Aw. Gosh. Molly Meldrum is in hospital after falling from a ladder at his Richmond home. No! Bloody hell. Get well, Moll.
I love Molly. I know that he doesn’t know this, but Molly was kind of my bestie when I was a teenager. I grew up in the North West of WA. We only had the ABC on TV. Five days was A LONG TIME to wait for the repeat of last Sunday’s Countdown, followed by the premiere of the all new Countdown, the following night, (yes, on Sunday!)
We lived in a house we leased from Mount Newman Mining. It had cyclone shutters on the windows, linoleum floors and ceiling fans AS WELL AS air conditioning. There was an above ground pool in the back yard and hibiscus plants lined the front. There was one high school. No cinema, just a drive-in, and we were 1646km FROM a capital city. We arrived in ’79 and left in ’84. I arrived with pigtails and an immense collection of Barbie dolls and LEFT with a boyfriend who drove a yellow panel van and sobbed his goodbyes at the airport. Our Molly and Countdown were the backdrop to all of that. I would never have seen Kate Bush, David Bowie, David Sylvian, Paul Weller, Human League, Soft Cell, Talk Talk, The Cure…. I would just have had to busy myself with a Tiger Beat from the South Hedland Newsagency… and I had no idea who Kurt Cameron or John Stamos were at that point, although my Mum did buy me a Leif Garrett tape for my birthday once, my point being that MOLLY saved me from all that!
Admittedly, apart from Countdown we had the radio. There was only ONE decent radio station, as far as I was concerned. 6NW. I admired my Faberges and my fleecy vest with the letter G.R.E.G. emblazoned in felt letters across by back as I tuned in to Kasey Kasem… but it wasn’t the same as Molly. There was A LOT of Lionel Richie, for starters. And I did not really ‘get’ the American Top 40 Music, on the whole. I wanted to hear and see the bands that I saw in Dolly Magazine… Or the Sweet and Sour kids… or the gal from Starstruck. Only MOLLY could give me those things.
Yes… I know that Rock Arena was on telly too, but I did not understand the music on that show. It seemed so serious and theoretical. You had to stay up quite late to watch it and the set looked a bit like Mastermind. It froke me out. I thought that it was for people who chain smoked and drank whiskey. Countdown was more like Tarino, if you know what I mean… the kind with the push button closure. I wanted the Countdown audience dancing, Molly on the couch, Ashes to Ashes as the number one for the 85th week in a row. I wanted my mum to come in the room and tut-tut at Kate Bush’s Babooshka. I wanted our Molly.
Later, when I was a titch older, I watched Molly do a call out on Countdown for extras on a film shoot in Melbourne (I had escaped the Far NW, to Canberra (!) but was visiting my bestie, Yvonne at the time) We listened to Molly with an earnest determination. ‘Yes Molly’, we thought, ‘We are extras! We ARE!’ We headed to the MCG under Molly’s orders with mucho excitement, chattering teeth and New Romantic hairdos to find out what extras actually were. On arrival we were efficiently bundled into old trench coats, fragrant with moth ball aroma, and settled onto the ground amidst cardboard boxes and a roaring 44 gallon drum. The Box Office light box above us said ‘DAVID BOWIE CONCERT’. Michael Hutchence and Richard Lowenstein were to our right. A (slowly) speeding car and more big haired extras were to our left. We didn’t know WHERE we were, but we knew we were somewhere amazing. We were on the set of Dogs In Space. Unforgettable. Thanks Moll.
Later still, when I was even a teensy bit older, I was working at The Underground with my boyfriend (father of my eldest child!) and it was super late. Kylie and Jason had popped in and out earlier, and our Molly had been drinking in the cocktail bar for quite some time. We all shared a cab at knock off time, first to his place to drop him off and then homeward bound. I remember him being such a funny, personable bloke and could scarcely believe I’d gone from watching him talk to Simon Le Bon at 6.15 on a Sunday night on the box, to escorting him home. Aww. Get well, Molly.
Geesh, Molly. Get well. What’s with the ladder? Just ring us and we’ll come over and do that stuff for you… I know you don’t know this, but you were totally my OTHER bestie when I was growing up. I could not have navigated my teenage years without you and your doofus face and your silly giggling and your fan-boy ways and your dorky hat. I lub you Moll. Get well soon. We all love you. Maybe you didn’t know that. But you will now. DO get well.