I had my collar turned up as I tried to keep a low profile hoping no one would notice me as my pride probed me asking what was I doing here. The hall was dark as I suffered in my seat awaiting the kitsch consequences of my impetuous ABBA Tribute Band “Buy Now”. When I was young and stupid I had no musical taste and found myself wearing white flares and wing collar shirts singing “Dancing Queen young and sweet only 17 …” but now I’m a serious rock musicianary and I was shifting in my seat as the ABBA Band took the stage to a wild welcome.
The clapping cheering crowd of college kids 5 rows back amused me at first – they weren’t even born when Bjorn wailed-out Waterloo so I expected their misguided youthful enthusiasm would wane by the 3rd or 4th song. But they didn’t “Move On” and obviously knew “The Name of the Game” because “When All is Said and Done” they were still “Head Over Heels” dancing taller than the ABBA Band’s boots with no signs of slowing down.
In the slew of sequinned songs and 6inch stilletto’s the true facts about Bono’s love of ABBA hit me plain as day as I sang of “Thank You for the Music”. ABBA had shaped my life and influenced the world and I have to admit that just like Bono, ABBA was one of my favourite bands. Bono even performed with Bjorn and Benny doing “Dancing Queen” and “Satellite of Love” in concert. So why does Bono rate ABBA? Well he’s quoted as saying “I think ABBA have a pure joy to their music and that’s what makes them extraordinary.”
I want my songs to do the same – to make people dance and smile despite the struggles or problems they face – to give them some relief from life. So this week I’m sending the CD off for manufacture so I can share songs like “Hope On My Horizon” with you. It’s an exciting stage of the record and feels amazing to finally be at the end of the project.
But I could have easily not even made this record. When friends told me “you’re too old to be a rock star …” I could have hung up my guitar and exited stage left. But if I had listened to naysayers instead of what God had told me to do and ignored the effect my songs have to bring joy to people then these songs would never have been recorded and this CD would never have seen the light of day. There would be no “Hope On My Horizon” for you.
But just like ABBA “I Have A Dream” that you “Let the Music Speak” and instead of singing your dreams are “Slipping Through My Fingers”, you instead sing “I See Hope On My Horizon”.
PS What other ABBA songs should Bono do a cover of?