Kevin Bloody Wilson

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Kevin Bloody Wilson

Kevin Bloody Wilson may be infamous – but he’s ours. He’s regarded as a national treasure and an icon to many comedians of the new generation. Over a career spanning more than 30 years he has sold millions of albums and continues to push the boundaries of musical comedy, armed with only his acoustic guitar and his trademark grin. Now he can add superhero to his list of achievements as he’s made it his mission to rid the world of all things dreary and dull with his Helping To prevent Global Boring tour throughout 2015.
“These shows have been fantastic so far. I’m making my way around the country in short bursts, rather than being on the road for an extended length of time,” Wilson says. Also billed as the ‘First of the Final Farewell Tours’, Wilson admits he may be slowing down a little, but the idea of stopping has never seriously entered his mind. “I’m in a very good place – I’m having the time of my life.”
These days life on the road is very much a family affair. His wife, Betty, is also his tour manager. “She travels with me everywhere I go. We’ve been married for 45 years – we’re very much in love and it’s wonderful. We have grandchildren now and it doesn’t get much better than that.”
A family man to the core, Wilson was delighted when his daughter Tammy Jo announced that she wanted to follow in dad’s footsteps. “She calls herself Jenny Talia from Australia!” Wilson says proudly. “I was thrilled when she told me, although it was unexpected because she’d always been a great country singer and she moved to Nashville to pursue a career.
“While she was there she’d sometimes whip out her guitar and do a few of my songs to make her friends laugh and everybody loved it. Apparently someone said, ‘You’re wasting your time trying to do serious stuff because that’s what everybody in Nashville is trying to do’ – so they encouraged her to continue down the comedy path.”
From there he challenged her to write 12 original bawdy songs and put them on an album. “If she could do that and change her name I promised her I’d take her on tour with me. So she did and together we’ve been very successful,” Wilson beams. “She also does solo shows – in fact she’s up in Darwin gigging around as we speak.”
Not everyone in the Wilson clan is in show business: “Some of them work for a living,” Wilson laughs. “My son’s a Qantas pilot, so he often has to fly us around the place – I love that, it’s very cool.
“Actually we all caught up for Mother’s Day. We celebrated by going to watch one of our grandsons play Aussie Rules Football – it was such a special day. I think the trick is to remind your partner that they’re special in your life and you appreciate the things they do for you …”
With such sweet sentiment, I found myself thinking maybe it was all an act – the political incorrectness? The crude language? The fart jokes? The man responsible for such classics as ‘D.L.L.I.G.A.F’ and ‘Ho Ho Fucking Ho’? Is Kevin Bloody Wilson really a SNAG? “Oh, it sounds a bit bullshit but it’s true. Hmm, bullshit-ish! There’s a new word for you.” And he was back.
Kevin Bloody Wilson is the real deal – a boob signing, beer drinking, lovable larrikin. Just don’t ask him what he thinks of today’s up-and-coming comedians. “I don’t like a lot of them to be honest with ya! But I couple that with the fact that I only see them on TV. I never go out to see stand-up comedians other than my friends in the industry. I’ve got better things to do – you know like organising my sock draw or drying my hair!” he jokes.
“Seriously though, I know they’re hobbled when they go on TV. All of the television stations have their own agenda. In other words I couldn’t get on TV and do or say what I do, because it doesn’t fall into their guidelines. I’m sure that happens to almost every comedian, but the ones I see on TV are pretty sanitised. So many of them are politically correct these days – which is bullshit anyway. That’s something I don’t adhere to and don’t subscribe to. Too many people are playing it too safe.”
Years of success has seen Wilson stick to what he knows, remembering to always road test new material the typical Australian way: “I’ll get mates around, get a carton of booze in and subtly bring the guitar in. If I can get them laughing, that’s the yardstick and a job well done to me.”
“I’d like to think that if you took out the colourful words or the bad language that I use in my songs, they would still be funny. A lot of these guys start with material that isn’t funny to begin with, so when they do perform live and colour it up with language, that’s not going to make it any funnier. Am I being too heavy or too harsh on them? Oh fuck ‘em! It doesn’t matter any way.”
When & Where: Werribee Plaza Tavern, Werribee – June 17, Village Green Hotel, Mulgrave – June 18, Ballarat & District Trotting Club, Ballarat – June 19 & The Sphinx Hotel, North Geelong – June 30
Written by Natalie Rogers