Jeparit surprised by world renowned musician, actor and youth advocate
Word was out that the Jeparit community ‘Drought Kicker’ event, held over the weekend, was to host an international celebrity to appear at the event, at Menzie Square.
After a few phone calls by one of the organisers, Jeparit’s Liz Chivell was talking to one of Australia’s iconic performers on the phone about coming to Jeparit.
Gary “Angry” Anderson AM, surprised 150 district people by turning up out of the blue, to meet at the square for a Jeparit community get-together organised for the community, after enduring a long period of drought over the last few years.
Hindmarsh Shire Council Mayor, Deb Nelson welcomed ‘Angry’ to Hindmarsh to his surprise. “What’s Hindmarsh? I thought I was in Jeparit.” responded ‘Angry’.
Liz Chivell and Sharon Reilly came up with the idea of inviting a celebrity to their event.
Mrs Reilly said, “Liz was the one who secured the appearance of Angry, who was a friend of a friend, of a friend.”
Ms Chivell said, “I had made a phone call to see if I could get a celebrity to come to Jeparit. After working my way through a list of names such as Jimmy Barnes and John Farnham, It was finally suggested to give Angry Anderson a call. He said he would come then cancelled, because of a work commitment that came up. I was blown away when he rang me again to say his gig for the weekend had been called off and he would be available.”
Mr Anderson said, ”I live in Sydney, but I am a Melbournian. I grew up in Pascoe Vale with my devout Catholic mum, where my mother and I suffered severe domestic violence when I was growing up, and we eventually moved away from that environment.”
“Mum is still in Melbourne but is now suffering from dementia. Because I had the weekend off, I decided to go to Melbourne to see Mum. Then I considered, maybe I can come to Jeparit as well,” he said.
“Mum always said to me, that just because you’re famous does not mean you can put aside your principles. She tells me that when she see me on the TV that I am still living by those principles and I always remember her saying that to me.”
“Coming here to Jeparit, is about those principles Mum taught me. Be prepared to do what you can for others,” he said.
“In his inimitable style Mr Anderson said, “I got this phone call from Liz to invite me to join the community for this event. Work commitments came up and I was not able to attend. Beside where the f@#$ is Jeparit.”
“I told Liz I live in Sydney and have no idea how to get to Jeparit, But I am sure I can find a my way there somehow.
“When I found out my work gig was cancelled this weekend I decided I will go to Melbourne to see mum in the Nursing Home. I then thought I could go to Jeparit as well, so I got onto the phone to Liz, and here I am, “ said Mr Anderson.
Angry was not at the event to perform, but just to meet the locals who have had a tough run through the drought.
Mr Anderson said, “These people are so amazing, They endure everything life can throw at them, and they stand right back up again, ready for the next thing to stand in there way.”
Mrs Reilly and Ms Chivell were the only two who were privy as to whom the celebrity was going to be. Everyone was waiting but had no idea who to expect, and when he was spotted coming into town, it then became somewhat of a task for the ladies to keep it all secret.
The 69 year old Mr Anderson walked into Menzies Square casually like one of the locals with his friend Lea Rose and walked up to a group and shook hands. It was not long before the smartphones came out for the selfies with the crowd eager to get their photo taken with him.
Angry Anderson from 1971 to 1973 formed a Melbourne band, ‘Peace Power and Purity’ and later in 1976 joined the Sydney band ‘Rose Tattoo’.
The uncharacteristic ballad “Suddenly” from the album, Beats from a Single Drum, was used as the wedding theme for the Neighbours episode in which the popular characters Scott Robinson and Charlene Mitchell were married, suddenly made number three on the UK Charts
As an actor he debuted in a minor role in Bullamakanka, but in 1984 went on to roles such as Beyond Thunderdome in 1985. His list of achievements include acting as Lenin in the musical, “Rasputin”, at the State Theatre in Sydney.
He was also a well known face on Australian television often appearing on the Midday Show, as well as acting in several television series.
From 1994, Anderson has used his contacts in the media to organise a ‘Challenge’ where a particular charity project was completed with support of community and business groups. Examples of these challenges included constructing a playground for handicapped children within 48 hours, assisting drought affected farmers with reserve feed for their stock, organising Christmas presents for socially and economically disadvantaged children, building two respite units for people living with, and affected by HIV AIDS and delivering artificial limbs for Cambodian land-mine victims.
Anderson was awarded an Order Of Australia in 1993 while in 2006, Rose Tattoo were inducted into the Australian Recording Industry Association ‘ARIA’ Hall of Fame.
The barbeque and entertainment was underwritten by Hindmarsh Shire Council and the State Government Drought Relief Fund. Angry Anderson appeared at the event as a service to the community and at no charge.