OK, before I totally forget, I went to see Colin Hay last Friday at the Variety Playhouse in Atlanta’s Little Five Points (kinda like lower Hight for you San Francisco folks). Hay, if you don’t know, is the lead singer from Men at Work—the ’80s band that had some MTV hits with “Down Under,” “Who Can It Be Now” and “Overkill.”
To be honest, I had mostly forgotten about Men at Work and their work, despite Hay’s occasional appearances on “Scrubs.” If something jogged my memory about this band, I would probably remember the lead singers’ lazy eye and wondering just exactly what a Vegemite sandwich is.
So, now that I’ve been dating an Aussie for a few months, I’m learning all kinds of things about Australia, including that I do not like Vegemite—which is a dark brown food paste made by Kraft from used brewers’ yeast extract, a by-product of beer manufacturing, and various vegetable and spices. In Australia, it’s fed to kids early on when they can’t complain about it. Since they are indoctrinated at an early age, they develop a taste for it.
But I digress.
Yeah, so Johanna wanted to see Hay, and I’m always game, so we went and had a great time.
The thing about a Colin Hay show that you need to know is that you’ll go to a concert and a comedy act breaks out. He spent probably as much time telling stories between songs as he did performing them. And unless you know this ahead of time, when he starts talking, everything sounds wrong. That’s not an Aussie accent. What is that? Why does he sound Scottish? Maybe it’s because he’s from Scotland.
Hay tells stories of his time growing up, his days of playing with Ringo Starr, his Men at Work days, his move to Los Angeles and “Scubs” success, his bouts with alcoholism and prostate cancer. It’s all hilarious.
He told one story about when a guy asked him to play the song about the goats. Not knowing what this man meant, the guy elaborated: You know, the one that goes: “. . . goats appear and fade away . . .” The man meant the line from “Overkill” that goes “. . .ghosts appear and fade away.” Which led to Hay telling a story about a goat with a contact high watching TV with Hay and his roommates. Funny stuff.
Anyway, should Hay make his way to your town, check him out. But stay away from the Vegemite.