Coun­try mu­sic leg­end Lee Ker­naghan re­veals his diva de­mands.

Sunday Herald Sun - Stellar - - Contents - In­ter­view by AL­LEY PAS­COE

How many Akubras do you own? I need an­other one! Se­ri­ously. I’ve got two at home and my tour man­ager car­ries an emer­gency spare, so I’m only run­ning on three. I started wear­ing the hat back in 1992 when it wasn’t trendy to be coun­try. I thought, I am coun­try and I’m proud so I’m gonna get my­self the big­gest, black­est hat I can find. You and your hat will be in­ducted into the Coun­try Mu­sic Chan­nel (CMC) Hall of Fame later this month. Can you re­tire now? [Laughs] Well, I’m deeply hon­oured by the award, but that’s the only prob­lem with a Hall of Fame award; it’s the “All Over” award. When you get one, does that mean you’ve reached the end? Not yet. You’re about to em­bark on the Boys From The Bush 25th An­niver­sary Tour. What’s the dif­fer­ence be­tween your shows now com­pared to when you started out? They’re a lot big­ger. At my first show on the orig­i­nal Out­back Club tour in 1992, we had a crowd of 11 in Wol­lon­gong. So, it’s a big­ger pro­duc­tion that we take out now. I feel blessed to have such an in­cred­i­ble team; the best sound, lights and play­ers in the world. Do you have more diva de­mands now? Yeah, the rider is big­ger than it used to be. A few years ago we dis­cov­ered Fire­ball, a cin­na­mon whiskey, and that’s be­come a sta­ple part of the back­stage rider. It’s a tra­di­tion be­fore I go out on­stage with The Wolfe Broth­ers; we will get in a hud­dle and down a Fire­ball or two. It’s good on the vo­cal cords, so it’s strictly for medic­i­nal pur­poses… What’s the wildest show you’ve ever played? The Bal­larat Town Hall. We had a song at the time called “Skinny Dip­pin’” that was en­cour­ag­ing a lot of girls to rip their tops off, which I didn’t mind at all. We had some of that [at the show], a ma­jor stage in­va­sion and a mosh pit. We were banned from Bal­larat! I think we were banned from all coun­cil venues for a pe­riod of five years. “Boys From The Bush” is the song played on the juke­box at the end of a big night at the pub. Do you en­joy hear­ing drunk ren­di­tions? Well that’s what I was do­ing when I wrote the song. I just love it in all its forms. It changed my life. Prior to its re­lease, I was fac­ing the end of my mu­sic ca­reer and that was the one that kicked it back into gear. It’s given me the amaz­ing ride I’ve had over the past 25 years. You met your wife, Robby, when she was a sup­port act in 1997. Which song de­fines your re­la­tion­ship? It’s a song I’ve never re­leased, but I wrote it for her a week af­ter we met and called it “Found You Again”. Robby has been such a great mate, mother, lover and col­lab­o­ra­tor over the past 20 years. You named your sons Rock and Jet. Why? I chose cool names to give them the edge when they’re chas­ing girls. You’re turn­ing 53 this year. What’s some­thing we don’t know about you? This was a good in­ter­view un­til you re­minded me of that [laughs]. Some­thing peo­ple don’t know is I have my own way of ty­ing my shoelaces. I never learnt the right way to tie them. How often do you get mis­taken for Adam Har­vey? Not so often Adam, but I get called Troy [Cas­sar-da­ley] a lot. I re­mem­ber get­ting in a cab in Mackay and the taxi driver said, “Aren’t you that singer Kee Ler­naghan?”

``I STARTED WEAR­ING THE HAT WHEN IT WASN´T TRENDY TO BE COUN­TRY´´

The 7th An­nual CMC Mu­sic Awards will air 8.30pm, March 23, on Fox­tel’s CMC; coun­try­mu­s­ic­cha­n­nel.com.au.

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