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January:

1979-01-09 'Unicef Gift Of A Song' concert in New York, held at the National Assembly Hall of The United Nations, performing 'Chiquitita'. 







1979-01-10 ABBA in New York at the New York Plaza Hotel. Agnetha and Björn at Robert Stigwood's party for The Bee Gees.


1979-01-11 Back to Stockholm.
1979-01-15 Bjorn and Agnetha are divorcing.
1979-01-16 Release single 'Chiquitita' - 'Lovelight'.
1979-01mid  ABBA appear on Gäst Hos Hagge.




1979-01-22 Bjorn and Benny leave for a trip to the Bahama's, writing 'Kisses Of Fire' and more songs.
1979-01-29 Bjorn and Benny still on the Bahama's.
1979-01-31 Bjorn and Benny in Miami working on the LP Voulez-Vous. Read the article about engineer Tom Dowd who was present during these sessions at the Criteria studio in Miami.

THE RECORD PRODUCERS - TOM DOWD


The latter part of the 70s saw Tom Dowd working with several artists of a softer musical persuasion, inlcuding Firefall, Kenny Loggins, and in a vicarious way, ABBA.

'The credit I was given on the ABBA record is similar to one that appeared on the first album by Yes. ABBA were impressed with the nature of a pile of records that had come out of Atlantic Records, or the Warner Brothers complex, and they were interested in trying to put together an American rhythm section to try and make demos of several songs of a particular type. I was in California and they were on holiday in the Bahamas and they called up Atlantic and said they'd like to go to Criteria Studio in Miami to see those rhythm sections that you talk about, and make a record with them. Atlantic was looking for me, but I wasn't there, so they used Ronnie and Howie (Albert), who put a rhythm section together, and they went in. I got back to Miami, and my wife said, "ABBA are looking for you, they're up at Criteria right now", so I got back into the car and drove up to the studio. They were running through one or two songs and trying to experiment with the rhythm section, and I got on the floor and changed the parts, and changed the sequence and everything, and we made a good demo that day, and they wanted to come back the next day to rework that song and some other things, and we made two tracks for them the next day. And they said they'd like to possibly come back and do some more songs with these people, but they didn't have any written - and that was the last any of us saw of them (Björn and Benny) until the record came out and we recognized one of the tracks that we had made that they had put things on top of, and then finished. So they gave us all a "Thanks" credit on that track, "Voulez-Vous", but that was their brief encounter with us, just two days on a whim because they were writing in the Bahamas on a vacation, and decided that they were close enough to the mainland and wanted to come in to study our techniques and see how we got some of our sound.'

February:
1979-02-01 Backing track of 'Song X', a working title of 'Amerika', a working title of 'Voulez-Vous' finished in Miami and backing track of 'If It Wasn't For The Nights' made there?
1979-02-02 Return back to Europe.
1979-02-03 Björn and Benny back in Stockholm.
1979-02-06 Backing track 'I Can Do It', a working title of 'Does Your Mother Know'.
1979-02-07 Backing track of 'Tidernas Blasning' a working title of 'Kisses Of Fire'.
1979-02-12 Sax overdubs for 'Does Your Mother Know'.
1979-02-14 ABBA to Leysin, Switserland filming 'ABBA in Switserland'


ABBA at Geneva airport










1979-02-15  The skiing parts are filmed today.













1979-02-15 During the afternoon, filming of the 'official' 'Chiquitita' video in front of the snowman by the BBC.


'The King Has Lost His Crown':

'The Name Of The Game' in the snow with skiing outfits, 'Eagle' featuring baloons', 'Mamma Mia' in the snow,
'Kisses Of Fire':

'Lovers (Live A Little Longer'
Chiquitita'
An early mix of 'Does Your Mother Know' and
Thank You For The Music:


1979-02-19? On their way from Leysin to Stockholm, ABBA made a stop in Bremen (West-Germany) to appear on 'Musikladen' with 'Chiquitita'.






March:
1979-03-01 Mixing 'Does Your Mother Know' and 'Kisses Of Fire'.
1979-03-08 Recording Spanish vocals for 'Chiquitita'. This evening ABBA and Stig attend a dinner organized by King Carl Gustav at the Royal Palace of Stockholm.




















1979-03   Fotoshoot of the LP cover of 'Voulez-vous and single cover 'Does Your Mother Know' at the 'Alexandra' discotheque in Stockholm.

1979-03-14 Backing track of 'As Good As New'.
1979-03-15 Backing track of 'Take Me In Your Armpit', a working title of 'I Know A Song', a working title of 'I Have A Dream'.
1979-03-19 Overdubs on 'Voulez-Vous'.
1979-03-20 Mixing 'Voulez-Vous'.
1979-03-23 Mixing 'If It Wasn't For The Nights'.
1979-03-24 This evening, Frida and her two children were confronted with an intruder who tried to get in their house.
1979-03-27 Work on 'Does Your Mother Know, string overdubs for 'I Have A Dream' and 'As Good As New'.
ABBA with children of the International School of Stockholm in the Polar Studios

1979-03-29 Mixing 'As Good As New' and 'Does Your Mother Know'.




April:
1979-04 Release single 'Does Your Mother Know', 'Kisses Of Fire'. Polar Music AB press release of April 1979

1979-04-05 Filming 'Does Your MotherKnow' and  'Voulez-Vous' videos at the Europa Film Studios in Stockholm.









 Does Your Mother Know



Voulez Vous

1979-04-06 More filming today.
1979-04-29 ABBA record a one-hour radio special for Radio 1 BBC.


May:
1979-05-03 Together with 500 other artists, ABBA take part in a demonstration in Stockholm to protest against the government's attemps to block the creation of an agency aimed at finding work especially for artists.
1979-05-07 Sessions start of Benny working on Finn Kalvik's album.
1979-05-09 Read the official Polar Music AB press release of May 1979
1979-05-16 Rehearsals for the upcoming tour start today at the konserthuset in Stockholm.
1979-05-17 Rehearsals for U.S. and Canadian tour.
1979-05-18 Surprise concert at 'Diskoland' in Landskrona.







1979-05-19 Surprise concert at a nightclub in Norrköping with the musicians who will accompany ABBA during the tour.

1979-05-20 Rest of month rehearsals for tour.
1979-05-21 Rehearsals for the tour of Canada, the U.S. and Europe starts today.
1979-05-25 Frida backing on Finn Kalvik's album and rehearsals for tour.
1979-05-27 ABBA in Madrid to record two tv-shows: 'Auplauso' and '300 Millones where they sung 'Chiquitita', 'Fernando', 'Voulez-Vous' and 'Does Your Mother Know'.















June:
1979-06-07 Recording 'Sang Till Gorel'.
1979-06-14 Working on Finn Kalvik's album.
1979-06-18 Press Release from Polar Music AB about the upcoming single 'Voulez-Vous/Angeleyes
1979-06-21 Release 12" 'Sang Till Gorel'.
1979-06-25 Backing tracks for 'Lady Bird' and 'And The Wind Cries' (only instrumental tracks).
1979-06-27 String overdubs for 'Lady Bird'.

July:
1979-07 ABBA on vacation this month. Benny, Frida and children spend their time sailing in Sweden, Björn and new girlfriend Lena are together and Agnetha is with her two children.


August:
1979-08-01 More rehearsals for the upcoming tour at the cinema studios of Europa Films in Sundbyberg, near Stockholm.











1979-08 Release single 'Voulez-vous' - 'Angeleyes'.
1979-08-06 ABBA's hands were cemented at the Europa Film Studios.


1979-08-08 Backing track of 'Rubber Ball Man', a working title of 'Under My Sun'.
1979-08-09 Backing track of 'Been And Gone And Done It, a working title of 'Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight)'.
1979-08-10 Recording 'ABBA show' 24 rehearsal tracks and work on 'Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!' (A Man After Midnight)' .




1979-08-27 Last day of rehearsals.
1979-08-28 Work on 'Rubber Ball Man, a working title of 'Under My Sun'.
1979-08-30 String overdubs for 'Rubberball Man' , a working title of 'Under My Sun' and 'Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight)'.
1979-08-31 Horn overdubs for Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight).
September:
1979-09   Photo shoot single cover 'Gimme!, Gimme!, Gimme! (A Man After Midnight)' and LP cover 'Greatest Hits Vol. 2'
1979-09-05 Mixing 'Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight) Also filming of the promotion clip of 'Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! ( A Man After Midnight)' and the Spanish 'Estoy Soñando' during this session in the studio.





1979-09-07 Benny and Frida leave for Canada to have a few days off before the tour starts..
1979-09-10 Björn, Agnetha together with the whole crew leave for Vancouver via London.
1979-09-12 Dress rehearsals. Todays rehearsals end at 11.30 p.m.


Rehearsals in Edmonton

1979-09-13 Concert in Edmonton, Edmonton Sports Arena at 8 p.m.



ABBA give a press conference after the concert followed by a big party.

1979-09-14 A day off. Björn reads a review of the first concert.

1979-09-15 Concert in Vancouver, P.N.E. at 8 p.m. (Canada).There is a party afterwards to celebrate Ola Bunkert's 33rd birthday. ABBA stay at the Westin Bayshore hotel.



1979-09-16 The four ABBA members and daughter Linda enjoy themselves by the pool.






1979-09-17 Agnetha prefers to travel by car to Seattle, while the rest take the private jet. Concert in Seattle, Seattle Arena (USA.)
Frida wearing a Seattle Seahawk football shirt

1979-09-18 Agnetha arrives in Portland by car. During the afternoon, there's time to relax by the hotel pool Concert in Portland, Portland Opera House (USA).


Two photos of the concert in Portland were used for a stamp that was issued in Sweden in 1983

1979-09-19 All members fly to San Fransisco by plane. Concert in Concord, Concord Palvillion (USA). 


The boys meet journalists after the concert. After this, they immediately board the plane and fly to LA.




1979-09-21 ABBA and their children in Disneyland.


1979-09-21 Concert in LA Anaheim, Anaheim Convention Centre .



1979-09-22 ABBA leave for San Diego during the afternoon. Concert at San Diego Sports Arena. ABBA go back to LA after the concert.
1979-09-23 Concert in Tempe, The Active Centre.
1979-09-24 Concert in Las Vegas, Performing Arts Centre/Aladdin Hotel with daughter Linda singing together with the choir 'I Have A Dream'.
1979-09-25 A day off with family and close friends.
1979-09-26 ABBA leave for Omaha in the morning at 9.00. Concert in Omaha, Civic Auditorium.
1979-09-27 Concert in Minneapolis/St. Paul, St. Paul Civic . ABBA is filmed backstage tonight for the 'ABBA in concert' video.
1979-09-29 Concert in Milwaukee, Auditorium (USA) This complete concert recorded by a fan, is available on bootleg.
1979-09-30 Concert in Chicago, Auditorium Theatre.

Read the following fan review:

I first became aware that ABBA would be touring the U.S. when I got my copy of Voulez-Vous. The fan club flyer in the album jacket stated that the North American Tour would begin September 15, 1979. I forget how I found out that their Chicago stop would bring them to the Auditorium Theater, but once I did, I called the box office many times a day until I found out what I needed: when tickets would go on sale.

On that date, my father dropped me off at 6am in front of the Sears store where I waited for the Ticket-Tron to open. I went at such an early hour afraid that I'd be lost in the mass of people. I was the only person "in line". I patiently waited with my walkman on ears until the store opened at 9am. Needless to say I acquired many strange looks from employees heading to work. My mom and brother joined me around 8am. We were still alone. At 9am the doors opened and I raced to the ticket window. I was first. The agent connected with the box office for
sales, and secured for me 4 second row center tickets. The tickets cost US$9.50 each. What a bargain! I was in heaven!

On the night of the concert, my parents, my brother, and I went a little early to buy souveniers. The doors to the Auditorium had not opened yet. The line stretched down Congress Ave. around the corner and down Michigan Ave. for many blocks. Where were all these people when I was at Sears? But, I digress......One guy that caught my attention was looking for 2 tickets for himself and his girlfriend. He was about 6'5 tall, thin, long black hair, and very distraught. The line started moving, and I lost sight of him as we entered. I hoped he would somehow be successful.

As we entered, we quickly found the souvenier tables, bought tour programs, the disco visor, a tour poster, t-shirt, and proceeded to our
wonderful seats. I held my camera close to my side. Before long, the lights went down, and the Auditorium was filled with Benny's piano
overture leading into "Voulez-Vous". The curtain went up and there before me was Agnetha and Frida, arms extended, all smiles, and the
audience went wild.

Some of the highlights: Benny and "Intermezzo #1", hair shaggily tossed from side to side; Agnetha and "I'm Still Alive"--amazing; Frida dressed in a Chicago Blackhawks jersey teasing Björn as well as the audience; Tomas Ledin's solo--I've loved him ever since; the ABBA logo appearing from behind the mountains and flickering on and off during "Take A Chance on Me"; "Summer Night City" and "DQ" because the crowd got on their feet, singing and dancing wildly all around me; ABBA standing center stage with Benny on his accordion singing "TWOFD" for the first time to my ears; and "Waterloo" finale, ABBA standing 10 ft. in front of me, staring straight into my camera as my flash bulb clicked away.

It was at that point that I turned away from the action on the stage for just one second to catch a glimpse of the crowd that now was on their
feet, dancing in the aisles. I wanted to get a sense of what I was experiencing. Even the balconies were on their feet, rocking the theater
with thunderous applause. They were having the time of their lives. It was then that I noticed by a door to my left about 20 rows back, the
tall, thin man with long hair from outside the theater. He and his girlfriend had gotten themselves in somehow. And were they going crazy. I'll never forget the image of his long hair tossed in a frenzy as he danced. I'll never forget the smile on his face.

After many failed attempts by the Chicago audience to get ABBA back on stage after "Waterloo", the theater finally emptied out. I told my parents that I had to go to the backstage door to meet them. They followed me out and around the corner to the door along with many other fans. I stood outside for maybe 1/2 hour before my parents hauled me away, kicking and screaming. "It's a school night, you know", is what they told me. I've still never forgiven them :-) My only consolation was that I was able to get some great photos of ABBA from the second row, and that I have a live recording of the event.

So, those are my highlights of the Chicago concert. Every time I write this account, it's like I'm right back there. 13 years old, 10 ft. from my idols, and out of my mind with happiness. I can't say I've experienced such pure joy in all of my life (except maybe when I saw "Kristina Från Duvemåla for the first time and cried my eyes out)..

If you've read this far, hope you enjoyed it.

Peg Hughes
Chicago, USA













October:
1979-10  Release single 'Gimme!, Gimme!, Gimme! ( A Man After Midnight)' - 'The King Has Lost His Crown.
1979-10-02 Concert in New York, Radio City Music Hall.



The Pope John Paul II is also in town at the Yankee stadium. Also today, the mixing of 'Estoy Soñando'. Read te following fan review.



I almost forgot that 22 years ago on Oct.3,1979 I went to see ABBA at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. I was 14 years old and my wonderful dad took me in to see them. My grandmother had bought me the tickets as a present for my 8th grade graduation.I was so totally consumed in the weeks leading up to the concert. I could not believe I was going to be in the same building as my beloved ABBA!

When the big day arrived we found out that the pope was arriving in NYC. My father was very concerned about traffic. All I cared about was getting to the show.

We had seats about half way up. The concert was just wonderful. I was somewhat surprised that the songs didn't sound exactly like their records. Not worse, just not the same. I remember I was surprised that the song "Hole in Your Soul" sounded great. Much better
than my albums back home. I also remember Frida wearing a Rangers hockey shirt.

After the concert I got a concert t shirt from someone on the sidewalk. It had a black background and a picture of them on the front. Of course I still have it tucked away in a draw. Wonder if it still fits?!!

My ears were ringing in my bed that night. I had trouble sleeping I was so excited. I went back to highschool the next day. Nobody from my entire highschool had gone to the concert. They had no idea what they had missed.


Ann Hanna
Montvale, New Jersey USA


1979-10-03 ABBA fly by plane to Boston while the crew travel with the bus. It was a horrific flight and Agnetha was terrified. The group land in Manchester and travel the rest of the route by van. The concert in Boston at the Music Hall start with a 2-hour delay due to the bad weather conditions.





1979-10-04 Agnetha is ill today. That is why tonight's concert in Washington D.C. at the Constitution Hall was cancelled.
1979-10-05 While Agnetha recovers, the rest of the group meet president Carter's daughter Ami at the White House.
1979-10-06 Concert in Montreal, Forum (Canada) with a weak Agnetha.
1979-10-07 Concert in Toronto, Maple Leaf Gardens (Canada).
1979-10-08 Back to Sweden.
1979-10-09 Back in Stockholm.
1979-10-15 Preparations for the European tour.
1979-10-16 Preparations for European tour.
1979-10-17 Preparations the for European tour.
1979-10-18 ABBA travel to Gothenburg. 
1979-10-19 Concert in Gothenburg, Scandinavium (Sweden).




ABBA on stage in Gothenborg

1979-10-20 Concert in Stockholm, Isstadion (Sweden). Recordings of several songs are available on bootleg.

1979-10-21 Concert in Copenhagen, Falkoner Theatre (Denmark).














1979-10-23 Concert in Paris, Pavillion de Paris (France). Recordings of several songs are available on bootleg.
1979-10-24 Arrival at Zestienhoven airport Rotterdam. Concert at Ahoy Sportpaleis (Holland). Björn is interviewed by Toppop's Ad Visser about the Chiquitita single.

Review by Mike. A. Aarts from The Netherlands. He was among the thousands of fans who saw this concert.


Hi, just wanted to share my view on the 1979 Rotterdam (Netherlands) concert by ABBA on october 24. I received my ticket as a birtdaygift by my parents and has been the best gift ever untill now.

It all started getting crazy when I saw reviews and pics from the Canadian and USA concerts in pop magazines. I was sooooo desparate, as untill then i still didn't have succeeded in getting a ticket. My parents drove me mad by saying that there were more important things than a concert by ABBA. But they had the ticket already without telling me!!!! When the Stockholm concert had been reviewed in a paper I tried everything to get a ticket. Seeing my absolute madness they decided to tell me what they had in mind for me.... What a lucky day it was!!! Meanwhile with some friends I was busy trying to find out where ABBA would arrive (airport) and stay (hotel). Well, that same paper told me the next day that ABBA was going to arrive from France in a private plane on october 24 at Rotterdam Airport at 2.00 Pm but they arrived at 2.45 PM. I promised my parents to stay at school, as they
had noticed my activities to go to the airport. As a gift my mum spent 2 hours on the balcony to take a pic from the plane crossing over our appartment. They didn't know I had one my friends posted on the airport. Two black limo's were waiting for ABBA. When the aircraft had landed (a white Misere from Air Marine), first Benny came out, followed by Agnetha, Frida and Bjorn. They looked very tired. They posed in order to give the fans a chance to take some pices a few minutes in front of the airplane, and then made their way to the cars. Around 3 o'clock they arrived at Hilton Rotterdam, where another friend of me was posted. Bjorn first went in the
Hotel's Lobby, followed by the others and ABBA were welcomed by fans and the dutch fanclub. Gorel followed shortly afterwards and within 3 minutes the group dissapeared in the elevator to the 10th floor. At 5.30 PM Agnetha was the first one to come down again and made her way, followed by Bjorn, to the car. They didn't give 1 signature away! After 3 minutes the other ABBA couple went to their car. They also drove straight to Ahoy, were the concert would be held.

Exactly at 8.00 PM the concert started. Before that I was completely in trance by that mysterious blue curtain around the stage. All of a sudden the lights dimmed and we only heard Benny's synthesizer playing the well known intro. Then the lights flashed on and the curtains opened. I still remember the public going wild, while agnetha + frida were standing still. Soon Voulez-Vous started and we all went mad! Although the voices needed a warming up, it was a exciting beginning. Bjorn welcomed us with HELLO
ROTTERDAM and then the rest of the show followed.

SONGS:
If it wasn't for the nights
Asd good as new
knowing me
rock me
not bad at all
chiquitita
money
i have a dream
gimme gimme
sos
fernando
name of the game
eagle
why did it have to be me
intermezzo no. 1
i'm still alive
summer night city
take a chance on me
does your mother know
hole in your soul
the way old friends do
dancing queen
waterloo

With "i have a dream" a dutch childrens choir came on stage, but sang a bit out of tune. But all the lighters in the air made it like a fairytale. Eagle had Lasse's great guitar solo and Frida wore a Feyenoord shirt (rotterdam Soccer club) at Why did it have to be me. Benny did some workout during Take a chance on me (very funny!!). After they sang Dancing Queen and did the instrumental outro they dissapeared, leaving us shouting for more. That kept on for about 5 minutes. the curtains were still open, so we knew there was
more to come. Finally ABBA came back and when Bjorn grab the mic, he couldn't make himself heard!! When we went quiet he spoke the historical words "DO YOU WANNA HEAR AN OLDIE?" and the rest you know: WATERLOO!!! We all went mad and danced and jumped and sang and no one sat down anymore! The lucky ones in front of the stage ran forwards and one lucky bastard
(sorry!!) was able to grab Frida's towel she threw into the public. (Who got it????) After Waterloo they kept on bowing, waving, jumping upo and down and while playing the instrumental of Dancing queen again -after the extended Waterloo) the curtains closed. What an experience that had been! I bought the concert book and a large VOULEZ VOUS poster afterwards and went home. Some were lucky to meet and greet Bjorn and Benny at the After party. Agnetha + Frida were at the hotel in bed already. Also Bjorn, Benny and Gorel were presented a large painting by the Yugoslavian painter (living in Holland) Paic Cedo. The party lasted not very long: a small press conference, some pics with contest winners and a drink and quickly after that B, B and G were gone. The next day they flew to Germany to complete the rest of the tour.

It was my greatest experience untill now in CONCERT LAND and I stil recall the best moments. I know lots of others have once met ABBA personal or in concert and i am curious about what they felt and thought about their meeting with ABBA. Mine was Absolutely Fabulous!!!

See that girl, watch that scene.........

Mike A. Aarts, Schiedam, Netherlands.

**************************

I saw them in Rotterdam in 1979. I have only a few clear recollections of the event, mainly that a friend of mine drove me and a girlfriend in an old Volkswagen Beetle and we were sitting on the backseat which a Beetle doesn`t really have. I remember the concert was great but we had just about the worst seats, it was actually standing room for the vendors so we really had to look hard to recognize Abba from that distance and every time a famous song came up (in other word just about every song) everybody with good seats stood up and held up their banners blocking our view. No big screens back then but still it was a great experience. It was my second concert in my whole life after seeing Blondie in my hometown but it was totally awesome.

******************

I not only went to their concert; I ACTUALLY SANG WITH THEM ON STAGE! I was singing in a children`s choir in Rotterdam at that time and one day we were asked to perform I Have A Dream with ABBA in the Ahoy` venue in Rotterdam on October 24 1979. I already was a big ABBA fan at the age of 11 so you can imagine the incredible happiness I felt when this news was brought to us.
I remember every single second of that evening. Björn coming to our dressing room (wearing an outrageous pink outfit, which was NOT his stage outfit) to go through the schedule of that evening and wishing us luck. The rehearsals with Björn and the band were great. It was so nice that Björn accompanied us through all preparations. They might as well have put a tour manager on the job. Before we went on stage to rehearse, Agnetha and Frida were rehearsing If It Wasn`t For The Nights. I remember my blood ran cold when I saw them in the flesh (without any makeup on...). I also remember Agnetha having a quarrel with the band. Of course I didn`t understand what the fuzz was about because they were talking in swedish. We were allowed to watch the whole concert from the cycle track of the Ahoy` hall (where no peolpe were allowed), actually the best `seats` of the whole venue! One song before I Have A Dream we were brought backstage to get ready for our performance. During the bridge of I Have A Dream we were led to our places by some crew members in complete darkness. Performing on stage with ABBA was a dream. You could not really see the 10.000 people in the audience because the stage lights were really blinding us. I was standing close to Frida and was forcing myself not to look at her constantly. We actually had to sing an encore, because the crowd had gone mad with enthousiasm. You know that originally our choir was asked to study I Have A Dream as well as Thank You For The Music, because initially Abba was intending to perform TYFTM with a childrens choir as well. It was only until that evening that we heard we only had to perform I Have A Dream.
After the concert I made it into their dressing room with a few of my fellow choir members. Four little kids were no threat to the security people blocking their dressing room. Arguably I am the only fan who has been kissed on both cheeks simultaneously by Frida and Agnetha (still in their stage outfits!). I never washed my cheeks ever since. I remember they were sweating like crazy. Juicy detail: Frida smelled like booze. Maybe she had had one too many the night before and was sweating it all out when she kissed me. However she`s still my all time favourite! I have all four of their autographs with a personal thank you on a Voulez-Vous postcard. I`m very ashamed to say, but I`m not really sure where I have that postcard now. I really need to look for it one of these days ...
Yes fellow site members: be jealous. BE VERY JEALOUS ...

Arrival at Zestienhoven (Rotterdam)

At the Hilton Hotel in Rotterdam





































1979-10-25 Concert in Dortmund, Westfallenhalle (West-Germany). ABBA enjoy themselves in a local bar until 4 am.

1979-10-26 Arrival at Munich airport at 1.45 p.m.
1979-10-27 Between 12 and 1 p.m., ABBA talk with their fans by phone. Lena accompanies Björn until the end of the tour. Concert in Munich, Olympiahalle (West-Germany) at 8 p.m. While Björn and Lena spend time together the rest have dinner at an Italian restaurant.


1979-10-28 Concert in Zurich, Hallenstadion (Switserland).

1979-10-29 Concert in Vienna, Stadthalle (Austria) and release LP 'Greatest Hits Vol.2' today.
1979-10-30 Concert in Stuttgart, Sporthalle Boeblingen (West-Germany) with Frida's father Alfred Haase among the audience.
ABBA on stage in Germany

November:
1979-11-01 Concert in Bremen, Stadthalle (West-Germany). ABBA stay at the Park Hotel.







On stage in Germany

1979-11-02 Concert in Frankfurt, Festhalle (West-Germany).

1979-11-03 Concert in Brussels, Forest National (Belgium). Read the following fan report.




I saw them in 1979, in Brussels. And yeah it is over 20 years ago, but I still remember some little things.
I went there with two friends, we were all 14 and CRAZY about ABBA of course. As we were poor teenagers we could not affort the front row seats or something sort of close to the stage. We were sitting left to the stage , the Benny/Frida side and had a pretty good view anyway (thanks to my binoculars I could even see them in close-up! I remember they were very sweatty, haha!)

As we were sitting Benny/Frida side we could see everything that was going on there, including `backstage` stuff. Like Frida flirting with Claes af Geyerstam the sound engineer, very sexy indeed (when you`re fourteen). Or Frida putting her hand in her tricot ( you know the tight blue ones with the purple stripes) and bends forward to put her breasts in to place. So recognizable to women, to me at least!

Oh and then there was the music! I loved every second of it, it all sounded so perfect.
We loved Summer Night City, but it took a while to figure out it was SNC!

The trouble with this concert is that mymemory has been coloured by the ABBA inConcert video, live recordings and photo`s.
The only memories I am sure of are the Frida things, mentioned above, they made an impression on me I guess!





1979-11-04 Flight to London Linda and Christian are with their parents.
Frida at Gatwick aiport



1979-11-05 Concert in London, Wembley Arena (England) All concerts here were filmed and taped.
1979-11-06 Concert in London, Wembley Arena (England).
1979-11-07 Concert in London, Wembley Arena (England). The reviews of this concerts are negative. Read the following fan report:



Here are my memories of London Wembley Arena, Wednesday 7th November 1979.

Me, then: 16 years old. Painfully shy. Wanted to be a teacher. Besotted with ABBA since Eurovision. Ridiculed routinely for my musical (lack of) taste as my peers grew into prog rock (Floyd), metal and punk, but I didn't care. Loved the band. Adored the music. Had the Scandecor 'Panama Hats' poster (a thing of beauty) on my bedroom wall along with all those Look-In magazine double-page centre pin-ups. Unsuccessfully applied for 1977 Albert Hall tickets (well, one or two other people also applied!). Then came 1979.....

My best mate at the time, Jon, was equally a fan. Tickets were going on sale at (I think) 10 a.m. at Chappells in New Bond Street in London (a famous sheet music/instrument shop, which is still there). We persuaded Jon's father to drive us up there at 6 a.m., and at 7 a.m. there was already a very healthy queue. Not much later, it was disappearing around the block. We got tickets....4 rows from the front, just right of centre - we ended up sitting in front of Benny on stage. Unbelievable.

We took the train up to Wembley on the night. There was a hold-up on the underground. We just sat on a track for what seemed like forever, as the crucial minutes ticked by. ABBA were due on at 8.00pm. On reaching Wembley underground station, we ran like Olympic sprinters (trust me, that takes a real incentive for me to do that), and took our seats at 8.15...and thankfully the show hadn't started. (It would have been unbearable to have missed the start!). ABBA began the show 10/15 minutes later. I know time plays tricks, but here are some memories:

The opening: Benny's synth into was unexpected and stunning. The girls with their arms outstretched, the lighting change as VV started....all too much to take in at my very first 'real' concert. However, the sound mix was a complete mess for the first three numbers - harsh and indistinct - but then almost magically became a clean, bright, steely-hard sound for the rest of the show. The muddy mono audience recordings that still do the rounds today are a great momento, but they do not reflect the simple fact that on this tour ABBA was a rock band - and they did rock.

Other memories: it didn't really seem to take off until Money Money Money. The Tomas Ledin song (Who he?, thought the entire audience) seemed completely out-of-place and unwanted. Agnetha sang like an angel in a spotlight on Chiquitita (even though I didn't like the song then, and still don't). I can't remember the audience clapping along to I Have A Dream (or is that just an overdubbed live album/TV show history rewrite?). SOS and Fernando sounded strangely old and tired in this set and band-style. Frida's antics in a brilliant performance of Why Did It Have To Be Me. The haunting extended opening to Summer Night City completely moved me - it seemed to me that it took ages for most of the audience to recognise it. Agnetha melting the entire audience as she took her place at the piano and started playing/singing I'm Still Alive. Everyone standing in silence for (gasp - a new song!) The Way Old Friends Do as the first encore. The inevitable (but still thrilling) parting of the Polar mountains and the appearance of the ABBA-ropelights for Dancing Queen. And then....in an ABBA Magazine interview, either Benny or Bjorn had said it was unlikely they would do the really old songs (what, no Waterloo?, I had thought disappointedly), so when Bjorn said, "Do you wanna hear an oldie?", it only took a nanosecond for this particular fan to realise what was coming and was promptly jumping up and down on my chair (to be told to get down by a spoilsport usher).

ABBA never toured again. Memory can play tricks - I'm still convinced that they performed Mamma Mia that night, but I have never seen/heard any evidence to confirm it. Although it might be (nearly) 22 years ago, I can still feel that night, when my musical heores spent nearly two hours performing for me just four rows in front of me. A happy memory that still remains.

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I also saw ABBA in Wembley on November 9th 1979, and it was an experience I shall never forget. I was just 16, and it was my first concert ever. My dad drove me, my firend Karen and her friend Kim down from Leicester (about 98 miles), and we were all so excited. We had SUCH a good view, sitting on the fourth row. As Tony recollects, the music started, sounding quite anthemic, and then the curtains parted and there they were! ABBA! I was so stunned I could barely draw breath! It was such a moment, and I`m feeling so excited even now! The anthem like introduction lead into a verse sung by Bjorn, Agnetha and Frida and I instantly recognised it, but I was so stunned, as no-one else seemed to cotton on - it was the opening verse of the full length Summer Night City! I remember song after song enveloping me, and lifting me to heights hitherto unknown. It was just amazing! I am lucky to have "I`m Still Alive" on a bootleg CD, so can re-visit that when I like. I wasn`t too struck with Tomas Ledin`s "Not Bad At All" - I thought it was, actually! I loved Frida`s dancing, and her comedy, and her and Agnetha`s zesty deliveries of each and every song, and the verve with which they performed. This wasn`t just a concert, it was an experience not to be missed. I`m so glad I was able to go.

Tracy, Leicester, UK

1979-11-08 Concert in London, Wembley. Tonight's 'The Way Old Friends Do' used for Super trouper?

The Way Old Friends Do at Wembley
1979-11-09 Concert in London, Wembley Arena.
1979-11-10 Concert in London, Wembley Arena (England) Read this fan report



I saw ABBA live in concert at Wembley Arena. : - ))))

Let me start with a bit of background .... in summer of 1979 I was 14.

Since the announcement of tickets being on sale, one of my neighbours in particular had been trying to get me tickets. She queued at Wembley Arena (sold out) and at Chapels in Bond Street (sold out) - remember there were no credit card hotlines in those days! We even phoned up private advertisers in the Evening Standard to find that they were selling their tickets for over £100 - and in 1979, that was a price that was way out of reach to us. It broke my heart.

When the ABBA magazine arrived with the competition, it seemed like this was my last chance. So I entered ten times under each of the names of my family, and when I ran out of names, I used my teddy bear as an entrant. Instead of his usual name of Teddy, his entry was posted under the name 'Edward Barnes'!

About two months later, the ABBA magazine arrived with the names of the competition winners. I held the issue in my hands knowing that the biggest disappointment of my life so far was about to unfold ... but I was wrong!!

Amazingly, there was a 'Sara Barnes' in the list of competition winners. At first I just whooped and jumped with joy - I had won!!! But, oh my God, was I the ONLY Sara Barnes in the world? No I wasn't - because a girl I got the train to school with (who went to another school) had a Sara Barnes in her class and it was spelled the same way too (i.e. not 'Sarah'). So doubt crept in, I hadn't won the tickets after all ... tragedy, I had to be picked up off the floor in a hysterical, screaming, inconsolable fit. After all, I'd entered 10 times - what would be the chances of MY entry, the one under MY name, being a winner? I was prepared to tag along to the concert as the friend of Edward )Teddy) Barnes if I had to! So I didn't know if I'd won or not.

For two weeks I moped about depressed as hell. Then half-term came and I had a whole week off school to dwell on my bad luck even more. Oh great!!

On Thursday morning, there was knock on the door and from my bed upstairs I heard my Mum express surprise to the postman at having received something that needed signing for. I thought nothing more of it - my Dad was an avid stamp collector and always getting post so I thought it was for him.

(I'm starting to well up here now, I have a lump in the throat ....)

A short while later, my Mum came into my bedroom carrying a tray. She'd brought me breakfast in bed. A bowl of cereal and a nice cup of tea. She opened the curtains and sat down on my bed (unheard of!) as I started to sip from my cup. Then she produced something from underneath her jumper - a letter, addressed to me in a typeface, not hand-written (14 year olds never get 'official' post!). It was registered post.

Suddenly my heart went berserk as I realised this may just be the best bit of post I would ever receive. I opened the envelope and pulled out a light blue coloured letter. As I opened out the letter, I saw the words 'ABBA Magazine' in big dark blue letters with the official ABBA logo. Two orange and white pieces of paper dropped onto my lap face up. Two tickets to see my favourite group in three weeks time. My mope had ended!! Was I the happiest girl in the whole wide world. Quite possibly so!! I was ecstatic, I cried
my eyes out. My Mum had her happy daughter back again ....

Over the next week another agony began - who to take with me. My best friend Jenny wanted to come with me but she didn't like ABBA as much as my other friend Honor. Honor's Mum was Swiss and Honor had the Golden Double Greatest Hits album and I was really impressed by that! Honor used to sing Rock Me with me in the playground doing a silly dance routine. I thought it was therefore only fair that Honor come with me and not Jenny. I wanted a FAN to benefit from this, not a non-fan who just wanted to come along for the ride. (I'm making a point here by the way .....). Next problem - Jenny didn't like Honor which at 14 is a big deal. So I lied in the name of ABBA and I told Jenny that I was going with my Mum. To this day Jenny doesn't know that Honor came with me! And to this day, I don't regret my decision not to take my best friend.

10th November 1979 was a Saturday

Honor's parents dropped her off early afternoon so we could get ready together and so Honor could see my seven baby rabbits (born five weeks earlier).

We spent the afternoon playing with the rabbits and I could hardly contain my excitement. I'd already seen Benny & Björn on Swap Shop that morning and was really disappointed that Frida & Agnetha weren't on too - but never mind, I'dl see them later!

We left my house together at 18.00 as we were getting the 83 bus from Hanwell to Wembley. Mum and Dad were going to meet us outside afterwards and bring us home.

We journeyed in more or less silence, I felt sick with nervous. And then, as we rounded the last roundabout of the journey, I caught sight of the big ABBA sign at the front of the Arena, It was all lit up and it was enormous. My heart jumped through my mouth and started to beat really quickly. I wanted to stand in front of the sign and just stare at it, it was fantastic.

Inside, I only had enough money to buy a programme and a scarf but there were lots of other goodies for sale there which made me really sad! (An aside here, the scarf was white silk with blue printing on it and gold tassles on either end. I had it on my bedroom wall for years afterwards. One day Mum decided it was dusty and it needed a 40 degree wash ... now it's faded and it could not be ironed - ruined.)

My next disappointment was to find that the tickets were in the back third of the Arena on the floor - the stage seemed like miles away and I was short-sighted! The concert was due to start at 8.00pm and by that time, the place was packed.

The stage was covered by an enormous pair of blue velvet-looking curtains and lit from the front. It looked very impressive. Occasionally a spotlight (one year later I'd know it as a Super Trouper!) would appear to the right of the curtains. The audience would hush and the light would go away. Then there was a nervous ripple of laughter! This happened 3-4 times. The last couple of times a drum could be heard from behind the curtains as the musicians were getting into place.

And then it happened. The lights went down over the audience and that haunting melody echoed out across the arena. It seemed to go on forever and I was almost hysterical with excitement! I wanted to burst out crying again! As the melody built and built, to THAT bit, (you know the bit I mean!), the curtains opened and there was Agnetha and Frida standing there with their arms outstretched in those white cloaks like two upside-down Vs (as if spelling out Voulez Vous!) The place erupted! The audience stood up and applauded and what struck me was that everyone was calm, there was noscreaming, there was no shouting or cheering. It was the most RESPECTFUL applause I've ever experienced, as if everyone realised just what an honour it was to be standing in the same room as these four talented people standing on the stage.

They launched into Voulez Vous and after that I don't remember too much! I remember not being able to see a whole lot. Being 4'11" now, I must have been even shorter then so when everyone else stood up I couldn't see a thing. I stood on my chair but got told off by a security guard.

I remember seeing Agnetha and Frida running up and down those stairs on either side of the stage to get closer to the audience.

I remember Björn introducing 'Gimme Gimme Gimme' as "current number three in the British charts!"

I remember "Do you wanna hear an oldie?!" (That was me shouting "YESSSSS!!!")

I remember the strange introduction to 'Summer Night City'

I remember the audience going "Aaaaahhh!" when 'Thank You For The Music' started!

I remember Tomas Ledin because I remember thinking "What the hell is this tosh - get off, get off I want ABBA!" .

I remember Agnetha doing her 'I'm Still Alive' because she sounded so fragile, like her heart was still broken and I wanted to hug her (no change there then).

I remember when the Polar ice-caps moved apart in the middle of the stage to reveal A B B A in lights but at first they just flashed ndividually, or just the A's or just the B's or one at a time, or one after the other. Then with 'Dancing Queen' I THINK or was it 'Hole In Your Soul' all four letters lit up spelling ABBA and that was a great moment (those who've been to the B&B concert will understand - it's a bit like when the A's make an appearance!).

And I remember 'Waterloo' because just when you thought it was finished, there was a little bit more.

I remember being really sweaty and I remember my neck hurting through straining to see and my feet hurting because I was wearing high heels!

Then it was all over. We walked out the Arena, and Mum and Dad were right there waiting for us. Mum said that I was dressed like every other girl in the arena - I had burgundy footless tights (remember those girls?!), black skirt, burgundy jumper, and tweedy jacket!

They'd been standing outside for about 15 minutes and had heard the end of the concert quite clearly outside standing there with a load of other parents. They'd even heard Björn asking if we wanted to hear an oldie, because they said the roof nearly came off when everyone shouted back at him!

+ + + + +

Tonight I'm going to Auntie Cliff's house. I will be driving. I am going to make sure I drive past Wembley Arena on the 83 bus route and see if I get all emotional as I usually do when I first see the front of that building remembering my experience on the bus. It was the first time I ever got excited on a bus ride ...

I am proud to say that the ABBA were the first group I saw live. At this moment in time I can say that Benny Andersson in Glasgow was the last live performance I saw as well. As Barry White would say, ABBA are my first, my last, my everything.

Sara
The Queen of Corn

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I was at the Wembley concert, 10th November 1979, and seeing as it was over twenty years ago I'm sure that I have forgotten far more than I remember, but here goes.

I saw an advert in the local paper offering coach travel to London as well as tickets to the Abba shows and sent off my money, living in hope. Sure enough a week or so later an envelope popped though the door and there they were, those magical pieces of paper: white with an orange stripe I believe, although foolishly I threw away the ticket stub after the show. It never occurred to me to keep it, not really being a 'collector' by nature, but now I wish I had.

I went with a friend of mine, who was pretty keen, but I was the driving force behind getting the trip organised. I recall counting down the days and the excitement mounting, but about 6-7 th November disaster struck when I got a really nasty flu/cold bug. I remember lying in bed thinking, 'I don't believe this, I just don't believe this', and willing myself to get better. Fortunately I recovered in the nick of time, and it was off to London. Dressed for a cold November evening and festooned for the one and only time in my life with Abba paraphernalia I set off to catch the coach, feeling a little self conscious, I don't mind admitting.

I needn't have worried, at the pick-up point there were many dozens of like- minded people with a similar disregard for fashion! I knew they must exist, but I had never really come across any before: ABBA FANS a most elusive species and very rarely observed in the wild. This was long before the internet and long before Abba became associated with the Gay community. In those days it just singled you out as a complete tw*t!

The journey to London was good natured and friendly, it felt good to be among these people, a bit like this forum in a way. Maybe some of them are here somewhere?
As we walked towards the Arena, dozens turned into hundreds, and hundreds, into thousands.
This was an Army!

Memories of the actual show have become blurred in my mind with TV clips, live recordings and so on, so I couldn't swear to any of this but for what it's worth these are my recollections.

Finding our seats, slowly the rustling died down, and people began to settle expectantly. The lights dimmed and in the darkness we waited for something to happen. After what seemed quite a long time an eerie purple light backlit a white satin curtain, and a strange and loud synthesiser sound filled the hall with deep swirling sound. The curtain drew back, and there they were, the four I had worshipped from afar, standing finger-tip to finger tip in a line across the stage: Abba.

The crowd exploded, and so too did the music, first I think into the long version of Summer Night City with that long and beautiful introduction at half tempo. Hit flowed into hit, the crowd going absolutely crazy stamping on the stand until you thought it was going to fall down. Thomas Ledin did a couple of numbers to give the girls a break. Agnetha sang her beautiful solo ballad, 'I'm Still Alive' which I have not heard to this day, but recall being impressed by. A new song complete with Benny playing the accordion, 'The way old friends do'. Then they were gone, muttering in the crowd, that old showbiz game the encore, 'Do you want to hear an oldie', teased Bjorn, 'one of the very oldest?'
It so happens we did. 'Waterloo' of course, then a second and final encore including 'Dancing Queen' and they were gone, as suddenly as they had appeared, our brief conjunction in space and time over.

We made our way back to the coaches, sad and happy at the same time. At least we could say we had seen them, and I knew deep down that I would never see them again.

Standing calmly at the crossroads.

Tony


1979-11-11 Concert in Stafford, Bingley Hall (England)
1979-11-12 Concert in Stafford, Bingley Hall (Engand).
1979-11-13 Concert in Glasgow, Apolla Hall (Schotland). Read the following fan report:

I had been lucky enough to see them here in 1977 so this was a second in a lifetime thrill.

We (about 10 of us)travelled from the East coast of Scotland and arrived really early and encamped ourselves at the stage door, surprisingly we were the only ones there. Most of my friends soon got fed up and headed for the pub leaving myself and my best friend at the door, after about an hour he got fed up and was just walking away when the limo arrived and stopped right by me. Out got Frida (wearing a big black coat and full stage make up) with Frida was one of the blonde backing singers. My friend now at the end of road thought it was Anna (we always called her Anna, Agnetha was just too much of a mouth full)started running back shouting "Anna, Anna". Both Frida and the blonde girl looked round and smiled. I was so close to Frida I could have touched her but just froze, dropped all the stuff I had in my hand, Frida smiled at me and said something like enjoy the show, I was in such a daze I just couldn't recall it properly. We never did see Anna arriving.

And now to the show itself............

This time they all seemed much more relaxed than last time and there was a fantastic atmosphere, everybody was on their feet from the first song. The bouncers were complete fascists trying to get everyone to sit down and keep us away from the stage. Eventually they relented and we got right to the front of the stage.

Frida really played to the audience, hamming it up wonderfully during Money,Money. She wore a Rangers football shirt for WDIHTBM. Frida's voice was really croaky during Knowing me ; in the morning's paper it had said she was suffering from a sore throat so we were just glad she made it.

Agnetha seemed a bit out of it, Bjorn made a few remarks about being the ex, the blonde one , the other one etc . Although she did liven up towards the end, during the Hole in your sole medley the towel she had round her neck she threw into the crowd and there was a fight in the crowd to get hold of it.

Benny played a traditional Scottish song, can't remember whether it was flower of Scotland or Scotland the brave.

Bjorn did most of the talking although from watching Abba in Concert it was the same ad libs every night.

The Thomas Ledin spot was a real downer with everyone going back to their seats just killed the atmosphere.

Although we did know at the time there was no Polar mountains must have been on their way to Dublin.

The final medley, then old friends and then the final encores (I think the Abba in concert video captures it pretty much as it was) we just couldn't
believe it was over, the cheering and clapping just went on forever no one wanted to leave. When we eventually left there were hundreds at the backstage door but we only saw Frida leaving and did manage to get a picture of Frida's back wearing the same dark coat.

And guess what, I taped the whole show !


Campbell Wilson
London
UK

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I saw them on 13th November at the Glasgow Apollo when I was 14.
Having not been allowed by my mum and dad to go to their Glasgow date in 1977 I was determined to catch them second time round.
I remember heading off straight from school and arriving at the venue about 3 hours too early and queuing outside in the hope that we might see Abba arrive ( which of course we didn`t !).
I recall a stampede to the merchadise stall where I purchased a mug, a rather tasteless mirror, programme and badge all of which I still have to this day ! It felt like a dream to actually see Abba live and as a result it is all a bit of a blur but I do remember Frida wearing a Scotland football top during " Why Did It Have To Be Me" and I remember Agnetha playing "I`m Still Alive" on the piano, a song which we haven`t heard since so I was very lucky to witness that special moment which hasn`t even been captured on the Abba Live In Concert DVD . Will we EVER see that performance ?




1979-11-14 Agnetha flies ahead of the rest of the group to Dublin. Agnetha and Björn tried not to travel together.
1979-11-15 Concert in Dublin, R.D.S. Main Hall (Ireland).
1979-11-16 Back to Stockholm.
1979-11-22 Mixing 'Take A Chance On Me' (live version).

December:
1979-12 Release single 'I Have A Dream' - 'Take A Chance On Me' (live).
1979-12-22 Frida performs 'Stilla Nacht' with Benny on keyboards on radio programme 'Uppesittarkväll'.
1979-12-24 Broadcasting of Live material on a one-hour radio show for BBC.