Appearances during 2002 Australian Tour
Good Morning Australia
Friday, September 20, 2002
Here is an overview of DC's last appearance on his Australian promo tour on Good Morning Australia (GMA). But first some background - GMA is a live 2 - hour chat show that is on Mon-Fri 9.00-11.00 am. It is a mix of interviews, cooking, craft and entertainment segments and live infomercials. The best thing about GMA is the host Bert Newton. Bert is an icon Australian TV with a career that has spanned 4 decades and still going strong. He is a very witty man who uses his charm and decades of industry insight to get his guests to relax and laugh while sitting on the couch opposite him. He actually lets the guests talk and tell stories rather than making them move along.
Bert had been looking forward to having David on his show as he had worked with David on his first visit to Australia in '74. Bert was the host of the Logies (Australian television Awards) for many years and in 1974 David was invited to be one of the guest presenters while he was on tour in Melbourne. I remember so well watching it on TV. David chose to wear one of his stage costumes on the Logies - a white tux with rhinestone lapels and bow tie and rhinestone boots. David looked cute in it but the suit was a bit outrageous and Bert had a bit of fun with that. Gina Lolabrigita was also a presenter and that is where David first caught her attention. Gina was into photography at the time and asked David to pose for some photos (the fruit shots) and took some great shots of David on the stage during his tour. Anyhow.... I have to say that out of all the David interviews I have seen over the years, I don't think I have ever seen a host be as genuinely warm and gracious as Bert was to David. It was such a great way to finish off the David promo tour on a high note.
Here is what was said -
*The show starts with David already sitting on the couch. He is wearing a black ribbed knit jumper and black jeans. Bert says he is not sure if David realises that they could have finished up a lot closer. He plays some black and white footage of David and Bert together on the Logies in 1974. David is looking incredibly cute with his long shag and in his rhinestone suit. In the clip Bert is saying to David that the Southern Cross room would make a beautiful wedding reception venue. David says - is that a proposal of some sort? - Bert says well David if I change over you will be the first - David and the audience laughs (remember this is racy stuff for live TV in 1974). Over the footage you can hear David saying nice chops, referring to the long bushy sideburns Bert had back then. They return to present day David sitting on the couch and he looks delighted and in awe of the clip he has just seen probably for the first time. Bert welcomes David to the show and says that everyone's eyes lit up whenever he mentioned that he was going to be on the show.
* Bert says that David has a special association with Australia even though he has not been here for 28 years. David agrees and says that everyone on the '74 tour really looked forward to coming here and that he has very special memories. The fans were incredible and the media covered all the hysteria. What made it special is that they had time over the 3 weeks to play and meet so many people rather than jump form one city to another.
* Bert asks if he feels less pressure when he tours outside of the state. David says that it is a very good question. He says yes there is less pressure because he has been brought up through the media and feels he is under a microscope there (in America). As an American when he tours in a foreign country people consider it more special that you came over.
* David says he had 2 offers in the last decade to come to Australia but couldn't do it because of Broadway and Vegas commitments. He says he has toured the US for the first time in 10 years and has been to Britain where his CD has done so well- it's an exciting time. He says he didn't know how people would respond to him after being away for so long but says it's a wonderful thing to have such an outpouring of love and that people still give a damn about him.
* Bert goes back to the '74 visit and says that the only time he recalls that people came out in the thousand to see a star was in '64 for the Beatles and in '74 for David. He asks if he misses all the adulation. David says no and starts to say what he does miss but is distracted by the footage on his monitor of his airport arrival in Australia and all the fans running to get a view of the plane. He stops talking and says - wow this is interesting - let me just shut up and watch for a minute because I am fascinated too. They show a bit from his '74 press conference where his voice sounds really youthful and high and he jokes - why have you sped up my voice? Bert offers to give him a copy of the footage to take home because he can see that he has never seen it before. He asks David if it seems like another lifetime and he says yes, I just wish I had that hair. You can hear the crew laughing. He says how cool it was to see Bert and himself on the Logies and explains where the rhinestone suit came from. He says he had it made to do a camp sing and dance bit for the Puppy Song in his shows and he can't believe that he actually wore it as a tux that night.
* Bert says that is where he met Gina Lolabrigita who was also a presenter on the Logies. David says that she was photographing famous men in ways that they are not usually photographed and she told him that she wanted to take a lot of fruit and photograph him nude in the bed with the fruit. He says suggestively that she was a beautiful and lovely woman.
* Bert asks if he could talk about Jack. Bert says that Jack was one of the finest actors He has ever seen and recalls seeing him perform Cabaret in Vegas as well as seeing him on TV and in movies. He says that he was very underrated. David says yes he was and that Jack was very frustrated by that. He says that Jack was known as Shirley Jones' husband and then also as David's father and that it drove him insane. David says that Jack had a powerful and charismatic personality and that everyone that ever met him thought he was the greatest guy, but he was a very bad father. He said that Jack was too self-involved and a manic-depressive and alcoholic. He was incapable of showing love toward him and how he always said that he would come to his ball games but would never show up. All the other kids had their fathers there and he didn't. David says he worshiped him and was amazed at his talent as a singer, actor and said he was the quickest wit he had ever seen. Bert asks about Shirley and David says she was never his mother but she was his friend. He says she leaned on him in a way toward the end of the PF as their marriage was breaking up. He said that he has worked through it with therapy and with raising his own son. Bert thinks that David is getting choked up because he rubs his eyes and pauses but DC said he was ok and does not need the tissue that Bert is offering him but to keep it close by. He says that being Irish he is very good at using humour to hide emotion.
* Bert recalls that is ironic that Jack was made the WC Fields and Me TV movie just before he died and where his character John Barrymore dies - David says that John Barrymore was Jack's idol and it was a dream for Jack to play him. He says that Jack was a throwback to another generation. He says that Shirley told him a story about what happened when he was making that movie. He and Peter O'Toole were both Irish crazy guys together on the movie and they got so pissed drunk that they took off to Mexico and were lost for 4 days.
* Bert says that is wonderful for us to make the journey with David and that the new millennium will mean more to David than most because he still believes and has always felt that the best is yet to come for David. David is all awe shucks and says God bless you Bert and thankyou. Bert says that David will be back a little later to sing.
* A few segments later Bert is holding up the Then and Now CD and holds up a list of the November tour dates. He recommends that people book early as they will sell out. Bert introduces David with Candice and Lisa and they sing Cherish. Bert tries to pinch David on the bottom during the number making DC laugh. David is looking very trim and fit in his tight fitting black jumper and black jeans.
* When they finish Bert says how nice it has been to have David on the show. He says that people always talk about stars from the seventies and ask if they have still got 'it' - with him it's not a case of has he still got 'it'- he has got even more. He holds up the CD again and says - 'if you have watched the show this morning you would realise that apart from the talent that this guy has he is also great company to have around and I wish they were all like him'. They shake hands and thank each other again and that's it.
I know this is long but it was such a nice interview that I didn't want to miss anything out. In light of the negative publicity that has been in the papers I wanted to assure everyone that the promo tour was not as negative as these few reporters have made out. A lot of the Aussie press have been very kind to David and have shown him in the best light. I hope he gets a chance to be on GMA when he returns. I think he had a lot of fun and I bet his family will get a kick out of seeing the old footage they promised to give him to take home.