Contact theSOPAbout theSOPSupport theSOPWritersEditorsManaging Editors
theSOP logo
Published:March 29th, 2013 08:20 EST
'Mamma Mia!' An ABBA Museum Will Open in Stockholm This May!

'Mamma Mia!' An ABBA Museum Will Open in Stockholm This May!

By John G. Kays

With 1970s Swedish Mega-Pop Band, ABBA`s Star never entirely flickering out, it seems only appropriate that a museum dedicated to them will open in Sweden (in May, I hear). The building for the permanent exhibit, called ABBA The Museum, is under construction on the island of Djurgarden, near a theme park. This ABBA museum is just a part of the Swedish Music Hall of Fame, former band member Bjoern Ulvaeus has emphasized to the press. The bands` instruments and many of their flashy costumes (including platform shoes) will be available for public viewing.

It boils down to this traveling exhibit (ABBAWORLD that toured Europe and Australia in 2009-2011) getting a permanent home to stay in, yet there will be new fixtures as well. There`ll be the Polar Music Studio (don`t think it will be the entire studio) and a dressing room with empty champagne glasses, since the band just hit the stage (you know this from the audio portion of the exhibit). Also featured is the red telephone Agnetha Faltskog posed with for their first major hit in 1973, Ring Ring.

Another noteworthy item, is the group`s cottage that was on the island of Viggso; it was here that they wrote many of their greatest hits. The curator for ABBA The Museum is Ingmarie Halling, who was their stylist; Ms Halling is putting together many of the exhibits and wants to take you back into the moment, as if the visitor is witnessing the band`s experience in the here and now (from the BBC News - Stockholm museum thanks Abba for the music). I sense this theme of reliving the past from the BBC article.

Another example of a reliving of ABBA`s past, a vicarious, interactive experience, comes in the way of a visitor becoming a fifth member of the band, then being videoed along with some  `Real Band Holograms!` The participant will then get a copy of the video which he or she can share on their favorite social media site. I don`t know exactly how this will work (will you upload the video on your iphone?), but it reminds me of say, putting your head in cut-out figurines (on Coney Island), and taking a Polaroid memento  home to startled family members.

This is a marvelous idea and will only accelerate the enduring charm of fame of the former Disco-Era Superstar Swedish Pop Band. This reminds me of when I visited New York City in the late 1960s; I made my own version, a vinyl single of The Beatles` greatest hit, Yesterday, up on the top of the Empire State Building. As you sang into the machine, a record was grooved right before your eyes, then the 45 shot out of the bottom part of the machine. Suddenly, you too are a famous recording artist!

Upon seeing this notice of an impending ABBA museum, I reviewed their history on the all-knowing Wikipedia page; much of this has been forgotten. Yet, I do have ABBA Gold - Greatest Hits, so I played that a time or two. The band is very striking visually speaking, so I paid YouTube a visit, and watched a mesmerizing Knowing Me, Knowing You, then viewed Mamma Mia!, which was a smash hit as a movie and as a Broadway production (50 million people have seen the stage version). Estimates of album sales are around 400 million!

In the day, I wasn`t particularly all that keen on ABBA; I saw them as part of the Disco Movement, which I viewed as a cop-out, a let down, after the Rock Movement had accomplished so much to bring authenticity and genuineness into the Art form we know as Rock `N` Roll. Since that time, as the 1970s tapered off to the (Thin Black Tie Era) of the 1980s, I`ve come to appreciate more what ABBA was about, very polished, well-constructed pop music. And yea, they were very sexy too! While the older ones may still hold water, new assessments are the order of the day.