Citizen Reporter
4 minute read
5 Feb 2020
3:30 pm

22 things to know about A-ha ahead of their SA tour

Citizen Reporter

What do Coldplay, Oasis, Robbie Williams and Princess Diana have in common? They are all big fans of A-ha.

Norwegian band A-ha. Picture: Supplied

Excitement is at an all-time high for fans as A-ha arrive in South Africa next week as part of their global ‘Hunting High and Low’ tour.

Fans know the legendary trio very well, so facts such as the three members are Morten Harket, Magne Furuholmen and Paul Waaktaar-Savoy and their debut album Hunting High and Low sold 11 million copies worldwide is not new info.

There are some facts that could be surprising, so get a closer look into who A-ha are and learn more about their music and the talented musicians who make up the trio.

Here are 22 things you never knew about A-ha:

1. Guy Berryman of Coldplay took the photographs for the album cover of Foot of the Mountain.

2. In 2006 A-ha were honoured with the Q Magazine Inspiration Award, previously won by artists including U2, Joe Strummer, The Cure, New Order and David Bowie.

A-ha in 1985. Picture: Tim Roney / Getty Images

3. A set of triplets born in the UK in the mid 80s were given the names Morten, Paul and Mags.

4. A-ha have the Guinness World Record for the largest paying audience: 196,000 at the Maracana football stadium, Rio De Janeiro in 1992. (George Michael, Prince and Guns N’ Roses managed to gather only 60,000).

5. Magne is a famous artist whose paintings were used for the Norwegian stamps and his artwork is on display at the Paul Stolper Gallery in London, alongside works by artists like Damien Hirst and Sir Peter Blake.

6. A-ha still own a sizeable part of the Amazon rainforest as part of a 1980’s reforestation/preservation scheme.

7. Oasis played a concert in Oslo, dedicating their song “Rock’n’Roll Star” to A-ha. In an interview with Norwegian newspaper VG, Liam Gallagher confesses he was an A-ha fan years ago and that they are “f***ing amazing”.

8. Oasis singer Noel Gallagher’s favourite A-ha single is “Train Of Thought”.

Oasis. Picture: Mike Clarke / AFP / Getty Images

9. A-ha were invited to Michael Jackson’s Neverland in 1985, but turned down the invitation.

10. The band imported the first electric car to Norway 25 years ago, and through repeated acts of civil disobedience they managed to obtain rights to free parking and no tolls for all electric cars in Norway.

11. They have won 8 MTV video awards, the same number of awards won by Eminem, Green Day and Michael Jackson.

12. Robbie Williams is another artist to cover A-ha. Expressing his appreciation of the band, “A-ha…they’re f***ing great”, he performed an acoustic version of “Hunting High And Low” onstage in November 2003.

‘Hunting High and Low’ by A-ha. Picture: Warner Bros. Records

13. Magne is the only member of A-ha who has ever been arrested in the UK.

14. In high school, Paul barely graduated due to poor attendance which led his teachers to nickname him ‘The Guest’.

15. During the latest Coldplay concert in Oslo, Magne and Chris Martin did an unplugged version of the A-ha classic “Hunting High And Low”.

16. “A-ha on the net” in 2001 from Oslo in Norway, was the 3rd most viewed webcast concert ever as 3.6 million hits were recorded, 500,000 with an average viewing time of 28 minutes. The average viewing time was the longest for a webcast concert. Only webcasts by Madonna and Paul McCartney recorded more hits.

17. Magne is left-handed and has broken his left arm three places – in three different skiing accidents.

A-ha perform at the Rått and Råde festival in Norway. Picture: Fredrik Refvem

18. Magne once worked as a barman at the Churchill Arms in Kensington for £1 an hour.

19. A-ha’s music video for the song, “I Wish I Cared” was the first fully web-based animated flash music video to be made available back in 2000.

20. The band performed “Let it Be” with Paul McCartney at the Nobel Peace Concert in 2001.

21. British band Keane thinks “Take On Me” is quite possibly the best pure pop single of all time”.

22. Princess Diana was a big A-ha fan.

Tickets are selling fast so get yours now to see them live in Cape Town on 14 February at the Green Point A Track and in Johannesburg on 15 February at Marks Park, Emmarentia.

Tickets are available from BreakOut Events

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