I always liked Olivia Newton-John but I also always wondered if her seeming absence of entitlement–evident from pre-fame early Australian TV cuts on YouTube to whatever her latest interview is–was a strategy. It’s a fair question of anybody gorgeous, blonde, eternally thin, with enough talent to become a superstar in the last age when talent was a prerequisite, whether always appearing just a bit awkward and uncomfortable in the spotlight you were born to inhabit is your personality speaking or a way into everybody’s pocket.
I always gave her the benefit of the doubt…while remaining aware that (a la Brigid O’Shaughnessy), she might have been counting on that from me.
Meaning, just once, I wished she would relax and radiate the joy she often conveyed on record in a live performance.
Just once, at 60, on the stage of an Australian charity benefit, with 63-year-old Barry Gibb–a fan for life–there to shade her from the the superstar heat, she did. I just discovered it on the way to something else. And it’s a marvel. God love ’em, they even made me like this song….