DIARY - 18 OCTOBER 2007 - ADAM HARVEY INTERVIEW
A FEW OF ADAM'S INSPIRATIONS
FRED, VICTOR AND KEV BLOODY WILSON
known hurt and pain/ seen things like I hope we never see again/ I've
been bought and sold/ I've learnt not to believe most of what I've been
told." Someone Else's Dream - Adam Harvey-Rod McCormack
Harvey had no shortage of heroes to inspire seventh album I'm Doing
The six-time Golden Guitar winner, born in the Geelong suburb of Leopold,
reached for the altruism of deceased lifesavers Fred Hollows and Victor
"I have great admiration for the late Fred Hollows and Victor
Chang," Harvey, 32 and father of two sons, told Nu Country TV.
"They're inspirational people. We actually wrote Someone Else's
Dream first, and then decided to build the whole album around
It's really important to be true to yourself. Let's face it, the people
who change the world - people like Victor Chang and Fred Hollows -
are those who are prepared to step out there on their own and do what
they believe in, instead of following the pack."
Harvey spoke to Nu Country shortly after his CD on Sony-BMG and featuring
eight original songs - topped ARIA country charts on debut.
co-writers included long time producer Rod McCormack on six songs, Phil
Buckle, Rick Price, Ossie Clarke and Kev Bloody Wilson.
Harvey tried his hand at a little social comment after being frustrated
by politicians hijacking his sons TV diet.
"After the kids watch Play School and cartoons the ABC goes to Parliament
House and you see people who aren't doing anything much for anyone,"
"It's like a kindergarten gone wrong in there. Then there are these
other everyday people out there doing wonderful things. From then we decided
to write all positive songs."
You can see the fruits of Harvey's labour in Victoria this weekend.
Harvey showcases his original songs at Rochford Winery in Yarra Valley
on Saturday October 20 from 1 pm with country king Lee Kernaghan, Steve
Forde, Michael Carr, Morgan Evans and Briana Lee.
Admission - $65 - Children under 12 free.
Bookings - www.rochfordwines.com
And on Sunday Harvey returns to his hometown and performs at the Ford
Theatre at the Geelong Performing Arts Centre.
Bookings (03) 52251200
AND KEV ON A BUS IN TIPPERARY
genie in the bottom of the Jim Beam bottle/ made me do what I didn't want
to do/ I made a wish with the genie but the genie was a meanie/ and he
didn't make my dream come true." - Genie In The Bottle - Adam
Harvey-Kevin B Wilson
Not on that
bill is Kalgoorlie born sparkie-long time mock shock trooper Kev Bloody
Wilson who toured the outback with traditional country pioneers Rick &
Thel as a youngster.
That was before he turned his R Rated comedy into a rock solid gold mine
on tours with former Asleep At The Wheel pedal steel guitarist and latter
day ABC radio host Lucky Oceans as his co-pilot.
"Kev loves country music," family man Harvey revealed.
"He wanted me to be on the road with him in Ireland. He said it would
be great fun. We went over and were driving through Tipperary when I told
him I had this idea for a song. He joked 'it's a long way' and I said
'yeah that's been done.' I said the genie in the bottom of the Jim Beam
bottle made me do it, what I didn't want to do. It came up really well.
Kev's really proud of it. It took about half an hour - it just rolled
out and wrote itself. He really wants to be recognised as a really serious
country songwriter as opposed to the R rated stuff he's best known for.
We toured over there for two weeks - both north and south. It's a beautiful
place - he works solo with no band. I used to get up in the middle of
his show and do songs like Beauty's In The Eye of The Beer Holder and
The House That Jack Built - songs like that. I was surprised they loved
it so much but country's roots come from Ireland."
Kev is no stranger to country music with guest hosting roles on Nu Country
FM in our radio days and daughter T J Dennis releasing a brace of country
And, then there was the infamous concert at Kingston Rock in St Kilda
in the eighties when I recognised a sweet young thang from the Vice Squad
whose usual brief was to flash her briefs at trawling sex procurers in
nearby streets in sting operations.
On this occasion I sprung her with male colleagues in the festive audience
and Kev dedicated his show to "Policewoman Jenny Keene from the Vice
The importance of the occasion led to impotence when the slender brunette
gendarme pushed the pause button - instead of play - on her concealed
tape recorder in her hand bag and was caught short of evidence for the
But I digress.
OUTBACK DREAM TIME
summers gone, a gentle people came to understand/ they gathered food and
then they moved on."
like Wilson, has long followed his dreams into outback touring with
his band - now a fertile song font.
So it was no surprise that a trip to Port Hedland with his band -
featuring indigenous bassist Geoff Simpson - inspired his new song
"The whole idea started because in the past I was frightened
to make many political statements for fear of upsetting people,"
"Everyone has their own opinion - the last thing I want to do
is upset someone who might say 'I like Adam Harvey but I'm not buying
that album because he stands for this or he stands for that.' But
I had a really good feeling about Walls. Sometimes you have
these feelings inside you that need to be said. The Aboriginals originally
had no walls - they roamed where they liked and then we arrived. I
learn so much about their culture when we play out west."
And it was the Port Hedland festival that drove the message home for
we play in Western Australia we always get a good roll-up of indigenous
fans. We did a festival for the Ninji Ninji tribe up in Port Hedland that
was great. It's not so much in the cities. But my bass player Geoff Simpson
has been with me for 10 years.
He's Aboriginal - he grew up at Walgett in far western NSW. So we did
a gig for the town of Walgett - he now lives in Wagga. We spend a lot
of time in the car and he talks about his culture - he does a lot of work
with the Aboriginal kids in trouble. He appears in court with them. Some
people try to force their opinion down your throat but he's definitely
not like that. With him you can have a really good conversation and get
both sides. He works for the Water Board when he's not on the road with
me and he does a lot of work with the kids who are in trouble. He keeps
them out of trouble and out of bloody prison. Simmo goes to the court
with them and represents them in court and takes them under his wing.
Simmo has been with me for about 10 years and we're like family."
GREAT WALL OF CHINA
"Another time, another place/ a wall that separates east from west/
it took years before we could embrace/ the things we all knew were for
the best." - Walls.
touring - Canada, Ireland, the U.S. and China - also exposed him to other
The singer performed in China in 2005 as a representative for Australian
Country Music and Tamworth City Council.
He performed at the Chaoyang Pop Music Festival to an audience of over
300,000. The festival was held in the Chaoyang district of Beijing - a
province of about three million of Beijing's population of 14 million.
Adam spent his day off on a bus trip to the Great Wall, learning to sing
a favourite local song Nanewan with the tour guide during the half-day
But the singer has no plans for a return to promote his CDS in the Chinese
"I'm unlikely to do a return tour there," Harvey confided.
"There's no record industry there. The illegal downloading is so
bad. Your albums are on net before you release them. That's to the extreme
- there is no way you can make a living there out of CD sales. I'm more
likely to go back to show our kids around but there's only so much Chinese
food you can eat."
But there was fertile fodder for song.
"Its sad when poverty is so bad and pollution just terrible and people
trying to sell you their kids and stuff on the street," Harvey recalled.
"It was a great experience but it really was sad. We played at the
festival four times in a week. I spoke the local lingo and learned to
sing in Mandarin. The more you travel the more you appreciate living here
- we've good it good at home."
PATRIARCH BEATS DEATH IN GEELONG
all living way too fast/ in a hurry going nowhere/ no candle burning
at both ends ever lasts." - Way Too Fast - Adam Harvey-Rod
so good at home was a serious illness that almost claimed Harvey's
dad Len, 62 and a rigger at Alcoa in Geelong for more than 20 years.
The Harvey patriarch spent three months in the Geelong Hospital
intensive care ward after knee surgery led to septicaemia.
It was the week that Adam spent in hospital with Len that inspired
Way Too Fast.
"Dad was really sick and spent about 3 months in intensive
care," Harvey revealed.
doctors rang and said you should come down - we don't know whether or
not he's going to pull out of it. I spent a week in hospital with him
talking and he was telling me one of his biggest regrets was he wished
he could have spent more time with us kids growing up. He said do me a
favour - make sure you make the most of every day and not be in such of
Everyone's in such a hurry but I don't know where in the hell we're gonna
go - I think I'm about to find out."
Harvey said his father reflected on his short life after suffering an
infection that shut down his organs and threatened to kill him.
But the Harvey patriarch recovered in time to celebrate his team's first
premiership in 44 years.
"He pulled through - the old bugger," Harvey confided.
"He's OK now - fighting fit, back at work, going strong but it was
a big three months out of his life."
Way Too Fast is a sibling song of sorts to the genetic wisdom of
A Bigger Plan where the third writer is Rick Price.
suits go well with new leather car seats/ and believing in all work and
no play/ spending half your life in traffic jams on city streets/ chasing
a dream while the real thing slips away." - I'm Doing Alright
- Adam Harvey-Phil Buckle
Harvey's fame has grown so much during the last couple of years that the
American CMA awarded him the Global Country Artist award last year.
Adam and other young peers attracted huge crowds when they represented
Australia during the CMA Festival and other venues.
The singer, who performed at the Grand Ole Opry at Opryland on previous
trips, also played the Opry's mother church - the historic Ryman Auditorium
- this year.
Equally importantly he threw his hat in the ring by meeting bosses of
the Nashville division of SONY-BMG.
Hopefully, he won't suffer the same fate of expatriate Newcastle novitiate
who was dumped by the same label after releasing a quartet of singles
from her two stillborn albums produced by hit writer and gun producer
Keith Stegall, mentor Bill Chambers and Brett Beavers.
Beavers, producer of Dierks Bentley and a prolific writer, helmed the
singer's second U.S. album but it's only single was rejected by radio.
"We went over and met the big guns from Sony - Joe Galante and company,"
"American release depends on what they think of album and whether
they want to re-record it over there. It's one of those things. Now I'm
with Sony I've got much more chance in that market that when I was in
ABC who don't have a label there. I want to go back to Canada, New Zealand
and Ireland and tour. It will be a big help if Sony releases the album
in those countries."
up, a little town/ trouble never out of view/ and always there to step
in/ and you said that's just what friends do - You'd Do The Same For
Me - Adam Harvey - Rod McCormack-Ossie Clark
profile may be low on the corporate commercial radio chains here in
his homeland but he's augmenting his TV and touring profile with another
Renowned NSW artist Peter Smeeth - a finalist in numerous high-profile
competitions including Doug Moran National Portrait Prize and the
Archibald Salon Des Refuses -honoured him with a portrait.
"It was something I wasn't really sure of at first he said trust
me," Harvey confided.
"He put a couple of speakers behind the painting and mounted
them into the painting.He had me playing acoustically and vocally
so he heard what I sounded like.
That's the good news. But my kids didn't want it - no-one wants a
picture of the old man hanging up at home. So it's in the local hall
on the Central coast with a lot of other pictures. As much as mum
would like it she hasn't made a bid to liberate it to home in Geelong."
CLARK AND BILLY YATES COVERS
Harvey and producer McCormack have written prolifically with songsmiths
diverse as David Lee Murphy, Cornell Hurd and Kimmie Rhodes on their U.S.
trips this time the originals were all penned here.
But Harvey covered former writing partner Billy Yates song Flowers
that appeared on the singer's 1997 debut disc.
Yates, whose many hits included George Jones version of Choices, Walls
Can Fall and I Don't Need You Rockin Chair, and fellow Texan
George Strait's version of My Infinite Love, re-released the song
on his new album Favourites.
"It was also covered by another singer but the album was never released,"
Harvey said of the song.
"I only had Billy's original version. I had it for five years. Billy
and I are great friends - I have written songs with him."
Yates, 40, grew up in Southern Missouri near the Ozarks in Doniphan -
a little town of 1,500 people.
He followed his barber father's tonsorial and musical career and moved
to Nashville in 1987 as a songwriter.
Yates released his self-titled debut disc on indie label Almo before it
went belly-up and he signed with Harvey's new label Sony who released
two singles but no album.
Yates released 2001 album If I Could Go Back with strident songs
Too Country And Proud of It in 2001 and Country in 2003
- both on his M.O.D. label - with bluegrass song Smokin' Grass.
Since then his M.O.D albums have been Anywhere But Nashville 2004,
Harmony Man 2005 and Favourites - a 2006 compilation.
Harvey also covered Texan troubadour Guy Clark's vintage hit Heartbroke.
"I'm a huge fan of Guy,' Harvey said of the oft covered song that
also featured on a Nitty Gritty Dirt Band album.
"I liked Guy's original and I also heard Ricky Skaggs version."
Ironically, the title track entrée is reprised as the finale as
a hidden song of sorts as Nothing Like A Party At The Harveys On A
HERE for a previous feature on Adam from the Diary on February 6, 2005.
CLICK HERE for another feature
on Adam from the Diary on January 14, 2002.
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