In Memoriam: Lasse Wellander

In Memoriam: Lasse Wellander

Lasse Wellander, longtime guitarist in ABBA and a renowned studio and solo musician, died April 7. He was 70 and briefly battled cancer.

Wellander grew up in Nora, Sweden, and started playing guitar as a youngster in the ’60s. After moving through a handful of bands, he joined a touring group that backed singer Ted Gärdestad for a summer tour in 1973; two bandmates were Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson, who also had a vocal group that became ABBA with the release of its second album, 1974’s Waterloo. A month later, Wellander was invited to become its studio and touring guitarist and he held the gig through the band’s heyday while also recording his own albums and playing on a host of other notable recordings in Sweden.

After ABBA dissolved in ’82, Wellander continued working with Ulvaeus and Andersson, played in several bands, and played on the 1983 Agnetha Fältskog album Wrap Your Arms Around Me.

From ’75 through ’92, he recorded six solo album, two of which entered the Swedish Top 40 charts in the ’80s. In ’92, he had a radio hit with his instrumental version of the Chess song “Anthem.” In 2004, he played on Fältskog’s My Colouring Book.

In ’05, Wellander received the Albin Hagström Memorial Award from The Royal Swedish Academy of Music. In ’17, he resumed releasing new original music, and in ’18 was presented the Swedish Musicians Union’s Studioräven Award. In ’21, he played on ABBA’s Voyage.

This article originally appeared in VG’s June 2023 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.

No posts to display