“life is more important than all the money in the world”
Interview with Björn
With ABBA, he has written worldwide hits: Bjorn Ulvaeus, the one in the B band name. He is now 65 – and ABBA celebrates its 40th anniversary To celebrate Bavaria has led an interview with the musician. The conversation about German houses, music and a possible return to the stage.
Bayern 1: Hello, here is Bayern 1, we speak with Bjorn?
Björn: Yes you do!
Bayern 1: May we call you Bjorn?
Bjorn: Of course, what did you think? Professor Ulvaeus? (Laughs)
Bayern 1: Well Bjorn, thank you! And also thank you for taking the time for us.
Björn: I thought this is a wonderful idea, this action program, and by the way: I will in a few weeks to come to Munich to celebrate the 70th birthday of an old friend.
Bayern 1: Oh, really? When will you be there?
Bjorn: In a month or so …
Bayern 1: It would be great if you could then visit us.
Bjorn: Yeah, maybe.
Bayern 1: Of interest to us, Björn: You work together with Benny still, write and produce music together. What are you working for now?
Björn: We just put together a musical on stage, on 29 February is premiered in Helsinki.
Bayern 1: Will also go on tour?
Björn: We have already performed the play in Sweden, which was a huge production. Now the whole thing is smaller, so that it can travel well. We would like to do already. Let’s see. We’ll be in for the premiere guests from Germany with us who watch it. We’ll find that it is suitable to all cases for the Scandinavian countries are very good, and for Russia, perhaps even for the Baltic Länder.Warum not for Germany?
Bayern 1: And then, hopefully, with Bayern on the list of tour locations.
Björn: But yes, absolutely!
Bavaria 1: Is there a new song by Benny and Bjorn?
Björn: We occasionally write for Benny’s band, the Benny Andersson Orchestra. The Swedish texts are usually, but some are in English. Apart from that we have in recent years not really done so much together. But who knows what the future holds even more. If we feel the urge again, maybe something for a movie.
Bayern 1: At the moment, of course, delighted the fans on the new ABBA album to come out in April.
Bjorn: So it’s not really new.
Bayern 1: sort of “new” then.
Bjorn: Yeah, exactly!
Bayern 1: Many of us are familiar with even the original 1981 “The Visitors”, but on the new version is an extra song: “From A Twinkling Star To A Passing Angel”.
Björn: It’s a little medley, an example of how a title is created. In fact, from the song “Like An Angel Passing Through My Room” was. That’s on top of the ’81 album. But before that we had different versions and the recording starts with the fact that I make a wrong – demo text -, sing a different version with Frida and gradually to the released song. So no new song, just one example of how we worked.
Bayern 1: Can you give us an impression of how it sounded back then?
Bjorn: That impression is on the record. I sing as “Twinkle, twinkle, little star”.
Bayern 1: When you get a little time that’s private: Do you see your ex-wife Agnetha ?
Bjorn: Yeah! Quite often. We have three grandchildren, so I see them every Christmas, on birthdays. By the way: Next week I see them too, because one has our grandchildren’s birthday.
Bayern 1: So you really have a good relationship?
Bayern 1: You have become good friends over the years?
Bjorn: Yeah, we were lovers, we were more neutral for a while, now we are friends.
Bavaria 1: This is beautiful!
Björn: Yes. (Laughs)
Bayern 1: So you’re still working together with Benny, you have a very good relationship with Agnetha. Excuse me, that we ask this: But everybody wants to know if you someday again appear together as ABBA?
Bjorn: No! That will never happen again!
Bayern 1: We heard you were offered a billion dollars on a tour , but you declined.
Bjorn: Yeah, it’s been a few years ago. I am sure that this money could have done a lot of good, but it would have shortened our lives by ten years! You can not even imagine what that means for stress what is going through since! At the end we said: It’s not really worth it!
Bavaria 1: Life of course, is far more valuable than all the money in the world.
Bjorn: That’s right, I would not allow anyone to take away ten years.
Bayern 1: Of course not. But it would have to be not a whole tour, maybe only one concert, a short, say two or three songs?
Bjorn: The preparations for it were also a great effort. No. The music simply lacks motivation. If we had something new, something that would necessarily would have to hear the world, then we do that too. But we just did not. Nevertheless, we are very proud of our active time in the 70s.