Murray Cook’s last tour as a Wiggle is bittersweet.
The popular Australian children’s group The Wiggles are on one last tour with the original lineup of Red Wiggle Cook, Yellow Wiggle Greg Page, Purple Wiggle Jeff Fatt and Blue Wiggle Anthony Field.
Including a stop at the Thunder Bay Community Auditorium on Oct. 21, the Wiggles are touring the world one last time before Cook, Page and Fatt say farewell to the band.
Their last shows are in their homeland Down Under and are scheduled for just before the Christmas holidays and Cook said those last shows are going to be hard.
“I think those last shows are going to be pretty sad,” said Cook during a phone interview with TB Source last Wednesday.
“I think it’s going to be weird next year not doing it, not being on the road,” he added.
While the three departing members each have their own reasons for retiring, for Cook it was about spending more time with his children.
Cook will still be involved with The Wiggles, particularly still writing music for the group; it was the touring that was becoming too time-consuming.
“We love what we do and it’s great fun. We’re going to miss the touring and the miss the shows and the other guys, but it’s nice to finish off all together and see audiences around the world,” said Cook.
The Wiggles have been performing together for 21 years and Cook said it’s been a privilege to perform for families for so long and to be accepted in so many countries.
Some highlights include participating in the 2001 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade in New York City and meeting celebrities who have brought their children to Wiggles shows throughout the years like Robert De Niro, Sarah Jessica Parker, John Travolta and Jerry Seinfeld.
“That’s been a bit of a thrill, something we never expected would happen,” Cook said.
And while the original Wiggles will be disbanding at the end of this year, a new lineup will be ready to go.
That lineup includes Field, the original Blue Wiggle, Lachlan Gillespie, Simon Pryce and the first female Wiggle Emma Watkins.
The new Wiggles will be along on the farewell tour so they can be introduced to audiences and also to get some experience under their belt.
“It’s been great for them to be involved and learn as they go,” said Cook. “It’s an opportunity for us to see how they’re going and give them some hints. Anthony (Field) is very experienced … he’ll make sure it stays on track.”
“They’ve got talented performers. They’re very warm; they connect with the audience. I think it will be good,” Cook added.
The original Wiggles last stop in Thunder Bay is scheduled for Oct. 21 at 12:30 p.m. at the TBCA.
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