Sharon has been based in Australia for much of the last 30+ years but she was born in New Zealand and a part of her heart remains here; she certainly (still) has a part of our heart. I caught up with her to talk through her career the day after seeing her own the stage alongside Shona Laing, Debbie Harwood, Margaret Urlich and Anna Crummer. That concert was a delight, so we reflected on that – and of course talked through her early triumphs, Maxine and Words and the other terrific songs from her first albums, as well as scoring the hit film, Smash Palace and touring Australia and New Zealand relentlessly.
O’Neill has long been championed as a songwriter and after she stopped releasing albums under her own name she has continued, with partner Alan Mansfield, to write hit songs. For Dragon, and Robert Palmer and Jimmy Barnes and others. So we talk about that also.
In Australia O’Neill continues to perform, often as part of nostalgia packet tours. But she and Mansfield have plans to record a country EP.
It was my great pleasure to talk with Sharon O’Neill – fitting subject for this, episode 50 (a milestone in the life of the podcast). We hadn’t met before. In fact this was my first time seeing O’Neill perform – the timing of it made exquisite as we were up in Hawke’s Bay to see James Taylor. (My thanks also to previous podcast guest, Debbie Harwood for coordinating this meeting and interview).
Sharon even signed my copy of Foreign Affairs. And all of this in early in the morning just before she was set to jet back out of the country. My thanks to her for not only the great conversation but for even being available, for making the time.
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