Tag Archives: Ted Egan

September 1, part 2

Well, flashed up or not, Alice Springs still smells better than almost anywhere else on earth, at least at this time of year, when everything is in bloom. And there’s enough of the old Alice around for me to still have enjoyed the day.
Now I’m off to see the “famous Ted Egan Outback Show” at Chateau Hornsby.

(For those of you not familiar with Egan, I posted about him on September 6, 2013, along with a couple of videos. He’s quite an outback icon.)

Well, somehow, wires got crossed or messages got lost, and they didn’t pick me up at the hotel, so I called Chateau Hornsby, and the charming manager, Morgan, was horrified that no one had come to get me. So he called a taxi and had them bring me out at his expense and then bought me a drink. Problems do occur, but it’s nice to see them so cheerfully and thoroughly handled.

I had dinner with two delightful men from Sydney: Don, a butcher, and Don, a cooking teacher. Given my own fondness for topics culinary, I could hardly have been in better company. That, and they’ve traveled all over Australia by 4WD, and so we had many travel tales to share.

Then it was time for the show. Ted Egan walked out onto the wine cellar stage. I’m not certain why it surprised me that he was older–celebrities can age, I realize. Perhaps I expected him to be as ageless as the outback. But then he said “G’day,” and it was that same voice that I knew so well from the tapes I’d heard and/or bought during my first trip. It was wonderful. An empty beer carton was still his choice of “instrument” for accompanying himself.

Egan sang old favorites and new songs, told tales, and recited poems. Then he stood at the back door after the concert, shaking hands and chatting with everyone who had been there to hear him. Cheerful, friendly, down-to-earth, very Australian. I’d bought a couple of new tapes, and he happily signed them for me and thanked me for coming to hear him sing.

Great evening.

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Ted Egan

Among the first Australian originals to which foreign tourists are introduced is Ted Egan–at least if those tourists go on a tour that takes them anywhere in the Outback. Egan is a singer, songwriter, activist, author, politician, and hardcore enthusiast and promoter of the more remote regions of Australia, especially in the Northern Territory. While he has created documentaries about Australia and campaigned on behalf of the Aboriginal people, he is most often encountered in the form of a couple of humorous songs that are almost inevitably played by the coach captains who ferry visitors around the Outback — probably because one of the songs, titled “Our Coach Captain,” is about how how lucky we are that our current coach captain has let us come along for the ride.

When he sings, Egan most commonly “plays” an empty beer carton–which seems the perfect “instrument” in the rugged locales that are both backdrop and subject of his songs. I had heard many of Egan’s songs during my first trip to Australia, but it wasn’t until my second trip that I saw him perform live–just outside of Alice Springs.

For those of you who don’t know Egan, the following videos offer a brief introduction to an iconic Aussie. For those of you who do know him, it’s always fun to see him again.

The trailer for his TV series:

Singing along while playing on a beer carton: (Note: In this song, Egan mentions Jeannie Gunn, who was the author of the Australian classic “We of the Never Never,” and the Fizzer is one of the people in Jeannie’s life, as she learned to adapt to the Outback. VRD is Victoria River Downs, a large cattle station in a remote part of the Northern Territory.)

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