Monday, February 25, 2013

Bones on the phone

This starts with a great Aussie photographer, Rennie Ellis. I have seen his books before, full of observational street photography documenting Australia in the 70s and 80s. I became aware of an online gallery of his work last year, and saw this image of a Richmond cult hero, Robbie "Bones" McGhie. This is Grand Final Day 1974, I assume before the match. Bones calms the nerves with a quick durrie.  There is a corresponding post-match pic of Bones downing a can of Vic Bitter. He was quite the lad. I remember his footy card very well as being one of only maybe 2 or 3 that showed tattoos. Kevin Murray is the other one who leaps to mind.

So I thought  - what a great image, maybe it would make a good t-shirt?

Before I did anything with it I want to get approval from the photographer's estate and the subject. I am still waiting to hear from Rennie's people (he died in his sixties in 2003). I found an email for Bones, and sent the design to him for comment yesterday.

He rang me this morning! He's 61 now, still smoking. In fact he started a business manufacturing and distributing those waist-high ashtray bollards. He was affable, said he thought the design was OK and to do whatever I liked. I was a bit blown away, and said I thought it was a great photo. He said yes, he thought so too. And I imagined he was busy with his bollards and his sports-strapping-tape business so I let him go.

But - I have to call him back. He's a dual premiership Tiger! I've got to pester him with some questions about the big games he played in, and being coached by Tom Hafey (one of my all-round heroes in life). Leyton Hewitt's dad once played for Richmond and allegedly left after an altercation with Bones in the carpark. True?

Anyway, I now have BONES McGHIE in my mobile address book. Do you think he would mind if I started texting him during Richmond games like I do every other Tiger supporter I know?

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