Country music legend Lee Kernaghan reveals his diva demands.
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.