01x03 - The Real Thing

Episode transcripts for the TV miniseries "Molly". Aired: February 2016 to February 2016.
The story of how, from the early 1970s, Australia's eccentric Ian "Molly" Meldrum became a loved and respected rock music guru as host of the TV show "Countdown".
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01x03 - The Real Thing

Post by bunniefuu »

Put your hands together for Molly Meldrum.

I think Molly has always been the ambassador of rock'n'roll.

I would have been nervous meeting Molly for the first time.

Some guy wanted to pick up this girl, which was Molly in drag.

He asked me to marry him.

Almost orgasmic.

It sounded like nothing else.

I shoved him up against the wall and I've gone bang!

.. what a wonderful parent he can be.

He kept calling me Jane.

He's got his daks around his ankles, he's having a whiz, and falls off the side of the mountain!

You cannot shut a microwave door with someone's head in it.

I'm Ian Meldrum, and what you've just seen is the opening of a new program titled Meldrum.

We believe this show is a new concept in Australian television and that there's a ready-made market for a program of this type.

We feel that a 6:30 timeslot, preferably Saturday or Sunday night, would be most suitable.

How did he get that name Molly Meldrum?

No-one knows.

♪ Come and see the real thing ♪
♪ Come and see the real thing Come and see... ♪

Why was he called Molly? I don't know.

I've got no idea.

Don't know.

I have no idea.

I thought maybe it was some Australian thing.

♪ .. doesn't really mean a thing... ♪

Not a lot of people know this...

Uh... actually, I don't know either.

I don't know how he got the nickname.

Was it through Elton John?

I don't really know how Molly got his nickname.

He used to sing Good Golly, Miss Molly all the time.

Good Golly, Miss Molly? I don't know.

I didn't know his other name was Ian.

What's a Molly Meldrum? What is it? Is it a drink?

However he did, it stuck, and the best nicknames always just stick.

♪ I am the real thing... ♪

He has this weird habit of rubbing molasses all over his body and streaking.

And it's sort of been an embarrassing thing, but 'Molly' ever since.

Did he get it when he was writing for Go-Set magazine?

I had a feeling that John Paul Young may have given that to him.

No! I'd have no idea.

I just wanna know how you got the name Molly.

I mean, a name that rhymes with Dolly, and you don't look like a Molly to me.

Stan Rofe.

Stan Rofe, who was a disc jockey in Melbourne.

Stan came up with the nickname Molly, and it really... it really stuck.

Where Molly grew up, very big on fruit, I believe.

The Shepparton area.

Ian was born on January 29 in 1943, in Orbost, which is in eastern Victoria.

Ian's mum and dad, Robert Meldrum and Isobel Meldrum.

For the first three years of his life, Ian was brought up by his grandmother and his mother, his father was off at the w*r.

And that's the family.

Ian, the oldest, myself, the middle child, and Robert, the youngest.

♪ Smiley... ♪

There's a wonderful sh*t of Ian with all of us, my cousin John, Dad and Mum, all standing out the front of the house.

It looked like something out of The Sullivans.

♪ Smiley, hey ♪
♪ They say you're a man today... ♪

It was generally a very happy childhood.

We didn't want for anything.

I remember Ian built a train out of an oil drum and some cardboard boxes and, you know, we played in that for weeks.

Back in those days, w*r games were very popular with kids, 'cause the w*r hadn't been that long gone.

And he'd dress up... he'd always want to be the German spy or something like that.

We used to put, you know, firecrackers in people's letterboxes and blow them up, and stuff like that.

I mean, there was always, you know, those sorts of things that the police were...

It wasn't as though they were down every day, but we kept them on their toes.

♪ Yesterday there was laughter and songs to sing... ♪

He didn't go to school in Orbost, he moved... he and the family moved to Kyabram.

When we got to Kyabram I distinctly remember him absolutely adoring music generally, but the musicals of the time the My Fair Lady, Oklahoma!, Kismet.

He just loved the whole theatre of those things.

When your father isn't there for the first three years of your life, I mean, and the only people around you are your mother and your grandmother, well, she essentially will have some effect on that.

♪ See the windows of the greenhouse... ♪

Kyabram was too small. It was a country town.

There wasn't a lot for him in a country town, with the interests that he had.

And I know when he was sent to Melbourne by his parents, to live with his aunties, it was because I think they'd just about had enough of him I think.

I first met Ian 'Molly' Meldrum when he was a young boy from the country and he had those little patches on his jacket, and he was beginning to be a journalist.

And he was very uni student.

One day he got on the bus and he had his hair all dyed black, and it was like, "Look at this guy, he looks so different."

And everyone in the bus is looking at him.

And so about a week later, I got on the bus and I had a black suit, black umbrella, black briefcase, black socks, black shoes, black tie and my hair dyed black.

Well, that must have driven Ian insane.

My girlfriend and I used to go and buy potato cakes on the way home from school some afternoons, and I recall seeing this guy would hop off the bus and I'd say to my friends, "Isn't he gorgeous?"

The next week he got on with all these books and he went to pay the fare, and he had all the books under his chin like this.

And the guy's taking off with the bus, the bus is going, he knew exactly what he was going to do.

And he goes to hand the money and then he goes, "Whoa," and all the books go right down the bus and land in everybody's lap.

Well, he used to have this mop of Beatles hair, which was almost... he was a trailblazer at that time.

He wore a red lamb's wool jumper and navy blue cords and desert boots.

And I just thought he was so cool.

And I found out later that this gorgeous-looking creature was at Melbourne University doing law.

He started studying law at one stage.

In fact, I think we talked about that when he was insulting me and knew that I was a lawyer and let it be known that he COULD HAVE been a lawyer but elected not to go that way.

♪ See the clown who makes the children laugh... ♪

My father said, "There's someone at the back door wants to see you.

"I don't know who it is."

So I went to the back door and through the screen, "Oh, that's the guy on the bus!"

And he came in and he said, "My name's Ian," we introduced each other, and he said, "Would I be allowed to move into your house with your family for two weeks?"

And I said, "Look, Dad's in the lounge room, go and ask him."

He went in and my dad said yes.

I do believe he stayed there for nine years.

♪ See the mountains made of ice-cream... ♪

For Ian to meet the Burns family, but particularly Ronnie Burns, at that stage of his life, I think it changed his life forever.

He used to live out in the veranda, he had his...

Well, it was enclosed.

And he lived there for years.

And he was really happy there.

Molly and I spent our misspent youth living here together with my parents my mum and dad and my brother.

Right here in this building, and his bedroom was just at the front here, which is now a veranda.

The bed was probably... looked like a camp stretcher, it was so... so tiny.

It's a very, very tiny space, but it's just enough to put a bed and the little wardrobe and his little desk.

And it really was from this flat, this building, that the careers of many Australian entertainers came about.

♪ How I wish I were a little boy again ♪
♪ Living in a child's dream... ♪

I had started, with friends from school, the original St Kilda cheer squad.

And we put our little banner up on the fence at the MCG.

Ian came up and asked me if he could join my cheer squad.

Well, I realised that he was the gorgeous creature that I'd seen getting off the bus in Elwood, and so I was quite overcome and I said, "Oh, yes, of course you can."

'The Saints are in their first grand final in 52 years.

He had a boater hat, he wanted a scarf, so my mother made him a white scarf with the St Kilda colours at the end of it.

My mum's feelings toward Ian were very special.

She did see him like a son, and so did my dad, but there was a real closeness between them because at the time that he came to live in Elwood with us, I went out to start my career.

I was out with the band four, five, six nights a week, and he was at home watching television with my parents.

So, they formed a special relationship and, again, it was just part of that feeling of being family.

And, you know, I'm happy that my mum and dad did that, because I don't know where he would have been without that.

I do recall that Ronnie was really... he was nice.

You know, he was just a nice guy.

I mean, but I was sort of not a BIT in awe of him, I was totally in awe of him.

You know, a guy playing in a band that was opening for the Rolling Stones, good heavens.

♪ Smiley ♪
♪ You're out in the world today ♪
♪ Smiley You're all on your own... ♪

We were always going to the beach.

We used to put coconut oil on us.

There was no slip, slop, slap in those days.

And then other people came to the beach, like Jim Keays from the Masters Apprentices, and Russell Morris.

We would always hang out either down at Elwood Beach or go up to Dendy Street, Brighton.

I sort of tried to drag them up to Dendy Street because there was much better-looking women up there.

♪ Nah, nah-nah, nah ♪
♪ Nah-nah-nah, nah-nah-nah... ♪

Back then, we didn't have a plan.

We'd run into people at the pizza shop.

None of us drank alcohol in those days.


Times have changed.

♪ Hush, hush ♪
♪ Thought I heard her calling my name now... ♪

In 1964, I remember Ian telling me, "I'm going to Surfers Paradise for three weeks for a surfing holiday."

My boyfriend was away from me for that time, but he did send me the most gorgeous postcards.

Well, I was so excited to receive them, and they do actually say how much he missed me and wanted to come back.

Couldn't wait to see me, and all the rest.

It was lovely.

♪ She's got love that's like quicksand ♪
♪ Only took one touch of her hand... ♪

He would come and pick me up in what he called his old Woody, which was his amazing old Chevy car, and I don't even know if he had a licence.

We had a delightful relationship.

♪ Hush, hush... ♪

So, outside the front of Myer, the lay-by loo, he asked me to marry him.

And I remember looking at him and just saying, "Oh, God, darling, I think we're having too much fun to get married!"

I can see why Ian and her really, really hit it off.

They seem to be very like-minded.

If I'd married Ian, we'd have lasted one year if we'd have been lucky and that would have been that.

So, instead of which, I didn't marry him and we've been friends for over 50 years.

Best friends.

♪ Hush, hush ♪
♪ Can't you hear me calling her name... ♪

I looked over there and there was this blonde girl with the mesh stockings and the fancy dress and the lippy and all that sort of stuff, and I wondered what Mum was doing.

She's calling out, "Ian, come back here! Come back here!"

'Cause some guy wanted to pick up this girl, which was Molly in drag.

I think by 1967, I'd slightly discovered other boys and I think Molly might have too.

And then... in 1968 my husband of 46 years and I eloped.

And Molly burst into my office, "Did you get married last week?!"


So, he said, "Get me a line, I'm going to ring Aunty Edna."

So, he phoned Aunty Edna and he said, "Sandy got married last week.

"That's it, I'm gay."

'And this is absolutely wonderful here at the Southern Cross, it's fantastic.

When the Beatles arrived in Australia in 1964, it was just absolute mayhem.

No-one had ever seen anything like it in Australia.

You can't imagine what it's like here at the Southern Cross.

Everyone's going completely mad.

The police were attempting, you know...

"We've gotta get this car through here."

So, what Ian did was, like, "I'm on the side of the police Everybody stand back, get back," just so that the police would say, "Look at this guy.

"He's really helping us. Maybe we can take him in to see the Beatles."

I don't know what he had in his mind.

When the Beatles came out onto the balcony, because Ian was at that front point trying to hold everyone back as he looked up at the balcony, he got pushed underneath to the shopfronts there.

And there was a florist with glass windows, and he actually went through the glass window and he was upset, from what he told me, because he couldn't see them then.

Here are the Beatles!

G'day. Welcome.

The Beatles did that they just turned popular music into something that just forced its way into people's lounge rooms, and he erupted as well with that.

And then rock'n'roll just...

They just introduced this whole new feeling about popular music in Australia.

So, this is where one of the most memorable events occurred.

We were here for one thing, and that was to see the Beatles.

And Molly would jump up at every song, and he was screaming.

And a St John's Ambulance guy came in, made his way in through the aisle, and said to Ian, "I've got to take you outside.

"I don't feel safe about the way you're carrying on."

And I said, "Look, he'll be OK. He's in my company."

And I pulled him back down to the chair, the ambulance guy took off and then Ian jumped up again, screaming like a girl.

So, I stood up to say, "Molly, sit down," and I must have had my fist clenched, and the ushers came and they put our arms up behind our back and just marched us straight out to the aisle here and they took us down the stairs, someone opened the door and they literally threw us out like being drunks in a bar.

They just chucked us outside and we were devastated.

Then the Beatles went into Long Tall Sally and Ian was hysterical.

In this national newspaper, printed every Saturday in Melbourne, parents and oldies have no say at all.

Molly at Go-Set, well, first of all he was a journalist.

He was not only a student but also, I suppose, in many ways a teacher of pop culture.

So why don't you go out and buy your Go-Set for 15 cents, and also there's the 3XY news page, my column and everything else in the paper.

Well, Go-Set was great for if you were interested in music at all because it had all the latest gossip and pictures and, you know, interesting stuff about people that we were fans of.

I saw it as a very pure magazine for the kids.

'It now has 15 people working full-time and another 10 working part-time.

I never knew until later that I was Molly Meldrum's first interview for Go-Set magazine, and I always wondered why he was so incredibly nervous.

We had a phone call saying, "Oh, Go-Set want to do an interview."

We've gone, "Go-Set?! I mean, God, that's like the Bible.

"Why do they wanna talk to us?"

You know, like, "Duh," sucking on our Fantas.

Um, and Ian was the one that did the interview.

I think he must have been 17, 18, something like that.

Have you got any policy behind your column?

I say it's a helpful column, to this point, that even my best friends, including myself, will be rubbished in that column.

Molly had an interview with me and he said, "How do you feel about a statement that the Bee Gees made..."

Which they never made, I don't know where he got it from.

".. saying that, you know, Australia never gave them the chance that they've had in England?"

And I said, "I can't imagine them saying that, "because I know how much they love Australia, but if they said it, I would be really disappointed."

So, the front page of the Go-Set magazine the following week was, "Johnny Young slams Bee Gees!"

And, you know, Barry and the boys weren't very happy with me.

So thank you, Molly, for that.

In '66, '67, '68, '69, I was totally committed to the pop scene.

I lived the pop scene, I ate and slept the pop scene.

He left us in Elwood, and there was an absence for me because we were like brothers.

And so he'd gone away for three months, and then he decided he'd take an extra three months and come back via America.

And he went there to make his fame and fortune, and he did it.

The rest was really history after that.

The Beatles had founded their own label, Apple Records.

Believe it or not, Molly was one of the few employees that worked there, in promotions and publicity.

He actually lived right next to the Abbey Road Studios, so that smell must have rubbed off on him.

When he went to England he met Terry Doran, who was the Beatles' press photographer.

So, at a party, he says, "Ian, I need you to come and meet someone special."

He took him across the floor and that was when he said, "John Lennon, Ian Meldrum." And Ian passed out on the floor.

So, Lennon said, "Who the hell's this?"

They said, "That's Ian Meldrum."

And that's how they got to know each other.

When I was living in England in 1967, I heard a knock on the front door at about 10 o'clock in the morning.

There's Molly, and he said, "Oh, John, John, have you got any brandy? Have you got any brandy?"

And I said, "What do you need brandy for at 10 o'clock in the morning?"

He said... And he had a little tape recorder with him, and he said, "I've got to do an interview with John Lennon and Yoko Ono in 10 minutes and I'm so nervous I don't think I'm gonna be able to push the button to start the tape recorder."

So, I didn't have a brandy, I think I had a Scotch, and I gave him some and he calmed down a little bit and he went and did his interview, and it was splendid.

♪ Oh, baby, I love you so... ♪

He sent me a postcard signed by the Beatles.

He's got a signed album with all of the Beatles on it.

It's the White Album, signed by all of the Beatles.

And that's rare.

♪ I love you so ♪
♪ I can't go on... ♪

"I've got the master tapes here, that we spent a fortune on, and I've got a lighter, and if you don't give me a fax guaranteeing that I'm gonna be able to finish this production I'm gonna burn the master."

We've had two pop television shows one that ran for an hour, which was The Go Show, and two, Kommotion, which ran for five nights a week at a half-hour.

Kommotion was basically a program of good-looking young Melbourne girls and guys miming the songs of the day.

The worst mimers on the planet, you know.

♪ Falling down across her arms ♪
♪ Hiding all the lady's charms... ♪

I didn't realise that the people that were on the TV weren't actually singing them.

So, I was probably a fan of Molly's, thinking, "Oh, jeez, I like the way he sounds like he's got a megaphone on."

I think he's had a longer career than most of the people he wanted to be.

He always had this funny sort of dance thing, you know.

I always used to call it the university sort of dance.

You know, it was kind of not in rhythm, but somewhere there.

That's how Ian moves. He does that...

Right, now here's that ever so controversial Ian 'Molly' Meldrum.

How do you do, Tony? How are you? Speak to the camera.

Oh, I'd like to wish everybody a happy new year, and I hope you had a ball of a Christmas.

Uptight was a four-hour, live-to-air, unrehearsed television show on a Saturday morning at Channel 0.

I can assure you that I'll drop as many names in 1969 as I did in 1968.

Not possible.

Molly was quite an eccentric person, I felt.

He was very out there. I remember he was totally undisciplined.

Do you feel that age has much to do with...

You want to know how old I am?

Yes, of course I want to know how old you are.

Much younger than Carol West.

On that note...

I used to have to worry about Molly.

He would sit on my left and Youngy would sit on my right, and they were just both waiting for me to fall over so they'd jump into my chair.

And I had one sick day in four years.

I wasn't letting that chair go.

As you probably know, Barry Gibb has returned to Australia for two weeks, and I have Barry sitting next to me.

Welcome to the program, Barry. Hi, Ian.

Well, first question is, what was your main purpose for returning to Australia?

Well, because it's the only country in the world where you can depend on the sun.

Uptight and Happening '70 were the ones that I have very clear memories of.

I'll tell you what we have got, Ian.

What have you got? Which is always...

You surprise me what you've... always good to see.

Suddenly in the mid-'60s, we had this revolution, and Molly was a part of this revolution.

It was when we decided we wanted to make our music, and out of that came the adventures of Molly Meldrum.

And now one of our biggest records at the moment, by Melbourne boy Russell Morris, and he is The Real Thing.

♪ Come and see the real thing ♪
♪ Come and see the real thing Come and see... ♪

He managed the band that I was in, Somebody's Image, and produced our first two singles on a four-track machine, and did such an unbelievable job.

Molly Meldrum was extremely interested in the production of music, as well as being an admirer.

Obviously he had to understand how it was made.

And I don't think a lot of people really know what a great producer he actually is.

Finding someone who had that talent was astronomical, but that was the way it worked out.

♪ I am the real thing... ♪

What was happening in music, all the solo artists and all the bands were just doing straight songs, and Ian and I realised that I had to do something that was out of the ordinary.

From the start...

♪ Come and see the real thing ♪
♪ Come and see the real thing Come and see ♪
♪ Come and see the... ♪

It was that sort of up, sort of vibey sort of thing, and we didn't... we just didn't wanna do it like that.

We needed something that was more spacy and more sort of psychedelic.

♪ Come and see the real thing ♪
♪ Come and see the real thing Come and see... ♪

I remember when I first heard The Real Thing, Ian said, "Listen, John Young's played us some songs, have a listen to them."

So John played me a number of songs, and they were quite good.

I said, "They're pretty good," I said, "but there are so many other solo artists and these are similar.

"What we're looking for is something different."

And Ian said, "Play him that other song."

And Johnny said, "No, it's not for a solo artist."

And Ian said, "Just play it to him," and he played The Real Thing.

And I looked at Ian and I said, "That's what I want."

And Ian said, "Yes, I know."

And Johnny thought we were crazy.

When I wrote The Real Thing, I didn't have Russell Morris in mind.

You know, I heard it more as a band song, Beatle-esque.

I don't think anybody else could have sung The Real Thing as well as Russell has done it, and he's made it his own.

All John knows is that he wrote this song and Molly wanted it, and it went into the studio and about - I don't know - seven years later it came out as a record.

The word 'budget' meant nothing to him.

So, you know, he'd just sort of... "that was no good.

"Scrap it, do it again. Scrap it, do it again."

♪ There's a meaning there But the meaning there doesn't... ♪

Ian rang me and said, "I've got this brilliant idea.

"We're going to make it six minutes long."

I said, "Are you insane? How can we do that?"

He said, "I'll put sound effects."

I said, "Ian, there's at least three minutes of nothingness."

I said, "It will be boring."

He said, "Oh, just leave it to me. I'll fix it."

And I was very doubtful, but... he really pulled it off.

He was the architect of The Real Thing.

♪ I am not seeing you... ♪

Molly spent so much money, and the people from the record company came and listened to the unmixed stuff, and to them it just sounded like nonsense, and it ran for seven minutes.

And so they said, "Molly, we're gonna take you off the production."

Even when the EMI people came down to hear it, 'cause they were so angry we'd spent so much money, Ian took the tapes, he was terrified they'd hate it.

And he took the tapes so they couldn't hear it.

Molly rang the record company and said, "I've got the master tapes here, that we've spent a fortune on, and I've got a lighter, and if you don't give me a fax guaranteeing that I'm gonna be able to finish this production, I'm gonna burn the master."

♪ Trying hard to understand the meaning that you'll see in me... ♪

And they went nuts and said they had to hear it, so we played it for them and of course Ian was right they hated it.

They thought it was the biggest load of rubbish they'd ever heard.

And they went back to Sydney and they weren't going to release it.

So, Ian and I got in the car and drove up to Sydney and went to all the radio stations and got the program managers to say, "Yes, we will play this."

♪ There's a meaning there ♪
♪ But the meaning there doesn't really mean a thing... ♪

And, of course, the record company was totally thrilled because it turned out to be one of the biggest-selling records of all time.

♪ Am the real thing... ♪

The collaboration of Russell Morris, Ian Meldrum and John Young with The Real Thing, I think, was...

It was probably an incredibly serendipitous moment for those guys.

It really was a happy accident.

It sounded like nothing else.

It just had, like, this whole sort of world in a song.

It was groundbreaking stuff then.

It was, "Whoa, you know, wow, they must be just tripping."

There I was, lying on the floor and I'm going... I'm listening to the beginning of The Real Thing and then on and on, all this stuff, and Molly's got all this stuff, and I'm going...

You know, I won't say the word, but, "What?"

You know, just... more surprises and more surprises and more surprises, and sort of almost orgasmic, you know?

Sort of like lovemaking.

And then at the end... the atom b*mb.

And I... I wept. I wept.

What a production! Gosh!

And I didn't realise at the time, but, I mean, Day By Day turned out to be just as big of a production.

Oh! What a lot of f*re in that session.

♪ Prepare ye ♪
♪ The way of the Lord ♪
♪ Prepare ye ♪
♪ The way of the Lord... ♪

Colleen Hewett's record Day By Day took 18 months, somewhere like that.

I mean, I pity the poor girl if she had to just keep singing over and over again, which is what I've heard.

♪ The way of the Lord... ♪

The third week, I've had it up to here with Day By Day, because it is a repetitive, gorgeous melody.

And the boys were so good, their part was nailed.

And I came out, and he kept on just...

Well, I just walked up to him this day and I just lost it.

I went from no swearing, no aggressiveness, want to get on with everybody, but he just... I couldn't understand him.

And I've grabbed him by his big pullover and I've just shoved...

'Cause he's only little. I wasn't this big then, either.

I shoved him up against the wall and I've gone bang!

He's gone, "Oh!"

Fainted down on the floor.

♪ To see thee more clearly... ♪

But you know what?

It's the biggest hit song I have ever had.

It's the most memorable arrangement.

The whole drama of it is Ian.

Ian doesn't go anywhere where there isn't a little touch of drama.

That's the way he works. That's the way he loves it.

Molly was the Phil Spector type of person from Australia.

Phil would be absolutely obsessed and manic as well.

Obviously I have a great deal of respect for him because he was doing stuff.

And people have to remember the context.

It's 1969, for starters, and he's out there doing something that's so off the track of what you should be doing in those days so championing bands, going to Sunbury, you know.

This is in '69, '70, all those early years when no-one was doing that.

It's like the guys that were in the bands.

You know, that was such... so wrong to do things like that.

Now they've got courses in primary school to be a rock star.

It's ridiculous.

I'll never forget Sunbury in '73 because Molly introduced me to the crowd, and unbeknownst to me said, "Make him feel welcome.

"When he comes out I want you all to sort of light up your torches or your cigarette lighters and move towards the stage."

So I come out, wondering what I'm doing at a rock concert, and 40,000 kids, or whatever, all lit up their lighters and walked towards the stage.

And I thought, "They're coming to get me."

It was bloody Molly.

♪ Johnny's with a Julie ♪
♪ He tells her she's his girl ♪
♪ Says "I'll love you always"... ♪

He produced not only me, he produced Ronnie Burns, he produced Colleen Hewett, he produced the Ferrets, and they were all fabulous records.

♪ Ooh, ask no questions and get told no lies... ♪

I recorded a demo in Sydney and I played it to him and a couple of days later he called me in, he was all emotional, and said, "We've gotta record this record.

"I'm ringing Gudinski."

There is no-one that has singly, in my lifetime, done more for Australian music than Molly, nowhere near it.

Not even close to it.

♪ Don't fall in love ♪
♪ Big mouths, bright lights... ♪

He had this ability to build a mix. I've never seen anyone else do it.

It's sort of like magic.

♪ Can't you see they're cheating all of you? ♪

He did the Ferrets record, which came out in a brown paper bag.

I was that angry with him, he took that long trying to get it right.

We credited it as "Produced by Willie Everfinish", which was a joke, having a crack at him, 'cause we had a massive hit and you need to, you know, capitalise and keep moving.

♪ Don't fall in love... ♪

Cheetah, not only did they have a massive hit in Australia with Walking In the Rain, it was top 10 in Germany as well.

I think as a producer, Molly is very gifted.

I think he's got that sort of Phil Spector, uh... connection to music.

As well as being a fan, he can actually affect it, he can actually change it, he can mould it.

He knows a lot about music, but he also knows a lot about what connects with people and what attaches to people.

He's a really clever man.

♪ Don't fall in love ♪
♪ Big cars, bright lights and bow ties... ♪

A pill to sort of calm him down a little bit, and I do believe there may have been a vodka in there.

He kept calling me Jane. And I said, "No, it's Gene."

He said, "That's what I said, Jane."

We went back and forth on that for a while.

Pretty much every band worth its salt, every band that ever recorded anything, had an enormous amount of television experience that bands in the United States or England simply didn't have because we had this testing ground called Countdown.

There was a couple of things you had to do to be successful in Australia.

One of them was get your picture in the middle of TV Week and the other one was to be on Countdown.

It was our version of Top Of the Pops, so everybody popped in.

I mean, it's more of a question of what bands didn't Molly introduce me to.

It was a religion for us, you know. I mean, that was our church.

That was the first time I saw Molly in colour, and what an eye-opener that was.

And I'll say do yourself a favour, 'cause you really must have a listen to this album Sports... Ah.

"Do yourself a favour" great catchcry was another Molly original that he ripped off out of the Marilyn Monroe-Tony Curtis movie Some Like It Hot.

So, here I am, still this very naive, young boy from Brisbane, go into Molly's bedroom.

Molly's in the bed, and it was a rather interesting negotiation getting videos played on Countdown, trying to be very serious sitting on the end of the bed, asking Molly Meldrum to please play Simon and Garfunkel's latest video.

I don't think Australia had ever had the amount of overseas talent coming to Australia, and of course they all did Countdown.

Molly knew his stuff.

He knew the questions and the songs, and you could tell that he cared about it.

'Hey, this is Paul Stanley from Kiss.

You have to remember that interviews and talking transcontinent and across the oceans was in its infancy then.

And it had the same kind of connotations as when you saw the astronauts land on the moon.

Well, Molly, you know, you've always been a pal.

You've been with us since the beginning, and I just wanted to wish all the viewers of Countdown the best for 1980.

I remember the first time I met Molly.

It was at the Sebel Townhouse, um... and it was in the bar.

And he had that look in his eye... and I had that look in my eye, and we went 'connect'.

And he bought me a drink.

And I believe at the time it would have been probably whisky and Diet Coke.

Madonna was untouchable.

No-one could get near Madonna unless you were an uber-star yourself.

And that was Molly Meldrum.

You can be guaranteed Molly would always mess up something and that was his beauty and his charm.

He kept calling me Jane.

And I said, "No, it's Gene." He said, "That's what I said Jane."

We went back and forth on that for a while.

Whether it be the embarrassing moments when he's interviewing Prince Charles, which none of us ever forget.

And now we come to the most important part of the...

Hold it, Ian. Hold it a minute. Alright. Alright.

Could I just have one glass of water, please?

"Jane, tell me something..." "No, no, Gene."

"Jane." "Gene." "Jane."

You don't have one of these, uh... teleprompters?


Some of the artists when Molly just, one listen to their very first song, Molly would just have that instinct and gift and feel to say, "We're gonna break this artist here in Australia."

And that ranges from people like Blondie and ABBA, who broke here in a big way, Madonna, John Mellencamp, Meat Loaf, Cyndi Lauper.

Of course Billy Joel and Michael Jackson, who loved Molly.

It was amazing every time Michael came to Australia he wanted to see Molly, and Molly would always secure that amazing interview with him.

Molly was influencing millions of dollars.

There was absolutely no doubt that Molly was a leader.

The fact that they put unsigned acts on Countdown was a great thing.

I mean, Supernaut came from nowhere with I Like It Both Ways.

Uh... be it Pseudo Echo.

My manager calls me up, all excited, and said, "I've been speaking to Molly and he wants to put you on the show."

And I said, "But we don't even have a record deal," and it was just a big blur from there on.

I think within a period of a couple of weeks, we were on Countdown.

♪ And I say, you say ♪
♪ Weren't you listening? ♪

Molly's on there talking about some cool band that's about to explode and, you record companies, you know, you'd better look out for them, and I'm going, "Is he going to say us?"

And next thing he says, you know, "This is this band Pseudo Echo. You know, Australia, do yourself a favour, check them out."

And he really, you know, drummed it home and hyped us up.

And then it was probably about a month after that that we started, you know, signing a deal.

It was great when shows like Countdown... when Molly would support you.

That just gives you confidence, I guess.

He would go on, "Do yourself a favour," hold up an album, and people would go to the record store and buy that album.

It's a strange question, you know? Um...

I mean, is there, like... Let me start again.

I didn't understand the question at all!

I think he had a huge impact on my career, personally.

I think he was instrumental in really getting me and my image and my records, and everything, and putting it on a platform that said, "Hey, this is worth taking notice of, kids," you know.

And they did.

If you have somebody who's excited about music, it's infectious.

So he infected everybody with that excitement.

♪ Don't come in ♪
♪ I'll only run and hide ♪
♪ Who can it be now? ♪

The 100th show of Countdown started innocently enough and then it arrived.

It was off its head and it... it was telling everybody it was jet lag.

Alright, now... Sherbet...

He'd flown in and then he must have had some sort of a pill to sort of calm him down a little bit, and I do believe there may have been a vodka in there just one, just one vodka.

Ian Meldrum has been exhausted, John.

Oh, he is, man. I saw him. Completely out of his...

He's had enough, Ian, and he's gone, so...

Molly's the guy who was in the dressing-room of these amazing performers.

What are INXS gonna come next?

And it might just take him to say, "Hey, there's this really cool new band called INXS."

Yep, he's a connector.

He genuinely wants musicians to hear other musicians and artists to be connected.

And, uh... I can only imagine all those little sparks of things that he's been a part of.

Molly connects with people 'cause he's such a dag.

And he's passionate.

But he's a big dag.

There was a little group called Duran Duran who were on tour here in Australia, and they were at a party at his house and he kept playing this record I had just finished with INXS, called Original Sin.

And they heard it, and he kept playing it over and over and over again.

And I know that Simon Le Bon and Nick Rhodes, all the guys were like going, "What IS that?"

Like, "That's, like, the most amazing thing we ever heard."

Um... and he said, you know, "It's Original Sin."

Like, "Who produced that?" "Nile Rodgers."

♪ Dream on, white boy White boy... ♪

That was a powerful moment for them.

Something magical about INXS and being with Molly at that moment in their lives overwhelmed them.

Thank God, because, you know, it's given me lifelong friends and a group that I've made hit records for over and over again.

♪ The reflex is a lonely child... ♪

Yo, Molly, thanks for playing Original Sin for Duran Duran, 'cause, I mean, that was our hook-up.

Had they not heard that in that situation, maybe we would have never gotten together or maybe it would have taken a hell of a lot longer.

But... here it is, history. Thanks.

♪ Isn't that bizarre? ♪

Duran Duran has sh*t to number one first week in on the British charts.

Which of course makes Duran Duran very happy.

I think it was instrumental that Molly might have played John Taylor the song Reckless.

He said, "That song of yours Reckless, I love that. We love that song. Why don't you guys come and support us on a tour of England and Scotland?"

I'm going, "Sure," but inside going... .."Sure."

And we ended up touring with Duran Duran when they were probably the biggest band, when they were at the peak of their Duran-ness.

♪ Don't be so reckless ♪
♪ Throw down your g*n... ♪

And I think that Molly was instrumental in that.

So, thank you. Thank you, Ian.
We did this little secret gig called the Singing Budgie, and Michael Hutchence was in the audience, and we just started seeing each other.

Molly was there, and he was in the middle of the audience just willing me to do well.

Mr Meldrum, this is my mother.

How do you do, Mrs Mitchell. Hello.

I would have been nervous meeting Molly for the first time because he's Molly.

I mean, that's it.

But perhaps he was more nervous than me because he had to act.

And that's quite a talented daughter you've got there too, Mrs Mitchell. Yes.

Molly was that keen on the Minogues, became friends, became consistent.

♪ Whoa-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh... ♪

Molly has been such a champion for my family.

His passion for music is one thing, his passion for pop music is ridiculous.

And I guess he saw that we loved it too and we wanted to do that.

He's supported us and pop music through times when 'pop' was a dirty word.

♪ Better the devil you know... ♪

My friendship with Molly just grew over time, but I have to say he was such a strong supporter in the beginning, and the beginning for me was very successful but not a lot of critical acclaim whatsoever.

Just kind of this fresh, naive success.

So, to have his support was fantastic, and I think... I don't know, he kind of took me under his wing a little bit and it really developed into a mutual respect and a love and a friendship.

He defended me all the time.

And that, for me, is something that I've never forgotten, I've never forgotten.

And I just thought, "Wow, what a man."

He's always been unbelievably supportive and even probably when he shouldn't have been, in the early days.

He's got his daks around his ankles, he's having a whiz, and falls off the side of the mountain!

I think my wife knocked him out one night.

You cannot shut a microwave door with someone's head in it.

They said only the prime minister could ever have a hat.

So, I'd like to present you with a Molly's hat.

Molly, at the end of the day, is everybody's friend.

Unless you're trying to steal his hat. Then you're d*ad.

And every time I see someone in Australia with a hat on I think, "Maybe it's Molly!"

Yeah, Lindsay Fox gave him the hat, which is a bit of a poor effort when you think about how many trucks he's got.

Why didn't he give him a big truck, a big shiny truck that he can drive around in?

The famous hat that he has today...


I bought for him in Aspen.

He argues about that.

That's where it started. Yes.

♪ And high on the hill looking over the bridge ♪
♪ To the MCG... ♪

I remember when he arrived in the helicopter, and as he got out he flashed a browneye.

It wasn't attractive.

Oh, looking at Molly's backside is something that I wasn't interested in.

♪ I go in leaps and bounds... ♪

Every Christmas, Molly goes over to the Foxes and sits down.

Not only Christmas, probably Boxing Day, New Year's Day.

Like, quite often Molly will just be, like, you know, the extra kid.

He had 17 Christmases with us, and Nana Peele used to come.

Mrs Peele was my mother, and he just gravitated towards my mother.

And she adored him.

And he'd come round and have dinner with Mum and she'd make him a lovely home-cooked meal.

So, she was only in a little house and he was around the corner in a little house as well.

Molly would turn up there at any time and jump into bed with this 75-year-old woman.

And this was just a regular occurrence as a kid would jump into bed with his mum or dad.

And this must have gone on for 10 years.

Do you think your mother interfered with him?

I don't think so.

I don't think so. He's terrible. God.

♪ I remember... ♪

He took her out one night, which was interesting.

He got her out of bed at about 11 o'clock at night and he took her to a nightclub.

And they went into the city and he got out of the car to do something and the car took off down the hill.

So, she didn't go nightclubbing with him again.

Hey Hey was always a battleground.

It was everybody picking on everybody else, and Molly got his fair share.

I mean, right from the outset, if he thought a band was good, we would pooh-pooh the idea.

They sort of took the piss out of Molly on Hey Hey, but, at the same time, they knew how important he was.

And it was all, you know, like, I mean, really they took the piss out of everybody on Hey Hey It's Saturday.

He definitely had an impact on Powderfinger's career through that really mainstream kind of medium.

Watch out for her. She is absolutely sensational.

I remember playing him my demos in the very early stages of my writing career, where his opinion was something that I valued very, very much.

It took a lot of guts for me to kinda step up and go, "Oh, excuse me, Molly, I know you get a lot of demos and stuff, but this is my band and, you know, if you could take a listen..."

I played my 14 12-year-old demos to Molly and we spoke about music, and he just was... absolutely knew that I was gonna be doing music and just completely supported that from day one.

That was a lot of fun, and that's when he got involved with Elton John and those kind of people.

♪ Happy birthday, dear Elton... ♪

Yeah, it totally makes sense that Elton and Molly were friends.


Archibald Prizewinner Wes Walters painted an incredible portrait of Molly, and Elton John bought it for him at auction and it stands proudly in Molly's house to this day.

♪ Your blood like winter freezes just... ♪

OK, I've been to a few parties with Molly and I can't really talk about them.

As simple as that, you know.

When Molly's in party mode it's probably best if you're in party mode as well.

And I think Ian obviously was a lot worldlier than we were and, you know, let us pretend that we were the hard men of rock'n'roll when I think he was actually living harder that us.

I think he rode a Harley-Davidson through my house one time.

♪ I'm still standing better than I ever did... ♪

He's in a limo going up to the Dandenongs, winding around the roads, and, of course, Molly's having a few drinks on the way.

Molly says to the driver, "I need to stop and get out 'cause I need to go to the toilet."

He stands up, he's got his daks around his ankles, he's having a whiz and falls off the side of the mountain!

Tumbling down between all the trees in the Dandenongs. "Aarggh!"

Swearing like anything.

♪ I'm still standing ♪
♪ Yeah, yeah, yeah... ♪

I think when one got invited to Ian's parties it was like "Wow!"

He showed us his cowboy tattoo on his bum.

Michael Chugg had a birthday party in Phuket, and Molly was there.

Out he comes dressed as Marilyn Monroe.

It was...

Let's just say it was disastrous and great in equal measures.

The ugliest Marilyn Monroe I've ever seen in my life.

♪ Passionate kisses ♪
♪ Kiss me, kiss me, kiss me... ♪

We had a housekeeper come in, and we forgot to tell her that Molly was having a sleepover.

So, she's working away in the kitchen, down comes Molly simply wearing just the hat and pink budgie smugglers that looked like a serious mankini.

♪ Ooh, ooh, ooh ♪
♪ 'Cause I'm on f*re when you... ♪

So, everybody is cheering at his house, another party, and he presents me with a present of this.

And he's standing there hugging me and he's, like, "Check this out!"

And all of a sudden this gorgeous woman walks on and starts singing Born To Try and dancing, had way better legs than me and just, like, legs 11 and I was just...

It was the first time I'd ever been given a drag queen as a present.

♪ Passionate kisses... ♪

Molly has a passion for pretty much everything in his life, whether it be music, Egypt, vodka... or the spa.

We are on camera, so some things we will take to our graves, but let me just say it was fun, and whatever you think happened at the parties, it was worse.

I can picture Shane Warne and Molly Meldrum in the spa.

That's probably... it's a little disturbing, but yeah.

Um, Moll's hand has been on my leg plenty of times, um... but it wasn't in the spa, no.

I might have had my hand on someone else's leg in the spa, but it wasn't Molly's hand on mine.

♪ Kiss me passionately... ♪

At the Melbourne Town Hall they've got portraits of kings and queens of Moomba.

I tell you, the photo of Molly, it looks like he had a monster night.

It looks like he had no sleep whatsoever, ruffled and fluffled.

You know that movie, Peter Sellers, The Party?

The elephant scene in that often reminded me of Molly's house.

Ian will, once he starts, you just disappear, because if he happens to get tired along the way he's gonna pick a fight with you.

He would always stand up for himself and he would always stand up for his friends.

So, wouldn't take a backward step.

I think he did get into a couple of little punch-ups.

We had a massive blue out at the...

And we got out of the car and we were swinging at each other, and there was mud, he was sinking in the grass, and two cars pulled up and said, "Can you not...

"Can you stop picking on Molly!" He was picking on me.

I think my wife knocked him out one night.

You know, she punched him in the chin when he was having a fight about his label with Michael.

So, I've actually grabbed him, I've shaken him.

I remember shaking him and I've pushed his head right in the microwave.

You cannot shut a microwave door with someone's head in it.

The interior of his home made a real big impact on me.

Molly has a wicked sense of humour.

It's brave now, but to be brave, you know, in the '70s! Seriously brave.

We'd been invited to a party at Molly Meldrum's house, and just being a young kid down here...

We had to dress up. It was a dress-up party, an Egyptian theme.

♪ One way or another I'm gonna find ya... ♪

The Egypt thing with Molly is pretty incredible.

'Cause that was one of the things, when we went to his house to do an interview, that I suppose I expected to see a lot of music memorabilia there.

I mean, you are navigating around pyramids and sphinxes and stuff there more than anything.

It's incredible. It's really beautiful, the collection of stuff that he's got.

It's incredible.

The interior of his home made a real big impact on me, 'cause all Egyptian everywhere.

And it was like, "Oh, my God, this is amazing."

Apparently he walks round his house in his pharaoh's robes.

But I haven't seen that.

I'm surprised he hasn't pulled the house down and just built a f*ck' pyramid.

He was probably into bandage.

When he was escorting Lady Diana during Rocking the Royals, she said, "I want to go back to your house."

So, he comes back to the house and his assistant's there preparing lunch for, you know, just Molly really, and he then says, "Oh, please welcome to our house Lady Diana."

And the girl sort of said something like, "Oh, yeah, and I'm a monkey's uncle," you know!

Completely... And that is... that is the tone of Molly's home.

Yeah, look, I think we might have both featured on the front of his fence at various stages throughout our careers.

What's more bizarre is what's on the other side of the fence.

His house is just... it's an absolute museum. It's a freak show.

You could have an interview where Molly's about to break the most significant rock'n'roll story in history, but Molly, sitting on that story, would be distracted if there was a change to the St Kilda line-up.

♪ Howzat... ♪

Only Molly would do the outrageous and run onto the Junction Oval to give the St Kilda captain Alan Morrow advice.

The first time I met him was at the St Kilda Team of the Century.

You know, there were a lot of St Kilda Football Club legends there, but for me and a few of the other young guys, we just made a beeline for Molly.

And I wanted to meet him as opposed to all the footballers in the room.

It's taken by Breen!

It's a... point.

When I was very young, St Kilda won the only grand final they'd won in 100 years, and the true story was that Molly passed out when the scores were level, 30 seconds to go, and missed St Kilda kicking the winning point.

There's the siren! St Kilda have won it!

When the siren sounded, we all went up hysterically and he fainted.

♪ Howzat... ♪

How he got into the dressing-rooms was beyond me.

Drinking champagne with St Kilda's captain Darrel Baldock, what a hero.

I was the president at the football club there from about '79 to '86, and Molly was a standard feature.

And he'd draw more attention than the footballers running out of the race.

♪ Howzat ♪
♪ You messed about... ♪

I think it's quite funny that Molly paints his fence in all the different things.

Especially I like it when he does the Saints.

It's great about the Storm too.

But when the Ashes are on, that's sort of when the real cricket comes in and Molly does his fence in Ashes stuff, Aussie flags, all those sorts of things.

And, no, he's brilliant.

I think he was, like, one of the guys who championed rugby league in Melbourne, and he was one of the first guys that really brought, you know, more and more people to the game.

So, you know, I think rugby league owes him as well.

You know, he's always been our number one supporter, and a very loyal supporter at that.

Molly has a wicked sense of humour.

That's another thing we connect on.

He's got a great sense of humour. He's a funny bastard, you know.

Molly's funny by being Molly.

He's funny because he's a unique one-off.

He's funny 'cause he's eccentric. He's funny 'cause he wears a hat.

And he's funny because he's doing a review of an artist and he's brought the wrong records.

Some people tell jokes, some people construct scenarios, some people do one-liners, Molly doesn't do that.

Molly is funny 'cause he's Molly.

And one day at the Melbourne Cup, when we'd had quite a big day, I looked over at Molly and someone had offered him some chips, and before you know it he grabbed one and he went to light it like a cigarette.

Oh, I loved playing Molly. He was my favourite.

He's just, like, true blue, um... Aussie icon legend, you know.

He's a bloody ripper, you know.

He's a very, very bright man, you know.

And, regardless of people thinking that he can't string two words together, that is not the case.

Even when Molly's had a few... he still makes a lot of sense.

I think a lot of people didn't realise till he had that incredible success for charity on Millionaire.

I think that really showed how intelligent Molly was.

Molly and Michael Gudinski have a sort of...

They love each other, they've done great things together.

They've been through thick and thin together, they've seen the best and the worst of each other.

♪ Looking counterclockwise ♪
♪ Knowing what could happen... ♪

You can't talk about Molly without talking about Michael, because they're like brothers, or like two little old ladies bickering.

For no reason, Ian started screaming at Michael and accused him of something and picked up papers and threw them in his face and then stormed out.

And I walked out and I said, "That wasn't Michael's fault."

And he said, "Yeah, I know."

He said, "I was tired. I needed to pep myself up."

♪ Over you... ♪

We had a label together with Molly, Melodian Records, which we started.

And that's the respect that we had at Mushroom for Molly, was to create his own label, and out of that came Peter Andre.

Now, people don't know this he didn't want any credit for it at the time the song was called Mysterious Boy.

Now, Molly changed that lyric to Mysterious Girl. Say no more.

♪ Mysterious girl I wanna get close to you ♪
♪ Oh, baby, baby... ♪

Peter supported Madonna. There was like a natural...

I'm getting goose bumps actually, talking about that thing.

It's true, he changed that word, which was a critical word, and when you think about Molly, you think he would have been happy with the word 'boy', wouldn't you?

But Molly was thinking.

Now, Ian, you've had your finger on the pulse of...

I beg your pardon?

Molly's sexuality...

Let's not forget that a gay man working in television in the '70s and '80s would have got thrown straight out of the room.

It's a sex that you've never experienced before?

I find this very hard to believe.

Now, let's control ourselves.

Your reputation precedes you, Mr Meldrum.

I know.

Molly is not given enough credit for being the first out gay man in Australian media.

Molly, just he way he just embraced, was completely open and proud and straight-up, and it's brave now, but to be brave, you know, in the '70s!

Seriously brave.

Some girls do... and some girls don't.

Well, what do you do?

Oh, please, Gav.

Ian was engaged a couple of times to lovely girls.

But they just never worked out, and, you know, so what?

Neither did my three marriages! I mean...

On the last Countdown tour, we got married.

He said he was going to go straight for me and he proposed to me on stage.

It was lovely. I still have the ring. I didn't give it back to him.


Yes, it's been very important for Molly to be proud of me doing music.

I saw Molly's name trending.

A horrible, horrible accident.

Every part of his body hit those rungs of the ladder.

And you think, am I not gonna see them again?

You know, I really need to tell them a lot of things, you know.

There's another side to Molly that people, you know, obviously don't see, and that's what a wonderful parent he can be.

I mean, he's got Morgan.

In the mid-'80s, Molly adopted the baby of a very good friend of his, Jan.

His name is Morgan.

I would have just turned 14 when I first met Molly.

It was at a Christmas party HIS Christmas party at his wonderful Egyptian house.

Then I was sitting at the bench around the corner in his house, and I was just sitting there by myself, 'cause there were a lot of adults there, obviously, and Morgan, his young son, who was about the same age as me came up and sat on the bench next to me.

And we kind of got chatting and chatted away kind of all night.

So, I found someone my age.

And all of a sudden Morgan and I just became really great friends.

And really then, that was the start of me becoming a part of Molly's family on a really family side, it didn't really become music first.

And when he first heard those early songs in demo form of Delta's music, he just knew that was something special.

Because we had such a personal family relationship I've been able to ask him questions throughout my life.

Was it important to you for Molly to be proud of you?

Yeah, very much so.

Sorry, that's a really hard one. The way that hits me.

Um... yes.

Yeah, sorry, sorry.

Um... yeah.

It's, um... it's... it's...


Yes, it's been really important for Molly to be proud of me doing music.


You know, uh... I guess when people really support you and care and, um, uh... when they really take the time to listen and care and talk you through the different chapters that you go through, you value that.

And I've only ever wanted to make him proud as an artist and as an adult.

Morgan's almost 30 now, and he's looked after him, he's brought him up, and now Morgan's got a child, so Molly gets to be a grandpa.

I rang him and the phone didn't answer.

So, I thought, "Oh, he's in the backyard doing something."

So, I rang Joe the gardener, and Joe answers the phone.

He says, "Yeah, I'm just in the shed out the back and Molly's come down from the roof to answer your call, and he missed it, he's gone back up."

And I've gone, "Oh, right, OK, well, I'll speak to him later."

And then straightaway, within seconds of us talking, he just yelled through the phone, "Molly's just fallen off the roof. He's hit his head. Call an ambulance."

'Molly's fight for life.

Family, friends and celebrities rally for a favourite son.

In 2011, we were all just sitting around preparing for the onslaught of family and everybody for Christmas, and we heard that Ian was seriously ill after falling off the ladder.

Mate, what are you doing for Christmas?

What's your plan of att*ck?

I'm leaving to go to Bangkok next Tuesday.

'And then I'm going to Phuket and staying there for a month.

Tell us about that day in December 2011.

Molly was a regular guest on my radio show.

It was the weekend before Christmas and Molly came in to have his chat.

Molly and I were talking about how important your health is.

And then that night Molly had been in a horrible, horrible accident.

My phone started to ring and it was the media.

And the first call I just answered naturally, without thinking, and they said, "We've heard that Molly's had a horrific fall."

And I've just all of a sudden...

I think that was the moment when I went, "Oh, holy shit, this is serious."

I got a call from Yael.

Yael, you know, was crying.

She said Ian had had a fall, come to the Alfred as quick as you can.

My wife and I went straight there and we were met by the doctor's there and we went into a sort of a side room.

He was... he'd just arrived, and I guess within about half an hour I was in there to see him.

He was obviously unconscious, he was in a very bad way.

It was a very distressing moment.

What happened, he tried to climb up with his mobile phone, his bloody cigarettes, and you can't climb a ladder with those in your hands.

And he lost... and he fell.

But what he did as he came down, he collected the ladder, which was not on a 45-degree pitch, it was more like a 70-degree pitch, and so as he went down, every part of his body hit those rungs of the ladder.

So, his jaw, his shoulder, his rib cage, his elbow, his legs, his knee, all of that.

And then, he said, "The only thing I can't remember was the concrete at the bottom."

It's a waiting game, so certainly not out of the woods by any stretch of the imagination.

Molly's still in an induced coma, and I suspect that's gonna be the case for a number of days.

♪ Your arms are warm ♪
♪ They make me feel... ♪

The surgeons came in and said, "Look, we have to do emergency surgery on his head."

And as soon as they said that, I just fell apart, because it was, like, "What?"

I can't begin to tell you the shock.

Like, um, even now I don't like talking about it.

It was just awful, awful.

It's horrible when your friends get sick and you think, am I not gonna see them again?

You know, I really need to tell them a lot of things, you know.

It was like a family member being unwell.

You know, it's really, really tough times.

It was so... disturbing to think that... he mightn't survive.

Of course you fear the worst, and, uh... oh, I just felt for him, like everyone else, yeah.

The thought of someone like him losing his life to an accident like that was, um... heartbreaking.

And I followed it every day.

He wouldn't have had the accident, but what he did, it was getting close to four o'clock.

And I dropped in and we were sitting around and he said, "Listen, I need you to take the Vanessa Amorosi masters to Sing Sing."

Yeah, it wouldn't have probably happened if he hadn't have asked me to take those master tapes to Sing Sing.

♪ I'm in chains ♪
♪ I'm in chains ♪
♪ I'm in chains... ♪

I'd just joined Twitter and I suddenly saw Molly's name trending, and I thought, "Well, what's..."

You know, normally that's not such a good thing.

Mum called me on the phone and, yeah, it really rattled me.

Then it seemed to be it was a life-or-death situation, and this all happened over maybe about 12 hours.

I told Elton, I told Mick Jagger and that as well, and they were, like, "Oh, my God," you know, "Please pass on our best to Molly."

I think I went through the "He'll be absolutely fine, right?"

Like, you know, absolutely fine.

Like, I couldn't stomach that he wasn't gonna get through that.

We're really concerned for his life.

I mean, this is a life-and-death matter.

Here he was perfectly well yesterday and here he is today fighting for his life.

Brian and I went and saw him before his operation.

We looked at each other, and there was just that moment of...

We could see the man was fighting for his life.

He was fighting for each breath, and I thought, "You can't get rid of him that easy. No way." Sorry.

Throughout it all, my prime concern was for Ian Meldrum, it wasn't for Molly Meldrum.

It was for Ian Meldrum, my brother.

And I think that's how it had to be treated treated as someone in your family who's in an hour of need and, therefore, you've gotta respond to that need.

The doctor that operated on Molly was a friend of Lindsay's, and they were quite concerned.

They fought really hard to save Molly's life.

He did a magnificent job. That surgeon was sensational.

♪ Any minute now ♪
♪ My ship is coming in... ♪

Why were you up a ladder, Moll?

♪ I keep checking the horizon ♪
♪ And I'll stand on the bow ♪
♪ And feel the waves come crashing ♪
♪ Come crashing down ♪
♪ Down, down on me... ♪

.. and he wore it to school.

And that was the day that Molly had that tragic accident, when he fell.

You know, bastard, he won't stay in hospital.

They turn their back and he keeps going for walks and trying to walk home.

Fans of Molly Meldrum are being told to be patient as they wait for news on the music guru who fell from a ladder at his home on Thursday night.

Luckily, he survived.

And I think he still suffers a bit of pain with the problems that he had.

I know he's got lots of plates and that in his leg.

I got a phone call from, I think it was his brother, if I remember, saying, "Look, there's a little issue. Molly's actually escaped." I said, "Escaped from what?"

And he said, "Escaped from..."

I said, "Well, escaped from hospital?!"

So, he'd had enough and he'd walked home.

I could feel that Molly was up to something.

Not only was he busting to get out of hospital, he was asking me questions about the location when he crosses the road to go into his physio, etc.

When he went to rehab, he just turned and started walking home.

He's a, you know, bastard, he won't stay in hospital.

You know, they turn their back and he keeps going for walks, and trying to walk home.

So, he wanted to be in his own house.

So, at that point I realised he maybe still be sort of recovering, but he was gonna be OK.

The escape was great because the escape was him saying, "I'm ready to come home now."

And then I just used to cook some food and go over and sit with him and talk to him.

I think he has incredible intestinal fortitude and he has a great constitution.

Very strong. Like, he's physically incredibly strong.

The first time I saw Molly after the accident was at a game.

We'd just narrowly beaten our opponents, and I was sitting on the field, you know, waving to the crowd, and I just seen the hat up in a stand, and above the hat was his hand waving a purple and white scarf around.

So, you know, it was a great moment.

You just won't find a better person on this planet.

He's always got along well with my mum and dad, my brother.

He gets along great with my children too.

So, you know, a true friend knows your family, you know, they know your parents, they know your children, they know... they've shared some experiences with you too.

When Molly met my son, my son was about six, and he's really into nature.

And he was just... I watched him, he was watching my son, who was off sort of in the garden, and we were in a group talking, and he just sort of went off and just...

I looked over and just realised he'd been hanging with Oscar for I don't know how long.

And at the end of the day, he took off his hat and gave it to Oscar.

And Oscar... to this day, has that hat, treasured that hat.

And that really... It's so weird.

Oscar went through a period where he hadn't worn the hat for a couple of years, and he put it on one morning and he wore it to school.

And that was the day that Molly had that tragic accident, when he fell.

You know, he is, he's a good friend of the family's and a great friend of mine.

As a parent, when you see someone outside of all the hullabaloo and drinks and meeting, when you see them walking over and just hanging with your kid, that's why people love Molly.

That's why I love him.

He's great friends with my wife, and she's done him up a painting of him and Ziggy, his little dog, and the hat, so...

♪ Say goodbye ♪ Say goodbye... ♪

His whole kind of thing was bringing the music and the bands to the people, but for us he was just as kind of famous.

I think Molly has always been the ambassador of rock'n'roll.

And hopefully every country has a Molly Meldrum.

The people that he's been able to interview, which nobody else could get you know, the biggest acts in the universe Molly had 'em because of his love of music and the industry and the people in the industry.

He was the voice of Australia, as far as music went, in the UK.

Molly's always been obsessed with music and new bands that are coming up, and still is.

You know, very rarely do you get people where that enthusiasm and interest and energy keeps going.

Once Molly was out of hospital, it wasn't too long before he found a great new artist Sarah Rzek and recorded and produced a great new single for her.

♪ And your eyes are closing down on the day. ♪

Molly... he started so early that he sort of like, he became synonymous with television.

If you were in the trenches, Molly would definitely be one of the guys that you'd say, "Rightio, Moll, I want you next to me, mate." And you know what? He would be too.

A good friend of mine in the audience tonight.

I've known this guy seems like all my life.

Put your hands together for Molly Meldrum.

Come on, guys.

What a character.

I like to feel my life has been more colourful with him in it.

Thank you, Molly.

I don't think I've met anyone that dislikes Ian.

It's, like... it's just the way it is.

If you were in the trenches, Molly would definitely be one of the guys that you'd say, "Rightio, Moll, I want you next to me, mate."

And you know what? He would be too.

People that have been around for 40 years or more you know, the Stones, Rod Stewart, Madonna, you name 'em they know who he is.

And they know what an influence he's been.

Wanna say a few words?

I love you too.

Molly! Molly! Molly! Molly! Molly!

Molly is very highly regarded worldwide by the heads and moguls of record companies, television people and the artists themselves.

I know, for instances, over the years where Rod Stewart would only do one interview for the world, and that was Molly.

I've come from warm sheets to do this interview, You know that, don't you? I realise that, yes.

And you've come up well after the party last night.

Four hours' sleep. Pardon? How many hours' sleep?

About four.

You went to bed at seven. It's now five.

Seven. Well, it took me five hours to get ready. I see.

Molly... he started so early that he sort of like, he became synonymous with television.

It was sort of like, you know, if Brian Henderson wasn't on or Molly wasn't on, then there's something wrong with television.

He was one of the original heads that turned up.

Molly Meldrum's life and times is something that all Australians should be proud of mostly and should celebrate in true tradition.

And I think that is putting a smile on my face, I know that would be putting a smile on Ian's face.

Molly would give you his soul. He's just an amazing, generous person.

There's just so much in his heart that he loves to give. Mm.

Jeez, I'm lucky he's not straight, he might have run off with you.

I don't think so.


I've known Ian 'Molly' Meldrum for 47 years.

47 bloody years can you believe it?

And our relationship today's no different to what it was 47 years ago.

I'm very proud to be his mate.

I'd like to k*ll him more often than not, but I am very proud to be Molly's mate.

Molly! Molly! Molly! Molly! Molly!

He will be embarrassed, but he'll be proud about the documentary.

He'll think, "Oh, why do people fuss over me?"

But he'll be really proud that it's been done.

Molly will hate the fact that he had no control over this documentary.

Molly will love the fact that it covers all aspects of his life.

He'll get embarrassed about people talking so highly of him.

But deep down he'll love the recognition, and he deserves it.

Wow. It feels good being Molly Meldrum.

Greetings, Molly. Do yourself a favour.

Do yourself a favour. Do yourself a favour.

This is a big hat to fill.

Do yourself a favour.

Cheers, mate. Hats off to you.

Love ya, Moll. Love ya, Moll. Mwah.

We love you, Molly. We do.

Thanks, Moll. Do yourself a favour.

Do yourself a favour.

Love you, Molly.

Um... uh... uh...

This is what's under his hat.

This is what's under MY hat.

Long may you wear it.

You are the real thing.

Do yourself a favour.

Good on ya, son. You want to do what?!

Thanks, Moll. Good on ya, Molly. Mwah!

Love ya, Molly. You're the best, mate.

I'm so sorry I didn't accept your hand in marriage.

Love ya, Moll. Thanks, Molly.

Do yourself a favour.

F Troop. We take our hats off to ya.

We love you down at the Melbourne Storm.

Thanks, Moll. I'm feeling very Brokeback Mountain.

This hat's too big for me. Wear it proud.

The world's a better place with you.

Molly Meldrum, we love you.

Thanks, Ian, for making my life a joy.

Love you, Molly. Go, Saints.

What are you? Amazing!

I think this is looking good on me, Molly.

Now I'm wearing the hat.

You are the real thing.

Here I am again, talking about you, lovey!

Do yourself a favour, Molly.

You're the best.

I'm not Molly Meldrum.

Molly, last time you said farewell to me...

To you.

That is shocking!

Oh, Lindsay. Oh, you can't do that.
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