Hippo Manchester
August 18, 2005

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Better than a Vegemite sandwich

Men at Work frontman Colin Hay and his guitar to play Tupelo

By Richie Victorino

Colin Hay is a man at work.

Hay is, of course, known as a member of the Australian-based Men At Work, an ’80s band that penned the hits “Down Under” and “Who Can It Be Now?”

If you were born post-’80s, you may not know what I’m talking about, so I’ll try to connect you to who Hay is.

If you’ve watched the television show Scrubs on NBC, you may recognize Hay’s song “Beautiful World.” Scrubs and Garden State star Zach Braff must really be a fan of Hay, because he put Hay’s “I Just Don’t Think I’ll Ever Get Over You” onto the Garden State soundtrack.

The success of the Garden State soundtrack compelled Compass Records to re-release Hay’s 2000 album Going Somewhere this past May.  The re-release includes “I Just Don’t Think I’ll Ever Get Over You” as a bonus track.

But back to Men At Work.

The band was named the Best New Artist at the 1982 Grammy Awards after the release of Business As Usual. From that album came two huge hits, “Who Can It Be Now?” and “Down Under.” “Down Under” and Business As Usual remained atop the American charts for 16 weeks, until someone by the name of Michael Jackson came out with a little album called Thriller.

Men At Work have successfully reunited for various shows and tours, including performing at the end of the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, Australia.

When asked if he gets confused as to whether he’s playing a solo show or a Men At Work show, Hay replied in a press release: “I throw a pick into the audience. If the front row fights for it, I know it’s a Men At Work show. If one person picks it up and hands it to me, I know I’m on my own.”

Here’s a fun fact about Hay: OK, his biggest known hit is probably “Down Under.” How can we not sing along, secretly wishing we could master the Australian accent while we we sing? But truth be told, Hay was born in Scotland. In 1967, when Hay was 14, he moved to Australia, playing music on the ship the whole way there.

See ‘Em

Colin Hay plays at Tupelo Music Hall on Friday, Aug. 19, at 9:15 p.m. Tickets are $30 and can be purchased at www.tupelohall.com.

The Tupelo Music Hall is located at 2 Young Road, Londonderry. 437-5100.

For more information on Hay, go to www.colinhay.com.