Aussie legend shares inspiration

ICONIC Australian John Williamson has released another fantastic album which will be available on January 27.

His storytelling awakens the senses. You not only visualise the land but you can taste the dust in your throat and feel a sense of the timelessness of the Australian bush.

Big Rigs talked to John about his inspiration.

Where do you get the inspiration to write your songs?

"Initially it's just the love of the country itself, it's been here obviously before everyone including the Aborigines. It's an amazing ancient country and when you get around as much as I do...

"I love getting around working, I'm not just into travelling for the sake of it I like to have something to do when I get around, and with the bash, we do the NSW bash as well, and we see a lot of it.

"There could be 70 different countries here and they'd all be different if you're into the trees and the birds and all the rest of it, which I am. Then you add the people to that and all these areas create different Aussie characters.

"I guess it's a bit what Banjo Patterson did and Henry Lawson. I am carrying on that tradition describing life in this wonderful material.

"I am a romantic, I am sitting looking over the Numinbah Valley now, and it inspires me so much I don't want to move from here really. So I guess I tend to write about that stuff wherever I go.

"I think what kicked it off initially when I was growing up there wasn't enough stuff written about our country. I was brought up with the black hills of Dakota and Oklahoma and all that stuff, which is fair enough, it's all beautiful country in America too, but this is my backyard and we have just as much to sing about.

With everything you have written do you have a favourite, one that is close to your heart?

"Probably Galleries of Big Galah's because that was like the transition from being on the land and heading off away from the land to do my business.

"There were lots of droughts and you go through a lot of ups and downs when you are on the land.

What was the most memorable moment in your career?

"Probably when I got 80,000 people to sing Waltzing Matilda at the Bledisloe Cup and we had a record win against the All Blacks. That will always mean a lot to me and I have wonderful photos of me drinking out of the Bledisloe Cup. It was also when Joe Roth signed my jersey and gave it to me, and subsequently we won from the Bledisloe and I followed the Wallabies around Wales when the World Cup was on, and that was a great year that I guess I will always brag to my grandkids about.

What does it mean to you having touched so many Australians' lives?

"It is very gratifying, that means more to me than so called stardom. I don't think the Aussie thing is about being a star.

"Where the gratification comes is when people come up and say I have named my daughter Sidey, because I wrote a song named Sidey.

Big Rigs

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