On the Couch with Peter Combe

Peter Combes AAR OTCWho is Peter Combe?  
Australia’s best known children’s singer/songwriter! I am married and a proud father of four. I also have 7 grandchildren. I enjoy swimming, running and tennis (I’m a huge Roger Federer fan). I also like to read, and holidaying in January is the only real time off I have to veg out.

What would you do differently to what you do now?
I am currently preparing for the biggest tour of my life and I’m loving every minute of it. So right now, I wouldn’t do anything differently.

Who inspires you and why?
Australian children and their families. I want to continue enriching their lives with worthwhile, quirky, serious, high quality recordings and concerts. I want to raise children’s music to the status of children’s literature and those children are a constant source of inspiration. Politically I admire Bob Brown, Barack Obama, and Don Dunstan for his contributions to the arts. Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr, Nelson Mandela and Jesus have always been inspirations to me because of their commitment to nonviolence. I like to think of myself as an aspiring pacifist. In the world of comedy, it’s John Clarke, John Cleese and Spike Milligan. For theatre/film – it would have to be Anthony Hopkins and Emma Thompson.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
I like to think that what I am doing now as a musician/songwriter is making a positive difference in the world. My goal has always been to enrich lives by making worthwhile music for children. If I ever retire I’ll increase my activities as an advocate for action on climate change because I care deeply about what planet my grandchildren inherit.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
Carrickalinga. It lies about 85 kilometres South West of Adelaide. I have a holiday house there and it’s where I spend every summer. Second choice would have to be London because I’m a hopeless Anglophile.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
In addition to Carrickalinga, I love to take friends to the surrounding wineries of South Australia. We are really very spoilt for choice. I’m not an expert on Red, but in my opinion the region has the best White in the country. You can drive in four different directions, go to four different wineries and still be back in Adelaide by the end of the day.

What are you currently reading?
The Happiest Refugee by Anh Do. It tells his amazing story of how he came to Australia as a Vietnamese refugee in the 70s and really made the best of things. He currently has a TV show on ABC which I really enjoy and which is how I came across the book.

What are you currently listening to?
I listen to Radio National every day for my dose of politics. ABC remains the best source of information in my opinion. Musically speaking, I don’t listen to a huge amount of contemporary stuff, but there are a few artists which I will always return to: Simon and Garfunkel, Paul Simon, Peter, Paul and Mary, Queen and The Eagles. When I do listen to more recent music I go for Katie Noonan. I also like Eric Bogle.

Happiness is?
Doing what you love the most, what you’re good at, and having family and friends who you love and who love you. Also, contributing something worthwhile to the world, making an impact for the betterment of mankind.

What does the future hold for you?
More concerts to appreciative audiences all over Australia. Maintaining my health. I run four times a week to keep me fit and enjoy doing it! I want to enjoy watching my grandchildren grow up. Maintaining all my friendships. I also want to make sure I get some more travel in, and make it to London a few more times.

Peter will perform all his favourite songs from his popular Christmas album at the Melbourne Recital Centre on Wednesday 12 December 2018. For more information, visit: www.melbournerecital.com.au for details.

Image: Peter Combe (supplied)