NEVER GONNA GIVE IT UP
Rick Astley is still rolling on, thanks to one of the most viral memes in the internet’s brief history and the not-so-guilty pleasure of his fans.
But as he returns to Australia after a successful 2012 tour, the Never Gonna Give You Up singer says it is not only his own music that has brought him back to the concert stage.
Astley reveals he also indulges his own guilty pleasure, playing in a rock covers band called The Luddites. He calls it his “mid-life crisis” band.
“We play Sex Pistols and the Clash, stuff we learned as kids, to The Killers or Biffy Clyro,” he says. “It’s a fun thing.”
It might surprise some, but Astley started on the drums before he was a frontman.
“I fell into singing because I started to write songs and I showed them to the band and they said ‘OK, bighead, you sing them then’,” he says.
It was that band that performed in front of Pete Waterman, of Stock Aitken Waterman. But the hit-makers were only interested in one man. Sure enough Never Gonna Give You Up was an international hit and success followed.
Then, in 1993, he gave it all up. Astley was 27, with three hit albums and 40 million record sales when he quit.
“I just got to a point in my life where I wasn’t really enjoying it,” Astley says. “I became a father and I wanted to be at home.”
Astley had made enough money in the 1980s he was able to devote a decade to raising his daughter Emilie, his only child with his wife, Danish producer Lene Bausager.
He did get back on stage and he enjoyed it.
Then a little thing called Rickrolling happened. Someone sent a link to a video which, instead of playing the expected clip, switched to Astley’s song Never Gonna Give You Up. It was a “bait and switch” joke that became a phenomenon.
Singer Rick Astley plays the Coast this weekend.