Take that

Three things with Zan Rowe: “I never washed my Take That t-shirt…then it started to smell” | life and style

Jn month, one of the ABC’s most beloved radio segments makes the leap to the small screen. Take 5, the Double J mainstay hosted by Zan Rowe every Friday morning, will air five episodes on ABC TV in September and October. As she does in the booth, Rowe will ask her guests to share five songs they love – and the memories attached to them – for an intimate look at the music that shaped their lives. The lineup includes Guy Pearce talking about losing his father at a young age, country star Keith Urban sharing his perhaps unexpected love for electronics and Tori Amos discussing her struggle to be heard as a woman in music. .

Over the years, hundreds of musical heroes have stopped by ABC Studios to appear on Take 5. One of them was Beatles legend Sir Paul McCartney. Here, Rowe tells us how he grabbed his autograph, along with the story of two other important personal effects.

What I would save from my house in a fire

My copy of The Beatles White Album signed by Paul McCartney. I had the opportunity to interview Sir Paul in late 2017, when he toured Australia for the first time in a quarter of a century. He was keen to settle down and talk in depth about his music, so he agreed to do my radio show Take 5.

I was hoping that I had brought along a brand new vinyl copy of the white album, even though his PR manager had warned me that he usually doesn’t sign anything. As we finished our conversation, I gestured to the file, “Paul, I know you don’t usually do this, but you would mind…” and he gently pushed me away and mumbled, “Oh no, I don’t really…”

“He shouted, ‘Come on Zan, bring it here! : how Rowe found a signature of Paul McCartney. Photo: provided

As I nodded and brought the record back to the table it was sitting on, he yelled, “Come on, Zan, bring it here!” and I smiled as I – in what must have appeared like puppy-dog excitement – ran back, folder in hand.

He wrote it to me, a lightning bolt Z next to my name, an arrow to a young Paul inside the gatefold. “I thought you were the one,” I said jokingly, pointing at Ringo. Every time I watch this, it reminds me that it really happened, and I smile again.

My most useful item

My digital diary. Incredibly boring but the absolute truth. I’d be lost if I didn’t put things on my calendar: work commitments, deadlines, seeing your baby, deworming my cat.

My brain and my life are always in six different places at once, and without my diary, I’d be a cactus. My best friend makes fun of me for sending her invitations to our social dates with her Outlook calendar, but it has nothing to do with her, it’s all me.

The object I most regret having lost

When I was a teenager, I was a serial radio contest caller. I called so much on the evening FM shows that the producer had my number in her Rolodex. One day after school, I got a call from her. Take That was pre-recording an interview, and she needed to plant some “fan callers” for the broadcast that night. I asked Robbie, Gary and Mark my prepared question, they gave me their prepared answer and my job was done.

A few weeks later, a signed Take That T-shirt arrived in my mailbox. It was the price for being one of the privileged few to call. I was 15 and my tastes lay more towards the Smashing Pumpkins and the Stone Temple Pilots than towards British boy bands, so I ‘ironically’ wore the T-shirt to parties at friends’ houses, looking up at this ‘trash pop”.

I think teenager Zan was too hard on Take That. To be so militant about what defined “good” music was so 90s and so boring. I’m glad I dropped all that, but I wish I hadn’t floored the tee too.

I never washed it in case the signatures came off, then the “irony fashion” started to smell. Physical music memories are my memory bank and some of my most prized possessions: CDs, ticket stubs, band posters, I love it all. I wish I had kept that Take That t-shirt.