It has been quite a week, what with the shocking news of Olivia Newton-John passing, a week after Judith Durham. I was very familiar with Judith Durham and the music of The Seekers, but it wasn’t my preferred genre, so I know little of their vast number of hits. But I have always been a fan of Olivia Newton-John, and like millions of other fans, I know a few of her songs by heart.
I remember so well when the movie Grease opened in Wellington in 1978. Wow. I had not long moved out of home, living in a rental with another young woman, Hilary. We got on really well, we enjoyed the same food, and both had loads in common including being great fans of Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta. We had to see the movie.
So it was arranged that after work one night, we would have an easy quick dinner and get the bus to town which was a short trip as we lived in Mt Victoria. We must have missed the bus and had to wait for the next one as we were running from the bus stop to get to the Regent Theatre in Manners Street to get our tickets. We didn’t want to miss out!
Anyway. The movie was absolutely brilliant and we sang the songs on the bus all the way home. That was my introduction to Olivia Newton-John. She was so inspiring to watch on the big screen. The most beautiful voice, she seemed to sing effortlessly, and I carried that thought right through her career as we watched the movies and video clips she made. She was a beautiful lady. She also had an incredible sense of positivity, calm, and just really down-to-earth in her interviews. She was an activist, doing incredibly good work for people, wildlife, and our planet. She always had a demeanor as someone who would be happy to listen and chat if you were lucky enough to meet her.
The floor fell away from under my feet last Monday morning, 8th August, when we heard the news of her passing. I had no words. At first, I thought it was a prank as some people do the weirdest, most distateful things on social media to get attention, but no. This was real. It was on the 7am news. The rest of the day, and week were all about thoughts of Olivia. the media was flooded and rightfully so, of videos, interviews, memorabilia of Olivia.
Another legend, gone. Rest in Peace, Olivia Newton-John. She will be greatly missed.