Part 3 (of 6): The time-frame

Published December 30, 2012



Preparatory work for the programme, which had the working title The ABBA Story, seems to have begun around May 1976. Contemporary press reports even suggested that the actual filming began at that time, but this appears to be inaccurate. Leonard Eek was also quoted as saying that "Benny Andersson and I have talked for several years about doing an ABBA programme".

LE: Benny and I had been living close to each other in Vallentuna (a Stockholm suburb), and it's true that we had talked about it for some time, but not for several years.

Apparently, work on the programme started for real in June 1976. On June 18, a production sheet was prepared, detailing the projected costs for the programme and also the planned period of filming. At that point, filming was scheduled for July 7-20, followed by a week of video taping at the television studios in early September.

However, filming seems to have taken place during a somewhat longer period. According to Per Falkman's recollections, a camera team was present when the production team first visited ABBA on their holiday island of Viggsö in the Stockholm archipelago during the Midsummer holidays of June 25-26. In Polar Music Vice President Görel Hanser's calendar, the dates July 8, 9, 12, 16, August 16-19 and September 9 and 27-29 were earmarked for the ABBA members' participation in the television programme. In the completed programme a clapperboard with the date of August 16, from one of the Viggsö filming occasions, is visible for a brief second.

In all likelihood, the July and August dates were set aside for filming at Viggsö and for the making of the clips for 'Knowing Me, Knowing You', 'When I Kissed The Teacher' and 'Tiger'. September 9 may possibly have been the day when the video-taped interviews with the group and the indidividual members were made at the Polar Music offices.


September 27-29 were, of course, mainly set aside for the rehearsals and the taping of 'Money, Money, Money' and the live numbers 'Dum Dum Diddle' and 'Why Did It Have To Be Me'. On September 28, there was also the press conference for the programme (said to have attracted more journalists than any other Swedish television production up to that point, with the possible exception of Ingmar Bergman's The Magic Flute). At some point in September, the performance of 'My Love, My Life' was probably also committed to video tape. However, there may have been additional dates that required the ABBA members' participation.

LE: It may look like a long production period, but none of us were working full time on this project. And, of course, the ABBA members had other commitments during those months, so we had to find a schedule that worked for us all.


The song writing cottage on Viggsö.
Rehearsals for the live performance.
ABBA at the press conference for the programme, September 28, 1976.