This is my translation of an article that I received thanks to Jeffrey de Hart and Frank Axelsson.
"We fell in love during a TV taping"
The summer’s big romance in the schlager world has seriously begun between Agnetha Fältskog and Björn Ulvaeus from well-known Hootenanny Singers from Västervik.
-I have always felt that Björn seems nice and sweet. But I never thought that it would be he and I someday. Björn is actually the best thing that has happened to me.
Agnetha Fältskog, 19 years old, is in love. The object of her hot passion is Björn Ulvaeus, singer in Hootenanny Singers and now also a solo artist. Björn has completely fallen for the blonde singer from Jönköping. They’ve been together for six months and Svensktoppen (Swedish chart. Claes’ note) now has it’s first real romance.
In the spring of 1968, we could read in the newspapers that Agnetha Fältskog had gotten engaged to the successful German composer Dieter Zimmerman. The couple had met during one of Agnetha’s visits to Germany, and after many letters and phone calls and trips, the young ones exchanged rings with each other. They were introduced to each other’s parents and everything was wonderful.
-But it didn’t work seeing each other so seldom, says Agnetha and moves a string of hair away from her cheek. We were both jealous and in our separate locations we wondered what the other was up to.
-We had planned to get married eventually, but we hadn’t decided on a date. On the other hand, we had gathered some mutual things for our future home. But this fact didn’t keep us from finally realizing that it was best to break up.
-Of course it was depressing at first. Two people who had been engaged actually have quite a lot in common. Furthermore you give away a small piece of yourself in such connections.
We talk about a lot of things, everything from political events throughout the world to popular dances, but somehow we always end up talking about Björn Ulvaeus.
I felt his hand
-Right after the breakup with Dieter, I began with the taping of a TV show about Jules Sylvain (Swedish composer. Claes’ note). Björn also participated in that program. I had met him before, but there weren’t any sparks until now. I’ll never forget a scene where all participants were to hold each other’s hands, and suddenly Björn showed up by my side. Then I knew this was it.
-Since nothing had been published about my engagement with Dieter being broken, I quickly had to inform Björn about it.
-The first thing I noticed about Björn was his eyes. Every time he laughs these laugh wrinkles appear around them. Absolutely impossible to resist!
-Well, it began with him asking me for a walk during a break of the taping. Now I know that Björn doesn’t only have a nice appearance, but he also has many “inner” qualities. He’s nice, considerate, tender, romantic and he also uses his brain. When it comes to writing songs, he’s almost as good as I am!
This last thing is followed by a big laugh. It’s a small revenge for what Björn said a bit earlier during the day.
-Our romance is just a publicity stunt, he joked in the afternoon right before he was leaving Agnetha to go on tour. The reason why I’m together with her is because I thought it might help her to become famous and get on the Svensktoppen chart.
But the moment after he had said that, he took it all back and said he likes Agnetha very much and their mutual interests have brought them very close to each other.
It’s in the evening when we meet Agnetha that she talks about what she likes and feels about Björn. We visit a discotheque and each time Agnetha is asked for a dance, she politely declines. Young guys in the latest fashion and with sideburns can’t understand that this hot girl is turning them down. But Agnetha’s explanation is that she thinks of Björn! Talk about love!
-When you really like each other a lot, you’re not jealous, she says when we talk about the competition between two artists. But of course there’s always a risk that there eventually can be some rivalry.
Björn has his own apartment
Björn lives in a small apartment in the middle of Stockholm. When we stop by, his friend Benny Andersson, who he writes songs together with, is visiting him. Agnetha lives in Danderyd at a good friend’s, who represents the record company she belongs to. But as soon as Björn is in Stockholm, she stays with him and brightens his life. Both of them tour a lot this summer, but so far their respective schedules have matched and they have been able to see each other regularly.
Sometime in September Agnetha is going to have her tonsils removed. She has tonsillitis quite often, and it’s not a good disease if you depend on your throat. She’s nervous about the operation.
Agnetha has had many songs on Svensktoppen. Most of them have been about broken hearts and all sorts of love problems. How does this image fit with the cheerful girl she is on stage and in private?
-I have written several cheerful songs, she explains, but it seems as if the audience prefers my more tragic songs. By the way, I can very well imagine writing songs together with Björn in the future. If he makes the music, I’ll write the lyrics.
Agnetha and Björn have been together for almost six months. Can we expect an engagement announcement in the near future?
-I want to live my life before I tie myself up, a thoughtful Agnetha says. I already have an engagement behind me, and the next time I exchange rings with someone, I want it to last. But isn’t he charming?
In October Agnetha will probably go on tour with Pop-69 (a concert tour together with a few other artists. Claes’ note). Before that, she’s going to take a short vacation and spend a lot of time with Björn and his worst competitor, a brand new Triumph (car), which Agnetha has bought with her own money and with which she’s making Stockholm’s streets unsafe with.
By Cickie Palm