Filmed: Tuesday 18 August 1981
Location: Spegelsalen, Grand Hotel, Stockholm, Sweden
Broadcast: Friday 18 September 1981
Release status: Parts released on Frida box set - see below
Duration: 60 minutes
Shown in: Sweden
Lite Grand i örat was a play on words as the show was taped at The Grand Hotel and loosely translated is "A Little Something For The Ear".
Frida and Claes af Geijerstam presented four weekly variety shows which were screened from 18 September 1981.
Claes and Frida started each show with the song Let's Get This Show On The Road.
Show 1 of 4.
Guests: Björn Skifs, Janne Önnerud, Lena Andersson, Robert Lundell, Mr Simson and Pugh & Trousers.
Musicians: Lasse Wellander, Chino Mariano, Rutger Gunnarsson, Per Lindvall, Åke Sundqvist, Nils Landgren, Jan Kohlin, Ulf Andersson, Hans Arktoft and Lars Finberg.
Songs featured (Frida's involvement in brackets):
Musical Director: Anders Eljas.
Choreography: Graham Tainton.
The performances Words of Love and Can't Buy me Love were included in the Frida Box Set released on 5 December 2005.
Frida on Lite Grand i örat: "It was only in four parts but it was a lot fun. I basically introduced the acts and did a little singing myself along with the other presenter. There weren't any plans to sell it abroad as far as I know. In any case, it was all in Swedish - apart from the songs of course."
Magazine Article at the time of Lite Grand i örat from Damernas Värld.
"It feels great to have the future in front of oneself in form of a blank paper"
Anni-frid Lyngstad starts a new career as program leader on television.
Frida has thrown herself in on a new way. As a program presenter on TV. And there might be more interesting things in future.
"Right now I take everyday as it comes. I'm open for everything when it comes to work."
It's pause in the recordings of Lite Grand i örat. Frida sits at a table right among cords, cameras, instrument and props and drinks coffee from a paper mug, smokes a cigarette and goes through the schedule and the manuscript for the rest of the show. She has big smoke coloured glasses on the tip of her nose - the letters have somewhat become smaller lately...
Frida is relaxed and she seems to be enjoying her new role as a program leader on TV.
"I want to try new things, I want to test my self", she says, "and this is a suitable way towards some sort of solo career."
Solo career? Aha - ABBA is to break up!
No. That's not the case. The "news" about that the group is breaking up has been on the first page of every news paper around the world for a while now, but the truth is that ABBA still exists in the highest degree - because they are namely recording a new album. They will release a new LP by Christmas and they have plans for at least two more records. But no tours or other live-performances are planned. So Frida has some time over, so to speak.
"Right now I take every day as it comes."
"I am actually open for everything. If I get an offer - any kind - that I feel would fit my temperament, and my artistic ambitions, then it's not completely impossible I say yes to it. It feels quite wonderful to have your future as a blank paper in front of yourself. To not be bound to anything."
Frida takes a sip of the coffee and goes on:
"There is a thing that is as good as clear now - that I'll finally do a new solo-LP! It's six years since I did Frida Ensam, so it feels very exciting."
It was early this spring the idea was born. ABBA's record company Polar contacted music publishers all around the world to receive original songs for Frida, music no other artist had never recorded. There was a tremendous response, one has already now boxes full of cassettes from composers all around the world.
Now Frida is going to listen through everything, and then Stikkan Andersson and his assistant Görel Hanser to USA to discuss the recording of the album. It's namely not all so sure that the record will be made in Stockholm and produced by Björn and Benny!
"They are occupied with writing songs for upcoming ABBA-albums, says Frida. And in addition: both Björn and Benny are going to be parents shortly, as you know. They certainly want some time with the children."
That musical then, that the media been writing so much about - is there anything written yet, and do you have any plans of performing it one day?
"It's only at the stage of planning. It's something that takes an awful lot of time, writing a good musical, that holds a international standard. It means one or a couple of years work for Björn and Benny. If it will première in Sweden or abroad is something we don't know today. Not either if it will be made for Agnetha and me. But it would be nice to play a musical. I'm, as I said earlier, open for everything..."
As this with TV. It's the producer Leonard Eek and Clabbe who has had this idea for this programme for some time now. They were looking for a female program leader, and this spring Clabbe got the insight of asking Frida.
"I was very surprised and happy, says Frida. I didn't really now what to answer, I wanted to think about it."
What did you think then?
"Honestly spoken I was very hesitating. It's a completely new thing in my career to all of a sudden host a TV-show. And not only one programme, but four. With everything it means of work and preparations. It demands more from me than to just stand and sing or said some well-rehearsed lines."
But after a couple of months time to think Frida said yes. On TV2 they cheered - one of ABBA is a drawing card - like nothing else, of course.
"And I've nothing against being a drawing card, she says. Because this is a TV-program I believe in to one hundred per cent. It's directed to a new form of TV-audience who has been a bit omitted until now. People in the age of 25-35, who likes good music that swings!"
Frida has a very important part in the production of the programme. She has been on the editorial staff - not only worked as a forward-and-say-person.
"I have helped them choosing artists and music, put it together to a good 'mix', written manuscript of what to say. We have been a team that really has worked great together. For me it feels fantastic to work in this democratic manner. Not just to think about your own performance but feeling fellowship and happiness in the ambition of making an attractive entertainment for a wide audience."
This we will see on TV on Fridays - the first programme will be broadcast on 18 September. What we won't get to see is what Frida do on her spare time. She exercise and dances jazz ballet it usually is in the papers, but see here:
"The exercise has been down for the last 6 couple of months! I have for once been taking it easy - and become very relaxed and pleasant to my mind. This summer I've been at my summer's place and have had it wonderful. Reading a lot, listening to music, spending time with my kids and my friends"
Will your kids be in showbiz?
"I don't know! Both are at least very very interested in music! Hans, my son who is eighteen years old, plays in a band - he's already in the Business! Liselotte is still only fourteen years old and is still in school, so you don't really know if she will choose the music as an occupation. But she listens to music of all kinds! Benny's son Peter is also wonderfully musically. Is there anyone who is going to be an artist of our children, then it's probably him..."
The clothing in this program is remarkably good - both Frida, Clabbe and the artists will come in wearing new creations every new entré! Not glitter, but clean, sober clothes from the latest autumn fashion. One thinks that fashion-aware Frida has had a hand in this.
"Certainly I think fashion is fun," says Frida, "but not in the high degree that some newspapers has written."
Some newspapers wrote this spring that Frida suffers from an almost morbid clothes-obsession, and that this was the reason for the divorce from Benny.
Frida laughs a good laugh at the rumours, but her kind brown-green eyes gets both sad and angry at the memory.
"One learns to deal with a whole lot of stuff - sometimes you don't know if you should cry or laugh at all ridiculous speculations... That I put a fortune on clothes every week - that's a pure lie. I like wearing comfortable, beautiful clothes. Wonderful materials and colours that emphasize my personality. Is that to be called 'clothes-obsession'? That obsession I think I share with a whole lot of women if that's the case!"
By Susanna Hauffman, Photos by Michael Brannäs
Thanks to Robin Andersson c/o ABBAMAIL (no longer online)
Archive data from Swedish Media Database:
SVT, TV2 1981-09-18
20:01:14-21:00:51 Lite grand i örat.
Tablåinnehåll Era värdar: Anni-Frid Lyngstad och Claes af Geijerstam.
Gäster: Björn Skifs, Lena Andersson, Janne Önnerud, Pugh Rogefeldt & Trousers
21:02:00-21:54:51 Två och en flygel.
Utgivning Stockholm : SVT, TV2
Digital Betacam TVK01-0744
Thanks to Ian Cole for clarification of Pat Benatar information. Thanks also to Jason Swan, Jozsef and Alexandre Carvalho, Robin Andersson and Grant Whittingham c/o ABBAMAIL (no longer online) for the song information (ie. which song from which show). Some info from Bright Lights, Dark Shadows by Carl Magnus Palm and some info from International ABBA Magazine No.2.
YouTube link c/o ABBAinternet2 and ABBA Videoedits