On Monday September 4, 2017, John Schumann, ex-lead singer-songwriter for the legendary Australian band Redgum and the man who wrote and sang the Vietnam veterans’ anthem “I was only 19”, can tick Bourke off his bucket list.
John and his friends will present an intimate evening of songs and conversation at the Bourke Bowling Club to coincide with RUOK’s visit to Bourke as part of its national Convo Convoy. Included in RUOK’s activities in Bourke, the organisation will be launching its new ‘Mateship Manual’.
“I’m very grateful to RUOK for inviting me to be part of their Bourke visit. I have always been fascinated by Henry Lawson – sad-eyed, brittle and intermittently brilliant. Given the importance of Lawson’s time in Bourke in his life and work, it’s something I’ve wanted to do for a long, long time,” said John
In 2005, John released an album of songs he wrote based on the poems of Henry Lawson. Many people have written songs based on Lawson’s poems but, according to Professor Brian Matthews (the foremost international authority on the life and works of Henry Lawson), no one has interpreted Lawson’s work with such an intuitive and dramatic understanding of where Henry Lawson sits on our nation’s cultural landscape.
“It’s well known that in September 1892, Henry Lawson was dispatched from Sydney to Bourke by train by JF Archibald, editor of the Bulletin. Lawson, who battled the bottle along with mental health issues for his adult life, was notoriously ‘skint’ most of the time. Archibald, in fact, paid his train fare and also gave him £5 for living expenses,” said John Schumann.
“Without RUOK’s invitation, I’m not sure I would ever get to play in Bourke. And I’m not sure that I will ever get there again. This is an amazing ‘once off’ for me.”
Over and above his passion for the work of Henry Lawson, John Schumann holds a distinguished place in the Australian music industry. Probably best known for his leadership of the legendary folk-rock band Redgum, and I Was Only 19, John Schumann has received almost every award the industry has to offer – some twice over.
Packed venues and standing ovations demonstrate how, in a very short time, John Schumann has earned for himself a stellar reputation as an inspirational, intelligent and defiantly Australian concert act.
“RUOK is absolutely delighted to be able to present John Schumann in concert as part of our national Convo Convoy. John has also works in the mental health space with Rural and Remote Mental Health who have a vehicle into the convoy. It’s a great fit,” said Brendan Maher, CEO of RUOK.
“RUOK is very grateful for the support of the Bourke Bowling Club and Outback Radio 2WEB,” concluded Brendan Maher.