Before leaving Canada I polled my friends and colleagues. The verdict was unanimous; I had to visit the ABBA museum in Stockholm. Of course, none of them had ever been there.
I am not an ABBA fan. I have acquired over the years about 10,000 albums. (I know that sounds like a lot, but remember, I’ve worked in the music industry on and off for forty years.) Not one of those records is by ABBA. Paying $30 to see a museum dedicated to a band I’ve never liked could be deemed excessive. But at the same time, ABBA are Sweden, so it seemed to make sense to go. Plus, the Swedish Music Hall of Fame was also included in the admission price.
So I decided it was a must see. After all, in their heyday ABBA were second only to Volvo as far as Swedish exports go. (I always thought that was a publicist’s gimmick, but then again, what else does Sweden export?)
I couldn’t bring myself to do it.
As I get older I think I am perhaps more in tune with the concept of what I ought to do, what I should do and what I don’t want to do.
There are things I do that I don’t like (such as take out the trash each week) but I do them because I ought to. They need to be done and it falls on me to do them. Nobody though forces me to do it. If I really objected to garbage duties I’m sure I could convince someone else in the family to take that on. It should be done by someone, it doesn’t have to be me.
There is a difference though between doing something because it ought to be done and doing something because someone else thinks I ought to do it. That strikes me as being markedly different.
My friends and colleagues all felt I ought to go to the ABBA museum. For a while I agreed with them; then I came to my senses. Admittedly, in this case I had solicited the feedback, mostly because I was unsure of the idea from the outset.
After all, when it comes right down to it, it was my decision to make.
So what convinced me not to go? I was walking through downtown Stockholm. I knew where the museum was and I deliberately headed towards it. When I got there though, it was the sign out front that convinced me I couldn’t pay to see the exhibits.
The message? “They looked great then, they look great now.”
Sorry, but if it is more about the looks than the music, then you won’t get my money!