The caffeinated excess of recent Tuesdays was replaced with a hard-earned Coopers Pale Ale pre-Pines tonight. I don’t encourage this and it’s not often I booze before broadcasting, but I had to take the edge off. Why? Dolly Parton has committed to touring Australia next year and I’ve become a living, breathing hype machine. Will she sign my ‘Dolly’ dolly? Will she guest program In The Pines? Is there any chance she’ll join Kenny Rogers at the Opera House? I’ve been so overwhelmed with excitement this past 24 hours I’m surprised I have been able to make it around without wheelchair assistance.
Oh, DOLLY! I can’t recall the fateful day that I became a full-blown fan. Those who know me too well might make the assumption that the transition occurred sometime around 1995, when my Ma’s announcement of a twin pregnancy meant our ever-expanding family was going to make it seven children just in time to coincide with my ever-expanding bust reaching “best cans in Year 8” status. But I’m pretty sure I didn’t fall for Dolly (the woman, the myth, the legend) until almost a decade later. 2005.
That year, I was living in a one bedroom half-house in Erskineville and in the early stages of co-habitation with my then boyfriend, Daz. I was a student. He was a musician. Funds were low. Hence the half-house, which we rented from a weird old German dude named Rolf, who we referred to in hushed tones as “the Creepinator”. It was a strange living arrangement, made stranger still by the fact that the only thing keeping Daz and I together was a mutual love of op-shopping and Melbourne Bitter.
With the landlord driving us crazy and the house beginning to resemble a cross between a crack-den and the world’s greatest thrift store, it was clear that we needed something to bring us together before we tore each other apart. And we found it. On youtube. A lover’s theme sung by a busty blonde and a bearded bloke who’d clearly been snorting coke before the gig. Dolly & Kenny.
We spent more nights than you can ever possibly imagine watching that video and cracking ourselves up, and then watching it over again just to delight in hearing Dolly squeal “Excuse me Kenny!” @ 2:26, or clap our hands enthusiastically as Kenny awkwardly lip synched to the brass section @ 3:34.
Of course, it can’t be expected that a much watched clip of ‘Islands In The Stream’ can keep a relationship together, and some five years on I now sitting on the single side of the country music fence. But it hasn’t stopped me obsessing over Dolly Parton. Thinking about it, it’s probably stopped many a fine young man obsessing over me, but whatever. Love me, love Dolly.
For those of you who are curious, here is some of the crap I am the ‘proud’ owner of:
Exhibit B) Vintage Playboy circa 1978 in mint condition, found thrifting in Brooklyn for 10 bucks! So mint I’ve never even read it. So mint the woman who sold it to me hastily put in a paper bag and gave me a filthy look…
I could sit here all night and fill you in on loads of Dolly shit I’ve been collecting over the years but let’s be real. It’s late. We all know I will write about Dolly many, many more times. And what you should really be finding out, is that the tiny Tennessee-born self proclaimed tramp is one of the finest songwriters of her generation. And all the evidence, as I found out some years ago, is on youtube…