Following speculation that their elaborately glamorous outfits were designed as a tax dodge, seventies band ABBA have now admitted that their real purpose was in fact to scare off crows and other wild birds.
ABBA’s stage clothes were famously extravagant, featuring sequinned jumpsuits, gravity-defying heels and in one case a fully-functioning windmill.
For many, this was all just part of the colourful 70s, but the band have now confirmed that a genuine fear of bird attacks was the motive.
“It’s widely known that ABBA first met in a small farming collective near Trollhättan,” explained singer Agnetha Fältskog, “And we’ve always had a love-hate relationship with wildlife. On the one hand, we’re acutely conscious of the dangers of bird activity, on the other hand birds have provided the inspiration for many of our most famous songs – Dancing Quail, The Warbler Takes it All, and of course our classic Gimme Gimme Gimme (a Cockatoo After Midnight)”
“The last thing we want in the middle of a gig is to have a flock of buntings swooping down and devouring our crop of green beans. And it plays hell with the harmonies. So we got into the shiny costumes and the little buggers haven’t dared come back.”
Quite apart from the benefits of crop protection, loud costumes are also extremely effective at preventing pecking injuries, always a real danger at open-air concerts. The list of famous blind blues singers who lost their sight to kestrel attacks is common knowledge, but less well-known is the fact that the composer Beethoven only became deaf after an unfortunate encounter with a pair of screech owls at a Berlin bandstand.