Do you remember your musical emancipation from your parents? The first time you spent your pocket money on a cassette, or vinyl single with no input from anyone else?
I do, vividly.
Up until the age of eight, the music I listened to was dictated by my parents. I had a steady diet of The Eagles, Rod Stewart, Tower of Power, The Seekers, Lionel Richie, Stevie Wonder, George Benson and the entire Blues Brothers soundtrack – all of which was fine, however none of it belonged to me. Then a little album called “Whispering Jack” came into my life.
I’ll let you take a moment.
I’ll let the waves of emotional emotion sweep over you.
I’ll let you imagine J.F’s feathery light wispy blonde hair cascading over his ears (which he always liked to hide the top of as he was self-conscious about them. Only the hard-core fans know that bit of trivia.) I loved the album cover because it had a large black and white picture of JF whispering into someone’s ear, I liked to imagine what he might be saying.
“Can you see my ears at this angle?”
“You have an ear wax build up.”
“How great is my acid wash leather jacket with severe shoulders and fringing.”
The best part about it was it had all the words to all the songs printed on the inside of the cover, I could sing along straight away. Of course I learned every word by heart but that took at least a week.
The year: 1987.
The venue: The Melbourne Sports and Entertainment centre.
The concert: Whispering Jack.
The artist: John Farnham (Don’t call him Jonny ‘kay guys, he doesn’t like it, just like he hates performing Sadie the cleaning lady.)
This was my very first concert, it completely changed my life. I sat in the crowd at the Melbourne Sports and Entertainment centre wearing my best rara skirt, a high crimped ponytail sat upon my head and I had on a killer pair of white cowboy boots with fringing and studs on them. I just remember feeling as though I would burst with excitement, I couldn’t believe that I would be in the same room, breathing the same air as my hero John Farnham.