Thank God I’m not Australian, because if I was Australian I think what I am about to say might be considered treason.
I was watching the PBS fund-raising drive the other night. After a wonderful concert by David Broza, I was told to stay tuned for Olivia Newton John with the Australian Symphony Orchestra at the Sydney Opera House. Beautiful external footage of the Sydney Opera House followed. The whole thing was enough to get me to stick around with the kind of morbid curiosity I usually only feel while driving past a bad traffic accident.
Of course, Olivia Newton John is a national treasure in Australia, and unlike many other Australian national treasures both living and dead (crikey!) she is not a source of embarrassment to the Australian people. She has bravely survived serious illness, and I don’t think that there is a red-blooded American male who grew up in the late 1970s and early 1980s who, when thinking of Olivia, hasn’t contemplated the joys of a trip down under…..
BUT….if I could interject just a moment of reality into this pleasant fantasy, Olivia’s style of light pop-music is not the stuff symphony musicians stay up nights dreaming about (even if Olivia might be). The serious look on the french horn player’s face as he played “Have You Never Been Mellow?” almost caused me to become incontinent from laughter. I felt as if I should be sending a sympathy card to the Australian Symphony.
I had to turn it off. If I had witnessed them actually playing “Let’s Get Physical”, my psyche would never have survived.