The 450 guests at the Regent Theatre in Melbourne at the August 16th Australasian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) Hall of Fame got to see The Divinyls play their first show in eight years.
The band was set to only do two songs, “I Touch Myself” and “Boys In Town,” after being inducted by actor Hugh Jackman. But the group responded to a near hysterical audience and returned for “Ain’t Gonna Eat Out My Heart Any More.”
Icehouse, which finished the show, got similar treatment. After renditions of “Great Southern Land” and “We Can Get Together” (joined by Cold Chisel guitarist Ian Moss), the band did an unrehearsed rendition of the Easybeats’ “Sorry.”
It was an emotional night for some artists. Actor Toni Collette inducted Helen Reddy, who tearfully thanked the Australian music collective for welcoming her home. Reddy returned to Sydney after more than 30 years in Los Angeles. She retired in 2002.
Daddy Cool was inducted by Tim Finn of Split Enz. Blues rocker Billy Thorpe did the honors for seminal guitarist Lobby Loyde, who is battling cancer.
The night was a triumph for manager/TV producer and onetime Warner Music A&R chief Mark Pope, who pushed for the idea of a stand-alone hall of fame. Since 1991, artists have been inducted as part of the ARIA music awards each October.
– Bryan Jones