An excerpt from an article I wrote in the 1980s about instruments ABBA hired for the concert.
During their March 1977 Australian tour, ABBA’s entourage was 40 musicians and 60 film crew who were making ABBA – The Movie. Scott Morgan of Billy Hyde Stage Systems, Sydney, said ABBA hired two Arbiter Auto-Tune drum kits for the Sydney concert.
“The kit was a mid-1970s fad which died out because they weren’t sturdy enough, the hardware was faulty,” Morgan said.
A special feature of the auto-tune meant the drum could be easily tuned by swivelling the drum head around.
ABBA also used two mounted toms (12 x 8 and 13 x 9) and two floor toms (16 x 16 and a 18 x 16).
Each kit had Paiste cymbals, 16 and 18 inch crashers and a 20 inch ride.
The bottom drum heads were removed and microphones placed inside.
“They had a lot of percussion gear: a bell tree, two congas and Ludwig chimes,” Scott said.
All the amps (including keyboards and bass) were by Music Man and they used Ovation classical acoustic and electric guitars, a Fender Telecaster and Stingray bass guitar.
For the group’s 1977 UK tour they had a touring party of 16 singers and musicians, made up of five keyboard players, three guitarists and four backing singers, plus a saxophone players and a rhythm section of a bassplayer, drummer and percussionist.
Apaprt from their individual equipment, they were to be amplified through a 20,000 watt stereo p.a. system and illuminated by about 30 tons of lighting.
About 40 people were needed to erect and dismantle the equipment, all of which called for highly detailed planning and special road and air cargo transport arrangements.
The members of the group and management team travelled on scheduled flights and the cost of the entire operation worked out at about $20,000 for each day the show was on the road.