ABBA The Museum

Day 142 July 6th 2017 Stockholm

A Day of Days – The self titled “Dancing Queen” visits the museum dedicated to the famous four that began it all. My day at the Abba Museum in Stockholm. Chris opted to miss out on this once in a life time opportunity. So for one of the very few times in our 142 days on the road – we separated.

It felt very odd leaving the house and finding my way solo into the city. Once I arrived into Stockholm on another incredible blue sparkly Stockholm day – I felt comfortable and content.

Spent a while just wandering around the wharf and downtown area before stopping at a very cool looking cycle shop with café for brunch. The menu took me a while till I realised it was divided up into cycle energy – flat, hills, coasting etc.

Then finally the Number 7 tram right to the door. Easy to spot as next door is the amusement park GRÖNA LUND. I later found out this is a place where many musicians from all over the world have played over many, many years. At the time we were in Stockholm Elton John was playing there. Apparently all for the price of the entrance fee to the park!

The Abba Museum in I went and what a treat. In hindsight a decision to go all the way and get an audio guide – when the museum had so much information and an array of audio-visual displays – maybe not entirely necessary. Nice to block out other sound and concentrate.

The Museum followed development of the group firstly as individual performers then as Abba punctuated with interactive opportunities and of course the music. Ending with a display of costumes and albums. All that gold!

There were opportunities throughout to participate in interactive activities – singing, dancing, appearing of stage with Abba – I held back. Being on my own inhibited my desire – good chance I would have been reticent anyway!

At a photo spot where one could pose with Abba I noticed a couple wearing Amon Amarth black T shirts (I had learned from my son this is a metal band) taking selfies amidst the glitter and lycra of Abba. A contrast I entirely understand.

The displays drew you in – a room set up to look like costumes were being sewn, a room in the summer house with an actual photo of the view from the picture window set behind the display.

Lots of music. Lots of music videos. Songs humming in your head during, and days after the visit.

For me – while it was not explored in the displays – it brought home the pressure of being in such a group, relationships, the needs of each person. One snippet of an interview with Agnetha briefly reminded the listener that this all happened in ten years: they became world famous, they were married and divorced and it all happened from 20 to 30ish years old. It is hard to imagine the impact of that on a young person.

I also enjoyed the discussions from those supporting the group – sound people passionate about the equipment they developed to ensure the sound on stage was like the recordings. Office staff who juggled personalities, diaries, family needs. Music video directors – with low budgets – developed new state of the art music videos using simple memorable techniques. One described is the Mama Mia – close up of Agnetha and Frida’s lips as they sing.

Shall I go on? I could. I won’t! I loved it.

 

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