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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Knowing Me, Knowing You, A-Ha: 'Confuence' and Abba

Hands up if you're a big Abba fan. Mine is up and I'm guessing there's quite a few more. Though they hailed from Sweden, they really belonged to the world and were very popular in Australia in the 70's. Theirs is an intricate and towards the end, quite a bitter-sweet tale, of two married couples, who got divorced and then more or less, had to finish up one of the most successful pop bands in history.

But we're not going to talk their hit songs, rather we're going to analyse their relationships, from the perspective of the totally new concept of 'Confluence' taken from the totally new theory of life known as 'Life Cycles'. We are simply going to see if they share time in their 'significant years' (ie. 7/12/19/24/31 etc.). Now you may remember that 'Confluence' applies to romance, friendship and work, or adventure. Whatever brings people close together. So, with Abba you have a mix of romance, friendship and work, but then again this is not unusual in the music business. Anyway, down to business. Just who's 'Confluent' with whom? Well I must unfortunately tell you; Agnetha and Anni-Frid and Bjorn are all 'Confluent' with each other, but poor old Benny is the odd man out here. Now how does all this translate?

I'm just going to look at how they got together and how they split up. My next book may very well be about 'Confluence', so I may get around to greater detail then. OK, so Bjorn Ulvaeus was born 25th April, 1945 and Agnetha Faltskog was born 5th. April, 1950. That means they shared 'Confluence' almost the entire year for every second 'significant year'. The first adult example of this was in the period April, 1969 to April, 1970. What happened then? Well it was stated that in May, 1969 a 19 year-old Agnetha met a 24 year-old Bjorn during the filming of a Swedish TV Special. So they met in 'Confluence' as did Jackie and JFK. Anni-Frid Lyngstad was born 15th November, 1945, so she was also 'Confluent' with both Bjorn and Agnetha. She and Agnetha had a good chemistry at the personal level, that was part of the foundation of the group. This demonstrates the friendship side of 'Confluence'. Is this another excuse to get a good-looking photo in the story? Guilty as charged.

The two couples went on holiday together to Cyprus in April 1970 and what began as singing on the beach, ended up as a live concert for UN soldiers stationed on the island. Anni-Frid and Bjorn were both 24 and Agnetha was 19, so Abba (called Festfolk in the early days) was born in 'Confluence'. My apologies to Benny, but I will catch him later. Huge world-wide success was to follow along with marriages between the two couples. However the marriage of Bjorn and Agnetha was effectively over, before Benny and Anni-Frid finally got married, and in December, 1978 they announced their divorce. They continued to record, but it was a strain. It could be posited that Agnetha did not effectively get over the break up; as many years of isolation and therapy and other shorter relationships followed, including going out with a stalker. She was the one against an Abba reunion and apparently still could not stand to be in the same room as Bjorn. This can be the negative aspect of 'Confluence' when a relationship sours. The former empathy and support makes adjustment to life without the other loved one doubly hard.

OK, we now turn the clock forward a full twelve years from singing on the beach together. It is 1981/2. What was the tipping point in Abba's decision to split? It was undoubtedly the divorce of Benny and Frida in February, 1981. He had been having an affair with TV presenter Mona Norklit, who gave birth to his son in Jan. 1982 and he already had two children by an earlier marriage. So his relationship with Frida was of a different quality to Bjorn and Agnetha.

Both parties got over the divorce quickly and moved on to successful marriages. The lack of 'Confluence' in their relationship made it easier you see. No angst and therapy here. Abba effectively ended in early 1982 when Bjorn and Frida were 36 and Agnetha was 31. So, they began and ended in 'Confluence'; in their combined Years of 'Revolution' and 'Broken Pathways'. I could do more analysis but I think that's enough to make the case.

Till next month:- "May the cycles always bring you good fortune."


  1. Hi Neil. Abba, what fun! Yes, an Abba fan too. They were very popular in the U.S. “Waterloo” and “Knowing Me, Knowing You” are two of my favorite Abba songs. “Knowing my fate was to be with you,” a powerful line and I love the way you matched that line and their personal and professional relationship to Confluence. Theirs is a bitter-sweet tale. Watching the video of “Knowing Me, Knowing You” is haunting now when you know what later happened. There is a sadness in their eyes, especially Agnetha. I didn’t know what had happened to Agnetha after the break up, very sad. Bjorn must have really broken her heart! So that’s the negative aspect of Confluence, how it can make adjustment to life doubly hard after the relationship ends...I believe that happened to me years ago, I can relate. I need to figure out the people I have Confluence with. Very interesting how the lack of Confluence in Frida and Benny’s relationship helped both to move on quickly after the divorce. Remarkable the way you can see how the group Abba began and ended in Confluence.

  2. Hi Jersey Lil,
    Yes, and thank you for your excellent understanding of the elements of 'Confluence', that I am attempting to illustrate. What I am doing here is at the cutting edge of where my journey of discovery has led me. As always, if I can't find some degree of supporting evidence, then what I propose looks very thin. So much easier if I just said:- "Trust me. I'm a guru." However I know that I have to work hard to uncover credible case histories. Once again my thanks for your educated interest.

  3. I don't know much about this band, Neil, but as always your model of analysis is quite fascinating.

    Have a great Yule, a super Christmas and a prosperous New Year...the Maya permitting, of course. :-)

  4. Ana,
    Thank you so much and I wish the same to you and I write this on the morn of the 22nd in Sydney, where the Mayan calendar hoax has been declared officially dead by morning TV. Here's to 2013 with full confidence!