Bjorn and Benny

Signed Copy of Chess pa Svenska
Signed Copy of Chess pa Svenska

The last few days have been good fun. I spent Sunday with Sue – Yum Cha at Bodhi, a walk around Darling Harbour – which was great, although I did manage to get chapped lips, as the wind was quite strong. My lips are still sore now (Tuesday), which I’ve been treating with Cold Sore Cream. I spent Monday night with Kate and Penny, having dinner at Barbecue King, and enjoying my favourite Peking Duck.

But the highlight, without doubt is something that’s happened to Yvette.

Having seen a report on ABBAMAIL, Björn and Benny were autographing copies of “Chess på svenska” at the Åhléns department store in Stockholm, I asked Yvette if she would see if she could get me an autographed CD. Once I had confirmed which particular, Åhléns department store it was, she said “No worries”, that she would be happy to line up, but would have to take her friend, Mikaela (who is moving to Australia) with her for moral support.

Anyway… sometime during last night (when I was sound asleep) Yvette called and left a message on my answer machine to say she had gone to the wrong store, had missed out etc, or something like that and that she was really sorry.

Of course, she hadn’t. She’s managed to get me a signed CD, and have some photographs taken with Bjorn and Benny. She’s been texting friends all day saying “I’ve met Bjorn and Benny” etc.

She said about 120 people were in the queue for autographs and that by and large people were moved through in an orderly fashion.

Except for her. She said, “It was my one big chance, there’s no way I was going to be shuffled through”. She also said she had her mobile phone ready for either one of them to have a chat with me. What a great friend. D’oh! I was asleep! She said Benny, in particular, was very nice and chatted with her about being from Australia. And no, his hands didn’t shake (in ABBAFAN circles, it’s widely believed Benny has a drinking problem).

But what about the CD itself?

Swedish newspaper, Aftonbladet, has given it the “thumbs up”. According to Reviewer, Jens Peterson, The director Lars Rudolfsson has adapted the English language version.

He has deleted and rearranged, Björn and Benny have written new songs. I liked the first album very much when it was released in the fall of 1984 and later I saw the concert versions and the musical which had it’s world premiere in 1986. I like “Chess” in Swedish just as much. There’s a difference between now and then. Then “Chess” was recorded as an album at first, then performed on stage. Then Björn & Benny still had ABBA in their blood when they produced, now Benny Andersson’s sound is a bit closer to “Kristina från Duvemåla”.

What did Yvette think of the experience? She writes:

So I strode up to Benny and said Hi I’m from Australia and it’s a great pleasure to meet you and we shook hands. Now, I don’t know if it’s just because he’s nice or he’d had a few beers but we had a big chat about what I was doing in Sweden, where I was working, how I liked it, that I’d better watch out for the cold winter, that he’s heard great reports about my infamous Dancing Queen karaoke performances (well not really the last bit) etc etc. It was tops! He seems really lovely.

Anyway, the next few days will be great fun, I’m sure, as Penny is staying with me.

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