GREAT excitement is now building in the Leaps residence. In less than three weeks time the ol’ boy’s musical is finally being workshopped in Australia.
Unfortunately, I won’t be able to attend personally, but my extremely talented co-writer is there and will oversee the whole thing, including a video, so I shall certainly be party to the next best thing. The presentation is semi-biographical and, along with my books, will we hope, finally put a cork in the mouths of those nasty individuals who think they have somehow gained a major scoop by gleefully ‘revealing’ that I once received a custodial sentence in the courts.
Something that has been well and truly in the public domain for the last 45 years! Somewhat ironical that my debut offering should be in a country founded by convicts!
I actually have some great memories from this glorious ‘down under’ country. My two record releases, which reached number one and number five respectively, allowed me to enjoy two separate tours of this magnificent land.
One of my funniest experiences occurred on one of these memorable visits. I had been in the country for only a short time, when I was invited on a local radio show. During the programme I stated, somewhat humorously, that I had been in the country over a week and hadn’t yet seen one kangaroo!
The next minute the phone rang in the studio. A broad, heavily-accented Australian voice, then proceeded to inform us that he was, ‘Rick the Roo Boy’ and could show me ‘all the kangaroos I wanted’. Midst much banter and laughter; a vague (as I thought) arrangement was made for us to meet at some time in the future.
Cut now to the hotel we were appearing in. The band and I had been given a suite and four separate bedrooms in the same hotel! At this point, I think the high jinks that subsequently ensued can be confidently left to everyone’s imagination!
A couple of weeks later, after a particularly marathon session, we had all collapsed at somewhere around 6am. As my extremely ‘weary’ head hit the pillow there came a loud banging on the door. Groaningly I hauled myself up and staggered to the ‘spyhole.’ I simply couldn’t believe my eyes.
Standing in the corridor was the manifestation of every ethnic cartoon character of an Aussie you could possibly imagine. A sinewy deeply suntanned figure, clad from head to foot in leather and tassels and topped by (and I kid you not) your classic Stetson surround by actual dangling corks! Gleefully enthusiastic he was holding up some sort of bewhiskered rat to the spyhole.
“Hi there,” he shouted, no doubt seeing my shadow. “I’m Rick the Roo Boy, are you ready?”
Oh my God! I simply couldn’t believe it. Was I ready? Frankly I have never been less ready for anything in my life. With a mouth as arid as an Arabian desert and a tongue of recently cured leather I somehow managed to croak out a mumbled request for him to ‘hold on’. And that’s where I’m afraid I have to leave it. Did I make it? Tune in next week. Meantime.
Keep the Faith.