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Ross Wilson interview transcript - 2002

After a few years away from the spotlight Ross Wilson has re-launched his career. As well as touring with his band The Urban Legends he has released a best of album "Now Listen", and album of blues and rock & roll songs "Go Bongo Go Wild", and a county and western album called "Country and Wilson".

I caught up with him in late 2002 to discuss his busy year and the Long Way To The Top tour.

Lee-Roy: You've had a busy year, what's been happening?

Ross Wilson: Very very busy. Seems to be a slight but very upward gradient, and just sorta dashing to the finish line for the end of the year.

I've done a few big gigs: A Day On The Green, went to Canberra which was fantastic, Queenscliff. It's been a really good couple of weeks and the last few months have been terrific.

L-R: You had the Long Way To The Top tour, how was that?

RW: Long Way To The Top was very interesting to say the least. It was interesting being a bit player, you know, part of an ensemble, rather than playing for an hour and a half. Three songs per night.

L-R: Yes and you had to wait two hours before you got to play.

RW: I was right up near the end yes. Three and a half hour show. The highlights were on TV, watching it from that perspective was very interesting. I thought it turned out well.

L-R: Was it fun doing the tour with the guys from the 60's and 70's?

RW: It was a lot of fun, yes. I'm in my 50's and I was one of the youngest guys on it. Meeting Col Joy and Lonny Lee. Lonny Lee, he's really terrific. Real great people. Everyone was real supportive of each other. No backstabbing or "I wanna go on later in the bill" or anything like that. Everyone was having a real great time out and happy to be there. Playing to big crowds and having a ball.

L-R: Was there partying after the last show?

RW: I think there was some pretty savage partying going on. I missed it 'cause I had to get up early the next day.

Having said that there was some pretty savage partying going on in hotels all around the nation on that tour. Some of the blokes who had gone on to do other things and had re-formed they were going "Yeah I'm gonna do all that stuff I used to do".

L-R: They kept throwing TVs out the window and riding motorcycles through the hallways?

RW: The equivalent of. One of the last gigs in Melbourne they were staying at the Hilton, of course I didn't stay there because I live in Melbourne, there was a piano in the lobby and they were all singing along until five in the morning. They came back the next night expecting to do the same and the Hilton moved the grand piano and locked it up!

L-R: There's also talk that there might be another version of that, a Countdown one. Would Mondo Rock be involved in that?

RW: I don't know, but I think the Coundown tour is defiantly a good concept to go on. I think it could go up again as Long Way To The Top part 2 because the tour that we saw this year was based on the first three episodes of the documentary, which was 50's 60's and up to the mid 70's. So the secong half would pick up from there and go all through the 80's and the 80's seem to be extremely hot at the moment.

The Countdown one looks pretty good too because, weather it's a good thing or not, they're thinking of bringing some of the international acts that made it big because of Countdown. Blondie, Duran Duran, those kind of names have been thrown around. So that could be a good show as well as the all-Australian Long Way To The Top part 2.

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