About My Blog

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

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 :)

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Bjorn Receives Honorary Doctorate - Linnaeus University Sweden

The ABBA legend and newly-appointed honorary doctor Björn Ulvaeus in conversation with professor Lars Lindkvist on Växjö campus earlier today. The audience was spellbound by Björn's life story and his many vivid anecdotes.

Now, soon time for the grand Academic Ceremony in Växjö Concert Hall!


All new professors, doctors, and honorary doctors, happy and excited, at this year's Academic Ceremony that took place in the Christina Nilsson room at Växjö Concert Hall today.

Bjorn looking very dapper here :)

Saturday, 23 May 2015

ABBA's Bjorn Ulvaeus Supports Euthanasia

Former ABBA singer Bjorn Ulvaeus has revealed he supports euthanasia and would choose to end his own life rather than endure a long painful death.

Bang Showbiz
May 23, 2015

ABBA legend singer Bjorn Ulvaeus would rather be euthanised than live in constant pain with an illness.
The 70-year-old Swedish star - a co-founder of the pop super-group - has become a supporter of assisted suicide after watching his parents and mother-in-laws prolonged and agonising deaths.
He is quoted by the Daily Mirror newspaper as saying: "It's the thought of the endless pain and suffering that I am afraid of. This should not be necessary. I have seen this misery up close. My parents lived long but would have preferred a more painless and dignified ending.
"The same goes for the parents of my wife. My mother-in-law has lived for a long time but she could not express her feelings.
"That was where I thought, 'I don't want this'. It is my life. Why can't I control how it should end?"
The 'SOS' hitmaker also came to the conclusion he would choose euthanasia as a way to end his life when he had a panic attack on a flight from Paris to Stockholm after one of the plane's engines died.
Bjorn said: "I tried to remind myself that the plane could easily land with only one engine - but I got a full-on panic attack.
"Later, I realised the fear stemmed from the fact that I had no control over my own death. That was a scary realisation. Now I've begun to think, 'Maybe I will not see many more summers.' "
Bjorn is still in touch with his old ABBA band members and still collaborates with Benny Andersson.
In an interview with The Guardian today (22.05.15) he said he doesn't think he'll be watching the Eurovision Song Contest - the show that catapulted the band to fame - because: "there are too many countries in the competition and I'd be more interested in a contest where the emphasis was on the quality of the song".


Bjorn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson

ABBA's Bjorn Ulvaeus On Stockholm

Stockholm has everything New York or London has but without the people and the traffic. Because it is built on islands and surrounded by water, you get this enormous sense of freedom. People don’t bother me at all, so I can walk around without any problem.

Naturally, I would recommend a visit to Abba the Museum. When they told me that it should be in Stockholm, that’s when it dawned on me – it’s going to be in a very prominent place that I will pass many times a year, with my children and grandchildren, and with friends. It had to be great, because I wouldn’t be able to escape it. That’s why I got involved. It’s a very hi-tech museum, but it also has warmth and humour. My favourite exhibit would have to be the homemade double bass from my first-ever group.

Stockholm is the most beautiful capital in the world. Visitors should take one of the sightseeing boats and see it from the water. They should also visit the Vasa Museum. It’s absolutely magnificent – a large 17th-century ship housed within a museum.

The Stockholm archipelago is unique, with tens of thousands of islands. It’s one of the most beautiful places in the world. I’ll often take my boat to Sandhamn, an island outside of Stockholm. There’s a restaurant there called Monrad’s where I like to have lunch. Actually, I’ll be going there soon with the new lady in my life. I’ve called her Dancing Queen and she’s a Princess 64 Flybridge yacht.

There are lots of outfits in the museum. I’m proud to say that most of my Abba costumes still fit me. I don’t have a favourite, but if I had to choose one it would be something from the later years. There’s a photo of me in a kind of Superman outfit from early on and I cry in pain every time I see it. It shows a level of bad taste unsurpassed by any other pop star.

I love the city’s food hall markets. Two of the best are Östermalmshallen and Hötorgshallen. My favourite restaurant is at Hotel Skeppsholmen, but the food I couldn’t do without is sashimi. I go to a great Japanese restaurant in the centre called Seikoen. There’s also a marina called Bullandö, just outside Stockholm, where I go to eat the best ice-cream in Europe – it’s called Bullandö Glassfabrik.

My favourite thing about Stockholm, and Sweden in general, is that it’s not overcrowded. There are only nine million of us Swedes, so we’re not overpopulated in the way many areas of Europe are.

People in Stockholm are quicker to adapt to change than in the rest of the country. It has become a very creative city – for music, fashion and computer games. It is a lot more cosmopolitan than it used to be, but I wouldn’t want it to grow much bigger.

When I get time off, I love to relax with my grandchildren – sailing, kayaking, reading, and watching movies and documentaries. I love to take them all on holiday with me.

Benny comes to Stockholm regularly so I see him quite a bit, especially since we still work together from time to time. Agnetha and I have children and grandchildren together, so I see her at birthday parties and such. Frida comes to Stockholm from her home in Switzerland every now and then, and she’ll say hello.

There are some great Swedish musicians around at the moment. I’ve been listening a lot to the Swedish band First Aid Kit. Their roots are in folk music and the same goes for me.

I don’t think I’ll be watching Eurovision this weekend. I rarely watch it these days. Not because it was better in the old days (it wasn’t), but because there are too many countries in the competition. And as a songwriter, I’d be more interested in a contest where the emphasis was on the quality of the song.

I love churches and there are a couple in the old city, such as the Storkyrkan, which I’d recommend visiting.

Another special exhibit at the Abba Museum is an award we were given which I had at home for years. It’s a hideously ugly German music award, a figurine in the form of Hiawatha called Silberne Otto. It was awarded to us by the German magazine Bravo and I kept it on my windowsill. Over time I grew rather fond of it and it was with a heavy heart that I gave it to the museum. Come to think of it, I miss my Silberne Otto.

During the Abba years, we did some television work in East Berlin. People there loved us but it was so depressing. I remember we were paid in whatever currency they had – East German marks or whatever – which you couldn’t change when you got to the west. Nobody would take it. I had one day to get rid of it, so I bought everyone in the bar a drink!

I only book holidays in winter. Why? Try a cold, windy and damp November day in Stockholm and you’ll know why!


Carl Magnus Palm - ABBA Bang A Boomerang !


Published May 22, 2015
Here's an end-of-week report from my tape-listening sessions for the revised and updated edition of ABBA - The Complete Recording Sessions. Pre-order your copy here: igg.me/at/abbatcrs

Among the alternate ABBA mixes I've listened to this week are a handful of tracks from the ABBA album (the eponymous LP that was at number one in Sweden this time 40 years ago). At least two of those mixes were of the mind-blowing or at least surprising variety: both songs are perfectly recognisable, of course, but the choices made during mixing are often very different from how they ended up sounding in the familiar versions that we've lived with for the past four decades.

I've also reacquainted myself with the original version of 'Bang-A-Boomerang'. If you have the original edition of ABBA - The Complete Recording Sessions, you will recall that this first take had a different arrangement and also verses with a completely different melody. This puts the spotlight on one of the really nice things about this revised and updated version of the book. Back in 1993, when I listened to tapes together with Björn, Benny and Michael Tretow, we had a lot of material to go through, so there simply wasn't time to listen to each track more than once or twice, forcing me to frantically make notes, so that I would be able to make some kind of meaningful description of what I heard.

In the case of 'Bang-A-Boomerang', which I believe we only heard once, I scribbled down a few key words such as "no galloping" (referring to the rhythm), "lots of acoustic guitars" and "partly different melody in the verses". Well, thanks to a rough mix that was made back in the day I am now able to listen to the recording over and over again, write down the lyrics, define exactly which parts are different and which carried over to the released version, time it for length - and, generally, make a more accurate and detailed description.

If you want to know all about that rare version of 'Bang-A-Boomerang', as well as the other discoveries I'm making in the archives, pre-order your copy of ABBA - The Complete Recording Sessions here: igg.me/at/abbatcrs


Listening to alternate ABBA mixes at the Polar Music offices in the Universal Music building in Stockholm:

Friday, 22 May 2015

Benny Andersson Reflects On Eurovision & Australia's 'Countdown'

ABBA's Benny Andersson reflects on Eurovision win and the credit he still gives to 'Countdown'

The super-group co-founder-turned movie producer reflects on the role Australia played in reviving the band's fortunes post-Eurovision.  

In 2005 the public voted ABBA’s 1974 Eurovision entry Waterloo as their favourite Eurovision song winner ever and the long disbanded group, which existed from 1972 till 1982, has never ceased to amaze in the subsequent years. Mamma Mia! the musical, built around 24 ABBA songs, went on to become a 2008 cinematic blockbuster, the most successful movie musical of all time. The band famously declined a $1 billion offer to reform, saying pop music is a young person’s game. (Also, the deal would have come with strings attached, such as committing them to 250 live performances).
Now, after 360 million album and singles sales, they give credit where it is due. And together with Eurovision a lot of the credit goes to us ABBA-loving Aussies.
Whether Guy Sebastian can take the contest by storm remains to be seen, but hey, we at least are in there with a chance.
The fact was not lost on ABBA’s Benny Andersson in our recent Berlin Festival interview.
“You’re in The Eurovision Song Contest all of a sudden I just read,” he enthuses offering support. The well-preserved, determinedly down-to-earth 68 year-old, who seems leaner than in his early years, clearly loves Australians—and our senses of humour—and hearing the words : “G’day”.
“I hear where you are from,” he exclaims, emitting a big grin when we first met.
I tell him how Swedish colleagues say he’s the more intellectual of the two ABBA men.
“Oh come on, none of us are!” he responds definitively.
At first in our interview this self-effacing prodigious talent, who together with Björn Ulvaeus had painstakingly written and arranged ABBA’s anthems, resists talking too much about ABBA and Eurovision as he is here to promote a Swedish-language teen fantasy movie, The Circle, which he has personally financed and produced together with his 33 year-old son, Ludvig. (Ludvig’s mother is Andersson’s second and current wife, Swedish TV presenter Mona Nörklit, whom he married in 1981 just after his divorce from fellow ABBA member Anni-Frid Lyngstad.) Yet once Andersson hears the Australian twang I can't stop him.

Of course he already knows about Countdown’s 40th anniversary as it came hot on the heels of ABBA’s 40th anniversary of their Eurovision win, which was widely celebrated with a book, an exhibition and a Wembley concert DVD compilation culled from six of ABBA’s 1979 Wembley shows and put together by Ludvig, who is also a musician.
“Countdown was essential to us,” Andersson admits. “That's when it really started to happen. After we won the Eurovision Song Contest and had a big hit with Waterloo all over the world, then nothing happened, like often is the way with Eurovision Song Contest contenders. We worked in England and they said, ‘Well not to worry,” he grumbles at the memory. “So from sending us big limousines in the Waterloo period, the cars got smaller and smaller and we had a Volkswagen bus by the end!

“But then we met Lasse Hallström, who made three videos for 'I Do, I Do, I Do', 'SOS' and 'Mamma Mia' for K25,000 [around $4000] which is not much for three videos and they were sent around the world for us, so we weren’t having to travel that much. [ABBA’s Agnetha Fältskog had young children with Ulvaeus and also had a fear of flying.] Then Countdown started to show the videos and it took off. When it started in Australia the different labels around the world realised they were maybe missing something and we started to work again.”
The limousines got bigger?
“Yes they did!”
Anderson recalls that when ABBA came to tour Australia in 1977, the biggest surprise was the merchandising.
“There were ABBA soaps, ABBA towels, ABBA pillows, ABBA everything. There was soap everywhere! I don't know how that happened because we never agreed to anything commercial.”


Monday, 11 May 2015

New ABBA Collection Item - Fernando Dress !

I am over the moon to find this Fernando dress - how amazing is this ?

And I was so lucky that the seller was so willing to help me out to get it to me really fasy so I could wear it recently at the Trundle ABBA Festival.

I felt special wearing it, that's for sure - and received so many comments on it, and so many people asked where it came from. They were then very disappointed to find out it came from Mexico in 1975.

I wonder if that was where Agnetha and Frida got their dresses from ?

And even more amazing - I now have a second dress. This one is pale green with slightly different embroidery and neckline. It needs slight repair though so will add a photo after that is done :)

The second Fernando Dress.
This one is closer to my size - a little smaller than the first one - and has a slightly rounded neckline.
I love this one - even though it is a very pale green, rather than white.
Can't believe I have two dresses now ! :)

Sunday, 10 May 2015

ABBA Bass Player Rutger Gunnarsson Has Passed Away

Swedish musician Rutger Gunnarsson, known for his bass playing on ABBA records and tours, has died at the age of 69, Universal records announced Friday. 

 He died at his home in Stockholm, but the cause and date of his death were not revealed.
"Rutger was most known for his long and close collaboration with Björn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson and ABBA, having worked on all their albums, singles,  tours, films and musicals," Universal said in a statement.
Bass fans are particularly fond of his contributions to hits like "Dancing Queen", "Knowing Me Knowing You" and "Money, Money, Money".
The four members of ABBA, Anni-Frid Lyngstad, 69, Agnetha Fältskog, 65, Ulvaeus, 70, Andersson, 68, have not played music together since 1986.


Musician Rutger Gunnarsson, best known as ABBA's bassist, has died.
He was 69 years old.
Rutger Gunnarsson , 69, has had a lengthy career and has also made music with Sheeba , Magnus Uggla and Ted Gärdestad .

He is best known, however, as ABBA 's bassist and he participated in all the albums.
According to a press release from Universal Music has Rutger Gunnarsson died suddenly at his home in Stockholm. The cause of death is not clear.
Rutger Gunnarsson has also appeared in several musicals such as "Chess," "Rhapsody in Rock" and "Mamma Mia!".
In addition, he arranged strings and winds to artists like Westlife , Celine Dion and Elton John as well as the feature film "Spiderman 2".
Rutger Gunnarsson mourned the closest of his three children Richard, Minnie and Joanna.


"He was a very creative musician. We sat and played in the studio, trying to find how the songs would be. Rutger always very creative. What he does is amazing. He was of course a legend in the world because of many of these recordings" Björn Ulvaeus says to Swedish Radio.

Thursday, 7 May 2015

Trundle ABBA Festival 2015 !

Trundle ABBA Festival 2015 was truly an amazing event. A small town in Central West NSW with a population of under 700 stages the only major ABBA event in Australia each year - and this year it was apparently 3 times larger than last year - so it's growing all the time.
There were over 1500 extra people in this little town for the ABBA Festival - I can tell you, it was overflowing with people from all over NSW - plus others from even further afield, including QLD.
Such an amazing atmosphere - everyone was there to have a good time and that is exactly what they did ! 
The town's folk were wonderful - so friendly - and all in the spirit of the festival. 
I have no doubt at all that this Festival will continue to evolve, improve and grow - this was only the 4th year. It was said that there weren't a lot of ABBA fans there because they didn't know about it - well, everyone else knew about it, that's for sure !

The ABBA train was a huge success - carrying lots of Festival goers from Forbes, Parkes and Bogan Gate - and everyone already in town went down to the station at Trundle to watch it's arrival - it was a real event in itself watching everyone disembark in their costumes lol



Very few people wore actual ABBA costumes as you can already tell from the photos - mostly Mamma Mia inspired outfits or 70's style costumes.

 We stayed at the Super Trouper Campground in Tent Town - a fabulous set up by Pete with large tents, lighting for the night time, 24 hour coffee station (much needed lol) and bacon & egg rolls in the mornings - and major thanks to Pete for giving us a blow up double mattress for our tent The showground was packed with tents, caravans, campervans - I was amazed at how many people were there - and at night there was a great campfire to hang out at (after festivities of course).

A full program - and I actually found it hard to keep up with it - mainly because I ended up spending so much time having lovely chats with locals and other visitors - including a nice young English girl who came to Australia a few years ago, visited Trundle, and decided to stay ! She works as a rouseabout and loves it there !

I actually have very few photos unfortunately, but this is because both my hubby and myself were too involved in the fun ! but this one was early on in the day:


This is the back of the Hotel where they did the Wedding Vow renewal ceremony as well as the singing competition - and later had Live music playing till around midnight - yep, it needs some work lol but they host a fantastic party - and the service is excellent !

The I Do I Do I Do I Do I Do wedding vow renewal ceremony was so funny with all words coming straight from ABBA lyrics of course - and the Reverend and others who did the readings were classics ! 

So next came the singing competition - now that was an experience I will never forget ! hilarious in parts - painful in other parts - but overall such great fun ! I even got taken on stage by a lovely group of ladies to perform Rock Me with them - what a hoot lol 

A little snippet of the Rock Me performance:

My hubby was still trying to work out the new camera - and had already had a few by this time, so this could explain the quality of this little snippet of my time with the ladies on stage lol - as you can see, I didn't get near the microphone too often - except one time - but I didn't care, I was enjoying dancing.
There are a few little snippets of this performance, but I think one is enough lol maybe John should not have stood behind the big fella !

These fabulous ladies were doing sign language to Honey Honey - they were so good and so funny ! 
They are teachers for the deaf - and they are great ladies.

The winner of the singing comp was a lovely young guy who made use of previous entrants to be his back up singers - he performed Super Trouper. I think it was rigged though - he was a local !

My Fernando dress was a hit - even with those who did not necessarily know it was an ABBA dress lol - I was asked later by a few different people if I had won the fashion competition in that dress - unfortunately I did not enter the competition - and if you take a good look at the style of most of the costumes, you'll agree, I probably wouldn't have won ! lol

The ladies in the bottom pic were the winners.


I decided it was time for a change then, so headed to our tent before heading back to the hotel - I was actually getting a little tipsy myself by this time - hence the slightly sloppy appearance of my dress ! lol


Then it was back down to the Memorial Hall for the dance exhibition - and dance competition. The 2 performers from Dancing With The Stars were fabulous (Alana Patience & Carmelo Pizzino) - everyone loved it - but this time, the bad video footage was my doing - and amazingly, I found someone standing up that I could stand behind while filming also LOL but at least this shows proof that John was actually there with me - what do you think of his t-shirt ? 


Next came the dance competition. We were encouraged to get up and dance by a very nice lady from Northern Riverina who held my bag - on more than one occasion - and filmed us. We were not the first ones eliminated, but we didn't make it to the end - I was a little disappointed when Alana touched my arm lol

The dance competition was a real laugh - and the winners were not a surprise. The first couple were the runners up - the second couple were the winners.
Classics lol


After this, it was time for a beautiful freshly cooked pizza at the back of the Hotel - where the stage was being set for Live music with Rock Bottom - great band - and what a beautiful setting in the beer garden:

And then, it was concert time with Bjorn Again:

After the concert, it was back to the Hotel for the Live music which played the whole time as not everyone went to the concert.

There were buskers in the main street - some of whom were quite painful to listen to - but it added to the atmosphere having Live music playing in different locations all morning as people were arriving in town - and good on them for having a go ! The singing competition was also painful to listen to at times - but again, I applaud everyone who was brave enough to get up on that stage and have some fun.

The Hotel may be in need of repair, but this is what this Festival is partly about - saving their town - and helping to restore it to what it should be - and honestly, the beer garden area out the back is just perfect for the activities hosted there - the staff are lovely, and the service is great - and who wouldn't enjoy watching a Live band in this setting ? 

The porta loos even had special signs:

And let's not forget the merchandise !

There were plenty of food tents and vans as well - very well catered for:

WIN News Central West did a little story on the Festival and you can check that out here:


I congratulate Trundle for a super successful Festival - and I am sure it will be even bigger & better next year !

Bjorn Again are already booked to perform and tickets for the Festival will go on sale for 2016 in November, so be sure to watch out for that on their facebook page:


And if you need accommodation, be sure to book a tent with Pete at Tent Town - when the time comes. There is very little other accommodation in Trundle, and it gets booked out pretty early on.
Other alternative is to stay in Parkes and jump on the ABBA train !
Or bring a caravan !!


But whatever you do, don't miss Trundle ABBA Festival in 2016 !!