Greg Champion was a handy amateur football player back in the day, but it is his skill as a singer-songwriter that has led to him kicking goals as part of pre-match entertainment for multiple AFL grand finals.
‘I played 10 straight years of footy and I only gave it up because I had a gig every Saturday night and if I did a finger at the footy I couldn’t play guitar that night,’ Greg says.
Greg honed his singing, guitar playing and parody skills whilst playing in bands in his hometown of Adelaide, then Melbourne, for a decade before he grabbed the opportunity to join sporting comedy institution, The Coodabeen Champions, in 1983.
For someone who loves footy, music, and having a laugh, the Coodabeen’s has been a dream gig that is still going strong 38 years on. Parallel to that, Greg has continued to perform in his own right and with other bands. He has also written 30 albums worth of songs, including the 1985 hit, ‘I made a 100 in the backyard at mum’s’.
‘Stand-up comedy became another career,’ Greg says. ‘Actually 90 per cent of my income over the last 30 years or more has been stand up — corporate comedy.
I say on stage, mockingly, that Collingwood bashing has almost paid off my house.’
Being able to make a living as a performer is not something Greg takes for granted.
‘98 percent of the world would love to have a music career that actually made a bomb. I'm in the lucky two or three per cent, so I wouldn't have had it any other way as far as a life in music goes. What a joy. You can't call that a job.’
Watch Greg's 2020 Victorian Seniors Festival reimagined interview and performance.