ABBA night at Imperial Hotel

Went to an ABBA Night held at the Impy Cabaret Room, Erko.

Danced the night away in a big circle, with fans spontaneously jumping into the centre and showcasing their moves when overcome by inspiration.

G had spent that morning shopping, searching for “giant inflatable pillow balloons like in the Polish TV special”, and settled on bubble-blowing kits, bejewelled fake microphones to sing into, and streamers to throw when over-excited.

Hard core fans stayed on-floor during The Visitors (to show off the fact we knew all the words), while everyone else hit the bar.

Showed first-timer L how to do the moves to SOS. Angus finally turned up to an ABBA night, which fell on a date when he wasn’t on a plane to somewhere or other.

D faced intense interrogation over why he wasn’t expressing his fandom via the compulsory non-stop dancing, and cited a “broken toe” which will take 12 months to heal!

Great drag numbers in spectacular/comedy costumes were done on the famous Impy stage (the inspiration for the Priscilla movie) to Nina Pretty Ballerina, Rock Me, Does Your Mother Know?, Tiger, and The Winner Takes It All.

Dancing Queen was played in honour of late fan John Godwin (big Agnetha fan), who was so sweet and always ready with an encouraging word and a witty line. Miss his friendly face. Did our best Bandstand Special moves in loving memory.

Finished at 2am with the traditional Old Friends Do as we all formed a tight-knit circle.

Stood outside and were told off twice by the bouncers for being too raucous. G escorted me home down King St, Newtown, exhausted on our hands and knees, after over-exertious dancing.

When not crawling, in an inspired move of anarchistic action, we pasted ABBA posters up and down King St, with G standing on tippy toes so he could place them high up enough so passersby couldn’t easily rip them down. I was laughing so hard as he was so earnest. One was still up the next afternoon!


ABBA fans fest Nov 29

Our soiree involved watching Countdown (top of the pops) TV specials, famous for being the launching pad for ABBA’s success in Australia.

We fast-forwarded through rocker Jimmy Barnes’ clips, and slow-mo’ed to scrutinise Mark Holden shirtless in suspenders, singing “I Wanna Make You My Lady”. Lots of slow mo for Sherbet, Skyhooks and John Paul Young. ACDC were great, Little River Band, Marcia Hines. Mark Holden explained: “Countdown was a direct line to huge paydays, millions of dollars. My first album, pre-Countdown in 1974, sold 2000 copies. My 2nd and 3rd albums [promoted via Countdown in 1975] sold 80,000 copies each. That’s a hell of a lot.”

Nice to see Bjorn doing an interview re: how important Australia was in re-launching ABBA worldwide.

Watched Molly getting sozzled during the 100th Countdown special, and fluffing his lines with Prince Charles. Overall, too many rockers and not enough pop stars! Julie Zemiro always wonderful as a TV host.

ABBA fests are renowned for a sugary overload of lollies, but this time we ate healthier foods, chicken, fruit (and Swedish pastries)!

Eurovision party 2014

Held a Eurovision party at my place. We’ve all been die-hard Eurovision watchers since the 1990s, when it was first shown in Australia. Preparation: read the Des Mangan “This Is Sweden Calling” book and Terry Wogan’s “Is It Me?” and watched the two semi-finals.

Continue reading Eurovision party 2014

My Agnetha Dance Your Pain Away video

My entry for Agnetha dancing video competition, which had to include lots of dancing. The slow motion move in verse 1 is Agnetha’s dance move from Dancing Queen. My living room is small, so every time I hopped sideways left for the chorus, I slammed into a wall, ending up black and blue on one side. Well worth suffering for my art, though! 😉 
Props: original Matchbox Agnetha doll from the 1970s and one of my ABBA scrapbooks.



D’s birthday party afternoon: Ritz menu

Went to D’s birthday party, his 50th. Lovely little dog, like Pudsey, and a beautiful home.

We enjoyed afternoon tea in his spectacular backyard, and later looked at his ABBA shrine (indoors). Ended up borrowing many goodies.

The menu was the same as the Ritz in London, where D had recently dined:

Continue reading D’s birthday party afternoon: Ritz menu

Welcome to ABBAWhirl! (ABBAWorld parody)


You think you’re gonna make me softer with your fancy car … have your photo taken with ABBA in the Money Money Money car.

MORE than 30 years since ABBA’s first live performance in Australia at the Sydney Showgrounds in Moore Park on that wet evening of 3 March 1977, ABBA fans can relive the hormonal, adolescent dramas of being desperate teenage ABBA fans who just wanted to go to a pop concert, any pop concert, but got sucked into a black hole-ish vortex from which they would emerge singing “Mamma Mia, here I go again.” And again and again.

Cotton Ward, curator of ABBAWhirl, said: “This is a unique opportunity to see original ABBA fan material. For more than 35 years, ABBA has been one of the top three selling artists in the world, having sold 375 million records worldwide, mostly to people I know.”

“No expense has been spared in staging ABBAWhirl in my flat — genuine ABBA scrapbooks from the era, and the ABBA dolls are sitting on top of the telly.”

Out to the airport to get on the plane … Benny, Frida and Bjorn enjoy taking off from an authentic IKEA birchwood-veneer runway. But where’s Agnetha?

ABBAWhirl examines the early days of sending letters and waiting breathlessly for the latest edition of the Swedish Pop Import, the official ABBA Fan Club’s buy and swap columns, and Record Collector ads. There is a blaring, wind-up alarm clock to remind you of the many early mornings of getting up for record fairs at town halls to be among the first to get to Parramatta or Kur-ring-gai, and endless scouring through secondhand shops for memorabilia. The lunchbox, dolls, socks and full set of bubblegum cards were the holy grails. The usual finds were a couple of singles, which you already had, and maybe an old edition of an ABBA Annual or a copy of TV Week or Spunky!

A rotary dial phone reminds you of all the times fans would ring each other up with news of the latest overseas bootlegs available at Red Eye Records, or the next performance of Bjorn Again at small venues, for $10 a ticket.

Continue reading Welcome to ABBAWhirl! (ABBAWorld parody)