Tuesday, 6 October 2015


If you saw the AFL Grand Final here in the land of Oz last weekend then you would have seen a one sided match, unfortunately it happens many times in the last game of the year. However if you saw the pre match entertainment you would have seen a favourite performer of mine hit the stage and tear it apart.
Bryan Adams was in a word, brilliant, always loved the great man. From a young age he was a voice that I could put many steps locally to whether they were placed rightly or wrongly. When I was in high school I remember buying the 'Reckless' tape, yes a tape, those were the good old days.
Along with the 'Hysteria' Def Leppard tape those two got an absolute pounding down at the local tennis club while I trained with a mate when we should have been at school. I used to sneak a tape recorder into my school bag to play my favourite tunes while playing tennis. Possibly a strange way of training but music has always motivated me.
So to Bryan Adams and to Ellie Goulding, chalk and cheese of the music industry. Bryan has never relied on anything except his old six string, his well tuned band and many, many years of experience to deliver a great performance. Ellie Goulding on the other hand was relying on a rather finely tuned backing vocal sound production that unfortunately was not timed to perfection and since that day she has received some rather bad press.
Ellie went in with a rehearsed game plan, Bryan simply made it up as he went along, it's what Bryan does best, he's a genius. I remember seeing him live in Perth twenty something years ago and I was within several metres of the stage when he was having a chat to his lead guitarist.
You could plainly see Bryan say to his main man "Hey Yeah " ! They then ripped into a version of 'Wild Thing'. I vividly remember the media write up a couple of days later and even they mentioned the 'impromptu' version of that particular song.
Do you remember the old Andre Agassi television advertisement where he famously said "Image is everything" ? Oh to have that time back Andre. He spoke of it in his book and he wasn't proud of it but he was listening to the wrong people who were doing their utmost best to make a squillion out of him. He didn't have to win at tennis, he was a rock star complete with the hair, he just had to look good, they knew it, he knew it, yet in the end he simply had to find a way to win without the image, and he eventually did.
Bryan Adams has never had an image, he just sounds bloody good whereas someone like Ellie needs all the bells and whistles to go with a performance, perhaps a sign of the times. There are no Andre Agassi's around now days perhaps with the exception of Nick Kyrgios who owns a hair cut completely opposite to Andre's yet he is a walking billboard for tennis. Nick eventually however will have to start winning, I am sure he will.
There have been many instances in many circles of life where image seems to take over from substance. Remember 'Milli Vanilli' ? There's your perfect example of all hype, no substance. Those guys just had to look good to make a buck whereas when the 'real voices' released a song it didn't chart because they did not fit the image 'required' to sell a record. Interesting.
Tennis is a sport that you cannot possibly win by image alone, you have to own some substance to what you do. It's ok to have great looking shots, a great looking tennis bag that is big enough to sleep in, shiny shoes and a glistening racket yet it will account for nothing if you can't deliver the goods on court. You will simply be branded an image guy like a young Andre Agassi once was. 
Ellie Goulding tried the old 'Image is everything' performance complete with magical backing vocals from a sound machine yet Bryan turned up with a guitar, a band, no image to write home about and gave a performance that should be noted by the image conscious music world.
It's one thing to look good, it's another to be able to deliver the goods.
Experience, you can't beat it........

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