Day Big Darrell gave a cheeky truckie the finger
This writer hopes there will be a guard of honour from Darrell Eastlake’s biker pals when he is dispatched to his good-humoured maker next Friday.
I had the dubious pleasure of being Big Darrell’s television publicist at Channel 9 back in the 1990s. I say “dubious” because Darrell wasn’t always easy to wrangle.
Fortunately for me, I had two things going for me.
Darrell, as it happened, was a breast man and as chromosomes and outrageous fortune would have it, I had some.
When I spoke, Darrell, who I liked immensely, would mostly pay attention.
“Darrell, I need you to do some interviews to promote State of Origin.” He would nod, and look at my chest. “Darrell, we need you to bring your leathers in on Wednesday so we can do some promotional shots for the 500cc Formula One GP,” he’d drop something, and ask me to pick it up. “D, if you’re going in the motorcycle charity ride this year, can you let me know so we can do some press,” he’d stick out an elbow as I walked away, hoping I might accidentally brush it.
Women over the age of 40 will understand this. It was the ’90s after-all and pre-Harvey Weinstein.
Eager to shock and entertain, he loved telling me the story of riding his Harley with a woman on the back and having semitrailer driver tailgating on a stretch of freeway, driving along parallel to his bike at high speed for a time, before dropping back behind him.
Annoyed and intimidated, Darrell started giving the truck driver the finger as he became angrier and angrier.
After maybe half a dozen times, Darrell wondered why the guy was smiling more broadly each time despite Darrell’s fierce gestured discouragement.
Finally looking over his shoulder, he noticed his female companion had been flashing her breasts at the truckie for kilometres.
That relationship would endure for many years.
Darrell, 75, died this week following a lengthy battle with Alzheimers and will be put to rest on Friday, at 10.30am, at Palmdale Crematorium, Ourimbah.
Here’s hoping Barry Sheene and a squad of grid girls are waiting for you.