Seventies legends reunite

Two legendary bands from the Seventies have made the news in recent weeks for announcing one-off reunion concerts.

Led Zeppelin will be performing at the O2 Arena in London on 26 November this year in aid of the Ahmet Ertegun Education Fund . This is the third time the band have reuniting since disbanding in 1980. Famously this forthcoming concert has attracted over one million applicants for tickets.

The Sex Pistols will also be performing three concerts in November at Brixton Academy in London to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the band’s classic album Never Mind The Bollocks, Here’s The Sex Pistols. This is not the first reunion for this band either, having done a world tour in 1996 and a US tour in 2003.

With the news of two of ABBA’s contemporaries reuniting (albeit briefly) it’s surprising that on-line ABBA fandom hasn’t been flooded with “if they can do it, ABBA could too” sentiments, though one newspaper article I read about the Led Zep announcement commented that “two billion dollars wasn’t enough” for ABBA to reunite.

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One Response to “Seventies legends reunite”

  1. Samuel Inglles Says:

    Hi Ian

    The first article is a story about The Who reuniting, as well as other musiacal groups’ being reformed.

    There are two articles on ABBA too.

    Kind Regards
    Samuel inglles

    * The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) – 15 March 2009 (Page 137)

    Insider – Spotlight

    Look Who’s Back in town. By Sally Browne

    You could say it’s been some time since The Who last toured in Australia. Forty-one years, to be exact. In that time, babies have been born, people have died, countries reshaped and governments toppled.

    And The Who have kept rocking, producing classic albums such as ‘Tommy’, ‘Who’s Next’ and ‘Quadrophenia’, disbanded and reformed and produced a new studio album, 2006’s Endless Wire.

    Now the legendary UK band are back and will be smashing up stages around Australia, but not literally this time. Although they performed in Sydney and Melbourne in 2004, their last proper tour of Australia was in 1968. The story goes that they had such a rotten time, they vowed never to return.

    “That’s not strictly true,” says Roger Daltrey, 65, the man who gave voice to songwriter Pete Townshend’s creative genius.

    “I had a great time. I saw lots of old mates who had emigrated out there. It was Pete who seemed to have a miserable time. I don’t know why.”

    Daltrey is talking from his home in Sussex, England, a 400-year-old house he’s owned for 40 years.

    It’s a far cry from the band’s early days when they were renowned for their hotel-wrecking antics, led by wild man Keith Moon who, along with blowing up hotel toilets for fun, drove his car into a swimming pool in the US.

    Daltrey didn’t see the incident, but he saw the bill.

    “It was something like $US56,000 dollars,” he says.

    “It was the whole money from the tour. We all had to borrow money to get home.

    “It’s one of the reasons we’re still working,” he laughs.

    The band members still share a deep friendship, Daltrey says. “We can see each other once a year and pick up the conversation where we left off.”

    And they still give it their all on stage. “Every night there’s a journey, where you’re searching and pushing. If I ever stop pushing, I’ll stop doing it.”

    The Who play Sydney’s Acer Arena on March 31, 2009. Tickets are available through Ticketek.

    Photo: Touring – Roger Daltry and (inset) The Who in its heyday.

    Living Legends:

    Duran Duran: Returned with their 12th studio album, ‘Red Carpet Massacre’ featuring collaborations with Justin Timberlake.

    Led Zeppelin: Fans went into overdrive with talk of a reunion after Led Zeppelin reformed for a one-off charity gig at London’s 02 Arena in December 2007.

    Rolling Stones: Despite being in their sixties, this band just keeps on rocking’.

    * TV Star – 31 May 1985 (Pages 58 & 59)

    Old Rockers Just Keep Rockin’ On!

    ABBA was the pop phenomenon of the 1970s. The music was simplistic but insistent, and seemed a permanent feature of the times.

    At the height of their success, Sweden reacted to its first homespun superstars more or less as it has done when they were merely mortal: with casual indifference.

    “In Sweden you’re not treated in a hysterical way. People don’t tend to bother you, and you don’t feel like a pop star. It was really quite boring sometimes.

    “We could see how stars were praised in England. People gathered outside their gates. We had people outside our gates, of course, but not many.”

    Speaking was Björn Ulvaeus, who turned 40 last month. He has thinning hair, a second wife, and a mansion in the Oxfordshire countryside. And the enormous wrought iron gates at the entrance are deserted.

    In 1982, the members of ABBA went their separate ways. It was a mutual decision made by Björn, his ex-wife Agnetha, Benny and his ex-wife Frida. The two girls embarked on solo careers, and the two chaps went into collaboration with Tim Rice on the musical ‘Chess’.

    “ABBA never split up,” said Björn. “It was more the feeling of going into the studio and finding work wasn’t as fresh as it used to be. It sounded tired, and we had always said that when that happened we would take some time off.”

    From 1974, when ‘Waterloo’ won the Eurovision Song Contest, they sold some 140 million albums and 70 million singles around the world. In Britain they put 19 singles into the Top 10, and nine went to No.1.

    But, said Björn, the songs did not always find favour with Agnetha and Frida.

    “There were big rows, of course. There were times when the girls didn’t particularly like the songs, but in a few cases that proved to be a very good sign of a big hit.

    “Pride was the essence of what we did,” he said, “especially in the beginning. We felt we had something nobody else had, and I think it showed in our work. People could see we believed in what we were doing.”

    At the same time, it seemed too good to be true. The notion of “four young people in love who conquered the world with their music” was unusually wholesome for the pop world.

    “People talked about our image,” said Björn. “They thought it was contrived. They thought we had a formula for the songs, like some commercial hit factory. There was no formula, and we never consciously adopted an image. We just dressed and behaved the way we liked.”

    Both couples divorced during the group’s reign: Björn and Agnetha in 1979, after seven years of marriage, and Benny and Frida in 1981, after three years of marriage and a relationship going back as far as 1970.

    Björn does not believe the marriages were sacrificed to the group.

    “For Agnetha and myself, to this day I don’t think that was the reason. It was like any other couple, it just fell apart the way it does so often these days, unfortunately.

    “It was very strange working together afterwards, but we both wanted to be friends, so there was no reason why that shouldn’t happen.”

    Though the group never spoke publicly about their relationships, they faced increasing criticism of their financial affairs. A business empire was built up to sidestep the punishing Swedish tax laws.

    “Other people who were successful perhaps did the same as we did, but quietly. The news from Sweden spread around the world, and it was all people ever asked about. No one wanted to know about the music anymore, only about the business.

    “Eventually we sold out everything. About a year ago we decided not to have any interests like that at all. We just wanted to be known for the music.”

    Björn has found anonymity in the English countryside with his new wife Lena, and their three-year-old daughter Emma. ABBA remains in limbo.

    “We were a good format,” said Björn. “The two girls mixed wonderfully together. There are lots of reasons for doing another album.

    “Who better would there be to do it with?”

    Daily Mirror (Sydney) – Thursday, 31 March 1988 (Pages 33-35)

    The 2WS/Daily Mirror Weekend of 1000 hits!

    1. Fernando – ABBA: Of all the songs ABBA recorded, this was the one Agnetha and Frida did not want anything to do with. It took a mountain of persuasion by Benny and Björn to convince the girls this was a winner.
    2. Hey Jude – Beatles: Originally titled Hey Jules, this song was written by Paul McCartney for John Lennon’s son Julian. It was only changed to Jude at the last minute when it became difficult to sing Jules.
    3. Mamma Mia – ABBA: ABBA released this in the Summer of 1975, this was ABBA’s second No.1 record in Australia. They were the most successful group of the 1970s who, unlike so many others of that decade, wrote and produced all their own material.
    4. Australiana – Austen Tayshus.
    5. Dancing In The Dark – Bruce Springsteen.
    6. My Sweet Lord – George Harrison.
    7. Eagle Rock – Daddy Cool.
    8. Tie A Yellow Ribbon ‘round The Ole Oak Tree – Tony Orlando and Dawn.
    9. She Loves You – The Beatles.
    10. Moon River – Jerry Butler.
    40. Dancing Queen – ABBA.
    53. I Just Want Top Be Your Everything – Andy Gibb.
    55. S.O.S. – ABBA.
    107. Stars On 45 – Stars On 45.
    138. Rock Me – ABBA.
    152. I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do – ABBA.
    383. Hold Me Now – Johny Logan.
    460. Ring, Ring – ABBA.
    476. Waterloo – ABBA.
    948. I Know There’s Something Going On – Frida.

    Comment by Frida: We all have to agree on everything. But only once, when we absolutely hated a song which the boys had done, did we throw it away altogether.

    Comment by Benny: There’s absolutely no reason in the world for us to begin to write political texts. This would be to isolate ourselves from the public. It’s important that the words agree with the music. ‘Fernando’ is a good example, I feel. The text provides the atmosphere itself to the music. I think it’s slightly apart from all the other hits we’ve had in Britain and I do hope it will lead us off into new directions.

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