TRUE blue Aussie balladeer John Williamson has amassed more awards throughout his decorated 40-plus year career than he cares to mention.
The 66-year-old singer-songwriter and ARIA Hall of Fame 2010 inductee – famed for iconic Aussie country anthems such as True Blue, Rip Rip Woodchip and Home Among the Gum Trees – has just released his 48th album The Big Red.
The astounding figure includes compilations as well as original studio recordings.
Among his swag of gongs are more than 20 Golden Guitar Awards, not to mention countless other shiny accolades.
“Well, only just…” laughed Williamson, when asked if there was enough room at home to display them all.
“I’ve just done up an apartment smack in the middle of Sydney and built a shelf just for the Golden Guitars… I needed a place where I felt secure enough to put up all the awards.
“It might seem a bit self-indulgent, but what’s the point in leaving them all in the cupboard?
“It’s a big old heritage building with high walls and I’ve mixed and matched a bit with other people’s art amongst them, so it’s not all on the one wall.”
Williamson has relished renovating the Sydney pad with partner Meg Doyle (he divorced wife of 35 years Mary-Kay in 2007), providing the couple with an alternative city base away from his sprawling 178-acre southern Queensland hinterland sanctuary, inland from the Gold Coast.
While Doyle is a constant companion on the tour route – “that’s the great thing about our relationship, we’re together all the time” – the well-travelled Williamson’s idea of the quintessential Aussie dream is perhaps different to that of many an Aussie empty-nester, who crave criss-crossing our sunburnt country in a 4WD and caravan.
“I never stopped going around (the country) so I don’t dream of that, but I do dream of going camping with my mates one of these days, you know, three or four couples and not having to do anything but just enjoy it… but I’ll probably end up writing a song anyway,” Williamson said.
John Williamson will be at the Swan Yacht Club, East Fremantle, on February 24 and Mandurah Performing Arts Centre on May 18.