Tony Grist (poliphilo) wrote,
Tony Grist


No-one hates Rolf Harris. At least they never used to; I suppose they may do now.

He wasn't another Jimmy Savile- about whom there was always a bit of a mephitic haze. Harris was wholesome.  When he sang that lewd old army song, Jake the Peg, one doubted that he grasped the double-entendres. Extra leg? Shame on you for having those evil thoughts. It's a kiddies' song. OK? And it's Rolf singing it and his mind is pure.

Half the joke of his surprisingly effective cover version of Stairway to Heaven- with its wobbleboard accompaniment- was that this was Rolf. No-one could be less rock and roll.

He was loved, trusted. His programmes about art were a delight. I imagine a whole lot of people first discovered Monet, Turner, Van Gogh- through him. He happened to be a decent amateur painter himself.  He knew the tricks of the trade and approached the "greats" as a fellow artisan.

His music has lasted- though I guess it's being stripped out of the play lists now. Sun Arise, Tie Me Kangeroo Down jostled Waltzing Matilda as unofficial anthems of Oz. He was the king of the novelty song.

I'm a little too old to have had him as a formative influence, but he was there for generation after generation of kids. And now that entirely innocent sentence has gone all slimy and rotten.

Ah well...
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