Tuesday, 11 March 2014

My first love.

I would like to tell you about my first love.

I was 9.

His name was John Farnham. Or Johnny Farnbottom as my dad used to rib me with.

When I was 9 I got my first very crappy walkman, and a cassette tape of Whispering Jack. I played it endlessly.

I remember when Johnny had a guest appearance on Home and Away. He probably had an album to flog. The storyline went that Sally got chickenpox and was unable to go to his concert. Of course he came to her, and sang her a version of "Help" by the beatles. I taped it (Beta cassette, thank you very much) and watched it repeatedly.

I remember I learned that his favourite sandwich was a ham sandwich. I wrote a letter to him, asking him round to our house for ham sandwiches. I don't think he got it.

He was a bit of a spunk, ol' Johnny. The mullet was de rigeur, and emulated by folks like Jason Donovan. But nobody could compare to my Johnny Farnbottom.

I think I lost interest in Johnny after the Age of Reason album. Not before I drove my parents crazy.
Yet, on reflection, my musical tastes as a 10 year old also were inclined towards men with killer mullets. Behold:

Years passed, Mullets went out of fashion, and my musical tastes evolved.
I still like 'em hirsute. And monstrously talented.

But I never forgot my first love.

Myself and a girlfriend are flying up to Sydney tomorrow to see John Farnham (and Lionel Richie but I am there to see my Johnny Farnbottom).

My 9 year old self is thrilled. My 35 year old self is pretty excited too. There was no money for concerts growing up...there is now. Though my Johnny looks a bit more like this nowadays

Perhaps he regrets doing away with the mullet.

Everyone says "I thought John Farnham had retired". He has, about 5 times. I think Glenn Wheatley gives him a nudge when they are a bit short of coin.

But I am glad he is back. He is still my Johnny Farnbottom, my first love.


  1. He really does seem impossibly so nice, too, as well as those good looks! I saw him when Glenn trotted him out to 'announce' his retirement...the first time. I went because I thought he was over and out!!! Enjoy the gig! What fun.

  2. Sooo funny! I must say there ain't many things more Aussie from an expats point of view that good ol' Johnny Farnham. One of my aunts used to bowl or something like that with him sometimes ( the link was bowling if I recall )- she was an amateur bowling champion. She says he was good fun but then lost in touch with him in the late 90's. Hope you have a ripper time xx

  3. This is excellent. Oh Johnny. Hope the concert was rad x