Abba and me
We all got going with our lives back in the forties, this now famous foursome in Sweden and Norway and me, the author of this prose-poem and not-so-famous, in Canada. These four began to put-it-all-together with their first recording in November 1970 just as I was getting ready to come to Australia from Canada to teach primary school in the seaport town of Whyalla South Australia and help the Baha’i community in Australia.
Frequent recording sessions brought the foursome tighter together during the summer of 1971 when my first wife and I started teaching in Whyalla. Fältskog, one of the four, released her fourth album in 1971 and married Ulvaeus, another one of the four, on 6 July 1971. We arrived in Adelaide on 12 July 1971. Andersson, Ulvaeus, and Fältskog started performing together on a regular basis at the Swedish folkparks during that same summer of 1971: 1971 was a very big summer for all of us.
The foursome decided to record their first album in the autumn of 1972 as I was in my first year of teaching high school. In the summer of 1973 the name "ABBA" became the group’s official name. I was on my way at last in a successful career in teaching and a career I was actually enjoying after years of employment from 1961 to 1971 that were far from enjoyable, indeed many of those years were somewhat depressing. We were all in our 20s by the time this success came our way.
The first time the name ABBA was found written on paper was on a recording session sheet from the Metronome Studio in Stockholm. The date was 16 October 1973. This was first written as "Björn, Benny, Agnetha & Frida", but was subsequently crossed out with "ABBA" written in large letters on top. That same month I got a job as a senior tutor in human relations at the Tasmanian College of Advanced Education, now known as the University of Tasmania. I, too, was on my way. -Ron Price with thanks to Wikipedia, 5 January 2011.
ABBA won the Eurovision Song Contest
on 9 February 1974 as I was getting ready
to teach in my first post-secondary school.
This victory gave ABBA the chance to tour
Europe and perform on its major TV shows.
The band saw their "Waterloo" single climb
the charts in many of the European countries.
"Waterloo" was ABBA's first number 1 single
in big markets such as the UK, Germany and
Australia. In the US this song reached no. 6
on the Hot Billboard 100 chart, paving the way
for their first album & their first trip as a group.
I could follow ABBA into their superstardom
as I went from one town to another even up to
the year 2000 when ABBA was reported to have
turned down an offer of US $1,000,000,000---
that’s one billion!…to do a reunion tour of 100
concerts. By then I had retired and taken a sea-
change, become a writer & editor, a poet and a
publisher, a journalist and independent scholar.
Their lives and mine will go on for some time to
come before we all go to the Lands of Light……
Their’s has been a world of wealth and fame and
mine, now, in this quiet corner of the oldest town
on the oldest continent in the world by a river by a
sea, watching boats go by in the evening of my life.
6 January 2011
a restless spirit
As a kid I hated ABBA - it wasn't 'cool' enough. Now I listen to it and the songwriting is actually very very good. The 2 B's knew how to write. And their bank balance proves it!
Indeed, Jerome, bank balances do tell a story.-Ron
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