The Wiggles retire
May 18, 2012
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The news broke yesterday that three of The Wiggles original members; Greg Page, Murray Cook and Jeff Fatt intend to retire at the end of the year. The band will continue, with their replacements being lesser members of the Wiggle entourage; Emma Watkins, a former back-up dancer; Lachlan Gillespie, touring Captain Feathersword; and Simon Pryor, Murray Cook’s understudy. However, the departure of the three original members has been greeted as an end-point for the band. For 21 years, The Wiggles have entertained children worldwide and it’s a huge task to try to replace them.
Replacing band-members does not always work out badly for bands. The Shins have recently changed their line-up completely, with only James Mercer remaining, while David Gilmour’s replacement of Syd Barrett in Pink Floyd took them on a different path that resulted in classic albums Dark Side of The Moon and The Wall. But it can backfire; Billy Corgan has been substituting members of The Smashing Pumpkins for years, with less than impressive results, and no one could argue about INXS’ success after the death of Michael Hutchence.
Whichever one of these paths The Wiggles end up going down, their success or failure will be tracked by the majority of Australians. I know our family used to listen to Wiggles tapes whenever we could and with no obvious replacements coming through, I’d be fairly confident that they can continue the pace. Even if they have to retire Wake Up Jeff!