Big Joe Revisits the Artist from Down Under: Colin Hay
I have the best job in the world! I get to play great music and occasionally I get to talk with some of the best musicians, entertainers and sports figures.
One of my favorite interviews was when I got to talk to Men at Work's front man Colin Hay. He was performing solo at The Asbury Park Music and Film Festival three years ago.
He couldn’t have been nicer and to be honest some of the best discussions I had with him were when we were in a commercial break. He is a very interesting musician who has a tremendous passion for his craft. He continues to write and perform while remaining humble and thankful for the massive success that he and his band Men at Work achieved in the '80s.
He was born in Scotland, moved to Australia and has been here in the states for almost 30 years, in fact he became an American citizen in 2018. He lives in the suburbs of Los Angeles and has a residence in Melbourne.
What I loved about Colin is his almost shocking response to his initial success with Men at Work. He tells the story of one day he’s working a lousy job, singing with his band mates at night and then in 1980 they pool their money together and cut a record, on the AA1 side was a song Key Punch Operator and the other side was a starter version of Down Under, six months later they have a record deal with CBS records and they released their debut album Business as Usual with four huge hits.
The single Down Under hit the airwaves and spread through radio stations here in the states and through Great Britain. Because of the major radio airplay, off the band goes on a brutal schedule and the success of the band is meteoric. With that much success in the late 1980s Colin moves to California. He also gets a taste of the acting bug and ends up in big parts of many shows including repeat roles in the hit TV comedy Scrubs.
Colin credits his wife with not only being there during some personal struggles but also being there professionally and helping him produce albums and coordinate his solo career which has become very successful.
I thoroughly enjoyed my time with Colin and felt after our time that I’ve known him forever. Please enjoy my brief interview with him. If you get a chance when he’s touring again, take the time to catch his show. You’ll be glad you did.
The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 weekend host Big Joe Henry. Any opinions expressed are Big Joe’s own.