Idol chit chat: David Campbell on his tour with composer John Bucchino
In between hosting a television show and producing musicals and cabaret, David Campbell has found time to record a new album and embark on an national tour with composer and friend of 20 years John Bucchino. He took time out to speak with GNN.
You first met your idol, composer John Bucchino in New York. How did you meet?
We met at an Amanda McBroom concert at Carnegie Hall. She wrote The Rose . She also sang one of John's songs and he accompanied her. I made a beeline for him after the show and introduced myself. We went and got coffee afterwards. In the cafe we sat down and Bette Midler's version of The Rose came on the radio. It was a sign. We have been close ever since.
What did you learn from being in New York, musically and from a life perspective?
Musically I learned to stretch myself beyond Broadway. Singing in cabaret venues developed my love of swing music which I still have now. However, both Broadway and cabaret taught me to connect to a song, even a pop song and sell it to a room of 20 people to 2000 - an incredible learning curve.
From a life perspective I learnt that I wanted to live in Australia. I loved and still do love NYC, yet at the time, emotionally speaking, I had a lot of growing up to do and needed to learn how to do it. It started me on a journey of therapy and analysis which I still follow and use to this day and has improved my life to no end.
What initially drew you to John’s work?
There is a heart and emotional intelligence to John's work which I just get, you know? He has elements of classic songwriting like Paul Simon or Jimmy Webb, with bits of Sondheim, a great sense of humour and some of his songs pack such a punch I can still be overwhelmed while singing them. I am a fan.
[Image] David Campbell and John Bucchino. Photo: The Art's Centre
You've been busy hosting Mornings on Channel 9. How did you transition to TV from music?
Luck. Sonia (Kruger, Campbell's co-host) got me the gig! She and I met on Dancing With The Stars in 2005. We had a great laugh. She had been approached for the job at Nine and was asked who she would work well with. Fortunately, she said me!
Television or music... Which is more fun for you?
More fun... hmmmmm.... I think that TV is possibly the most fun, because I am sharing the load and the responsibility with Sonia. She is one of my best mates and I look forward to going to work.
Music takes discipline and so much practice. I have been rehearsing for hours a day in the lead up to this recording and tour. I haven't acted in anything for 7 years now, so I have forgotten what it is like! But I have been thinking recently that it might be fun to revisit...
Watch David performing John Bucchino’s Better than I
You’ve taken a break from recording the last few years, what will it be like returning to the stage?
FUN! John and I have been mates for nearly two decades; we admire each other’s work and make each other laugh so I can't wait.
Can you tell us a bit about your upcoming tour with John? What's on the set list?
I have recorded his songs and so have many others. So I will be singing Grateful, Taking the Wheel, and songs from his Broadway musical 'A Catered Affair' and so much more.
Your last album Let’s Go was 80s covers, what's your favourite genre to sing?
I love trying my hand at many genres but I think I instinctively sing swing and Broadway songs the best. I seem to connect more immediately to them. I was born in the wrong era really.
What does the future hold? Will you continue to host Mornings?
As long as they will keep Sonia and I on air, laughing and having fun, we will stay there.
As for music? Well, I will continue to work for The Hayes Theatre Co. producing musicals and cabaret.
I also hope this album with John goes well so I can do another record soon. I don't want to leave it three years between drinks again.
[Main image] David Campbell. Photo: Supplied
The David Campbell Sings John Bucchino tour kicks off on Sunday 25 May at the Art's Centre Melbourne. For more information and tour dates click here.
David Campbell sings John Bucchino the album is out 13 June.