Interview with Billy Birmingham

Rod’s in Adelaide pretending to work and spotted Billy Birmingham on the radio which you can download at his blog. Superb. Birmingham’s new 12th Man album is out today.

Boned: The 12th Man

Buy Boned: The 12th Man by Billy Birmingham

I’ve often mentioned Billy Birmingham’s 12th Man Tapes here, and most (not all) of Cricinfo’s editorial team are complete addicts. We heard from the latest Australian member of the team, Brydon, that Birmingham is releasing a new album in time for Christmas which got the biggest cheer of the day. Fantastic news.

Billy Birmingham on a sofa

Called Boned, it contains all the usual stuff with Richie Benaud, Tony Greig, Bill Lawry and Ian Chappell. It’s going to be immense – Amazon are doing pre-orders so buy it now.



The Sydney Morning Herald have an interview with Birmingham who begins with what could be Quote of the Century.

“I’m all over the place like a suicide bomber’s sandshoe,” he tells The Sun-Herald.

“There’s so much material. The drama has been trying to cut it all down so it fits onto a double album.”

The 12th Man’s catalogue stands at almost 2million units sold. Have no doubt about Boned!becoming the biggest-selling album at Christmas. All six previous albums from The 12th Man have reached No.1 on the ARIA chart, making Birmingham the only Australian recording artist to have reached top spot with every one of his releases.

“It couldn’t have happened in any other country,” he says. “We’re a nation of sports nuts and piss-takers and all I’ve done is combine the two.”

McGuire telephones Benaud and tells him he’s been boned: the term bandied about when the real-life McGuire was thinking about sacking Channel Nine presenter Jessica Rowe. That night, Richie dreams that he telephones Kerry Packer in heaven and the former Nine boss tells him to fight the good fight against McGuire. Benaud, Ian Chappell, Tony Greig, Bill Lawry, Mark Nicholas and the rest of the commentators storm Martin Place in Sydney with a petition to get their jobs back.

Funny names

I’m a bit of a fan of funny names and general wordplayage, so it was with great and splendid delight that I finally got round to buying 12th Man (mentioned the other day, actually). In it, Tony Greig, Bill Lawry, Richie Benaud and friends commentate on various games…with some ridiculous, always hilarious and often massively rude names. It’s utter bloody brilliance, and I’d urge you to buy it immediately. I haven’t laughed so much in ages! Then again, I do love purile humour (“And he’s gone for a slash just outside off stump…you really can’t be allowed to do that, the puddle…” etc)

The less rude ones include Kartis Arminhalf, Ramatunga DownaThroata, Wayne King, Hugh Jarse, Brendan Kangaroopoo and Cock Sarker. Not to mention the Sri Lankan spinner, SmellabitofaRatna, and the Indian opener Sunil Haveascar. Oh and IwannaUse Yadunny and Mekarsa Bitrusty, those two splendid middle-order Australians. Who can forget Ilarva Cornishpasty and Snake Sharma too?

Anyway, time for some fun. Let’s draw up a list of alternative names, the ruder and funnier the better. I’ll start it off with two very fine England prospects; Piston Broke and Mebats Snappedinalf.

Ramatunga Downathroata

Brilliant. I’m fairly wetting myself listening to the 12th man CD – I’d forgotten just how hilarious it is. Tony Greig commentating: “And here’s big Merv Hughes, to open the bowling from the Members’ end, and he’s coming into Ramatunga Downathroata”.

Utter quality. Expect more indecipherable musings soon.