“I am battling long term memory loss” – Björn

As a new generation of fans discover Abba thanks to the phenomenal success of the hit film Mamma Mia, one of the foursome has revealed he is suffering  from memory loss.

Bjorn Ulvaeus, who was married to his blonde co-star Agnetha Fältskog at  the height of their fame, cannot even remember the highlights of Abba’s fame.

The Swedish group rocketed into the British pop charts in 1974 when they  won the Eurovision Song Contest in Brighton with their song Waterloo – a triumph Ulvaeus says he can no longer recall.

‘It is like I was not even there,’ the 58-year-old father of four said.

‘People ask me if I am going to write my memoirs. But even if I wanted to, I would not be able. I have extremely few memories.’

Ulvaeus composed the music for the Mamma Mia! stage musical with Abba  co-star Benny Andersson and makes a brief uncredited appearance as a Greek god  in the film, which stars Oscar winner Meryl Streep, Pierce Brosnan and Colin  Firth.

The movie has sparked an Abba revival and the four band mates were reunited for the first time in 22 years at the Stockholm premier earlier this month.  

But despite the renewed adulation, Ulvaeus says he simply cannot remember great chunks of his life. He has met old school friends to see if they can help him piece together his childhood and even turned to hypnosis in an attempt to  find a cure – so far, in vain.

Ulvaeus, who divorced Agnetha in 1979 and is now married to Swedish music journalist Lena Kallersjo, the mother of his two youngest daughters, has studied old photographs and video to try and remember his life.

Explaining the immediate aftermath of Abba’s Eurovision song contest, Ulvaeus said: ‘Many remember that very moment, where they were, what they did and even how they felt. But not me.

‘It is unbelievable but I do not remember standing on the stage. It is like I was not even there.

‘In interviews I said that my trousers were so tight I could not even sit  in the bus on the way to the arena. But I honestly do not know if that is true or it is someone who told me about it.’

Abba enjoyed a string of hits including Money, Money, Money, Dancing  Queen and Mamma Mia! before splitting in the mid 1980s. They remain one of  the biggest grossing bands ever and have sold more than 400million records worldwide. But Ulvaeus says that despite the fame, his memory loss is so depressing he has lost his self-confidence.

Björn’s shock admission – Daily Mail


  • This is not good news. We fans can remember, so not for us, but for Björn and his family and friends. My thoughts go to them.

  • Oooooooooooooooooooh. Not good.

  • Did he also forget he is 63 and not 58?

    Unkind I know…..

    I hope that things don’t get too much worse for him and his family.

  • I think many of suspected something was wrong. And it’s funny how many jokes are made about this kind of thing (about Bjorn’s lack of recollection) but for those who suffer the condition I’m sure it’s extremely disturbing and upsetting – for them and their families. I don’t suppose anyone would make jokes if Bjorn had cancer, diabetes or had had a stroke so let’s have a bit of respect ok?

  • It was a shock to hear that Björn loss his memory.It`s unbellievable, and it`s so sad. I feel with him, his family and his friends. Best wishes to Björn, you will never forget.

  • How sad this news is. ABBA’s music has meant so much to me and has enriched my life immeasurably. Bjorn’s incredible lyric writing abilities have fixed him as one of my greatest music heroes. He, along with Benny, Frida and Agnetha are not only National Treasures in their native Sweden by my account. They are incredible musical treasures for the entire world, so universal is their music. I sincerely with the best for him and his family. May his memory loss be a very short lived event.

  • It’s unfortunate that Björn’s recent radio show, to highlight a serious problem that affects millions of people, has been reduced to "Björn can’t remember ABBA" (yes, that’s a real headline).

  • I feel very sad for Bjorn and his family hearing about his memory loss. The worst part is the fear of loss of your own identity. My father had a similar problem and I seem to be suffering from it. Whole gaps of your life go missing.

    ABBA’s music has a very special place in my life and has always given me immeasurable joy. All the members of ABBA, including Bjorn, deserve nothing less than to experience the full happiness brought about by their incredible achievements. We all want to look back on our lives fondly.

    Best wished to Bjorn and his family…you and your work will not be forgotten.

  • this has nothing to do with Bjorn a nd his memory loss {as sad as that is } but i read about his wife lena having cancer and havent heard how she is doing. Anyone know anything about lena

  • This is so sad – its not the ‘little joke’ that some people have made it out to be.

    My heart goes out to him and his family and friends – I hope that everyone around him will be able to support him and take care of him.

  • Apparently in this article from Belgium today Bjorn says that reports of his memory loss were greatly exaggerated and is not suffering from dementia.


    (thanks to Marnix who posted it to abba4ever.com)

  • I’m glad I read a little further and saw another posting where Bjorn say’s the reports of his memory loss were greatly exaggerated. Whew! that’s a bit of a relief. I just got this terrible sinking feeling when I first read the article. He is such a nice gentle man I would be very sad if something terrible were to happen to him. My heart goes out to Bjorn and his family.

  • Bjorn, I am so sorry to hear this news. Thanks to you and the rest of ABBA – you provided me with years of music during my childhood (I am 44 now). ABBA was great. I love your music and thank you for bringing a generation of joy to millions – including to me – thanks – Denis

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