Meat Loaf is one loose unit. That’s why anything could happen when the headline act for the pre-game entertainment at tomorrow’s AFL Grand Final between Collingwood and Geelong lets rip with a medley of his biggest hits. Five songs in twelve minutes will be some feat for a singer whose tracks are often “epic” in running time.

I will do anything for footy. Even that. Photo: Fox Sports

Fingers crossed the whole show is a catastrophe because, let’s face it, the only reason anybody watches the grand final “entertainment” is to see one spectacular disaster. Good, bad or ugly, the “Bat Out of Hell” will be flat-out trying to upstage the biggest horror show involving song, dance and choreography ever seen at a major sporting event.

The worst in history is Angry Anderson and the Batmobile. I remembered this atrocity after coming across a great article by leading sports blogger The Mad Chatter.

History books show that Hawthorn beat West Coast by 53 points to win the 1991 AFL Grand Final in front of 75,320 fans at VFL Park, the only time the biggest game of the year was played out at Waverly before dozers flattened the joint and it became a housing estate as well as Hawthorn Hawks HQ.

Nobody gives a stuff because most people remember September 28, 1991 as the day a baby blue Batmobile plastered with AFL decal, nicked backstage from a bad high school Rock Eisteddfod act, slugged its way onto the ground for a motorcade of sporting heroes with Angry, the hard-rocking former Rose Tattoo frontman, and retired marathon champ Rob DeCastella sitting nervously in the brothel-red back seat.

Within minutes, Angry was out on the ground belting out a teeth-gnashing, eyeballs-bleeding, nails-scratching-down-a-blackboard rendition of his number one hit song “Bound for Glory”. The reaction of the sports stars in the motorcade was priceless.

Deek was looking for somewhere to hide. Boxing world champions Lionel Rose and Jeff Fenech were stunned. That year’s Brownlow Medallist Jim Stynes was equally bemused. Long-distance swimmer Susie Maroney typically had no idea what the hell was going on.

Then there was Seoul Olympics marathon silver medallist Lisa Martin and her husband, Kenyan world champion 5000m runner Yobes Ondieki. They completely lost it. Face in hand, almost crying with laughter, Yobes steals the whole ridiculous show. His blink-and-you’ll-miss-it cameo is so memorable that Carlton Draught used it as a tag in a recent ad that proclaims it has been a “proud supporter of footy since 1877… except in 1991”.

If there’s one criticism of Angry’s unforgettable performance - and there can only be one criticism of this magnificent aural nuke - it’s that he didn’t sing “Suddenly”, his 1987 smash hit which became a chart-topper worldwide thanks to Ramsay Street’s Romeo & Juliet. That’s right, I’m talking about the fairytale wedding of Scott and Charlene (Jason Donovan and Kylie Minogue) on Neighbours, still one of the highest-rating episodes on Australian TV. “Suddenly” is all over that cheese.

Maybe it’s the inherent fatalistic streak in our national character but we love this crap. Profound Olympic Games ceremonies rich in symbolism and dazzling SuperBowl pyrotechnics really don’t cut it next to our proud tradition of cringe and kitsch.

Like Matilda, the monster paper-mache kangaroo that I’m pretty sure battled Godzilla in one of those cheap B-Grade sci-fi flicks from the 50s, who winked her way around the QEII stadium during the closing ceremony of the 1982 Commonwealth Games in Brisbane.  She looked about as feminine as the she-males that hang out on street corners near Kings Cross.

“The Magic Man”, mascot of the defunct South East Melbourne Magic NBL franchise put on a show for future basketball Hall-of-Famer Shaquille O’Neal on his mid-90s promo tour for sneaker sponsor Reebok. Shaq didn’t rate the local league but he gave big props to “The Magic Man” for dry-humping a basketball at centre court during a timeout. That’s our family-friendly NBL!

Ageing Brit rocker Billy Idol rode a flaming hovercraft onto the ground before the 2002 NRL Grand Final. Minutes later, he trudged off to boos, jeers and high-fives when a power blackout abruptly ended the performance of his signature hit “Rebel Yell”. Wonder if he still loves his footy?

Even our crowning glory of sports entertainment, the 2000 Sydney Olympics opening ceremony, was a complete balls-up. Forget the crazy idea to put gold medal favourite and hope of the nation Cathy Freeman in a ring-of-fire to light the cauldron for a minute. The cauldron, which looked like a blazing UFO when lit, stalled for four excruciating minutes before creaking its way up the northern stand like a rusty cable-car. That’s still not the worst of it. Not by a long-shot.

The opening ceremony gave us Nikki Webster. We’ve been trying to give her away ever since. Any takers?

As the Batmobile wobbled out of VFL Park, few thought they’d ever see it again. But years later, it bobbed up at the AFL Hall of Fame and Sensation exhibition in Melbourne. Earlier this year, some die-hard fans started the “Bring back Angry Anderson and the Batmobile for the 2011 Grand Final” group on Facebook. It currently has 47 members (including yours truly).

Last week, the Batmobile - which is actually a 1970 VG Valiant Coupe - popped up for sale on eBay with bids starting at a lazy seven-grand.

Owner and Collingwood supporter Michael Monaghan stumbled across it when he went to check out a Valiant for sale in suburban Melbourne. Turns out it was Angry’s Batmobile and she was looking pretty rough. Still, he bought it on the spot and lovingly restored it.

Monaghan has promised to donate 50 per cent of all funds raised in any sale above $10,000 to the Cerebral Palsy Education Centre. I hope the rest will be used to pay off Angry so he never sings in public again. The auction ends on Sunday.

So far nobody has made a bid.

You can view The Mad Chatter’s post on the Angry Anderson and the Batmobile here.

Most commented

32 comments

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    • TChong says:

      06:30am | 30/09/11

      Angry Anderson, -sad sellout to be a Flat Earther ,Tin Foil Hat , Abbott stooge.
      The best footy entertainment had to hace been in ‘89 ARL with Don Williamsons “Rip, Rip, Woodchip”, complete with dancing kiddies dressed as possums, butterflys , wombats.etc
      Where was Angry then?
      After we win tomorrow, the reformed Queen ( with Freddie in spirit, if not in substance ) will be required for 2012 , for a stirring rendition of ‘We ARE the Champions ” Again.
      Geelong fans will need something miserable, goth or emo to match the ocassion.
                                Peace and Goodwill to all Magpies fans.

      BTW, if Warriors do win, which kiwi national anthem should they play ?
      Dave Dobbyns “Slice of Heaven”, or Ramjams “Black Betty” ?

    • gobsmack says:

      09:55am | 30/09/11

      Sorry TChong, but the Woods will lose tomorrow’s game.
      They’ll probably win the 2012 flag in which case Meatloaf’s words “Two out of Three Ain’t Bad” will provide some consolation.
      Go Cats!

    • Thathurts says:

      10:46am | 30/09/11

      Sigh,

      John Williamson - Rip Rip Woodchip.

      Hey but at least you had first post….

    • ibast says:

      11:16am | 30/09/11

      Haven’t you ever heard of Don Williamson Thathurts?  He’s the love child of John Williamson and Don Bourke.  He’ll sing a song whilst he plants a tree, the whole time wearing a Ken Done jumper and being a prima-donna when the camera is turned off.

      Then there’s Daryll Harris . . . .

    • Ben C says:

      11:37am | 30/09/11

      @ gobsmack

      Collingwood already have a “Two out of Three” moment - they were the losing side twice during Brisbane’s three-peat of 2001-2003.

    • Pass the torch says:

      06:59am | 30/09/11

      I dunno about anyone else but I was super-hyped to see how a last minute ring-in who knew nothing about the game or the occasion would go as last year’s pre-game distraction…. and was completely blown away by Lionel Ritchie.
      (See.. he works massive stadiums for a living).

      The only thing cooler than seeing Senor Loaf rock what for him will be a weekday lunch sized crowd, would be if he somehow sneaks Dio - DIO!!! \m/ \m/ - into his carry-on and they do a mosh-up of Paradise by the Dashboard Light and Dream Evil.. ! HELL YEAH!! Make it happen, Demetriou!

    • Wayne Kerr says:

      08:09am | 30/09/11

      You do know Ronnie James Dio is dead, right?

    • Arnold Layne says:

      09:19am | 30/09/11

      I suspect he doesn’t (or didn’t).  In any event, considering RJD’s current condition, getting him on stage to perform Dream Evil would be some achievement.  Imagine the publicity that would generate for the AFL!

    • pass the torch says:

      09:55pm | 30/09/11

      the joke kind of depends on him being dead (yeah?).. I even posted it as “pass the torch” - sheesh.

    • gobsmack says:

      07:56am | 30/09/11

      I have a vague memory of a giant television falling apart at a league final.

    • Arnold Layne says:

      09:22am | 30/09/11

      I was there for that one.  It was the height of the PayTV wars and it was a big Optus promo gone horribly wrong.  They also brought out the cast of 42nd street for a big dance number and they all stood there for a few minutes, waiting helplessly as their scheduled music failed to start so they could perform their number.  Then they all trudged off again.  THe ARL, NSWRL, NRL have been masters of completely lame pre-game entertainment for years.

    • ibast says:

      09:49am | 30/09/11

      Yeah it was suspended a couple of meters off the ground and one supporting wire rope gave way and one side hit the ground.  Inside were about 50-80 school kids who tumbled out of one side of the tele on top of each other.

      They all got up a bit shocked, looked around and got on with the show.

    • Billy the Black Out says:

      08:15am | 30/09/11

      The Billy Idol black out from the 2002 NRL GF was a shocker. The whole stadium, lights and all, went out.

      I remember explaining to bar staff that I dropped my beer due to the blackout and wanted a free one…. They did not oblige.

      The You Tube clip on The Mad Chatter’s blog show clearly how bad Angry and the Batmobile was.

    • TChong says:

      08:33am | 30/09/11

      I thought Billy and the blackout was one of the ARLs finest moments,
      was a fine metaphor for all things ARL.

    • MDMConnell says:

      09:02am | 30/09/11

      I can’t remember the details, but wasn’t there some NRL grand final in the 90’s when they got some young opera singer to sing the anthem…......... and she was shocking. Out of time, trying all these high notes and missing…..it was humiliating.

      All I remember was that the players on the ground were visibly cringing and wincing, and giving each other “WTF” looks.

    • Bobby Dazzler says:

      09:31am | 30/09/11

      @MDMC

      Opera singer Maroochy Barambah famously butchered the national anthem at the 1993 AFL Grand Final…

    • Bec says:

      09:13am | 30/09/11

      Hilarious post. Kath and Kim were pretty bad at a recent AFL grand final, if I recall…and I love them normally.

    • Max Redlands says:

      09:35am | 30/09/11

      Was it two years ago INXS played the AFL final? Dreadful.

      With Hutchence gone it showed them up for the average pub rock/ lumpen funk band they always were.

      Not only that they were all* pushing 50 if not already there.

      Embarrassing.

      * token young hipster vocalist (who came across as just as big a prat only for differenent reasons) excepted.


      imho

    • ibast says:

      10:02am | 30/09/11

      I actually worked for the company that built a lot of the entertainment stuff for the Olympic opening, including the Cauldron lift.  I started there about 9 months after the Olympics and the senior staff there never spoke about what happened.  It took a lot of work on my part to figure out what happened.  Even then I never got it completely pinpointed.

      The company did however did a lot of very clever mechatronic stuff that night and they did do very well to fix that problem in the time frame.  It could easily been a case of “come back tomorrow night”.

    • MR A Dad says:

      10:56am | 30/09/11

      One that I remember and actually worked, was not long after Peter Allen died, I think it was an NRL Grand Final, someone was singing I still call Australia Home live, maybe Olivia Newton John and that dissolved to Peter singing on the big screen.

      That one was about the only one that rates as entertaining in my book!

    • Aitch B says:

      11:02am | 30/09/11

      Meatloaf, schmeatloaf!!

      The game is what it’s all about - I couldn’t give two hoots about pre-game and half time entertainment.

      Unless it’s a semi-naked Susanna Hoffs singing “Walk Like An Egyptian”, of course!! smile

      Do we really need these aged hacks who haven’t done any better than perform at B grade pubs and clubs for the last 20 years?

      At least Hoffs is still putting out new material!!

      Won’t somebody please think of the children?

    • Arnold Layne says:

      12:29pm | 30/09/11

      @Aitch B - I like the way you think.  I’ve been a Hoffs fan for 20 years (yum yum).  The covers albums she’s done with Matthew Sweet are pretty cool too.

    • Aitch B says:

      01:09pm | 30/09/11

      @Arnold Layne

      Indeed… I have both of the Sweet/Hoffs albums.

      I saw them perform at the House Of Blues in Hollywood in ‘06 when I was attending the Rickenbacker 75th anniversary celebrations. She was on stage about 6 feet from me, the stage being elevated about 4 feet.

      Those legs, those legs!!

      I was fortunate enough to actually meet her before the show. Got myself a personally autographed poster to boot.

      A dead set honey.  smile

    • Kika says:

      11:24am | 30/09/11

      My Grandad flew on a plane with Meat Loaf once. Grandad didn’t have a clue who he was. When MeatLoaf told Grandad that he was a rock musician Grandad then told him all about my Dad and that he played guitar in bands too… embarassment..!. (Dad has never been a professional musician other than getting a few paid gigs at pubs throughout his life..)

    • Average Joe says:

      02:16pm | 30/09/11

      Was your Grandad a politician?

    • Dragon says:

      03:55pm | 30/09/11

      I’m sure Angry has had a more recent cringe worthy moment at either the NRL or AFL GF. Can’t have been that long ago.. I enjoyed the read, reminded me of a priceless moment that I shared with a few mates.

    • alank says:

      04:27pm | 30/09/11

      ALL pre-game entertainment for ALL sporting events is beyond ZED grade -cant bear it - time to pull some weeds or pop to the shop.  The AFL continue to astound and offend me to think they reckon I need to be “entertained” - guess what Mr Demetriou - the FOOTY is the entertainment and its all we need.  AFL/NRL/whatever, its always cringe-inducing schlock and demeaning to viewers and the hacks that take the cheque.

    • Sydneysider says:

      05:02pm | 30/09/11

      The prematch entertainment is the only entertainment at an AFL Grand Final .

    • Fiona says:

      10:01pm | 30/09/11

      Just like at the NRL grand final, hey?

    • sydneysider says:

      05:13pm | 30/09/11

      what prematch entertainment will be at the Sydney Grand Final Manly versus Warriors? The Darwin Balcony Sex Dancers?

    • Arthur Bastard says:

      12:51am | 01/10/11

      A humble plea to all footy administrators: Just give us the footy. Please. That’s all we came for. And cut out all the sponsors and speeches and rubbish at the end as well. Just give the boys their trophy and let them celebrate.

      It’s all so bloody Primary School Athletics Carnival. Please stop it.

    • stephen says:

      01:10pm | 01/10/11

      He’s interesting, so lets swap our Jonny Farnham, Molly Meldrum,(and this bloke’s supposed to be in Mensa - must be the reserves - ) and the ABC, and get in return someone who doesn’t give a fig about popularity contests.

 

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