There’s events that happen in life that change you. They force you to see the world in a different way and make you question where your values truly lay.
For Aussie singer and 60s pop icon Norman ‘Normie’ Rowe the event that changed his outlook on life was his time serving in Vietnam.
“When I came back from Vietnam I was pretty well lost, I had no idea what I was going to do, whether I was going to go back into show business,” he said.
Normie’s conscription came as a shock to himself, and to his fans. He was a pop star at the height of fame, achieving the status of most popular male star of the time, but after his return from Vietnam Normie started to question whether he wanted to continue in the music industry at all.
“It seemed to be a little bit fluffy after having been in a war and seeing people die,” he said.
After months sitting on a beach in Torquay in Victoria dealing with the things he’d seen, Normie realised that while he did want to continue doing what he loved, he wanted to do it in a way that would see him offering more to the community than just great music.
“I thought to myself if I’m going back into show business it’s going to have to be for something,” he said.
“That platform that I get I’ll have to use for something other than patting myself on the back.”
Since that time Normie has supported Vietnam veterans; worked with children’s charities such as Variety; brought awareness to post traumatic stress disorder through speaking about his own battle with the illness; and was appointed as a Member of the Order of Australia for his work in the music industry, his charity work and his contributions to the community.
Fast forward to 2016 and while he’s never managed to get back to the level of commercial success that he had achieved before his conscription, Normie’s still touring regularly and loving every minute of it.
In April the singer and actor will join long time friend and fellow 60s pop star Johnny Young for The Happy Days Tour, which will be heading to the Evan Theatre on Saturday, April 9.
The pair will be playing all of their combined hits, plus a few of their favourite covers.
For Normie, music these days is all about having fun and not taking things too seriously.
“I do love singing, I do love entertaining, I do love doing what I do, but, it’s got to be for more than just getting paid and the adulation,” Normie said.
“I’d rather it to be a friendship and over the years it’s really become that.”
Johnny Young & Normie Rowe’s ‘The Happy Days Tour’ will be coming to the Evan Theatre at Penrith Panthers on Saturday, April 9 at 8pm. Tickets are $40.10. For more information or to purchase tickets visit www.penrith.panthers.com.au or call 4720 5555.