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ABBA made history

04.07 o’clock this morning ABBA was elected into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The  half-naked Iggy Pop didn´t want to go off the scene. The emotional Phil Collins paid tribute to his predecessor, Peter Gabriel. And … two ABBA-Swedes who wrote music history.

The guests were treated to chicken and brownies. The white linen table cloths were pressed, cutlery laid out with military precision. And luxury hotel Waldorf Astoria´s chandeliers sparkled as if wishing to catch up with the stars under them. Very stylish.

But … it was after all a rock n ‘roll gala. So after about less than an hour, after having pointed the finger at the audience, Iggy Pop received The Stooges price, paid tribute to his dead band colleagues – and stripped on the stage. “They were so angry that we didn´t get elected when they were alive. They are probably up there in the heaven drinking martinis, smoking cigars and trying to scatter ashes on us as we stand here,”said Iggy Pop to the audience’s cheers. After that the gala was to begin for real.

One of the other bands that was elected was Genesis, without former frontman Peter Gabriel present, however. But Phil Collins paid tribute to him from the scene. He said that Gabriel meant so much for the band that they were afraid they would have to finish when he quit. They just went on to prove that they were not “Peter Gabriel’s band” only, but they were Genesis.

At 04.07 Swedish music history was written, when ABBA was not only the first Swedish – but the first non-Anglo-Saxon band at all – to be elected into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

“To get to stand here, having grown up in Sweden in the 50’s with hardly any music on the radio … that has reflected any artist’s work. And that now to become a part of something where all my idols are, it means a lot,” said Benny Andersson. “I would like to thank all our fans, and especially my grandson Jonathan. Even if he is a heavy metal musician, he loves our songs,” said Anni-Frid Reuss to the audience’s cheers.

All the artists got a praise speech before they were elected. Genesis speech was made by Trey Anastasio from the band Phish, Jimmy Cliff was praised by Wyclef Jean, The Hollies were introduced by the E Street Band guitarist Steven Van Zandt, The Stooges speech was made by Billie Joe Armstrong from Green Day, and ABBA’s speech was held by the brothers Robin Gibb and Barry Gibb from Bee Gees.

“We are both personally honored to have been asked to make this speech,” the brothers told Aftonbladet, “We both really wanted to be here. We have flown all the way from London to Miami for this.”

And just as happy were the winners. “We know Bee Gees. Last we met was … hmm, yes, for 31 years ago. It is so great that they wanted to make the speech,” Benny Andersson said.

In order to be a member in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame the artist must have released the debut album for at least 25 years ago. ABBA’s first album “Ring Ring” was released in 1973 and is obviously as popular nowadays, 37 years later.

So, to finish with their own words:
Thank You For The Music, ABBA!


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