Thursday, October 22, 2009

He Loved Your Faces

One of the last clips of the now dead Don Lane, before dementia demolished his mind. What a stunning moment of Australian live TV this Grant Page car hit was :

I still have video-vivid memories of Don Lane trying to interview a thrillingly manic Robin Williams; Evil Kneivel boasting about his abandoned plans to sleep with Elizabeth Taylor and dive out of a airplane without a parachute; Hunter S. Thompson, his coat draped over his shoulder, announcing something like "What The Fuck Am I Doing With This On My Fucking Shoulder" (stunningly, the swear word went to air, excitement!) and Doris Stokes, playing her Other Side medium illusions for all they were worth, but also helping audience members to grieve for those they'd lost, some crying about a dead parent, or child, for the first time.

Fantastic viewing, whether you were 8 or 78.

Does anybody else remember Don Lane calling phone boxes in New York or London and telling the person who answered they were now talking live on Australian TV? Brilliant. How innovative such a simple international phone call seemed back then. And how full of eight- year-old outrage and scorn we were at school the next day when someone who answered in the US had asked "Ahhstroolarn? Where's that?" How could they not know?

Thank you, Mr Lane. You did a great show.

Here's a tribute, of sorts, to Don Lane by Paul Hogan, from the mid-1980s :