A few weeks ago, I was sad to announce the passing of one of my heroes. The bad news is that this is going to be another one of those posts. Just a couple of weeks ago, another significant figure from my youth passed away. Maybe not one of my inspirations but a person who seemed like a big part of life here in Australia.
I can mention the name Lou Richards and it won’t mean a lot to anyone outside Australia. But here down under, his name rings bells that are loud and clear. It could be said that Lou was one of our first multimedia megastars.
So who exactly was Lou Richards? He was a football player, and a very good one, back in the 1940s and ’50s. He played for my team – Collingwood. He even captained it to a premiership in 1953, and given how rare premierships have been for the ‘woods since then, that’s a pretty special thing.
Of course, I’m not old enough to remember Lou’s playing days. But when I was a kid, Lou had already carved out a significant post-football career as a media identity. He was on the radio. He was on the telly. He had a column in a newspaper. He was pretty much everywhere. Back in the ’70s, before we even knew what it meant, Lou Richards had become a multimedia megastar.
It feels funny knowing that Lou Richards is not around. He was so ubiquitous through pretty much all my growing up. I suppose it’s just another sign that the world keeps moving on and time waits for nobody and I could keep going but that’s enough with the cliches for now. Certainly, the game of football has changed, not just from when Lou Richards played but also when he commentated 40-odd years ago. And the media has changed too. We don’t think much of anybody having the kind of multimedia presence and doing the kind of stunts that once brought him so much attention.
Thinking about the whole media thing made me reflect again on my writing (as most things do). In some ways, writing is the original form of multimedia. We don’t work with high-end technology or dazzling effects, but what we do is far more than just words. Once people consume those words, they have the most amazing effect. They generate sounds and vision inside their heads. They introduce the most incredible effects, all through triggering the power of the imagination.
So, as a writer, I truly believe I am a multimedia artist. Does that make me a multimedia megastar, like Lou Richards was? Well, maybe not just yet, but I’m working on it.
In the meantime, R.I.P. Lou and best wishes to friends and family. Heaven has definitely just become a more colourful place. And their footy team just got an excellent recruit.
Posted by Jonathan Gould and tagged as