Longtime ABBA Session Guitarist Lasse Wellander Has Died

Longtime ABBA Session Guitarist Lasse Wellander Has Died

ABBA pays tribute to their longtime guitarist Lasse Wellander who has died at the age of 70.

Lasse Wellander, ABBA’s longtime guitarist who played on the band’s biggest albums, has died aged 70 “surrounded by his loved ones” following a battle with cancer.

The band’s members, Björn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson, Agnetha Fältskog, and Anni-Frid Lyngstad, released a statement to pay tribute to their fellow recording musician and touring partner.

“Lasse was a dear friend, a fun guy, and a superb guitarist. The importance of his creative input in the recording studio, as well as his rock-solid guitar work on stage was immense,” the band says.

“We mourn his tragic and premature death and remember the kind words, the sense of humor, the smiling face, (and) the musical brilliance of the man who played such an integral role in the ABBA story. He will be deeply missed and never forgotten.”

In a post on Wellander’s Facebook page, his family revealed that the musician had died after his cancer continued to spread. Their tribute was translated from Swedish by The Guardian:

“You were an amazing musician and humble as few, but above all, you were a wonderful husband, father, brother, uncle, and grandfather. Kind, safe, caring, loving, and so much more that cannot be described in words.”

Raised in the small village of Skrikarhyttan, Sweden, Lasse Wellander recorded his first session with ABBA in October 1974 and continued to play on the members’ respective solo albums after the group’s split. Most recently, he played on ABBA’s comeback album, Voyage.

“When I was doing my guitar tracks, it felt like the old days,” he said shortly before the album’s release in 2021. “The only difference was that there was some pre-production this time around, which is very usual nowadays. The girls’ voices sound as great as ever.”

Wellander received the Albin Hagström Memorial Award from the Royal Swedish Academy of Music in 2005. In 2018 the Swedish Musicians’ Union awarded him the prestigious Special Prize for his work as a session musician.

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