FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Colin Hay Announces Fall US Tour Dates
Tour Coincides With 30th Anniversary Re-Release of “Down Under” and Telstra Olympic Campaign
(Nashville, TN) Aug. 15, 2012 – Former Men at Work frontman Colin Hay will be touring the United States this September with dates in North Carolina, Tennessee, Missouri, Indiana, ending in California at his home venue Largo. The singer-songwriter recently celebrated the 30th anniversary of the Men at Work hit “Down Under” from the chart-topping album Business As Usual by releasing “Down Under 2012,” a re-recorded version of the #1 single. This version does not include the “Kookaburra” flute line, which is the subject of a drawn out and embittered lawsuit in Australia.
Marketing executives at Telstra, the Australian network provider, tapped the track as the theme for their Olympic games advertising campaign. "Down Under" has been the unofficial anthem of Australian sports since it was adopted by the Australian team during the 1983 America’s Cup which Australia won. Telstra chose "Down Under" as the centerpiece for their campaign in recognition of its unparalleled representation of the Australian national spirit. The campaign features Colin Hay in a series of 30- and 60-second commercials singing the song with groups of various sizes, ranging from people on the street to a children’s chorus up to a football stadium of 60,000. In addition to their TV campaign, Telstra is promoting the song through broadcasters Bigpond, Ninemsn, and worldwide via a social media campaign on Youtube, Facebook, Flikr, and more. Australian TV Channel 9 will also air a 3-minute ‘making of’ video during the Olympics. Compass Records Group will be promoting the release of the digital EP with a “Down Under” trivia contest and social media campaign targeting Hay fans. Watch the commercial here.
In 2009, a multi-million dollar lawsuit was filed by Larrikin Music Publishing against EMI Music Publishing and co-writers Colin Hay and Ron Strykert for allegedly plagiarizing the folk melody “Kookaburra Sits in the Old Gum Tree.” Despite overwhelming popular support for Hay, the court ruled that the two-bar flute line did infringe on the original copyright, though ultimately the claimant was rewarded a fraction of what they were seeking. The media attention surrounding this was further heightened this year with the death of Greg Ham, Men at Work co-founder, saxophonist and flute player who played the melody off the top of his head while recording the song.
The current re-release of the song and the simultaneous media campaign will serve as a vehicle for illustrating the integrity of the song. Comments Hay: “Fortunately on the eve of the 30th anniversary of the song Telstra, the communications company, have decided to license "Down Under" and are about to show it on the telly, as well as the cyber-world to hopefully inspire our athletes at the upcoming Olympics. I was happy to help, and along with my friend Dorian West, created a spirited version of the song featuring footballers, pub goers, sailors on the Thames, school kids in Sydney, and, well, you get the idea. This led me to the idea of re-releasing "Down Under 2012" (without the so-called infringing flute line), to re-establish the song in the consciousness of the public, and in so doing, highlight that the power and strength of the song lies in its original words and music. It speaks for itself.“
Colin Hay as a solo singer-songwriter attracts deeply passionate fans and international praise. His critically acclaimed latest album Gathering Mercury was released this April on 18-gram vinyl, followed by multiple performances at the hugely popular Bonnaroo Music Festival in Manchester, TN, a feature in Forbes and he was invited last May to interview and perform on the Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson. He has interviewed at length on CNN and this Februrary Colin was invited to serenade Ellen DeGeneres for her special birthday episode. He also performed exclusively for Rolling Stone Live, and was interviewed via video for Popmatters.
The tunes on Gathering Mercury are deeply affecting, but never maudlin. Despite the often-serious subject matter, they’re full of optimism. “It’s not a conscious thing and may have to do with the Scottish mentality. We deal with darkness by shining a light on it.” All Music Guide offers, “By this, his 11th solo album, Colin Hay’s records are as comfortable as a pair of old shoes…it speaks to the craft, there’s a lot of thought behind what seems so easy.” And Metro Pulse says, “…his finest post Men At Work tracks. The music is as hooky and well-manicured as anything he’s ever recorded.”
Fall Tour Dates
09-07-2012 The Clayton Center - Clayton, NC
09-08-2012 Mountain Song Festival - Brevard, NC
09-09-2012 McGlohan Theatre - Charlotte, NC
09-13-2012 Buckman Performing Arts Center - Memphis, TN
09-14-2012 The Old Rock House - St. Louis, MO
09-15-2012 Ferdinand Folk Festival - Ferdinand, IN
09-27-2012 Largo - Los Angeles, CA