My father called Stikkan by Marie Ledin
Stig ‘Stikkan’ Erik Leopold Anderson was born in Hova on January 25, 1931. As well as being ABBA’s manager, he was also a composer, lyricist, publisher and business man. The 60-a-day smoker finally capitulated to illness, bitternerness and alcohol on September 12, 1997, aged 66.
Now, over a decade later, Marie talks of her life with her father and recalls her early memories of his inherent musicality and business savvy and traces his life from jazz lover to pop impressario.
Anderson was one of the dominant figures behind ABBA, representing their commercial interests and global success through adavantageous record deals that resulted in significant financial remuneration for the group . At the same time, he also managed fund investments and the financial incomes of Polar Music.
In the mid 1980s, however, a considerable part of ABBA’s fortune was documented as lost by mismanagement, bad decision making and poor investments.
Three of the four ABBA members terminated their relationship with Anderson when it was revealed that Anderson had taken an excessive percentage of their profits over the course of many years.
A complaint against Anderson was submitted to the Stockholm District Court in June 1990 by Agnetha Fältskog’s company Agnetha Fältskog Produktion AB, Benny Andersson’s company Mono Music AB, as well as a Dutch company holding Björn Ulvaeus’ rights. Anni-Frid Lyngstad sold all her shares in the Polar Music company in 1982 when she left Sweden.
The dispute was settled out of court in July 1991; the terms of the settlement remain officially undisclosed.
The two first chapters are available to read on the Internet. The first, starts with Stig’s death, and what happened that day, Marie’s very moving feelings about it and her refusal to acknowledge it at first. There appears to be a very open account of his alcoholism and sad last few years.
Expressen carried an article about the book yesterday and obtained brief quotes from Benny and Björn that suggest that feelings may still run deep about what must be one of the darkest and most unpleasant chapters in ABBA’s history. Expressen states that Marie’s book "reveals" that Benny didn’t want Polar to be sold to a foreign buyer, but that he couldn’t afford to match the sum of 189 million kronor offered by Polygram (interestingly, according to an interview with Thomas Johansson in 2001, the sum was 300 million). When the whole unpaid royalties thing exploded in 1990, Polygram eventually reportedly paid ABBA 5 million kronor in an out-of-court settlement.
"To the end of Stig’s days, his eyes darkened whenever the group was mentioned", says Marie in the book.
- First chapter in pdf format via AndersonPocket (in Swedish)
- First two chapters as facsimiles via Adlibris book shop (in Swedish)
"That’s her version of events", says Björn to Expressen. "But I don’t want to make any comment on this before I’ve read the book." Benny doesn’t want to comment at all. "Actually, I’m not interested in what’s written in that book", he says.