Dave Prior had over 35 years in commercial radio, as an announcer, program director and general manager of stations such as 8HA Alice Springs, 5CC Port Lincoln, 5MU Murray Bridge and 96.5 & 98FM in Geraldton WA. Tom Jones once told him, “Never be afraid to drop a famous name if it will help you flog a book.” So, famous people I have met include Merle Haggard, Adam Harvey, Ian Turpie, Bryan Davies, Kevin Bloody Wilson, Dr Hook, Stuart Wagstaff, Doug Walters, Len Pascoe, Tommy Emmanuel, Johnny Cash, Joe Cocker and Her Majesty the Queen. I have never actually met Tom Jones.
Having worked in media all those years Dave soon had a midlife crisis, and realised because of the aforementioned career, he could not afford a fast sports car, or even a slow one, or a slow woman, or a slow yacht but, more importantly, he certainly didn’t want to spend any more time working for other people. Yes, he had reached that age where it was time to reinvent himself and make a comeback… which is quite difficult when you haven’t really been anywhere. So he picked up his old guitar and threw it in the back of an even older ute and never looked back. Well, maybe once.
At the tender age of fifty, I chucked in my job and became a full-time entertainer. I do comedy but I’m not a stand-up comedian. Stand up is a bit scary. I’m more a sit-down comedian who tells jokes, yarns and sings funny songs. After a semi-misspent youth fronting a band in bars, nightclubs and on cruise ships I found a career in radio that led to radio station management in the Northern Territory, South Australia and Western Australia. My trusty guitar was never far from my side. I also sing serious songs, mostly country. I have performed at various festivals around Australia as well as in far-flung places like New Zealand, Bali, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea, France, the UK and Nashville. I have shared a stage with many well-known acts from comedian Kevin Bloody Wilson to cricketer Doug Walters to country singer Adam Harvey. This book is the story of my journey, the places I’ve been, the people I’ve met and the things I probably should regret doing but don’t.
I have recorded a Merle Haggard tribute album, Silver Wings & Haggard Things, and three original music albums, Wind in the Wire, Barbed Wire Fences and Sand & Sea. There have also been four comedy albums – Big Fat Bastards Like Me, The Soup’s Too Hot, Have I Missed Anyone and The Functioning Drunk. For seven of those albums I enlisted the talents of Ian Heydon as my co-scribbler, as I did for this book. Ian Heydon is an award-winning writer whose credits include radio shows like The Samuel Pepys Show, The Year My Country Broke and How Green Was My Cactus. His television credits include Kingswood Country, Home Sweet Home and Howard: The Mild Colonial Boy. Ian also had a travel book published called The Small Guide to a Big Country. Ian and I are both 1954 vintages and, like fine wines, are aging nicely and benefit from a good lie down.