For a brief moment in the mid 1980s, when huge crowds packed Australian sporting stadiums for 50-over cricket matches, signs reading “Like Wow – Wipeout!” began appearing in the outer, usually when a six sailed into the crowd. It was a reference to the hit song by the Hoodoo Gurus. Singer Dave Faulkner told an interviewer that he was touched, because Australia’s real rock stars were, in his view, our sporting heroes.
Paul Kelly, a longtime admirer of Faulkner, would agree. On his new album People – part of an ongoing series of thematic compilations of the singer-songwriter’s work – there are no less than four songs about athletes: Every Day My Mother’s Voice tells the story of Indigenous AFL champion Adam Goodes; Every Step Of The Way honours his peer Eddie Betts; and there are odes to cricketers Shane Warne and Don Bradman.
Kelly, a genuine sporting tragic, admits that he can get as starstruck meeting athletes just as others might get starstruck by musicians. Once, he spied tennis champion Venus Williams at Prahran pool in Melbourne. “She was sitting on a bench and it was like a goddess had come down from heaven and was just sitting among the mortals for a while,” he says.… Read more..