Surrender yourself at Waterloo Station, ABBA's glory days revisited

AP
A new London exhibition about ABBA, the Swedish pop group took visitors right back to the 1970s.
AP

ABBA’s Bjorn Ulvaeus says a new London exhibition about the Swedish pop group took him right back to the 1970s — and he realized some things haven’t changed.

“Abba: Super Troupers” includes reconstructions of the hotel room in England where band members stayed after winning the 1974 Eurovision Song Contest with “Waterloo,” a 1970s recording studio and a typically drab British living room of the era.

Ulvaeus said a television set in the exhibit “showed footage from 1973-74, how the Brits were hesitant about Europe back then, in the very same way as they are now, which is really sad, I think.”

He said Britain’s departure from the EU was “like losing — not losing a friend because you’re still there — but somehow you don’t want to be in the team, and I think that’s sad.”

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Bjorn Ulvaeus, former member of ABBA, sits in a recreation of the Brighton hotel suite, as part of the ongoing exhibition “ABBA: Super Troupers.”

The exhibition at London’s Southbank Center features items from the ABBA museum in Stockholm and private archives, including costumes, handwritten notes, photos and musical instruments.

It sets the rise of the spangly Swedish superstars “against the shifting socio-economic and political conditions of the time” — a period when Britain was beset by strikes, power shortages and financial crisis.

Ulvaeus said it brought back old memories. But he said the four members of ABBA would never reunite for live concerts, because it “would be such hassle.”

“It would be enormous. And it would take such... you cannot imagine the tension,” he said. “So it would be like robbing yourself of, two or three years out of your life when I could be paddling on my surf ski in the archipelago of Stockholm instead.”

The exhibition ends on April 29. Fittingly, the nearest station is Waterloo.


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