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My Arts: Rolf Harris

Can you tell what his didgeri-dos and didgeri-dont's are yet?

Published on August 3rd 2012.


My Arts: Rolf Harris

What are your top three albums of all time?
1) Any of the Beatles albums – I couldn’t choose between any of their albums.

2) A Little Touch of Schmillson in the Night (Harry Nilsson)

3) Aerial (Kate Bush) 

What were the first and the last records that you bought?
I can’t remember the last record I bought … recently I tend to listen, mostly, to music on the radio.

LittleThe first record I ever bought was the Light Cavalry Overture, when I was about nine. We had a wind-up gramophone.  I’d heard it on the radio and I bought the record with my pocket money. When I was ill and confined to bed, I played it over and over.  And I also bought I’m Beginning to See The Light by Duke Ellington.

What tune is running around your head at the moment?
Meera Joota Hai Japani  -  It’s a song in Hindi sung by the legendary Raj Kapoor.  He was the godfather of Bollywood Movies.  He recorded that song and used it in one of his first films and I’m now working on doing a recording of it and I cannot get it out of my mind! 

What was the last gig you went to?
The Diamond Jubilee Concert in front of Buckingham Palace. 

Did you pay to get in? If not, why not?
No – because I was on stage (main pic) – but I was as much a member of the audience because of the calibre of performers at that concert.  I was backstage in the green room watching the monitors.

Only Fools And HorsesTop TV: Only Fools And Horses

Do you listen to lyrics or merely absorb melody?
I’m fiercely listening to lyrics and if I can’t understand the lyrics, I switch the song off. I become bored with the song if the lyrics are unintelligible either because of pronunciation or because of the recording levels and quality.  I need to hear the expertise of the songwriter that has created those marvellous lyrics.  If the lyrics are less than marvelous, I’m less than impressed.

What newspapers/magazines do you read?
I listen to the news on the radio and tv … I read different newspapers all the time.

What word do you most like the sound of?
Fantastic!  … With a pause after fan, the tas really loud and then tic at the end.

Which websites do you visit most often?
www.DeMontfortFineArt.co.uk

Simon BatesSimon BatesWho or what do you listen to on the radio?
All the presenters on Radio 2 – it depends what time of day ……and Simon Bates, who was on Classic FM and now he’s on Smooth Radio.  

What was the best television programme ever made?
Any of David Attenborough’s wildlife programmes – they’re all stunning.

The best comedy programmes … Only Fools and Horses and the Morecambe & Wise Shows were unassailable.

Top film ever made?
The Wages of Fear – Brigitte Bardot’s first appearance in a film and starring Yves Montand, the most nerve-wracking black and white film I’ve ever seen.  What tension that created.  I came out of the cinema, walked down three steps and my legs gave way.  I finished up on all fours!  I was so nervous during the film.

The Magic PuddingThe Magic PuddingWhat book in childhood made the biggest impression on you?
In my childhood, it was The Magic Pudding by Norman Lindsay – a wonderful book. With incredible black and white illustrations which fired my imagination.  In my twenties, the book that made the biggest impression on me was Try Giving Yourself Away by David Dunn.

What's your current book at bedtime?
Under the Dome by Stephen King.

Do you go to the theatre and what did you last see?
Matilda the Musical (based on the story by Roald Dahl).

Who or what makes you laugh?
My wife, Alwen, has a great sense of humour and we laugh together at anything and everything … particularly our pets.

Gulf_Stream

What single work of art do you find the most moving or intriguing?
The Gulf Stream by Winslow Homer.  It’s absolutely marvellous. A guy in a dismasted boat. He’s got a hurricane coming towards him, he’s broken his arm – I think, he’s dying through lack of water; the sharks are in every direction wherever you look and there’s a twister coming towards him.  It’s a fantastic painting.

Which public figure do you most admire?
The Queen

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What is your favourite piece of architecture?
The Houses of Parliament and the Sydney Opera House.                    

Least favourite? 
Modern slab-sided glass buildings that are as boring as old rope. 

Know any good jokes?
Somebody asked me how I could tell the difference between the sexes of flies.  I said: ‘That’s easy.  You see those five flies over there?   ……The two on the phone are women and the three on the beer are men!’

*Rolf Harris's retrospective, Can You Tell What It Is Yet?, continues at The Walker Art Gallery, William Brown Street, Liverpool, until August 12. Admission free. Click here for more details.

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