as I said, it has been quite a while since I added new items - and I have a feeling there may be more items I've missed here :)

Australian School Bag - mega rare black and white bag in fabulous condition:



Reg Grundy Logo Necklace - New Zealand 1976 - mega rare - much larger than the standard Reg Grundy Australian necklaces measuring 5cm x 3cm in gold plate:



Finally ! The German jigsaw puzzle - I have waited a long time for this beauty. And the box is quite a bit larger than any other puzzle in my collection - love this ! Showing the UK puzzle on the right for size comparison:



And I am so excited to have added a boxed set of mugs to my collection - I have waited so long for this - never thought I would get one:



Another elusive find - Greatest Hit's Vol. 2 Reel To Reel tape:




Unofficial Lyrics Posters - I love these - very creative and good quality. Size of each is 84cm x 29cm. Just need the rest of the songs now :)



Tote Bag - Europe 1970's:



Various Cassettes:




8 Track Tapes:



Various CD's:




Various Posters:










Reader's Digest Set - LP, CD, Cassette:





Various magazines:







Song Books:

Pure ABBA Gold Box Set Song Books - UK



ABBA LIVE Songbook - USA


Postcards:

Fan Club

Fan Club

Romania
Romania


British Rail - Keep Your Station Tidy Poster & Magnet - new Retro Re-issue:



ABBA The Museum items:

Arrival 40th Anniversary T-shirt

Arrival 40th Anniversary Badge Set

The Albums Postcard Set



Limited Edition Lithograph Box Set

Second Lithograph in the box set

I am sure there is more - but I'll save them for another post !