Abba’s ‘nuts’ stage outfits were worn to avoid tax

abba_0Swedish disco band Abba – known as much for their catchy tunes as for their bizarre dress sense – chose their trademark outfits in order to avoid paying taxes, a new book has revealed.

The thinking behind their bizarre fashion choices, from sequinned jumpsuits to knee-length boots and platform shoes, was not just the band’s attempt to appeal to the mores of 1970s youth culture, Björn Ulvaeus wrote in “Abba: The Official Photo Book”.

According to Ulvaeus, the band’s unique style was at least partly influenced by Swedish laws that allow businesses to deduce the cost of clothing against tax – on the proviso that they are so outrageous they would not be worn on the streets.

“In my honest opinion we looked like nuts in those years,” he wrote. “Nobody can have been as badly dressed on stage as we were.”

Ulvaeus was accused in 2007 of not paying 85 million kronor (around 10 million euros) between 1999 and 2000, although the charges were not related to millions spent on crazy outfits.

He went on to successfully appeal the claim.

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