ABBA City Walk Traces Stockholm Through Steps Of Iconic Rock Band
Sweden has given the world, among other things, IKEA, gravy-soaked meatballs, Ingmar Bergman films and a world-class bikini team.
But to many culture vultures, the country's most lasting legacy to pop culture is the iconic 1970s band ABBA, which has sold more than 400 million records despite disbanding in 1983, in the aftermath of the divorce between members Bjorn Ulvaeus and Agnetha Faltskog in 1979 and Benny Andersson and Anni-Frid “Frida” Lyngstad in 1981.
Thanks to almost annoyingly catchy pop confections like "Dancing Queen" and "Mamma Mia!" and an impressively tacky fashion sense that resulted in outfits such as silk culottes for men and neon satin everything, 30 years after its breakup, ABBA has managed to be both popular and polarizing.
Now, ABBA's home town of Stockholm is answering the prayers of fans who wish to walk in the same spots as the band (except maybe not in the white-colored platform boots).
The Stockholm City Museum is now hosting walks every Friday and Saturday through August that are devoted to spots that are crucial to ABBA's history.
For instance, fans who take a chance on the tour will see the Sheraton Hotel, where the band filmed one of its many videos and the Royal Opera, where the band debuted "Dancing Queen" the night before the royal wedding between Swedish king Carl XVI Gustaf and his bride, the future Queen Silvia.
Many of the sites are featured in a companion book, "The ABBA Guide To Stockholm," but tourists who say "I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do" to the walk will also get a chance to see more obscure, (and tenuous) links to the band, such as the park bench made famous on the album cover of "ABBA's Greatest Hits," or the stop outside the Sheraton Hotel, chosen purely because one scene in the film "ABBA -- The Movie" was filmed in one of the hotel's suites.
Although the tour is brand new, Eva Palmqvist, one of four guides who will host the walk in both Swedish and English, predicts it will be at least as popular as the Steig Larsson walks the museum has been hosting for four years.
"'Location' walks are incredibly trendy right now," Palmqvist told TheLocal.se.
"New York has 'Sex and the City' walks, and London has Beatles walks," she said. "Why shouldn't we tag along?"