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Bound for Glory: Angry Anderson and the Batmobile at the 1991 AFL Grand Final

The Mad Chatter - Thursday, September 29, 2011

Angry Anderson and the Batmobile were Bound for Glory at the 1991 AFL Grand Final Let's face it, the only reason anybody watches the grand final “entertainment” is to see an epic disaster. This week marks the twentieth anniversary of perhaps the biggest horror show involving song, dance and choreography ever seen at a major sporting event.

Angry Anderson and the Batmobile were Bound for Glory at the 1991 AFL Grand Final Let's face it, the only reason anybody watches the grand final “entertainment” is to see an epic disaster. This week marks the twentieth anniversary of perhaps the biggest horror show involving song, dance and choreography ever seen at a major sporting event.

History books show that Hawthorn beat West Coast by 53 points to win the 1991 AFL Grand Final in front of 75,320 at VFL Park, the only time the biggest game of the year was played out at Waverly before dozers flattened the joint and it became a housing estate as well as Hawthorn Hawks HQ.

Not that anybody gives a stuff.

Because most people remember September 28, 1991 as the day a baby blue Batmobile straight out of a bad high school Rock Eisteddfod act slugged its way out onto the ground for a motorcade of sporting champs. Hard-rocking former Rose Tattoo frontman Angry Anderson and retired marathon champ Rob DeCastella sat nervously in the brothel red back seat.

Within minutes, Angry was out-on-the-ground belting out a teeth-gnashing, eyeballs-bleeding, nails-scratching-down-a-blackboard rendition of his number one hit song “Bound for Glory”. The reaction of the sports stars in the motorcade was priceless.

Deek was looking for somewhere to hide. Boxing world champions Lionel Rose and Jeff Fenech were stunned. That year’s Brownlow Medallist Jim Stynes was equally bemused. Long-distance swimmer Susie Maroney typically had no idea what the hell was going on.

Then there was Seoul Olympics marathon silver medallist Lisa Martin and her husband, Kenyan world champion 5000m runner Yobes Ondieki. They completely lost it. Face in hand, almost crying with laughter, Yobes steals the whole ridiculous show. His blink-and-you’ll-miss-it cameo is so memorable that Carlton Draught used it as a tag for a recent ad that proclaims it has been a “proud supporter of footy since 1877... except in 1991”.



If there’s one criticism of Angry’s unforgettable performance - and there can only be one criticism of this magnificent aural nuke - it’s that he didn’t sing “Suddenly”, his 1987 smash hit which became a chart-topper worldwide thanks to Ramsay Street’s Romeo & Juliet. That’s right, I’m talking about the fairytale wedding of Scott and Charlene (Jason Donovan and Kylie Minogue) on Neighbours, still one of the highest-rating episodes on Australian TV. “Suddenly” is all over that cheese.

As the Batmobile wobbled out of the stadium, few thought they’d ever see it again. But years later, it bobbed up at the AFL Hall of Fame and Sensation exhibition in Melbourne. Earlier this year, some die-hard fans started the “Bring back Angry Anderson and the Batmobile for the 2011 Grand Final” group on Facebook. It currently has 47 members.

Last week, the Batmobile - which is actually a 1970 VG Valiant Coupe - popped up for sale on eBay with bids starting at a lazy seven-grand.

Owner and Collingwood supporter Michael Monaghan stumbled across it in a bad way when he went to check out a Valiant for sale in suburban Melbourne. He bought it on the spot and lovingly restored it.

Monaghan has promised to donate 50% of all funds raised in any sale above $10,000 to the Cerebral Palsy Education Centre. The Mad Chatter hopes the rest will be used to pay-off Angry so he never sings in public again. So far there have been no bids.

To view the 1991 AFL Grand Final shocker watch the You Tube video below. (or for those on Iphone/ipads follow this link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c7J2madZVFA



Funny enough, “Bound for Glory” has since become a national sporting anthem. Rumour has it you can see the Batmobile in all its restored glory on Channel Ten’s Before the Game grand final show on Friday night.

What other sports “entertainment” disasters do you fondly (and not-so-fondly) remember?

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