WICKETY WAK STAR LOSES
BATTLE WITH CANCER
By Shirley Broun
YESTERDAY afternoon I checked in to read the latest notifications on Facebook.
A post from entertainment industry stalwart Brian Fogarty caught my eye. Something about my dear friend Greg Doolan. `Oh what’s Greg up to,’ I thought inquisitively. Then I read it:
“Another shock! Too young and a great talent — Greg Doolan (Wickety Wak) sadly passed away this afternoon @ only 63 yrs of age.”
Can’t be right, I thought and read it again. Tears welled in my eyes. I only spoke to him a short while ago when he called me to ask if he could use my old magazine’s name ‘Variety Today’ for his latest club show. (Eventually, the show was called Variety Tonight).
I was only too happy for him to do so as Greg had been a big part of the magazine’s history in many ways during the 1990′s, including being guest compere and performer at several of our major annual Variety Today Birthday celebrations in Sydney and on the Queensland Gold Coast which attracted over 200 entertainers at each event.
I had also been his manager for a period when he was establishing himself as a solo artist after the members of Wickety Wak first went their own ways in 1992.
Greg Doolan was a larger than life character who had a heart of gold and a fierce love for his lovely wife Laura, his children, loved ones and the entertainment industry.
Entertaining was what he did best. He could steal your heart with a captivating ballad one moment and have audiences rocking in the aisles the next followed by an hilarious impression of a high profile superstar that had people in tears with laughter. He had a magnificent voice that could capture the heart and soul of any song and make it his own. Greg was, indeed, the ultimate performer. He won many awards and accolades although he rarely spoke of them. His enjoyment came from the applause and cheers of his audiences which, on occasion, saw this dynamic personality shed a tear of joy.
Another thing I loved about Greg was his infectious enthusiasm. He was always up for a new challenge and his goal was set at `perfection’. He gave his all at every performance whether in front of an audience of 100,000 or just 10. It didn’t matter … everyone, he believed, deserved to see him at his very best and most entertaining.
We, his friends, family and fans, were so lucky to have had Greg in our lives. He was a gentleman, a huge creative talent, top vocalist, musician and all round performer whose keen wit, humor, loving nature and unique sensibility in caring for others will ensure his memory will last forever. Thank you my dear dear friend.
My sincere condolences go out to Laura and all his family at this very sad time. Take a bow Greg – a new audience awaits you above!