I was a little worried when I went online this morning and The Wiggles were “popular now” on Bing. You usually don’t become a trending topic if the news is good.
It turns out that three-quarters of the band — Greg, Jeff and Murray (the yellow-, purple- and red-shirted Wiggles) — will be retiring after 21 years and a farewell tour. Anthony (the Wiggle in blue) will be leading a new generation of Wiggles, including the first female Wiggle.
I suppose change was inevitable. Greg, the lead singer, had stepped down in ’96 for health reasons, although he rejoined the lineup a few months ago, according to Wired’s Geek Mom blog. Still, the four original Wiggles are in their 40s and 50s now, and to a preschooler, the Wiggles could be their grandfathers.
I became a fan of the Wiggles when Thing 1 was in preschool. The Wiggles were all over Playhouse Disney in the early 2000s, and when Thing 1 got a CD player, the only CD she played was by the Wiggles.
The songs were catchy as hell, and I remember being impressed when I learned that the Wiggles weren’t the creation of some marketing genius. Anthony and Jeff had been in a band together in the 1980s. Murray had been in several bands, too, before meeting Anthony and Greg at Macquarie University in Sydney, where they were studying to become preschool teachers. Anthony, Greg and Murray began writing children’s songs, and they enlisted Jeff to play keyboards. Since 1991, the Wiggles have sold 30 million albums and DVDs. In 2005, the Wiggles were named Australia’s Exporter of the Year.
We were living in Orlando when the Wiggles came to town. I took Thing 1. The Wiggles put on a great show, and when it was over, I asked Thing 1 whether she’d like it. She said yes. I asked what she liked best. She said everything. I said, “I wish they’d played ‘Go Captain Feathersword, Ahoy!’” Captain Feathersword was a character on the show. He was a friendly pirate who carried a giant feather instead of a sword. The song may be the catchiest song, ever. Hear it once or twice, and it will get stuck in your brand and never come out.
“I wish they’d played ‘Go Captain Feathersword, Ahoy!’” I said. Thing 1 said, “Dad, they can’t play everything,” which is a lesson I remember every time I see a concert.